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The VP of my company bought a whole bunch of mini Frosties from Wendy's. Chocolate. Crystal and I ate ours outside and talked about boys and getting jobs as teachers, because of all the time off we'd have during summer.

Ha, and get this -- we're discussing this, with James, this dude at work (I think he's 24). And we're talking about how kickass it would be to have the whole summer off, and James makes it about money a little bit, by saying that you can have a seasonal job during the summer and make mad loot. He says how his friend is a teacher, and then has a contracting business during the summer, building decks and whatnot, and pulls in another $20K just doing that, and then he says, and I sort of to the best of my memory quote, "but that's more of a guy thing, but a girl could do something else." Crystal and I bust out laughing, me so that I won't bust out James' face instead. And then he sort of tried to defend himself, can you believe that? Something like "oh, what, so a girl is going to be . . . " oh I don't remember what the fuck he said. Something about lugging things around. But I said, "uh, yeah, why not?" I mean okay, perhaps it's more LIKELY that a dude would do that, but what exactly precludes a female from having a contractor business? From building a freaking deck? Just cuz I'm a terrible hammerer doesn't mean we all are. Man, from the stupid old veteran who sends around "patriotic" e/pops I can take it (not really, but expect it, at least), but from the guy my age? Come on, man.

This post was supposed to be about how nice it was to sit outside and eat a chocolate frostie and then come back in and have the computer screen be real bright again, not about my stupid sexist co-worker! Oh well.

I guess I have to start a contracting business now, just to show him what for.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2003 01:49 pm (UTC)
I mean okay, perhaps it's more LIKELY that a dude would do that

Dude, this is the arguement I hear all the time when boys try to assume that something is a "guy" thing, or when chicks try to assume that somethign is a "girl" thing. Gimmie a break! Guys are more likely to rob me, that doesn't mean a girl couldn't or wouldn't do it.

How stupid.
Mar. 26th, 2003 02:15 pm (UTC)
No, you know what's stupid? Washu assuming she could start some sort of contracting company.

Pshaw. As if.
Mar. 26th, 2003 02:58 pm (UTC)
Well.... I mean... doesn't that kind of make it a guy (girl) thing? I don't doubt that there are girls that know drywall and ice hockey, and guys that cook very well and get excellent grades. But I don't see a problem saying ice hockey is a "guy" thing, and cooking is a "girl" thing. I wouldn't assume a girl couldn't or wouldn't play ice hockey, I'd just be a little surprised if she did.
Mar. 26th, 2003 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'm all backwards because I used to do contract work, and I know drywall, and I can cook, and I got good grades. I am a guy/girl thing (except for the ice hockey - but I sure do love me some football - does that count?).
Mar. 27th, 2003 06:36 am (UTC)
My objection was not to his saying that contracting is "a guy thing". My problem was with him looking at us and saying "oh, well a girl could do something different." As though we would have no interest whatsoever in that, simply because we are girls. He wasn't talking about the general female population, he wasn't talking about statistics: he was looking at me, and Crystal, and saying that contracting was not something that we would want/be able to do. I think that he *was* assuming that we couldn't or wouldn't become a contractor. ESPECIALLY since we were just *daydreaming*, you know?

And also, "cooking and good grades"? That's the best you could come up with?
Mar. 27th, 2003 08:45 am (UTC)
I was going to add the whole child-bearing thing, but that sort of defeats the point of the post.

I agree, that guy is an asshole, because:
1) After making the original mistake of thinking you wouldn't want to do contracting, he wasn't willing to even entertain the possibility you would or could be a contractor.
2) It's not like you're the babbling blonde receptionist who spends all day painting her nails and talking about how she needs to find a man to settle down with to take care of her. It's not a big leap from civil engineer to general contractor, although I suspect most people go in the opposite direction.

I was just saying that he's not an asshole just because he thinks contracting is more of a "guy thing".
Mar. 27th, 2003 12:24 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you. I should have made it clearer in my post that I objected not specifically referring to contracting/construction as a "guy thing", but more that he thought . . . well, what you said. So . . . yeah.
Mar. 27th, 2003 07:02 am (UTC)
See, it's OK to be a little surprised, and that's not a problem, but when people share a belief that guys can't cook or something, well, I think guys are less likely to try those things or be encouraged to try. That means guys miss out on the fun of cooking, and the world misses out on some great cooking, etc, etc.
Mar. 26th, 2003 11:09 pm (UTC)
Wait, I think this is perhaps a case of overly-narrowed definition of the term. I don't believe that the generally-accepted connotation of "guy thing" or "girl thing" is "a thing which only one gender is biologically capable of." I think most people consider it to be "a thing which is more common amongst one gender than another."

I mean, right? The same way the phrase "standing on line" (as opposed to "in line") is an East Coast thing? It's not a value judgement, and that's certainly not saying a person in the midwest couldn't say it, or even say it better, it they so chose.

I don't see what there is to feel irritated about, there, is what I'm saying.
Mar. 27th, 2003 07:15 am (UTC)
I think most people consider it to be "a thing which is more common amongst one gender than another."

But after awhile, it becomes "what guys do and what girls do" and it makes it difficult for anyone to break those lines. People just don't see themselves or others doing something outside of them easily. Then everyone misses out! Language is SO important Norm!

This dude just assumed that Washu and her buddy weren't interested in the contracting thing because they were women, which is just goofy and annoying at that level. But when people are hiring and assume a woman is better for a day care position and a man is a better A/V technician just based on what they have seen other people of that gender do, it starts being sexist and it starts being a problem. It's why parental leave for fathers is still a new idea in many places, why people are so shocked to see women in war, etc etc. I think that's really going to hurt people.

Mar. 27th, 2003 12:06 pm (UTC)
I do see the social faux-pas of it. However, I cling to the more-common connotations. There's too much floating around now that can be considered non-exclusive guy-or-girl things while still being guy-or-girl things to narrow the definition. As a writer, you have to keep your building blocks flexible, which is, alas, the big downfall of politically-correct speech. It's like trying to impose legislation on colors.
Mar. 27th, 2003 02:00 pm (UTC)
There's too much floating around now that can be considered non-exclusive guy-or-girl things while still being guy-or-girl things to narrow the definition. As a writer, you have to keep your building blocks flexible, which is, alas, the big downfall of politically-correct speech. It's like trying to impose legislation on colors.

I have to be honest and appear stupid, but I really have no idea what you are trying to say here! I have to say that although trying to be politically-correct is difficult, (and I don't think avoiding saying what this guy said is really that hard)I think it's a nice thing you can do, and the right thing to do, to make other people fell more comfortable. As someone who is white, middle class and not disabled in any major way, it's EASY for me to forget to consider other people's point of views when I make comments, because many things are made people like me in mind (Men have one extra step to overcome). I try my hardest not too, though, and I try to understand and correct myself when I say something that makes people feel left out. That's all anyone can really ask.

I'm not sure what being a writer has to do with this, I consider myself to be one too, but maybe you can help me with that.
Mar. 26th, 2003 06:22 pm (UTC)
i think frosties only come in chocolate.
Mar. 27th, 2003 04:42 am (UTC)
I believe you're right! But I didn't think everybody would know that, so I wanted to be clear.
Mar. 26th, 2003 10:41 pm (UTC)
There would be nothing precluding a female from operating a contractor's service, but I would venture a guess that it would be considerably more-difficult for a female to be successful at it. Assuming costs were equal, it would be my prediction that a male team would be hired considerably more-often than a female team, provided niether team worked topless.

This is, of course, entirely discounting effectiveness of the work, but biology still tends to side with males so far as lifting heavy things and power in the upper-body (as an average! Not to be construed as a personal attack on any woman who can throw oak furniture at me!).

If I've represented anything incorrectly -- which I'm certainly capable of -- feel free to correct me, I'm not a total dick. But if not, I don't think it would be considered sexist to regard contracting as a guy thing. Not exclusively a guy thing, but predominantly so. And as one who has had to unwillingly assist in building a few decks and assorted structures in my time, I can attest that it's certainly not a FUN thing, and the people who take part in it can't often be considered paragons of humanity. Though I am a guy myself, I do not feel my association with the contracting industry to be a feather in my cap of any sort, and certainly nothing to be envied.

Is the point being made that any task of which either sex is capable can't be considered either a guy/girl thing? If not, why would an activity in which the participants are predominantly one gender being referred to as an activity of that gender be considered sexist?
Mar. 26th, 2003 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, wait -- or was the sexist part the implication that a girl could do something different?

Though I still defend that reasoning. Maybe if we were in an alternate world where female contractors was already commonplace, the majority of females would consider contracting to be an enjoyable working environment, but in this world, any female who decides to join a crew or start one on her own is going to find herself in the vast minority, and most would be happier elsewhere.

I am, of course, defending a generalization, here, but I believe that it's generally true, which is why I side with Joe Bob Briggs on this one.
Mar. 27th, 2003 04:52 am (UTC)

First of all, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of generalizations. Huge.

However, that is different from looking at two girls -- one of whom is an engineer, the other of whom is a drafter -- and saying "oh, well, but you know, that's more of a guy thing, but a girl could do something else." He meant that he was telling a possible scenario for HIM, not us. I'm not making an assumption here, because when we both reacted to what he said, he came back with "oh, like a girl is going to be lugging around buckets of nails" or whatever the fuck he said. If I said to him "hey do you think contracting is more of a guy thing or a girl thing?" then that would be fine but that was NOT the situation. The situation was that the three of us were daydreaming about different careers from the ones we currently have, and he dismissed us from HIS scenario because we are female. I'm not making any assumptions, I swear. That's what he meant.

Again, I'll reiterate what I said a few months ago in regards to racism: it's one thing to hold that opinion. But to not realize that your audience might object to it is fucking ridiculous, and I think less of this kid now. He does not think I would be interested/able to run/work for a contracting business, when in fact? Next to catering? That is most what I would like to do. Every time I see my cousin who runs a contracting business, I say something to him about how maybe I should come work for him, but then I wuss out.

Are YOU going to tell me that's a guy thing, and I should find something different? No. Didn't think so.
Mar. 27th, 2003 11:50 am (UTC)
For the record, here:

I AM going to say that as of March 27, 2003, it's a guy thing. That said, who cares? Follow your dreams.

HOWEVER -- what about guys being given cautionery warnings against attending, for instance, Baby Showers? Or the movie "Erin Brockavich?" (Although I admit that I, personally, have been giving out the last one) Should we be getting offended?

Mar. 27th, 2003 12:15 pm (UTC)
You're missing the point. The point is not "construction is a guy thing". The point is that James looked at me and Crystal and said that the scenario he had just described WOULDN'T REALLY be an option for us because we are girls. For me, and for Crystal. Not for females in general. Not for "most girls". For Crystal. And for me.
Mar. 27th, 2003 12:24 pm (UTC)

Okay, my apologies.
Mar. 27th, 2003 01:19 pm (UTC)
I know you are talking to Washu, but I think if someone tell you that you wouldn't like a movie just because you are a man, then that's stupid. For real. I hate when people tell me what I would or wouldn't like based on my gender and not who I am, which I THINK is the point of this post.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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