Sunday 9 August 2009

A timely reminder about our attitudes !

I am a bit late to the game here.. but when I read Francie's post about the crap she has to put up with I got really really cross. Like Cuz Rob I am moving my post off Francie's or Kathy Brown's or Greyhawk's blog because I am still cross and I may trawl the epithets drawer more deeper than usual. You have been warned

My anger comes not only from the fact that I count Francie as a friend and colleague but that I have seen and heard exactly what Francie describes as

Turns out trying to minimize your gender in the way you look or act is a fairly standard thing, which I discovered after many conversations with other women in male dominated fields. And you might have guessed that this post isn't really about "just" me but rather about the effect those stereotype comments have and the lack of diversity that creates in turn.
How often do you have to watch what you say, how you act or look in order to not lose technical credibility?
FUCK! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I have been on the receiving end of a similar gender specific stereotyping. When I was nursing I was told by a senior nurse manager that ".. there is no place for men in this profession ... " When I mentioned my career to new colleagues for many there was an immediate reaction that was a look that said "...oh you are gay then..." This assumption was so prevalent and so strong that on two occasions I was approached by fellow nursing professionals who took it upon themselves to save me from the sin of "sodomy" during lunch. The assumption then and to a certain extent now is Male Nurse = Homosexual. Mostly I picked up that they considered this a bad thing, this was underlined by a "gentleman" in a bar one night, a husband of a colleague, came up to me and spat through clenched teeth "You fucking bender - can't you get a proper job?"before turning on his heel and walking off.

It was not being thought of as a homosexual that annoyed me, it was the assumption that that was in some way "bad" and I was somehow incapable of doing a proper job because of it. I still feel that folk who think like that can take a very long walk off a fucking short pier

Professional capability is NOT defined by what orrifice you prefer, the friends you have ,the clothes you wear, how big your tits are or how well turned your ankles are in a button boot or for that matter if you got more than an average thumping with the ugly stick..if you make assumptions based on any of the above you are a A+ Gold Plated petty, evil, small minded, fuck-witted TWONK!

Now Francie and Kathy do not need me to defend them , they are more than capable of doing that themselves and this post comes from me being mightly pissed off by the idea that every professional community I wander through seems to have it's share of arse holes who sit wrapped in a blanket of their own prejudices, pulling at the lace curtains of their cubicles and "tut tut"-ing


I was reminded the last couple of lines of a poem by Philip Larkin.

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence

Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Emphasis mine.

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