Coversation with my guy best-friend about feminism: hiring male/female?

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  • blacksheep
    November 4, 2022 at 9:17 am #1116771

    I (31F) recently was having a conversation with my guy best-friend (29M) about his company’s hiring and requirements. He works in a fairly new company which has 6 people working in it so far including the founder and co-founder. There are four men (all in their mid to late 20s’) and two women (one in mid 20s and the other in 40s’) in the group. Since the company is new and are fewer employees the work responsibilities are assumed to be beyond what is stated in their “position”.

    The discussion was the women in her 20s’ who is a Marketing head doesn’t lift her finger in helping the other employees (read it as men) when they are doing physically challenging jobs. The employees (read as men) do not expect the same from the women in her 40s’ (who is administrative head) as she is “old”. My friend says we have to hire woman becuase in order to get funds/investments we have to show diversity (age and gender so far, achieved). If it was not the case we would/should hire employees who are physically strong (he said men) “becuase our company needs men”.

    Little background: my friend does not like the marketing head (women in 20s’) because she is bit too inconsiderate and self-involved and acts like she knows-it-all (according to what I heard). So I asked my friend 1) do you think she did not help you (other emplyees) with your job because she is a woman or because she is generally inconsiderate as person? Based on her personality, she would not do anyhting that is not listed as her job responsibilities. And told him to see it has her trait rather than gender (tell me if I missed the point). 2) Why do you expect other employees to do more than what they are paid for? just because you do it?

    And all the employees (read as men) who are doing these physically challenging work are doing because they see a benefit in it, for ex. the founder and co-founder are doing it becuase if not they have to pay more to hire people just to do that job (they do not have funds to hire people), my friend is doing it becuase he wants to work longer in the company and is sure to get a higher ranking position (once the company is established and is growing), as with the other I am not sure but may be he shares similar interests as my friend or he is doing it because he can not chose to ignore while some are working more than they are peid for and is considerate to join hands to reduce the work load (again I am not sure about this person).

    I was apalled by his thoughts and questions becuase I have known this friend for six years now and to realise he doesn’t get the point was bit disturbing/disapoointing. Was I expecting too much understanding from my friend? Among many things the thing that surprised me was he seemed to have no complaints about the company in expecting it’s employees to worker harder and longer because they are short on funds!

    November 4, 2022 at 11:14 am #1116773

    Well, okay.

    First this: “Among many things the thing that surprised me was he seemed to have no complaints about the company in expecting its employees to worker harder and longer because they are short on funds!”

    That’s totally normal and expected for a startup. I am not sure whether they’re self-funded or took venture capital or what, but yeah, in the early stages of a company it’s all hands on deck, and yes, normal for folks to do things that they’ll eventually hire more people for.

    This is pretty bullshit though:

    “My friend says we have to hire woman becuase in order to get funds/investments we have to show diversity (age and gender so far, achieved). If it was not the case we would/should hire employees who are physically strong (he said men) “becuase our company needs men”.

    That is an alarmingly sexist and ageist viewpoint.

    As for the Marketing Head not doing physical labor, like, what kind of labor are we talking about here? And are there other types of responsibilities she could take on so that she’s pulling her weight if she can’t or won’t do the heavy labor?

    Avatar photo
    November 4, 2022 at 12:07 pm #1116774

    It is disappointing when you learn a good/old friend is sexist and ageist. I have a college friends that I don’t see anymore unless it’s at a mutual friend’s event because I could no longer handle the things he said/thought about women. Like he’d even try to tell me — a woman — how all women think and whatnot. Hard pass.

    is right about the all-hands-on-deck mentality of most startups. I’ve never worked at one and have no desire to, however, that’s an expectation that can be made clear during the hiring and interview process. Plenty of job descriptions include language like “must be able to occasionally lift XX pounds” or even a catchall of “other duties as assigned.” Maybe she’s inconsiderate… or maybe this company has poor leadership.

    Regardless, your friend and the men he work with are sexist and ageist and I’d wager the culture where they work sucks with this prevailing attitude. Women are physically strong and capable. (If these men believe they aren’t, I don’t see why they’re then getting upset that the head of marketing isn’t helping.) Women in their 40s are not old or weak. Your friend doesn’t need to personally like his coworkers.

    Anyway, now you know more about your friend.

    Avatar photo
    November 4, 2022 at 2:47 pm #1116776

    I think you asked a really good question when you asked whether she was avoiding helping due to her personality or her gender. I might have taken it one further — when he said “our company needs men” I’d have asked why. Because at that point he either needs to spell out and admit to prejudice or realize he’s portraying himself as a moron.

    November 4, 2022 at 4:53 pm #1116779

    I’m in my 40s and I’m regularly hauling equipment around, packing cars and bumping events in and out. Funnily enough I’m often working with women up in their 60s who still give it a red hot crack as well (and I’ve also been doing it for so long I have a real eye for men who like to pretend they’re working hard but they’re actually just standing around trying to look important).

    Your guy best friend is a sexist dummy and he’s surrounded by sexist dummies. I’m sure the women have twigged exactly who they’re working with, I wouldn’t go an inch out of my way for them either. If it were me and they want to view me as physically incompetent due to sexism I’d be quite happy to let them haul shit around forever while I watch in comfort from my desk.

    November 5, 2022 at 8:13 am #1116782

    Agree with the others – your friend is being a misogynist twit.

    I just wanted to add that there could be other reasons the marketing person isn’t doing physical labor. They could have unseen physical issues that could be exasperated by doing manual labor. That shouldn’t be something they have to disclose. It’s also probably not a good use of their time.

    November 5, 2022 at 8:42 am #1116783

    Good point about it not being a good use of their time. This person was hired to be the head of marketing in a tiny company. Their job is to get the hype out there so the company will have customers. If they are doing all the marketing functions, they’re probably busy. What’s a more valuable use of an hour of their time: Generating leads, or moving cartons around?

    November 5, 2022 at 8:43 am #1116784

    PS: Ableist bullshit.

    November 5, 2022 at 1:35 pm #1116785

    I seriously question not only the integrity and misogynistic opinions he seems to but also his critical thinking capabilities. To think this is how he thinks the marketing lead should do her job basically explains it all. He’s a typical ego first man who thinks he knows what everyone does and how they should do it better than them. I bet this isn’t the first time he’s been overtly sexist in conversation with you. I know we’re always told to give others the benefit of the doubt but you don’t need to when there is no doubt left. “Women can’t even lift, but our hands are tied we have to hire women otherwise we’d lose funding, grrrr. I expect the 115lb marketing lead to throw heavy boxes around because I like to.”

    He seems threatened by the idea that other people have skills other than brawn.

    November 7, 2022 at 7:28 am #1116788

    Very interesting. No argument that someone who doesn’t want to lift heavy boxes shouldn’t have to lift heavy boxes.

    However… please ask your friend

    When there are meetings, who prepares the meeting room, makes sure there are supplies, the room is presentable?
    Who orders coffee or meals for those meetings?
    Who is expected to clean up said conference room after the meeting?
    Who is responsible for stocking the coffee room/kitchenette (if there is one)?
    Who is responsible for cleaning said kitchenette?

    I’m curious if dude thinks there is a magical set of elves that does all of this stuff while he’s hauling heavy boxes around? I’d be so so so happy if he said that he and his colleagues are each responsible for these items, but I suspect that the women in the office. Administrative head does not equal cleaning lady or secretary. But with that attitude, I’m sure they believe that’s what the admin is there for and since the marketing head isn’t doing those “women” tasks, and she isn’t doing the “men” tasks – clearly she’s not a team player.

    Bah. He sucks.

    November 7, 2022 at 1:25 pm #1116789

    Yeah, like I am all for equality and believe women should be able to do whatever jobs they want, including laborious ones if they want to. However, that is not the only “work” that needs to be done in ANY business. Even if this “start up” was construction work, that’s not what she is there for. She the effing marketing lead. He does indeed, suck on this subject and opinion. I’d say, keep him as a friend and play “devils advocate” to every stupid opinion he shares. That’s of course, if you have the energy and stamina and want to do that. Sometimes people can changes their minds. Sometimes it’s not worth your time, energy and brain cells when there are other people bringing better things into your life.

    November 9, 2022 at 9:10 am #1116792

    @Kate It’s a vertical farming company that grows salads for super markets. So the physical labour includes lifting heavy water jets, moving chambers, harvesting, moving the product (mentioned in the order of difficulties). These are few jobs, they recently a built a structure for expanding there growing area (so more chambers) and some of the work included installing shelves (cupboard) and etc.

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Coversation with my guy best-friend about feminism: hiring male/female?

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