“you’re just a baby.”

Today, I was called to HR to fill out some paperwork they “missed” on my intake (several years ago). The man who handled the paperwork pulled my information up for me to confirm that it was correct, including my birthdate. He took one look at my birthday and said “woah, 19**, you’re just a baby.” No, I am a fully-grown woman, older than the employees he would be handling in “intake,” with a Master’s degree and a professional career. He then commented that I was the same age as his son. “Is your son a ‘baby’?” I asked. He responded that no, he guessed not, he’s married and has a child (so, no, I’m not abnormally young).

Would he have said the same thing to a man? Called him a baby in a cube farm with other employees milling about within earshot? Does he consider this “baby” to be an educated and competent professional? The sad thing is, I get this all the time, from men who are sometimes only a few years older than me. Sometimes these men make these remarks at times when I’m telling them what to do in a professional capacity. I’ve even been in situations where a younger, subordinate male colleague will be called “sir” and me “hon.” All a part of not taking women seriously.

Submitted by Dax

Location: Work, Federal Agency

Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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2 Responses

  1. cathy

    ridiculous and completely out of line. you should consider complaining, especially as a fed.

  2. NFT

    Actually this is really uncomfortable for guys too. I’ve either witnessed this multiple different times involving multiple pairs of people, or been called it myself before and its basically saying “wow, I think you’re too young to be in the job you’re in”. Though I’ve never witnessed the man calling a woman a baby, I’ve witnessed plenty of women who have found such an observation appropriate about me, other men, and plenty of women. Its just strange. I think somewhere, someone is going around telling folks that this is ok. Its really one of my biggest workplace petty annoyances.