The Male Work Environment

For the past four months I have been experiencing a totally new world. I completed my welding classes and actually came out at the top. However, I was struck by how difficult it was to find a job. My instructors claimed that it was because I was a woman. I believed them to a point, all my male counterparts had found work and I knew that I exceeded their abilities. I’m not trying to sound arrogant, even men in the field say that women are usually better at this type of work because the process of ‘how’ is a science, but the actual task is an art. I did considerably better at blue-print reading than anyone else, only because I had the ability to take the two dimensional view and see it as three dimensional. So with this, I actually did believe that there was some degree of sexism against me, but then I stopped and looked further.

Being an MRA I didn’t believe that everything came down to gender. I later realized that the industries around town were doing poorly. One of them recently shut down, a tank factory called Trinity. That’s when I realized that there were a lot of more experienced welders out of the job and that there were even less welding jobs than there used to be. Being straight out of school, it put me down on the list of competition. I learned that another factory, Doyle, was not only planning to move out of town, but also had so low a profit that they were having to do lay offs. A company that worked with Galvonized steel, Knapheide, wasn’t hiring. Yet, two people I knew had gotten interviews there during the time they said they weren’t hiring. Isn’t that sexism? To hire on male workers when you say you’re not hiring and turn down the female worker?

Well it turns out that the male work environment, when it comes to getting hired on, is mostly about who you know. So looking back on it, the two young men who got hired on during a period of non-hiring was due to them having family and friend ties. It had nothing to do with a fact that I was a female. In fact, just a few weeks ago I got a call being offered an interview after I had gotten hired on to my current post, and I WASN’T the last one on the list of parties of interest. I finally found a job through a temp agency at a tank manufacturing company.

My first few weeks were awful, it was in late July, and it was burning hot enough without being in my position. I finally got to understand why men got paid more. I wasn’t the only woman at the plant, I wasn’t even the only female welder, though there are few of us. In the summer with a heat factor of over 100 degrees, you are expected to wear long sleeves, heavy jeans, hood. On top of that, you’re in a non-air conditioned building in front of an arc that measures at a temperature of at least 5,432 degrees. These conditions are harsh enough, just standing there, however, you are required to lift, push, and pull tanks at fast pace. Steel is very heavy, it requires adequate upper body strength, something women lack compared to men. This exertion can cause a person to get over heated, very quickly. In the summer we got only two ten minute breaks and one thirty minute break. This amount of time was not enough to cool me off before having to step back out.

Due to poor upper body strength, I was a slow worker, and slow workers can’t work in a fast line. I was transferred to a different line. I knew I could do it, but I felt like no one else did and that no one else cared. But why should they care? It’s not like I’m the center of attention, it’s just a job and all these people wanted to do is come to work, do what they had to do, and then go home. I had the training, but it was like they were treating me like I was completely ignorant, something I can’t stand. I had more blue-print reading than the top jig-up guy (the person who reads the blueprints and puts the parts together). Slowly I started catching mistake after mistake. I got a lot of thumbs up from the boss, but everyone still treated me like I was ignorant. I got stuck testing the tanks, I got very good at it. I’d like to note that on this specific line there are very few people and everyone is supposed to learn different jobs. Two new people came onto the line, one of them stepped in and did nothing but weld out (placing welds over the tacks that hold the parts together). He was new to welding, his welds were horrible, yet he asserted himself in that position. I finally confronted him about it, he said that I was still getting the same pay to test as I did welding. Yes, he was being sexist, I was sure of it. On this I had no doubt, it had been a week and he was complaining about me wanting to weld for one day. If it was so desirable, why didn’t he test and get paid the same instead? Well, the product for that line fell through, me and another temp were transferred to a different line.

They placed me in a position where I did nothing but tacked flanges in holes. A demeaning job to say the least, especially when you were trained to do more than that. I felt pretty crappy, knowing I had very good skills and all they had me doing was tacking flanges in. Again, I thought they were being sexist towards me. That just because I was a woman, they had no faith in my abilities. I kept quiet and did my job, until finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to the person who had interviewed me and talked to her. I brought up my issues, stating that I wanted to be taken more seriously. I told her what happened on my last line, and even though she disapproved of the last man’s actions, she reassured me that I would be fine.

Thinking about it for awhile, I decided to demand respect through my actions. From then on I did my job to the best of my ability, moving as fast as I could. I tried beating my time, I set goals for myself and tried to beat those goals in the future. I admit I nagged my boss a little bit on letting me get in the position I wanted but I didn’t overdo it. One time I was in buff-out (the position in which you clean the tanks after they’ve been welded). I found that one of the two men who was welding the tanks was awful at it. He was burning through nameplates, large grub-looking welds, burn through on legs, and porosity. They were horrible, I pointed them out, however it was as though the one-up didn’t care about the quality. The man that had been welding there claimed he had been welding for three years. And he still welded this awful? This was my ticket in, I knew that with the combination of his low standards and showing that I could exceed those standards; it would get me to where I wanted to be.

I have since replaced him and have not only exceeded in his quality standards, but I have also broken his record of tank quota per day. We are finishing our weekly quota a full 24hrs ahead of schedule nearly every week. My point is though, if I had viewed my problems as nothing more than sexism, and that the only way to fix it is by having someone else fix it I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. I probably wouldn’t have kept applying to anywhere. I would have given up. If I would have taken that one bad apple of a man and used him as a template of how every man in the field was, I would have quit a long time ago. Instead, I’ve made friends, I can laugh at their sex jokes without being insulted or over dramatizing their meaning. Knowing that they’re doing nothing but making the hours pass by faster.

It’s not that women are discriminated against because we’re women in a male work environment. It’s more that we’re discriminated against because we’re new. We’re treated just like every newby is, as though we haven’t got a clue. Until you prove yourself, you’ll be a nobody and when you’re a nobody you will always be miserable at your job. It’s not that women have to work harder when compared to the male workers, it’s just everyone, including women, are required to work hard to prove themselves.

Quanada, A Possible Change in Heart

Since I became an MRA, I gained interest in looking into the subject of domestic violence against specifically male victims. This town has several shelters, uniquely it has two dedicated to men only. However, only one is dedicated to victims of domestic violence. In 2012, after my encounter with Quincy’s court system, I realized how much the system abused certain resources put in place to help victims against abusers. I started down the rabbit hole, and reality hit…hard.

I looked up the local domestic Violence shelter in town, Quanada. The first thing I noticed was how it used female pronouns to refer to victims and of all the pages on their site, there was only one male pronoun and it was only there to say that men were held in separate locations when compared to women. Yet, the only location Quanada gave on their site was the female shelter. In 2013 I finally decided to question Quanada. I called them up and asked where men were held. Their answer was absurd. If a man was to find help, they referred him to the Salvation Army… as if they hadn’t already thought of that.
This wasn’t fair, men had to call the shelter or go to the shelter to even find where to seek help. In my mind, this meant the possibility that your abuser would find out what you were up to and you’d be screwed. In early 2014, I went to the local community college because I knew I was bound to find something there. I went into the women’s bathrooms and found plaques in each stall that referred women to Quanada, it also had stickers on paper towel dispensers that were hard to miss. Every plaque said, “You deserve respect”.
I sent my boyfriend into the men’s bathrooms, they were RIGHT NEXT to the women’s bathroom. The only thing that separated them was a wall. The only thing he found were statistics and ways that the young men could help women. There was no information on how they could help themselves flee. This I realized was a good example of sexism against the male gender.

Women's Bathroom 2nd ppr towel holder

Women’s Bathroom At JWCC in 2014

Men's Restroom

Men’s Bathroom At JWCC 2014

Men's Restroom 2

Men’s Bathroom At JWCC in 2014

Quanada Plaque

Women’s Bathroom At JWCC in 2014 (every stall)

Due to my ignorance of proper procedure, I created posters that informed young men using the bathrooms what was in the women’s bathrooms, along with factual information that men are victims at the same rate. And for the last line I put, “let Quanada know you deserve respect too”. These posters didn’t last too long due to posting them illegally. However, something must have happened, because we visited the same bathrooms, the statistics on how to help female victims were gone! Sure, there wasn’t anything on how to help themselves, but they weren’t encouraging the young men to stick their necks out while they went with nothing either.

Before I could do anything further, life hit me and I had to focus on my family. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was free from the burden of extreme responsibility that I decided, using the old information, to check up on what actually happened at the Salvation Army. I was surprised to find out that nothing was happening there, they didn’t know what I was talking about. Of course, I was skeptical in believing that they didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. I specifically asked, “Who is the overseer of the Male Domestic Violence Program?” . I was given reference to the name, Heidi, and so I two days ago I visited Hiedi in the pursuit of answers. She claimed that and I quote, “If Quanada sends people here it is strictly because they are homeless,”. She insisted that they played no part in the Domestic Violence program. So I was forced to go back to where I had started.

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, I looked up Quanada’s Domestic Violence Program Director and decided to make the phone call. Jennifer Vancil, I found, had been given this title only a year and a half ago. It was no wonder I went a complete circle, because since she has taken this position a number of things have happened. I practically interviewed her over the phone:

1. How often does Quanada see male victims or men who claim to be victims?

Reply Summation: Depends, male victims don’t come forward as easily, but there has been a definite increase of males that do come forward.

2. How often does Quanada gain males simply seeking regular shelter due to homelessness?

Reply Summation: Quanada only deals with Victims of domestic violence, so if anyone is seeking shelter simply due to homelessness, male or female, we refer them to domestic violence.

3. Who is the overseer of the men’s domestic violence program pertaining to battered men?

Reply Summation: If they’re a victim of domestic violence, male or female, they are housed here. I don’t think it would be fair, they’re all victims. Everyone does counseling together male or female.

4. Is there a program for male batterers? If so who runs that project?

Reply Summation: We don’t oversee that, it’s a paid program run by Steve Swink

5. Are there any programs for female aggressors?

Reply Summation: That’s something Quincy needs to work on

        As you can see, 2014 was a major turning point for the Quanada website. Just by comparing the old website to the new one, you can see the difference. All pronouns referring to definite genders are gone. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the bias is gone, no. The only pictures that are on the website are souly of women and children. They don’t necessarily break away from the old statistics, they don’t have any fund raisers that create awareness for specifically male victims. All I am saying is that it is a progressive move forward. Being that the last few few words of our phone conversation ended with, call me at any time, I have hope. So cross your fingers people and listen, because opportunity knocks softly.

Quanada in 2013

Image (4)

Image (3)Image (2)Image

 

Changes Made to Quanada Website

Image (5)

 

 

 

Welding Class

I am the only woman of 12 students, but it has been a great experience. People told me things like, “you’re wasting your brain” to discourage me from doing it. However, it comes to show how ignorant most people are about this course. The amount of math you must know is not thought of. Nursing today is considered a ‘hard field’ and Pele suggested I take it instead, but it wasn’t for me. I tried explaining to many women where I work, including a ‘smart’ nurse that stick welding was nothing more than basic electric theory. However when I tried explaining it was like completing the electric flow in a circut , they acted as though I was speaking a different language.

To believe that welding is nothing more than dumb people performing manual labor is an insult to the intelligence of the men and women who do it professionally. I found that most people believe the men to be stupid and encourage women to not do such things because they’re ‘better than that’ aka more valuable while men are disposable.

I knew the risks before I everapplied, the toxic fumes, radiation, third degree burns, skin cancer, along with the possibility of blindness and hearing loss. I admit reading all that made me scared. However, getting past that part I found that I was relaxed while doing it.

I did my first stick welding only a few days ago, I messed up a few times. Got the electrode stuck and scared myself a few times. But in a few tries, my teacher brought one of my classmates in. The guy had been working with the stick all week. He said, “Did you do that?” I just answered yes. Confused as to what they were talking about, it was my first day doing it. He looked back at the teacher and the old man just smiled. My classmate knew our teacher liked playing around so he said, “You guys are playing with me, he did that,” but I insisted otherwise. He just goes, “okay prove it” so I did. I found out that I was a natural. but the moral is, don’t let anyone talk you out of what you want, you may come to find that you were made to do it. Men and women alike need to quit listening to society’s standards and start following through for themselves. Men need to start thinking about what they want, women need to be encouraged to look into manufacturing, because unless they try it they’ll never know how much they’d love it.

I took a test that looked into my interests career wise before I could get state funding for it and manufacturing received a 6 out of 15. A test isn’t sufficient enough to point you in the right direction. Women need to take more risks and try new things,  men need to start taking more risks with their own interests in mind.

 

Summation of the year 2015

I held a walk in meeting, this is the very late update of how that meeting went:

I got up, got dressed, got the information I was going to present together and a binder of paper with my laptop. There were several strips that were missing on the fliers I put out. Even with the missing tabs, no one came between the hours of 9am to 12pm that Saturday. There could have been various reasons as to why nobody came. I like to keep that in mind. Besides, before I do have another meeting I feel the presentation at that meeting should be better planned out.

I have been collecting Data on Order of Protection cases from the year 2015 by Gender:

In this very long and not yet finished study, I collected Data from the website of local Adams’ County Court Records to compare the outcomes of Order of Protection cases through out the year. This data includes the gender of petitioners, their defendants, the name of the judges in the cases, and the outcomes of the petitioned orders. If a gender of either the petitioner or the defendant could not be identified they were struck from the data as to not distort the outcome. Same-sex petitioner/defendant cases were not struck from the data. It should be completed by summer of 2016.

I have caught the interest of the Madonna House:

I  made the Madonna House aware that their fliers were not being distributed evenly through out the local community college. That the school was only placing the fliers in the women’s restroom even though there was a significant olive branch within the flier towards Men. This was corrected and the fliers have been placed in the Men’s restrooms. Whether the school has continuously re-posted in the Men’s Restrooms, I’m uncertain due to my busy schedule.

I have gained a few people’s support:

One smoke shop (supporting the freedom of speech), one laundry mat, a mechanic’s shop, and the public library (PLEASE NOTE: the public library does not openly support my views so much as it supports the freedom of speech!).

I backed the kickstarter fund of “the Red Pill Documentary” it wasn’t that much but every dollar counted and I’m happy I contributed! It should be out this year!!

Over all it has been a good year. This month I will start courses towards becoming a certified welder. This will give me the stepping stone I need to both support my family AND support my activism comfortably. I will also be able to get closer to my target audience, as over 50% of welders are males. Since I am a woman, it will not only grant me financial opportunity but I will have an easier time finding people with my same views. After working at least a year in female dominated environments, I’ve seen disgusting things when it comes to many political views. I’ve come across:

  • A woman that believe torture was justified in 99% of the innocent civilians in Iraq (she couldn’t see that not only was it against the constitution, but was a war crime which made us just as bad as the Nazis) but she didn’t care.
  • Several women that debated openly whether to have more children so they could get their income tax when their older children left.
  • Women that openly laughed and joked about cutting up their boyfriend’s clothes, burning them, and destroying their possessions such as putting his xbox in the toilet.
  • A woman who debated how to lie to her husband about being pregnant with a child that wasn’t his so she could get child support.
  • Women openly talking about getting fake pregnancy tests so they could trap the guys into a relationship.
  • A woman that sneaks her boyfriend into work, manipulates clients and the other women who cover her.
  • A woman that believes in the “teach men not to rape” theory, though she believes we should teach everyone not to rape… that made me back off pretty quick.

These are just a few of the things that come directly to my mind when I think of what went on over the past year working in a mostly female environment. It’s very uncomfortable.

 

Walk-In Meeting Has Been Planned

I’ve taken advantage of the study-rooms at the Quincy Public Library, I have booked a room for the North Study Room for November 28 2015. People interested will be free to walk in as they please over a three hour period, spanning from 9am to 12-noon Saturday Morning.

This should give anyone interested flexible hours to show up and talk. Being that it is booked nearly a week or two in advanced, people will have time to plan for the future. If there happen to be more than 4-5 people interested, I will try to book a larger room. This is merely a strategy to get as many people as possible. Fliers will be posted at several locations to widen the net of who is interested.

Gender is not discriminated against, both males and females are welcome to join considering that women have seen the pain of their sons, grandsons, boyfriends, friends, and husbands. We welcome women who are concerned for their male family members.

Hope To See You Then,

Cora Newbold

Madonna House Fliers Posted

Around three months ago, I sent an email to John Wood’s “Dean of Student Services and Registrar” describing my concern about the lack of information available to their male students. Madonna House was now offering their services to homeless males, but their fliers weren’t within male reach.

From: Cora Newbold
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 3:47 PM
To: Leah Benz <lbenz@jwcc.edu>
Subject: Your Bathrooms

 

I was concerned about the information or lack-there-of, located in your bathrooms. There are fliers and plentiful information in the women’s bathrooms, however, when searching for any information in the men’s bathrooms there are nothing more than information on how to wash your hands correctly.

There are plaques for Quanada, Fliers for the Madonna House both claim to be organizations that help both men and women, yet there is no information in the mens’ bathrooms.

Is it the organizations that request where these items are placed? Do you have any say in where these items are placed? Please know, that without sufficient information and awareness to males, there is no point in making the claim that these organizations are helping males.

However, I simply want to know if you are the responsible party for where these items are placed in the building.

This quickly followed with a reply:

On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 2:05 PM, Cody Baggett

Hi Cora,

 

Mr. Elbe’s office forwarded me your message below. As we discussed the other evening, I will work to make sure we have adequate representation of resources in both the men’s and women’s restrooms on JWCC’s campus.

 

I want to be clear that we do have programming to educate and provide resources both men and women in the areas that you expressed concern.

 

As discussed, we will continue to provide awareness opportunities to our community resources to all college participants.

 

Cody

 

Cody Baggett

Dean of Students & Registrar

After reading this, I waited for a few months before I re-entered the school to investigate if any changes had been made. Though none were made at that point in time, when I went back today, I had a surprise waiting for me.

screenshot-twitter com 2015-11-06 17-12-43 MensBRThe poster on the far right is in the Men’s Restroom. It’s a flier for The Madonna House even though it is described as a shelter for pregnant women and women with children, it is currently taking in homeless men. However, young men at the school wouldn’t have known to even look at the fliers or that the Madonna house was taking in males due to its history of only taking in women. This is why I talked to the school about getting the new fliers placed in the men’s bathrooms, how else would they get the information?

This probably doesn’t look like much, but this feels like a victory. Just realizing it took several months for this to get to this point is unbelievable, I didn’t realize how much time had flown by.

 

The Red Pill Documentary

Cassie Jaye has been getting a lot of criticism for her unbiased approach at documenting the Men’s Rights Movement. Most of the criticism has been thrown at her from Feminists. She responds to these attempts of slander with a video. Remember, the people attacking her are the same people that create our laws, decide what is fair and unfair, and is the ultimate voice/supposed representation of women everywhere.

This video, however, has not stopped David Futrelle’s constant bombardment on twitter. One after another, David Futrelle has showered Cassie with comments. These are the three in reply to her video:

futrelle123But since he doesn’t have any real argument and is getting called out on his bias towards Cassie. Cassie refusing to change her point of view on the subject has created an uproar in the feminist community.  David Futrelle then turns to playing the victim when he has nothing else to fling at her. Even writing an entire article on her “grasping at straws“.

Futrelle2Futrelle1Futrelle3

Movember

Movember is the annual event where the mustache is a symbol of awareness for men’s health issues. These issues include, male depression, Prostate Cancer, Penile cancer and other male related health problems.

Legacy Martial Arts in Quincy Illinois, held a “break-a-thon” this past week. School children had one minute to break as many boards as possible in order to raise money for breast cancer. Donations were made for every board that was broken, while there were also raffles for quilts made out of Legacy’s Martial Arts shirts.

I know the man who runs the place and have even joined him in his fitness class. My question is, will men be remembered in their time of year? I think instead of standing on the sidelines, ready to point my finger at them when they don’t, I will talk to the owner about doing something for Movember. The sad thing is, he probably doesn’t even know it exists.

I’m unsure how this will go, I don’t think many people actually request to raise money for things like this. It’s just not done for some reason. However, things need to change and change only comes for those who speak.

 

 

Aggressive Vs. Assertive

Many Feminist women think they’re being assertive, when in all actuality they’re being aggressive. This means that feminists are actually aggressive people. Do you really want AGGRESSIVE people who can’t stand men making your laws? Do you know what happens when young women believe they’re being assertive are actually being aggressive? Domestic abuse happens to men. False claims of a man abusing a woman, though in her perspective what she says is true, but she could be the one who is aggressive and she doesn’t even  know it! There goes your good record, there goes your job, your good name, and possibly you paycheck all out the window because feminism is confusing aggressiveness and teaching it as assertiveness.