Every so often you read something that makes you stop in your tracks, and today I had one of those moments. Times journalist Caitlin Moran started a discussion about sexism on Twitter and encouraged her followers to share their stories. Rather than a few tales from the 1950s, she was bombarded with examples of discrimination and misogyny that were quite shocking. To see the full extent of what people were saying, I did a search for @caitlinmoran to see what everyone was tweeting to her – there were so many tweets I couldn’t keep up with reading them all! And many referred to treatment in the workplace. Here is a selection – brace yourselves!
- I once was told (afterwards) I got a job only because I was wearing a short skirt at the interview.
- Boss announced as he got up to go to a meeting ‘You girls can sit and talk about shoes and files your nails whilst I’m gone’
- I was promoted to purchasing manager at work and the president said he made the decision because “women like to shop”.
- Friend on partnership track at major city law firm “I am pregnant”. Response from partner “do you want job in marketing?”
- Interviewing a skip owner for a PR story (I know, FFS) he addressed all his answers to my male colleague (not a writer)… he only turned to me to tell the story of the hamster they rescued from a skip. All I would be interested in, right?
- My breasts were given a round of applause at a work’s golf day.
- My female Doctor cousin was paying for petrol, was asked “are you sure this is your credit card?” as it had “Dr.” on it.
- Was called by our company pensions admin people. I told them I wasn’t the best person to talk to about it (would refer to PA). Man on phone asked “oh, does your husband deal with all your financial affairs?” My job title = managing director
- My last job, at a business lunch, this guy said ‘well, you’re only a little girl’ when I didn’t finish everything on my plate.
- Regularly have people walk past the 2 guys WHO WORK FOR ME only to ask me where the paper for the photocopier is.
- Person refusing to leave msg: “I don’t deal with insignificances &anyway you’re a woman, you’d probably get it all wrong”
- At a magazine I know, one guy has a bell that he rings whenever a ‘fit bird’ walks in so all the others can check her out
- At a job interview I was asked to come back for a 2nd interview but this time to “do something with my hair and makeup”!!!
- A former colleague once threw a shoe at me followed by the remark “F*cking women” because I refused to make coffee for him
- Once asked how “likely” it was that I would get pregnant, in an interview.
- I’m a sound engineer,working in theatre.After one show,middle aged man came up to me at the sound desk and said “Do you do the sound then?” “Yes, obviously” “And you’re a girl?” “….” “How do you manage? All that technology”
Apologies there are so many – but I couldn’t imagine anyone getting bored reading those! Really is sobering to think that these opinions still exist isn’t it?