Double standard for men?

  1. 1 Has anyone else noticed that situations or topics deemed "innapropriate for women" are fair game for men in nursing school? For instance, and I could write for hours, in clinicals the women jokingly asked to try catheter insertion on me in the presence of the instructor who smiled. I've also been asked in class, also in the presence of an instructor, whether I "could hurt the baby" due to being well endowed. It doesn't really bother me because it's a joke and the offense doesn't really get under my skin. However, it's a blatant double standard that might get a man kicked out of nursing school (or any other school for that matter) and yet instructors and students alike laugh innocently as if all is normative.

    This does cause me to ask a few questions. Do you think that in women dominated fields that a blatant double standard exists or is this peculiar to nursing? Do you think that instructors in nursing are less likely to see the normal boundaries that would be readily apparent in male dominated career paths? Am I the lone guy that has had this happen or is this systemic? Oh yeah, does it bother any of you?

    I'm really not going anywhere with this other than I'm really curious what you think. Let me know.
  2. Visit  grpman profile page

    About grpman

    Joined Feb '11; Posts: 170; Likes: 148.

    29 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Floridatrail2006 profile page
    1
    I haven't felt that there is a double standard. I think there is a different type of joking in healthcare that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate in any other context. I've joked about suppository problems while at the dinner with my gf (also a nurse). In class, we talked about nursing today. Apparently, because I'm a man in nursing, I'm gay according to patient perception. We got a good laugh in class. Not that we were making fun of gay people, just laughing at the assumption I suppose. I have felt a double standard but I suppose it would arise here and there simply because there are many more women than men in the field.
    spectrabrite likes this.
  4. Visit  grpman profile page
    0
    Thanks for the reply and it is interesting to see other people's insight on the subject.

    I understand joking about things we encounter and there is a different type of joking in healthcare. We all do it. But unless the suppository joke had a gender specific twist in the presence of many students or an instructor, it might not be what I'm talking about.

    You say, "I have felt a double standard but I suppose it would arise here and there simply because there are many more women than men in the field." My question is should it matter? If there are many more men in a field than women the men can't use the same excuse.
  5. Visit  Kiwiguy profile page
    0
    Sometimes it sure does feel like there is a double standard in classes. But then again when you have a profession that only has about 10% being guys, you expect some type of double standards to come up, but its mostly because guys and girls are so different. I think its mostly from the other students and to a degree from some lecturers not knowing how to handle us guys, and I dont mind it though personally.
  6. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    0
    I don't think the types of remarks you have described are fair. I work with male nurses and haven't witnessed these types of remarks in the work place but I think they are certainly inappropriate and if it was men singling out a woman in class there would be a stink made.Is the instructor approachable? I would certainly speak to her if she was.
  7. Visit  grpman profile page
    0
    Quote from loriangel14
    I don't think the types of remarks you have described are fair. I work with male nurses and haven't witnessed these types of remarks in the work place but I think they are certainly inappropriate and if it was men singling out a woman in class there would be a stink made.Is the instructor approachable? I would certainly speak to her if she was.
    Thanks for the reply. Your experience is that in the workplace this isn't happening. Maybe that is because the penalties could be higher in that setting. Also, it doesn't bother me so I won't be speaking to any instructors which may have some reason as to why there is a double standard. Maybe it is as simple as men, for the most part, not minding it as much as women. That would mean there are no complaints. No complaints mean everything is okay?
  8. Visit  butterfliesandzebras profile page
    3
    Quote from grpman
    I've also been asked in class, also in the presence of an instructor, whether I "could hurt the baby" due to being well endowed.
    Umm, how is it these lovely girls, including the instructor, are privy to the fact you are well endowed? Or was that just a general question, obviously meant to embarrass you, just thrown out there? Either way, it's all about timing; if you joke around with a female student today, she's cool with it, but tomorrow, either post or pre-test stress, she is looking to hang u by the balls! They are loose canons, just avoid such joking altogether, don't get wrapped up in their webs.
    Tuesday17, PMFB-RN, and Sturmgeist like this.
  9. Visit  Loque profile page
    0
    I don't think I've been subjected to double standards yet, however I have noticed a couple of differences between male and female interactions with professors:

    - I feel like males are sometimes held to a higher standard, but necessarily a double standard. I have felt that sometimes the questions asked of me, and when tested, I am given more difficult material. It would be like a female gets a Jeopardy Question of $200, and I get a $500 dollar one during a lab procedure or check-off. It's not a huge problem, but interesting.

    - This I also don't really mind, but some of my professors joke around with me alot and 'bust my balls'. It's never never downright insulting or harmful, but they poke fun at me occasionally. I set myself up for it, and I actually dish it right back, but it's interesting how our exchanges are never on the same level as female students.

    Just something to think about.
  10. Visit  Sturmgeist profile page
    1
    I have seen some double standards for men. However, it is usually "Oh good, you have men in your group...we have a few patients that are perfect for them" (read BMI of 40+). When I hear that I looked at my clinical instructor nurse and said something like "I will be more than happy to help reposition any patient, but I do not want to be assigned a patient based on their BMI and my strength." I only had to say that once and the nurse who said it looked embarassed and said "Oh, I was only joking...." and walked off. My nurse instructor said "And that is how you handle that...never allow yourself to be pushed into taking the patients that no one else wants b/c they are heavy etc." As for the catheter jokes...we have had them all used on us. The perfect come back line is "Sure, as long as I get to practice on one of you!" Everyone laughed and that was that.

    Butterfliesandzebras said it best though. The best bet is NOT to get wrapped up in joking around like that. Even if everyone in your group finds it funny and is okay with it. The way sexual harassment laws are nowadays, if someone overhears your joke (not a part of your group) and finds issue with it...you could be in trouble. Or if someone in your group was fine with it at the time, but many days, months etc...later is not...guess what? TROUBLE. Be careful.

    One of your comments really bothered me. It was the one that said "I've also been asked in class, also in the presence of an instructor, whether I "could hurt the baby" due to being well endowed." This is beyond inappropriate. Saying that you could hurt a baby if you perform a procedure incorrectly is an appropriate question. Stating that this injury could come about because of the size of your penis is beyond sexual harassment. It is foul humor at its worst. You should be upset at this. Your classmates just made a joke about you sexually molesting a baby!! How can that be considered humor? How would one of them feel if you stated "Hey, "could you give a fat guy a MI" if you gave him a lap dance? You would be written up or kicked out of school so quick. What they did was wrong...beyond words wrong.

    Hope this helps...and GL
    flyingchange likes this.
  11. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    0
    Quote from grpman
    Has anyone else noticed that situations or topics deemed "innapropriate for women" are fair game for men in nursing school? For instance, and I could write for hours, in clinicals the women jokingly asked to try catheter insertion on me in the presence of the instructor who smiled. I've also been asked in class, also in the presence of an instructor, whether I "could hurt the baby" due to being well endowed. It doesn't really bother me because it's a joke and the offense doesn't really get under my skin. However, it's a blatant double standard that might get a man kicked out of nursing school (or any other school for that matter) and yet instructors and students alike laugh innocently as if all is normative.
    As someone else asked...how do they know you were well endowed and why is it their business? The issue I have with the 'hurt the baby' joke is if you made a joke of a sexual nature about a particular woman's body, many people would be screaming harassment. Even if it was an innocent joke, you could get burned for it. This is definitely a double standard.

    In my experience, there was no different standards for males vs. females in my nursing school...but this is only one example.
  12. Visit  mindlor profile page
    0
    Most organizations in the US have an EEO officer.....

    The only way things like this will improve is by uss reporting them.......

    Letting things slide will set the precedence that it is "ok"
  13. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Ya man, welcome to nursing. There is very definitly a double standard as well as bias aginst men in nursing, I have been in nursing for 17 years and have observed it during that whole time. It's getting better. When I became a nurse less than 5% of nurses were men. Now it's 9-10% depending on whose numbers you belive.
    I have never worked in any other female dominated fields so I can't speak for them. Jokes based on your anatomy are the norm and apperently acceptable. You making jokes based on female anatomy will likely be met with write ups and being fired. Being assinged to patient solely cause they are very heavy, or combative & violent, or patients who touch breasts on females will be normal and everybody will think that is appropiate. Everybody will take it for granted that that the male nurses should be assinged to those patients. You can also expect to be considered a sexual predator just wating to show his true colors. Have a young female patient? Naturaly a male will not be assinged to take care of her. This will be an assumption, not a result of patient request. I was once suspended when a crazy female, who was hospitalized after attempting sucide, claim I had groped her breasts. Well she didn't name me but she claimed "that big guy with the beard and blue shirt groped my tits" (I always wear royal blue scrubs). Turns out I went off duty (and then left town on a trip) Monday morning, she was admitted Monday afternoon and discharged Thursday afternoon. I didn't return to the hospital (or to town for that matter) until Friday evening. She and I were never in the hospital at the same time, yet the nurse managers knee jerk reaction was to immediatly suspend me until an "investigation" could be done. That could have consisted of a quick peek at the schedual, but no, like 20 messages were left on my cell phone telling me to contact the nurse manager immediatly while I was away. Then I had to have a "meeting" with the nurse manager and the risk manager where I was questioned for over an hour. the even checked into my background, talked to former employers asking if I had vere been accused of inapropiate behavior (never, never have). Not good for one's reputation and in this business our reputation is VERY important.
    The bias is very dependant on hospital or unit culture. Some are much better than others. Bias and double standard might not exsist in all units and be extreme in others. Lucky for me I now work in a male dominated unit with a male nurse manager and it's GREAT!
  14. Visit  Sturmgeist profile page
    0
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    Ya man, welcome to nursing. There is very definitly a double standard as well as bias aginst men in nursing, I have been in nursing for 17 years and have observed it during that whole time. It's getting better. When I became a nurse less than 5% of nurses were men. Now it's 9-10% depending on whose numbers you belive.
    I have never worked in any other female dominated fields so I can't speak for them. Jokes based on your anatomy are the norm and apperently acceptable. You making jokes based on female anatomy will likely be met with write ups and being fired. Being assinged to patient solely cause they are very heavy, or combative & violent, or patients who touch breasts on females will be normal and everybody will think that is appropiate. Everybody will take it for granted that that the male nurses should be assinged to those patients. You can also expect to be considered a sexual predator just wating to show his true colors. Have a young female patient? Naturaly a male will not be assinged to take care of her. This will be an assumption, not a result of patient request. I was once suspended when a crazy female, who was hospitalized after attempting sucide, claim I had groped her breasts. Well she didn't name me but she claimed "that big guy with the beard and blue shirt groped my tits" (I always wear royal blue scrubs). Turns out I went off duty (and then left town on a trip) Monday morning, she was admitted Monday afternoon and discharged Thursday afternoon. I didn't return to the hospital (or to town for that matter) until Friday evening. She and I were never in the hospital at the same time, yet the nurse managers knee jerk reaction was to immediatly suspend me until an "investigation" could be done. That could have consisted of a quick peek at the schedual, but no, like 20 messages were left on my cell phone telling me to contact the nurse manager immediatly while I was away. Then I had to have a "meeting" with the nurse manager and the risk manager where I was questioned for over an hour. the even checked into my background, talked to former employers asking if I had vere been accused of inapropiate behavior (never, never have). Not good for one's reputation and in this business our reputation is VERY important.
    The bias is very dependant on hospital or unit culture. Some are much better than others. Bias and double standard might not exsist in all units and be extreme in others. Lucky for me I now work in a male dominated unit with a male nurse manager and it's GREAT!
    Wow, that last part scared the crap out of me. I can't believe you couldn't just point to your schedule and say "I was never in the hospital when she was and I was out of town (here is my gas receipt etc) when the alleged assault took place." I am not sure how I would have handled that situation after that. I think I would have had a hard time working with that Nurse Manager again. If someone is so idiotitc to go to those lengths...to where you are guilty until beyond proven innocent. Again, I applaud your level headedness in that kind of situation.


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