Women, you want better treatment? Don’t listen to Nicole Silverberg

Women, you want better treatment? Don’t listen to Nicole Silverberg

Women, you want better treatment? Don’t listen to Nicole Silverberg
Cat Lady in Waiting

Some TV writer named Nicole Silverberg recently published an article in the Guardian (yes, you may all groan now), chicksplaining to men what they need to do in order to “improve” themselves. This laundry list of femderpaherpery has me wondering if this woman will a) ever date an actual male – you know, one that actually owns a functioning set of testicles – let alone get married to one and b) ever own enough cats to fill that empty space on her bed, because no guy in his right mind will occupy that space for any length of time.

In her list, Nicole lectures men about how to be decent human beings, and instructs them on decorum, professional behavior, and dating etiquette. She has obviously made the assumption that men, on the whole, are stupid, because you know… most normal guys think sending unsolicited pictures of their penis is acceptable behavior, and believe that banging a shithammered woman who is unconscious and unable to consent is OK.

I would submit to you, that aside from a few aberrant scumbags, men writ large are quite a bit smarter than that!

This list is so insulting to the intelligence of men, that I’m actually offended on their behalf! But worse yet, it’s insulting to women – a condescending list of demands that includes unearned credit, consideration, and respect where none may very well be due.

She instructs men (as if there are no female bosses) to pay women the same as men (regardless of whether or not they do the same work and the quality of said work is equal). But at the same time, she wants women to be coddled, for men to refuse the spot on a panel or team at work and give it up to a woman, defend her when other guys talk over her, be her white knight in shining armor! Be aware of your inherent power, and protect women, Nicole advises.

Nicole obviously sees women as inferior to men, deserving of special consideration, in need of protection and special inclusion, but hey – you’d better pay them the same as men and listen to them, despite their alleged inferiority!

If you are asked to be on a panel/team and see that it’s all men, say something. Maybe even refuse the spot!

When you see another guy talk over a woman, say: “Hey, she was saying something.”

Do you feel that any woman on earth owes you something? She doesn’t. Even if you’re like, “Hm, but what about basic respect?” ask yourself if you’ve shown her the same.

Involve women in your creative projects, then let them have equal part in them.

Be aware of your inherent power in situations and use it to protect women, especially via talking to other men.


Pay women as much as you pay men.


So I have a list of my own for women like Nicole, who think they’re entitled to special treatment merely because they’re sporting what they obviously believe is a golden, bejeweled vagina. Here are some ideas on how you can earn respect from those around you – both male and female.

Arrive at meetings and panels prepared, on time, and with substantive ideas and creative solutions to problems.

Don’t expect to be included just because you happen to belong to the Sisterhood; earn your place at the table.

Do equal work, and you will receive equal pay. If you believe you aren’t receiving said equal pay for said equal work, have the testicular fortitude to approach your boss, show them the evidence of the work you have done, and demand a raise. If you truly feel you deserve higher pay for the work you have been doing and don’t receive it, have the courage, tenacity, and self respect to find another position.

Zak Kendal | Getty Images

Don’t rely on men to protect you and chide his co-worker who interrupts you when you’re speaking. Have the balls to stand up for yourself.

Learn to read a fucking room.

Don’t want men to call you “crazy” at work? Stop acting crazy at work!

Don’t use your vagina as a shield from criticism. Have the courage to admit when you have messed up, and don’t hide behind your snatch when a man rightfully and constructively offers you warranted criticism.

Want men to show you basic respect? It’s a two-way street, Cupcake.

If a guy asks you for a date a second time after you have declined once before, don’t treat it like a profound offense against your person, unless he’s threatening you or your employment. Take it as a compliment, and firmly but politely, repeat your “No.”

In case you wondered, this is a no.
Courtesy of: Weet Now

Don’t want men to make assumptions about your intelligence or capabilities? Then perhaps those twelve piercings in your nose, your bright blue asymmetric haircut shaved on one side, and a skirt so short, your cheeks are prominently hanging out at the office weren’t such a bright idea.

Want to participate on creative panels at work? Be creative. Show your skill. Show your willingness to work on a team, even if your team is a sausage fest. Show your strength and your tenacity, without demeaning your male counterparts, and without complaining that you’re not being treated like the princess that you are.

Look at every situation objectively, step back and analyze the circumstances, before claiming you’re being mistreated merely because you’re a woman. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, you didn’t get that promotion because someone actually had better skills and qualifications than you did!

Develop your skills. Ask for additional training, or take the initiative and develop the skills that will improve your job performance yourself.

Demand honest feedback, and don’t snivel when you receive it. Instead, look in the mirror and figure out how you can improve your performance.

And most of all, don’t listen to shrews like Nicole. You are strong. You are capable. And you certainly don’t need beta males to protect and shield you, and prostrate themselves on the altar of feminism, so your tender labia don’t get chafed.

Grow a thicker skin, and don’t be afraid to throw yourself into the fray.

It’s a tough world out there, and no one owes you a fluffy blanket of rose petals upon which to place your tender lady parts.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

  • MikeyParks says:

    As one of the few remaining Alphas, I’d say this is right on.

  • Merle says:

    if only some (both beta male & female) would listen…


  • fastfreefall says:

    Right ON!

  • Absinthe says:

    The thing I took away from the original article was that the only that only listening that is valuable is active listening. Here, I’m told, “don’t interrupt her while she is talking…” And, indeed, I have read that same advice for the past 15 years. Just listen to women. Sit still men and hear her words. But – what if the things she’s saying aren’t making sense to me? Wouldn’t she rather have an participant who will ask in order to understand what she is talking about? Otherwise, I might as well be a cardboard cutout. Or, I could pull the stereotype psychologist and say lots of mm-hmm, uh-huh, and nod my head a lot, all the while not understanding anything of what the person is saying.

    The original article was full of female infantilization dressed up as fancy garnish for the modern women. The one thing I feel strongly about is that as an adult you have some right to speak and be heard. Children are often dismissed because they are can be immature. If women want to heard and understood they have let someone listen and help that person understand them and who they are. This “I’m going to talk now, and I want you to shut up,” is absolute poison. It’s the antithesis of communication.

    • drsmith says:

      A absinthe.

      I am confused by your reply. On one hand, you ask what to do when a woman at work is making no sense, then on the other you say everyone has a right to be heard.

      I’m sorry, but I work at a fortune 20 company, which has worked hard to be inclusive and has hired a lot of woman over the years. However, many of the ones under 30 simply have no clue how to communicate and seemingly less actual knowledge; rather the opposite – they seem to think they know it all. My wife experienced the same thing in her company, where she is a vice president and has 25 years experience in her industry.

      Put it another way – we will listen to these type of woman when they actually have something meaningful to say.

  • mer says:

    “Want men to show you basic respect? It’s a two-way street, Cupcake.”

    In a nutshell, that is the crux of it.

    “Don’t want men to call you “crazy” at work? Stop acting crazy at work!”
    This one just makes me laugh because as one of those men (not Alpha, not definitely not beta, one who people turn to) this happens way too often.
    The best women I’ve worked with all had brothers growing up so they learned to understand us.

  • James says:

    In roughly, what? 500 or so words you just told them all to ‘man up.’ Good advice and great examples from start to finish. It almost sounds like you’ve met a few of these precious ladies.
    I would say that although the #metoo hash tag has been all over the Twitter (it’s not nearly as well filtered), my Facebook has been almost clear of it. I’d say that speaks well of my friends. One thing I’ve noticed (even on Twitter) is that the women who don’t seem to #metoo all their grievances are the ones who are Christian. They seem to have more self-respect and are not ashamed to say, “Stop. That’s not for me.” They expect and receive more respect.
    Sadly, I think it’s our secular society that has let down and harmed women the most.

  • Bandit says:

    If you are asked to be on a panel/team and see that it’s all men, say something. Maybe even refuse the spot!

    When you see another guy talk over a woman, say: “Hey, she was saying something.”

    Becuz like it’s your job to be the fem victim patrol at all times

  • Annoying Old Guy says:

    I’m not too proud to ask for help, so what the heck does this even mean – “Learn to read a fucking room”? Is it some subtle comment about proprieties in an orgy? Is it platitudinous blather about behaving appropriately in a business meeting? What exactly is the change in behavior this is supposed to convince me to do? As stupid as the other bits of advice were, I could at least understand what was wanted.

    • GWB says:

      It means to learn to read non-verbal language, and understand what’s going on around you – the clues and hints being dropped by everyone else in the room.

      Though, your second sentence was rather funny. Welcome to Victory Girls, Annoying.

    • Scott says:

      AOG, not sure if your post was sarcasm, or if you really didn’t understand what Marta was saying, but I’ll be presumptive here, and respond for her. “reading a room” is nothing more than being perceptive, and understanding / being aware of who your audience is, and tailoring your message to meet the needs of the audience. It might be further construed as an ongoing activity, in which you constantly evaluate your audience, to see if your message is being received as intended, and if not, modifying your delivery as needed.
      Hope that helps.

  • Dev_null says:

    This fails to acknowledge the central premise of 3rd wave feminism “no woman should ever be accountable for her behavior”.
    This won’t be read and will quickly be deemed “misogynist”

  • Dust Bunny Queen says:

    As a retired FEMALE stockbroker and finanacial planner in an industry which is totally dominated by men…..I agree 100% with all of these tips for women.

    Develop your skills. Ask for additional training, or take the initiative and develop the skills that will improve your job performance yourself.

    Grow a thicker skin, and don’t be afraid to throw yourself into the fray.

    Ladies. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

    Plus. There IS no such thing as “The Sisterhood” get over it.

  • Dan says:

    It’s actually all so simple–treat the people around you as if they are people, with courtesy and respect. Alpha males have no problem doing this, either with women or men.

  • teresa says:

    I am a woman who has been in the workplace for many years and I absolutely agree with and love this post. Kudos to you for having the bravery to publish it. If these women would put as much energy into doing a good job as they do into being aggrieved, they would create a meritocracy for themselves. If you make your light shine bright enough, those with eyes will see it.

  • Elaine says:

    As a woman, here’s what other women do that drives me crazy:

    *Do not flirt. I swear, some women flirt at the first whiff of testosterone. Do not flirt at the coffee machine. Do not flirt in the break room or cafeteria. And especially do not flirt on business trips.
    *Do not wear clothes or shoes that scream “Look at me!”
    *Do not decorate your cube or office to make it “cute and homey.”
    *Do not bail at 5 every day for happy hour, the gym, traffic, etc. and expect to move up the ranks. This is America, staying late is part of the job.

    • grayswindir says:

      About decorating the cubicle thing, I knew an incredibly competent female engineer. She was so competent, efficient, eloquent, logical, knowledgeable and well-respected they wanted to make her management.
      She didn’t want to be management, she wanted to be an engineer.
      So, she dressed a bit down. Jeans and vest.
      Her intelligence, valuable input and good decision making couldn’t be concealed by dressing down a bit.
      So, she decorated her cubicle. It looked like a teenagers bedroom from the late 1960’s, cavorting dolphin pictures, little LOTR figurines and dragons etc.
      Folks still occasionally talked about promoting her, but not quite as often.
      She continued being one of the most competent engineers in the place, as others ‘moved up’ into management.

  • GWB says:

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE, you didn’t get that promotion because someone actually had better skills and qualifications than you did!

    A slightly different angle on it: Even if the guy who got the promotion isn’t better than you are, consider all the guys who lost out on it, too. Just maybe the ‘worse’ guy was promoted because of something having nothing to do with sexism at all!

    Honestly, though, if you make her advice gender neutral, it’s not bad. Yes, you should stand with a colleague who’s being talked over. And, don’t do any talking-over. Maybe ponder whether your presence on a team is the best use of your time and best for the team. Don’t feel like you’re owed respect or a paycheck – work for it. Be aware of your power (if you’re senior, or a manager, or a team lead, or whatever) and make sure you’re not excluding people who could be of benefit to the task/team.

    All good bits of advice. (Marta’s are too.) But, when you start making it about gender, you lose the point.

    • grayswindir says:

      “Honestly, though, if you make her advice gender neutral…”

      Was kind of her point. If you want to be treated equally in the workplace- be equal to your colleagues.

  • Wendy says:

    “When you see another guy talk over a woman, say: “Hey, she was saying something.””

    Or better yet, let me speak up for myself, Ms. Purveyor of the Mystical Matriarchy at the Guardian (a.k.a Don’t Call Me Bossy). The worst “patronizing” I ever had was from older women bosses or the newly, graduated 20-30-something, girl-power generation. Not only do they periodically talk over both men and women, they rarely ever learn to listen.

  • DrTanstaafl says:

    I laughed through this article. A woman who is good at her job is in a very advantageous position. A woman who isn’t good at her job whines about sexism.

  • TBlakely says:

    As sexbots become more realistic and attractive, the howls from Feminists will increase. What does that have to do with this article?…. leverage and power. Such devices would seriously damage feminists main lever of power over men.

  • Tom Billings says:

    As the inevitable Aspie in the group, …what does this mean?

    “Learn to read a fucking room.”

    I hear it occasionally, and having heard the demand from both sides of this dispute, to me, it is the most important demand.

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      Well, a) it was a slam on the tone deafness of the original article that screeched at men to “learn to read a fucking room.” But b) it really means listen, learn, understand, learn to read body language, learn to know when someone is uncomfortable, bored with your rambling, or gets offended at your words or actions without them having to slap you upside the head.

      • drsmith says:

        Marta …..expect when dealing with the 30 and under crowd, many of the woman (and some of the men, too, to be fair) simply are offended at way too much to the point is that they seem to have no skin at all, especially when trying to help them with their jobs. They simply know it all and don’t need any help in their minds.

        Moreover, their minds have been polluted by excessive political correctness and the everyone wins mentality of public schools (yeah, everyone whom participated gets a trophy, yeah me!) Frankly, it just gets to be too much at times at you just want to knock them down a peg or two, which of course when you do it they start whining. Seems as if to them there is no such thing as an entry level position.

    • Scott says:

      See mine and GWB’s reply above to Annoying Old Guy

  • Ian says:

    I’d just like to thank your profoundly for this article. The original “Live from the Witch Trials” article had got me into a black mood all this week. I had begun to think that all my female friends actually now shared this angry, bitter, victim-driven view of feminism, that is also humourless and patronising. And that articles like these were encouraging waverers to climb aboard a miserable bandwagon in which all men are guilty, regardless of their actions. It’s also made me wonder about the Guardian’s editorial policy in publishing it at all, which is a great shame, as the paper does a lot of good work elsewhere. Thank you for such a marvellous and uplifting rebuttal – it’s restored my faith in men and women. And fucking funny it was too.

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