Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Men suck too!

Dr. Whoo most recently made a post on the cattiness of females in the workplace, which I found to be very much on the mark. I applaud her for saying what a lot of us were thinking.

However, I was a little disturbed by the enthusiasm of the people who agreed that women are awful to work with and they'd rather work in an mostly-male environment. Seriously? I feel compelled to point out: men suck too.

One of the commenters mentioned watching a movie about a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit and that "after the protagonist complains to management about the fact that some guy decided to ejaculate in her work locker, the other women give her the cold shoulder and tell her what a bitch she's being." I agree the other women were awful for giving that poor woman the cold shoulder. But let's put things in perspective. At least the women didn't ejaculate in her locker. If I had a choice between working with a woman who doesn't talk to me and a man who masturbates in my locker, I'd choose the former. (Go women!)

Of all the attendings I've worked with over the years, probably the biggest ten egos have belonged to men. The biggest gunner jerk in my med school class was a guy. Men can be lazy, they can be assholes, and they often HATE being bossed around by women. A lot of men don't respect their female colleagues. The worst experience I had with a nurse was not a female nurse being catty to me, but rather a male nurse who sexually harassed me.

When I started my residency, the program was mostly men. If you think I was reveling in cattiness-free bliss, you are wrong. Let me assure you, it was not pleasant being a pregnant female in a boys club. I sat there listening to them joking about females they met while going out drinking over the weekend, knuckle-punching each other, and generally making me feel left out. It was obvious the only way I'd feel more welcome was to grow a penis. And don't even get me started on my experience in orthopedic surgery rotations during med school.

I've worked with a lot of men who have been wonderful and also with a lot of jerks. Ditto with women. But when it's a woman, I guess I feel more disappointed in them. Because I feel like we should stick together. That's part of why I love this blog. Because it's a group of mothers in medicine, supporting each other.

In summary, I 100% agree with Dr. Whoo. But I want to point out that we shouldn't go around idealizing men because they ain't so great either.

15 comments:

  1. So funny Fizzy. What, you mean it's not normal to ejaculate in some woman's locker when you don't like her?

    I've had hard time working with some women (as you know), but I've been erring in the other direction lately. At least you don't have to worry that women are secretly thinking of getting in your pants. And for some reason a lot of the men I have worked with in the past seem to revel in making me feel stupid / intimidated. And having to work in a fraternity environment. Ew. I hate that.

    It would be nice if we could all learn to play nicely with one another. I guess it comes down to a) finding something you like to do, and b) finding a group of people you like to work with. Because b is just as important is a.

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  2. Maybe the key is that instead of being like men and getting it out of our system in one shot (so to speak :), women don't have an outlet for their resentment and thus turn catty.

    I totally agree with that last paragraph. There are nice people out there! They exist!

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  3. There is a lesson in this. Most men stick together in the medical workspace. Women should learn to do the same.

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  4. What happend in orthopedic surgery rotations anyway? could it be that bad?

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  5. Let's strip the world of gender for a minute and boil it down to personalities. Cause that is all that matters. I've been burned by men and women. Laziness, catty comments, asshole/bitch behavior, turfing work, egomaniacs, selfishness, "haters," even sexual harassment - this type of behavior doesn't have genitalia. It's transsexual.

    Having said that, luckily supportiveness, intelligence, accepting differences, mentorship, friendship, honesty, assistance, shouldering your load - these behaviors cross genders, too. Men and women.

    By choosing genders and making global generalizations, I think we ultimately set ourselves up for more prejudice.

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  6. Oops - posted too soon. Son had nightmare. Last paragraph is -

    Which, I think, is the point you are trying to make. Just felt that after we dogged women, and then men, we should lift everyone up a little and applaud good behavior, regardless of whether it is exhibited by a man or woman.

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  7. Hahaha! Fizzy, yes, men can suck, too. Never meant to imply that they didn't have their own foibles! I guess, with men though, you usually see exactly who they are (chauvanist jerk or not). They don't tend to need to hide behind facades of sweetness and light, only to turn around and throw you under the bus...in general...not that this does not happen from time to time.

    I had issues with several of the residents, male and female, when I had pregnancy complications that forced me out of work. The way the women treated me, however, hurt the most, because I guess I thought they would be more sympathetic/empathetic/understanding. When they were not, it cut pretty deeply.

    As the poster above said, the men tend to stick together, as should we as women in medicine.

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  8. And then there are the men (and women) who put on a charming facade and then stick it to you. I just found out, two days ago in fact, that a very charming well regarded man that I have worked with for almost 2 decades, neglected to inform me of a piece of information vital to me for over a year. And he thinks it is funny.
    It is going to take awhile for me to get over this. Right now it is coloring our working relationship.

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  9. One of my male colleagues found out recently that another of our colleagues - his "friend" - had an affair with his now (ex-) wife.

    I can't imagine the betrayal. So much for men sticking together.

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  12. Gizabeth, are you kidding? You think that it is all personality? In my residency training, I've seen the same thing happen to bright, talented, hardworking young women, over and over again. They work just as hard or harder than the guys. Although their performance is equal or better, they get judged more harshly than men, by men and women, attendings, residents, and support staff alike. That goes both for professional performance and social integrations. They end up marginalized and frustrated. Off the top of my head, I remember two women who quit, three who developed serious eating disorders or depression (requiring hospitalization in two cases), and one suicide attempt. I will be the first woman to actually graduate from my program in five years. I appreciate your positive thinking and your focus on how to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The world is what it is, and sometimes justice for all is not feasible for the moment. So we have to find a feasible way of dealing with situations. But to say that there is not widespread, subtle but relentless gender discrimination in medicine means refusing to even see the problem.

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  14. mus - I posted a comment last night, after wine at book club, and decided it was TMI (and not entirely thought out).

    You are preaching to the choir. I'm not as naive as my Pollyanna personality might presume. I've been a victim of gender discrimination - and other atrocities, by the hands of men. I've also been put down by women. It's all out there - there are just more men in the hierarchies of medicine, so more unbalanced gender discrimination, sure. I agree.

    I looked at my son this morning, as I carried him into the kitchen in his jammies, right after he woke up. Gave him a kiss on the head. I have hope. Does that make me blind? No. I just like to work in a different mode to achieve the end of my desires. One that tries to foster, as you say, being part of the solution.

    But I see it, mus. And it makes me really, really mad. Don't worry.

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