I can see a lot of different places to put this topic. If this isn't the best one, feel free to move it. I really believe the best way to solve a problem begins with understanding it as much as possible. For that reason, I want to make it clear that any and all experiences and opinions are welcome here. But, what I'm looking for is a discussion of experiences and view points. I'm NOT looking for blaming or bashing. That might make us feel better, in the moment, but I really don't think it has much to do with problem solving. When I say "any and all", I mean it. Any orientation, gender, group, what ever. Even if you happen to be white, male, conventionally gendered, what ever. All I ask is that everyone treat each other like you'd want to be treated, if you had a choice. I'm going to start with a story about something that happened the other day. I'm a farrier, by trade. (Also female, heterosexual, but not especially feminine. Never played with dolls, haven't owned a dress since I graduated from high school. My idea of dressed up is clean jeans.. etc) I'd been called to a local zoo to trim zebra feet. (Yes, zebras.) This involved tranquilizer guns etc, so it involved a veterinarian. Male. Someone I've worked with before. He's ok, but I suspect we will never be actual friends. He brought with him a technician, also male. I'm going to guess these guys are in their late 30's. To me, they come off as a bit macho. (I tend to be wary of people like that because they can get you hurt when you're working with large, reactive animals that are stronger than a human. Because "macho" often goes with the mind set that they can out muscle the animal. They can't and it sometimes ends badly) The zoo was represented by 3 staff. All female, all maybe late 20's, early 30's. I'm older than all of them. On the way out to tranq zebras, the tech got a call from the office. When he got off the phone. he made a comment, directed at his boss, but clearly with the whole group as "audience". He said he was glad he wasn't back at the office. "Estrogen" was cited and he said that the two women back at the office were mad at each other. (He didn't say it in quite that neutral a way. he was joking around about "women".) His boss replied with another "estrogen" joke. The young women from the zoo laughed. (I don't want to put too much interpretation on HOW they laughed. My take was it was uncomfortable, but that might have been because I was debating whether or not it was worth making a scene. I decided it wasn't.) So what the heck was THAT? I won't call it "harassment". I think it was a lame joke, in exceedingly poor taste. One on one? I'd have gone right to "What, exactly, do you mean by THAT?" But, I was there to trim zebra feet, not educate the unevolved. For anyone with an answer, I'd kind of like to know the intent of comments like that. It was perceived, by me, as a put down. It left me wondering if these two felt they were working with competent help, since we were female. (Which is a little ironic, because I was wondering if THEY were competent help. LOL) Was it intended as a put down? Were they just too ignorant to realize how it sounded? I KNOW why no one questioned it. The power thing. They were older than the zoo people. The vet has a license which put him "in charge" of the festivities. (Although the people from the zoo probably should have taken charge more than they did, as things evolved, because things got messy.) Which is another thing. From that point on, it was even HARDER for them to assert themselves than it already was. Were the guys aware of that? I have to work with this guy on a semi-regular basis. I'd be willing to call him out one on one, but I'm not going to embarrass him in public over something that's was minor and questionable. Thoughts? Feel free to use other examples. I'd really like to understand this dynamic. Some of my favorite people are heterosexual males. I KNOW many of them don't make jokes like this. (At least not when I'm around.) I'd like to think some of the ones that do are merely stupid. But then, my T often tells me I give people too much credit. What's up with this stuff?