It is 42 years since I finished medical school. I could retire anytime, but I like my work. I love the patients I meet and the people I work with and, if work were not more fun than knitting or my hobbies, I’d give it up. However, I am fed up with people suggesting to me that I do not have to be working on this new inpatient program at my hospital where I may be exposed to patients with COVID-19. They usually say this from the lofty superiority of their young age. They mean well.
They mean well.
Meaning well is the most often used excuse for condescension and patronization, in my experience, and, as a woman in medicine for 46 years, I have been patronized a lot.
What shocks me is that, despite years of sensitivity training and gender equity courses and allies and mentors, there continue to be people of every gender – and I mean that in the nonbinary sense – who cannot possibly see that beneath my mild-mannered, aging exterior is a capable, knowledgeable and expert member of my profession.
I am not alone in this plight. The women of my generation in many fields have never been taken seriously.
I would like to go one complete month of my working life when someone does not me “dear”.
I am sick of mansplaining – again, from any gender. In case you don’t understand what mansplaining is, think about leaving your house with the GPS on. For the first kilometre or so, a voice tells you how to do something that you have been doing for years!!! That is mansplaining.
Finally, finally, finally, stop meaning well.
My day began with a meeting from home in which all this began: the meaning well and the mansplaining. For the rest of the day, I noticed small incidents of these behaviours wherever I went until it just burst out now.
Please tell me that I’m not the only one who experiences this.