Glass Ceilings

Hey Hey Hey! I skipped a post last week because of reasons. And it was Labor Day and I was sufficiently enjoying being lazy as fuck. I was also supposed to post this yesterday, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

The good news is! I know what I’m writing about next week.

Today, however, I wanted to talk about glass ceilings. Mostly in the workforce, but also in general. I often wonder if glass ceilings exist here, on our beloved internet. I believe that’s true. There’s a reason why a former post of mine encompasses the idea that I’m terrified of the internet: because I know that as a woman, I am more likely to be harassed until I shut my mouth (or close my laptop).

Wait wait wait – what is a glass ceiling? A basic definition of it is that minorities – such as women, people of color, LGBT people, etc. – can only get so far. This typically refers to jobs – that once a minority gets so far in a position, they won’t be able to get further, or something will “happen” that will cause them to leave before they can move up. For a more extensive definition, I suggest Google.

In real life, I am more likely to be asked to leave a job, or to leave a job on my own, due to sexual harassment or even someone misconstruing something I say.

As a bisexual woman, I am more likely to be confused as being hypersexualized – because the assumption is that as someone who is attracted to both genders it must be because I just really like sex. Because of that – someone could assume that I’m hitting on them.

glassceilingAlso as a woman, I am more likely to be turned down from a job because I won’t be able to “fit in” with the environment. Here’s the never-ending cycle: a workforce mainly hires men; this workforce posts a position online; a number of candidates apply – both women and men; both a man and a woman are in the top; since the workforce is mainly men, they pass over the woman because she may not fit in or feel comfortable around the “shop talk”; thus, they continue hiring mainly men.

My partner is a black, “butch”, lesbian (though, technically she’s a pre-transition straight trans-man). Because of this, she is more likely to be accused of stealing (because she’s black and looks like a man), sexual harassment (because once again, being gay – or just having an “alternative lifestyle” – means that people can assume that you’re attracted to them), and overstepping her boundaries. That glass ceiling comes down real quick for people with more than one “level” of minority.

I’m glad I know all of this, but I think the important thing is that other people need to know this. A lot of people, I believe, don’t recognize or understand their position as people of privilege. I will fight, all day, everyday, but until people who have that power realize that we also need their help with this fight, that glass ceiling is going to be harder to break.

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