Workin’ 9 to 5 (…and how your eyes open as you get older)


I’ve been noticing the overlap of the workplace and the 2016 elections so much lately. With that, here are a few items I’ve read recently that have resonated with me in a recent article about women in the workplace, and how Sanders has attracted the votes of many of the younger, less experienced voters who haven’t yet been through what Hillary Clinton’s generation has been through (or whose mothers were not old enough to have dealt with getting beyond the steno pool), or even Anita Hill’s. While I’m not against Sanders, I’m not convinced he’s the one. I’m seeing hero worship and I’m seeing another old white guy talking down to women as if he’s the ultimate feminist, even though he wrote an essay about women fantasizing about being raped, even though I’ve watched him repeatedly talk down in that mansplaining way that I’ve seen played out over and over and over again in workplaces. I can’t support that, and because of that I can’t possibly imagine him negotiating with world leaders – in particular, women (or anyone who disagrees with him). Same goes for the other party.

The quotes below are from the New York Times article, Hillary’s Office Politics, published on 2/21/16:

“More time in a sexist world, and particularly in the workplace, radicalizes women.”

The older I get (I’m 42), the more of the sexism and creepy treatment that happened in my past really aggravate the hell out of me. The things that happened that if it happened to me today would result in some serious shit coming their way from me. I have more confidence now, and don’t feel like I have anything to lose for calling out the kind of behavior I have seen way too much of, and that so many women I know have dealt with. And I’ve watched how hard it was to get qualified women in the door, how they were offered the lowest pay in the range while slightly more qualified male candidates would somehow get hiring managers to go well beyond their established pay range and not pay the same level of salary for the same level of work.

“Managers would remark that they wanted “more women” and proceed to reject qualified candidates. (Similar dynamics took place with minority candidates.) There were always reasons — not the right cultural fit, not the right experience, a phenomenon of unintentional sexism now well documented in controlled studies. I watched as men with little or irrelevant experience were hired and promoted, because they had such great ideas, or they fit in better. “We want a woman,” the conclusion seemed to be, “just not this woman.”

Watching a primary election in which an eminently qualified woman long assumed to be a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination faces a serious challenge from an older, less experienced white guy with exciting ideas, many women my age and older hear something familiar, and personal, in the now-common refrain about Hillary Clinton: “I want a woman president, just not this woman president.

Most of that is the result of specifically feminist achievements unthinkable a century ago: an open door to college and law school; a bank account and credit card in my own name; easy access to birth control, which not only made it possible to delay marriage and childbearing but also made it mostly unremarkable to be an unmarried, childless 32 year old; a culture in which women are expected to have identities outside of “wife and mother.” Even my own resentment at the sexism I’ve experienced can be articulated, described with specific terms, because of decades of feminist activism. These are huge successes. The world is a better place for women who graduate from college today than it was when Hillary Rodham was featured in Life magazine for her anti-establishment commencement address at Wellesley in 1969.”

2 thoughts on “Workin’ 9 to 5 (…and how your eyes open as you get older)

  1. This election makes me want to take a really long nap every time I think about it. I am pro Bernie, but I don’t see him as a God or anything. I remember the same worship happened with Obama (who I voted for) but it creaped me out then, and it creaps me out now. Blind worship.


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