Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Surly and the Patriarchy
I was summoned to a meeting that went as follows:
Male Division Head (DH): This individual stack of 3 by 5 index cards forms a perfect circle.
Surly: No, that's actually a rectangle.
DH: Whoa, calm down! There’s no reason to fly off the handle! Why are you being so difficult? You really have an attitude problem.
Male Administrator #2 (Not even trying to conceal his smirk): Yeah Surly, you really didn’t handle that shape-based conversation well.
Repeat this sort of exchange for about thirty minutes. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, scene.
About 15 minutes in, I thought "Holy shit, Surly, you're being gaslighted. Or maybe you've been transported to the set of Mad Men."
No matter what I said, no matter how calmly I spoke or how firmly evidenced-based my comments were, the two assholes just kept being condescending to me and sharing knowing glances about what a "crazy" woman I was to get all "emotional" about rectangles.
Surly didn't just fall of the turnip truck. I've had many different jobs, some in male-dominated fields and I know from misogyny. I have a good sense of humor and I think I know how to pick my battles. I just never in my life thought I would see this insanely sexist behavior in this particular setting. It was literally jaw-dropping.