Sexism in Nursing (a male point of view) - page 5

As a male in nursing, I feel that I am sometimes treated differently because of my gender. I believe that I am expected to carry a heavier patient load with less assistance from my female coworkers.... Read More

  1. by   Youda
    sjoe and psychnurse! Owww-EEeEE!

    I almost posted this earlier, but thought I'd wait and see what others had to say. Now, I'm glad I waited, because you did a much finer job of it than I could.

    It has always puzzled me this difference in behavior between males and females. Let's suppose one guy offends another guy. He's likely to say something like, "Hey, jerk! Get outta my face!" But, in 30 minutes, they'll go take a coffee break together!

    If a female offends another female, she'll smile and pretend to be the best friend, but spend the rest of the day finding allies to help "not like" her. How she does this rarely has anything to do with facts, because if she can't find anything to gossip about, she'll twist, exaggerate, or simply lie!

    If you're someone's friend, you have to like all the same people and hate all the same people. If someone who is your friend "likes" the despised person, then you can't be a friend anymore because you've broken some code of honor or something!

    Now if you've got a female who is more direct, and she said, "Hey, sister! Get outta my face!" like a "male" would do, then she is aggressive, a *itch, and combative, and someone is sure to go whinning to the NM.

    Really messed up way of doing things we women have! Little wonder why we drive each other crazy with the passive-aggressive way of handling relationships and workplace colleagues. I've seen this for a long time, too. I just never thought about how it affected male coworkers. Thanks for your input. sjoe, I'm going to download your post and reread it when I need to laugh at the latest drama at work!
  2. by   CMERN
    Sjoe---WOW---- I have known this /that about my gender(female) all my life . I am most frequently the "one susy aint talkin to today" Its great to see it in writing..and know that intelligent people are not fooled/manipulated by these type. Am I of victim mentality? No, I just see it for what it is.And YES I see certain Nurses where I work "try" to annilate our male nurses behind their back using this same inherited technique.!!!!! WOWW....They (the nashers of teeth) you know "yayayaya" all the time. dont bring me stories so I am almost always out of the loop. I also have a nasty habit of "putting a fly in their buttermilk"..Geez Guys do get it rough with us NURSiES(females)
  3. by   baseline
    I've read some interesting threads here.....this one beats all ! I will simply repeat that gender bias and predjudice is a two way street. Maybe you should start developing more of a ME and YOU instead of a US vs THEM attitude. Have a good day to the band-aid factory for me!!!!
  4. by   Furball
    Very interesting post, sjoe.
    Last edit by Furball on Jan 1, '03
  5. by   sanakruz
    What flo wanted....

    These images of Nurse as hand maidens to MDs, angels of mercy, service representatives,smiling automatons, catty *****esand even good girls are keeping us in chains. They prevent us from valuing each other and gaining any real power. Power to set up our own independant practices. Power to influence public policy. Power to keep people well and heal.

    These sexist images are keeping good caring men and women of all colors and ages from entering our profession.

    See it for what it is and call it by name. Help break the chains.
  6. by   ziggyRn
    hey sjoe, that Segell guy sounds like a misogynistic jerk...with his attempt to remind readers why women can't be trusted...
    I do recognise the woman that you describe, but it's a gross generalisation and does not reflect the majority of women i know or work with. Most women i know are logical, straight foward,smart, brave, have healthy relationships, don't play silly games, are team players etc etc.
    Most women have leadership, competitive etc etc experience...these are no way mainly confined to men. Girls grow up playing competitive sport, belonging to groups such as Girl Scouts , where they develop leadership skills and much more.
    What you are describing is an INSECURE woman...and some kind of childlike, neurotic twit if you ask me.
    You shouldn't generalise that over us all.
    Your post is a condescending slap in the face...
  7. by   sanakruz
    Is that all you have to say to sjoe?

    I do believe sjoe holds the same opinions as you do about writers and publishers of Esquire magazine.

    We woman have alot to be insecure about.

    I agree it's a slap in the face, Ziggy. But Youda did invite him to take off his gloves.
  8. by   LoisJean
    Yes, yes and yes!! I have said it for so long that I have a permanent frog in my is NOT "THEM", IT EVERYONE! All of us.

    Each generation is destined to inherit the prejudices of the preceeding one- and the institution of nursing has had it's prejudices from the get go......for as real as the fact is that a 'nurses' used to be a prostitutes, the fact remains that the bias' which seperate males and females continue to keep us all prostituted in some way or another to each other. This is not co-dependence, this is cannibilism.

    During WWII for instance: men were trained as medics-they were given the most horrific of assignments any medical worker could imagine... yet, their un-defined role was as a critical care nurse...but they weren't called 'nurse' they were called, 'doc'. How many of them came out of those wars and entered the field of nursing? 100? 30? 10? Go find the numbers if you can. They went back to male oriented jobs....and Rosie the Riviter went back to school and became a secretary, a school teacher, a nurse...or she simply went back to the home and hearth and made baby boomers like me.

    Once upon a time male nurses were looked upon as effeminate and they were approached as such. It did not matter how masculine they appeared...the s******ing and smirking going on behind their backs by their female nursing peers gave evidence to the fact that no one could possibly look upon a male bedside nurse and consider him to be anything except a "fairy". Male patients did not want them near; physicians did not regard them with any sort of professional respect and often would defer to the female nurse for information or assistance. Male nurses were hounded, harrassed and for the better part of their shifts used as lifters, haulers, go-fers and Boy Fridays.

    Male nurses were rare in the '60 and '70s--as far as bedside nurses went. Men who opted for nursing were not looking at nursing itself as a career--there was no money in it for them and no respect. Rather, they looked to programs of Anesthesia or Health Administration or other areas where they could exert their natural talent for supervision and autonomy in keeping with their masculine nature. They became NPs, PAs, nursing instructors--anything that could put them in an area that wasn't bedside nursing. A friend of mine going now for his RN told me that he would never consider working in a hospital setting---he'd had enough crap as a male LPN to last a lifetime--

    But let me tell you what I think about 'status'... we men and women have been fed a load of garbage regarding that word since day one. We continue to eat that garbage because we cannot find the resources within ourselves to change our diets. We couldn't even figure out that our demands for 'change', regards the roles of males and females, were nothing more than the sefish whines we uttered when we dutifully dragged our azzes out into the world behind stupid adam and eve.

    We women (some of us are your mothers) yelled and screamed that the chauvinist pigs were giving us the old sit and spin number and demanded that we get our turn to do it to them; when that happened we then went on to yell and scream that even tho we could now make them sit and spin we weren't getting enough perks and pleasure from it- so we set off to get our pleasures and perks by seizing the coveted role of SUPERVISORS (over men)...or as the word breaks down: overseers....(over men).

    Then we said, well okay, little boy, we're going to let you go play on your own now like a big boy ought to, but be careful because we're much stronger now and can still make you sit and spin. In other words, son, you will never do to us again what you did to us before. And you know what you guys did? You caved in and became: soft, and refused to learn how to make your own beds, rather you created a kind of atmosphere which said: 'you are the much stronger bed maker, lady- so I'm going to let you do it...then I'll lay in it.

    Men- what is it about you that can make you so poetic when working underneith a car and so pathetic when working on a care unit? You come up from under the car with hands dirty, clothes greasy and your hair a mess, and say "there, I fixed it". You come up from a clinical situation with your hands clean, your scrubs neat and say to a female nurse, 'there, you fix it and how about if I just hang around in case you need help?'

    Another friend said: "I left the hospital because I was tired of being a 'go-fer' ".. I wanted to know what possibly could he have done to give his female co-workers the idea they could treat him that way. He just shrugged. Then it dawned on wasn't what he had done, it was what he hadn't done...what he was afraid to do.

    There are roles we all play in this life. We play them because we are meant to play them. They are not fantasy games- they are the roles that were intended of us--they are the things that seperate the sexes with the idea of making the lives of each sex easier - more manageable and understandable. Are we all to blame because we don't understand the game rules-? No, I say not. But we are all responsible, nevertheless. Until respect for the individual is applied to all, until the stigma of 'difference' is annihalated and until the understanding of our own sexual duality is recognized, this crap is going to continue until doomsday, because even as I speak the diet is being fed to our young.

    I apologize straight foreward if I have in any way offended those of you who live an alternative lifestyle. There is a big difference in the beauty and delight of a truly gay man who is comfortable and satisfied within his own soul and skin and the filthiness of a prejudice that implies that ANY man is somehow less than worthy of respect and honor because of the nature of his work. If it is the female nurse screaming for respect, then the male nurse must scream it, sad it is that we feel we have to scream at all.

    Lois Jean
  9. by   Youda
    Is it possible that women in different countries or cultures are socialized differently? I see that you are from New Zealand, ZiggyRN. Doing a quick hip-hop through the internet, I have learned that New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote (even prior to Wyoming, here in the USA). I also learned, that New Zealand has a higher percentage of women serving in your Parliament, than we do in our Congress. Although I couldn't begin to learn the subtleties of New Zealand's cultural treatment of women, it is clear from my reading that women in your country have, historically, fought for women's rights as we have here in the USA, but it would appear that NZ is farther along in granting or seizing those rights. Perhaps this has an effect on how you would view sjoe's post, also. Many women here in the USA read it and find an uncomfortable mirror image of who we are, and of how we still must grow to overcome the cultural view of us as second-class citizens, and who are still living psychologically in the last century.
  10. by   gpip
    chigap, get over it. it is not sexism it is utililization of personel and team work. I am asked all the time to help pull up patients, turn them etc. As a team member I always help because that is what I am. if you do not play with the rest of the team when your patient is not doing well, especially if you work in the ICU. You are going to be standing alone. They will leave you out to dry if you are not a team player.
  11. by   ziggyRn
    Hi Youda, it's true that we have done well. About 30% representation in Parliament...and of those, most major positions in govt are held by women. Joke is around here that the only position[s] left for men is the missionary :roll zig
  12. by   sanakruz
    Gpip- It's the bottom of the ninth the bases are loaded and you just struck out. Sorry your team lost. Get over it.
  13. by   Youda
    Originally posted by ziggyRn
    Hi Youda, it's true that we have done well. About 30% representation in Parliament...and of those, most major positions in govt are held by women. Joke is around here that the only position[s] left for men is the missionary :roll zig
    Howling with laughter!
    Last edit by Youda on Nov 19, '02