Friday, May 7, 2010

The Closed-minded Co-worker

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?

1 comment:

  1. I understand where you are coming from. I've had male co-workers make comments about things like people's weight and the way the look. It's very annoying, especially in the social work setting where they should know better. FWIW though they aren't social workers, but still.........when you work with people in general I think you should know better ;).