Thursday, 31 July 2008

Tell me what I want - what I really really want

Babies, according to a previously-respected project manager I work with.

I know, who would've thought it would be so easy, so typical, so - uncreative? All that existential angst so quickly resolved...

This exchange took place last week, at a work do - and to provide context, I should, I suppose, add that it was hot, we were all guzzling white wine like water (it was sooo cold - yummmm), and said lecture took place after the sambuca and tequila shots had been cleared away.

Personally, I feel context makes no difference. We are us, when we are drunk, perhaps even more so. We are responsible for what we say and do. I resent that all my skill, talent, and bloody hard work has been reduced down to some stupid cliche. Again.

I probably should have just laughed at him. Or ignored him. But I really had respected this guy - so I tried to explain. I know, I know, but I am incurably over-optimistic (and I was not-quite-sober myself).

You don't need me to tell you my explanation fell on sodden ears.

I'm bummed out, but also angry. Bummed out, because I really want to think things are getting better, that the increase in women in the workforce is changing old perceptions, and that intelligence and hard work might actually mean something (I KNOW already - please - leave me my illusions!) and angry because - HOW DARE HE?

I cannot imagine being so personal with a colleague - I mean, it so happens that I am just-not-that-into the whole reproductive thing, for many reasons, but what if I wanted *babies* but was sterile? Or desperatly looking for someone to provide sperm? I mean, he doesn't know, does he? (oh dear - you don't suppose that was where that lecture was heading, do you? urg)

And the whole background assumption that I could not possibly be fulfilled without breeding. Not by my career (mind - this was at a work event where we were attending as fellow *ahem* equal professionals), my partner, my life as a female. Which is the crux of it - men my age do not get these lectures (I've been doing straw polls and mostly they laugh because the idea is so ludicrous).

And that I would need SOME MAN to tell me this. Which also begs the assumption that I must be very very stupid not to have figured it out myself. Misguided, I bet he would say. But hey, you know what women are like!

See? I'm still really pissed off about this one. It's simmering. I still have to work with this guy.


Geosomin said...

I think you should have proceeded to tell him about all the flaws in his character and how they're all based on the fact that what he really needs is a little woman to look after him because he is too useless to look after himself. What a twat.

God I hope he was being sarcastic. A few people I work with have (unfortunately) insinuated the same thing. Luckily I know them well enough to tell them to fuck right off and they've apologized after...the long argument I had with a former boss about how me staying home to look after and extremely sick J was ok...that I could use family leave for that. The fact that I had no kids to look after seemed to make me different...and more able to work overtime or put in extra hours on projects. The idea that that was a waste of my time unless I had little rotter's sneexing up the perverbial homestead was nipped pretty quick.

People tend to project what they want onto others...maybe he loves his kids too much or wants some of his own and figures everyone else does too. Yeah, that has to be it...because if he's just assuming you should have kids for all to be serene with you because deep down that is what all women want...well, that's fucking awful.

Now you've got me riled up...