This Is A Man’s World.

In James Brown’s words, this is a man’s world. This is a man’s, man’s world.

I often have discussions with my guy about feminism. The word alone creates horrific images and assumptions about what a feminist is. When people hear “feminist” they instantly forward their thoughts to burning bras and femi-nazi’s. As I have calmly and intricately explained to my guy, feminism is simply a movement to create equality for women.

Photo credit: thegreatkh.blogspot.com

When you understand feminism for what it truly is, there are few people who would label themselves a ‘non-feminist‘. In doing so, one is admitting that they don’t care about equal rights, and that women better just suck up the 77 cents to the dollar they are earning compared to men. Hell, despite all the bibble-babble of the presidential debates, even Obama-rama believes in feminism!

I, unfortunately, work at a corporate company that is the old boy’s club. Management is dominated by men and women are often found in the lowest paying jobs. Worry not darlings, I have been job searching to get out of the 1950’s. Today was a particularly challenging day of comments that really got my mind whirling about feminism and sexism.

Let’s just review the small dose of the Ike Turner mindset I experienced today:

1. “You should smile more.” This comment was uttered by my male supervisor today to me. My mind instantly jumped to my Introduction to Women’s Studies course in college. The professor gave us the most invigorating overview of the history and theories of various feminist groups. One of the concepts we came across was the physical appearance of women and what is expected. Women are expected to portray a positive, bubbly, happy appearance at all times. In studies, when people have compared a male’s ‘resting face’ (void of emotion) to a female’s resting face, people feel that men look normal and women look angry.

So, keep that smile bright and perky, ladies! It’s what is expected of you, after all. How dare a woman relax her facial muscles! And after years of maintaining the perfect, upbeat appearance, you can drown yourself in thousands of dollars worth of wrinkle-fighting products.

2. “Don’t get all worked up.” Ladies, I have an announcement for you. If you speak passionately about your job, you have lost your flippin’ shit. Abort mission, I repeat, abort mission. When men speak passionately about a topic, they are defined as strong, intelligent, and having leadership qualities. When the mere Betty Boop’s of the world speak passionately about a topic, we are considered irrational, lacking composure, and over-emotional.

3. “Why are you going to graduate school? Don’t you want to settle down and have a family?” This tops the big, fat cake of bigotry. I blame my Mom, I really do. You see, she raised me to believe I could have a career, a family, and a personal life all at once. Imagine that malarkey! On top of my mother failing me, I also seem to have a delusional disorder I wasn’t aware of. I imagined that I work a full-time job and a part-time job. Being a graduate student was all a magical mirage. Having a blog, writing, crafting, reading, and being creative every free chance? Eh, must have been a dream. Oh, and being an amazing partner to my guy, cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, and supporting him, and our families, in every way? Shit, I was off my rocker again! I must have been speaking passionately.

All hope is not lost though. We must remember the conclusion that all men should come to, as James Brown did: “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”

13 responses to “This Is A Man’s World.

  1. Having spent many years working predominately with men, there are always the buffoons. My favorite is the smile comment. It makes me want to punch somebody in the face. Statistically speaking, it won’t continue to be a man’s world if rates of higher education are any indicator. Times, they are a-changin’. And I’m damned glad I might be around to see some of the changes. Good luck in your your job search and educational endeavors!

    • The problem with the rates in higher education is they aren’t what they seem. Yes, there are more women than men earning associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. In some fields, women are earning more master’s degrees than men. Overall, men still are dominate in the PhD category. The problem is — while the numbers of women are there, the equality and leadership is not. Despite more female students, most fields – science, mathematics, technology, engineering, higher education – have an overwhelming amount of male leaders, with women hitting a glass ceiling. I am hoping that in time, many of the initiatives set forth to further push women’s leadership in STEM studies and higher education will pay off!

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  5. Holy hell. My answer to number one (quick trip to the unemployment line) “You think so? I’d smile a lot more if you paid me better.” What a dick.

    • “Holy hell” – best response. That was my exact response… ‘is this seriously happening?’. I literally cried tears of joy when I left that company in January, only to have them go bankrupt a week later. Karma, baby… it’s a crazy thing!

  6. It’s a fucking hypocrisy, the western world. We’ll get there one day…
    Boy x

  7. If anyone finds the rules for womanhood difficult to conform to, don’t worry too much. After you hit forty you won’t have to follow any of them because you officially become invisible to men, and can do what you like without anybody even noticing.

    • I hate conforming to anything. Not in a rebel without a cause way, I just don’t like being told what to do by someone who doesn’t understand me or where I come from. It sounds like I am going to love 40+! 🙂

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