Mar 122013
 

A bit back I posted about looking for someone to work with me. As I am wont to do, I put a picture in that post. This one depicted a t-shirt with the text “Yes, master…”. The shirt is worn by a woman.

I got a comment on this:

R E S P E C T

respect for you – respect for me
this picture – it speaks for itself – is pretty sexist. knowing behind the blog is a man, and the person inside the depicted t-shirt is a wom*n.

freeda

Look, it's a guy wearing the shirt! It's ironic! See! Now get me a dead body to experiment on!

Look, it’s a guy wearing the shirt! It’s ironic! See!
Now get me a dead body to experiment on!

I had two reactions to this:

  • Yay, someone I don’t know is actually reading my post, and is taking the time to comment!
  • Am I truly being sexist and disrespectful?

My intention had been to be somewhat funny. I had in my head the “Igor” character from Frankenstein, the quintessential minion, who no matter how absurd the requests of his employer, doctor Frankenstein, his response is “Yes, master…”

As this would be the absolute opposite of what I would ever want in someone to work with, it had a nice sense of irony in it for me.

Of course I didn’t articulate that in any way, so without knowing me (or even with knowing me) that might be hard to understand.

But, at least for me, the fact that it was a woman wearing the shirt had nothing to do with me posting it (it was the first such picture I found).

My intention was not to be disrespectful to women (though perhaps the same can’t be said towards employees, but I hope the irony saves me there). Yet someone took offense to it…

I’m actually in the process of having some very nice talks with potential future business partners for collaboration. I’ll do my very best never to call them minions. To their face…
This got me thinking about respect. And I concluded that it’s a bit absurd to respect (or disrespect) a group (women, employees, white men with red hair who collect stamps, etc.). I can respect (or disrespect) a person, based on what I know about that person. I don’t know all women (or all white men with red hair who collect stamps) so there is no basis for me to respect or disrespect all of them. Instead I will try to keep my mind open when meeting any individual, assuming they’re a good person until proven otherwise. And with every moment passing and with every encounter (mutual) respect can build. Respect is something that a person has to earn.

I would like to finish with expressing my respect for the person who wrote the comment, for standing up for what she believes in. And I hope I get some respect back even though I don’t fully agree.

  3 Responses to “Yes, Master…”

  1. You will call him/her your minion, and that’s ok. If he/she cant take that you will have a hard time working together!
    Cheers,

    Ex-minion

    • :-)

      Yeah, I guess you’re right. Maybe that’s the circle of life? The master and the minion work together until the minion becomes the master and starts getting his/her own minions?

      • well… life is not all about hierarchy.
        respect should be given, not earned.
        but no worries… that’s frida’s last comment. i am leaving your blog now.

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>