Monday, October 10, 2016

"Locker room banter"

Most of my career was spent working in male dominated spaces - the military and then 21 years in the mining industry. In earlier blogs I've written about those experiences. In the late 70's, women were far outnumbered in broadcasting. I was the second woman assigned to AFRTS in Greenland and the station manager was quick to let me know the "broad" in broadcasting did not stand for women. As he then put it, he "was stuck with me."
I never stopped encountering men who had similar sentiment. That manager, and others like him, actively sought to prove themselves right. They provide half the information required to do the job right and then revel in how successful they were in undermining the process. These are the "locker room banter" guys. These are the guys who take the men in the office on fishing trips, to sporting events, on hunting trips, golfing or have them over for poker nights. They share the "inside" information. They provide chosen ones (mostly men) with the fast track, the high profile assignments and wink or nod to overlook bad behavior. They are a "man's man".
Through the years I've worked with some great guys. Those years of experience helped me learn who I could trust at 3 am in the most deserted locations. The "locker room banter" guys were not in that category. If a person brags that they would or did do something denigrating, believe me - they would or did do something denigrating! Don't leave a child or a defenseless person with that person!!!
The guys I learned to trust would be called wimps by these "locker room banter" guys. They don't share the same predatory behavior. They don't need to put anyone down to feel better about themselves. They respect themselves and those around them - including women. I refuse to believe that "nice guys finish last". They are my heroes and always will be! Every woman should be saying the same thing in my mind. We will never be treated with respect until we set that bar. If we don't believe we are worthy of something better, we'll never have something better.
"Locker room banter" is a HUGE RED FLAG. READ IT for what it really is and what it really means.

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