6 Incorrect Beliefs Men Have About Their Women Colleagues As ‘Privileged’ At The Workplace

We never know how much hard must have gone in to get to this position, and we need to appreciate her dedication. Just because she is a woman, she doesn't deserve such comments.

It is frustrating that women are subjected to unwarranted comments by male counterparts on different occasions, despite giving our best shots either at home or at work. Our hard work often goes unrecognised, and we rarely get credit for our consistent and honest performance. Instead, we are told that we are a ‘privileged tribe’.

Sometimes we resent it, sometimes we laugh it off, but many a time we cry in isolation. However, it’s high time we set ourselves free from accepting this misogynistic behaviour.

Below are some comments casually passed around at workplaces that make men believe that women are a ‘privileged tribe’.

That we’re promoted only for reasons of ‘diversity’

“Organisations want women in leadership positions, which is why they are being promoted.”

Once, a lady in my office was chosen to head a specific vertical, and immediately statements like these started pouring in. Instead of praising her, they started passing such comments. I understand that organisations have their policies, and often adhering to these norms, decision making is done, but we can’t just say things based on assumptions.

We never know how much hard must have gone in to get to this position, and we need to appreciate her dedication. Just because she is a woman, she doesn’t deserve such comments.

That maternity leave is an unfair benefit of extra leaves

“Women are fortunate enough to go on maternity leave and earn full pay while on leave.”

When I was carrying my second baby, a male colleague said to my face, “Paid leave for six months, wow!” I was like, “What…?”

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Motherhood is a journey we embark on at some point in our lives. Though people used to embrace it joyfully in the past, now many of us have mixed feelings as there is fear about a lot of things.

There’s life evolving inside us, and in those nine months, every second counts. The embryo grows, and so does our responsibility to bring it into the world safely. Not only that, once delivery takes place, the nurturing and caring of the little one pushes us to sleepless days and nights. We do complain, but the sheer joy of motherhood pacifies us.

Employers provide paid maternity leave since we deserve it. It’s disheartening to hear such redundant comments from male counterparts, more so when they are also now beneficiaries of paternity leave.

That we don’t consider our work important enough

“Women have the liberty to ask for a transfer to their husband’s place of posting.”

Women try to manage both work and home, and amidst this, we are the ones to feel the heat if our partner is transferred to a different location. Not that we can’t manage things on our own, but we try to work from our partner’s place of posting for the well-being of our family.

In this scenario, asking for a transfer shouldn’t be confused with ‘liberty’ that women enjoy. Our dedication and loyalty to the craft are intact wherever we are.

So, sir, if you can ask for a transfer request to your home state, what’s wrong with us asking for a transfer to be with our partner?

That we have the ‘advantage’ of sneaking out early

“Women aren’t asked to stay late while we have to work our asses off.”

Who says women have the advantage of sneaking out early from work? Let me state here that a patriarchal society has expectations from women that not everyone is able to fight, and we do have to work both sides.

Most of us like to complete our assigned work, and if the same requires staying back, we don’t mind. No doubt, by staying late, we are at times unable to cook dinner for family or for that matter check our kiddo’s homework, but that doesn’t deter our morale. Our male colleagues often express their displeasure for staying late, but that doesn’t give them the right to say such harsh words to us.

That women are emotional weaklings

“Women sob at the slightest things, but we have to bear it all.”

The ‘men don’t cry’ myth is all wrong, and a patriarchal stricture on men, who are conditioned to stifle all emotion, not show it, to the extent that the only emotions we accept of men are aggression and anger.

I do agree that women often tend to take things to heart and express what they feel, but still, such rude remarks demotivate us.

Emotions are integral to everyone. We have the right to laugh or cry at our own will. Two people are different, and so are their feelings. Who is asking our male counterparts to be strong like a rock? Not us. There is nothing wrong with shedding a tear if you feel like it. You don’t have to bear it all to prove how ‘mature and strong’ you are.

That women are flakes

“Women are bad at keeping secrets.”

During office lunch hours, many things are discussed on the table and what follows is a strict assurance from all present to not spill the beans on specific sensitive issues. Sometimes things do get out, and to be fair, any member of the group can do it. In such a situation, blaming female colleagues by default is just another typical toxic male behaviour.

In my opinion, these six are the ones that stand out. But, if I give it a deep thought, there will be many more which can make it to this list. Gone are the days when women used to bear all this crap with a happy face. The time has come to stand up against such rude comments. Only then will our work environment be healthy, with ample opportunities to grow and flourish.

Image source: a still from the Marathi film Aamhi Doghi

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About the Author

Jigyansa Mohanty

A former Banking and SAP professional, I love scribbling my thoughts. Mother to two boys, I believe life is all about creating oneself. read more...

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