Privilege is famously invisible to those that have it, which is why plenty of men are unable to understand the concept of male privilege. It’s hard for these men to get that the game has been rigged in their favour, that our patriarchal society provides them with all sorts of unearned advantages.
But, while it’s easy to prove men consistently achieve, succeed, and benefit at the expense of others (let’s talk about the gender pay gap, shall we?), it can be hard to believe there are still men out there who truly do think that their penis makes them a better and more deserving human being than a woman.
Which is why this text exchange, first shared on Twitter, will make for an illuminating read for many.
We’ve all been there: you’ve been passed over for a promotion, your former colleague is suddenly your boss, and everything feels a little, well, a little raw. But, in almost 99% of cases, there’s only one appropriate course of action: let go of your ego, work through your own feelings of jealousy and congratulate them on the advancement of their career.
What you should probably never do is channel all of your bitterness, rage and insecurity into a text message and fire it off to that very person, throwing in for good measure that their genitalia makes them a less worthy candidate than you.
Azita Rahman, a pre-med and sociology student at the University of California, Riverside, says she received just such a text from an apparently sexist colleague last week, beginning, of course, with the legendary words: “No offense [offence] but…”
The message, according to her screenshots, continued: “You really don’t deserve that promotion. I work my ass off and I bring her [the boss] coffee every day. You’re too emotional in your decision making.”
Clearly overwhelmed by his own emotions, he allegedly went on: “I’m not sexist, but this position really is better suited for a man.
“Men are better with numbers, we make better accountants. You’d be a lot more successful as a secretary.”
Yes, that would be the ‘I’m not a sexist, but…’ preface.
Seemingly unaware of his own misogyny, the message outrageously added: “Don’t get offended, I’m just being honest.
“Hope you don’t take it the wrong way.”
Rahman, however, absolutely did not take it in the wrong way: instead, she decided to interpret the messages in exactly the right way – as indicative of a jealous, insecure, over-compensating man.
And her salty response to such a missive is beyond perfect.
She writes: “See the difference between you and me in the work place is that while you're spending all of your time sitting on your white ass, texting me s**t like this, acting like you're entitled to everything in the world and waiving off hard work just because you're a man, I'm (surprise!) actually working hard and getting ‘your’ promotions.”
Rahman then decides to use her colleague’s own apparently ridiculous logic against him, and continues: “You can say whatever you want but at the end of the day, our male boss used your so-called superior male decision making skills to promote... me. Not you.”
As if all of that weren’t badass enough, Rahman decides to end her message on an absolute zinger.
“I'm sorry your genitalia and skin colour didn't work out in your favour this time – maybe next promotion?
“Until then, your analysis report is due tomorrow.”
Rahman posted the screenshots of her conversation to social media, captioning it: “Being a woman of colour in the workplace – check and MATE.”
And, naturally, it has attracted a lot of attention from men and women everywhere.
Rahman – who, after being overwhelmed with feedback, has apparently deleted her Twitter account – later added: “Also just [as an] FYI I already reported him to HR and got permission to go this.
“Just sharing so y’all know we don’t make this s**t up.”
She also claimed that her co-worker had made a number of derogatory remarks about her ethnicity and Islamic faith, too.
We have no idea as to whether or not her co-worker kept his job or not (we hope not), but one thing’s for sure: he may not have been promoted, but he certainly has been educated.