How would you react to this? ~Sexist comment from manager, haven’t even started yet~

Oracle / Data
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Oracle Data

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Oracle
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Aug 29 85 Comments

I interviewed for a new role, and have already accepted the offer (consulting). I am no longer w/ Oracle, taking some time off, I start in a couple of weeks. The fact that I am engaged came up during the interview process, that’s about it.

New boss and team are in town and invite me to join dinner to meet them. New boss says halfway through dinner, “I understand we have your fiancé to thank for you accepting the job” *I’m sure I look confused AF* “I mean, that he conviced you to make the change to something stable” etc something along those lines I can’t even remember the exact words b/c I was stunned. I think my response was something like, “Oh, I’m not sure about that, but I’ll pass that along” feeling absolutely taken aback and stunned.

I’m actually older than my fiancé, make more money than him, and we work in completely different industries. Of course I told him I was inferviewing, but I need ZERO help navigating my career from him, thank you very much.

How would you have reacted? It felt like blatant sexism to me, as no one would ever say something like that to a man! Am I doomed in this new position? Haven’t even stepped foot in the door yet. Any advice appreciated.

Not that it matters, but I am a white female in my 30’s, boss is Indian male in his 40’s (I’m guessing.) I’m pointing this out to ask about the cultural difference - is this important to consider? (reference: https://us.teamblind.com/s/SGVHSuUO)

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TOP 85 Comments
  • Microsoft hi it's e
    Wait where is the sexist part?
    Aug 29 7
    • New / Project qEsh05
      I'm also confused (and a woman). It's not something great to say, but I've heard similar said to a man. Along the lines of, "Glad, the wife helped you come to the right decision."

      Yes, you're capable of making your own decision, but people assume that you're also considerate of your spouse when making a life decision. Some people are just awkward at dinner (referring to boss, not necessarily you, op).
      Aug 29
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Sure, I interpreted it that way b/c it was very off-putting, since they didn’t even know me, let alone my fiancé. I found it presumptuous and kind of offensive. As many others have pointed out in the thread, it *could* be said on both sides, and it was probably meant in a light-hearted way, although the delivery was awkward. It’s important for me to recognize the other person’s intent- I agree, I don’t think their intention was to be sexist or put me down, but that’s how I took it initially.
      Aug 29
    • New / Product
      B0ngzilla

      New Product

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      Pegasystems, Robert Half
      BIO
      I’m Canadian, but then I got better.
      B0ngzillamore
      I don’t doubt that this offended you. But it might be worth reconsidering what gets you worked up because this seems to be benign/awkwardly worded.
      Aug 29
    • Google Mr. Glass
      Men get comments all the time about picking a stable job due to family/kids/wife etc. It’s common and not sexist. Stop taking pointless offenses and grow up.
      Sep 5
    • Cox Communications zoink99
      My boss literally brought out a man card once. When he brought up again we laughed told him it was sexist and then I told him my guy friends used to joke about how many man cards I've taken. Lol. He didn't know what to say. People are human and if you are in tech as a female....umm...why is this shocking? You gotta man up
      Sep 5
  • Microsoft . Atinlay2
    When men have similar encounters, they tend to shrug it off and move on. Not make a hashtag out of it
    Aug 29 9
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      I recognize that you have different experiences that me, @.Atinlay2. I think the goal in seeking advice is to see if you could recognize my experience and empathize at all? Sounds like that’s a hard no.
      Aug 29
    • Microsoft . Atinlay2
      It’s not for lack of empathy. I think you calling this exchange “sexism” is another instance of the word losing its meaning. Candidly I think you need to grow thicker skin. It doesn’t matter if I am ethically right or wrong because reality is not fair.
      Aug 30
    • Activision Blizzard / Creative e00
      Agree with ^
      Recognize it wasn't a "sexist" comment and empathize that you may have over reacted to someone trying to make small talk with new employee
      Aug 30
    • If you had read the other posts here @Activision you would know OP has done that already.

      (Granted, it was poorly worded small talk in the modern context given the short history of women working in the United States.)

      @Microsoft’s comment was totally uncalled for because he also downplayed a “hashtag”; in fact, sexual harassment is actually a rampant problem in pretty much all industries.
      Aug 30
    • Google Mr. Glass
      @2muchblind read OP’s post again - there’s no sexual harassment or sexism here. That’s Off topic from this thread. Men get comments all the time about picking a stable job due to family/kids/wife etc. It’s common and not sexist. Stop taking pointless offenses and grow up.
      Sep 5
  • New / Eng tralang
    “It felt like blatant sexism to me, as no one would ever say something like that to a man!”

    I am a married man. People say that kind of thing all the time when you are engaged/newly married. It’s congratulatory teasing about growing up.

    Don’t be so sensitive. 😎
    Aug 29 5
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      So I shouldn’t be reading more into this? It struck me as so strange. I just met these people, so they have no point of reference as to who I am.
      Aug 29
    • Google kill -9
      This is exactly the kind of thing someone would say to a man who is engaged and just took a new job. "She made you settle down and find something stable".
      Aug 29
    • Uber / Strategy IXX
      Was just coming to post the same thing. I’m a male in my 30s and had similar comments from a few people when I took a fortune 100 job instead of a consulting offer out of b-school.

      I think you are new, they don’t know you, so they are trying to find ways to approach you and have a lighthearted conversation. Consider it an awkward comment from someone poorly versed in small talk, not sexism.
      Aug 29
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Ok, I buy that, @IXX.
      Aug 29
    • Netflix agkW36
      If you are looking for sexism you’ll surely find it.
      Aug 30
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Porch / Eng afhujnvvfg
      Just going to assume you are joking
      Aug 29
    • Oracle / Consultant
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      OP
      Was inquiring about cultural differences.
      Aug 29
    • Facebook I♥️💦🥧
      @porch and of course you must be a white female to tell a poc that racism is a joke.
      Aug 29
    • Porch / Eng afhujnvvfg
      Hah, too bad you will never know bruh
      Aug 29
  • DoorDash hqt1
    Someone's being too touchy and entitled. I don't want to get into who that someone is..
    Aug 29 4
    • Porch / Eng afhujnvvfg
      Says the person who doesn't have to deal with this shit daily.
      Aug 29
    • DoorDash hqt1
      Can you describe the "shit" you're referring to?
      Aug 29
    • Amazon / Eng sde3
      How dare you to ask her/him/whatever to explain, you sexist dirty boy.
      Aug 29
    • MongoDB tlb_miss
      Middle aged, Indian manager? 😂😂
      Aug 30
  • ViaSat / Eng sduser7
    Tc ?
    Aug 29 4
    • eBay DickJonas
      Scared of saying “ TC or GTFO” 😅
      Aug 29
    • ViaSat / Eng sduser7
      Lmao, didn't wanna be labeled sexist
      Aug 29
    • eBay DickJonas
      Welcome to the club bro/ sis 🤣😂
      Aug 29
    • ForRent / Eng HpDp30
      @ViaSat - but you were sexist against male population by not saying that 😄
      Aug 29
  • Anheuser-Busch Korona_guz
    Def cringe worthy. I’d chalk it up to small talk fail (he was trying to weave in your engagement) and not “grab ‘em in the pu$$¥” level sexism.
    Aug 29 2
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Ok, makes sense. Thank you for your assessment.
      Aug 29
    • Visa / Eng kjzO64
      I think this is the right answer, but man is that a small talk fail.
      Aug 30
  • Salesforce hususuh
    My wife makes me do things all the time. White male in late 30's (I know) /w wife & baby.
    Aug 29 4
    • Amazon OdpS15
      You mean your share of the chores? Must be hard. You poor baby.
      Aug 30
    • Google Mr. Glass
      ^ that’s sexism you bigot
      Sep 5
    • Salesforce hususuh
      Confused by Amazon comment. Nothing in my post was a complaint or a reference to who does what chores in our house. Was just a statement of fact. You must be a fun person to be around.

      And for the record I do way more of the "chores" around the house compared to my wife. But that doesn't really seem relevant to the point I was making.
      Sep 5
    • Google Mr. Glass
      The Amazon guy/girl is a bigoted and sexist scum. It is evident from their anti-men bias.
      Sep 5
  • Google obTs71
    Snowflake! Looking for every opportunity to get offended!
    Aug 29 1
    • MongoDB tlb_miss
      Every American girl's so sensitive nowadays 🙄
      Aug 30
  • Microsoft qpKcufn
    In Indian culture, these decisions are always made together as a couple. If you were a male, he would have made the same “small talk”. Kudos to you for viewing this from a cultural standpoint
    Aug 29 0
  • Google / Eng
    proletaria

    Google Eng

    BIO
    Workers of the world, unite!
    proletariamore
    Sorry that you have to deal with the other commenters here; the teams I've been on have been 90+% male and 70+% Chinese/Indian H1-Bs, and such comments seem all too common.

    I had a female intern last summer and, during an off-site, she was the only sub-30 female, so things got edgy after the older males got to drinking...

    It's likely an obvious answer: I'd say that the unfortunately optimal way to approach this is to not make such comments a big deal, but push back on them every time they occur (without being confrontational... Which is a ridiculous tightrope).

    Ultimately, I personally pushed back against those folks's behaviour and no one bothered her again. Relying on a male to have to deal with such issues is a pretty shitty reality though.
    Aug 29 2
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Are you a male?

      How do you push back without being confrontational? Genuinely looking for an example reply.
      Aug 29
    • Oracle / Eng aham
      ^^ laughingly say "I am adult enough to make my own decisions"
      Aug 29
  • Netflix agkW36
    That s why I don’t invite female employees for lunch or dinner ever, unless surrounded by a large group of people and try not to talk to them outside of professional work. They can find something I said or did..
    Aug 30 1
  • Lending Club awrxxgmnvg
    You will regret and repent so don’t join against your belief system. Don’t spoil the culture of the team and kudos to your judgement skills.
    Aug 29 2
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Can you elaborate?
      Aug 29
    • Lending Club awrxxgmnvg
      I can’t if you can’t get S.A.R.C.A.S.M sista!!
      Aug 29
  • eBay DickJonas
    🍿 🍷 🍺
    whatever one says can be used against him/her so here for the precious advice that follow
    Aug 29 4
    • Pivotal bartelby
      It seems we're headed in the direction that everything said and done is coded with sexist racist or some sort of ist undertone. I wish people were more straight up about the things that made them uncomfortable during private 1:1 convos.
      Aug 29
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Great point. Aka Radical Candor.
      What would you say/ how would you approach this in a straight up way? I was so caught off-guard, I couldn’t think fast enough on my feet.
      Aug 29
    • New / Eng
      area51-

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC or GTFO
      area51-more
      If a white dude had said it, I don’t think you would have had an issue OP. Calm down, y’all too fluffy in 2019.
      Aug 29
    • Google Mr. Glass
      Men get comments all the time about picking a stable job due to family/kids/wife etc. It’s common and not sexist. Stop taking pointless offenses and grow up.
      Sep 5
  • Facebook e4forlife
    ❄️ not everything is sexism. 🤦‍♂️
    Aug 29 1
    • Netflix agkW36
      The rest is racism
      Aug 30
  • Fastmail ajdnfbf2
    TLDR is treat women like resources and not human beings. Do not reference any part of their personal lives at work, as risk of waah muh sexism is too high if you do so.
    Aug 29 0
  • New
    SrZeroCool

    New

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    SrZeroCoolmore
    Many years ago, I accepted a new role at a company and was going to start in 2-3 weeks.

    While I was working at the current job, my wife sends me a text of flowers at the front door.
    She thought I purchased flowers for her and was thanking me.

    She texted me again saying that it wasn't from me and it was coming from my new employer.
    The note said something like this w/out the annotations

    "Thank you for 'allowing' your husband to come work for us." blah blah blah

    My wife was happy that they thought of her...

    1. I'm actually older than my wife.
    2. Make more money than her.
    3. We work in completely different industries.
    4. I told her about the new job, but I need ZERO help navigating my career from her.

    Should I be upset that they did this?

    FYI - some of the points you made (1-4)... if a man were to say that, it would be counted as sexist.
    Aug 31 4
    • Amazon OdpS15
      So no one said that to you ? You are just hypothetically making this up?
      Sep 1
    • New
      SrZeroCool

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      SrZeroCoolmore
      True story
      Sep 1
    • Amazon OdpS15
      Which part? Doubt anyone said they allowed you to do anything. Just making stuff up to prove a point. What your hypothetical employer did was pretty sexist too. Not sure what your point was.
      Sep 1
    • New
      SrZeroCool

      New

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      SrZeroCoolmore
      The whole thing is true. That's what they said.... I don't care what you doubt.
      Sep 1
  • Boeing utthii
    Me think you’re being too sensitive and see problem where there is none.
    Aug 29 0
  • eBay uhgWpls
    Why sexist? We all need to thank our best half for the sacrifices they do and their support, when we make a career choice (which almost always negatively affects personal life to some extent).
    Aug 29 3
    • Oracle / Data
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      OP
      Because it’s not something a man would say to another man. Therefore, gender dictated the phrasing of the statement.
      Aug 29
    • Procore Obama2024
      If you want to say it’s sexist you will think that. Being a woman or minority you may feel that way often. It’s something white males may not understand as it never happens they are treated differently in any way and they will think it was attributed to their gender or sex.
      Aug 29
    • MongoDB tlb_miss
      The things I talk about to my guy friends, like sports, and maybe finance, will not be the same when I talk to girl friends, who may be more into fashion, travel etc. The gender of my friends dictates the topic of conversation -- is that also being sexist?

      The things I talk about to my dad is different from the things I would discuss with my mum. The gender of the parent I'm talking to dictates the topic of conversation -- is that also being sexist?
      Aug 30
  • Activision Blizzard / Creative e00
    Don't know why you brought up your fiance's age or work/pay...wonder how he'd feel about that paragraph 🙄❄️
    Aug 30 0