Fighting Words

Man Experiences Gender Discrimination, Suddenly Realizes It Exists

 @JamesDiGioia
on July 16 2013 3:19 PM

I've seen this interesting Tumblr post floating around the Internet lately. The short version is this: A man named Kim applies for jobs, gets a lot of rejections, then tacks "Mr." before his name on his resume and suddenly gets interviews.

My choice to brand the CV with a bold positioning of my name actually seemed to scream that I was a woman. I could easily imagine many of the people I had worked for discarding the document without even reading further. If they did read further, the next thing they saw (as politeness declared at the time) was a little personal information: I was married with kids. I had put this in because I thought many employers would see it as showing stability, but when I viewed it through the skewed view of middle-aged men who thought I was a woman, I could see it was just further damning my cause. I doubt if many of the managers I had known would have made it to the second page.

I think the most surprising thing is how often men act like there is no gender discrimination in hiring or promotions, or even that women are hired or promoted more often. The bigger thing, though, is that we're mostly just oblivious to all the ways in which being a white male comes with its set of benefits and privileges.

The title itself points to this: "How I Discovered Gender Discrimination." Discovered. As if no one has ever seen it before. The writer obviously hasn't, and I imagine his experience is not uncommon.

You don't often run into a situation like this where you get to experience what others go through (although computer games could soon change that), so the fact that Kim was willing to share his experience should hopefully be enlightening for everyone.

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