Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Apologies

For the second time since the regime change at the night job (that currently pays my bills), I find myself dealing with the kind of ridiculous treatment I'd only experienced through the words of feminist bloggers and childhood memories.

I'd convinced myself that no "professional man" would dare be so blatantly biased and dismissive of the accomplishments of an employee just because she wasn't six feet tall and composed of testosterone. I told myself this was a dying breed and males acting like entitled children when their errors were presented to them was the thing of elementary school and spoiled jocks. Somehow, despite all the evidence, I made myself believe that misogyny was becoming a rare thing, that the Boy's Only Club was losing members.

Unfortunately, those spoiled boys sometimes turn into entitled men. Men who can't stand to admit their mistakes, especially when those errors are presented by a woman. Men who can't work with independent, empowered women because they have no idea how to speak to women as equals. Men who reward sterotypical displays of masculinity even at the detriment of the social environment and the businesses to which they show loyalty.

One of those men dug through the professionally spoken interview he conducted with me and came to the conclusion that my experience, work ethic, and sparkling history could be ignored because I admitted to a habit of explaining concepts in more detail than was necessary. And by ignored, I mean treated as so insignificant that a man with none of my experience or skills was deemed a better candidate.

This experience shook me, caught me off guard. Despite everything I'd learned and read, I wasn't expecting the treatment.

I knew there were women all over the world dealing with this kind of treatment on a daily basis, but somehow thought myself immune. I now recognize this thinking, and the patterns of behavior around me that led to its formation, as a form of bias, and privilege, all its own.

Subconsciously, I held myself as too exceptional to be treated with the same indignity as the average woman.

And that was shitty of me.

To all the women everywhere, I apologize. I regret having internalized the Exceptional Woman trope to the point that I was mentally discriminating against the members of my gender who don't have the privilege of my skill set. I'm sorry. From this point forward, I'm going to check that internal gender bias and do better.

And I plan to start by using what privilege I have to make it as uncomfortable as possible for the aforementioned men to continue treating women the way they do. Even if the only recourse I have now is to demonstrate to them that "sometimes info-dumps on people" and "lacks communication skills" are not the same thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment