How to beat WOMENEMIES at their own game! – Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog Goop gives you a guide to dealing with sexism at the workplace with some bizarre terms. TV actresses offer their suggestions…
Not too long ago, Iron Man star Gwyneth Paltrow coined the term conscious uncoupling to describe her decision to separate from her hubby and lead singer of Coldplay Chris Martin. While the word got a lot of traction online, it fit in with Paltrow’s unorthodox style. Her blog Goop is well known for offering offbeat health, wellbeing and relationship tips alongside bizarre products since it was founded back in 2008. In February, it gave a twist to the feminist movement to burn bras as a symbol of equality, and instead encouraged them to do so again, saying they could be carrying the ‘negative energy and memories’ of your failed relationships. And now it has taken on the mantle on behalf of women across the world with a guide to fighting sexism at work, albeit with a slight twist. It has coined buzzwords like Manterrupter (Someone who regularly interrupts when you speak), Bropriators (takes the credit for somebody else’s work) and Womenemy (someone who views other women as competition and undermines them), as a way to guide women and to help them cope with common problems faced because of a sexist attitude at work. We asked some popular faces on television to give a spin to workplace sexism and to coin words that best describe the situation. Here’s what they came up with.
Eyestarer: It’s a word I have coined for people who simply have no other business but ogling at women.
Wo-mentality: A lot of people are pre-disposed to judging women. It’s woe to this mentality. That needs to change.
Pamperstilskin: A lot of women are brought up on a heavy dose of fairy tales. Some are even pampered to a large extent, leaving them helpless on how to battle tricky situations when faced with them. I would term this upbringing Pamperstilskin, which gives sexism at the workplace a shot in the arm.
Coping with sexism the Goop way!
To begin with, dealing with a manterrupter, requires you to stand your ground, and to carry on talking until the other person is silenced into submission. Using body language like leaning into the table, is also said to help as it makes you seem more assertive, meaning others will be less likely to interrupt you mid-conversation. However, if both fail, a direct approach of explaining to the manterrupter that he is butting in and insist he stops doing so has been advised.
Battling bropriators requires patience and tact
Known to steal credit away from you, one technique is to publicly thank the person for using your concept — thus reminding everyone that it is yours with a subtle reminder to colleagues on why it’s important to stand up and support each other’s ideas.
Why dealing with a womenemy is a different ballgame
The only way to get through to this group is to tone down the aggressive tone and instead remind them that they stand to lose if they do not join in to fight patriarchy.