Friday, 16 October 2015

Five On Friday

Today my Five On Friday is on the theme of taking five to think about one thing.  Before I start that though I wanted to say thank you for all of the visits and comments on last week's post and also for the visits that you make to the other bloggers who take part.  I love that you come and visit here and am thankful for the comments that you leave, but I am even more grateful that you go and visit other people too!

This week I took part in a longstanding link up - Yarn Along - and was so surprised to see that some new people had come to visit me as part of that link up (thank you very much if you were one of them!), so I know how much it means when others come to see your blog after you have linked up.

So, although I love your comments and what you have to say, if you are short on time today, don't leave me a comment, go and visit one of the other bloggers taking part - the list is down at the end of this post - and leave them a comment instead.  Of course you can always do both if you have more time on your hands!

Thank you everyone who takes part, visits and comments on my or anyone else's posts.  It is so appreciated by us all.

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So, what has been on my mind this week that I want to share with you.  Women's equality.  I know, that is a massive subject and certainly not one that I am qualified to discuss other than for the fact that I am a woman!

Two things collided for me this week which made me starkly aware of this issue.

I was recently at a conference as a delegate in my role as a decision maker in an organisation that I am part of.  There were well over 100 people there.  After the event that I am going to describe to you in just a moment I looked around to see how many women were present.  Less than 10% were female.  We were all equals, which means than there is a good chance that less than 10% of the people who do what I do are female.  Not good.

Before the conference I was in another meeting and between the meeting and the conference starting two women who had been in the meeting with me came up and started talking to me about an issue that I had raised.  Their tone surprised me as I felt rather under attack, but during the meeting the men present had all been quite supportive of what I had been saying.  I dismissed it, and eventually managed to dismiss them and make my way into the conference room to await the arrival of the male colleagues that I work with who were also attending.

As I sat, I reflected on these women's behaviour towards me.  The room started to fill up and then I suddenly realised that the two ladies had not appeared and that as I had empty seats around me they might come and sit beside me again.  Just as I realised this two men came and sat beside me and I involuntarily said "that is good, there was someone that I didn't want to sit next to me".  Not my finest ever hour, but there you go!!!

The man sitting beside me started to talk and I replied as though we were equals which in terms of our attendance at the conference we were.  The man then asked me where I was from - meaning the organisation I was there representing.  I replied and he said "oh, I thought that was" and then he named someone who is my organisations administrator.  I said no, "I am a" and gave my title.  He looked at me, turned away and didn't speak to me for the rest of the conference.

I was stunned!

Eventually my colleagues arrived and came and sat to the other side of me and the conference started and thankfully - after a couple of mind numbing hours - it ended.

It wasn't until earlier this week when I was catching up on some of the TV shows that I had recorded that I realised just how appalling this all was.  The show I was watching was a series called The Ascent of Woman.  It is fascinating and if you get the chance to see it I think that you would find it very interesting indeed.

The show is, as you can imagine from the title, about the ascent - or lack of ascent really - of women through history.  As I watched I came to realise just how bad the behaviour I had witnessed at the conference had been.

First of all two women, of the same standing as me not offering support, but putting me down and criticising me for holding different views to them.  Then a man assuming that I was somehow a "lesser mortal" and not of the same standing as himself and then when he was corrected he no longer wanted to talk to me....

How is that supporting women?  It is bad enough to have been witness to the mans behaviour, but to then realise that women cannot support each other.  I think that was what hit me harder.

Now, I don't think that anyone can call me a feminist.  I stay at home, my husband supports me and I do nothing I am ashamed to admit to forward the cause of women.  I didn't think that I needed to.  I naively thought that although there are lots of problems out there in the world, that women in the UK were equal to men and were treated as such.  Turns out I was wrong.

The upshot of all this?  I need to think some more and be aware more of offering more support to women.  Right here in my own first world country!  How bad is that.

I haven't let what happened bother me in the slightest.  The chance of me seeing any of these people again is very small and if I do I will avoid them, so it isn't a problem to me personally, but oh gosh how I feel for those that they work with in their own organisations and those around them.

That is my five minute thought for this week.  Which makes me rather sad in a way.

So, let us support each other!  Women and Men equally!!!

Amy

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Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week.  I look forward to reading your posts again this week too!  Remember, anyone is more than welcome to join in, read this bit below, go and visit the Five On Friday page and then write your own post and then come back here and link in!



If you want to grab a Five On Friday Button or get more information about how to join in the All About Five On Friday page will tell you all that you need to know.

The Five On Friday "opening hours" are from 6 am on Friday until 7 pm on Saturday.  Please include a link or the button to my Five On Friday post within your post, or to make reference within your post to the button if it is in your sidebar.  This is to be fair to everyone.

If you want to check out anything else about Five On Friday see the All About Five On Friday page - top right of my sidebar.

To visit other bloggers taking part, just click on the links at the end of the post.  Please do go and visit their lovely posts!

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40 comments:

  1. Hi Amy, it's disappointing to hear what happened to you at the conference. It's probably more upsetting to think this behavior still exists now in our age. I'm happy to hear you received new visitors from Ginny's yarn along. My attempts were not as pleasing. I have enjoyed meeting new friends via Five on Friday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. My best to you, Pat

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  2. It is so disappointing that this type of behaviours still goes on. Women seem to be undervalued whether at work or home and with lower salaries. I think you are doing the right thing by not letting it bother you. I wish I could say the same - i'm keeping my mouth shut at this time of the year - relationships are so important in working environments but I am very over politics that goes with it! (I've a negative post today but it is keeping it real!) Take care and have a good weekend.

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  3. There is certainly a lot yet to be done on this front. There is so much wrong in this world and so many causes to fight for that I fear women's equally has been left behind, especially as it a struggle that is not always easy to define. My belief is that we should concentrate our efforts on equal pay, as sadly that is the language the the world understands.
    Amalia
    xo

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  4. Umm, this is upsetting not really sure what to say. Was that really why he didn't talk to you, not because he was absorbed in the conference, I'm clutching at straws, I suspect. and the women, could it be there were jealous that you were there alone and able to stand up for what you thought was right and yet they had to be two. They sound like two who create mischievous wherever they go in a negative sense if they do not get what they feel is right, I know many men and women in this world are like this but is it to put women down or are they just ignorant? I'm still in the naïve state about women's rights and where they stand in the world, maybe I need to wake up...

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  5. I've always found that women are women's worst enemies in this kind of thing. I don't know why we are, but we are. I am so grateful that I don't go out to work any more. When I did, it was the "women in charge" who were the worst at finding fault with other women or who thought they were better than the "lesser" women who were, more often than not, doing a far better job than they were! *sigh*

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  6. Some people are just plain rude, Amy, regardless of gender. But you're right. Equality is still a big issue and I've been having interesting discussions with my children about it lately. My 15-yr-old son gets quite heated about it. If they're anything to go by, the future is in better hands.

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  7. It's very disappointing isn't it. I think there are a lot of people out there who behave like that though, certainly there were when I was working in law firms. Women could be very aggressive and pushy, and were afraid to admit when they didn't know something or could do with help. Sadly a lot of the time they were worse than the men when it came to manners and common courtesy and treating colleagues with respect.

    I always like to go through the list of people in a link up and see what blogs are new to me and go and explore some other places. I hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  8. Certainly disappointing, I naively thought that this was a rare issue these days. I am deeply saddened that modern society still allows for this trait. I do try to visit everyone that joins the weekly meme, that is part of the fun for me. Have a great weekend. Take care.

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  9. I totally agree with Anne, women are often their own worst enemies. Likewise, I am glad I am out of the paid workforce these days, because it was the women who bullied, withheld information, making it harder to do your own job, etc. Also in community organisations, the power struggle between women can be intense. Sigh!

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  10. Some people are just downright rude and would behave this way whether it was to a woman or a man, how ignorant and impolite to ignore you all the way through the conference. As for the women, I often find that women are so bitchy towards other women, they probably wouldn't have disagreed with your views had you been a man. It's a sad world we live in.

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  11. It strikes me you came across some people who are simply inadequate/up themselves in some way. The world is full of them: they come in both genders, all colours etc. I think there's a lot of rubbish talked about inequality, but the appalling fact is that women are so often paid less than men for doing the same job - and that is simply wrong. I dare not express my views about equality at home - my wife would kill me.

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  12. I as fortunate to have many opportunities in the accounting world, but along the way there were fellow women who had thoughts about why I as successful that were not pleasant. Sorry for an unpleasant experience. We do need to applaud those ladies among us who succeed and do what we can to build up our sisters for success.

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  13. Not surprising really. I worked in a very female heavy job (teaching) and to be truthful I preferred the men teachers, the women were not very supportive of each other, quite catty and so much backbiting. At least if the men had something to say to you, favorable or not, they said it to your face.

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  14. How very sad that you had to be on the receiving end of this behaviour. I've no doubt you were able to deal with it with far more grace than I would have done. X

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  15. Somehow I can't imagine treating someone differently because of their gender, but I know it happens. I just don't understand stereotyping at all. I'm sorry that ANYONE felt compelled to be unkind to YOU. YOU have such a good heart. Weird.
    Happy Five on Friday!

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  16. It's quite sad that this still happens in this day and age, I don't understand it and will never be ok with it. I think people should be judged on their merit and not on their gender. I'm so sorry that you were treated this way, it's certainly not fair. Big hugs to you.
    Sandra

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  17. I always think when people are rude they must be unhappy souls, because happy people don't treat other people like that. If that man didn't speak to you because he thought you were unimportant then I don't think you need worry about having missed out on much by not having his attention or conversation! What a twit! I knew someone once who stopped speaking to a friend of mine at a dinner party because she was a nurse not a doctor. I couldn't believe it, but people like that do exist. I'm sorry you came up against it, it but if it's given you an awareness you didn't have before perhaps it'll turn out to have been a good thing? Have a lovely weekend my friend xx

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  18. I'm not sure I fully understood what happened to you at the conference. I don't think ANYONE should be attacked for opposing views, but people should be able to discuss things like that in a civil manner. The fact that they were also women tells me they were just rude, not anti-woman. The man who spoke to you at first seemed to be put off what your title not by your gender, but not knowing your actual title, I had trouble understanding that situation fully. I hate that you had such a bad experience. I have ALWAYS felt inferior in groups because of my own personal insecurities from an inability to recall facts accurately (even though I know I read them!) to support my point, and a feeling of having less ability to express myself verbally than in writing. When I write I am totally at home....around other people, I shrink into the background. This lack of confidence has crippled me in these situations. Often I end up envying the well-spoken women and men. But, in a large group where there are few women who are considered equals, and they are not given an equal voice, that is a shame. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Hopefully conferences like that will turn out better in the future.

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  19. I'm so sorry you were treated that way. It is so horrible when people are not kind. Sending you hugs. Aloha.

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  20. I'm sorry you had a bad experience at your conference, both from the women and the man. When I worked in law firms, there really wasn't a lot of this present. There were both men and women lawyers, and everyone seemed to respect each other. Mind you, they all worked independently of each other so there was no competition in getting ahead. This will probably be an issue for many more generations to come. There's a lot of history of inequality to erase from peoples' minds. We have lots of discussions around our table about inequality, stereotyping and racism these days, which I think is a good thing as it makes us aware of what each individual may have to face in their lives.

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  21. I would have felt very sad had I been in your place Amy, but I have found that many women in managerial positions are bitches and if you go against their opinion they treat you like s..t, I know this through first hand experience, luckily I have never personally had a man put me down or treat me less than his equal, in my place of work male and female nurses have treat each other as equals but I know that it does happen and I have a feeling that it always will. Have a great weekend and don't let them so and so's get to you. xx

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  22. Sorry that you were treat badly Amy - some people are just so disrespectful. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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  23. So sorry that you had a tricky time at what should have been an enjoyable event. Some people still seem to behave as if they were in the school playground. Best to try and forget all about them, although I realize that that's easier said than done! Have a great weekend, Amy. xx

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  24. I call myself a feminist, for me that means wanting equality for men and women and having choices. I have been called a 'man hater' because I am a feminist, well as I love my man and my sons, that couldn't be further from the truth. We all need to be treated equally, be able to follow whatever path we want to in life and not be restricted by whichever bits we happened to be born with. So I have to say as you agree with equality you are a feminist Amy xx

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  25. Thanks for hosting Amy! You have given me lots to think about! Have a great weekend!

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  26. Hi Amy, I found your post interesting reading today. I am a feminist and for me, I think that means equality not trying to get the upper hand in anything be that work, home, parenting, likes and dislikes. Love ya Jo x

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  27. I don't think that staying at home makes you not a feminist. Feminism to me is about choice and equality, not being expected to behave a certain way because of your gender. I'm proud to call myself a feminist and so is my husband. I'm sorry that you encountered a muppet who treated you unfairly like that, I hope at least that idiots who think that way are getting fewer but sometimes I wonder if they're just getting better at hiding their true feelings.

    I'm a stubborn mare so I quite like telling people off if they treat me as lesser due to my gender. I once told off our letting agent for patronising me and he responded by patting my hand and telling me he "wasn't patronising you darling". Oooof his ears were burning after I'd heard that ;-)

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  28. I used to think this behaviour was down to people not accepting women in certain types of jobs, but I am now of the opinion that it isn't anything to do with sexism but insecurity. There are certain types where it doesn't matter what sex you are, you are just a threat or someone that they don't want to be associated with - the latter is their problem and they need to get over themselves! I come across extremely rude people all the time who will turn their back until they suddenly realise that to get to someone I work for, they need to come through me first. Their attitude changes... mine doesn't! I always say live and let live and if someone is difficult especially during professional occasions then they have a problem and it isn't with everyone else. Sorry rambling on but it really gets my goat when this sort of thing happens. Chel xx

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  29. I'm with Chickpea and Evelyn - you absolutely ARE a feminist because you believe that women and men should have the same freedoms and choices, and you are championing the cause by bringing it to the attention of all your readers. Hooray and well done! The fact that your husband supports you financially doesn't diminish that. xx

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  30. Sometimes I do wonder at our own gender and how we "support" each other, I agree with Chel it's often down to insecurity and dare I say it jealousy. There's still a long way to go in equality terms but onwards and upwards as they say. Thanks for hosting and I'm pleased to be joining in for the first time this week Stephanie x

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  31. Dear Amy - Unfortunately you came across some men and women who in my humble opinion have not yet grown up - they have the mentality of the playground rather than that of adults. In fact many children have much more understanding of how to behave towards one another so perhaps I should not have sited that as an example.

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  32. Whether you are male or female you deserve to be treated with respect at all times and wherever you are. I'm sorry to hear that you were treated badly. Thanks for hosting the link up.

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  33. I so agree with you and here in Oz, they only did a survey not long ago and we are lagging way behind the rest of Western Society in having women in high positions. I try hard to just get along with life and let a lot of the media stuff not worry me (right), but everything is so in your face these days it's hard not to ignore. I'm also finding so many people downright rude and "impatient" and wonder if it is because everyone is so engrossed in their 'devices', that we are becoming a society bereft of proper human interaction? Enough and you take care and hope you're having a good weekend.

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  34. I wish I could say I'm surprised but I'm not . this behaviour is something we all as women seem to be experiencing more and more . It's so sad . it can change if we are prepared to challenge this behaviour but I'm afraid to say the older I get the more I just avoid those people .

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  35. I agree with some of the others that perhaps this wasn't a sexism thing. The women simply sounded rude and maybe even a wee bit jealous, and perhaps the men were just done talking and were listening to the conference. At least, I hope so!

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  36. I'm sorry to hear that your day was spoilt by these incidents. It was all so unnecessary. Hopefully you can put it behind you and not take it to heart. Thanks for your messages, I'm so behind. Have a good week x

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  37. Isn't it shocking when it happens. I went to a conference at the Uni I used to work at. I was very junior compared to the other people there - but no one else from where I worked could be bothered going and I wanted to improve teaching. Not one person spoke to me. I was so shocked that people higher up only bothered talking to those who could "help" them. I just sat there took notes and left at the break (thankfully the bit I needed was on first). Taught me a lesson, I can tell you!

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  38. It is so horrible when women do not support women, you don't have to agree on an idea but you should be respectful. I recently viewed some photos of different governments, and corporations with the men removed from the photos, it was startling to see just how few women there were in high level positions. When my middle son was younger he was on a T-ball team that was coached by my husband. Only the organization changed our practice time so I had to coach. Do you know when my husband was there all the men came out to help, but when he wasn't they did not help me! I had help from one man only and they were family friends. It was appalling. That was 14 years ago but I doubt it has changed.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  39. I live this every day. Woman are poorly represented in Law in this country, however much of my work is international including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, they are very definitely male dominated environments. I have many amusing antidotes but actually it is ridiculous. The disappointment, as you say, is the unsupportive attitude of other women. Sorry I missed Five On Friday, it was such a busy week I ran out of time xx

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  40. I am so glad you're not letting such treatment get to you--I am stunned at your experience. I have worked in mostly male-dominated fields, and have certainly met a few condescending men, but usually the other women are supportive. WOW.

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