It is a mans world.

I love men.
Some of my best friends are men.
Yet sometimes… I hate men!

These feelings of anger and animosity,
were first felt when I was very young.
My brother had a gang.
Each member was a super hero.
He was Captain America.
Guess what?
No girls allowed!photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/5611499601/">woodleywonderworks</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Where I grew up children would gather in the evenings,
to play football.
Teams would be selected and named.
Guess what?
No girls allowed.

From an early age I was excluded,
for no other reason but that I was a girl.
I was a good footballer,
better tree climber,
and would have been a great super hero.
But I was not given a chance.
I was a girl!

I went to school,
and our school was split into two.
A boys school, and a girls school.
Even at a young age I could not understand why?
Why could girls and boys not go to school together?

As I grew up I was greatly influenced by my mum.
She was a very strong individual.
“Never run after a man or a bus there is always another one coming”,
was what I learned.
Despite all the put downs over the years,
with a mum like mine,
I grew up with the firm belief that women and men were equal.

I married and moved to Cork.
When we bought our house,
I took quite a few of my memories from home with me.
Including my swimming medals and trophies.

As our friends called to our new home,
we would proudly show them around.
The collection of medals and trophies,
were stored in a bedroom.

Without exception every visitor who saw them remarked,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/livingitupwithus/8010983297/">liveitupwithus</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-
“Wow Kearney, didn’t know you had won so much”.
Or “Fair play to you Kearney, that’s some haul”.
It was of course my husband they were referring to.
Certainly no one ever suspected me, a woman, could have won them!

It was only on closer inspection,
when they would see a swimmer on the medals, not a footballer,
that they would be aware of their mistake.
My husband on the other hand often led them on,
in the hope they would not look too closely.
Delighting equally in their mistake and my indignation.

As time has passed I have mellowed slightly,
and I am not quite as quick to argue if I feel put down because I am a woman.
However recently I am afraid I couldn’t resist.

I was at a work meeting.
In attendance
there were two men who I regularly deal with,
and one other gentleman who was there as an adviser.
As the meeting began,
without hesitation Mr Adviser turned to me and said,
“Tric I thought you would take the minutes”.
WTF? Me?
I could sense the other two men fidgeting,
they were possibly smiling too but I didn’t look over.
Before I could think I heard myself saying aloud,
“What?”,”Why me?”, “Why did you ask me?”.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepemichelle/3645213452/">mpujals</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

The poor man was a bit taken aback to say the least,
at my unexpected outburst.
I have no doubt at all that he meant no offence.
In the room he had clearly seen,
three men and a woman secretary.
“Oh sorry” he said “I thought you would do it,
as I can’t and I didn’t think the boys here would be very good”.

I was speechless, which was probably a good thing.
At this point one of my male colleagues,
tried desperately to take the heat out of the moment.
He explained to Mr Adviser that it was only a casual meeting,
and after my initial indignation had waned,
I agreed to do a small bit of writing!

However that incident opened the door to many memories,
of past exclusions.
Things I was not allowed to do just because I was a girl.
Even though a great deal of time has passed,
since I was refused the right to be a super hero,
I have learned two things as a result.

1. It is a man’s world.
2. I will never get over the fact that it is a mans world!

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

photo credit: mpujals via photopin cc

photo credit: liveitupwithus via photopin <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-

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36 thoughts on “It is a mans world.

  1. I have the exact reaction about taking minutes…I am great at doing it, which might be why I am asked, but it might also be because I am a woman. Worse is kitchen related things. I clean up at home, and so I automatically do it at work, help out our administrator, but then in some ways it is “bad” because then I am not seen as a professional in the same way as the men, who do nothing! So frustrating.

    1. I hear you! I know I am particularly sensitive to it compared to some of my friends but it does get to me, especially as I have three girls.
      I do agree that it can dilute the way you are viewed professionally if you are “tidying up” in every which way, at work.

  2. I am almost sixty and not much has changed really. In high school I wanted to take shop because I wanted to build things but they forced me to take home economics instead. 😦

    1. Oh that is the pits. My children go to a mixed school and I do not think they are treated quite as badly as you and I were. Old wounds!

  3. I have five brothers. Two sisters. I was always sad that “the boys” got to do things I know I was good at, or would have enjoyed learning and doing. I was raised with others trying to convince me boys were different (better?) and girls had a place. I never accepted that. Though I still didn’t get to do what I wanted to do.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I didn’t want girl guides I wanted scouts. I wanted judo. I wanted football. In my family my brothers did not want any of these which killed me. I wanted my girls to understand they were as good as boys. The reality is they do not seem to feel as I do and are very happy just as they are!

      1. OHMYGOLLY! My girls are the same way. Girly through and through!!!! Though one did get her blackbelt and one did love horse back riding. I have a feeling when they are raising their kids, they will want the same thing though for their kids…opportunities not outlined by gender.

  4. Great post Tric nod nods.

    It is a man’s world indeed there still. I remember sooo many double standards … BLATANT ones … that it spins my head thinking of it still.

    So we fight ok. We change perceptions. It seems like a losing battle at times I know. But it CAN be done. Slowly we can change attitudes. They did are doing it here in the states where I live now. And it can be done back home too.

    I have learnt that to stand up for one’s rights is a good thing. We need not be rude about it…we need not be man-haters…but neither do we need to take a back seat.

    So I say fight. Fight Like A Girl. That is the BEST way.

    1. Yes i agree. The only thing is that as you voice this the collective voice of men is “Get over it, it’s all in your head!”. or they think” it is just women whining”.

  5. Well done Tric, you just keep on asking them why they think you should take the minutes. Make it awkward for them. At work I am one woman in a room of twenty men – and the most senior person present – but it is always my desk that people come to if they walk in the room, assuming I am the receptionist. It is now 2013 and this has been going on for over 20 years. Let’s just say, nobody who makes the mistake of assuming I’m the receptionist, makes that mistake a second time!

    1. Hee hee. I can imagine how awkward that would be! Sorry for the delay in my reply I just found you in Spam! I wonder in another twenty years will things have changed much.

  6. Love this: Never run after a man or a bus there is always another one coming. Smart mother! And you’ve brought back memories. Of my second corporate job, in which my good ideas in mtgs. were met with silence, only to be repeated by a male exec a few minutes later and applauded. Yikes. Never want to go back to those 20-something days. I am raising two boys who are being taught not to think of it as a man’s world. Wish me luck.

  7. I totally agree with this, yet still, like you, I am always taken by surprise, again and again, when it rears its ugly head. I have always tried my hardest to teach my 3 daughtersnto be kind and strong and independent women. It has been lovely to watch each of them to grow into this type of person and to watch them now model the same thing for their children.

    1. I do think the world in general has come a long way, however it can still be ridiculous at times to see it in action. I wonder what changes another fifty years will bring though.

  8. I believe there have been many mis-steps along our way in Western Civilization – the birth of a patriarchal society long ago has left so many markers on our DNA strands, I doubt mere legislation could erase our tendencies to behave in certain manners….
    That said, I’ve long been accused of being a female chauvinistic pig – If I’m seen as the official maid, laundress, and cook, fine, but by-gummy, I expect you to do all the heavy lifting, providing of the food to cook and defending of the family honor –
    Fair, is after all Fair – –

    1. lol. Two of my girls are like you and I can’t cope with it. They even say things like “That’s what men are for”. I do not know who reared them. I wonder sometimes do they just do it to wind me up.

  9. yeah me either. I make it my mission to make it a woman’s world and I have been known in a group setting to say, “Just because I was born with a vagina doesn’t mean I want to take notes for you.”

  10. How true… and you would expect some progress in this area after so many years. Yet, I still get comments like “a woman’s key responsibility should be to stay at home”.

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