In the hopes of not seeing the Brenda Seymour incident blow over as if that sort of thing is uncommon, and in hopes that enlightenment can change perpetrators’ ways, The Overcast is running a 2-part series in March and April about the subtle and overt ways people have been marginalized in the workplace based on their gender.
It’s clear from internet comments that a portion of the province can’t see the difference between “having a little fun at work,” or “being a jovial Newfoundlander,” and belittling a woman in the workplace. Share your own stories, and how they made you feel, at: https://theovercast.ca/lets-see-less-seymour-submit-your-story-of-a-time-youve-been-marginalized-in-the-workplace.
As an example: I once made the same point as a female co-worker to our boss; we’d both sent our boss roughly the same email and my co-worker was told she was being too emotional; minutes later, I was commended for being a frank, straight-shooter. The only difference seemed to be how our boss viewed being assertive as a man versus as a woman: I was frank and she was emotional?
“I once worked in a restaurant, and I was fairly new, so I was dependant on a more senior male co-worker for instructions and assistance. He was continually offering to show me pictures of his penis or videos of him getting a blowjob. He also offered to have sex in the freezer and asked if I wanted to see how big he was. I told him that I didn’t want to see that and to act professional. This went on for months until a relative convinced me to speak to my manager, she told him to stop. He told her he was only joking and that I shouldn’t be so sensitive. I was still uncomfortable so I quit.” – Anonymous Female
“The last time I bartended a guy ordered ‘shake your ass while you make my drink.’ My shoulders fell, my lips tightened, I put my head down as I quietly poured up his rum and coke, before returning with a cheerless “five seventy five.” It’s always bothered me how comfortable he felt making me feel so completely uncomfortable, and how absolutely normal this story is to every woman who has ever worked behind the bar.” – Kerri Claire
“One of my former bosses, a dirty old man who owns a local company, once stopped in the middle of a staff meeting to find out who I was and to compliment my looks. This was perfectly normal, apparently. He kept stopping every here and there to make off-colour comments on how pretty I was. I never felt comfortable working with him. He’s such a skeeze.” – C
“I’m a barista. Once a day some middle aged man will say the grossest ol’ come-ons to me about my looks, stuff like ‘do you come free with the coffee, wink wink.’ Just stop, I’m here trying to make money to pay for university and go watch bands on the weekends. I’m a human being. I’m not yours to get your kicks with. It embarrasses me in front of co-workers, and makes me feel awkward as all hell. I hate myself for biting my lip because that’s easier, and I love my boss, so I don’t wanna yell at his customers.” – Bb