Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beginnings, Morticia, and the rest of us

by Judith Evans Thomas

After reading Brenda's post I felt a longing for the beginning of my own feminity. I was raised by the ultimate feminist Mom who showed me medical texts explaining sexuality in all it's less than erotic forms. I think I was 10 years old when she brought them out. I was awed by the anatomical drawings and confused by what they meant. I marched down Fifth Avenue arm in arm with my college roommates and Mother ...bra -less to say. We are fee women. I still go bra-less but it's not so pretty.

After college and in the job hunting mode, reality took a different turn. Yes I had a degree and was oh-so-intelligent, but what got me my first job was my looks. Appleton Century Crofts Publishing. I was hired as the Administrative Assistant to the Publisher. Kiss my .... And what you might ask did that high flying job entail? Coffee, meeting annotation before computers existed and boss suggestions of more important meetings. Needless to say, I didn't last long.

But that job turned out to be the history of every job I got for the next ten years. Yes I had to be able to do the work but why was I hired over Sandy, Gena or Gail? Looks. It's a game I learned to play and I'm not proud of it. Not that I gave in to the Clinton-under -the-table stuff. More the hint of possibilty. And when the Boss figured out the possibility was an improbablity, the job seemed to evaporate. That was the time. And finally I learned to define my abilites by just that. Ugly Betty Rules.

What are your job experiences?


Tory said...

I've had all sorts of job experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I have to admit I've never had the, "Male boss who expected me to be his servant." Of course, not entering the job market till I had my Ph.D. helped on that score. Still, you make me wonder if it's something of a blessing never to have had good looks/ flirtation skills to rely on?

kathie said...

Nice post. Research in communications shows without a doubt people, even toddlers, respond to beauty--assigning all sorts of positive qualities to those people who embody a particular image of "good looking." So, although you might have played it up a bit, you prob. would have reaped an advantage anyway. My first evil boss was a man and asexual, for all intents and purposes. While adept at harrassment, none o fit was sexual in nature, thank God. My other bosses were women. But believe it or not, looks played as big a part for them as it would for men. NOt in a sexual way, but in terms of wanting people to project a part. image. Thanks for the post, very thought provoking.

Kristine said...

It's in the corporate world that I really learned the dynamics of males and females in the workplace. I'm an independent thinker who leans toward feminism, which is probably what got me in trouble.

I was unable and unwilling to fit myself into the female "mold" that was expected of me.

Perhaps that's why I'm a writer.