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14 Times Your Inner Feminist Cringed At Work

A list of common run ins with misogyny and double standards in the workplace analyzed with feminist approaches mixed in with my own personal work experiences. Concepts mentioned based from the following text: Miller, Katherine (2015). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes (7thed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth-Cengage Learning

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1. When people think it's amusing he eats like this...


Where I work when we go out to lunch a male colleague orders ridiculously large portions of food and eats with less than professional manners and my superiors think this is "growing boys being boys" and find it funny. He doesn't have to worry about his body and interactions with food being scrutinized.

2. And I am expected to eat like this...

As a women in the workplace being a subject to the disciplined bodies theory, it is very true that the women in my office almost always eat salad at lunch and are always trying to diet. When we go out to eat I am always conscious that if I eat too much people would question my self-judgement. They would think that I don't take pride in my body or that I don't have self control, even though this is more of a reflection on them and the pressure society puts on them to achieve unrealistic body types; these are things my male coworkers don't usually have to worry about due to their male privilege. They are able to eat all they want without stress because their bodies are not policed by society.

3. "So do you have a boyfriend?"


I have worked at my company for a year and a half and people have hinted, asked, and asked again about this topic. In another organization and depending on the individual these questions may have motivations more in line with sexual harassment. However, in my company it has more to do in confirming that I mirror their conservative company values.

4. "Make sure you clear your search history..."

When having to share my laptop at work, people would joke to "clear my search history" or jokes of that nature. The humor in the impossibility of women looking at nefarious things on the internet. Reinforcing the myth that women are innocent and moral.

5. "She's our marketing gal."

My company is a sub-consultant in the Construction Industry, a hyper masculine male dominated field, and positions usually filled or associated by women are not treated with the respect and value they deserve. A mentor of mine is a well experienced Marketing Coordinator for a large General Contracting Company and her experience is that the masculine powers oppress her as a female and degrade her competency and value in front of others by using this title. No body knows what "marketing gal" is because it's not a real job. If someone referred to these misogynists as "construction boys", I'm pretty sure they would assert the difference.

6. "Make sure you wear comfortable shoes."

When you have a conference and they tell you to wear comfortable shoes... And you wanna tell the world the fallacy of matching womens business attire with "comfortable shoes". Unless New Balance is suddenly an acceptable choice to pair with slacks...

7. "Not feeling good..?"

When you're minding your own business taking some of the office Advil and a male coworker thinks it's their business to ask why. I responded with a nonchalant "I have cramps." and walked away while he was scratching his head. As a part of disciplined bodies women are not suppose to discuss or present any element that we have periods.

8. "Do you want kids?"

Why would anyone care about the answer to this question? Again it's a control question based on traditional gender roles and it's highly inappropriate in the work place.

9. When you're asked to do more clerical work...

Having to accept extra clerical work that would make more sense being delegated to specific male employees. There's a belief that clerical work is "women's work" so it is delegated to their female counterparts. A liberal feminist would accept the extra work to earn her place in the office.

10. Let's catch up and get a...

There's still a division of spaces where men conduct their networking, they all say "let's grab a beer" after work, however this invitation usually stays within the male pool. This is a barrier for woman and limits their networking opportunities.

11. Let's catch up and grab a...

To subvert the "old boys club" that's still in play women are networking with other professional women and do other activities to connect with one another in the business world.

To subvert the "old boys club" that's still in play women are networking with other professional women and do other activities to connect with one another in the business world.

12. "A man should carry that for you."

Ranging from a box full of 4 reams of paper to pushing a hand truck with a 20 pound box, men and women alike insist that a man, even if he is in worse physical shape than you, should be doing the lifting. This routine our society takes part in is based on the assumption that women are helpless to handling physical tasks. Women's bodies have the stereotype of being soft and flexible, but not strong.

13. "Women are more compassionate and understanding."

The myth that all women are nurturing, compassionate and empathetic is expected in the workplace. If you don't play this role you are criticized and women who aren't these things can often save face by acting like this in front of the boss when they're really a Regina George archetype to their coworkers.

14. "Smile!"

Along with disciplining women's bodies I feel like emotions should have been covered in the book. The expectation is that women bring an upbeat and perky attitude to the work environment. Women are suppose to always be smiling and our male counterparts can walk around with scowls on their face and that's normal. That's not called "resting bastard face". There must be an immense feeling of power in male privilege to have to audacity to tell someone how to feel.

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