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Sexism in the staffroom

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Hiver, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. I work in a primary school and whilst I am not the only man on the staff, there are just three of us and, as is common in most primary schools, the majority of staff are women.

    There is one member of the female staff who consistently makes derogatory remarks about men and whilst these are usually in a jovial manner and not directed at anyone in particular, if I was to make any similar remarks about women in our staffroom, I am fairly certain there would be uproar.

    The reasons that these remarks are making me feel increasingly uncomfortable are firstly that I do not consider myself to be anything like this 'stereotypical' man being described and secondly we are working in school, where we should be encouraging pupils to be non-judgemental and not prejudice and this behaviour is completely contradictory to those values.

    Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I am at a point where I feel I need to address this issue, however I want to do so with as little fuss as possible, so I would be interested to hear from anyone who has successfully tackled an issue like this.
     
  2. I work in a primary school and whilst I am not the only man on the staff, there are just three of us and, as is common in most primary schools, the majority of staff are women.

    There is one member of the female staff who consistently makes derogatory remarks about men and whilst these are usually in a jovial manner and not directed at anyone in particular, if I was to make any similar remarks about women in our staffroom, I am fairly certain there would be uproar.

    The reasons that these remarks are making me feel increasingly uncomfortable are firstly that I do not consider myself to be anything like this 'stereotypical' man being described and secondly we are working in school, where we should be encouraging pupils to be non-judgemental and not prejudice and this behaviour is completely contradictory to those values.

    Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I am at a point where I feel I need to address this issue, however I want to do so with as little fuss as possible, so I would be interested to hear from anyone who has successfully tackled an issue like this.
     
  3. Hmmm. a lifetime of 'Irish = funny', of 'you wear glasses ain't that hilarious', then 'oh you wear really thick glasses that's really blinking hilarious', of being too short, wrong gender, too married, too single, childless / too many children, too old.
    Thing is, to some people anything at all about you is a reason to have a go. Then when you have a go back you 'upset them' and 'have no sense of humour'.
    So you can either speak to her, and upset her, or ignore her, and let her go-arn-go-arn-GO-ARN.
    There is a middle way that might work, which is when she comes out with it, look around comedy style and say along the lines of 'hush - hey dya hear that? - I thought it was that old gate creaking outside'. Then stand back and watch the display.
    She'll do her nut whatever you do. Which will upset you if you care about her.
     
  4. I;d just groan and say "Not that old chestnut again..." which may gently alert her to the fact that she is a) offensive and b) always saying the same damn things.
     
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    Tell it like it is: "Sexist rubbish. I've been hearing this kind of ...(own expletive).. all my adult life and it sounds just as dim-witted and brainless now as when I first heard it ..." and on and on and on.
    or think "What a ...(own expletive).." and ignore it but gossip about her to anyone who will listen, at your own convenience, with no embellishment of course.
    or go to a manager and point out that there is sexism rife among the staff and the school's equal opportunities policy had almost certainly been contravened and would be again if the situation were to be left unactioned.....
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Reverse psychology - get in first with the joke.....
     
  7. It could be worse...they could be endlessly droning on about problems down below. The worst I had was when three pregnant staff members decided to squirt breast milk about.

    Yuk...anyone for ice-cream?
    No.[​IMG]
     
  8. I nearly did a sick in my mouth. How do you squirt breast milk? Like a cow's teat? I genuinely am astounded.
     
  9. Yes! That's how it works!
    I have every sympathy, though, with the OP.
    Don't have any advice. My wife once worked in prison ed (all male) and whilst she battled bravely with sexist remarks, the 'give as good as you get' approach seemed to work best for her.
     
  10. I smell a porky here:
    Breast milk does not 'come in' until a baby is a few days old! Pregnant women may have a tiny leak of colostrum in their late pregnancy, but never enough to 'squirt around'.
    Please, if you are going to invent situations, get your facts right.
     
  11. You could, calmly and quietly, challenge her. Why don't you ask, "but of course you don't really think that of all men?" or state what you've said on here, "when you say something like that it sounds sexist. I doubt anyone would like me making sweeping, sexist, generalisations about women".
     

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