Author Topic: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch  (Read 4120 times)

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mspallaton

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 05:43:17 PM »
I will clarify just one thing since that's where a lot of the conversation has focused.  :-)

I am bothered by classifications of my husband as a 'wife', 'doing women's work' or similar things.  BUT - I know it isn't something people encounter every day so I tend to assume it is awkwardness and not malice to describe him that way.  Knowing it bothers me is why I was so happy when I realized I'd bean dipped properly.  I'm pretty sure that guy has no idea I was annoyed by his description and just thinks I wanted to talk about dessert instead... at least that's my hope. 

I know it is a button for me that isn't necessary rational.  DH's family likes to tease about things they disapprove of... so guess what their jokes have been about?   ::)  So when I started feeling annoyed, I knew it wasn't about that guy so much as the rest of things that he had nothing to do with. 

And Sophia:  it seriously is sweet, right?  I love that my husband stays home  ;D

Ceallach

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 05:50:36 PM »
I really dislike anything that assumes traditional stereotypes in relationships.   It's not like having a wife, it's like having a spouse.   You know, that partner in life with whom you share financial resources and household duties and parenting responsibilities.     Around here SAHDs aren't that unusual anymore.   I get that to some people it's still unusual, and that's where there automatic reaction is "wow it's like a wife" because in their mind there are set gender roles in a household.   It's a perfectly understandable reaction as society needs time to shift it's viewpoint.    But that doesn't mean it's right.   I don't think the guy was blatantly rude, but his comment was sexist regardless. 

Imagine if he asked what you did and you said "Oh I'm a lawyer" and got the response of "Wow, just like a man!"   clearly, that type of assumption that a role belongs to a specific gender is very outdated and old-fashioned.   Most people now except that women can do "man's work", so it should work both ways. 
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TeamBhakta

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 05:52:19 PM »
Part of the problem is that guy wouldn't ask a male he just met "So, what does your wife do ?"

JenJay

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 05:55:22 PM »
I will clarify just one thing since that's where a lot of the conversation has focused.  :-)

I am bothered by classifications of my husband as a 'wife', 'doing women's work' or similar things.  BUT - I know it isn't something people encounter every day so I tend to assume it is awkwardness and not malice to describe him that way.  Knowing it bothers me is why I was so happy when I realized I'd bean dipped properly.  I'm pretty sure that guy has no idea I was annoyed by his description and just thinks I wanted to talk about dessert instead... at least that's my hope. 

I know it is a button for me that isn't necessary rational.  DH's family likes to tease about things they disapprove of... so guess what their jokes have been about?   ::)  So when I started feeling annoyed, I knew it wasn't about that guy so much as the rest of things that he had nothing to do with. 

And Sophia:  it seriously is sweet, right?  I love that my husband stays home  ;D

I forgot to say this before - I think you handled it perfectly. You could always practice the head tilt and "How do you mean?" but it's probably not nice to back someone into a corner of awkwardness on purpose. Your response is the way to go  :D.

mspallaton

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 05:56:46 PM »
Thanks JenJay!!  I am not the most patient person on the planet so I was very proud of an actual, etiquette-approved response.  :)

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 06:04:33 PM »
I will clarify just one thing since that's where a lot of the conversation has focused.  :-)

I am bothered by classifications of my husband as a 'wife', 'doing women's work' or similar things.  BUT - I know it isn't something people encounter every day so I tend to assume it is awkwardness and not malice to describe him that way.  Knowing it bothers me is why I was so happy when I realized I'd bean dipped properly.  I'm pretty sure that guy has no idea I was annoyed by his description and just thinks I wanted to talk about dessert instead... at least that's my hope. 

I know it is a button for me that isn't necessary rational.  DH's family likes to tease about things they disapprove of... so guess what their jokes have been about?   ::)  So when I started feeling annoyed, I knew it wasn't about that guy so much as the rest of things that he had nothing to do with. 

And Sophia:  it seriously is sweet, right?  I love that my husband stays home  ;D

I forgot to say this before - I think you handled it perfectly. You could always practice the head tilt and "How do you mean?" but it's probably not nice to back someone into a corner of awkwardness on purpose. Your response is the way to go  :D.

Or alternatively:
Guy: "Oh, haha, it's like having a wife"
OP: [pause] *puzzled tone* "No, not really...[insert bean dip]"

JenJay

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 06:10:52 PM »
I will clarify just one thing since that's where a lot of the conversation has focused.  :-)

I am bothered by classifications of my husband as a 'wife', 'doing women's work' or similar things.  BUT - I know it isn't something people encounter every day so I tend to assume it is awkwardness and not malice to describe him that way.  Knowing it bothers me is why I was so happy when I realized I'd bean dipped properly.  I'm pretty sure that guy has no idea I was annoyed by his description and just thinks I wanted to talk about dessert instead... at least that's my hope. 

I know it is a button for me that isn't necessary rational.  DH's family likes to tease about things they disapprove of... so guess what their jokes have been about?   ::)  So when I started feeling annoyed, I knew it wasn't about that guy so much as the rest of things that he had nothing to do with. 

And Sophia:  it seriously is sweet, right?  I love that my husband stays home  ;D

I forgot to say this before - I think you handled it perfectly. You could always practice the head tilt and "How do you mean?" but it's probably not nice to back someone into a corner of awkwardness on purpose. Your response is the way to go  :D.

Or alternatively:
Guy: "Oh, haha, it's like having a wife"
OP: [pause] *puzzled tone* "No, not really...[insert bean dip]"

I pictured this literally, like the OP had a chip with some bean dip on it and just ate it slowly while looking at the guy as he sat there trying to backtrack. I should probably go get a snack. LOL

TootsNYC

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 06:44:41 PM »
Quote
Knowing it bothers me is why I was so happy when I realized I'd bean dipped properly.  I'm pretty sure that guy has no idea I was annoyed by his description and just thinks I wanted to talk about dessert instead... at least that's my hope. 

I know it is a button for me that isn't necessary rational.  DH's family likes to tease about things they disapprove of... so guess what their jokes have been about?   ::)  So when I started feeling annoyed, I knew it wasn't about that guy so much as the rest of things that he had nothing to do with. 

Y'know, look at you!

You totally rock.
I'm in awe. To have a hot button pushed--to recognize it, to realize it's likely to be more your button than his pushing, to gain control of the conversation and steer it--that's a huge accomplishment. I often can't do that--I think you very  much deserve to be proud of yourself.

(I sometimes, say, "I need a wife." I may have a based-at-home husband, but he's not like having a '50s-style wife.)

Mental Magpie

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2014, 04:11:54 AM »
I really dislike anything that assumes traditional stereotypes in relationships.   It's not like having a wife, it's like having a spouse.   You know, that partner in life with whom you share financial resources and household duties and parenting responsibilities.     Around here SAHDs aren't that unusual anymore.   I get that to some people it's still unusual, and that's where there automatic reaction is "wow it's like a wife" because in their mind there are set gender roles in a household.   It's a perfectly understandable reaction as society needs time to shift it's viewpoint.    But that doesn't mean it's right.   I don't think the guy was blatantly rude, but his comment was sexist regardless. 

Imagine if he asked what you did and you said "Oh I'm a lawyer" and got the response of "Wow, just like a man!"   clearly, that type of assumption that a role belongs to a specific gender is very outdated and old-fashioned.   Most people now except that women can do "man's work", so it should work both ways.

This.

To me, it's like saying to a man spending time with his children, "Oh, you had to babysit today?"

You do not babysit your own children.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

CakeEater

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2014, 09:16:39 AM »
I really dislike anything that assumes traditional stereotypes in relationships.   It's not like having a wife, it's like having a spouse.   You know, that partner in life with whom you share financial resources and household duties and parenting responsibilities.     Around here SAHDs aren't that unusual anymore.   I get that to some people it's still unusual, and that's where there automatic reaction is "wow it's like a wife" because in their mind there are set gender roles in a household.   It's a perfectly understandable reaction as society needs time to shift it's viewpoint.    But that doesn't mean it's right.   I don't think the guy was blatantly rude, but his comment was sexist regardless. 

Imagine if he asked what you did and you said "Oh I'm a lawyer" and got the response of "Wow, just like a man!"   clearly, that type of assumption that a role belongs to a specific gender is very outdated and old-fashioned.   Most people now except that women can do "man's work", so it should work both ways.

This.

To me, it's like saying to a man spending time with his children, "Oh, you had to babysit today?"

You do not babysit your own children.

Eh, I do. I describe both DH and myself as babysitting if we're doing kid care so that the other can go and do something for themselves. I babysit when DH goes off and does car things, and he babysits while I make cake. I don't get what's quite so offensive about that term.

OP, good bean-dipping. When I've tried it, I glance around me and come up with something completely lame about the first thing I lay my eyes on, like, 'So, uh, tablecloths, huh? How good are they?' And my conversationa partner looks at me like I have two heads. Impressive work!

cabbagegirl28

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2014, 01:43:58 AM »
I really dislike anything that assumes traditional stereotypes in relationships.   It's not like having a wife, it's like having a spouse.   You know, that partner in life with whom you share financial resources and household duties and parenting responsibilities.     Around here SAHDs aren't that unusual anymore.   I get that to some people it's still unusual, and that's where there automatic reaction is "wow it's like a wife" because in their mind there are set gender roles in a household.   It's a perfectly understandable reaction as society needs time to shift it's viewpoint.    But that doesn't mean it's right.   I don't think the guy was blatantly rude, but his comment was sexist regardless. 

Imagine if he asked what you did and you said "Oh I'm a lawyer" and got the response of "Wow, just like a man!"   clearly, that type of assumption that a role belongs to a specific gender is very outdated and old-fashioned.   Most people now except that women can do "man's work", so it should work both ways.

This.

To me, it's like saying to a man spending time with his children, "Oh, you had to babysit today?"

You do not babysit your own children.

Eh, I do. I describe both DH and myself as babysitting if we're doing kid care so that the other can go and do something for themselves. I babysit when DH goes off and does car things, and he babysits while I make cake. I don't get what's quite so offensive about that term.

OP, good bean-dipping. When I've tried it, I glance around me and come up with something completely lame about the first thing I lay my eyes on, like, 'So, uh, tablecloths, huh? How good are they?' And my conversationa partner looks at me like I have two heads. Impressive work!

Some people use babysit only for the male parent, i.e. the dad's just babysitting, but the mom is parenting. I've generally heard/seen it used as "You do fun things with Dad, but Mom is the parent who lays down the rules." However, as with many things, YMMV on this.


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TeamBhakta

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2014, 06:16:14 PM »
"what does your husband do", when the asker doesn't know you have one or not, sometimes has the implication of either "Your husband must be a bum you have to support. Otherwise you'd have quit your job when you got married" or "Your husband lets you hold a job ? He must be a lenient fellow or have so much money it doesn't hurt his pride you bring home a little paycheck. It's not like you're the breadwinner anyway, har har! You probably just blow it on shoes or hair appointments." Those kind of opinons being more common in my great grandmother's generation than mine, obviously

Mental Magpie

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Re: Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2014, 04:48:31 PM »
I really dislike anything that assumes traditional stereotypes in relationships.   It's not like having a wife, it's like having a spouse.   You know, that partner in life with whom you share financial resources and household duties and parenting responsibilities.     Around here SAHDs aren't that unusual anymore.   I get that to some people it's still unusual, and that's where there automatic reaction is "wow it's like a wife" because in their mind there are set gender roles in a household.   It's a perfectly understandable reaction as society needs time to shift it's viewpoint.    But that doesn't mean it's right.   I don't think the guy was blatantly rude, but his comment was sexist regardless. 

Imagine if he asked what you did and you said "Oh I'm a lawyer" and got the response of "Wow, just like a man!"   clearly, that type of assumption that a role belongs to a specific gender is very outdated and old-fashioned.   Most people now except that women can do "man's work", so it should work both ways.

This.

To me, it's like saying to a man spending time with his children, "Oh, you had to babysit today?"

You do not babysit your own children.

Eh, I do. I describe both DH and myself as babysitting if we're doing kid care so that the other can go and do something for themselves. I babysit when DH goes off and does car things, and he babysits while I make cake. I don't get what's quite so offensive about that term.

OP, good bean-dipping. When I've tried it, I glance around me and come up with something completely lame about the first thing I lay my eyes on, like, 'So, uh, tablecloths, huh? How good are they?' And my conversationa partner looks at me like I have two heads. Impressive work!

Some people use babysit only for the male parent, i.e. the dad's just babysitting, but the mom is parenting. I've generally heard/seen it used as "You do fun things with Dad, but Mom is the parent who lays down the rules." However, as with many things, YMMV on this.

I see it is definitely a tone thing, in which it implies exactly what cabbagegirl28 described.  CakeEater, I can see that is not what you mean in the way you use it.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.