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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


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Working with boys

29 January 2008

I like my job. I like the guys I work with, I have no trouble working with guys. But sometimes they annoy me and make me feel insecure.


We all play our music via the networked iTunes. In theory, everyone can play whatever they like, as long as it is not too annoying. Every once so often, we all bring in a favorite Top 10 based on some theme. In reality, things are slightly different. My music mostly is met with scorn and laughter, especially if the artist is known to be gay or popular with gays. Not homophobic or really nasty remarks, but stuff like "Who the hell is playing this?" Stuff that can be played without remarks is indie, eighties and quirky (I have sat through the soundtrack of Sweeney Todd as well as through 7 (SEVEN) volumes of The Best TV Theme Tunes!) So I end up choosing stuff i think they will like but is still as close to my taste as possible. I know not to play Joni Mitchell, EmmyLou Harris or Indigo Girls. REM is allowed. Kaiser Chiefs is OK too and so on.

Another example.

One of the guys suggested a movie club. They all talk about movies all the time so maybe it would be fun if we all suggested a movie to see so we can discuss that when we are sitting around chatting. Good idea I said but can we really pick anything we like or should it be in line with the general taste? No, it could be anything you like. Needless to say, most suggestions are things like Star Wars, Spiderman, Transformers, James Bond, Night of the Living Dead, Batman etc etc. I asked what about stuff like Brokeback Mountain, Kramer vs Kramer, The Queen, la Vie en Rose etc. This was met with a general feeling of dismissal. I would not feel comfortable suggesting we all watch films like Sister My Sister or Portrait of a Marriage. Fantastic as they both are, the plot revolves around a lesbian storyline and I can already tell you what the response would be if the guys had to watch that! OK then, so just like the music choice, there really isn't a choice when it is not something they know they will like right away.

Yesterday, someone sent around the question: If you could have your wicked way with any fictional character, who would it be. The character, not the actress playing her.
Tricky one. Was I going to answer truthfully or give some random answer that I knew would not be laughed at? Suggestions made by the guys ranged from Xena and Daisy from Dukes of Hazard to some elf warrior from Lord of the Rings. All of them mainly pretty women. So I thought I would answer the actual question: what CHARACTER, not actress. My choices were CJ Cregg (if she was younger!), White House Press Secretary in West Wing, or Kim Legaspi, Kerry Weaver's partner in ER. I do not think the actresses are pretty or particularly attractive but I like the characters they play. Needless to say my choices were met with surprise and jovial laughter. "But they are old", "They are ugly", "You like grannies?". I explained again that the question was about the characters they played, not the actresses themselves. Nobody said: "but she is an elf" or "But she is a dumb blonde bimbo" when other suggestions were made by the guys.

So, it must be a girl thing. I went for the actual character, not for how they looked. Wrong choice. Next time I will just pick the music nobody will laugh at, the films everyone already likes and choose blonde bimbos with no character and big tits.

I don't mind working with guys but just sometimes I get really insecure when they make fun of some stuff I say, do or like. As if it has less value because it is 'gay' stuff. As if I only like certain films or music or women because there is something typically lesbian about it.

In 2 weeks time, another woman will start working here. I don't care if she is gay or not. I am just glad I am not the only woman here anymore. Now obviously I need to get on with her first before forming some kind of Sisterhood (see post below:-)

PS: JD thinks I am making way too much of a fuss about this. If they do not like the stuff I suggest, I should just say: tough shit, they are my choices, just like REO Speedwagon and Spiderman is your choice. They don't seem to mind that raving on about Transformers actually makes them look like little boys, rather than men. So why should I mind that listening to Indigo Girls makes me look like a lesbian if that is what I am?


Kristel said...

Jane is a wise woman!

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