Sexism issues?

The context of the thread is that someone is reporting sexism towards them that is causing them issues. And we have a poster saying “maybe, just maybe it’s you who is the problem.”

I cannot see how anyone can possibly interpret this in any other way, and I cannot see why that would not be seen as insulting. If someone brought up that they noticed black people being held at “an arm’s distance” because white people were afraid of racism, and someone replied “Maybe, and I’m just spitballing here, maybe they are avoiding you for a different reason,” that would clearly imply that they have a personal beef with them. It’s exactly the sort of thing people say in the Pit (albeit not usually in a bigotry-related context).

Sure, the poster in question has no past history. That’s a valid reason to just note “hey, this came off badly,” but I can’t see why it’s a reason to ignore the usual meaing.

I genuinely cannot see how this can be interpreted as some innocuous comment. And, yes, I did discuss this with a mod beforehand, which is why I am confused and disheartened.

When you threw the flag and I rejected it, you made your argument to me. This is how I responded, in part:

I just don’t read it the same as you do. I read what was written within the thread, for context, and I can see myself saying something exactly like what was said by Typo_Negative, meaning nothing snarky whatsoever.

I said this because I can think of several reasons why @Typo_Negative would respond as they did. Maybe there was jealousy over a promotion. Maybe there is just a visceral dislike between these people. The reason doesn’t have to be sexist. This is what I think @Typo_Negative was trying to suggest. We don’t mod-note posters for being artless in their comments.

@Aspenglow If it wasn’t a hateful comment, then it was a (very mild) personal attack (saying that the poster was in some other way worth avoiding). Either version is worth a modnote, IMO. And I’m saying that because the entirety of Cathy’s post makes it abundantly clear this is a whole-work problem, not a her problem. So singling out that one line to snark on seems sus - and yes, it is snarky, even if you wouldn’t intend such. Would you really have included the condescending “just spitballing here” phrasing in your version? Because that’s often used in a sarcastic “I’m not guessing at all, I’m totally convinced my proposed answer is correct” way.

Not everyone uses that phrase in a snarky way. I’m one who doesn’t, so it’s easy for me to see another person not intending snark. I tend to use the phrase as a way to soften a message or to signal that I’m open to being wrong about my conclusion.

Reasonable minds can differ and I stand by my action. Others will weigh in, I’m sure.

I didn’t realize there was condescention in that phrase. It’s ambiguous to me whether “just spitballing here” means he’s taking a wild guess or is being sarcastic and thinks the reason is obvious. If there was any condescention at all it would be the double “maybe”.

But then you know me…


I think it was absolutely hateful* (it was the spitballing part that really sold it). But I don’t think it was sexist or against any board rule that I’m aware of.

* What we call “hateful” down South might not be what everyone means by it. I seriously doubt that there was anything like hate involved.

If you think it was mean, there’s a rule against personal insults in that forum.


It was a little mean-spirited, but I don’t think it rose to a personal insult.

I would not say this is hateful or sexist or even necessarily an insult.


One thing I meant to point out because I think it lends context, is the second half of @Typo_Negative’s post.

@Quicksilver responded:

Do you work in the porn industry? If not, that’s inappropriate.

And @Typo_Negative replied:

Inappropriate is putting it mildly. It is enough for immediate termination.

This is not the response of someone being insensitive to sexism in the workplace who required mod-noting, in my view.

To me, it came across as an asshole thing to say. There was nothing in @Cathy967 's post to suggest that she’s an unreliable narrator, nor were her personal observations being used to support an argument that @Typo_Negative was countering. It was a bizarre little one-liner that was just there to say “have you considered that maybe you have some odious personal problem, like you smell or something?”

I think perhaps there was some confusion because Cathy said “men avoid me (and women)” and I think she meant “men avoid me, and other women”, not “men avoid me, and women avoid me”. That would be a weird comment, and make me wonder if Cathy had some issue, but I wouldn’t call her on it.

I mean, how is Cathy supposed to respond to the comment? “I have noticed men often avoid interacting with me the way they do with each other and it hurts my career” “Really, maybe you are ugly or smelly or otherwise odious in some way” That’s just a jab, with no reason for it. She can’t defend herself.

“Spitballing”, in this context, does not mean “launching spitballs at a person”, if that’s what you were thinking. It means approximately the same thing as “brainstorming”. I don’t see how that could make the post any more offensive.

I think the point is it was pretty clearly meant to be flippant. Making a point of saying it flippantly aggravates it somewhat, IMHO.

Exactly. Like replace it with “This is just a wild guess, but maybe it’s just you as a person are deeply unlikable” and it’s clear that the first part is flippant.

I didn’t read the remark as an insult, although I see how it could be interpreted in that way. I read it as saying that there are many things that could cause the problem, sexism is only one of them and you shouldn’t discount the others. It could be interpreted as saying the other causes are your bad personality, but it could equally be interpreted as saying the other causes are competitiveness, jealousy, interoffice squabbling, etc.

Perhaps not the way I would have phrased it, but IMO it’s not on its face a hateful comment.

As this thread title works as a insult, like the pit threads use to. I think it needs to be changed. @BigT, please give us a more neutral title that satisfies you but I’ll be changing it soon as a place holder.

Yes, this was my perception exactly.

Given what Cathy had posted, especially the inappropriate remarks she listed, jumping to “maybe there are other problems” is just peak whataboutery.

It’s of note that that part isn’t actually a response to Cathy, and I’m not arguing for sexism, anyway, I’m arguing for personal insult.

No, some people are just never going to accept that these type of things exist and blame the people who receive them as being ‘unlikable.’ Can’t fix that. Trust me, I am likable but front end sexism…I never asked for that BS.

Yee hall :wink:

First, many industries remain male-dominated and unfriendly to female employees demonstrating the same ambition or aggressiveness of their male counterparts (I realize this is a generalization and that someone will cry foul, but there’s endless surveys, research papers, studies, anecdotal evidence, and on and on, showing that is is still the case).

Second, there remains a feeling among women (understandably) still that there is a “limited” number of opportunities available to us and that we must fight other females for a limited number of them. This comes from hundreds of thousands of years of living in a world where women were not allowed to work, frowned upon if they did work, or treated horribly. It will take more than a couple of decades or even centuries to completely change this.

Adding one here: ambitious women who aggressively pursue their careers often suffer a huge backlash, and get harshly judged by BOTH other women AND men.

In male dominated workplaces especially women are ignored and oftentimes not given high-impact work. You tell me if this is a ‘likable issue’ or simply implicit bias. Literally every one of my jobs there are men saying ‘it’s because you’re a female’ or ‘you’re a woman so you have to work three times as hard as your male colleagues’ or 'do you want to do the cleaning job? Literally these have been said to my face, and, to be honest, the thought of being a female DOESN’T even cross my mind when I’m working, nor do I care. Am I making this up? Absolutely not. I have seen it whole-handed myself how women are ignored at work because they are the minority. Some offices also group women into one side of the room, and men on the other. How are you supposed to work when y’all are split because of your gender.