Why Do We Tolerate This? - page 7

You know, sometimes things have a hidden context. Sometimes, that context can be kind of ugly. When I see that, it causes me to wonder why we allow these things to continue. Hence, this thread. ... Read More

  1. by   nursemike
    Quote from caroladybelle
    So when do we get a Gay/lesbian/transgendered forum? They face many challenges in Nursing. NonChristian nurses working with the Christian majority? Asian/Arab Nurses - that are treated with bias from patients and coworkers?

    All of these present challenges and special issues in Nursing.

    My point is when you say (as the poster that I referenced, and you responded to my reference) "I want to be referred to as a nurse, not a male nurse"...and post in a "Male Nursing Forum", doesn't it just contradict what you say?

    With as many times as rascism comes up, where is the "African American/Black Forum"?

    Carolina

    Who would like to get rid of all devisive "isms".
    Not meaning to be defensive, but I think it's fair to point out that it would generally be illegal to discriminate against a gay/lesbian/transexual nurse or a non-christian nurse or any nurse based on race or ethnicity. I'm not sure--a church sponsored hospital might get away with not hiring gays or non-christians, if they could operate without Federal funding. But if courts have upheld, as I've read, not hiring men for OB, then that does seem to make us "a
    little bit special."
    Honestly, I think we just need to give this some time. In the early going, it may tend to degenerate into male vs female, but I think it will eventually evolve into farting and football.

    Go, Steelers! (Pardon me.)
  2. by   UM Review RN
    I think it will eventually evolve into farting and football.
    I'm sure we can find you guys a nice grunting and scratching smiley somewhere here too...
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Kev - can I just mention that I've never thought a men's forum was a bad idea . . . I'm not sure what is happening here. We don't need a woman's forum because most of the threads are by women anyway . . you could almost say the whole bulletin board is "female".

    As to your op . . . . and Tweety's tush . . . I think things happen when we are young and inexperienced that would never happen now. I worked as a secretary when I was 21 and my boss walked in behind me as I was typing and put his hands on my breasts and I just froze . . . fortunately he walked away after making a comment about how nice they were. I stayed at that job another week before I had the nerve to quit. I had no idea how to handle it. I think women put up with things when they don't have any preparation ahead of time. I talk to my daughter and sons alot about inappropriate touching . . but even so I'm not sure even that is enough. I think youth and inexperience has alot to do with why we put up with things.

    If it happened today, I'd be up and out of that chair so fast and he'd be shoved across the room.

    I also think, having married a man and given birth to two boys . . men have weird senses of humor - no offense - toilet humor, fart jokes, penis jokes, dog humping jokes, etc., . . . . maybe the chest hair thing is MILD compared to what they are used to. Maybe that is why they don't respond. I'm not sure men are offended - my kids and husband wouldn't be - they would laugh it off. Obviously I have always hated generalizing so I don't mean to do that . . . but maybe there is a small point to be made that some men's humor is different than some women's.

    I'm not sure you can equate chest hair with breasts though . . although the comments are completely unwelcome.

    I don't think nursing is unique in any of the problems you all have been discussing. The lack of power. The sniping. Bickering. It happens everywhere. I've worked in a number of different jobs . . . it is the same everywhere.

    Now, I have to admit to not posting here because I wanted you guys to hash it out without having any female interference . . .I was interested in what you all really thought. I will say that this thread has veered off in a different direction than intended . . . I will continue to let you all post in your thread without butting in after this . . just had to add my two cents.

    There are unique things men experience as nurses and I see no reason why they can't talk about it. Or anything else they want to talk about.

    Carry on . . . .

    steph
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Carolina, excellent point about wanting to be considered a "nurse" before being a "male nurse", yet participating in a separate forum.

    I quite frankly could care less about different forums. I am the one that wishes to get rid of the "isms" that divide Nursing. And quite frankly, having separate forums for every little group merely works to promote "isms" that should be done away with.

    We tend to gripe and whine to our own little group, saying how put upon we are, "unlike all other groups...and not a darn constructive thing comes from it......much like the Republicans and the Democrats that never cross lines, perpetually destroying any hope of consensus and unity. If we are forced to work with others not of our ken, we might actually accomplish unity, something Nursing vitally needs.

    And the Christian /nonChristian forum issue has been beaten to death like the dead horse that it is, and the separate forum idea denounced soundly, as it should be.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from nursemike?
    Not meaning to be defensive, but I think it's fair to point out that it would generally be illegal to discriminate against a gay/lesbian/transexual nurse or a non-christian nurse or any nurse based on race or ethnicity. I'm not sure--a church sponsored hospital might get away with not hiring gays or non-christians, if they could operate without Federal funding. But if courts have upheld, as I've read, not hiring men for OB, then that does seem to make us "a
    little bit special."
    AND YOU THINK THAT SORT OF BIAS ONLY OCCURS WITH MEN AND OB!!!!!!!!!!!!! And doesn't occur similarly with any of the groups that I cited. Where have you been hiding from the real world? It occurs daily and with many groups other than men and other than OB. Maybe it hasn't gone to court yet, but it certainly occurs.

    Yes, bias should be illegal against those groups and men, yet it has yet to have stopped it. I personally think that court decision was more than a bit ridiculous.

    __________________________________________________ _______________
    But returning to the topic/thread:

    In the "Hannity and Colmes" thread, there was comment about asking the lift team to raise their shirts to show off six pack abs. What kind of guys cooperate with that sort of tacky behavior? It is also very antihygenic and hardly professional. They are feeding into bad behaviors on both sides.

    If you give a mouse a cookie, don't be surprised when he returns for a glass of milk.

    I personally have dealt with male coworkers feeling me up in the "guise" of helping me, inappropriate touching, inappropriate suggestions, asking repeatedly for dates (they were married), MDs that want to take me out for drinks (married), residents that flirt (10-15 years younger than me). I don't complain to management but shut them down quickly on my own.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Mar 10, '05
  6. by   nursemike
    Quote from caroladybelle
    AND YOU THINK THAT SORT OF BIAS ONLY OCCURS WITH MEN AND OB!!!!!!!!!!!!! And doesn't occur similarly with any of the groups that I cited. Where have you been hiding from the real world? It occurs daily and with many groups other than men and other than OB. Maybe it hasn't gone to court yet, but it certainly occurs.

    Yes, bias should be illegal against those groups and men, yet it has yet to have stopped it. I personally think that court decision was more than a bit ridiculous.

    __________________________________________________ _______________
    But returning to the topic/thread:

    In the "Hannity and Colmes" thread, there was comment about asking the lift team to raise their shirts to show off six pack abs. What kind of guys cooperate with that sort of tacky behavior? It is also very antihygenic and hardly professional. They are feeding into bad behaviors on both sides.

    If you give a mouse a cookie, don't be surprised when he returns for a glass of milk.

    I personally have dealt with male coworkers feeling me up in the "guise" of helping me, inappropriate touching, inappropriate suggestions, asking repeatedly for dates (they were married), MDs that want to take me out for drinks (married), residents that flirt (10-15 years younger than me). I don't complain to management but shut them down quickly on my own.
    I realize that men--especially straight, WASP men, have historically enjoyed unfair advantages over pretty much everyone else. Which isn't to say we're all guilty--sometimes you benefit from advantages you never asked for. My point about OB was that it's one of few areas where discrimination is legally sanctioned, at least in some jurisdictions. Doesn't actually rile me a lot--it doesn't seem to be something I'm really excited about doing, anyway, but I can see where others might take it more personally. In the real world, of course, laws aren't always enforced as vigorously as they should be, and in some instances they're pretty darned hard to enforce even when most people want to. It's a lot easier to accuse someone of sexual harassment, for example, than to prove it, which may be one reason it goes unreported by both genders.

    I do tend to agree with Tweety, that we put up with a lot more when we're young and inexperienced. I wouldn't grope any of my co-workers as a matter of principle, but I can think of a number that I wouldn't offend as a matter of self-preservation, as well.
    But I also think there's an element of "boys don't cry" at work, here, too, which I believe may have been the point of the OP, and is appropriate for discussion as a "men's issue." I, for one, would find it embarrassing to openly declare I had a problem like this that I couldn't handle, myself. I suspect that if I went to my manager with a harassment complaint, her first response would be to prefer that I did handle it myself, but if I pressed it, she would most likely back me up. Which, again, probably isn't that different from most women's situation.
    Still, at least one response to the potentially offensive thread about chest hair seemed to say we ought to have a sense of humor about it. I'm actually more offended by that than the thread, itself, although "offended" is too strong a word. Mildly piqued? I don't know. Bemused, maybe.
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from caroladybelle
    I quite frankly could care less about different forums. I am the one that wishes to get rid of the "isms" that divide Nursing. And quite frankly, having separate forums for every little group merely works to promote "isms" that should be done away with.

    We tend to gripe and whine to our own little group, saying how put upon we are, "unlike all other groups...and not a darn constructive thing comes from it......much like the Republicans and the Democrats that never cross lines, perpetually destroying any hope of consensus and unity. If we are forced to work with others not of our ken, we might actually accomplish unity, something Nursing vitally needs.

    And the Christian /nonChristian forum issue has been beaten to death like the dead horse that it is, and the separate forum idea denounced soundly, as it should be.
    Points very well taken.

    I wasn't too keen on a separate forum, but objected to the idea that it would be devisive. But I'm reconsidering that.

    I too wish people could come together for common good and not separate into groups and "isms".

    I also acknowledge that groups like to meet together to celebrate diversity and common bonds. Not just because they feel "put upon". It happens in society as well. Take AA for instance, there are gay groups, smoking groups, women's groups, and men groups, but they all are focused on the idea of working the 12 steps to stay sober. Churches have singles groups, couples groups, etc.

    It would be nice to have groups within nursing such as male and female nurses come together, med-surg nurses and ICU nurses, BSN and ADNs, LPNs and RNs, etc. There's much to do and power together.

    So I'm torn. I see the way separateness divides, and I see how it brings together. Thanks for your input.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 10, '05
  8. by   kmchugh
    Quote from caroladybelle
    AND YOU THINK THAT SORT OF BIAS ONLY OCCURS WITH MEN AND OB!!!!!!!!!!!!! And doesn't occur similarly with any of the groups that I cited. Where have you been hiding from the real world? It occurs daily and with many groups other than men and other than OB. Maybe it hasn't gone to court yet, but it certainly occurs.
    Yes, Caroline, but this forum deals specifically with issues men in nursing have to deal with, and thank you for making the point so nicely. Throughout the nursing profession, that sort of bias DOES only occur with males. I have actually given this some thought today, and sincerely cannot think of a single job in nursing you would be barred from simply because you are a female. However, I graduated nursing school in 1997, and since then have met the managers of at least two OB units who openly stated that they would not hire male RN's because they were firmly convinced that nurses who happened to be male did not belong in OB under any circumstances. (I never applied for a job in OB, but had discussions with both managers as either a SRNA or CRNA.) One was at a very large hospital with over 1000 deliveries per year, the other at a smaller hospital. One of these managers went so far as to say that she would (and had) worked her unit short staffed rather than accept a float nurse, if that nurse was male. This same manager said that she knew her position could be overturned in a court, but that she would resign before having a male work his first day in "her" unit. I challenge you to name a position in nursing where women would face a similar situation. On a more personal level, I nearly quit nursing school because MY OB instructor was firmly convinced that males did not only not belong as nurses in OB, but that they did not belong in nursing, period. She said exactly that to a class of students that was all female.

    Quote from nursemike?
    Still, at least one response to the potentially offensive thread about chest hair seemed to say we ought to have a sense of humor about it. I'm actually more offended by that than the thread, itself, although "offended" is too strong a word. Mildly piqued? I don't know. Bemused, maybe.
    Thank you, exactly my point. "Have a sense of humor about it" is strictly verboten as a deflection for men who make similar comments. You cannot have your cake and eat it too seems to be a clich that applies nicely here.

    Kevin McHugh
  9. by   caroladybelle
    So go into those threads that are offending your sensibilities and say something about...and defend your point.

    I have done so, even though often it has me going against the tide of public opinion and the so called majority. That's what works for me. And frequently, posters are not happy about it but it is what people that truly believe in a cause or an idea do.

    But when you make a statement (as in your OP), "this wouldn't tolerated if it was reversed and about women" when it most certainly has been tolerated on this BB....some of us are going to call you on it.

    When a poster complains about "I am a nurse, not a male nurse but a nurse" and does it in a ""male nurse forum", it works against his point.

    When posters say that men need special forum but ignore that there are many special groups that get dealt with bias that manage to handle things in a public forum...well it shows a certain bias.

    If you have a problem with chest hair comments, why not post these statements on the offending thread? (note:as I haven't read it, I don't know whether anyone posted any comments about the bias). That is where it will do the most good.

    Feel free to PM me, if you have more to say
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Could we get back to thread at hand??????
  10. by   Tweety
    removed by myself. Changed my mind. Sorry.
  11. by   been there
    Quote from kmchugh
    You know, sometimes things have a hidden context. Sometimes, that context can be kind of ugly. When I see that, it causes me to wonder why we allow these things to continue. Hence, this thread.

    Recently, two threads on this board have given me pause for the hidden context they contained. Both have planted in my mind the question "Why are we, as male nurses, tolerating this?" I have a few ideas of my own, but what are your thoughts?

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96928
    This is the first thread, and it appeared in the male nursing forum under the title "Men's sexualality (sic) in Nursing." In this thread, the original poster questioned whether we, as men, were really able to put our libidos aside long enough to do an exam/procedure on a female patient without looking at her "private parts" in "that" way. Essentially, she suggested that we would be unable to do so. As I read the original post, I wondered whether sparks would fly. Not because I wasn't sure whether any of us would take offense to the thread, but because I figured that post would be rapidly reported, and yanked off the board. It wasn't and no ire was raised. Sparks didn't fly. No one even poked fun at the notion that we didn't have anything better to do than leer at this (or any) woman's "private parts." In fact, I felt the tone of most responses was almost apologetic. Why is that, I wonder? After all, didn't the post attack our professionalism as nurses? Didn't the OP suggest that we are nothing more than sexual beings, with no ability to control our baser instincts? Why did we tolerate this?

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90987
    This is the second thread that gives me pause. In it, the original poster asks what is at least nominally a legitimate question as to whether or not men with copious chest hair should be required to wear t-shirts under their scrubs. When I saw the thread, I expected at least nod in the direction of infection control, or good grooming and the presentation of a professional appearance. Turns out that's not where that thread went at all. In fact, within the first page we were treated to some nurses' opinions about how sexy a hairy chest was (or wasn't), and how they wouldn't mind a male nurse with a little virile chest hair showing. And we all went along with the "joke." Again, why is that?

    Now, before I am accused of being a humorless stick in the mud, let me say that I can see the humor in both of these threads. Both caused me to at least smile. At the same time, however, the first thread seemed to me to perpetuate the stereotypes of men in general, as well as men in nursing. We are unable to control our sexual urges, and should not be trusted to look at women without drooling. In the second, we are treated to what is essentially a reduction of male nurses to sexual objects. Why do we allow this, when our female counterparts won't tolerate the slightest hint of the same thing from men?

    Consider what might have happened to both of these threads if they were put up about female, rather than male nurses.

    In the first, suppose it was a woman who came up on the board stating that she didn't like her husband, the doctor, working with female nurses. After all, women became nurses just so they could hook a rich doc for a husband, and didn't care whether they stole him from someone else. I would guess that the OP would have been ripped a new one, and on very short order. However, boil both down, and the accusations are very similar. In both cases, the OP is simply suggesting that the nurse would be unable to control their baser instinct and act in a professional manner. In both cases, the OP would be suggesting that the nurse might behave in an immoral fashion because of that base instinct. However, in the actual thread, it seems to me that we are almost apologetic for the OP's perception of men. Why do we need to apologize for her prejudice?

    In the second case, let's suppose that rather than chest hair, the OP had been concerned with large breasts on female nurses. Should they be required to wear a t-shirt, to prevent the scrub top from falling while the nurse is bent over, effectively "flashing" her chest at patients? Would that be an acceptable question? Moreover, suppose I posted a response to the question that said "Hey, I like big breasted women. If I had to be in the hospital, I wouldn't mind a flash or two, to occupy my mind." How long do you suppose it would be before I would be reminded (with righteous indignation) that the nurses were not there for my entertainment and titilation? How long before I was kicked to the curb for such vulgarity?

    So, my question is this: Why do we, as male nurses, so readily tolerate that which would be intolerable if it came from us?

    Kevin McHugh
    Kevin I apologize for all of those who posted "cutsey" remarks. Most, I'm sure, are from very young persons who have never been exposed to the real world before nursing school. I feel male nurses look at the sexuality of the patient as 1) this is a female so I insert the catheter..... 2) this is a male so this time I insert the catheter a different way, etc,etc. I have worked with many males over the past 20 years and have only noted one to have a problem with his libido but he did contain it to the female CNAs who were willing. This guy was caught in the act and lost his license, the CNAs lost their certification. The others were professional and very very good at their profession. In some cases it was best to have a male nurse handle a difficult male patient. My salute to you guys and thank goodness you have begun to join us. As to the hairy chest issue.....a tee shirt would really be preferable but don't forget some females who lean over too far when doing vitals and expose themselves all the way to their waist!! Looks like some have forgotten this irritating problem with the way scrubs are made. Any comment from the staff about a hairy chest is tantamount to remarking about a nurse's protruding teeth.....it may unknowingly hurt the recipient. It did me and I'll never forget the nurse who said it. You guys are doing a great job.
  12. by   LPNer
    I've been reading these posts for a few days now and have but one question guys.
    If I agree that it's ok to show your chest hair will you turn around and walk away? I wanna see a nice looking butt!

    Oh, I do apologize. But darn! I just can't believe that anyone would have a problem with hair!

    I don't understand the male nurse forum either, but there's a lot of things I don't understand and their are a lot of "special interest" forums. Though I have been working with nurses who happen to be men since my graduation in 1977, men are still the minority and have "issues" and concerns that are different from women.

    Keep your forum goiong guys and don't let a few feminists hold you down! Just don't forget to turn those nice butts in my direction once in awhile! :wink2:
    Oh come on, you have to admit you look at boobs and/or butts too.
  13. by   scooterRN52
    Quote from kmchugh
    You know, sometimes things have a hidden context. Sometimes, that context can be kind of ugly. When I see that, it causes me to wonder why we allow these things to continue. Hence, this thread.

    Recently, two threads on this board have given me pause for the hidden context they contained. Both have planted in my mind the question "Why are we, as male nurses, tolerating this?" I have a few ideas of my own, but what are your thoughts?

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96928
    This is the first thread, and it appeared in the male nursing forum under the title "Men's sexualality (sic) in Nursing." In this thread, the original poster questioned whether we, as men, were really able to put our libidos aside long enough to do an exam/procedure on a female patient without looking at her "private parts" in "that" way. Essentially, she suggested that we would be unable to do so. As I read the original post, I wondered whether sparks would fly. Not because I wasn't sure whether any of us would take offense to the thread, but because I figured that post would be rapidly reported, and yanked off the board. It wasn't and no ire was raised. Sparks didn't fly. No one even poked fun at the notion that we didn't have anything better to do than leer at this (or any) woman's "private parts." In fact, I felt the tone of most responses was almost apologetic. Why is that, I wonder? After all, didn't the post attack our professionalism as nurses? Didn't the OP suggest that we are nothing more than sexual beings, with no ability to control our baser instincts? Why did we tolerate this?

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90987
    This is the second thread that gives me pause. In it, the original poster asks what is at least nominally a legitimate question as to whether or not men with copious chest hair should be required to wear t-shirts under their scrubs. When I saw the thread, I expected at least nod in the direction of infection control, or good grooming and the presentation of a professional appearance. Turns out that's not where that thread went at all. In fact, within the first page we were treated to some nurses' opinions about how sexy a hairy chest was (or wasn't), and how they wouldn't mind a male nurse with a little virile chest hair showing. And we all went along with the "joke." Again, why is that?

    Now, before I am accused of being a humorless stick in the mud, let me say that I can see the humor in both of these threads. Both caused me to at least smile. At the same time, however, the first thread seemed to me to perpetuate the stereotypes of men in general, as well as men in nursing. We are unable to control our sexual urges, and should not be trusted to look at women without drooling. In the second, we are treated to what is essentially a reduction of male nurses to sexual objects. Why do we allow this, when our female counterparts won't tolerate the slightest hint of the same thing from men?

    Consider what might have happened to both of these threads if they were put up about female, rather than male nurses.

    In the first, suppose it was a woman who came up on the board stating that she didn't like her husband, the doctor, working with female nurses. After all, women became nurses just so they could hook a rich doc for a husband, and didn't care whether they stole him from someone else. I would guess that the OP would have been ripped a new one, and on very short order. However, boil both down, and the accusations are very similar. In both cases, the OP is simply suggesting that the nurse would be unable to control their baser instinct and act in a professional manner. In both cases, the OP would be suggesting that the nurse might behave in an immoral fashion because of that base instinct. However, in the actual thread, it seems to me that we are almost apologetic for the OP's perception of men. Why do we need to apologize for her prejudice?

    In the second case, let's suppose that rather than chest hair, the OP had been concerned with large breasts on female nurses. Should they be required to wear a t-shirt, to prevent the scrub top from falling while the nurse is bent over, effectively "flashing" her chest at patients? Would that be an acceptable question? Moreover, suppose I posted a response to the question that said "Hey, I like big breasted women. If I had to be in the hospital, I wouldn't mind a flash or two, to occupy my mind." How long do you suppose it would be before I would be reminded (with righteous indignation) that the nurses were not there for my entertainment and titilation? How long before I was kicked to the curb for such vulgarity?

    So, my question is this: Why do we, as male nurses, so readily tolerate that which would be intolerable if it came from us?

    Kevin McHugh
    I am a female and I wouldn't tolerate those remarks, they sound like they came from an unprofessional and immature person! I have worked w/ many
    male nurses and never observed any behavior from them that would indicate that sort of image. I've been a nurse for i6 years and have worked in many hospitals and nursing homes.

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