In 1999, I assumed a new position (get your mind out of the gutter) with a small ISP ... and for the first time I had a female under my direct supervision (And before any radical feminists think I didn't hire anything but cute boys previously, let me say that all qualified females I interviewed were denied employment by my female HR manager because they didn't pass background checks).
My second day on the job, a couple of the guys on staff found a website that humorously described several extremely disgusting sexual practices. Jocularity was high, but I realized the conversation could be offensive to people ... not women, not men, people ... in the office, so I asked every individual if they were taking offense and if so, the conversation would immediately cease and would not come up again as long as I was at the head of the department.
Everyone, male and female, agreed to continue the discussion of humorous and filthy sexual practices and to continue perusal of the website. My female employee shortly thereafter went to lunch for two hours, and after returning, locked herself away in a female co-worker's office for another hour. I felt nothing amiss, though I did plan to speak to her about taking a lunch hour that consisted of a quarter of her scheduled working hours.
The next day, the owner of the company summoned me to an offsite meeting, telling me that my female employee said she was a feminist and was exploring filing a sexual harrassment charge against me.
I couldn't help myself. I laughed. Long and hard. I thought it was a joke. It wasn't, and the only method by which my boss was able to talk her out of filing the charge was outing me to her.
Since then, I've taken a somewhat dubious stance towards feminism and questioned my political choices, as a gay man, that tend to support feminists and feminism.
This week, a discussion arose about building security where I work. An unknown man entered an office, startling one of the females that works here. She immediately sent an e-mail to every employee in every business in the building DEMANDING that we lock every door and window in the building at all times, day and night. When this demand was met with a suggestion from a male that she was overreacting--the person in question was in the building during normal business hours and seeking employment, getting lost along the way--she fired back by saying that the men in the building didn't care about the women in the building. She also strongly implied that, in her opinion, all men are rapists or otherwise not to be trusted, scorned and dismissed if not in 100% agreement with any female regarding a female's sense of security.
I confronted the woman making the complaints and suggested that if she was truly worried about unwanted and unnanounced males coming into her office, she should not attack all members of the opposite gender in a public e-mail. Rather, she should assume at least a modicum of personal responsibility and not wear headphones while working at the desk that is farthest from the entry to her workplace...which is of course what she was doing when her visitor startled her. She didn't back down from her irrational stance, and thus a minor gender war has now broken out. It's not pretty.
And just now, several hours after originally writing this node, I have been warned by a woman that she's PMS'ing and to stay the hell out of her way if I know what's good for me. Now, if I told her that it'd been 28 days since my last nocturnal emission and she'd better stay the hell out of my way, would she be expected to just let it go as men are expected to do these days? I think not.
If these incidents--which tend to make me a skeptic when it comes to the agenda of the feminist movement--make me a misogynistic gay man, then I accept the label gladly, with only a bit of regret for our foremothers in the American women's suffrage movement over the ultimate result of their proud and noble struggle to attain equality amongst the genders.
and I had a talk about my equating PMS with blue balls. The conditions aren't really analagous, and I'm not trying to ignore the suffering many women go through with PMS. I am trying to illustrate that men would never be able to use any sort of analogous excuse to explain poor behavior without coming off as whiny
, yet we let women do it all the time ... we don't even question a woman's bad behavior if she ascribe
s it to PMS, and that's not good.