Sex at the office

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August 3, 2011 – I hope we all know that sexism still exists.  However, given that we, well most of us, agree on gender equality and what feminism is, defining what sexist behaviour in extremely complicated.

Hmm, the woman seems to be smiling, which lets us know that everything is fine here…or is it?

Men are often easily labelled as ‘sexist’ largely because discrimination on the basis of sex is usually referred to the oppression of women by men.  However, perhaps it’s the other way around…did you ever think about that?

Example: maybe Kenyan mothers receiving a few short months of maternity leave is an act of discrimination towards men?  Well in some countries, new fathers can receive paid paternity leave.  Gender equality right?

Point is sexism will exist no matter how you look at it.  Unless we’re all programmed robots with modulated thresholds for sexism, true equilibrium will never happen.

In the case of sexism at the office, I have yet to work at an organization where it was a 100% sexism-free environment.  Let’s face it, we could be raised as the most respectful individuals, but hormones still take us for a ride.

 

 

Don’t these moments seem familiar?

Monday mornings, you find your male peers huddled and laughing at stories of their latest adventures and conquests…or as a woman, have you been put down at work?  Told that you can’t possibly manage to do that job?

 

Sexist behaviour seems to thrive on caffeine…

 

Here’s another coffee incident…

 

Just for the sake of equality, here’s a woman showing sexist behaviour: what happened to respecting personal space?

 

Clearly, something very sexist is going on here….but who’s fault is it?  Can’t say from this image…

 

Bottom Line

If you turn on the television and look at large billboards, what do we see in advertising?  Do we see men and women treated equally, kabisa?

I’ll tell you what we see.  We see women as neatly dressed, intelligent, “super women” who can cook and clean, run the household and be powerful businesswomen.  Men are portrayed as overweight fools that need to go to the gym, have no idea how to cook and clean, let alone how to be successful at their jobos.

Ladies and gents, there is still a whole lot to learn about what true equality is.  We can read about it, understand it and talk about it; but until we truly practice it, and not just at the workplace but at all times, we will still live in a very…sexist society.

 

 

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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