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A demand too far?

(106 Posts)
Oldwoman70 Tue 28-Jan-20 09:36:25

Ann Francke Head of the Chartered Management Institute is calling for men to be prevented from discussing sport at work as it could lead to women feeling excluded.

Isn't it sexist to assume that women don't enjoy watching and talking about sport?

Are there any topics which women should be prevented from discussing?

Anyone else feel some of the "demands" are becoming trivial and frivolous?

Jane10 Tue 28-Jan-20 09:41:50

This is certainly a demand too far. What next?!

phoenix Tue 28-Jan-20 09:44:36

Ridiculous, outmoded sexist viewpoint.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 28-Jan-20 09:46:52

It's a bit daft isn't it? You may as well ban car-talk, "Strictly" and soap operas? All very silly. What happened to give and take?

Sara65 Tue 28-Jan-20 10:15:23

We’ve been talking about this subject at work, and decided that there’s nothing we can talk about at all.

Sport is out, brexit is out, discussing one’s children is out, car talk is out, so all we can talk about is work.

I don’t want to talk about sport, but with the six nations coming up, I wouldn’t fancy my chances at trying to ban it. It’s just all a bit silly.

newnanny Tue 28-Jan-20 10:31:15

Crazy, I love sport and in Olympic year banning talk on sport is rediculous. Many woman enjoy both playing, watching or talking about sport.

GrannySquare Tue 28-Jan-20 10:35:05

Off piste but I heard this news item yesterday.

It was most surreal when on Holocaust Memorial Day, the radio announcer introduced Ann Francke.

Kalu Tue 28-Jan-20 10:43:28

Yet another nonsensical rule I don’t agree with. 🥱

Nortsat46 Tue 28-Jan-20 10:43:44

I agree with other GNs comments, it’s not really possible.

However, I have often been in senior management meetings with 8 - 10 men and perhaps one other woman. The pre meeting talk was almost always football and was often started by the Chief Exec. On more than one occasion senior managers were offered seats in the Directors Box at the local Premier League football club.
I don’t watch football so couldn’t contribute to the discussions and had no desire to attend a live football match.

Therefore I do understand some conversations can be excluding.

However, in my service I would caution my teams - no political or religious discussions in the office.

CraftyGranny Tue 28-Jan-20 10:50:57

I agree with Kalu. Isn't this the type of thing they are calling woke.

It is absolutely ridiculous

kittylester Tue 28-Jan-20 10:54:26

They obviously haven't met DD2 & DD3 who are more knowledgeable about football than lots of men.

Mapleleaf Tue 28-Jan-20 11:01:48

If true, absolutely ridiculous.

notanan2 Tue 28-Jan-20 11:02:16

I think you need to take it in context.

Office chat in a way that you know only includes certain people present is rude/bullying. Especially when you direct your conversation at certain people and not others.

Chatting generally about a range of topics that dont all interest everyone is fine.

There is a difference and its all to do with context and intent.

We had a visiting senior to our office who only "chit chatted" about golf to our permanant senior men.
As it happens I can hold my own in small talk about golf but that wasnt the point, he was making it clear that he didnt chat with us and we would all just have to sit there before meetings started while he postured and was all matey golf chat with ONLY the other senior men. He was making a point. Ordinarily if he wasnt there there would be general small talk amongst everyone.

Witzend Tue 28-Jan-20 11:14:58

Personally I’d find it boring, but then I’d also find talk of the GBBO or Strictly boring, as would quite a few others.

Are women to be banned from discussing traditional ‘girly’ topics, then, in case the poor chaps feel excluded from e.g. make-up, pregnancy, breastfeeding, their men being rubbish at this or that?

notanan2 Tue 28-Jan-20 11:23:45

But it IS rude when women who have kids just chat to the other mothers about mother stuff when the office has people in it who dont have children.

That doesnt mean you should never mention them but office chat should be inclusive not dominated by a niche topic that leaves some on the sidelines

janipat Tue 28-Jan-20 11:28:27

I'd love a conversation about football! Or cricket, rugby union, athletics, but not golf thanks very much. Don't want to join in any about Strictly, Dancing on ice, GBBO, Love Island, I'm a celebrity etc etc. How blindly sexist to assume because she obviously isn't into sport that other women aren't either. I know quite a few men that aren't into sport, or cars or other "male" interests. Soon we'll only be able to discuss that most British of topics, the weather! Don't like the subject being discussed? Introduce another of your choosing, but bear in mind, not everyone will want to join in, maybe through disinterest or perhaps lack of knowledge.

SueDonim Tue 28-Jan-20 12:10:10

Well, I love cricket, though don’t give a fig for football. That person was wrong to single out sport as a topic not to be discussed. Hasn’t she heard that there are women’s teams in both football and cricket? hmm

Sara65 Tue 28-Jan-20 12:23:04

There are seven of us in our office, we talk about anything and everything, not all of us are interested in everything of course.

A bit of every morning is a catch up on Love Island (not by me) then a review of Vera and Coronation street. A bit of sport, family stuff, we all know each other really well, and have quite a laugh, no subjects are banned!

Doodledog Tue 28-Jan-20 12:32:55

I agree with Notanan2.

I have known people deliberately have conversations about topics that exclude some (or only include others) and it is definitely very rude.

Sometimes it just happens, however, with no malice aforethought. If people are talking about what happened on Eastenders and someone else arrives who doesn't watch it, they will feel left out. Ideally, people should be able to read the room and notice if someone is looking a bit left out, but I suppose it depends on how long the conversation is expected to last. 5 minutes before a meeting is very different from a whole lunch hour.

Sexist? Not at all, unless it is intended to be. In the old days when golf courses were for men only, it was often said that the best deals were done on the golf course. That sort of thing was very definitely discriminatory, as is deliberately having meetings on licensed premises (which excludes members of some religions) and regularly holding meetings out of school hours to exclude parents.

I once had a manager who did the latter. She resented working parents (well, working mothers, really - the one single parent male in the team was treated like a saint), and refused to have end-timed meetings so that I could make arrangements for my children if they were going to run late. She did it on purpose, but I knew that it would be playing into her hands if I made a fuss, as she would have used it as 'proof' that mothers were a burden in the workplace.

janipat Tue 28-Jan-20 12:53:42

Doodledog how can it not be sexist when this is the quote is calling for men to be prevented from discussing sport at work as it could lead to women feeling excluded. She didn't say "those not interested in sport" she specifically says women.

notanan2 Tue 28-Jan-20 13:01:37

There is a well established history which hasnt gone away of decisions and promotions being made at the sports club and "boys drinks" not in meetings or the office.

This still happens. The men taking themselves off to "talk sport" at conferences and coming back with funding and promotions and deals signed and sealed without the women getting input.

Where a certain type of senior male uses subjects like sport to bond with the men and not the women, and line them up for promotion, measures do need to be taken to level the playing field.

janipat Tue 28-Jan-20 13:02:17

Perhaps she can suggest some subjects which are 100% inclusive? I've failed to think of even one hmm

notanan2 Tue 28-Jan-20 13:03:41

Its not hard, direct your small talk at all present not just one or two in the group.

janipat Tue 28-Jan-20 13:05:35

notanan2 that sort of practice is not what she's addressing though is it? She's talking about office chitchat between fellow workers.

janipat Tue 28-Jan-20 13:06:26

Please tell me what are truly universal small talk subjects.