Penetrating Male Environments

March 6, 2012 § 14 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

People do love to advise a plankton, and top of the – not insubstantial – list of advice is to be sure to penetrate male environments.

Easier said than done.  I can’t just suddenly study to become a surgeon.  I can’t just turn up at a conference of moth experts or undertakers or whatever profession I might suppose has remained predominantly, steadfastly male.  I can’t just gate-crash a golf or dangerous sports club, even if I wanted to.  And, call me short-sighted, but I don’t wish to do a course in motor-cycle maintenance and, even if I did, it would probably anyway be populated by legions of women.

So I accepted with alacrity an invitation to a relation’s work dinner.  He works in an aged institution which – way of the world – comprises mostly men and just a few shining-light women.  At these occasional dinners, he and his colleagues invite lucky guests and, whilst women are welcomed and appreciated, the diverse guests, like their hosts, are nonetheless mostly men.

I had a great time.  I had good conversations with one friendly woman who I know a bit and like, and no fewer than five men (!) whom I had never met.  One was an inordinately handsome metrosexual in his thirties.  There was talk of a girlfriend in Stockholm.  Another was old and had been with his wife for the greater part of a century, but was so taken with our conversation he asked that we might continue it over a cup of coffee.  Those in their forties were married too, with young children, and we got on a treat.  I might have thought damn and blast, but I am wise to the long game of planktonhood.  By now enough people – I estimate several hundred – have told me that , “It’s not necessarily the primary men you meet, they may well be married, but they may well ask you to supper and you might meet one of their friends!

With the married forties men, I had a very jolly chat.  One gave me his card because we have work in common.  I will definitely get in touch because he was delightful and he might have work to offer.  This is how the ubiquitous advisors say things happen: chance meeting, see each other again on an unrelated basis, then in time meet a friend of his and hey presto!

Could be onto something…  Meanwhile, in new-found enthusiastically-spreading-net mode, I have already asked my host when he might be able to have me along to another of his work dinners.

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§ 14 Responses to Penetrating Male Environments

  • Can I come with you?

  • Lydia says:

    That sounds very hopeful. I work in a male field, often the only woman and with many industries that are mostly male (and some that are mostly wormen too) and when women are as rare as hen’s teeth you can bet your bottom dollar all men there will be lusting after the only woman around even if it’s you or even less likely me just like teenage girls at an all girls’ school when the only man ever on the place is the school caretaker.

    I still think internet dating is a much more efficient and effective process though as 100% of those are available men and easily sorted into suitable and not (until they disclose their genital herpes I suppose…. (we’re still talking and for once the long distance between us seems quite useful and protective – you can’t catch it from the phone))

  • Nothing wrong with networking, P. It can be fun and you never know where it’ll lead you.

  • Here- http://www.mensa.org

    Try them.

    Whoever you are, I can see from your command of the English language that if you’re not eligible for membership with them, you’re certainly pretty close. Of that very small percentage of people in this world who are in the top percentages of intellegince, seemingly a number of them don’t actully know that they are….

    Worth a try…. From what I’ve read, the gender balance within their organization is pretty close to 50% male to 50% female….

    • Lydia says:

      I never went to a single mensa meeting but I suspect it is probably full of losers with long hair and beards but I might be totally wrong.. laughing as I type.

  • Alternatively, how about a book discussion group? There are quite a few in the greater London area, you’ve already told us that you live somewhere in the greater London area. Those are also usually a mix of men and women, some of whom are likely available.

    My theory is that The Plankton is almost certainly a professional writer, again your command of the language is a pretty good indication. If you’re not a professional writer (aside from this blogsite, I mean), you clearly could be….

    Then, you perhaps this could become an opportunity for you to write about men and yourself and your new experiences with penetration, etc…. ….

  • EmGee says:

    Lucky you to get invited into a social situation predominately male, and in good company. I hope you get invited back!

  • Black Turnip says:

    I worked in an all male environment and the combination of their social awkwardness (stereotypical but true for this particular profession) plus my own personal planktoness- well, it just never worked out. I remember what an abject failure I felt myself to be, working in a literally 95% male environment for two years and NEVER even being asked out. For a normal woman, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel but sadly most women would not want those fish. I think the only scenario that would have been less damaging to my ego would have been working in a male only prison and still getting no offers.

    • fi says:

      😀 you’ve got a great sense of humour though 😀

    • Lydia says:

      That may just be the type. I have worked with computer programmers. Sometimes I hvae to be warned the person cannot even look people in the eye. I was warned about one who did not wash and might have aspergers last year. Those people who are great at what they do are nt going to be making good approaches to women and you might not want one of them anyway. Whereas take yourself off to some army do or whatever and you might find it works better.

  • I love your word choice…penetrating. Could go for a bit of penetration myself these days!

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