Thursday, 21 August 2014

A traditionally Post-Feminist Dichotomy

Before continuing, I'd just like to let you know that I am wearing a NATO issue kevlar helmet and flak jacket, and throwing rocks at me isn't going to work, so you may as well not bother.

It's a deeply held belief amongst men that no matter how hard you try, you will never understand 'Women'.  I agree, to an extent, in fact I'd go further... I'd say that no matter how hard you try, you will never understand 'Other People'... But forget I said that last bit, because I'm lazy, and we're talking about women, and given the option between a cheap shot and a cogent argument, I'll take the banana skin and the comedy trombone noise every time.

I work in an office, a head office in fact, for a company that describes itself on its internal motivational posters as 'Lifestyle and Image Consultants', but everyone else just calls us hairdressers of course.  And if you've been reading this sorry excuse for a blog for any length of time, you'll know who 'we' are and will have some idea of the high calibre of our rank and file employees.

Hairdressing, traditionally, is the domain of the fairer sex.  In our office and in our salons there are at least ten women for every man (In a statistical sense at least, they don't apportion them out to us at the Christmas Party or anything... Well, they didn't at the last one I went to, although I did leave early.) The only place that this isn't the case is the management team, where it's pretty much a 50/50 split. Our MD is also a woman.

In fact, the only place where women are outnumbered by men is, you've guessed it, the IT department. The woman/man ratio in there currently sits at about 1/5 - I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

We also have a fair old selection of people (in fairness, mostly people of the male persuasion) whose sexuality is... erm... How does one put it delicately these days? Ah, not alligned with their more traditional biological gender role.  And they mostly tend to be of the sub-genus Extravagantisimous fabuloso, if one catches my drift.  Which, of course is both perfectly fine by me, and at the same time none of my business.  Some of my closest friends are in relationships where their dangly bits won't fit together without taking a long run-up. (Apart from the occasional accidental vacuum lock between females, obviously)

There's a pretty heavy 'Empowerment' vibe running through the entire business too, people are expected to lead from the front and so forth, manage risk, take responsibility for themselves and follow interminable new pop-management doctrines passed down to us by our colonial overlords on a weekly basis without sighing and having a bit of a scoff under their breath in the kitchen.

What I'm really saying is that 90% of the job roles are filled by people with feminine characteristics. And of that group of people, 90% are fully empowered, they perform their given duties with equal, if not greater efficacy than a more masculine person would, as you would expect in these modern times. Most of them are rightly proud of their achievements.

So, my question is... On the few times a year that we have a delivery of half a ton of new promotional material (leaflets, posters, cut-out boards etc.) which gets dumped on the ground floor and requires manhandling up the stairs to the main office, because there is no lift, where does everyone disappear to?  It's like the skirting board opens up and swallows them all.  Do they hide in the cupboards? Does this magical bodily synchronisation that they all keep banging on about kick in and they all trot to the toilet en masse? How do they all re-appear once they hear the sound of the last heavy box hitting the luxiourious axminster flooring like a flock of self-righteous starlings?

Believe it or not, I didn't get into IT for the myriad box-moving opportunities.  No! It was for the fame and constant glamour!

Men and Women, 100% equal?... Yeah, right up until the point where they encounter something heavy, or sticky, or smelly... Or an earwig.

Pah! If you didn't all smell so nice I'd have nothing to do with any of you.

Yes, I have used the word 'Traditional' rather a lot, that's to subconciously con you into thinking that I'm all modern and forward thinking... But I'm really not.

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