Monday, August 06, 2007

Its a mans world

"Why are women stupid?" Asks Angel Doc in her latest post. She thinks it is because a woman has more emotional needs. And one can play with this need to exploit her without much effort.

I think so too.

A woman is considered stupid if she behaves like a woman. At least at the workplace. The reason, it is not professional to do things like burst into tears. But bursting into tears is a perfectly normal thing to do. The word professional denotes “being like a man.” In fact a woman is considered stupid if she doesn’t realise early enough that it is a man's world out there and feminine emotions have no place here...except perhaps at home.

Compared to man a woman is definitely more emotional. She is wired that way. Nature wired her that way. This was because Nature intended her to be a child bearer and nurturer. I know a lot of people especially women will take affront at this statement. They would say that a woman is more than that….she is a career woman and other things besides being a mother and wife. I agree. A woman can do all the things a man can do. But that is not my point here. What I am trying to say is that why should a woman prove herself capable of men’s jobs to command respect? Why cant she be respected for being a woman and doing a womans job?

From hunter gatherer, man made rapid changes. He evolved into a corporate being. The woman on the other hand still stuck to her role as home maker. She never kept pace with the giant leap that the human male made from a primitive hunter gatherer to corporate honcho leaving the human female very disoriented in an increasingly male oriented world.

This rapid change led to enormous suffering for women till laws were framed to help them cope with the changes in the society and environment by right thinking ‘men’.

Soon women started wising up. They realized that to be successful career women they would have to behave like men and cast aside their feminity when they entered the portals of the workplace. They worked like men, thought like them and fought corporate battles, won hostile takeovers and showed the world that they could do it! But how long will the woman have to conform to a man's world to show they have arrived? When will workplaces get feminine?
We have offices and building that are handicapped accessible. But how many buildings are "women friendly"? Except for the toilets every other space is manly. Nowadays companies like mine place a rose on every desk to add a feminine touch or perhaps it is their way of saying that the visual appeal of the flower should make me more productive!!

I got a forward that showed a world ruled by women in a rather cute way. I am sure guys guffawed at the ppt and the women would have thought it cute. But it got me thinking. Why can’t we have a mouse cum eye make up kit? Toilet roles in different colors and shades? Parking slots painted bright colors and other obvious feminine touches to drab everyday life. These are of course exaggerations but I think the world needs a feminine touch to balance the way our lives are moving.

Equality of sexes is bullshit. A woman can never measure up to a man or vice versa. Equality of sexes can only happen when men and women are treated as different genders and not as a unisex whole.

I know there people who will argue that the male way of working is more productive. But what if female had a say in the scheme of things? I am sure our work life wouldn’t be stressful like it is today and we would be much happier and more humane human beings.

"For all you men out there who marvel at professionally successful women please remember the ones amongst us that best adjusts to the male world are termed successful. The rest are condemned as failures because we couldn’t rise above our feminity"


ap said...

Now that was thought provoking!!!

mathew said...

Easily one of the best post in think pad..

I think most people overlook the fact that a woman becomes a mother some point of time..That easily is the mother of all battles.It is way a harder feat than any corporate or professional success!!

For a woman to be sucessful in real sense she should first shed the notion of being the victim or the underdog..As good as men are good at making cars and bridges woman are good at places where men are a damp squib..It is just historical circumstances that made it a man's world..But it definitely is not that Woman are slaves out here..

Woman speaking out her rights is easily stigmatised as a feminist or female chauvinist..And any male supporting the feminine cause is bookmarked as a loser sympathiser.. Some men get perturbed by it..It maynot be his mistake coz it was how things were in place for the last zillion years..Even I am sure at your native a Woman being the man in the house might be percieved ridiculous..And so would the man be ridiculed(even by the woman folk) for playing the second fiddle.I guess these might change over the years..Esp in our country unlike the west that is how things worked till now.

finally both cant exist without each other..

On a lighter note..Adam missed Eve and what a boring place it would have been if the creator dint help him out!! ;-P

And the spirit with which you speak is coz u had parents who helped you prove your mettle..It maynot be the story of all..

Rockus said...

Great Post!
"Equality of sexes can only happen when men and women are treated as different genders and not as a unisex whole."

You are absolutely spot on here.

Jayan Mathew said...

This has to be one of your best posts.
Women have always aimed for a recognized place in society. Furthering the role of women in society will have enormous and far reaching benefits. The woman at home should be recognised as a valued member of society just as much as the one who has a career.

You are growing up well kiddo ! :-)

emmanuel said...

wonderful post...... :) i support ur anguish at the present scenario and the suggestions too.....but one question remains......who take it serious rather than making noises? it is a man's world and will remain a man's world :(
Equality of sexes is bullshit. A woman can never measure up to a man or vice versa. Equality of sexes can only happen when men and women are treated as different genders and not as a unisex whole.
so true......and all these "Empowerment" stuff at present (i mean the way it is done today)is also bullshit.......

see this too....

neermathalam said...

I don't mind being branded as a chauvinist.Because truth is always bitter.I am not degrading the whole womankind by this argument.I do respect the woman who is brave upfront and feminine.Pink need not always symbolise feminine.Is draupati any way less feminine than maduri dixit.Is medha padkar anyway less feminine than madhavikutty.
But most of the girls I saw my corporate world were like the one I am going to describe.There are offcourse exceptions not that they looked more like men.They were really feminine.

The class of girls I describe shamelessly use thier feminine influence.The think they can work thier way through corporate jungle like that.And those are the ones who hit the glass celing very faster.Should never forget those class of girls because they are really large in number.They will send sweet little messages to thier male 'friends' which will be the verge of romance, friendship and whatnot.And men should always guess what is in her mind.Those who take extra freedom will be branded as flirts and those who never mind them are geeks.
They are proud of thier influence over the people who rule them.Just those girls manipulate things according to thier wishes at the start of thier career.I am not saying anything bad about them.Because where there is an influence;it means there is an influenced and an influencer. These girls leave office regularly quite early dumping work with a smile to thier male counterparts(they do accept work wholeheartedly because men are a weak class....) and a sugercoated 'Please' .They acheive this almost throughout thier career working it up with beauty in the first phase,sentiments in the second phase and when they lose reason they hit the glass ceiling.Silverene I am sure you also would have met this class of girls in your corporate life.spare a thought for those weak men also because it always better to be a humanist rather than a feminist or an MCP(like me...).

I would just not buy this argument that women are weaker than men.It may be true when the activity demands physical strength.and yes in the rural northern india you are quite right. But corporate india is in cities and there girls are omnipotent. Education and income makes a girl much stronger than her weak counterpart.Because girls know how to handle emotions better than a man.I wish they work hard too.Because whether it is mens world or womens world it is after a world which rewards innovation and hardwork.Girls better realise that.And you can counter me by saying that we have families to tke care.And to be frank I consider no man can be a better manager than a mother.See if you need world to change to accomodate the feminine spirit, accept it being a mother and shedding tears is great in the family not at the boardroom.Those are two different skills.Have you ever tried to think what salary your mom should be paid.Nobody can think of it.Being a girl invaluable dont try to measure it using the corporate standards.becasue time is not measured in Kms.
And it doesn't mean that women should'nt work or become CEOs. But for that the company should be woman friendly is an argument which i can't digest.It should be more human friendly.Play game according to the rules.whether it is corporate or family.Not everything in life is unbiased we need to accept the reality.

silverine said...

ap: Thanks :)

mathew: Thanks for the long comment :) I think that the world will never find peace and stability till both genders are acknowledged as different people with different needs and these differences are recognised and accomodated accordingly in every sphere of life. The stress and tension of modern day life is mainly due to it male leaning architecture. It was the sight of my married female colleagues and their struggles to run the home and keep the job that made me realise how "woman employee unfriendly" our workplaces are!

rockus: Thank you :)

Jayan: Thank you buddy :)

emmanuel: Glad you agree :p That link was a really interesting read!

neermathalam: Appreciate the time you have taken to think and comment :) But you have missed the point here. What I am saying is that when men and women are different, then why not change the present male favoring setup of our workplaces?
And I have women colleagues and the place where I work, no one can climb up the corporate ladder without proving their mettle first. And I find the habit of attributing a woman's succes to her feminine giles really galling.

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

observation: women can make great individual contributors at the workplace.

my manager is a woman. She's sweet and all, but once when i asked her why i did not get my promotion she goes: "Look, i am the only bread winner in my family, and i have a kid to take care of. I did not get my promotion!"
I like her, but this time i had to laugh on her face and walk out of the room.

I dont know what that was, but I know that is the case with most woman managers - they completely miss the point, and get personal.

I know i'm inviting trouble with this statement, and a lot of people might disagree, but this is what I have seen.

The sad thing is in the average Indian workplace, your growth is guaged by how many people report upto you, and that is the way they are "woman employee unfriendly", but that's changing quick.

I know a few great women who dont have to deal with people, and they are going places.

Fleiger said...

I don't think that being professional has anything to do with gender. I would hate as much to work with a girl who bursts in tears in workplace as a man who gets angry in there.

Crying is not being emotional, it is losing control of your emotions, is what I think.

neermathalam said...

May be i missed the point.But can't help posting this pun...please(sugarcoated one..)..

Change the rules of the game becuase we don't want to play like this...but yes we have every right to plsay the game the way we want.

The hunter can't run fast and climb the trees so Mr.Prey please accept the gender sensitivity and run below 4 km/hr and go damn it if you dare climibing the trees.

Yes i can understand we need to make corporates disable friendly...but still not able to digest that fact that it should be made feminine friendly.Girls please understand you are not anyway a lesser mortals.And boardroom battles hardly need muscles.Any way I bow I will never get the point that girls are waek and should be protected and pamphered with mouse with a makeup kit.

Jiby said...

my mother is a person who slowed down her career to spend more time with us when we were teenagers...many people blamed her for this, including my dad saying she could have gone on to become a judge and all that good stuff. She would reply that it was her happiness that counted the most...and she decided she had more fun around us than all the added stress of more powerful positions.

These days we are not around..she takes like 3-4 months of vacation a year to be with us, goes to work at 10, then spends an hour gossiping with her colleagues, goes to court only after that session, returns home at 4, though there is a household help she does all the stuff at home, and says she will retire only when she dies and that we can take her to the grave from her office.

Reading your post, I realized she has ensured for herself the best of both worlds and i guess that is why she has managed to stay happy, young and fit.

Arunima said...

hmm..silverine...a good attempt here...i hold a different view point in this whole man woman story here.

Firstly I think every human possesses both feminine and masculine traits. What these traits are and how do we classify them is anyones opinion. Unfortunately some men and women don't show this side of their personalities to the world...however any good leader male or woman will reach the top not because of these traits but unisex traits of being sensitive to people to be able to make them perform to the best of their abilities along with a sharp mind and the ability to get things done.

I am glad to be where I am as this argument has never come up. We never think of a person as a guy or a girl...There are hardcore arrogant men and also women at the work place...yes some women who are successful may get typecast but only by people who may not have the ability to think and observe. Don't think this matters to them.

My CEO a male is one of the most sensitive human beings I have seen, but that doesn't mean breaking out in tears...his vision has made him as successful as he is now.

Emotions are personal and to be shared with people you are close to.

All other the aesthetics in office I think should be left to the experts...a black and blue or brown work place is very boring to work in...a bright colored work place much more cheerful :)


Sahodaran said...

So most of the men are saying "great post" etc :) I wonder what would have they told if you had approached a "traditional" feminist approach.


I am a man.

And when did a man stop crying? Does little boys cry as much as a little girl?

I used to. I used to cry a lot. A single simple problem, and I would burst into tears.

That was ten years back. I was a kid.

Now, I wish I can cry. But I cannot. Tears get stuck somewhere even if I feel like crying.

I learned to control, suppress my emotion. My emotions got less, I hardened. Less sensitive.

I hate it.

When does a women start liking the color Pink? When did it start in history? Why?

All of us need Food, Shelter, Clothes. In this world, none of it comes free. Money is power. In our society, women (especially unemployed) is a slave. She always was. She remained at home, raising kids, cooking food, while her husband took care of the material needs. She always will be, if this continues. She should not need to beg her husband for the money.

What is the feminity of PT Usha? I have a feeling that, she would not care much for the colours.

Women have periods and they bear the child. Does that gives the fixed position of a homemaker? I dont know. I dont want to think so.

Why does a woman goes to a gym to reduce her weight and maintain her figure while a man does the same to build muscles? Why does none of the men takes "diets" to maintain their body?

Yes, may be you can ask for the society to give a place for women who makes a home. And respect her.

And I feel that, while that is not going to happen, things are getting worse. Those women who are dependent on their husbands are getting cheated, and harassed more than the independent folks.

If a women chooses not to bear a child, and instead climb the corporate ladder... Who has a problem?

What am I coming to? I dont know. Is there a "solution"? I have no idea.

neermathalam said...

I already bowed off...Still felt if i don't comment this one it may send a wrong message that I am having a habit of attributing a women's success to her femininity.

"And I find the habit of attributing a woman's succes to her feminine giles really galling."

Giving due respect all those women achievers who inspires an awe feeling in me.

I find the behaviour of some girls more disgusting than the habit of reporting it.And I don't attribute a women's success for femininity.
It is simply her hardwork and dedication.
But it is extremely painful that such a major different class also exist...You can accept it or not at your is not the outrageous vamp you see in k-serials...but the extremely subtle and sophisticated corporate ones.

And well I dont blame any gender responsible for it.But it is a collective failure of the mechansim.Closing your eyes to a reality does'nt make it a fantasy.
But whom to blame i don't know.May be the cut throat competition.May be the break neck speed.

Is it wrong to say something is wrong if i don't have a solution.Well I don't know !!!!

And sorry for all the junk...and wasting your comment space with an article sized comments..Certain topics and provacations are tough to resist.. :)

Sahodaran said...

Another perspective from a lady :)

ken said...

excellent thoughts ... especially the quote at the end

Venkatesh A.R. said...

Well, it has somehow become a notion that women are weaker than men. The outdoor activites are generally taken as the yardstick for measuring who out-does who.. and in this, the woman, for a long time now, until recent past, have not been able to do much outdoors, purely due to family and society constraints. Nowadays, women are rising up to this challenge. If we were to gauge them by indoor activites / family nurturing, men would be totally out of the competition.
Even today, there are countries that do not give women the freedom they are entittled to.
Further more, i see no point when women of our country ask for a 33 % reservation (even in parliment!!).. whom are they asking this to - to men..? and we expect these male chauvinist to grant them these and sit back??? I'd suggest these women to come front and get their share of cake.. but again, if they ever tried i do not feel that the goons (so called politicians) would spare their lifes..
Women are not fools, they are being made fools...

silverine said...

toothless wonder: I hate women managers. Period. But I also realize that they behave the way do because it is an unequal playing field for them. Women have a historical handicap that they bring to the workplace. Their upbringing!

Fleiger: You are too used to the present set up. Think out of the box, where woman can burst into tears but not use that to get things done.

sahodaran: It is true that women who are not working are dependent on their husband. I am not trying to say that a woman should be a housewife and be paid for the same.
All I am trying to say is that as more and more women enter the workplace, changes should be made to accommodate their special needs. Thats all!!

neermathalam: "The hunter can't run fast and climb the trees so Mr.Prey please accept the gender
sensitivity and run below 4 km/hr and go damn it if you dare climbing the trees.

err what has this to do with genders? :)I could have understood this statement if the hunter was pursuing a gal lol!!! Anyways you are too biased to see this post in the spirit with which it was written.

Jiby: Your mom sure made her choices well!!

Arunima: Interesting observations on the masculine and feminine sides of women and men!

Ken: Thank you :)

venkatesh a r: I myself am against the 33% reservation because the menfolk in these womens lives will manipulate them. But I guess in the long run women will get used to freedom and make their own choices.

Pradeep said...

Fully agree with you, when you say: Equality of sexes is bullshit. A woman can never measure up to a man or vice versa. Equality of sexes can only happen when men and women are treated as different genders and not as a unisex whole.

I still don't understand why this world can't take people for what they are; if not respect them, at least, accept them.

There is no equality issue here. Men and women are already equal; endowed with equal capablities. If men and women are different, they are only as much different as two men are or two women are.

By the way, I have tagged you, Silverine. I hope you don't mind. Kindly pick it up, if it's okay with you. Please click here.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

I've never come across a woman so clearly see the truth! ^:)^ (That's a stick figure shaastangam if you tilt your head 90 degrees to the right)

Most of the women I know hate me and brand me an MCP, simply because I tell them men and women are not equal. It bruises their ego, which itself is actually a rather male characteristic that these women have acquired in trying to achieve that 'equality'. And then they just rant about the whole lot of us MCPs, and how difficult it is for them modern women and what not.

As for me, what i really mean by inequality between the two is not so much a consequence of Nature as one of nurture. The history of mankind has been one of suppression of women for a terribly long time now, and it is only natural therefore that most of the stories one reads in the history books are about the greatness of men. Women, sadly, were not afforded the greater joys of education and freedom for centuries, and perhaps are being given them in some measure only now. So women never got the chance to indulge in science or art for that matter. But i feel women have always been the pivot around which revolved many a great man's existence and i can easily imagine those women being the humanising force that puts sense into the mind of the man. In the present day, with this gradual liberation of women, i do find that women are indeed just as capable on the 'intelligence' front, and are still definitely 'wiser'. What troubles me horribly is the narrow-mindedness of men. In spite of all the thinking they can do on a limited area of knowledge, they don't seem to be able to make thinking a general habit of the mind. Most men have thinking as a vocation and practice it only when it is needed. And since an animal existence is possible even without constant thought, it seems to be needed very little, and is only used by them in matters of survival. The rest of the time they are dragged this way and that by the impulses of power and lust, which can only be destructive in excess. Even Feynman celebrated the night the atom bomb their lab created was dropped on Hiroshima. Only later in life he realised what unending suffering that caused to a large chunk of mankind, and repented forever the limitedness of his vision not to have realised the purpose to which his country was directing the beautiful outcomes of his glorious theories. To wrap it up without much ado, i find both men and women are equally full of faults, though they may be of different kinds. But it is precisely these faults that also make them beautiful in proportionate amounts. It would be best if a balance were achieved by both, and that, i sincerely believe, can only be done if both tried to learn what is best in the other, and worked to make our brief existence on this planet one of a synergistic friendship rather than fight silly battles over who is superior, a question that is ultimately inane!