middleager 3,017 Views
Joined: Nov 1, '08;
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I think what he is saying is sexism is viewed differently when the perp is a male than when it is a female. One of the previous comments was (paraphrased) Inappropriate comments are wrong anytime...can you now understand how women feel about men being sexist on everything else? Talk about a broad brush...sexism by men is condemned and rightly so, sexism by females is often justified or marginalized...that is the double standard that is being brought out be it but not recognized. Males are perps not victicms in peoples minds and that perception is hard to change for many people
I could not agree more. Most of what I experienced teaching JA were harmful stereotypes and of course being gay was one of them. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue what so ever with homosexuality, fully understand the gay community has it's own challenges in this society. But at the age where young people, in this case young men are choosing a profession they are heavily influenced by perception. The media does it's best to play that stereotype, just look at the number of gay male nurses on almost any series, Nurse Jackie, etc. We know this is Hollywood but for a 16-17 year old boy trying to figure out where he wants to go after school...it has an impact. I also don't think stereotyping males is as serious as say females and African Americans because historically males, especially white males have been the purveyors of discrimination not the victims, it will take awhile. Diversity in a profession as important and intimate as nursing could really make a difference in the patients experience. Not because one gender or the other is better or worse than the other, but because there is a certain level of comfort for many with people they can identify with.
I agree, that was my experience when I was doing a JA class in a local high school. Some of the same social stigma that keeps the number of females in engineering keep males from considering nursing. The question becomes what to do about it, and I think the answer is the same things we did to address the gender disparity in MD's continue to push the it is a great career for young men, feature males in ads about nursing and encourage educators to encourage males to go into nursing. Not much else you can do.
I agree, the comment implying one gender or the other has more personality problems, more or less behavior issues, or is more or less qualified has no place in these conversations because they are ridiculous
I agree 100% that the efforts should be at breaking down stereotypes, PR, perhaps recruiting into the profession is acceptable but it has to come down to whom is the most qualified. Nursing is literally a life and death profession, picking a less qualified person would be dangerous and irresponsible. Now, related but off the subject, how do you feel about affirmative action in other areas that benefit women. I am thinking of examples such as lowering physical requirements for fire and police to allow more women to pass the test? Those are physical requirements so not so much an apples to apples but I am curious. I agree with you but I think that should apply universally in all professions for race and gender. I am just curious as it seems in general we are more accepting of actual preference or affirmative action in gender and race depending on who the parties are. Once you get by the "I know a lot of females who aren't good...I think this is an interesting topic. It is timely as we start gearing up for a presidential election (I know...groan) where one of the probable candidates will be pushing gender hard. Just yesterday her statement was "Isn't it about time to have a woman in the Whitehouse". Not trying to go off topic or start a gender war I just find it interesting and wonder if we do not view workplace diversity different when the traditional roles are reversed.
Well Elkpark they are the same barriers that prevent females from being represented in any number in Silicon Valley, on Police forces, etc. Barriers do not have to be physical, they do not have to be prohibitive, they can be societal. Long after the civil rights movement or women's rights were established by law, societal barriers kept them from achieving equal status. There was a song a while back that had the line "there was a law passed back in 64 to give folks a little more, but it only goes so far when all people see is the box on the hiring line"....social norms, expectations, stereotypes can be just as restrictive as a law. Women can drive stock cares, blacks can't be quarterbacks, men can't be nurses...can you honestly say that the sterotype male nurses are gay was not a barrier to get past for some guys? And my main point, they have been trying to entice women into traditionally male occupations such as silicon valley, no real barriers stop them, but societal norms do. If we recognize the need to help diversify computer programing, even though in theory nothing stops women from working there...why is it wrong or not applicable to nursing...when half of your patients are male?
Understood, I found the statement to be pointless as well. The profession is constantly at the top of the most trusted, 90% of nurses are female...it makes one think the obvious conclusion is someone is doing something right most of the time. But sometimes we embellish to make a point. To level the field we tear the other down rather than building our side up. Given the opinion society has in where they place their trust...evidently not to many bad female nurses out there. And I agree 100%, I think it is fine to encourage either gender to go into specific fields to encourage diversity, but that should not precedence over qualifications, be that programing a computer or med-surg qualifications first then lets talk. I taught a Junior Achievement class several years on the value of getting an education and the opportunity it provided. I would always open with asking for a show of hands how many would consider various occupations, these were 8th-9th graders. One thing was very consistent, the boys rarely ever held up their hands to be a nurse...they would look around to see what the other guys were doing and then sit quietly while many of the girls would raise their hands. But when I asked, who would be interested in working as a legislator at the federal level, it was almost the opposite though not quite as defined. It got me interested and I have started working on a couple of endeavors, how could I get more boys interested in nursing and more girls in politics in my community. Change is slow but diversity, qualified diversity is usually good for all involved.
Well actually the history in men in nursing goes back to the Civil War when men were not allowed to be nurses as they needed soldiers to fight, and by the early 1900's most nursing schools allowed only females to enter. The Army & Navy Nursing Corps banned males from being nurses until after the Korean War though they could serve as medics since that role was on the battlefield. Prior there were many male nurse partly due to religious and "moral" norms of the early years. The current 9% male is every bit as much a result of discrimination and being blocked/discouraged from entering the profession earlier as females in MD's so affirmative action as in your example would apply. Then there is the issue with Silicon Valley, engineering has been open to women for many many years but few chose to enter so and yet Obama uses it as an example of a problem over and over, So again, why is it OK to push for diversity when females are the minority but it is the males fault when they are the minority. The barriers of overcoming stereotyping works both ways, the mentality that women aren't cops because it doesn't fit is just as wrong as men aren't nurses because they look down on the job. There are not many female cops for the same reason there are not many male nurses, society has said it shouldn't be for so long it takes time to break down the barriers real or imagined by the stereotype. The issues of lack of diversity in male dominated fields and nursing toward men are more alike than different. That said I agree, the comment (paraphrasing) that someone knew many women who weren't qualified to be good nurses was first off a broad generalization that flys in the face of what others including myself have found to be the case and would apply just as broadly to male so I understand and agree with that push back.
I find the comments challenging the OP why would there be a need to encourage males due to diversity or balance interesting. I remember distinctly when I was in college the effort to bring females into med schools to be MD's for exactly those same reasons. Affirmative action is based on increasing diversity. Obama is pushing for more females in the tech industries due to lack of diversity. There is no more important, personal, or intimate industry than healthcare and especially nursing. If diversity was important for MD's why would it not be the same for nursing? A patient is certainly more likely to be affected positively or negatively by diversity or lack there of than a line of code or hard drive and yet no one seems to consider the push to diversify the tech industry silly. I think the issue may be partially the fact that we are not used to thinking diversity is important when males whom are normally the majority are the minority.
I find the comment "If you don't like it don't work here, but don't judge us" to be a bit self serving or perhaps dismissive. People are judged every day. We all judge people and their actions daily. When you sit down at a table for dinner at a nice restaurant, you don't judge just the quality of the food, you judge how the people involved did their job and not just the mechanics of getting it to the table. Did they acknowledge you quickly, did they smile, were they friendly, courteous. You don't bother finding out did they have a bad day, is there stress in the home, did 2 people call off and they are short handed, is their boss a jerk, are they missing their kids birthday party to be there...you judge them on their actions and how they present themselves. That goes from the finest restaurant to the kid making min. wage at McD's. Ever get a kid behind the counter that acted like he didn't care if you were there or not, that talked to his/her friends while waiting on you? Did you ever judge them, their behavior? That goes in nearly every occupation, every job, if you took your car for an oil change and heard the mechanics laughing at some "fat ass woman" pumping gas would you think that was OK as long as she couldn't hear them? No where are people required to put more trust than in health care providers...shouldn't you hold yourself to a higher standard than the teen age kid at McD's...he has stress to.
Oh and Esme, I really appreciate your taking the time to correspond. I originally came to this site when I was considering a mid life occupation change. I ended up not doing it but am fascinated with what you all do. If I had it to do over and could do anything other than what I do, I think I would love being a nurse. I have made a boat load of money, but not really rewarding on a personal level like helping someone through the challenges you all do. My wife is a teacher, over the years has come to dislike the educational system but still loves those little folks so she stays. With that in mind I appreciate you taking time to enlighten and share with an outsider.
Esme12 while we tend to think equal rights means we are the same (between genders). I don't believe that is the case. While we discussed if the genders were reversed there would likely be a lawsuit, honestly neither of us took it as sexual harassment. He took it more as teasing to an extreme. To us it was not a whole lot different that if he was bald and they were teasing him constantly about that. It got old, wished they would lay off but nothing that would warrant creating an issue the magnitude of filing a sexual harassment case. Lets be honest, females can get away with this kind of teasing, behavior, whatever you want to call it because they are less likely to be seen as harassing, and to be honest men are less likely to take it as harassment, heck some would love it. But then men have not endured the ugly side of this like many women where teasing does go into harassment and even physical abuse so it is easier to laugh it off. Another one of those things that doesn't make it right, but more understandable. His point of bringing up was not that he was offended or intimidated, but more to show what being a guy in the "girls clubhouse" was like. I think it contributes to a lot of problems including in the medical arena where men are taught to suck it up and laugh it off, that's what a MAN does. As a result it contributes to our not seeking help when we should, and contributes to being unhappy with the way we are treated in the medical settings. We suck it up and don't say we are uncomfortable with things, then get ticked at the providers or ourselves because we were uncomfortable. I believe this contributes a great deal to the original post, I would ask the OP how many men complained or protested about it. While we argue we should get the same respect and consideration as the female patients in that example, how many complained or asked for it. Not saying the double standard is acceptable, because I still don't feel it was. Being treated differently because of gender is profiling period. But say nothing and you own part of it. Women are better at it because they had to do it to get even basic rights.
I asked because I used to teach a junior achievement class at the local high school a couple times a year on the value of education and employment options. One thing I noticed is I had only one male in the numerous years I did it hold up his hand when I asked who have considered nursing as a career. He wanted to be a flight nurse so as you indicated, a specialty area. I have heard ER attracts males in nursing as well. The obvious thing I took away was young exactly your point, these young men (8th & 9th grade) saw it as a woman's profession and were afraid they would be called gay if the said they wanted to be a nurse. I was just curious if you saw anything being done to change that perception. I have done some things on my own to plant the seed for young men that nursing isn't a female or male career, it is a good career if helping people is your passion. I didn't know if the profession itself even had this on the radar as something that should be looked at.
Interesting dissection of Banterings conversation. The history of male MD's dominating the field is well known as well as women's struggles in general for equal treatment. It continues at some level today. I know a couple of men whom are RN's and have talked about being on the other end of that where they came into the "girls club". One talked about how one of the female nurses stuck a nickname on him by taking the one of the letters on his name (Doug) and turning it upside down. You get the picture. He said he just had to live with it and laugh it off until he moved and got a job at another hospital though he hated it. Both guys talked about being the minority and a little of an outsider. When I was in college....many decades ago, there was a conscious effort to encourage women to enter medicine. I am curious Esme12, do you see any efforts to increase gender diversity in nursing? Time and women standing up are largely for integrating the ranks of MD's. That was part of a larger women's right movement. What do you see with men coming into nursing? Is there any effort to address the disparity or is it just seen as a non-issue?
Esme12, thanks for the comments and clarification. I really think these discussions could be very productive if both "sides" could communicate on a more rationale level. The lack of discussion often leads to unneeded suffering, accusations, and animosity between people who should be working together. To your point I read a post where MD (male) was challenged on why he had to have a nurse (female) present for a vasectomy when all she did was stand there. The MD said when ever I cut anything I have back up who is also a witness. When pushed that it was minor and he could do it himself he said I am not willing to put my lisc. at risk after investing so much time and money in it. I do the prep myself, drape them so only a small square is exposed, then call the nurse in, that is my contribution to accommodating. After I thought about it, couldn't argue. Now perhaps there might be other things but once he explained it made sense. My mother passed in a hospital after getting up in the middle of the night under medication and fell, vomited, and aspirated back into her lungs. The staff was obviously distraught and evasive as we sat with her during her last hours. Later I was told this is a cardinal sin in the hospital for someone to fall and the root of many lawsuits. To me, it was a tragic accident that happened. I didn't blame them and understood but apparently it is common for people to blame the caregiver and seek legal action. Working with the specter of legal action creates protocols that many on the outside do not understand. When patients are under stress, embarrassed and receive responses that seem to deny these issues exist of perhaps at times make them feel like they are the problem they push back, at times to aggressively. Thank you for the conversation and insight. The more I know the more I appreciate.
The hard part about electronic exchanges is it is hard to read intent at times. I am having a little difficulty grasping your thought here Esme12 but I think we are close to being on the same page just speaking a little different language. I would guess that the policy of requiring a female POLICE OFFICER attend female suspects is more a hospital or perhaps even police policy than a matter of law. You are following that policy, as would be expected. Lets face it, while the issues we are discussing here are serious to a degree they are nothing like Blacks faced prior and through the civil rights movements. I mean they were beaten and lynched. Women were not given the right to vote, and if a woman was married to a wife beater, not only was it ignored some justified it. So in lets keep this in perspective.
Further I agree that the double standard exists both ways in society, and in many areas of work including medicine. My point of using your quote was the thought process that it was right to provide same gender police for women, but not for men is an obvious example of a double standard. That double standard was not set by nurses, it was set by either police or hospital admin. not to be malicious. While one can justify it with sexual assault, you do so by using that broad brush on all males that providers do not want applied to them by the few bad apples.
Society in general does downplay modesty in men, just as it at one time widely held untrue and inaccurate views of women and African Americans. That stereotype to some degree is transferred to the medical system through policy and practice. Again it does not make providers bad people for how it plays out. Historically women and minorities have been treated far worse, no one can logically debate that. I also find it impossible to argue that while things are better, they still face more than I as a white male. It does not however make a double standard against males, even white males right. Wrong is wrong regardless of who and the degree.
The double standard is wrong, that does not mean providers are responsible for it. If the policy is female police for female patients, doesn't matter for men, that is what you as would expect a provider to do. But it doesn't make the incident right anymore than it makes you wrong. Nor does what happens to others be they male or female in other areas justify this as a who has it worse mentality provides no winners. While I understand the argument it is OK to discriminate because some men assault women, and further the majority of abuse are men on women, does society say it is OK for stores to shadow Black males or police to pull over Black males more because statistically the highest rate of crime is among Black Males?
We as a society said this is not acceptable so it should not be acceptable to apply to a male in the medical setting. No doubt as you stated there are occasions where providers cannot provide same gender for patients of either gender. That just is not possible. No doubt in my mind women and minorities have had it worse in the past and continue to face more challenges than white males. But once again, when it happens to a white male, as appears to be the case here, it is no less wrong. Not sure if I explained that any better, I do agree 100% caregivers are among the best of the best in our society, they have that little extra heart that makes them want to do what they do.
You should be offended and defend your fellow caregivers and profession when someone wants to paint you with the broad brush of unethical for the actions of a few. You should be offended when someone says because you do your job as instructed you are a bad or uncaring person. I agree you should not be EXPECTED to put yourself at risk either physically or professionally for the sake of addressing something like institutional discrimination i.e. the double standard. I agree with you 100% on those points, just saying none of this makes the double standard right, regardless of who causes it, regardless of how small it is. But to lay that all on providers ignores the reality of the situation.
As you said, it is what it is.
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