A little back story is needed before we get into my story.
I’m a female and I’ve been working in an electronics gaming shop for about 7 months and I love my job. My management team has always loved how I work hard and how happy I am and how the customers love me. I had one of the best managers ever until he got promoted to work in a bigger store and we were getting another store’s manager. One of my co-workers also left the same week as my old manager and so a new contract became available with more hours. You can imagine that the battle between us for that contract is real.
My co-workers all knew about the new manager and how he was immature and preferred women’s company rather than men’s. In that, they meant he would always give the females more working hours per week and they were more likely to be promoted. He had made fun of people and made jokes at people’s expense that weren’t necessarily funny.
One of my co-workers (who has made sexist jokes at my expense anyway) was saying about how I’m so lucky because I’ll get preferential treatment. So, you can imagine as the only female currently working in the store right now, that left me a bit apprehensive.
I am a feminist although I have to admit that I’m perhaps not the best one. I still use sexist phrases and don’t always correct others when they are sexist. I’m a guilty feminist, high five if you understand that reference!
As a feminist, I am worried that I will get more hours at work and preferential treatment because I am female and not because I’ve been working hard and earned it. But, as a feminist, I also think that getting more hours and preferential treatment because I’m female isn’t such a bad thing anyway. Let me explain.
When people talk about sexism in the workplace, it’s usually because women have been overlooked for promotions or projects in favour of men. It’s a stereotype that men climb higher because of their gender. Women don’t because of their gender and this misconception that we can’t work hard enough or have the right attitude or are too emotional. I have to wonder then, is it such a bad thing if I do rise above my male co-workers because of my gender even if I have earned it? Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change?
The answer is no. I want to make it clear that no matter what happens within the store or who gets more hours, I always have and always will work my butt off. I always try hard and I am always improving. So if I did get a promotion, it’s not as if I didn’t do anything to earn it but it’s still not right.
You can see here there are two conflicting sides of me fighting about this.
There is no justifying the guilty feminist side in the argument. There should be no gender preference at all having any kind of influence in the workplace. None. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly. Everyone should be considered for their work ethic and attitude. Unfortunately, it seems like we’re still a long way off of that actually happening.
I’m not at all advocating that rising through the ranks because of your gender and not your work ethic is okay. I was just curious to divulge into my guilty feminist side and get my thoughts out there. If I get any promotion or increase in hours, I want it to be for my work ethic.
Realistically, what will happen will happen. There’s not much I can do apart from work hard and hope for the best. I just needed to talk about this and get both sides of my thoughts out there. Sadly I know that one of my co-workers would just say I got a promotion because of my gender anyway.
The funny thing is, for all my inner turmoil over this, I’ll probably never know if I am getting more hours because of my gender or work ethic. I’ll never be told and it’s not something you can ask. So it seems pointless worrying over it.
I want to finish this by saying that if someone makes a sexist joke at your expense, call them out on it. Ask them to repeat it. Ask them why it’s funny. If someone treats you in a way that’s sexist, call them out on it. Don’t stand for anything you shouldn’t have to. I know that I won’t.
And I’m curious, what are your thoughts on all of this? How would you fight for your feminism in this situation?
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