Jul 9, 2009


I've always worked in a male-dominated environment. In fact, I've mostly grown up, studied and socialised in male-dominated environments as well. Sometimes it feels like my environment is so male-dominated, that even the girls are guys.

When I say male, I don't mean just physiologically having all the right bits, or being loud, brash, football-loving, beer-drinking hooligans (though sometimes they are). No, when I say male, I mean alpha-male.

As in:
Emotions are for pansies
Abuse just makes you stronger
I make all the obligatory, PC noises about work-life balance but balance is for pansies
I bring my blackberry into the delivery room
I'm on a conference call when I go into surgery
I show up to work straight from my mother's funeral
I eat pansies for breakfast

Now I have been called an "alpha-bitch" in the past (at least once that I know of, and probably several times behind my back) but in reality I'm just a big girl. It's a chronic condition, but one that's been getting more acute with age. Now I cry at work. Regularly. For stupid reasons like getting yelled at, dumped by email during a meeting or being severely sleep-deprived. I also get sick. Like now. When that happens, I end up stranded in bed with my mother's chicken soup, feeling utterly useless. And none of my team's cheerful "relax and get well soon" emails are making me feel any less useless.

Maybe I'm not so good at the alpha game. I'm pretty sure the alpha-males never feel useless. And they never get sick. Getting sick is for pansies.

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