Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Blog Activity 10: Doing Gender at Work June 8, 2009

Filed under: blog activity — daniellemstern @ 1:55 pm
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Today’s reading summarized major issues facing women in the workplace. The Gambles explained the difference between internal and external barriers to advancement in the workplace and also touched on inequality of women’s and men’s wages. The 2003 figures estimated that, on average, women make 72 cents for every dollar men earn. This more recent New York Times’ graphic display of the gender wage gap breaks the difference up by occupation. If you scroll your mouse over the dots on the graph you can see specific percentage differences. A few that I think are striking include physicians and surgeons. Women in these professions earn an astounding 40% less than their male counterparts. In the higher education sector, women earn 22% less than men. One study explains the higher pay disparity at executive level corporate employment, while another highlights the relationship between traditional values and men’s wages.

Another important thing to recognize beyond the gender barriers and pay inequality are the societal pressures and expectations to perform (so-called) masculinity and femininity in the workplace. The text only briefly approaches the topic, so I’d like for us to expand the discussion and connect it to the gender wage gap that clearly still persists. One article that I think successfully brings the two ideas together is focused on women’s transition from educational success to workplace struggle. A second article discusses the gender expecations in hosting programs on the Food Network. Please read the articles (as well as the other links I’ve included in the post) and reflect on your experience and that of women and men close to you who have experienced gender discrimination (societal, economic or both) in the workplace. What pressures still exist? How might we resolve these issues civilly?


66 Responses to “Blog Activity 10: Doing Gender at Work”

  1. Lauren Says:

    The one job that I believe I have experienced gender discrimination in would be my job as a server. For a couple of years I had a job as a waitress back at home, and I definitely saw a difference between how I was treated and how the male servers were treated. The two managers of the restaurant were males and they would always make comments about the women that came into the restaurant, comments that would be very uncomfortable to hear. I also noticed a difference in our uniforms because men had to wear lose black shirts while the women servers were encouraged to wear tighter shirts with a V-neck to show off more of your curves. I also observed that men and women tended to get different tips when we would talk about how much money we made that night. The female servers tended to make more tips which I think had a lot to do with our gender and because our managers would always “joke” that if we flirted a little we could make more tips.

    One of my roommate’s faces gender discrimination at her job at a deli as one of the only women at her store. She told me that her boss calls her “sweetie” and “hun” instead of her real name, and treats her differently than her male co-workers by not making her do as much because he doesn’t want to “strain her.” She has been working at the deli for 2 years now and still has not been promoted to a sandwich which maker which makes more fun. All the sandwich makers at her deli happen to be all males, while she and another woman are the people that deliver the sandwiches to different companies.

    My one male friend had a job as a bartender that was discriminated against mostly by women. When he would serve a woman customer he said they would always try and hit on him and leave their numbers after becoming intoxicated. He also told me about a situation he had when he had to serve his food to a table full of women one time, and one of the women actually grabbed his butt. So this type of sexual harassment does not just happen to women, it can also happen to men.

    I think that some pressures that still do exist are that women might feel like they have to be nice and non confrontational in the workplace in order to get what they want. Since women already know it is harder for them to get a raise or a promotion, they might be too scared to be sterner in which they might come off as a bitch. I also think that some women are pressured into thinking that they can only hold certain types of job positions like a secretary or teacher, jobs that do not have high authority. One pressure I think men have on them is to be the “tough man” at work that are self-sufficient, and do not need help from others. This can ultimately lead to a man’s failure in the workplace if he does not feel comfortable asking for help when he needs it or it could lead to too much pressure on them which could lead to a break down.

    I think we can solve these issues civilly by addressing the issue of gender discrimination and equality. If both men and women realize and confront the issue of gender equality they can better understand both sexes and how different genders handle different situations. If both genders get a better understanding of each other, it can help to solve issues like gender discrimination.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      The whole deli thing is weird. Stereotypically I would think the girls are making sandwiches, because they are usually ‘the cooks’ for families. I do not think I could put up with that. I have heard the thing about servers. I have a friend who says when she ‘shows the girls’ more she gets bigger tips. I think it is kind of sick that she has to reveal herself sexual to get bigger tips. I actually feel weird if I have a server who is letting her boobs hang out.

      • cahendy Says:

        As a guy I feel weird if I have a server who is revealing too, especially if I am with my family or a girl. I was up at buffalo wild wings a week ago with about six or seven guys and the female server kept flirting with all of us and referring to us as hun and sweetie and cutie and we all thought it was so weird to the point where we wanted to give her a worse tip, even though she was a good server. It was not that this server was unattractive either it was just annoying to have her talking to us like that and being flirty when we were just have a guys night and watching sports.

    • emily9988 Says:

      I’m really glad you brought up the bartender story. So many times we talk about women being victims of sexual harassment in the workplace when men are just as much at risk. We even see it on TV and in movies. One example that comes to mind are the “One Tree Hill” bartenders at the Tric nightclub. They is always a man behind the counter and there is usually flirting between the bartenders and a woman customer.

      • kirstenpowell Says:

        I had the same experience as a server. I think that some men see their waitress as a target for rude and sexual remarks. It stinks when your employer makes you uncomfortable. It also is not fair when how much you make for the night depends on whether you brush off comments that can be viewed as sexual harassment or whether you stand up for yourself and tell them to cut it out. That also brings up another issue. When women do stand up for themselves they are often times seen as “bitches.”

    • flipmyflops06 Says:

      I never really thought about how much emphasis was placed on woman’s appearance and ability to flirt in the workplace in order to make money. By connecting with others and using their appearance they can usually make more money which. Interestingly being pretty and connecting with others are stereotypical woman’s roles. What do you think about women being the only waitresses in Hooters?

      • Lauren Says:

        It’s interesting you mention that because a man actually sued Hooters for not hiring him because he was a guy. Here’s a couple of websites that talk about it…

      • mattymac Says:

        Thanks for sharing that, Lauren. That’s really interesting. I agree that it is odd that a man would want to work at a Hooters (who does not know what that business stands for?), but it brings up a good point. Why are there businesses that are so specifically gendered that it would basically prevent people of a type of gender from wanting to work there? Also, what does it say that such a business exists that exploits and takes advantage of the sexuality and appearance of women? I don’t see any “Beefcake” restaurants…

    • katelyntemple Says:

      One of my roommate’s faces gender discrimination at her job at a deli as one of the only women at her store. She told me that her boss calls her “sweetie” and “hun” instead of her real name, and treats her differently than her male co-workers by not making her do as much because he doesn’t want to “strain her.”

      I found this really interesting. I was in a class called women and politics and we learned about specific types of discrimination women face that Gamble & Gamble didn’t go in to. I don’t remember what this one type was called though… However, this example was perfect. The type of discrimination was based on not wanting women to strain themselves, as the work environment is not meant for them. It believed women’s main function was child bearing so damaging their reproductive system was greatly feared. They also wanted to prevent any type of stress on women, since their bodies were apparently only meant to handle child bearing stress… I just think this is interesting and related towhat you said. :]

    • chloea Says:

      Going off of the tip discussion…. I work at an eye doctor’s office as a technician. Obviously, you don’t really tip technicians. If we took tips, I’m sure we’d get in some kind of trouble, yet we do get offers every now and then. Most of us are female… all except one actually, but no one ever offers him a tip.

    • kmacklin1107 Says:

      I realize that waitresses are supposed to “flirt” with some of their male customers in order to get bigger tips, but I think they should also be paying attention to who all is sitting at the table. For our anniversary my boyfriend and I went to a resturant and the waitress paid absolutely no attention to me. She looked at my boyfriend the whole time and would call him sweetie, and when I asked for something she just went yeah. Little did she know I was the one paying for the tip that night, he was only paying the bill. I will honestly say that I did give her a worse tip than I would have given someone else because of the lack of respect I felt that she showed to me. My boyfriend agreed with my decision and even said that she made him uncomfortable.

      • mattymac Says:

        Flirting with customers can go both ways. At the restaurant where I worked, there were male servers who would flirt with women in the parties that came in. As many of you all have pointed out though, it truly is a personal preference of the customers and the personality of the server.

        There will be some guys and girls who will enjoy their attractive server of the opposite sex (or same sex, if you want to get into sexuality) and engage in flirtatious behavior. There are others, though, that will find it uncomfortable, sleazy, annoying, and unnecessary. Do you all consider this type of behavior a lowering of oneself in order to get more money? Do you consider it to be savvy and smart and using what “God gave you”?

        Most people I know just want their server to be friendly and to fulfill the duties and meet the needs of those in the party.

  2. Jessie Wright Says:

    Thankfully I have not been in a job where I have been discriminated against because of my gender. The closest thing I could think of was when I changed my major. Until this year I was a computer science major. I can not count the amount of times I would have to go above and beyond the required about of work to show I knew what I was talking about. Every week we would get a new partner. There were maybe five girls total in all my classes, so I always got a boy partner. I knew every time someone was put with me they were thinking, oh great I have to do all the work myself because I got the stupid girl. I hated it! Before every meeting I would have to come up the answers by myself to hold my ground in the project. I could not show up and work through the problem together. I had to have the problems already done, so I would get some credit. At the end of the year, I ended up with the same grades as my guy friends, but still wanted to change majors. Computer science just was not my thing, and I knew it. No matter how many times I told my friends, they always said yeah computer science is too hard for girls. Regardless of my grades, they thought I could not do it. I actually just hated the topic, but could do it well.

    My sister works as a manager of a dog kennel. She does office work, but her favorite is working with huge dogs. For her first year of working there they would not let her work with the dogs over 100 pounds. They didn’t want to dog to ‘rule her.’ The men who did work with the big dogs used long poles and huge choking leashes. When she finally got to work with the big dogs, she was perfect. She has always had a way with animals, as she told them. She was discriminated for being a women and not being able to handle the big dogs, because she was a weak women. My sister may be 120 pounds, but she can handle any dog. She never uses force, poles, or choking leashes. She is levelheaded and knows how to handle the dogs. Even though she was once not allowed to do the ‘men’s’ jobs; now they call on her to work with all the ‘tuff’ dogs.

    I definitely still think pressures exist in the workplace, because of gender. To be honest, I do not know if it will ever completely go away. The stereotypes branded in our society are so hard to erase. Women have come a HUGE way, but still have a long way to go. I think government really needs to step in. They need to regulate. If the government can not help, businesses need to step up. Individual owners need to pay the highest to the best qualified person, woman or man. I could be a better surgeon and get paid less than a less qualified male surgeon. That is CRAZY. If my doctor was the best and was a female, I would want her to get the highest amount of money. I do not want to pay more for a male doctor that is not as good.

    • Lauren Says:

      I totally know what you mean about being in a computer science class. Before I became a communications major I was a business major and I had to take a couple of computer science classes and there were probably only 4 girls in the class. We never had to get into groups, but I definilty felt a little intimiated by all the men in the class, but interestingly enough from the guys I talked to in class I was working harder than them on most assignments. Computer science was not the only class i took with a lot of boys, I am still a business minor and I took a European economics class last semester and there were 4 girls in a 25 person class. I think that business is definitely a male dominated major judging by the gender ratio in all my business classes which could explain why more men are holding higher positions in businesses.

      • mmpike Says:

        Just to compliment what you said about your buisness classes, I’ve experienced something similar in my English classes. I am an English major and I had a class last semester with only two guys in it. (which didn’t make our discussion of feminism very interesting). But that kind of proves how we follow the stereotypes about education, and what girls and boys are “better at” and how it carries over into the work place.

    • vrobbins Says:

      I’m not so sure the pressures that exist in the workplace because of gender will go away either. I feel like as long as men are going to be intimidated by women’s authority and not give them the opportunity to be at their level, the problem will persist. I know that this isn’t always the case, but I feel like this is the main reason why the pressures are still there. Women are fully capable of doing men’s work. I think women need to be given the fully opportunity to prove themselves, just like you sister did with the dogs! Horray for her!

      • Jessie Wright Says:

        I’m such an idiot. I just remembered a time I was discriminated against at work. I was a secretary at a marketing company. There was a large meeting going on and I was walking behind the group to go to the kitchen/counter thing in the same room. As I walked by one guy turned around and told his friend to ‘check me out.’ I rolled my eyes and kept walking. I bent down to get my stuff out of the refrigerator and the guy said something about my butt, and some sexual reverence. I turned around immediately and said something to him. As I was walking back to my desk he said to his friend he loved a woman with ‘sass.’ I almost punched him. My manager noticed my anger and asked, in front of everyone, what was wrong. And I politely replied that he needed to keep his disgusting pig staff under control when a woman was around.

        The story ends sadly for the man. He got fired, and as he was leaving I said something about how does he like a girl with sass now. My boss also informed me there was a more professional why of telling him what had happed so the entire staff did not hear. I really did not care though, I wanted to embarrass him.

        I can not believe I forgot about this moment. I feel it was my number one I am a women and I kick butt moment.

    • mransone Says:

      The doctor office I visit has several different doctors in the practice. I usually always go to a female doctor, but if she has nothing open there is a male doctor I will go see. It makes me really sad to think that my female doctor could be getting paid less because of her gender!

      • jenwaybright Says:

        I wouldn’t have cared either! That is a ridiculous situation and I feel very lucky that I haven’t experienced anything like that!

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        Jessie, I am glad that you spoke up! I have a friend who brushes off sexual comments rather than addressing them. I think her unwillingless to address the comments only enforces her “subordinate stance” (from the male manager’s perspective of course). I bet that guy will think twice about making rude comments in the future. Good job!

    • mmpike Says:

      I think its interesting about the surgeon thing. If you’ve ever seen House, or any other show that deals with receiving medical attention, then you’ve problem seen patients refuse certain doctors, even if they’re the best. (In this case its House, not a woman) But other shows have specific instances of this. I think its funny how people say that women can be doctors, or that they won’t discriminate against certain sexes, races, or age, but when it comes to what really matters, their health, they have their own opinions and they will voice them. This is gender, but it could happen with gender, on Friends Phoebe refuses a doctor who is too young. That same thing could happen in terms of gender, and I’m sure it has.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        I understand your stance on the subject, but also believe it is partly generational. Our generation isn’t as traditional (if you will) as our parent’s generation. For example, how many of our grandparents make racist or sexist comments? How many people our age would support or agree with them?

        It may be a stretch, but I believe the gender gap will become less of an issue as our generation enters the workforce and becomes “elders” of the corporation. We are seeing and experiencing gender changes as we finish school and enter into our careers. I believe our generation will be less shocked and more open to change in the future.

  3. emily9988 Says:

    I experienced gender discrimination in the workplace at my old job as a cashier at the grocery store Ukrops. I was hired on the spot as a cashier, whereas most people have to work their way up to cashier from a courtesy clerk, who does all the bagging. My first day of work, I noticed that almost all of the courtesy clerks were men, and a good majority of the cashiers were women. I think this was because courtesy clerks had to lift heavy objects when bagging and carrying groceries out to the car. They also have the task of cleaning our breakroom, bathrooms, sweeping the floors, and doing other jobs that include heavy lifting and manual labor. If a woman was hired as a courtesy clerk, she rarely was told to do the hard jobs, which were left up to the men. During my 2 years at this grocery store, I felt like I always got the easy road out and the men were forced to do the harder, labor-oriented jobs because they were seen as stronger.

    Another example of gender discrimination I experienced at Ukrops was sexual harassment. I had several managers during my time at Ukrops, and towards the end of my employment there, we had one manager that was really friendly with the women employees. I had talked to several of the women employees and they all felt extremely uncomfortable with his behavior at work. He was extremely flirtatious and uncomfortably friendly with the women at work. He would show favoritism and let us off work earlier than normal, leaving the men to pick up our slack. Needless to say, this atmosphere was one of the reasons I quit working at Ukrops.

    One aspect of Ukrops that actually negates what the text says about women in the workplace is salary. As a cashier, I made a whole dollar more per hour than the courtesy clerks. Therefore, more women were paid more than men.

    As I’ve thought about this prompt, I think that in a way I was a victim of reverse gender discrimination. There was a whole lot of gender favoritism towards women at Ukrops, leaving the men to do more work for less money. Even though I was the favored gender, I still felt that their behavior towards me and all the other women was wrong. Businesses need to focus more on equality in the workplace and not favoring one gender over another.

    • vrobbins Says:

      I like hearing about stories that are opposite of what the main problem is. For example, men being sexually harassed by women. Not a pleasant thing to think about, but I know that there is always people out there that go unnoticed because it’s not a major issue.

    • catherineporter07 Says:

      It’s interesting how sexual harassment is destructive in a two different ways, in that 1. it makes the victim feel uncomfortable and 2. it results in the unfair treatment of other individuals (in your example, the men not getting off early while many of the females did).

      • mattymac Says:

        Your experiences of working at Ukrop’s mirror my experiences of working at Kroger. I started out as a courtesy clerk before I became a cashier. I had to “work my way up” to being a cashier. Almost all of the courtesy clerks were guys and almost all of the cashiers were girls. There was never any pay difference, though, as far I can remember.

        I disliked being a courtesy clerk because we always had to stay later, clean, stock, retrieve carts, and bag. People are SO picky about their bagging! I never realized how gender roles were enacted in that particular workplace for me until I read your post.

  4. vrobbins Says:

    I personally haven’t experienced gender discrimination in the workplace (thankfully!). However, I read in the text that one in every two women will be sexually harassed at school or at work in their lifetime. That’s crazy. Believe it or not, most of us probably have already experienced it, but we just didn’t realize it because of how people throw out obscenities jokingly in this day and age. (anyways!)

    I do recall a few years ago, my mom dealing with gender discrimination that was sexual harassment. She had a male co-worker that would constantly come into her office and make comments about the way she looked, but nothing too crude. It was enough to make her uncomfortable though. She figured that he would eventually stop, when it persisted she started telling him to leave her office or she would report him. After a while, he got the picture, but picked a new victim. The interesting thing was that he targeted white women, even though he was an African American male who was married to an African American female. He commented on the fact that he liked “white ladies”. To make the long story short, he sexually harassed about 6 women in the office. It ended at a young girl who was hired temporarily to man the phone on the weekends. She reported him and all of the other ladies, including my mom, came forward. He was fired and his realtor’s license was revoked (only for a short time though).

    I’ve never really dealt with gender discrimination of any kind at work because I’ve always worked for females. I worked at a school board office, a dance studio, a hair salon, and the bookstore at school. All of the females that I worked with never asked a male to stand in to help me with a job because I wasn’t capable. With that being said, men were still hired at all of these places of business, not just women.

    When I was reading the responses others have made, the one gender discrimination that I run into all the time, that women even enforce is lifting heavy objects or completely tasks that are normally done by men. The one occasion I can remember very vividly is a missions project we did where we went to a Women’s Shelter in Newport News to put together beds, clean, clean up the yard work and rearrange furniture, etc. The woman who was in charge had a list of duties to complete. She assigned each of us different things to do. The women were asked to clean, and pick weeds. The men were asked to mow the lawn, and rearrange the furniture. I have been taught to fend for myself. I am dependent on men in my life. However, if they are not available, I was raised to do it myself and not wait around for them. For example, the men were still rearranging furniture when we finished weeding. They hadn’t yet got to the lawn so I started up the lawn mower and was stopped by a lady I was with; she told me that the men would get around to it. I assured her that I was fully capable and finished the task. It’s not so much that I was trying to empower women’s abilities, as much as empowering myself. I am capable, so I do it.

    Just like the lady who stopped me from mowing the lawn, society has taught us that specific duties are to be done by males and others by females. When someone doesn’t abide by this understanding, we think differently of them and try to stop them. I think people fear change. The only way we are going to break free from the bondage of staying within our own gender limits is to actually DO IT. I think if we are bold enough to take a stand and ask our employer, parents, teachers, friends and group-mates to give us a chance, we will be able to prove ourselves. Change will happen if we let it. We just needn’t be afraid.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      ugh! I hate how the guy only got his license suspended for a few months. It seems like sexual harassment has such light punishments UNTIL the person has completely crossed over the line. If the guy had acted on his thoughts I bet her would have got his licensed terminated for good. He should have a bigger punishment at the lower level, so he does not continue harassing.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      I definitely agree with the last part of your post vrobbins. Women need to step up to change the things they are fighting for instead of waiting for men to take control and fulfill their social roles. Women need to defy the norms and prove themselves equal.

  5. flipmyflops06 Says:

    I believe I was treated differently in one particular job because of my gender. This job ended up involving more physical strength that anything else and I was the only girl. I got treated differently and got the easier jobs though I could do most of the stuff the men did. One of the supervisors questioned why someone had sent me on this job because of my sex and not because of my performance.

    My boyfriend has experienced gender discrimination at his work. Every evening before people go home from his job, someone has to take out the trash. One morning, a woman put old milk in the trash-can and let it sit there all day without thinking of the person that was taking the trash out later that evening. My boyfriend picked up the trash and old warm milk came out and he asked the woman that put the milk in there why she didn’t take it out earlier. The woman replied defensively that taking out the trash was a “man’s job.”

    I agree with lauren in that the pressures that still exist involve women acting feminine. I also feel like women tend to not be more aggressive and demanding because it is less feminine. Because of the pressure to act more feminine, women sometimes miss out on opportunities than men get from just being more aggressive and demanding.

    These issues can possibly be solved by government intervention. They can make the first steps in making things more equal because if a law is put into effect, people may feel more inclined to follow. Another way to handle this may be to require workers to take gender communication classes. By doing this, workers in leadership positions may be able to notice gender discrimination more easily and stop it quicker. Also, if women are forced to take these classes, they may feel more inclined to step out of the feminine gender box and make demands for equality in the workplace.

  6. kirstenpowell Says:

    As I mentioned before that as a waitress I feel like you are a target for rude remarks. You not only are dealing with employees you also come in contact with patrons. Men often times over step their boundaries with their waitresses. It was a daily issue that I struggled with as a waitress. I knew that if I wanted to make good tips I was going to have to deal with it. It reminds me of the quid pro quo sexual harassment. The men are almost holding the fact that they control how much money you make off of their table against you. If a woman chooses to say something they are taking the risk of not making a decent tip. This is just like the example in the book that describes a man’s proposition for a woman to share a room on a business trip in order to get a promotion. A waitress’s dilemma is a smaller scaled but it is still not fair.

    As long as men have control over any aspect of women there will be unfair treatment and there will be harassment. This is not to say that all men are bad, but the bad ones ruin it for the good ones. The discrimination against women done by certain men has led to the generalization that men treat women a certain way because they are threatened by them. Even when women were not a competition men still treated women the same way. It just was not called harassment then. It stems from a man’s need to “control his woman” or the women around him. I do not see change in the near future due to a man’s need to be dominant and powerful. They assert their power over women and this causes discrimination and harassment to take place. Until we reach complete and total equality this will always be an issue and in my opinion the world will come to an end before the cease of discrimination against women.

    • mransone Says:

      That’s horrible you had to deal with men that treated you like that! I bet the fact that they did have control over your money had a huge effect on how they treat waitresses. It is interesting that you bring up that men feel they need to control women. I agree we need to reach complete equality for things to start to change.

    • emily9988 Says:

      Your post reminded me of a situation I was in last summer. Last year I was looking for a summer job and couldn’t find anything. One of my high school friends suggested I applied for a job at this new restaurant in the Short Pump area. All she told me was that it paid really well and they were looking for more waitresses. What she didn’t tell me was that it was basically a high end hooters, with girls in very limited clothing. I learned later from a few other people that the “restaurant” was a bar that was notorious for these “bad men.” My friend worked there for a while and she said she got hundreds of dollars in tips a night. Sounds amazing, but when it’s only from men tipping girls for showing a little skin, it’s more rude, uncomfortable and degrading than anything else. I agree that not all men are like this. In fact, I don’t know many of them at all. However, the few bad ones out there give a bad rep to all men.

  7. katelyntemple Says:

    Fisrt, I’d like to comment on the two articles posted.

    The “Girl Power, But Not at the Office” article I feel made some really good points. The author mentioned women would rather sabotage another woman’s career over helping her advance. I find this very interesting and true. How can we as women expect to succeed when we judge and victimize other women?? To me, this shows that we are not working together. With the Women’s Movement, and events such as Seneca Falls, women were working together, they united as a class. We no longer have that, which makes it very difficult to end the discrimination women face.

    The next statement is something I have experienced. “I saw some men, raised in a different era, who refused to take young women seriously, focused on their appearance and gave them the least desirable assignments. Even in this day and age, I saw women becoming “assistant-ized”— saddled with all the coffee runs and photocopying.” I have not experienced this in work, but while doing volunteer work. I always found myself doing coffee runs, or cleaning up, or gathering supplies, never doing the actual work I intended on doing. However, I realize I never said no. Im sure a man asked me because he knew a woman would be more compliant, while a fellow male would likely refuse.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      My former boss actually had a woman sabatoge his wife’s career to get an advancement and I thought the same thing when he told me the story!

      • sam1503 Says:

        I think the fact that he even told you that story is crazy! It shows his little respect for women in the workplace, and to me, thats not the impression i wouid want to be giving to my female employees.

    • Lauren Says:

      I think that women sabotage other women in the work place to prevent them from advancing because it also prevents them from advancing themselves. Women already have enough to compete with, with men, so it makes it even harder when they have to compete with other women to advance in their career. I’m not saying it is okay, but I can see why some women would do that.

  8. katelyntemple Says:

    on your experience and that of women and men close to you who have experienced gender discrimination (societal, economic or both) in the workplace. What pressures still exist? How might we resolve these issues civilly?

    Without a doubt, I have never experienced sexual harassment, in either form. However, after thinking about it I do believe that I have experienced sexual discrimination. I work at an equine vet clinic. The jobs we do (the non-vet workers) greatly vary. Jobs are divided up largely based on horse experience, but I believe partially on gender. I’ve found that I do more of the care related tasks, while the guys do physical labor. This partially is because I have been around horses 14 years, so have more experience, but it is interesting that the female does the care related tasks. This is similar to stereotypes women face that they are supposed to do in home tasks, cleaning and caring for kids while men do building and yard work. I frequently assigned to clean the office of surgery suites while the men drive tractors, clean stalls or do repairs. This may not be discrimination, but it definitly is influenced by gender stereotypes.

    My mother actually has experienced sexual discrimination. She was hired as the head of a department, but also would be doing a clinical job as a dietician. She had a college degree and advanced license as a registered dietician. At the same time she was hired, the director of housekeeping was hired, who happened to be male. He had no other duties, only had a high school degree, had the same size department to manage, but was paid more. When she confronted the issue she was simply told it was an issue of supply and demand, less people would want to head that department… She didn’t feel this was true, as the pay was much more… She felt the issue was gender. This also demonstrates a woman having a greater education than a man but still not receiving as much pay.

    Pressures in the workplace based on gender for sure still exist. Women are expected to men professional yet feminine, men are expected to be tough. I think the biggest pressure is women’s duty to be professional while also caring for their family. Women are expected to almost do one or another. if they work full time many view them as bad mothers. The expectations are not fair and greatly limit women. I do not think progress can be made untill women make a point unite as a class, a class of women. So many women work against eachother, out of jealousy and spite. Women need to unite and stop their judgements on women who make other choices. I do not think government intervention is the solution, as civil rights acts have not solved the problems. Also, BFOQ’s (bonafide occupational qualifiers) have been defined when it is legal to hire someone or not to based on sex. Even with this, sexual discrimination is still a problem. To me, this demonstrates it is up to society, not the government.

    • mransone Says:

      I agree it is up to society! I just wonder how was can start to change something that has be acceptable, even though its terrible, for so long?

    • jenwaybright Says:

      The situation with your mother is baffling! With that type of discrimination happening, I’m surprised the company didn’t hire a woman for head of housekeeping, just to keep with the stereotype!

  9. katelyntemple Says:

    oops… I didn’t mean to post the first part!

  10. mransone Says:

    I personally have never been affected by sexual harassment in a work environment, outside of work I have though. I was a competitive cheerleader in high school and I traveled around the country to competitions all year long. Well our uniforms I will say are very revealing. The skirts are very short, and the tops are cropped so our stomachs are shown. This is the standard all all-star teams have uniforms with this style. Whenever we are walking to a competition from our hotel, men would whistle and make sexual comments to us. It always made me so mad, because its just a uniform, and all the little girls that are five and on the youth teams would be walking with us. It was so gross. The guys on the team, obviously has different uniforms, but other men would call them “fags” or “gay”, because male cheerleaders are stereotyped of being homosexual, and not all of them are. the majority of all male college cheerleaders are ex-football players, because they need to be very strong to hold the stunts.

    I have had friends that have been sexually harassed in the work place. It it weird we just read this chapter because this happened last week to my best friend. She was at work and texting on her phone when a male employee starting hitting her. He used a pick up line and asked what type of phone she had. She was like its a glide. He was like ohhh well I think you need to put my number on it. She told him she had a boyfriend, which she does. But he wouldn’t leave it alone, so she finally had to get up and leave, while he continued to make sexual comments towards her.

    There are very many pressures in the workplace that still exist. The numbers and percentages between male and female doctors shocked me. I had no idea, and I don’t understand how there can be such a great difference. Both genders went through the same about of school to become doctors so why would they have unequal pay. I think for the unequal payment, there should be a law that strongly enforces the same payment in every profession. For the sexual harassment side, I don;t know what could be done, because its so embedded in our society. Does anyone have any ideas as to how it can be stopped???

    • McNally Says:

      I actually went to high school with two guys that played football and became cheerleaders. They were two of the best players on the team, needless to say they were made fun of quite a bit. These two guys were extremely strong and simply wanted to change the sport they were participating in. I understand that women definitely get a lot more discriminated against, but there are some instances where men can get a label too.

      Even though there are laws protecting just about every kind of group in the U.S., there is still unequal payment between men, women, different races, and the disabled. Think about the human resource employees that have to hire the potential employee. They have to diversify a company and sometimes a women might be chosen over a man simply because she is a woman. That man might have had better credentials. I’m not saying I don’t agree with equality in salaries; I am just trying to empathize with different situations. Some companies get put down because of their lack of diversity between the men and women. If a company does better with all women that’s fine, or even with all men. Regardless, the pay should still be equal.

      • cahendy Says:

        That interesting because at my high school we had one of the best football teams in the state and one of the best competetive cheerleading squads in the state. My sophmore and junior year our all state quarterback, and two of our all district linebackers did competetive cheerleading in the winter and were very good at it. They did not get made fun off to much. People thought it was funny but we all thought it was kind of cool becuase these were big guys and they were throwing up little girls.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        You bring up some good points McNally. My uncle works for the US Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries and was commenting on the likelihood in obtaining a position. He said jokingly (with, I’m sure, some real truth) that if a black woman applied then she would get the job over others. I understand companies that want to encourage diversity, but it also promotes reverse discrimination. Qualified men cannot get the job because they are men and not diverse enough? Why can’t companies hire the most qualified individual, race and gender put aside?

  11. chloea Says:

    I personally have not experienced gender discrimination or sexual harassment of any kind. However, we have 5 eye doctors in our practice: 4 male (3 Ophthmologists and 1 Optometrist), 1 female (Optometrist). The majority of the rest of us are female, with only a few exceptions (several of which are managers). First off, technicians talk a lot. If you don’t do your job well, then you can be certain there will be discussion. Several of the female technicians discredit our only female doctor. While this may be the case, I actually don’t think it’s due to gender, rather than ability and success. I personally have not worked with her, but have heard a technician say, “she is my inspiration to become an Optometrist. I can do THAT!”
    On another note, within our office, all but one male is a doctor or holds a managerial role. The male leadership is quite prevalent within our practice. I wouldn’t say those roles are restricted: one of our female techs (who happens to be very pregnant right now) is being promoted to a 2nd tech manager for another location (we have 3 offices). While some jobs I believe will remain gendered unconsciously, others I think can become more diverse simply with promoting those with ability.

  12. jenwaybright Says:

    I have somewhat experienced discrimination based on my gender, but it wasn’t in a malicious way. I work for the government on an army base and was in the safety office for a long time. I worked with two very tradtional older men who felt that I was very delicate and fragile and never really let me do much outside of the office. I guess they didn’t want me to mess up my clothes or something. They were never mean about not letting me go with and once I asked to go with on inspections or things like that I was welcomed. I don’t think they were intending to discriminate me, they probably just felt like I wouldn’t want to go with them.

    My above story doesn’t mean the government doesn’t have its fair share of discrimination though; I was recently transfered to another office and heard all about some sexist people. The women in my office always complain about this one client who is very open with his opinon that women should remain in the house and kitchen; when they get to talking about this man they get hot. I have witnessed him be very condescending to them and he never thinks they are capable enough to handle their job. Whenever they ask him for a piece of paperwork to complete a bigger file or something like that he always says things like “oh, well you just can’t handle this, so i will do it myself!” I was told that he hasn’t allowed his wife(who has a bachelor’s) to work outside of the home after repeated requests to go to work, because he expects his house to be clean, dinner to be made, etc. He carries his opinions into every facet of his life.

    I do still think there is a pressure to prove themselves for women; even though I have had the luxury of not really experiencing it, it still worries me that I’m going to have to work 2x as hard to show my capabilities. I do think that our recent discussion about women becoming more educated than men at a more rapid rate will help things along. If women are obtaining more positions of power then it will most definitely help things with women advancing in the workplace. Men are also becoming more educated and open too and even if they have a higher position of power, I think that this generation of men will be more accepting and open-minded than previous generations.

  13. ginasurrette Says:

    First i’d like to note that it is strange for a women cashier to make 15% less than a man when the general outlay of a cashiers job and expectations is very simple. Isn’t it interesting that the men expect the women to be amazing home makers, to organize and perfect the entity of another humans (a child) life but think we are apparently not capable of leadership and are less credible then men. This notion creates a strong feeling of anger on my part.
    I have a fantastic example of gender discrimination/ stereotyping for females in the work place. It is from a movie called Baby Boom. The actress Diane Keaton (J.C. Wiatt) plays the role of a hard core corporate power house that works for an all male based Corporation. She is on top of the world working for this company. As she works extremely hard and has earned the nickname “tiger lady” from her male co-workers. For the first part of the movie you can see that she is 100% dedicated to her work and to elevating herself to the top with the rest of the boys. She takes on challenging task and she portrays herself to be just as “ballzy” as the male executives. The interesting part is that the male executives love her work and feel as though is apart of the team. All of this stays true until the day she inherits a baby girl from a recently deceased relative. She eventually get’s attached to the baby so much so that it gets her fired from her job. The men of the corporation started to view her as less capable after the baby came into her life and also less able to be a leader. The best part of the movie though is when she invents an amazing baby food that her ex-company and bosses want to pick up. She becomes a success story all on her own and ends up making more money through this then at her old job. She makes the men who fired her look like fools. (It’s a great movie)

    I think that many pressures for women still exist. The pressures on women to prove themselves worthy of a job is one. I believe it takes less for a man to prove himself capable than it does for a women. Going into an industry that you already know does not favor your sex is also extremely intimidating. One of the few ways to resolve this issue in a civil manner is just to keep talking about it and to keep providing evidence as to why women are just as credible as men.

  14. catherineporter07 Says:

    In all honesty, I do not believe I have experienced gender discrimination in any of the jobs I have held- up until now. Not in terms of pay disparity, but in terms of the tasks I am asked to complete. I am working as a youth intern – there are 2 guys, and another girl and myself. The boys are the ones asked to “run the moon bounce and soccer tournament” while michele and I asked to run the “facepainting and craft station”. While I try not to take this personally, this is evidence that gender pre-determined how our assignments were delegated.

    Aside from this, I honestly cannot recall a conversation I have had with any females about gender discrimation in their work place- which I suppose is a good thing (although I am sure this does happen quiet often). However, I can recall times that I have heard of men being discriminated in the work place. For instance, male friends have told me that the females would always make more tips as waitresses because men were more likely to flirt with them. While I’m sure this goes both ways with females, I have not had any friends who have claimed to experience this.

    I found the first article about women transferring success from the classroom to the workplace particularly interesting. One thing that came to mind in regards to mens lack of hesitation to ask for more money is that in most cases, these men are working for other men, and perhaps are more confident asking their same-sex bosses for a raise. Also, economically men are often the family provider and thus may feel more pressure to provide. This would lead them to have a lesser hesitation to ask for a raise.

    I definitely think women can “help themselves” by taking more initiative, displaying more confidence when asking for a raise, and stand up to their male counterparts.

    I suppose I don’t have a clear answer on how to resolve these discrepancies. For starters, having employers be required to be more informed on gender issues and the pressures and tendencies males and females may have in the workplace would be a great starting point. If a particular business takes interest in ensuring gender equality, having a professional come in to discuss how to equally handle such issues to the top managers or even all of the staff could be incredibly beneficial.

  15. scnuhoy87 Says:

    I agree with the previous statement exactly in that, we see women as having the traditional feminine skills to take care of the home and raise a good child, but yet they are still not capable of taking on a high powered job position, and that’s crazy because I have seen how kids are and how hard it is to take care of a household and a woman works easily the same if not harder than a man does at his job.

    While I have not be the victim of any sex discrimination at work, I do recall an instance in which a female co-worker of mine was sexually discriminated against. I was working as a waiter at a country club and my co-workers that were female were constantly called sweetheart by the member and a couple of instances had their butts felt while they were walking by. Now, I know that it is common for older men who have been drinking to become perverts but even the male dining room manager would call them sweetheart or sweetie.

    Although the workplace has gotten a little bit better about sexual discrimination it is still a tough atmosphere for women in a “man’s” profession, and that goes the same for men trying to get into the “woman’s” profession. Many men strive to become teachers, childcare professions, etc. but they are not seen at as having what it takes or even the skill set to accomplish the job at hand. Sexual discrimination is something that is going to slowly become equal but in the back of everyone’s mind it will never truly be fair because what society teaches us as we grow up is that men are supposed to want power and be a tough guy in the workplace, while women are supposed to take on the more feminine jobs. Is this right? No, I don’t believe it is but I do believe that one day things can change and they slowly have, we now have women in great positions in politics and also CEO and presidents in the business. Women have shown that they can handle it, so if we can now make it that the most qualified person gets the job then it will start to be an equal environment.

  16. cahendy Says:

    There are two stories I thought off that I have experienced or seen other people experience and they both happened when I used to work at a small coffee shop in high school.

    Since it was a small shop they tried to only have one employee working most of the time, and sometimes would have two. If you opened or closed the shop you got a couple extra bucks for doing so because it was really early and really late. One thing that happened was I was the only one who would ever close the shop on my own, and only one who would open it on my own. The girls would always be put together but because they did not like to pay two people at once I would be the one who closed most of the time and I opened it a good amount. Some of the girls caught on to this and got upset that they were not being given the hours where they were paid more and the owner simply said he did not want the girsl to be in the shop alone at those weird hours. It makes sense because he was just trying to look out for them but it was still disrimination. Where is the line of disrimination and looking out for their well being?

    The next was something I have noticed a few people already mention. We would split the tips at the end of the week but at the end of the shift you would empty the tip jar so it would not overflow. I never had to empy it because people would just give me their change if that but the girls would always empty it because they would always have bills in the jar making much more tip money than I ever could. I did not know why this was because I am very personable and would get to know customers well. Then I noticed that a lot of our customers were men and when I was working with one of the girls she was flirting a lot during her shift. I do not even think she realized what she was doing, and it didn’t bother me because I got to see some of that money too, but it was interesting how different male customers treated me and treated her.

    I think pressures still exist for women to look good while they are doing their job. Men can wear the same basic shirt and tie to most professional jobs, but women get a little more freedom to wear what they want and I think there are pressures that they wear tighter, shorter more revealing clothes. Honestly I have no clue how to resolve this because it is partially a problem with how men treat women in the workplace but also sometimes women are not treated or pressured to do anything but they still feel the need to act or dress certain ways.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I agree that women face pressures that still exist in the workplace, however i don’t really agree that others are placing the pressure on us to wear tight, skimpy outfits. I do think that there is a bigger pressure for women to look nice and display a nicer appearance at work then men. But, I think that we believe that by “look nice” they mean wear clothes that show skin. I think that these are the impressions that we are given by steretypes displayed in media and other aspects of our culture. To me, we have been taught to automatically assume that is what is wanted from us in the workplace because that is what the emphasis is put on in our culture.

  17. mmpike Says:

    I have tried really hard to come up with some example of discrimination in the work place, but I haven’t been able to. Many of the girls have talked about sexual harassment, and I would argue that each one of us has experienced it at one point. I seriously believe that every woman has been a victim of it, I think we overlook it so often as just “how men are.” I had a friend who used to work at a coffee shop and her story after story of the inappropriate things that he had said to her. (all of them dealing with sexuality). It was so uncomfortable for me as a patron that I hardly wanted to come back. And he hadn’t even done anything to me.

    Last summer I worked in my Dad’s office, a Financial Advising company that worked with stocks. I didn’t experience any discrimination, nor did I see any, but I saw interesting gender roles. The office consisted of about 15 brokers. 2 of these brokers were female, while the rest was male. One of the women was actually one of the top brokers in the office. The other however had many problems, usually late, hardly in the office, and took long hours. (I answered phones in the front so I knew what was going on.) To the best of my knowledge, neither had children. I know that the very successful woman did not have children, the one that was usual late however I am not sure. But, aside from that, all of the broker’s assistants were women. All of them. Some brokers had two assistants, some had one, and some didn’t have any. I am proud to say that the “successful woman” had two assistants of her own. Those were the dynamics of the office. I noticed myself judging the assistant’s ability (in my own mind) on their dress. At first I thought that two women in particular were the most qualified because their dress was more professional. What I noticed though, was that two other women, (whose dress was professional, but didn’t consist of suits) in fact kept the office running. I’m not sure if that is a gender thing or just a proof of how far dressing the part can go.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I agree with what you said about sexual harassment. I think almost every female has been a victim of it before. I think that it is unfortunate that we just overlook this instead of doing something about it. Not doing anything about it just creates bigger problems with gender discrimination and gender stereotypes. More women should notice this and stand up for themselves.

  18. mmpike Says:

    Oh, and Just something else I thought about.I have noticed that a lot people are commenting on sexual harassment, and some people talking about being “hit on.” My question is, is being “hitting on” a form of sexual harassment? If not, then what do you consider to be sexual harassment and what isn’t? It’s complicated.

    • tgbaldwin32 Says:

      You are right it is very complicated, and everyone puts the line between acceptable behavior and sexual harassment at different places among the behavior spectrum. In my opinion I believe that there would be much less sexual harassment cases if both parties just took a moment and tried to understand where the other person is coming from. According to the list in the book i can see much of what is considered sexual harassment as a mix-up of communication, and if we all just thought for a moment before we act or react then I think the amount of tension in the workplace in general would dissipate.

      • emily9988 Says:

        You bring up a good point, mary margaret. Sexual harassment does depend on the person’s personal preference. When I worked at Ukrops, I knew a few of the girls that were okay with being hit on at work, while others didn’t. I do think a common standpoint on sexual harassment would be on the topic of age. Older men (such as 30’s or 40’s) hitting on younger women (under 18), or older women hitting on younger men is not only illegal when the younger person is under 18, but it’s awkward.

  19. tgbaldwin32 Says:

    My mother actually was recently discriminated against in the workplace. She was an architect for some technical drawing company and was one of the best at it. She worked for them for a couple of years before she realized she was being discriminated against. She realized that she wasn’t going to be able to improver her position after one of her male so-workers that has only been working there for 3 months got a promotion and a raise even though his work was under par. It turns out this has happened a few times before where my mother got overlooked for a promotion because her boos was bias against females. The happy ending to the story is that my mom quit her job and is now an independent architect and very successful working on projects for the government and NASA.

    In today’s many workplaces there are many different pressures, and in some workplaces the pressures are more severe than in other workplaces. I believe that in male dominated workplaces there are huge pressures against female workers and that in female dominated workplaces the pressure may not be as much against the female worker. But I think that in today’s society everyday there are strides to push back those pressures and that sooner rather than later those pressures will be gone form the workplace and everyone will have the opportunity to advance equally.

    I think most of the pressures can be resolved if everyone has an open mind and uses quality of work as a focus for advancement rather than gender or skin color. If the bosses don’t see gender but only workers that are doing their job I think that would be a huge step toward resolving these issues civilly.

  20. kmacklin1107 Says:

    The first job I ever had both the guys and the girls had to wear the same shirt and we were not allowed to wear short skirts or shorts. My next job was an administrative assistant for a middle school, and it was basically an internship. And now I work as a tour guide, and as a manifestress (basically a secretary) for a skydiving place. I receive no sexual harassment or discrimination at my tour guiding job. On the other hand I would have to say I do deal with some harassment at the skydiving facility.

    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love working there, it is just that sometimes the men make crude comments to me or one of the other girls that work there. If I wear a pair of shorts out there I will have a guy come up behind me and say that they really like me wearing those shorts, and occasionally they will make a really perverted and sexual joke. I just walk away from people most of the time. I tell my boyfriend about all of the things said to me, and if I am really uncomfortable with how something is going than he will talk to the people, or if he does not like how something is happening than he will go on his own to talk to a person about it.

    The job that I work on the weekend is not typically worked by a male. In fact we currently have only females working the office. Just the other day my boss said to me and a group of the girls who were working manifest that he was glad he finally had found “cute girls” to run the office and greet the customers. I mean its a great job, but I sometimes think to much emphasis is being put on the looks when it is mostly a business where old men are jumping.

  21. lckupke Says:

    I have experienced gender discrimination in my classes and at work like most of you have. I’m a biology major and have noticed that for a couple professors, females have to do more work to stand out from the males and get the same grade. It’s also a known fact that one of the professors responds best to good-looking girls who wear low cut tops. In his class, boys are called on the most to answer questions and discuss concepts, but when a girl does get called on, its one who is wearing a low cut top. The best way to resolve a situation like this would be to make the head of the department or the administration aware that a professor was discriminating. The problem is, students have already notified them about the professor, but because he has tenure they said they can’t do anything about it.

    Like some of you, I was also a waitress at a bar/restaurant. I saw it as a means to an end and put on an act when I started my shift. I realized very quickly that being myself, an independent, self-sustaining woman, didn’t produce the tips that I needed to pay the rent. So I flirted with all the drunk fellas around the restaurant, and I “learned” how to play pool and shoot darts from them on a nightly basis. I think it’s sad that guys open up their wallets more when their female server is sweet, needy, dumb, and dependant, rather than assertive, smart, and independent.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I agree with what you said about the biology teachers. I used to be a biology major and they did put a lot more pressure on the females. I noticed that the females in my classes almost always received lower grades that the males. This is unfortunate since there are not many female science majors, it pushes away the ones who are actually interested.

  22. mbest88 Says:

    I am a volunteer EMT-Intermediate at IOWVRS. I face gender discrimination all of the time. Being only 20 years old makes it a million times worse. The person who normally drives for me is a 34 year old male. Up until a month ago he was only trained as a driver and is now an EMT-Basic. When him and I show up on a scene no one ever gives me any attention. They always start talking to him right away, assuming that he is the one who knows what he is doing. For those of you who don’t know there are four levels of EMT’s. EMT-Basic, EMT-Enhanced, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. So not only do I have two more years of experience, but I have much more training than my male partner. When someone starts talking to him on a scene I have to explain that I am the one who will be treating the patient. Sometimes people apologize, but the majority of the time they ask how old I am or ask if I am qualified. At first this really got to me, but I’m pretty used to it now. Although if it does go as far as someone asking me if they can see my certification I get pretty irritated, and I pull out all seven of the certification cards that I carry around, showing that I am certified in all different things. It’s unfortunate that it has to be this way, but I also enjoy it. I love proving that someone was completely out of line to judge me by my gender or by my age. I actually had one person ask for someone else to take care of them because I was too young. I explained that I was the most qualified person in the entire county at that time including years of experience. The mans mouth dropped open. This is a problem not only for me, but for the other women at my rescue squad. One time I was running a call with probably one of the best medics in this area and the patient asked to be taken care of by a male EMT. I felt so bad for her. She straight up told him no though which was pretty funny.

    I think that a lot of pressures still exist. Men still feel the need ot be strong and dominant. This creates more problems today because more and more women are getting jobs with authority. This is also a problem for women because women feel the need to keep their femine, submissive qualities when they need to stand up and be the strong , dominant one.

    A lot of these issues probably couldn’t be solved civilly. I do think that it is absolutely ridiculous that women are paid so much less than men. Their shoudl be specific laws made to fix that. Especially women who are surgeons and doctors. They do the same exact work as men. 40% less!! that is crazy. I think that really does need to be addressed civilly.

  23. sam1503 Says:

    First of all I would like to say that I enjoyed reading the articles, especially the article about women in the workplace. I know that there is quite a few of us in this class that are going to be going into the workplace in the next couple years and these insights of the possible descrimination we, as women, may be facing will be very helpful. The article about the cooking shows was interesting to me because I would have never thought of those shows as examples of differences in gender attitudes. Once I thought about it, I did notice the gender differences that these shows and activities tend to diplay. For example, when my brother cooks it tend to be an art, or hobbie to him. He takes his time and perfects every little piece. My mother or I on the other hand, make meals that are quick and not time consuming in anyway, the type of meals that Rachel Ray focuses on in her show. I think that the different sexes think about different things when they are cooking and therefore appeal to different audiences.

    Thankfully like some of my classmate above, I have not expereinced descrimination within a job that i have had. I have worked at primarily women-based jobs because that is what has appealed to me. I do hoewever know that the men that have worked at my jobs have recieved higher pay rates than a lot of the women that work there. I would not say that this is because of what they had to offer to the job, but because they were seen as being more vaulable to both the actual job and the company’s reputation.

    My dad and my brother on the other hand have both experienced what they have called discrimination. They have both been beaten out in jobs solely based on sex because of the way that having a female in a higher job title looks for the company. I know that this sounds speculated and possibly biased but these accusations have actually been admitted to by the people in charge of making these decisions. Crazy I know!

    I think that women are still pressured to prove themselves in the workplace more than men. We are still seen as being incompatent in some fields and are forced to go above and beyond what males may have to for the same job. I also think that females are pressured to learn how to balance their sexuality in the workplace. Because men see women in the workplace as sex objects, it is important for women to know how to control their femininity during their job.

    I agree with Baldwin that in order for these to be resolved, men and women need to focus more on the quality of work that is being produced and not the sex of the person. I understand that this may be hard because there are areas that are normally different for men and women, such as availability. The book mentioned that women tend to get turned down for jobs because they are seen to be less available if they have children, when compared to men who have children. If things like this were evaluated on a equal basis, maybe some of the gender discrimination issues in the workplace may be resolved.

  24. sbarmstrong Says:

    The articles were definitely interesting as different perspectives were taken in attempts to pinpoint the cause of gender discrimination in the workplace.

    As I reflect on my own experiences, I think of my first job. I worked as a waitress for my best friend’s dad. Our duties were not gender specific as we helped with everything from unloading the food truck to taking out the trash. Being a woman had no influence on my assigned tasks. As gender discrimination or harassment was not issued by my employer or co-workers, there were definitely customers who took the task upon themselves. As a waitress, rude comments fly and you are socialized to brush them off. As someone has previously mentioned, speaking up to a customer may hurt your pay, or potentially get you fired as the customer may complain. I was fortunate to have a boss who cared about his workers more than the abuse from his customers. As one man got extremely crude, he was asked to not return.

    The “Sexism Pays” article raises a good point as “women with more egalitarian views don’t make much more than women with traditional views.” Could this be part of the gender gap issue? If women seek equality, wouldn’t it make sense that they would fight for it? In comparison, if a woman had traditional views, she might be less vocal about the inequality and just accept it as the norm.

    I also see the problem as generational. Men in corporations grew up in traditional settings, perhaps intensifying gender stereotypes. With our generation, who is seeing and experiencing the changes, I believe the gap will be lessened as the norm will have changed.

    Women must continue to prove themselves, much more so than men, who tend to have less to approval to gain. I do not think the government can take any action to improve the gap, because I think it would be unsuccessful. Rather, I believe these issues will better with time and change of generations in the workplace.

  25. mattymac Says:

    The article about how men with traditional views of gender roles earn more than men with more egalitarian views intrigued me. It made me wonder that perhaps people choose jobs and careers that best fit with their own personal outlook on life. They would rather take part in a system that verifies and reinforces their views than one that differs from them. It is not uncommon for a person to quit a job in which their morality and personal beliefs are at odds or in jeopardy with what is occurring in the workplace.

    I also enjoyed the New York Times article, “Girl Power at School, but Not at the Office” in which author Hannah Seligson talks about how she had to adapt certain traits in order to make it in the workplace. These traits, as she describes it, were meant to diminish her feminine qualities, and essentially make herself “one of the boys.” This meant being tough, building relationships based on connections leading to power and status, being assertive in communication, etc. Although she describes these traits as “vital, real-world skills,” I feel as though, in actuality, they are survival mechanisms within the work environment.

    It is one thing to possess those skills, but to have to surrender feminine qualities to adapt masculine qualities in order to succeed is quite sad and says a great deal about the societal pressures placed on women within the workplace. She even writes that to break through the glass ceiling, you have to get tough. Thus, it leads to the stereotype that highly successful women are “bitches” because a woman cannot be tough and nice. I feel as though it is somewhat futile, though. Women will adapt typical masculine characteristics to reach the apex of their careers only to find that in the end, they will still be viewed as women, regardless of how much they are one of the boys.

    So, how can these issues be resolved civilly? Perhaps it should not be just gender roles that should be reexamined and changed, but overall behavior within the workplace as well as traits deemed to be desirable, essential, and important to being successful. Why is sensitivity an unwanted characteristic in the workplace? Most people prefer people with warm personalities to cold ones. An employee should have a wide range of characteristics and be able to utilize them within the workplace, not feel pressure that his or her characteristics are what is preventing him or her from being successful.

  26. Here is the REAL reason why women earn less than men: They have different expectations in life, and the female preference for rich men forces men to earn more.

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