Monday, June 27, 2011

Walking in a men's world


Having worked and travelled with male colleagues and attended meetings in mainly male dominated worlds, such as ministries and organisations, I noticed small things about testosterone dominated space. These are not profound feminist statements bur rather small personal observations about guys in the work environment.

Men constantly check women out – all the time; some more obvious, some more secret. This does not come as a surprise but is definitely worth mentioning when suited, stiff government officials make obvious moves to check a woman out - top to bottom.

Men are less intense and easy going. It is just true – women are more often control freaks – guys are not or lesser. It is much easier to get along with them when it comes to travel logistics and food choices. The downside of this is that guys also do not notice when their female colleague becomes the bag carrier and secretary.

Guys prefer to move as a pack. They like doing things together. None of them will say it openly but generally, the one waits on the other and plans are made to ‘hang out together’.

The majority are still true gentleman when it comes to opening doors and so on. Whitn regards to official meetings there seems to be more respect for the opinion of men than of women. Guys are listened to or engaged with more carefully. The woman at the side of the man is rather the minute-taker, a contributor but not acknowledged in the same way as the male in the room.

Men talk about toiletries and cosmetics as well. It is a bit of a surprise that those uncomfortable spaces, that I have put some of my male friends through while hanging out at only-women gatherings, do exist the other way round. I am not talking about ‘men-talk’ about women and relationships BUT on matters of personal hygiene. I have to admit I previously thought the average guy just goes to the shops, buys his toiletries, uses them and that is where it stops....but I have experienced it otherwise.

The points are not very profound but what has your experience been?

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