Tuesday, June 28, 2005

hope you are not offended ...

As a general rule, if you have to say “I hope you won’t be offended” before you say something, it is best to not say it at all.

Yesterday I was in a meeting in which the comment “I hope you don’t find this offensive” was repeated numerous times in a business conversation. Truth be told, I don’t know that I would have found any of the comments offensive had they not been proceeded by the disclosure that they may be inappropriate for my female ears. What I did find offensive was the continued reminder that I was not a man. I found it offensive that I was brought into the conversation for my assumed “women’s perspective.” I found it offensive that my expertise had less to do with my career and more to do with my understanding of how households operate.

News Update! I have a career. I work on par with men everyday and the strategies I am responsible for developing are not thought of as “women’s strategies”. I have a home but no one would ever accuse me of knowing how to operate a household. I like the color pink but I can still operate a complex remote control. I read business publications, I listen to the news, I can name more foreign leaders than our current president can. I cook but not very often and usually not without burning myself. I own an iron but not an ironing board. I don’t use “the rules”, I actually believe that the key to a good relationship is to treat the other person with respect and honesty. I don’t believe that there is any woman I know (working, stay-at-home mom, single, married or other) that fits into a mold of what a woman is like. I also don’t think then men can be classified this way either. Guess what…. they don’t all like sports, they aren’t only in it for the sex and they don’t all belch the alphabet after drinking a beer.

So! I hope you are not offended but get over yourself and if you want to know how a household operates, maybe you should go home and tell your wife that you need a woman’s perspective on what is needed to improve the home. I am sure she has a few things she has been trying to tell you for years.

1 comment:

Anandi said...

Wow, that's really annoying. Yes, I agree that "hope you are not offended" isn't a way to start a conversation at work. The other thing that bugs me is when people curse, and then apologize to me because I'm the only female in the room. Like it doesn't offend the other men, too? I hate that. (Why people are using foul language at work is an entirely different conversation...)

We're bummed to miss the fireworks, but our dogs have already started barking at the neighbors so it was probably a good call :)