Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Can of Worms?

Okay,this quarter in school, I feel like I am standing in front of a fire hydrant because I am being flooded with so much information, some interesting, some not, but it is making me so very aware of how much there is to learn in the world. It is exemplifying the old adage that the more you know the more you realize you don't know. So stinking true!

Well, part of my classes in the online structure require me to post thoughts on a variety of topics and one of them that I just decided to discuss tonight was regarding the "feminist perspective" in viewing organizations. Now, let me just reiterate, I was raised by a single mom, who was never married, I am very sufficiently employed based on my education and my abilities and I could completely survive financially by myself, BUT, these factors do not make me a feminist. I guess I would just consider myself a "humanist" (is that a word?). I try not to judge based on any factor, including gender, race, education, etc. as every time you prejudge, you get put in your place. So, back to the post regarding feminism...the whole topic came at the end of the chapter and was highlighting things such as females in leadership roles, are more likely to be authoritarian in nature - but if they are, we must define her behavior along the lines of it is her attempt to fit into the predominately male culture...

Well, I think we have come further than that, at least in the places I have been employed. In fact, this book even went so far as to state "ordinary activities in organizations are not gender-neutral". Seriously? Please provide examples? I mean, am I missing the boat completely on this one? No examples were given in the text and honestly, aside of which restroom door I should enter, I can't think of a single example that would prove that statement true.

My lingering question was at what point do we chalk supervisory attitudes and agendas up to personality traits instead of gender traits? Well, that is essentially what I posted, let's see if I get eaten alive by my fellow students.

Am I too far removed from the suffrage movement? Am I blind to it all? I mean, I realize women are by no means in the highest levels of management compared with men, but I do think we are getting there. But, I don't think constant focus on gender is the way to level the playing field, I think it should be based on merit and abilities. Help me, am I in left field? Have I opened a can of worms?

Thinking and thinking, that is what these classes are making me do, I guess I am getting my money's worth!



Dedicated said...

I couldn't be more in agreement with you. Seems to me, many blame the past for the current and set a huge level of prejudgment on things. Not just in the workforce, but even for issues on race.

Sometimes, I wish folks would just let the past lie and stop pushing old views and ideas. We are a people here and now - with ideas and thoughts and abilities. If we could move forward in the present the world would be a much better place.

I think the book is outdated for the masses. Although, I believe there are do we say....drama queens/kings, that feel they "blame" something, the past or whatever to give their current situation life. When in fact we all must own up.

CC said...

Thanks for your thoughts D, the scary thing is that this book was published in 2007!!!!

So far, my fellow students have only posted in response 2 times and neither have been in disagreement!


Giddy said...

I think that our employer makes a concerted effort to be inclusive and to not do things that could easily be gender-specific. But to provide an example of "ordinary activities that are not gender-neutral"--i'm thinking of things like golf outings that tend to attract more males than females (although this is changing), or companies that have season tickets to sports games that are given as rewards but never give other things. That particular complaint is not strictly a gender issue and more of a "sports bias" issue, but i've worked at companies that rewarded people with sports tickets and ntohing else and personally I felt that was gross. Where are my theater tickets?

So without having read this book, I am just wondering if they were getting at things where people don't even realize there could be a gender bias in the activity. (For example, could this person complain that our annual awards ceremony thing that sometimes takes a sports theme could be biased against women? What if they started doing all the training courses in sports themes to make them "fun"? I'm harping on the sports thing because I can't think of anything else, but I wnoder if it's that type of thing that they are getting at.

I do think that there are a lot of people who overdo it in complaining about sexism or racism, but some of the same people occasionally do get me to see things in a different light and that is intreresting. I bet you are learnign so much interesting stuff!!!

Your friend xrkgooxx (that's my magic code word before they'll publish this comment)

Christina said...

oooh, I love meaty controversial topics - college is great for that. :-)
I have a weird relationship with Feminism. My mom is a total Feminist and yet she calls me to ask if hubby can change every lightbulb for her. Cracks me up. I am a very 'strong' personality (I know, what a shock, right?) so in some senses I come off as feminist - but I really respect the roles that men and women have and don't see the sense in trying to erase that which makes each gender special and important. And I agree with you... I really think we've come far enough that men and women should be judged on their character and abilities, not on their gender. But then, I'm not in the corporate world and if someone passed me over for a promotion because I was a woman... well you can bet I would be mighty ticked. The question is, how often does that really happen?? (At hubby's work, I think women get more favoritism because they are trying SO hard to promote equality and there are just WAY more men than women in the company... so the women probably get preference for certain things, and certainly are less likely to be fired because of the fear of lawsuits...)
Great topic! Hope your fellow students are willing to dialog and not just throw platitudes around.