Monday, December 14, 2009

Perception Is (almost) Everything

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.
"James Chartrand" has come clean about who "he" is and reading about how and why a perfectly good writer decided to take on a male pseudonym is utterly depressing. I'm not one to cry "sexism" often and blame but I wasn't too surprised when reading this story (this is the first time I heard of the writer). I believe that women now have unparalleled rights and opportunities than any other time in history and yet here's a perfect example of the limits of this new gained equality. A woman needing to take on the identity of a man in order to be respected both professionally and financially (which if one looks at it is one and the same). I don't think this is just typical "sexism" aka men perceiving woman in lesser role, this is also other woman perceiving woman to be worse than their male counterparts and woman themselves not being assertive enough. Women tend to accommodate and back down far more easier than men. Why pay someone more when they are willing to settle for less?
Since then, we’ve had feminism. We have the right to vote, to own property, to be members of Parliament and Congress, to get a job, and to be the main breadwinner of the family. And yet apparently we haven’t gotten past those 19th century stigmas.

The evidence was right there in front of me.

I never wanted to be an activist, or to fight the world. I’m not interested in clawing my way up a ladder to a glass ceiling. Life’s too short for that.

I just want to earn a living and be respected for my skills. I want my kids to be happy and have access to what they need. I want them to go to university and have good opportunities in life.
More personally, I have experienced similar kind of sexism at my job. Part of my work includes customer service, now while my company is headed by two men, my office consists of ninety percent of women, specifically a manager who treats her employees as children and customers as babies that must constantly pacified and indulged. So once in a while we get a very irate (typically a man, but a woman gets caught in the cross hairs too) who won't listen to any reason or policy of the company, in fact even my manager (who is horrible with us, but tends to be good on the phone with jerks when she has to) cannot pacify some of the crazy, yet on more than one occasion our CFO get on the phone and says the exact same information that has been repeated to these ass clown and it's magic. They hear a man's voice and bam! instant respect and attention. To say it's frustrating is an understatement and yet I think it has something to do with the delivery. Woman want to please, men want to solve the problem, there is a lot more wiggle room with women unfortunately. And until woman realize, on mass, that it's better for them to be more demanding, assertive, and stern (at least when it comes to self interest) - sexism will always exist.

via Ken Wheaton's twitter.

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