The ‘homosexual”

Michaela Dinman, Managing Editor, Webmaster, OpEd Editor

Society has taken action against the unfair treatment of women in the workplace, but every coin has a flip side. Men in female-dominated field face similar hardships. Stereotypes and emotional attack can become a part of their regular, day-to-day life within their chosen careers. However, this is the side that few speak about.


One major field in which women dominate is the nonprofit sector. According to an article by the Blue Avocado, A Magazine of American Nonprofits, women make up anywhere from 70% to 75% of nonprofit employees. The last 25-30% are male, leading to many men to feelings of anxiety or the sense of isolation. However, after a length of time working around women, men often report feeling more comfortable.


“Working in a female-majority sector means a workplace that is less competitive and more collaborative,” said Shaun Daniel of Oregon Rural Action to an interview with the Blue Avocado, “Women tend to place importance on employee well-being as well as getting the work done.”


Other anonymous men are reported to have said that it is “easier to work with women” and that they tend to be “nurturing [and] supportive.”


However, this comfort begins and ends in the office during the workday. Outside of their jobs, many men in female-majority fields report anxiety over the culturally perceived masculinity of their careers or distinctly feminine stereotypes.


However, considering their perceived comfort and support in the office, why do men feel nervous or insecure about their careers?


We find the answer in a technique that psychologists have come to call ‘re-labeling.’


According to a research paper by Dr. Ruth Simpson of Brunel University, re-labeling can be defined as “some adjustments to job title and/or omission of key details.”


Simpson interviewed males in female-dominated professions and many of them reported that they have re-labeled their jobs in the past.


“Several [male] librarians referred to their titles as ‘information scientist’ or ‘researcher’, thereby highlighting the technical skills required.”


One anonymous librarian says, “I play on the context and say I work at [university]… I say I look after business information, that sounds more impressive.”


Because of the hasty stereotypes that society has created for men in certain (often female-dominated) fields, men often come to feel insecure about their jobs and sometimes hide or lie about the fact.


  • The book “Real Men or Real Teachers” by Paul Sargent interviews male elementary school teachers who are treated with suspicion from their students’ parents.


These such stereotypes prevent some men from entering into their desired field. According to a minority nurse staff member, fear of being seen as homosexual prevents some heterosexual men from entering a nursing career.

Much talk goes on within the feminist community about destroying female stereotypes and opening new doors for women, but the men who face similar problems are often left unconsidered. For us to revel in an equal society, attention must be paid to both sides of the coin.