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I just had the following conversation over OkCupid (paraphrased to avoid giving out too much information):

[Normal opening chitchat, in which I mention that I've been working really hard at my job in tech]

Him: I used to work for [some big tech company], but it wore me down. I changed jobs and I'm a lot happier and get paid more.

Me: Well, I'm actually really happy with my job now even if I do have to work long hours and have a shitty commute.

Him: Quit! Run away! But in all seriousness, though, what do you work on exactly right now, and what would you like to be doing?

Me: What I want to work on: [I name a major field in tech] and what I am working on: [the same field]. So you can see why I'm happy with my job.

Him: Did you know Amazon, Google, HP and probably a dozen others all do [field] as well? I can probably get you intros if you want.


Here I'm just like, really? REALLY!?!? I work in this field and have for years. It is a major field. "Did I know" that some of the biggest companies in tech have jobs in my field? Yeah, I fucking did. But thanks for assuming that I'm an idiot and have no idea what Google does. I also don't know why he was weirdly into convincing me to change jobs.

I've been really resenting this kind of thing recently, at work, with friends and with dating, so I kind of took it out on him. But it pisses me off so much when men just assume I don't know anything and take it upon themselves to inform me. When you get mad at them, they look baffled because "they were just trying to help".


At work, I had this coworker who was always asking if I knew really basic shit, or who would just launch into explanation of really basic shit for my benefit. Never saw him do that to another guy.

I have a few male friends who push me aside in my own home when something "masculine" goes wrong and I'm trying to fix it (hooking up tv cables, basic home repair, fixing the internet). I've had someone literally take the router out of my hands and start poking at it while I was resetting it. When I got mad at him, he looked confused, then said "Oh yeah, I forgot you have this thing about doing everything yourself". Is it that strange to get mad when someone just takes shit you were working on out of your hands because they assume you don't know what you're doing? When one of my friends is working on something, I might ask if they need help, and if they say "No, I got it", I don't try to butt in and take control.

Illustration for article titled Male condescension

And when dating, god, this is when it makes my blood boil. A lot of guys feel the need to take control and get visibly uncomfortable when I do things like answer the waiter first ("Are you ready to order?" "No, I think we need a little longer"), order items we're going to share, ask to pay the check. I think in a few cases it's because I'm Asian, and some guys have preconceived notions of what dating an Asian woman is going to be like.


Guys also seem to dislike it when they are in the position of knowing less than me. I've been lectured and monologued at so many times on dates, but if I ever try to respond to those guys about subjects I know a lot about, their eyes glaze over and they change the subject quickly.

I tried this experiment when I was younger, where I'd act all ignorant around guys, and I was depressed by how well it worked. Maybe it's different when guys are older, but back then, guys loved having a girl to explain things to and hold forth at about topics they barely understood.


If they're in tech and I tell them I work in software too, half the time they're like "Oh, are you in HR or are you a product manager?" (this is super common outside of dating too. I was with a group of my friends and we met some new guy. We told him we all work in tech. He asked all the guys what fields they were in, what product they worked on. Nothing to any of the girls)

To be fair, I think I've just had really bad luck recently. I also got this awesome message from a lawyer I went on a few dates with a while back, where he said that he was reminiscing about a date we had that he'd loved. He made some offhand joke about insects, and I was like "actually...." and proceeded to nerd at him for way too long about insects. At the time I was worried that I'd been the pompous know-it-all asshole I complain about, but in his message he referred to it as "that time I got my ass schooled on a topic I didn't know anything about" and said it was one of the highlights of his dating life.

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