How do You deal with Man-Hating Female Nurses?

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    I've been working in our ER for nearly a year, and in lieu of recent events, was prompted to open this thread. I am the only male nurse in, not just the ER but in the entire hospital. The nurses I work with are very good at what they do, save for one fault. THEY HATE MALES! Despite their "friendly" and helpful demeanor there has always been some underlying hostility towards me. Not only that, I tend to overhear comments like "They only hired him because he's a male nurse." and "Guess who's YOUR partner today?" Even though this is a male nursing forum, Marci, I hope you are reading this.

    One of the nurses I used to work with (who I miss dearly) suggested I try to "kill them with kindness." It didn't work. I brought homemade cheesecake. They ate it like hyenas at a slaughter, but not a single thank you from any of them.

    OK here's my question: How do I attempt to solve this problem, without quitting my job (which I do love) without having to resort to murder? Has anyone run across this problem? How did you deal with it?
    Last edit by PrisonrNurs on Mar 17, '05
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    Ok I am not male first off, but I feel sorry for you. I put myself in your shoes and tried to imagine being the only female with all men. The only other advice I can offer except what your other friend said is to ignore the hateful huzzies.

    Good luck and don't let them run your off from your job.

    Michelle,LPN
    future RN





    Quote from PrisonrNurs
    I've been working in our ER for nearly a year, and in lieu of recent events, was prompted to open this thread. I am the only male nurse in, not just the ER but in the entire hospital. The nurses I work with are very good at what they do, save for one fault. THEY HATE MALES! Despite their "friendly" demeanor there has always been some underlying hostility towards me. Not only that, I tend to overhear comments like "They only hired him because he's a male nurse." and "Guess who's YOUR partner today?" Even though this is a male nursing forum, Marci, I hope you are reading this.

    One of the nurses I used to work with (who I miss dearly) suggested I try to "kill them with kindness." It didn't work. I brought homemade cheesecake. They ate it like hyenas at a slaughter, but not a single thank you from any of them.

    OK here's my question: How do I attempt to solve this problem, without quitting my job (which I do love) without having to resort to murder? Has anyone run across this problem? How did you deal with it?
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Mar 17, '05 : Reason: edited quoted post
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    I've been there.
    Kill them with kindness, although well meaning, doesn't work.
    I couldn't solve the problem myself, so I sought employment settings that had more male nurses so that I wouldn't be left to fend for myself.
    It worked. I'm not trying to suggest running away, but getting out of that environment is what worked for me.
    More men on the floor, in my experience, no matter what anyone else says, plain and simple, helps keep the peace.
    I'm surprised that you are the only male in an ER, because ER seems to attract men.
    Like I stated earlier, I couldn't solve the problem myself, I can only tell you not to take it too personally, as hard as that is to do, just understand the underlying reason(s) behind the hostility:
    The #1 reason for the anti-man behavior is:
    Women who had bad relationships with men in their personal lives and it's a lot easier to blame men in general for their misfortunes than to own up to the fact that they made bad choices in men and in their personal lives in general, i.e. "It's not my fault, it's all these men who have done me wrong..."
    They see you and they will take it out on you.

    There may also be women who saw male nurses previously get promoted above them and feel ignored for their experience, education, contribution, etc. and see you as one more man to someday get promoted above them even though your qualifications may be inferior to theirs. It happens.
    You can't blame someone for being bitter about that, although I'm not trying to excuse the behavior, just trying to understand it.

    All I know is, male presence on any floor helps keep the peace, but at the same time, I have to say that I've run into some male instigators who participate in the cat fighting and gossip and fuel the fire for a badly run floor.
  7. 0
    Freud described these females as having penis envy. They are very angy because they were born with wrong genitalia. Unless these females are willing to seek psychological counseling, they will never change. Some will require medication to help resolve their psychological issues. Killing them with kindness will not work. Confront them for what they are, and assert yourself.


    Kill them with kindness, although well meaning, doesn't work.
    I couldn't solve the problem myself, so I sought employment settings that had more male nurses so that I wouldn't be left to fend for myself.
    It worked. I'm not trying to suggest running away, but getting out of that environment is what worked for me.
    More men on the floor, in my experience, no matter what anyone else says, plain and simple, helps keep the peace.
    I'm surprised that you are the only male in an ER, because ER seems to attract men.
    Like I stated earlier, I couldn't solve the problem myself, I can only tell you not to take it too personally, as hard as that is to do, just understand the underlying reason(s) behind the hostility:
    The #1 reason for the anti-man behavior is:
    Women who had bad relationships with men in their personal lives and it's a lot easier to blame men in general for their misfortunes than to own up to the fact that they made bad choices in men and in their personal lives in general, i.e. "It's not my fault, it's all these men who have done me wrong..."
    They see you and they will take it out on you.

    There may also be women who saw male nurses previously get promoted above them and feel ignored for their experience, education, contribution, etc. and see you as one more man to someday get promoted above them even though your qualifications may be inferior to theirs. It happens.
    You can't blame someone for being bitter about that, although I'm not trying to excuse the behavior, just trying to understand it.

    All I know is, male presence on any floor helps keep the peace, but at the same time, I have to say that I've run into some male instigators who participate in the cat fighting and gossip and fuel the fire for a badly run floor.[/QUOTE]
  8. 0

    Freud described these females as having penis envy. They are very angy because they were born with wrong genitalia. Unless these females are willing to seek psychological counseling, they will never change. Some will require medication to help resolve their psychological issues.


    Amusing, but very untrue. Apparently Freud was having a very ordinary sexual fantasy of his own when he dreamed up this dx.

    So please don't base your behavior to the women on that. I can assure you, it'd go even worse than "killing them with kindness" did.

    I'm of the opinion that you should just go about your day as best you can and back off completely. Let them come to you. Because underlying all this hostility that women have toward men is..... drumroll......ta-da!..... fear.

    So here are the rules I suggest:

    Stand your ground. Act normal. Do your job. Offer to help. Don't hit on anyone. Don't let anyone hit on you. Take your lunch. Don't do overtime (unless they beg and offer extra money and you really feel like it).

    Every day will build on the respect that you engender by being a really good nurse. It's hard at first when you're not really feeling like a part of the team, but that will happen. It just takes a little more time for guys. But it happens to women too, I assure you.

    Best wishes!
    Last edit by Angie O'Plasty, RN on Mar 17, '05 : Reason: PWBE: posting without brain engaged
  9. 0
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN


    Amusing, but very untrue. Apparently Freud was having a very ordinary sexual fantasy of his own when he dreamed up this dx.


    So here are the rules I suggest:

    Stand your ground. Act normal. Do your job. Offer to help. Don't hit on anyone. Don't let anyone hit on you. Take your lunch. Don't do overtime (unless they beg and offer extra money and you really feel like it).

    Every day will build on the respect that you engender by being a really good nurse. It's hard at first when you're not really feeling like a part of the team, but that will happen. It just takes a little more time for guys. But it happens to women too, I assure you.
    Best wishes!
    Agree.

    You don't have to be "male".. depending on the situation/geographic location, etc., all you have to be is "different".. and that can mean a LOT of things !

    Heck, where I live, I used to get pretty much the same treatment, not because I'm male (last time I checked) :chuckle but because I'm not from "these parts".. a "local" in other words. I have no "kin" here, wasn't born and raised here, have no school friends and/or aquaintences here.

    So I agree with Angie above.. it's a type of "fear" of the unfamiliar. They are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar, and all too often (and very sadly) this is expressed in ridicule, avoidance, and hostility.

    Bide your time.. as they get to really know you and your competence as a great nurse, this will change. Don't try to butter them up.. just be yourself and let your actions and character speak for themselves.
  10. 0
    Gee, that post could have been written by me five years ago when I came current department in homecare, despite it being all female staff!

    FEAR of unknown or need to change is BIG. I'd been doing similar work for two years at another agency so just jumped right in. This created lot's of SUSPICION. I started backing off saying I could do this task and instead asked "How should I do this?". What do you think about this situation, should I call the doctor?" Once they saw I was asking them for advice, considering them experts they greatly relaxed and became accepted member of the team.

    Good luck and hang in there. Now for more men's viewpoint....
  11. 0
    WOW! I have worked with women for about 30 years and have rarely run into this. But, the worst one was having a man-hating, openly lesbian, grad school professor, who went out of her way to embarrass or shame me on more that a few occasions. I often received a scowl when the women got beaming smiles. One other guy made a wise-crack about women in open class and failed his next two papers. I began to keep my head down as much as possible (literally) after that. I wound up with a 3.2 grade-the lowest I received in the program. But, I had another lesbian professor who was a gem. Overall I think I have been sort of pampered. Good luck.
  12. 0
    penis envy? what a joke! i am afraid the problem goes WAY beyond that.....
    anyhow you received some wise words before me. I am sorry you are going thru all this. I dealt w/it in the military as a minority female in an engine shop (try 100 men to about 5 or 6 females!!!) NOT FUN....just be above board, your work flawless, and ignore the ones who are petty. If they do anything blatantly sexually-harassing, tell them to stop it. If they still persist, report them. Good luck and hang in there.
  13. 0
    Angie - great post.

    Please let me assure you that Freud was wrong, wrong, wrong. No offense but I do not envy you your male genitalia. Really - I think God has a great sense of humor, otherwise why make such a funny looking appendage? The only thing that is cool is the way you guys can pee anywhere. :hatparty:

    Male bashing does bother me because I have three sons and I don't think that men deserve most of the negativity they get.


    I haven't experienced it where I work. We love our guys. But the truth is the biggest gossip is one of the guys.

    Making generalizations won't get people very far.

    People who are fearful - they come in all shapes, sizes and sexes.

    steph


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