Published on April 15, 2024

How to Deal with a Misogynistic Coworker

One of the hardest things to deal with in the workplace is a misogynistic coworker. It’s hard enough being put in an office situation where most of your friends and family are working remotely, but if you are in an office situation, you should be able to get along with your coworkers enough that you can work comfortably beside them. 

Comfort is important no matter where and what you do for your job, and if you are dealing with a sexually harassing coworker, this can put a dampener on what you are doing for a living.It’s annoying to work with somebody who hates or belittles women, and if you are being sexually harassed at work, you need to know how to deal with it. You could always go through the proper channels for human resources and make a complaint, but a misogynist is someone who treats women with contempt because of their gender. Therefore, you’re not always going to be able to get the outcome that you want. 

Anybody can be a target of hate towards women. But it does happen a lot in the workplace, especially where the workplace is unfairly balanced towards one gender than the other. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can deal with it, so that even if you are undergoing complaints as a process, you can keep yourself sane in the meantime.

  • Do not engage. It’s the easiest way to avoid dealing with a misogynistic coworker, but engaging with them is a problem. If they say something sexist or offensive, ignore it. Don’t rise to the occasion. If you give them the attention that they are looking for, you’re going to increase the chances of getting affected by their words and actions. If you engage they think their behavior is acceptable and it will continue. They will also be doing this to get that rise out of you in the first place and you don’t need to put yourself in that position.
  • Ask them why they’re jokes are funny. One of the fastest ways to shut down a misogynist is to ask them why they’re so-called jokes are funny. Misogynists will make comments under the guise that it was just a joke, but you don’t have to accept that. You’ll find that they sour very quickly when they realize they have to explain why their sexual harassment comments are funny and why they have to do it in front of everybody else.If you want to stand up for yourself, keep good eye contact, keep a calm expression and voice, and make sure you ask them what the joke is. If they continue to say it’s just a joke, ask them what makes it funny. You’ll soon learn, and so will they, that nothing is funny if they have to explain themselves.
  • Don’t dismiss the comments. It’s easy to write off the comments and actions as harmless banter, also called locker room talk. But this is not a locker room, and you do not know these people comfortably enough to call them friends to have that banter with them. If you see or experience misogyny in your workplace, whether towards yourself or towards others? See it, say it, and call it out.this is going to help to create that safer and more inclusive environment for everybody else.
  • Don’t bend to reason. You shouldn’t try to reason with or explain to a misogynistic coworker why their actions are wrong. Not only is it a waste of time and energy, but they know that they are wrong and they simply do not care. If you are dealing with a man who hates women, you’re never going to be able to change his views, especially not by reason and argument, because he himself cannot hold those arguments. They also do not care enough, and all you will be doing is making sure that you are giving him your labor to explain to him why he should be a decent human being.
  • Speak to your manager. Every single time you deal with any kind of misogyny or a comment that could be misogynistic and makes you feel degraded, tell a manager about it and document that. Comment the time and the date and what the comment was and keep a log this way if people start brushing off your concerns, you literally can show them. There is a bona fide pattern that is happening in this behavior and you should not be subjected to it.
  • Create a support system. Having a support system at work can really help you to deal with misogyny far easily. If you’re misogynistic, what coworker is making you feel stressed? Make sure that you also seek some professional help. Whether you do this with therapy, medication, or an onsite councilor, you need to have somebody to guide you on how to handle these difficult situations. The last thing that you want to do is to deal with a coworker who is a misogynist who will then make threatening comments after you report them.
  • Be as involved in feminist causes as possible. One of the best ways to empower yourself and fight any misogyny is to be involved in feminist causes that make sense. Making sure that you are donating or volunteering for organizations that support women’s rights is a great way to do that. One of the things that you can do to make yourself feel good is every time you receive a misogynistic comment is to make a donation to a feminist cause in their name and let them know you’ve done that. So somebody is making misogynistic comments to you while you work, and you can show them and show the rest of the company that you have managed to donate some money to that cause in the name of the misogynist, so that they have that feeling of rage that you’ve done that.Let them feel enraged by your strength. 

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