I got snappy with a co-worker this morning. We’ve had some donations in the office and as a “joke” he put a set of flower patterned sheets on a male managers desk. When it was figured out who did it, he started loudly proclaiming that it was a joke because “no man should have to sleep on flowered sheets” looking for collaboration from the rest of us. I shot back “where do you get these close-minded ideas?” Another female co-worker laughed and said “okay, I’m not the only one who was thinking that!”
This was a small occurrence, but he says sexist things like this a lot. And it gets on my nerves. A lot.
It’s not that he’s saying anything that would constitute harassment or whatever, but it is annoying. I especially don’t understand this kind of attitude in a social work setting.
It’s not that I can’t take a joke. I do have a sense of humour. I do! It’s the thoughtlessness behind these comments that gets me going “please, just SHUT UP!”
I could lay all kinds of “anti-oppression framework” or gendered analysis on this one, or I could talk about how in this line of work we all have to explore our own privileged and social location etc, etc.
But it's friday, and I don’t want to. Is it too much to ask for people to think before they speak and check their prejudice at the door?