Despite women flooding into the workforce over the last half of the century, a lot of places have remained stuck in the business-as-usual past, promoting the traditional bro culture, and not really adapting to the women joining their ranks.
So when Redditor u/newmama1991 recently made a post on the platform, asking its users to share the “female duties” they’ve been told to do at work, examples of rage-inducing sexism immediately came flying their way.
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Luckily, at least some of these stories ended in refusals to put up with this crap. But we can (and need to) do better, folks!
I was asked to clean the men’s toilets, as they were a mess. I said loudly that the men could clean their own toilets, there’s nothing about that job that requires a vagina. Total silence for a minute as everyone stared in disbelief at me, and the next week the boss hired a cleaner
Image credits: Sylland
Once in a male dominated office environment, I was asked by an older senior level manager to send a fax. I was in a higher level position myself, but I said “sure” and did it for him. The next time I needed a fax sent, I went over to him and asked if he would send it for me. He eyed me, then got up and sent it. We were great pals after that!
Image credits: JayceeSR
I was asked at an all-men workplace if I could possibly take some time off during my lunch break to clean the kitchen, because “we really don’t know how to do it well”. I remember I was so shocked I only responded with a gaping mouth and a “…no??”, but I have a feeling I radiated rage because they just gave me a timid nod, left and did not ever ask again.
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I wasn’t exactly asked but someone mentioned that “we could have some coffee” and stared at me (like an unspoken request) and I stared right back
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My boss started buying all sorts of kitchen tools (e.g., pots and pans, rice cooker, portable burner, etc.). I thought it was for the annual Christmas raffle he hosts for his employees.
Until one day at lunch, he turns to me and says, “once the burner arrives, be sure to make a list of groceries you will need to start making lunch for the office. I assume you know how to cook since you are a woman.”
We work in a small office and I’m in HR…
Image credits: Nonchalant_Storm
For potluck team lunch women were expected to cook something and get and men were excused to simply buy drinks, deserts etc. I said no f*****g way I am cooking for other men when they are excused. And I said this loudly infront of whole team when all of us were discussing. Immediately men in the team volunteered, simple easy salads, getting some snacks etc. Why was this not a norm before I joined team, no idea. But manager took notice of this and started getting other men to involve in arrangements and clean up etc. Work was not left for all women.
Fast forward I have my own company now. And still I have to fight off misogyny so many times. The suppliers, distributors, all talk to my husband as he is the man and many times dont even look at me when I am in same meeting. I dont react really. I let meeting happen and after an hour I simply get up and say thanks for coming but we wont be going ahead working with you. They look at my husband and he just shrugs and say well she is the boss. The look on their face is worth wasting an hour. And if they try to arm wrestle me then they get an earful of how awful they were at the meeting.
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unload the dishwasher. the company owner told me to, specifically cause i’m a woman.
a guy coworker was with me and instantly started doing it. i love him.
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Once I was eating sliced radishes at my desk. My male coworker saw that, said he loved radishes, and asked if I could get some for him and throw on some salt. When I suggested he slice his own, he literally said it was too much work. Same coworker suggested to a room full of male students that I should provide them all with snacks. When I laughed thinking it was a joke, he looked at me dead serious and told me it was MY JOB because I’m a woman and then accused me of wanting them to go hungry. F that noise.
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Ex-military. I had a supervisor that I’m pretty sure hated women. He stopped one of the guys (same rank as me) from cleaning the office and told him he wanted me to do it. He would bring me a notepad and tell me to “jot down his thoughts throughout the day.” He would offer to write packages for any of the guys in the office, but never me (even though I was one of the highest performers.) If I disagreed with anything, I was told by him to just do it because he ranked higher. If any men disagreed, he would hear them out. I hated that guy and his stupid pube face of a beard
Image credits: Buttercup0803
I had a manager who couldn’t adhere to a deadline to save his life. He said that it was my job to remind him of his deadlines (because I’m female and therefore naturally organised), and would actually try to penalise me in my performance review for any deadlines he missed.
Image credits: emojicatcher997
I used to have a male boss who in meetings would always look at me and say, “you’re taking notes right?” I wasn’t in an admin role and he also never said the same to my male coworkers. I would then stop bringing any pens or paper with me other than meeting materials so I could say “no, but maybe [Joe] can”, and watch him wrestle with that for a minute in awkward silence.
Image credits: goodlordineedacoffee
I was a teamlead and one of my laywer-teammembers asked a woman if she was the make up lady on picture day. This woman was the CTO of the company (1000+ employees)
Image credits: newmama1991
A man in my office asked me to print and bind a document for him. I said I didn’t know how, he said it’s easy and he can talk me through it, and I said well then it sounds like you don’t need me, does it.
I was 24 at the time I’d never even seen a document binder before then, let alone used one. I didn’t work for him and it wasn’t part of my role. He had a meeting and he wanted binded copies for his team and made a beeline for the only vagina in the office.
Image credits: iforgotmypassword126
Oh god. I used to work in out of home care; basically caring for kids who had been removed from their families.
One day a 15 year old asked the other (male) person on shift to bake him a frozen pizza. Now this kid was detoxing and easily heightened, so we were supposed to be doing everything possible to keep him calm.
My co-worker asks me to cook the pizza. I tell him the instructions are on the box. Dude keeps looking at the pizza, looking at me… I get up and leave the room.
A while later he calls me in to ask me whether the pizza’s done. I tell him to check. He says he doesn’t know whether it’s ready. I ask him why I would have any more of an idea and he says “because you’re a woman”.
I tell him in no uncertain terms “I am not your wife. It is not my job to tell you whether a pizza is ready. Figure it out yourself. It’s part if your job.” and go off to write a report to his manager.
Image credits: SnailCrossing
I started a new job, desk job in an otherwise all male office, and the boss had the audacity to imply that I’m welcome to use the inhouse kitchen to make food for the staff, and how nice it is to have a woman on the team. I walked out.
I’ve been asked at multiple jobs to “decorate the office” because I’m “probably good at that kind of thing.” The first few I declined, but then I got wise and said I’d do it for a budget plus designer pay. Last two times it worked and I made a pretty good chunk of change making the office not look like something straight out of Dilbert.
I do the accounting & payroll and they asked me to take over the task of cleaning of the offices; vacuuming, bathrooms, and trash cans.. I did agree to it for an extra $500 a month lmao and honestly it takes like 30-45 min a week to do and the bathrooms are much less scary than they used to be so its a win-win for me
Image credits: melissamarieeee
multiple times coworkers had to bring their children into work for different reasons and multiple times they assumed it was ok to leave them in my care while they went to meetings. never once was i asked.
Image credits: Taren612
I’ve never been directly asked about female duties however, being a young female working in various admin roles I frequently noticed that much older men in higher roles try to treat you like their PA. Even when they aren’t your boss or have any leadership over you. Ignoring them is pretty fun though, I love watching them get frustrated because I had the audacity to not complete a task that has nothing to do with my role or had gone through my manager lol
I’m a female with 20 years in the IT industry too. Not been too bad. Only thing I’ve been expected to do is answer the phone. I refused point blank until eventually someone offered me a pound to do it, so I did.
On my industrial placement from uni, I was asked to make tea. I refused point blank and was never asked again. We had a male receptionist at the time, who made the teas thereafter.
I give as good as I get – you have to in an industry that is still predominantly men.
In IT for a number of years. My male boss asked me to check in with him in his office every morning, but didn’t ask my male co-workers to check in.
He also didn’t have a problem when a co-worker asked me out, and I declined with “sorry, I have a serious boyfriend.” That guy started being really rude/nasty to me. When I complained to my boss, he said “can you blame him?”
In a meeting with all male coworkers, one guy handed me papers in a meeting and asked me to deliver them to someone else in the building. I refused, and said he could deliver them himself. My boss said I was extremely rude. The worst, one other woman joined the team, and at our staff meeting, which was right after lunch, the guys would talk about the “restaurant” they had lunch at, where the waitresses were topless. It was disgusting to hear them talk. So disrespectful. It was the worst experience in my entire career. I sucked it up for two years so it would look good on my resume. After I got my next job, I stopped putting that work experience on my resume.
Image credits: WhatsWrongWMeself
I would have meetings with all male coworkers and clients. I was neither the most junior nor the newest hire. I was consistently asked to prepare the meeting room with snacks and coffee, never anyone else, including other male interns.
Image credits: throwawaythethird_33
Cleaning, taking notes, putting together potlucks/events, taking over for the receptionist when they’re at lunch
ETA: I pulled the helpless incompetence when people tell me to make coffee. I don’t drink coffee and make it as sludgy as I possibly can. They never ask again.
Image credits: CatrionaShadowleaf
I was hired as an office manager at a small firm. They placed me in the front while they “cleaned my office out” that was being used as storage. I kept pressing to try and do office management tasks, payroll, AR/AP, office organization, etc.
I have a business degree with a lot of certifications.
After a few months (I was young), I asked about the tasks I should be doing and my office. I was told that I was to be a receptionist because they “needed a pretty face to greet clients.” Then they hired a person who was quite possibly the dumbest person I’ve ever met, cleaned out the storage office for him, and gave him the job I was hired for.
Image credits: can_i_go_home_yet
I was still expected to make coffee and order breakfast for all public hearings at my job (I’m in municipal planning & zoning). This is after 6 years and getting my Masters (which none of the men in my workplace have). Not that I’m above doing these things because of my education & experience but I am above doing it EVERY single time. I stopped doing it about 3 months ago, I verbally told everyone the day before the meeting. Of course no one stepped up that first time and when they bitched about no coffee and food I said “not my problem “ ??♀️ The responsibility has been shared ever since ??
To come in on Fridays to the office and give it a “good ol’ fashion sweep and mop, since I’m probably used to doing that at home” I politely declined then the supervisor says, “but your used to cleaning up after men aren’t you?” I looked at him directly shook my head and said no.
I own a business and have two male employees and three female employees. I found out that one of the male employees was leaving his dishes in the sink, and the three female employees were doing them when they did their own. All of them are very young. I flat out told the girls to stop doing the dishes for anyone but themselves and during a staff meeting reminder everyone to wash and dry their own dishes and put them away. The next week my guy leaves dishes in the sink. He’s about to clock out, and I pull him aside and ask if those dishes in the sink are his. He says they are. I look him dead in the eye and ask who he expects is going to wash them if he clocks out and leaves them. He stared at me in silence for a full minute before the realization hits him that he doesn’t actually know. He went and did his dishes and I haven’t had a problem with it since.
One of the managers (not MY manager) passed 3-4 men to interrupt my work and try to hand me some cash to go get a card for someone’s upcoming event party. I frowned like he was a particularly dim bulb and told him to go talk to the GUY who was organizing that party since he knew what was actually going on. Not-my-manager scuttled away.
Image credits: greygoyle
So. Much. Schedule. Managing. Only for male attorneys on, below, or over my seniority level. No other female attorney has asked me any one of the following questions more than once, while every male attorney I’ve worked with asks me on the regular: When are we supposed to be in this hearing? Do we have hearing scheduled for [insert client] today? When was the last time we saw client? When is that expert report due? Do have a meeting with the expert? When is that? What are we talking about? Did we get that report in on time? Did we file that motion? Bro, this is all documented in our case management system and WE did not do S**T, I did.
I am the lead attorney on three other cases that are as serious or more serious than this case and manage to be where I need to be when I need to be there AND direct my second or third chairs where they need to be. WTF?!
I may or may not have all the rage about this right now for really specific reasons that I’m not elaborating on because it’s really specific to my area of practice and the way it’s practiced in my jurisdiction.
Also, cleaning out the fridge. Never has a man done it in the history of my office. I have helped out of solidarity to other female attorneys in my office who are more senior than me and watched one throw up in a trash can last week cleaning. Managed to not follow suit only because I didn’t eat breakfast/no trash can available/sheer force of will.
Image credits: vizslalvr
I was asked to organize a bunch of baby showers for people. I don’t have any kids. I don’t think I’m particularly good at putting together events like that. I was the only girl under the manager that asked me to until about a year ago. I’ve moved from that team since, and the new girl gets asked to do them now.
Image credits: schaisso
A male manager once told me to clean the men’s room in our store. I told him he has arms, legs and knows where the cleaning stuff is. Have fun ✌️
I am ALWAYS asked to send the meeting recap email. As if I were a part of the meeting to simply take notes like a secretary.
I’m most of these men’s boss.
Image credits: kec232
I was chosen to cut up fruit for a platter for an all day conference for management, who were all men.
Apparently I looked like a girl who knew how to cut fruit.
I was also told that only ‘I could make it look pretty’, with a condescending pat on the back.
I was young, and I wasn’t comfortable saying no, but at the time I was like f**k this. They were just too cheap to pay for already cut up fruit.
I was referred to as the ‘assistant’, when in fact my title was an Administration Officer.
I work in an office off of a warehouse. All the warehouse workers are guys. They have their own break room and they let a coffee maker go to s**t because they never cleaned it.
Recently one guy ask me to make him a cup of coffee. He was a new guy so the coffee maker issue wasn’t his fault. He was also sick. And asked very nicely. And his mom and my mom also happen to be very good friends. So I decided to be nice and make him a cup.
For the following week EVERY GUY in the warehouse asked me to make them coffee every morning.
Give an inch, they take a mile.
Image credits: FuzzyBlanketThrow
When I was 23 and working as a TA at a private school, the annual silent auction included a “free night of babysitting” with MY name on it. I wasn’t asked beforehand. I was still new and unfortunately too scared to say no, so instead I added fine print to the deal….a strict mileage radius, time frame, and specific dates that worked for me. No one wanted it. 🙂
On my second week on a new job my boss asked me to prep his food for the Christmas potluck. When I gave him a questioning look he added, because women are just so much better at that stuff.
Image credits: -Betsy_Braddock-
Not a female duty but I was specifically excluded from a sports event that was fully catered and paid for by a client because we did a great job on their account. It was my account and I did the entire job but all the men got the reward for it.
Friend of mine is automatically assigned to drinks maker when they have meetings, she’s head of marketing…
Image credits: white_butterfly1
Was asked to attend job interviews with my boss, to not speak, sit and do nothing for the sole purpose of looking pretty and lure newcomers.
Image credits: C0deEve
I used to work in team with only males and I was the only one ever in charge of my colleagues birthdays (ordering a cake, inviting everyone to the cafeteria, etc.).
For one of my birthdays I heard my ex-boss had to ask a “favor” from a female from ANOTHER department (at least he remembered, I guess)
Image credits: dinnerwithchopsticks
Not the workplace but my sporting club. I was sixteen and our netball team (all girls) was asked to make casseroles for an event on the weekend. I asked what the football team (all boys) was doing the answer was nothing. I refused and everyone said I was being ridiculous.
Worked as a developer and the owner of the software company said they wanted to do a “Friday morning breakfast”, which I was excited about because I thought it’d be catering but nope, they got a waffle maker and expected me to make waffles for the whole office. There were 5 women and 35 men so the ratio was a bit… off. Should’ve seen the red flag.
I’m a cleaner so I already have to deal with some s**t most days,,but the amount of men that will ask me do something they think is gonna take 5 minutes when I’m reality it’s a half hour job that they want me to do within my normal hours on top of everything else I have to do regardless,,is genuinely unbelievable, and if I do do that that extra task they then complain that something else hasn’t been done simply not understanding that something has to give somewhere, to me it just screams ‘I don’t know how to clean because I’ve always had someone to do it for me’ and it just makes me cringe especially when they try to tell me that it won’t actually take that long,,,like they’ve ever spend a day commercial cleaning
They always look at me to cut up and serve the birthday cakes. Makes my blood boil.
Image credits: fullOfhumanBeans
1 time at the ad agency I was working for the oldest colleague said ‘can you take the coffee cups with you’ after a meeting. 1. I’m a graphic designer, not the cleaning lady. 2. What the actual f. I took 2 cups and left the rest on the the table. He took nothing with him.
But he was also the guy who said ‘oh are you eating that?’ When I was eating a piece of cake because someone brought it in for their birthday. Extremely old fashioned and sexist.
My boss asked me to clean/organise the stockroom because it needed a “womens touch” I work in IT. To be honest if he had just asked me to clean and organise it I would have just done it as we were a 3 person team and it wasn’t outside of my responsibility. However, the comment about a women’s touch means it was a mess until I left and probably still is. He never asked again. ?
Notes and organizing things is forever put on me.
Also anything else no one else wants to deal with- or knows how to.
We’ve had a couple of male coworkers that will tend to leave dishes in the sink for us girls to wash them.
I was in a negotiation with all men. One man from the other side asked me to get coffee for everyone because he thought I was the personal assistant
This one is less of a rant because it was other women that realized why it was a problem, but decorate our side of the office for the holidays. I was one of a few women – and the most senior at the time – on a mostly male team. During the holidays, teams decorated their own space with decorations provided by the company.
I came into work one morning and the decorations were on my desk. I set them on the empty desk next to me and left it. The HR team (all women) walked through later, realized what they’d done, and profusely apologized.
I and the other woman in my old team were asked to cook breakfast for the team with the ingredients the boss bought
At any employee event, women leaders were always asked to help serve food. In meetings, always asked to take notes.
Cleaning up after male associate Supervisor’s, despite the fact I worked in payroll.
I processed the payroll for 100 warehouse associates. My boss, told me part of my duties, would be “cleaning up after the Supervisor’s eat lunch at their desk” .
Mind you, these men ate taco bell, McDonald’s, etc., everyday. Leaving behind scraps of lettuce, cheese, whatever. And when I objected to the obvious miscalculation of my job description, my boss stated, “because your the women of the office”. GO F**K YOURSELF
A male coworker once asked me to change the little garbages in the womens restroom stalls because they have tampons in them. Which made him uncomfortable. Idk why me being a woman would make me want to possibly touch other peoples bodily fluids.
Organize the holiday parties
Basically like others said, being asked to do what they consider “women’s work”
Fortunately it’s only a handful that think they can offload such tasks on me.
I was a senior analyst in IT and was asked to make coffee, make catering arrangements, set up reservations. Never by IT, always by other departments.
I told them I don’t drink coffee and just sat there. I did the rest though.
I was my boss’s unpaid therapist and that guy would give Colin Robinson a run for his money
Being the mommy/therapist of every male co -worker my age when it comes to their relationship issues.
The manager who hired me for the blue vest mafia put me in back room stock. So that means I should have been stocking shelves and making sure stuff was pulled forward. This position requires a fair bit of heavy lifting. When I showed up for my first shift my department manager put me in the clothing section just refolding the clothes people were constantly messing up. My shift lead found me on my second day and she informed me that he did that to all the woman who apply to his department. I did not stay there long
Sweep up the mens cigarette butts outside in the parking lot and dispose of them. I don’t even smoke.
I was asked to make coffee. I just gave him a blank stare. Unbelievable.
I was asked to clean out the fridge… and organize the shared kitchen space ? I work with mostly males
“To flirt some with the costumers because they will buy more.”
No, I’m serious, sadly.
Watching my boss’s f*****g kid because HE brought him to the office. He is like 9 years old, old enough to sit in a chair and read a f*****g book, but all of a sudden I’m a babysitter.
You could at least pay me my nanny rate, it’s more than I make at this shithole.
My coworker cleans the office on the weekends, and when she can’t, always asks me and never the male colleagues. Disappointing.
Cleaning up the break room (wiping stuff down, cleaning out the fridge, doing the dishes…?) My boss said to me “You should do it since it’s a woman thing, you’d do it better and I’m not being sexist”. I work with mostly men.
My male coworkers expected me to make the coffee in the break room because women were better at things like that. They also left their coffee mugs in the sink for me to wash.