Posted by: devinvriley | March 23, 2016

Walking in the Opposite Sex’s Shoes

One day on Facebook I cam across this great video that perfectly show gender based discrimination in the workplace.  I went to put the video in and WordPress would not let me sorry, but here is the link to it.

The video begins in a male dominated environment where women are inadvertently treated like second class citizens.  The men are unaware that they are even treating the women unfairly until one man experiences it for himself.  In the clip he experiences tokenism right from the start when he is asked to read over the script because he is the only guy and they need to make sure it is not offensive to men.  Later in a meeting his ideas are ignored and he is talked over.  When they are getting ready to film the skit the female actress mistakes him for a fellow actor because he dose not look like the stereotypical female writer.  When he goes to human resources to talk about the issues he is facing, such as sexual discrimination, women not understanding his perspective, and lack of the ability to advance, he is told to stick it out and see where things go.  At the end of his time in a women’s shoes he admits “there is a system in place that I am not a part of.”

Women face these issues everyday.  This video may be funny, but it hits on the real life problems women face.  As of 2014, only 11% of writers are female.  The sad part is that number is higher than a majority of the other behind the scenes roles in the film and television industry.  Female writers get questions about their profession, but no one would ever question a male.  If there is to be any change in work place equality, people need to realize what they are doing.  The two men at the beginning of the video, who made a deal in the men’s room, had no idea they were not giving their female colleague a fair chance.  People need to learn to rely less on gendered stereotypes because not every women likes brunch and not every male likes golf.  BuzzFeed and other sources are doing a good job of voicing the issue, but more needs to be done to change the male dominate workplace culture.  There should not be a system in place that people are not capable of being a part of.

 


Responses

  1. I think this video does a great job of pointing out the fact that it often goes unnoticed by the opposite sex that they are participating in discrimination. This points to the second generation gender bias, that these days it is not blatantly telling women they may not participate in the workplace, but rather is it things like talking over women in meeting, not giving them the chance to sit at the table that has a similar result. Videos that have humor often draw people in, which is important so that more people can be exposed to the issue. But they also can pack a punch by exposing others to some of the experiences of women as they try to navigate the labyrinth and work in various companies and contexts.

  2. This video did a great job of showcasing the bias women eperience in the workplace that I believe spreads to many other settings. I have often found myself frustrated with superiors in the work place, and I’m only 21 so I can only imagine how frustrated a women working for 40 years is. My boss over the summer would often delegate different tasks to the male intern and I, that seemed to be in line with male/female stereotypes. For example, he would ask me to sort the shirts but it make it very clear that Collin is the one that should bring them to his office. When talking to another supervisor about how it frustrated me he just said that it’s a generational thing and he’s just trying to “treat me like a lady”. So I think videos like this that show its not just a generational thing that can slide are great for the development of workplace cultures.

  3. First of all, THANK YOU for posting this. Second of all, there are a million things I could talk about from this post, but I’ll refrain. One of the things I found really interesting was the portrayal of what it would be like if the roles were reversed (aka matriarchal instead of patriarchal dominated environments); Braiding hair in the workplace, “tampon talk”, and soft, relaxing music…those are some serious stereotypes. I get that it’s meant to be funny and excessively stereotypic, but really? Also, I found it really interesting when he went to talk to someone about it, the reaction and solution was “I can see you’re really emotional right now” when he seemed pretty calm to me, and then “take some time and re-evaluate the position.” THE POSITION, not what you’re seeing, what people are saying, or how they are making you feel. Oh and the real kicker is at the end you think he will now understand what women deal with daily, and start to empathize or affect change in some way, but no, almost instantly he completely forgets everything he just experienced and falls right back into his norm.

  4. This is interesting with how they explain how the male feels. I do not think Human Resources should have told him to just stick with it but that is what happens to the women. I think videos like this are what starts the conversation to bring about change. I remember always being told to put myself in someone else’s shoes when I wonder why they make act a certain way. This also reminds me of an article where a man writes about his stay at home wife and thanks her for what she does. In the article he starts by writing how he often asks his wife why she is always tired when she stays home all day with their baby. Then he realizes that she does so much more than sit and watch TV all day so he thanks her for all she does. This is a good example of how he put himself in her shoes.

  5. I’m glad posted this video! While watching it all I could think is: “True.” I like that it started off by showing how women are treated in the workplace, then switched to a reverse for men in women’s shoes, then back to a woman’s perspective; it really was a full-circle clip. The tokenism concept is clearly portrayed in this video from both the female and male perspectives. The video also clearly shows how sexism and discrimination within the workplace often goes unnoticed in large part. Stereotypes are portrayed. For instance when the woman actor says to the male actor, “oh you don’t look like a writer,” one can see the stereotypical gendered job bias at play. What really struck a home run was when the male actor went to the female actor to tell her about how he felt his co-workers were sexist and he was feeling objectified and the leader (woman), basically waved off the concerns of the constituent (male) as petty. The reason for this type of disregard of workplace welfare is that there is a patriarchal system in place that screws women out of constructive recourse for discrimination. It’s really an unfortunate thing. Overall, I liked the video because it showed views what being a woman in a man’s world is really like. The leadership takeaway is the video’s message itself— that an entire class of individuals is being oppressed in the workplace through specific methods of discrimination. This video serves as an indirect way of getting the issue into the public’s mind. Technological influence on gender and leadership ideas is present.

    Thanks for the post!

  6. As someone who has worked in an office for the past five years, I can honestly say that it happens all the time regardless of generation and regardless of expertise. My mother and I are the only two in the company trained to do a variety of things (boring paperwork stuff), but we are constantly passed over for input. Programmers speak with our department lead, accept his ideas, and enact them without considering how it changes on our end. Every time, the new program does not work and stops critical processes. Although my mother and I voice these concerns, the programmers ignore us. To adapt, we’ve started sending issues through our male department lead who sees immediate change while our emails are ignored. Furthermore, when this issue is addressed in meetings, no one sees it as a problem. Even when you cry out, if the culture is male, women are silenced.

  7. It’s so interesting to me, because all of these actions that were noted in the video are ones that I have noticed while in the workplace too. I am an only child and was never really around boys growing up, I didn’t know their antics and how they acted. But once I reached middle school, these actions started to be displayed, and one would think that they would subside as they get older, or at least would be absent in the workplace, but they only got more obvious. I am a waitress at a bar and my male co-workers do those actions displayed in the video on a daily basis, but if I were to act like that, I would be ridiculed then probably fired in an instant. Why is there such a double standard with men and women in the workplace? I wish we had a clear answer to this so that we could just hit society with a solution head-on.

  8. As our generation grows up and starts heading into the workplace, I think there is a lot of change that may happen. Because we grew up watching videos like this one that point out social change that needs to happen, we are conditioned to see it in a way that no generations before us have been. Companies like Buzzfeed help to promote these ideas of social change and really are leaders in doing so. They have found a way to get important messages across to young people like us and and those younger than us and are teaching us to question the world around us. It is refreshing to see people that are thinking and showing these ideas in a way that is captivating to the next generation that will be able to change how the system is now. I think any type of company like this that makes videos that, while they are sometimes a little ridiculous, DO in fact show the world what change needs to happen.

  9. So I actually saw this a couple weeks ago and may have even stuck it at the end of another blog, but nevertheless, Buzzfeed has created yet another socially charged video that addresses a topic that needs some serious discussion. As an employee in the Office of Admission, I can remember one afternoon, when I was the only male in the office, and the women began discussing and showcasing their various planners: “Look at this section…and you do your goals each week…and look at all of these stickers I got…” I also remember that I made fun of them because it was just so weird to see this cluster of 4-5 girls geeking out over planners. Additionally, during that same shift but on a different week, this same group of girls were looking at engagement and wedding rings, scanning Pinterest and various other websites to find the right ring for her. Now, as a male, I found these conversations to be weird, unnecessary, possibly even inappropriate or unprofessional in the office. However, then I catch the guys talking about the game last night, the game coming up tonight, fraternity stuff, girls and the drama that comes along with it, drinking, etc. These are on that same level of inappropriateness for the office as what the girls were talking about. It has made me realize that the office needs to be a blending place where we are both comfortable and accepting of the other gender. Women should never feel the way the women in the beginning of this video felt; that is something we have got to fix around here.


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