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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Personally I think I initially size them up from an evolutionary perspective, determining whether or not they'd be a suitable mate-- this usually lasts less than half a second though, and I defer to British distance.

Bring cookies for your colleagues. Try to make friends. Invite them home for a weekend brunch or dinner with their families.

Good luck with your job.

My dear Lady, IMHO, many men are dieing of testosteroin poisening.

Your 'Field', might be an attractor for such fellows, or might offer a sancuary for more civil relating. While I am not privy to your details, I do hope you can establish reasonable boundaries.

Very few times have I been with only 'men' as a group. As a 'man' myself, but mostly nerdy, it has been very clear that alpha-males attempt to establish a pecking order rather soon. This makes little difference as to gender.

I don't think that a fixation on gender is healthy at all. Gender rolls are not compatible with personal freedom, you can not believe in both. Men can express themselves as femininely as they wish, women can express themselves in as masculine of a fashion as they wish, and any one who would interfere with that is certainly a communist/fascist pig. I would be myself if I was you, your gender is a meaningless identity, I have met a lot of people (male and female) who's entire identity is guided by what's between their legs, and it is always ugly. Any one worth your respect wont judge you by your sex, and any one who judges you by your sex is not worth your respect.

You should ask yourself, "How do I view men?"

and then take some time and ask yourself "Why?"      

What would you call a "fixation on gender"? 

Is believing in some basic sex roles a fixation? Women seem physically built to nurture (milk-producing breasts, softer bodies) and men more suited for protection roles. Is recognizing that natural difference somehow bad?

The fixation comes when your belief in basic sex roles morphs into obligations for other people. Some women make excellent leaders, some men are fine nurturers. It's up to individuals to find their own strengths and weaknesses. It is wrong to force a person out of being themselves so they can meet some pre-fabricated idea of who they aught to be based on their genitals.   

"......but I don't feel like an equal."

That's what I meant when I said you should think about how you consider men and why. Men and women may think different at times but there is more common ground and cross over then anything.  there was a time when women couldn't drive, vote, or fly a plane, but in each of these instances, the assumption of feminine inferiority was proven false. I think most of the differences between men and women are put there by society and the filth of religion. You have been made to view your self as inferior, and that is something to get mad about. You are an individual, and human being of value, don't let people stomp on that as a means of artificially inflating themselves, not for your sex, race, gender identity, or any reason.

My take on this is that groups of men are not homogenous. Your relationships with each individual will depend on you, on your circumstance with them, and how much time/exposure you have to each individual. 

I have a female friend that was the first woman to take the classes necessary to become a train engineer at a railroad company back in the 90's. 

She said the training was full of sexist terminology, but she didn't take offense to it. She got along well with her co-workers and became a train engineer, one of the highest paid union positions in the U.S. at about $100 an hour back then. Certainly the high pay probably influenced her to play well with others, but the same would be true of a man in the same position. That would get it close to gender-neutral, which is how she felt about it at the time.

So wife, girlfriend, mistress, daughter--none of the above. All the respect due a co-worker if they want to keep making the big money themselves. More if you allow it, but that is up to you.

She said the training was full of sexist terminology, but she didn't take offense to it.

"Okay, now to make the train go faster, shovel coal into that thing that looks like a gaping cunt. To slow the train, pull back on that thing there that looks like a stiff pecker."

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :P

a train engineer, one of the highest paid union positions in the U.S. at about $100 an hour back then.

Holy smokes.  I remember back in high school telling people I was going to become an engineer.  One of them actually thought I meant train engineer!  Maybe I should have taken the hint.

Personally, their gender has no bearing on how I view them. I view them according to their character

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