#Opinion

Five Sexist Stereotypes About Working Women I Am Sick Of Hearing

working women, female ceo ,Women board members

It’s no surprise that Indian society is patriarchal and in this set-up, no matter how well-educated a woman is or how modern a family is, a woman “needs permission” to work from her parents or her husband [if she’s married]. Even if they are in the workforce, they are usually neglected. Women have been invisibilised from the workforce and this huge gap is creating problems for the economy.

What happens when a woman can survive and breaks all glass ceilings though? She is subjected to sexist remarks, people question her credibility. They are underpaid compared to their male counterparts with the same educational level. Women’s decisions are met with more backlash than a man’s. People mock working women and scoff at them and obviously stereotype them to be some kind of cold person.

Why does the idea of women earning money seems so intimidating to society? Why can’t women work; what’s so wrong with it? Must women subscribe to the age-old and ridiculous gender norms? Why can’t we do away with the myths?

We have listed below five stereotypes about working women we think should be busted!

Sexist Stereotypes About Working Women That Need To Be Busted

Women can’t take on responsible tasks

As said before, female employees are often undervalued because of their gender. Male employees of the same qualifications are considered more responsible to do a particular job. This is all because of the stereotype that women are cut out to make food not flies.

But dear society, women are much more responsible than men are. Why? Because they can handle both kitchen and files.

Women can’t stay for night shifts

One of my cousins who works as a game developer in Bengaluru said that she often missed out on opportunities just because they required her to stay late in the office. She said that bosses assume that such tasks will be handled by men only since women cannot stay in the office till late at night. This is because of the stereotype that it is not safe for women to stay out at night. Moreover, at night women must change their gears and do the housework.

But dear society, women’s safety is a matter not because of women but men. We need to regulate the men who think that women staying out late at the night is a chance. Moreover, as far as housework is concerned, women have the freedom to prioritise work sometimes. They have to be good wives/mothers/bahus as well as good employees.

Women ‘s opinions don’t matter

Often during office meetings, female employees are often shunned from speaking or keeping their point of view on the table. Even if they do, they are always corrected or not heard. This is because of the stereotype that women don’t have much knowledge and experience about work. Or in other words, men are always more experienced and right. Moreover, their discretion is better for the kitchen than for board meetings.

But dear society, women have the right to express their opinion, argue and expect a respectable response from others, be it at home or at the office.

Pregnant women don’t return after maternity leaves

In our country, the female labour participation rate usually drops when women get married. Married women quit their job after marriage and pregnancy. They are overburdened by the responsibilities of home and parenting. And so many firms assume that female employees won’t return after their maternity breaks. This is also why some firms ask a female employee whether she plans to be a mother in future during the interview.

But dear society, parenting is not a mother’s responsibility alone. Even if it is, women do handle work and home together. It is their choice as to when and how she will start working. Firms don’t have the right to assume things based on gender norms. Rather it is time firms encourage male employees too to take paternity leaves and contribute to parenting. So that leaves for parenting are not alien concepts at the firms.

Women sleep their way to the top

It is a very common stereotype that female employees get jobs and promotions because they sleep with the recruiters. I have heard a person saying that his female classmates got placements because of their bodies and unbuttoned shirts.

But dear society, why is it so difficult for you to accept that women can have talents and sometimes more than men? Why can’t you look at women as intellectuals rather than sex objects?

The views expressed are the author’s own.


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