Trials of being a woman – Gender trap

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There must be a lot of overly aggressive, unhinged cab drivers. I came across this article about a girl taking a cab ride that took a turn for the creepy, and I remembered my own very similar taxi ride in from JFK into the city. All the same feelings the girl describes crossed my mind. Was I soon going to be dead or raped? All the weird suggestions and insistence on “being in love” with me, after having me, a complete stranger with a language barrier in his cab for five minutes, also came to pass. This cab driver was Egyptian, and even though I took a different path from the girl in the article – I lied and said I was in a relationship, he was persistent about his love and how I should call him any time, night or day while in the city. He was pushing and pushing and really had no concept of how uncomfortable a trap the whole thing felt.

The article triggered not just this unpleasant memory but memories of all the times, as a woman, that I have been in uncomfortable situations like this. How many times have I wanted to be completely invisible or genderless? How is it that these men have no sense of how threatening, frightening, disgusting and discomfort-inducing these kinds of persistent and horrifying encounters are?

The admin mindset

I was recently in a meeting in which one of the middle-management layer (a middle-aged woman) kept repeating, rather inexplicably, “If you get anyone treating you like you’re an admin, giving you admin tasks, push back. We are professionals.” No one has treated anyone like an admin, so I could only assume that this “admin mindset” is internal. Yes, there was a time and a place – and there probably still is – where this treating employees (especially women) as admins was/is common. But in this situation, the admin mindset was all about self-assigning value to work. Somehow, despite this woman being in a senior position, she was assigning this label to herself. And maybe people do treat her like an admin because she sets herself up to be a kind of senior-level, paper-pushing process goblin.

I wanted to say to her: “You feel like an admin because you act like an admin”. Sure, people may not understand what you do, but the perception you talk about is your own. Is it the person’s age? The lack of self-confidence? The sense of going crazy?

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