Tackling the misconceptions and worn out popular fallacies concerning the issue of gender based discrimination is an arduous and frustrating undertaking, exacting a huge social and emotional toll on women – and I should know. Challenging the status quo is an uphill battle; the bureaucracy is fully in place. However, the story details of my personal struggles as a woman working within the male dominated workplace can help to change the deep divide that I feel is still operating among the sexes today.
I have been trying to get my story out for years and have gone public in the past with marginal awareness. I feel that more women would speak out about discrimination within other male dominated workplaces were they aware of my story. I am dedicated to continuing with this blog site as a way to encourage others to speak out about this much overdue and complicated cultural problem. It is in my opinion that despite reports that say we have made it, along with the initiation of sensitivity/diversity training, policies and laws that are in place surrounding the issues of sexism in the workplace, the Boys Club is still alive and well and continues to exercise power of exclusion as it always has, where women do not feel safe voicing their struggles and ultimately suffer in silence.
The Boy’s Club is astute at disciplining those who speak out. Women are fearful which constitutes the core of the problem surrounding why women don’t speak out about harassment or speak up in support of other women. We have been this way for a long time and have learned to put up with it because if we do something about it there will be bigger consequences – backlash and repercussions. The organizations, companies and agencies that are required to support the rights and freedoms of women add another level of abuse by ignoring troubling attacks aimed at women in the workplace and continue to do nothing minimizing the harassment that is happening by stalling, ignoring, denying, among other dismissive tactics.
The male dominated workplace is the quintessential model for comprehending and analyzing gender discrimination, yet the discrimination that is happening to women, is an area in which even women’s groups will not go near. Despite the frequency of campaigns and rallies aimed to give credence to the progress of women in the workplace, many women continue to be marginalized, including myself. This adds to the hopelessness of an already hopeless situation when one realizes that even advocacy groups are hesitant to support women who are suffering from gender discrimination in the male dominated workplace.
If more women within the male dominated workplace could start and continue to speak up about their stories of discrimination, the general public would be astonished at the misogyny and harassment we have been subjected to and how prevalent and widespread this problem still is.
I challenge the notion of fear and the systematic oppression currently in place and will continue to speak out. I have realized there are many levels to the fear that some women feel – self doubt, fear of the men and the repercussions of speaking out. The worst fear is the inability to stand up for one’s self.
I will update this blog site regularly with topics for discussion drawn from my experiences. Please check out my proposal at http://www.kapipal.com/lianetessier. I urge people to help support this cause. Thank you