Butches and Jobs, Part I
Here's the first installment of my "butches and jobs" series. As regular readers know, last week I posted a survey asking butch readers about their job search histories. I got a big response--well over 200 readers filled out the whole thing (thanks!).
Unsurprisingly, my youngest readers didn't fill it out (since most of them don't have work histories yet). But aside from this, there was a fairly widespread representation of ages. See?
Okay, admittedly that pie chart is a little gratuitous. But it was my practice for using Word to make charts, and I was too delighted with myself for having done this not to share it. Pretty colors! Wheeee!
So as you might remember, I asked about what factors "affect" you when you're looking for a job. You could choose as many as you want, or none at all. The job characteristics I listed were: helps society, lets me wear what I want, gives benefits to my partner, lets me live somewhere cool, and lets me be as "out" as I want. They're shown by percentage (in ascending order):
I thought these results were pretty interesting. Maybe the most interesting to me was "I can wear what I want." Seven out of ten of us are affected by this. Maybe if we polled straight people, some of them would be affected by the ability to wear what they wanted on the job, too, but I highly doubt it would be 70%! It's depressing that this is a factor so many of us have to consider. But to me, this really underscores the idea that self-presentation, particularly when it comes to clothing choices, is at the core of who we are and what allows us to be ourselves. Can I be "me" in a skirt suit? Not easily.
I was a little surprised that partner benefits were so low on the list--only 36%. Maybe this is because a lot of you don't have partners, or have partners whose workplaces already provide insurance, or work in a field where benefits aren't typically available, or work in a country with universal health care. A few people wrote in the comments that regardless of whether their partners need health benefits, as a matter of principle they try not to work for companies who don't offer same-sex partner benefits.
"I can be as 'out' as I want" topped the list--more than 3/4 of you are affected by the extent to which you can comfortably be out as LGBTQ at work. Not too surprising, since fewer than half of all states in the U.S. have protection for people who are fired because of sexual orientation. Some of you have experienced this. Here are a few quotes from the survey:
More to follow about butches and jobs in future posts. Happy Leap Year!
(Oh--and a note to you statisticians out there: I'm fully aware that this isn't a random sample, that I haven't controlled for various factors, etc., etc. I'm not claiming scientific validity!)
3/1/2012 03:02:26 am
3/1/2012 03:02:48 am
3/2/2012 12:40:11 pm
I was involved in a reverse discrimination (so to speak) situation several years ago. My boss at the time could not have been more accepting of me, but when it came to making a decision on hiring someone new, the boss did not want to give the time of day to someone who had great qualifications, but also had several Christian references on her resume. My boss thought this person would not fit in well at our very accepting company. Although I recognized that my boss had my best interests at heart, this did not set well with me, and so I interviewed this person and liked her right off the bat--- and she was nice to me. I told the boss what I thought and this person ended up getting hired and has worked out great and never given me any negative attitude about me or my gf, and I'm very out. I'm proud of the fact that I followed through on this---for me it was a Golden Rule sort of thing---Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I think we all need to be careful about this and be sure not to pass instant judgements on others by what we think they might be thinking about us.
10/6/2012 01:31:24 pm
10/6/2012 02:55:58 pm
This really breaks my heart. I want to give every butch I meet a job (not that I'm in a position to, but if I could, I so would).
10/12/2012 12:26:59 pm
Wow. I don't know what you say to something like that! I mean... it's sure not YOUR fault that SHE doesn't blend in. I can see being jealous, though, but it sucks that she resented you for it.
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