I've been wanting to ask the men of TA this question for a while, but couldn't come up with the right wording to make it sound right....

So.....fuck it. I'm just going to ask you straight out.

How do men see women?

(Example) If you meet a new female co-worker, do you automatically categorize the woman as being like your wife, girlfriend, mistress, daughter, or some other female in your life? Do you then treat her accordingly?

The reason I'm asking is because I'm about to do something totally crazy. I'm entering a field where I may be working with ALL men. Less than 1% of women in this field. Why? Because I'm a crazy girl.....so. I need to know from a guy's perspective how to relate with them. I'm used to the "corporate world," and I can play that game. I'm also familiar with law enforcement, where things are a little rougher, but there was still plenty of women that I worked with. But I've never been the ONLY woman, (or one of the only women.) Maybe I'm freaking out over nothing....very possible. But, for what it's worth I thought it would be fun to discuss how men see women. And, any advice you guys have would be welcome. I'm fearful of men right now, but I know it's an irrational fear. I know that. But the opportunity I have in front of me could put me in the 6 figure range income-wise. I'm willing to do what it takes to overcome this. Any help/advice is welcome.

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I work in engineering and consultancy, a technical branch that is still primarily a male environment, although more women enter the field every year.
As a guy (and stricktly speaking for myself) I seem to automatically categorize women I meet by attractiveness. However, after that, I don't find myself treating them differently (than other women or than men). And as I get to know their personality better, I start treating people (men and women) accordingly.

I would assume that in the field you are about to enter, men will first be somewhat uncomfortable with your presence, because you're not only a women but also a colleague. So they probably won't whistle, leer, make comments as they might do to a woman passing by that they will probably never see again, but they also won't be sure what kind of jokes they can afford to make amongst each other (and you). I think that as they get to know you, they will be able to assess what they can and can't do, releiving the uncomfortable situation, and before too long you may be joking along with them. (Unless there are real assholes amongst them, but you'll have those in every field of work).

As an example: one of my colleagues was the only woman on the workfloor. Usually, me and my (male) colleagues would joke amongst each other, and sometimes those jokes could be inappropriate (well, let's face it, most jokes were). However, our female colleague was sitting right next to us, and one of my male colleagues didn't want to make inappropriate jokes in front of her, so he tried to either keep it down, or get us to get coffee with him, so he could still tell his joke. My other colleague, who went to college with her, knew she could be just as bad as us, and wouldn't take offense, so he just joked on in her presence, and occasionally she would join in as well.

I hope this helps.
From what you're saying, it sounds like if you do you job well (meet the requirements, don't slack and rely on others), you colleagues will see you as a valiable co-worker first. Beyond that I think you can be yourself without falling out.

Btw, just curious; do they give different requirements for men and women entering the field? Or is it "if you meet the requirements, you're in, otherwise you're out, regardless of gender?

I have always viewed every woman I meet that I have found attractive as a potential sexual partner.

I learned very early on that having sex with people I work with is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

I kept all my sexual pursuits away from my job.

Good Luck.

Or waitress at a Truck Stop.

Lots of opportunity there.

Belle, a few years ago I saw words that said women's views of men change by age. It described four or five views, which differ by the decade of a woman's life.

I recall only two parts; one that said young women fear men and a final part that said old women ignore men. The parts in between described attitudes of women in their middle decades. I found the whole piece insightful, humorous, and sutbly critical. I would like very much to see it again.

You wrote above that you are fearful of men right now, but you know it's an irrational fear.

Your fear might be rational.

Recently a woman told me that many women fear that men might kill them. I had said something about my fearing women's ability to hurt me by using what I had told her, perhaps even long ago. She replied that many women fear that men they know might kill them. Unhappily, the occasion of our exchange of views did not allow an extended discussion.

About 25 years ago I was working at a phone hotline where I learned the three phases of male behavior by which a woman might know if a man in a relationship with her might be violent, and how she might know if his violence will increaase. As I recall the phases, they are:

1. He will isolate her from her family and long-time friends, people who might protect her.

2. His violence will at first be verbal.

3. He will express great regret, apologize profusely, and promise to change.

She might believe his promises, and his violence might increase.

I remember the call I took from one young woman who said she feared her boyfriend. I told her the above three phases and she recognized them. I have since then hoped that she protected herself.

Even though I don't know a lot of people, I still know women who've been abused by both acquaintances and strangers. One of them barely escaped a stabbing. It's statistics... it happens, and the fear is rational, especially if you've already been a victim.

I wanted my daughters to learn martial arts, not just for defense, but for confidence. (They've never needed it, even though one daughter's been stalked a few times.) But constant fear has its own mental/physical costs, so keep finding ways to add confidence.

Why do you think it might be rational?

Belle, I thought your fear might be rational because, 18 hours ago, you had not yet identified the kind of men you would meet or the circumstances in which yada yada yada.

1. He will isolate her from her family and long-time friends, people who might protect her.

2. His violence will at first be verbal.

3. He will express great regret, apologize profusely, and promise to change.

I briefly dated someone whose ex had done precisely this (with some added twists).  It's a systematic program to "break" a formerly independent woman.  It was done so carefully, it's like these turds go to "abusive husband" University.  Once she had their first kid, he knew he could step up the pressure; in fact it really did not begin until then; he was almost prince charming before then.  I had to wonder in the case of my ex-GF's ex-husband if his father had sat him down one day and said, "here's how you find, and break in a wife."  (He surely could not have learned by observation; many of the steps are before the first kid is born.)

Friend Zone?

Here is the answer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLMSf4afzo

In my field, it's all messed up. Because one minute we are in garrison environment, which is like office environment and then the next minute we are out in the field doing exercises where we all eat, sleep, and sh*t together and it builds camaraderie and a brother/sister type relationship, each willing to look out for each other with their own life. 

I'd say the two things a man likes most about a woman are physical courage and a sense of humour.  Men also appreciate straightforwardness, as they like to know exactly where they stand, i.e. in the friend zone.... lol.   It's courtesy.    

There are a great many men who feel their masculinity threatened by a strong woman. 

Belle, I've been doing hardball politics too long, and I've met too many folk who do BDSM, to let the following go by without comment:(

...it's a refreshing reminder that some men are strong enough to stand up for strong women :)

Men who stand up FOR strong women might be looking for dominant women. Men who stand uo TO strong women are looking for another kind:)))

Tom - "Men who stand up FOR strong women might be looking for dominant women."  - I suppose this might be true sometimes, but in the main, in my experience, men just respect a strong woman.  Also in my limited experience, the number of macho men who feel threatened by a strong woman is about 1 in 10. 

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