Today was just like a regular morning at work, at least until one of my female colleagues (F) mentioned about three of her female friends who were divorced.
The morning was just getting interesting.
I honestly don’t know the situation out there. Things that are happening in our surroundings are often used as a ‘tool’ to get a picture of what’s happening in a larger scope. I was never interested in knowing people’s personal life and I rarely hear any gossips about my college or high school friends, so I have no idea that divorce rate are increasing in Indonesia.
Things were getting more interesting when one of my male colleagues (M) commented about the divorce.
F: “You know what? My friend is becoming more successful now that she was divorced from her husband. She works even harder to feed her children without the support of the husband. She’s now an assistant to a VP in a prestigious commercial bank, she was just a marketing staff when we worked together.”
M: “Really? It’s possible that your friend is sleeping around with people with power and is using her beauty and body to get a more stable and better job position.“
I was stunned!
That was such an inconsiderate assumption. I know my colleague isn’s an asshole, but his way of thinking is probably something he can’t help but unconsciously internalised during his growing process.
Woman is seen as an object, her success is questioned unlike her male counterpart’s success. It is as if woman can only be successful in her field when she’s using her body and beauty instead of her brain. It’s frustrating to encounter people with this way of thinking.
I objected right away.
I told him that he’s being sexist. There are plenty of times that pretty girls are assumed to be stupid. That when a woman get a promotion at work and get anything else that she worked hard for, people assume that whoever gave it to her found her attractive. Why isn’t it assumed that woman worked hard and earned it?
Looks and intelligence are not related, but for some reasons people try to link the two when it comes to women. It’s not fair and we don’t really see that happening to men.
What’s sad is a lot of people don’t realize that it’s an act of sexism when they assume these kind of things.