May 6, 2013

"The story of Jason Collins is not just a story about being gay."

"It’s a story about how, to some degree, each and every one of us is scared to be ourself at work. Each of us has something we are scared to own about ourselves because we are scared people won’t like us. We’re scared the top people in our field won’t respect or like us. We each hide something that we think is particularly bad. And we all think, 'Other people might not need to hide this, but for me, it’s different.'"

123 comments:

damikesc said...

It's a ploy for a contract for a mediocre center.

Seriously, the story isn't relevant. He's friends with Lefties who claim they adore gay people. He agrees with them, so they won't turn into the usual homophobes Lefties are for gays who don't side with Progressivism.

Stop trying to find "deeper meaning" to this. It is little more than a career move at this point.

Jay said...

No, the Jason Collins story is about a media this is in full throat defense of gay marriage and not at all shy about it.

After all, Major-league baseball player Glenn Burke was comfortably out to his teammates and friends in 1976 and the media didn't give a shit because gay marriage wasn't on the agenda in 1982.

The media sucks.

Ann Althouse said...

"Stop trying to find "deeper meaning" to this. It is little more than a career move at this point."

That's what I said, pretty much, last week when the story came out.

This post raises an entirely new question: The way we hide ourselves at work.

Let's keep this comments thread to that topic. That is: Don't talk about Jason Collins other than as an analogy to the broader issue.

This isn't another post about homophobia and gay acceptance and so on. Let's actively exclude that as belonging to last week's threads.

Keep it different!

Balfegor said...

We each hide something that we think is particularly bad.

Oh, I don't know about "particularly bad." The name I go by at work is basically a fake name in every sense but on paper -- I didn't even learn it was my legal name until I was 6 or 7. But that's not because I think my real name is bad. I use the legal name just to help interactions and introductions flow more smoothly. It gives people a name they can pronounce, rather than a name they'll puzzle over.

Jay said...

The way we hide ourselves at work.


I suppose most people don't do it very well. Lots of "hallway conversations" take place where frank discussions about people often nail them to a "T"

mccullough said...

It depends where you work.

Bob Ellison said...

I need to hide the fact that I'm an arrogant bastard. Sometimes it comes out, and then I retreat hastily. It's a burden.

Brew Master said...

Each of us has something we are scared to own about ourselves because we are scared people won’t like us.

The author needs to get over the desire to be liked by everyone. Mature adults learn that you can't make people like you, and to try is to twist yourself into knots attempting the impossible.

Accept yourself for who you are, don't present a false facade to others. Those who dislike who you are, are not worth your time. Your true friends will accept your flaws.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I take it we're done talking about Niall Ferguson's obligation to hide himself more at work?

LarsPorsena said...

I want you to hide yourself at work.
I don't need every twist, turn, and travail of your private life.

tim maguire said...

I think this is changing the subject. Professional athletes do not operate in environments in any way similar to ours. Among (many) other things, sports teams are pure meritocracies. Put up the numbers and they'll put up with your crap.

Of course us regular people hide things at the office, we try to keep our professional interactions professional and try not to sabotage ourselves. But there's no particular gay angle to that.

DADvocate said...

I discovered early on that my co-workers and higher ups don't want to know about my serial killer proclivities and it was better to keep it hidden. (And the women in the pit in my basement.)

Hagar said...

This is getting ridiculous.

I googled a "well-known person" for other reasons yesterday, and so help me, his Wikipedia CV stated he was outed as "gay" on __/__/_____.

This has nothing to do with the individual's accomplishments and status in life, and there is no reason we need to know this about him.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Thanks for the free advice, Ms. Trunk, but no one needs to know I'm really Dick Whitman.

SJ said...

Well...I have at least one co-worker who is a vegetarian. (If you need an explanation, he was born in India.)

I've alluded to the fact that I've taken time off to commune with nature. And possibly bring back a game animal. A harvested game animal, so to speak.

This isn't exactly something to hide, but it's not something that I think he'd like to talk about deeply.

Renee said...

If you're workplace seems hostile to your personal orientation/religion, or anything.... maybe the workplace has an overall gossip problem in which people put down coworkers/teammates for personal interest, and not a specific intolerance issue.

Our culture doesn't help...

VH1 The Gossip Game

"Every day, these ambitious women navigate the ever-shifting landscape of the media industry, where they strive to preserve their place in the 'pecking order' while chasing the latest exclusive scoop. These rivals often find themselves at the epicenter of celebrity controversy. To succeed, they must forge an uneasy alliance of friendly foes as they compete to hit their professional marks by being the first to break the latest news, and divulge the intimate details of the enviable lives of hip hop's movers and shakers. "

Talking crap about people is the only way to move and stay up.

rhhardin said...

Nobody was in doubt what I thought at work.

Mandy Moreno said...

If one hides their true identity at work, they feel threatened in some way, or they feel ashamed of who they are. Two very different things. One is self preservation, the other self loathing.

Nonapod said...

I don't have to hide a great deal about myself at work, but then again I work in a very laid back place with a small group of people. I'm pretty fortunate to work in such an environment. There are certainly things about my life I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about at work, but I doubt they'd ever come up anyway.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I googled a "well-known person" for other reasons yesterday, and so help me, his Wikipedia CV stated he was outed as "gay" on __/__/_____.

Once he got caught ordering the Bali Lace 'N Smooth Stretch Lace Underwire Bra through the Althouse portal, the jig was up.

bagoh20 said...

O.K. I spent a few moments thinking about this, and no, I don't have something in my life like that, which I'm hiding. The closest thing is my Althouse blog addiction, and that I occasionally talk about the people I work with when I'm on here. Still I only say good things about them, so I'd only be embarrassed by the fact that I'm so boring, and spend that much time sitting on my ass.

madAsHell said...

It's a career move. Twelve years in the NBA is a good ride, but now it is over.

He wants a job as a talking head. I'm sure that NBC has already contacted his agent. Think of the demographics he covers...black, gay and a credible basketball player. What a special snowflake!!

SNL had a lot of fun with his proclamation!

jr565 said...

I don't feel particularly comfortorable at work saying I voted for Mitt Romney and not Barack Obama.

jr565 said...

I don't feel particularly comfortorable at work saying I voted for Mitt Romney and not Barack Obama.

edutcher said...

Center ring at the Propaganda Circus.

No more.

William said...

I myself have long struggled with foot fetishism. I have a particularly pernicious form of this perversion. I find sexual gratification in taking women to shoe stores and buying them designer shoes. The more expensive the shoe, the greater the pleasure. These dark desires have blighted my life. Here in anonymity of the Internet I can admit to them, but in real life I know that women will mock and reject me for these warped desires. I live in shame. Sometimes I hire a prostitute and go to Payless, but these experiences are unsatisfying and make me feel cheap. I don't suppose I will ever be able to find a woman who accepts me for who I am.

DADvocate said...

The premise of this line of thought is the world should be some kind of wide open, touchy-feelie T-group. (remember T-groups?) This is complete and udder pop psychology bullshit.

Being gay has no more relevance to work than what postion and holes one prefers with their heterosexual partneer. I don't want most of my co-workers knowing anything about my real life. It's no more of their business than the it is of the grocery store clerk. Should we start declaring our sexual orientation and other "secrets" as we check out at the grocery store?

Bob Ellison said...

Ann Althouse said "Let's keep this comments thread to that topic. That is: Don't talk about Jason Collins other than as an analogy to the broader issue.

This isn't another post about homophobia and gay acceptance and so on. Let's actively exclude that as belonging to last week's threads."

Yes, ma'am. I will restrict my comments on your very open comment thread as you describe. I will be a good little 1L and restrain myself. All commenters, let us join hands in our commitment to not say things the Professor wants not said!

Old RPM Daddy said...

There's something chirpy and cheerleaderish about the Trunk essay that puts me off a little, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe she's absolutely correct in every flippant observation she makes, but you wouldn't know it from what she wrote.

"We each hide something that we think is particularly bad. And we all think, 'Other people might not need to hide this, but for me, it’s different.'" Yes, that's true. That's called Everybody's Life, so I don't see the point.

"[Collins is] in a profession that’s notoriously homophobic." Is that true?

"It would be fine if being gay is irrelevant to their career, but it almost always comes up, in passing, because we have to talk about your personal life to build a career plan that supports your personal life." It sounds like it's important to Penelope Trunk, because it's important to what Penelope Trunk does. How important is coming out of the closet to other people, in other occupations?

I don't imagine Penelope Trunk is really recommending we reveal our innermost personal secrets to everybody. She can't mean that. But does she really mean we should go around the boardroom saying, "I'm a heterosexual! I'm a homosexual?"

Ann Althouse said...

@madAsHell Read my comments at 9:25

I don't want to delete people who are commenting outside of what I want the topic to be, but I'm going to.

Remember: Don't talk about Jason Collins.

Don't talk about gayness this time.

lohwoman said...

I never shared my political opinions at work, trying to lead by example. It didn't help. I assume everyone who yakked away thought I was as benighted as they were.

Ann Althouse said...

People think I can't stop talking about the gay.

Don't talk about the gay.

Talk about something else that you hide in the work environment, something that you feel you cannot show.

campy said...

I have to hide the fact that I'm so much smarter than everyone around me, lest they become resentful.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is wonderful that each person is a special snowflake and that we all have personal quirks, strengths and weaknesses that make us unique.

I don't think you necessarily need to 'hide' those things at work or in your career and sometimes depending on what your career is it could be an enhancement or a hindrance. You need to be smart about what you choose to emphasize about yourself. A transsexual financial advisor will not be very successful in many markets. A transsexual beautician might be a big hit in those same markets.

As an employer.... I don't give a crap about your special snowflakeness. I just want you to show up, do a good job, represent my company or business in a way that make us all more successful [if your special snowflake status does that then fine] and shut the hell up about your personal life. When you are at work you are on my time or your boss's time. Be special on your own.

Bob Ellison said...

Barack Obama has confessed to having to hide how much better he is than everyone else. That's gotta be a tough situation. Imagine walking around in the White House, knowing that you're the most amazing, smart, beautiful creature on the planet, and nobody knows it. The sorrow! The misplaced humility! He probably drops his head on the pillow each night wondering how he can get up again the next morning.

Bob Ellison said...

By the way, Obama is gay.

DADvocate said...

It's also another "we're all alike" because we all hide something bullshit. Here's 12 Ways We're All Like Amanda Knox. It's no more than 11 for me because I've never had an STD.

Carl Spackler said...

At the university I attended in New England, being a Christian Conservative was far more damning and reprehensible than being gay.

bagoh20 said...

I'm sure that Collins' work environment included a lot of gay bashing, only the most sensitive and careful of places don't have that. Unsurprisingly most liberals do a lot of this too, just look at the go-to insults against many conservatives.

In general, work places are full of constant joking about being gay, especially male dominated places, and a pro sports team has got to be the worst. It would be strange to come out in such an environment, but I've seen it happen. Strangely, nothing changes much. People still continue with the gay jokes, they just stopping making fun of the gay guy, and everyone seems to take it in stride in a way I would call healthy. The gay guy is accepted, and just gets weaved into the fabric as a slightly different role. He too makes gay jokes and suddenly becomes a lot more funny, and dangerous to fuck with. He gains stature in a way with most people.

SteveR said...

The Jason Collins story has very little to do with what the vast majority of people deal with. I have a hard time extrapolating it to my own circumstances. I don't think being scared is the biggest factor by a long shot.

Being an open book at work is not a good idea.

madAsHell said...

Gold Leader: They're coming in! Three marks at 2-10!

Gold Leader: It's no good, I can't maneuver!

Gold Five: Stay on topic.

Gold Leader: *We're too close!*

Gold Five: Stay on topic!

Bender said...

Being gay has no more relevance to work than what postion and holes one prefers with their heterosexual partneer. I don't want most of my co-workers knowing anything about my real life. It's no more of their business than the it is of the grocery store clerk. Should we start declaring our sexual orientation and other "secrets" as we check out at the grocery store?

Thank you.

There is keeping quiet about oneself out of fear of retaliation and being ostracized. And then there is being private -- keeping private matters private.

tiger said...

Psycho-babble.

Collins is a has-been/crappy basketball player whose career is over.

He's an attention whore.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Talk about something else that you hide in the work environment, something that you feel you cannot show

I'm pretty much an open book anywhere I am. But I don't get this idea that if you are not completely open at work you are hiding something or that it somehow is oppressing you.

You are at WORK. If your ...'whatever' is not a part of the work environment or not appreciated by your co-workers, you just leave it at home or tied up with a ball gag out in the car. (oh...did I say that outloud?) The work environment doesn't belong to YOU and if you need to not be yourself at work, that is just too bad. It is WORK.

Bender said...

For my part, I've had to sit through too many HR classes where they told us that talking about sex at work constituted creating a hostile work environment for which we could get fired.

Synova said...

Do I hide who I am at school? Yeah, maybe. But I don't want to be "that person" you know? I don't want to be the jerk that won't shut up about politics or religion or who makes everyone cringe when they see me coming.

That's not to say that I never say anything or never disagree with professors or (often) let people have the illusion I'm one of the "choir" for whatever crap they're ranting on about.

Leland said...

I secretly listen to Rush Limbaugh at work with my headphones.

Bender said...

When the discussion gets to whether a pro-life, religious, and/or political conservative person can be open about himself or herself while working in a university job or a law firm or many other fields, then we can talk.

Chip Ahoy said...

The story of Jason Collins: he is kind of tall.

the end.

Balfegor said...

RE: Mandy Moreno:

If one hides their true identity at work, they feel threatened in some way, or they feel ashamed of who they are. Two very different things. One is self preservation, the other self loathing.

This is just a grotesque overreading of the situation. It's rare that people feel threatened about this kind of stuff unless others are preying on their neuroses to make them feel so. It's just advantageous to make sure your coworkers and clients don't get distracted by extraneous personal details about your person. It's like getting a haircut and putting on a suit. Or shaving. It would be idiotic to feel threatened by these kinds of expectations. When in the workplace, you put on your work face. You can relax at home, with friends and family.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

@madAsHell Read my comments at
9:25

I don't want to delete people who are commenting outside of what I want the topic to be, but I'm going to.


Next line:

Don't make me come up there.

bagoh20 said...

I don't want to know anything about the personal lives of people I work with, but they keep trying to drag me in to it, which usually costs me money.

Over the years, I've been asked to get involved in peoples' personal finances, sex lives, raising their children, their criminal records, their tax returns, virtually everything but asking me to screw their wives for them.

I've had couples come in and ask me to help them with their marital sex lives - I kid you not. How to get the woman to enjoy it more, how to get the husband to be more sensitive, etc. I'm blown away by this. I have no experience with marriage, and I don't even get laid enough to be considered anything but a novice. Why the hell are they asking me?

Jay said...

Since Jason Collins didn't make this announcement "at work" and it isn't clear that he will have the same job next year, it is unclear how this pertains to "at work"

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm going to guess that the most commonly hidden thing is that a person loathes his job.

bagoh20 said...

"I secretly listen to Rush Limbaugh at work with my headphones."

If I take my truck to get serviced, or I use a valet, I always make sure the radio is not tuned to a right wing radio station. Everybody on the right knows the dangers of pissing off a liberal who has the tiniest bit of power in your life.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I thoroughly suspect that one of my co-workers is a nevernude but I'm okay with that.

There are dozens of us! DOZENS!!!

AllenS said...

I've always been myself. No matter if I expressed myself at work or here. I really don't care what you people think. So there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Althouse: I don't want to delete people who are commenting outside of what I want the topic to be, but I'm going to.

Next line:

Don't make me come up there.


That made me LOL. I also thought the same thing. It reminded me of my parents when we were on a long car trip and my brother and I, bored in the back seat, would start bickering and teasing each other. "Don't make me stop this car and come back there!!!". We would be silent for a few miles, then look at each other, crack up and start all over again.

I've often thought that running a blog with such energetic commenters must be like this.....a really long car trip with all of us in the back seat acting out.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bender:

When the discussion gets to whether a pro-life, religious, and/or political conservative person can be open about himself or herself while working in a university job or a law firm or many other fields, then we can talk.

Althouse has basically invited you to talk about any of those things, if you like, so long as you don't harp on homosexuality.

With law firms, it differs from firm to firm. Some firms are ultraliberal; others are more balanced. I think there might even be one or two that skew slightly conservative. That said, though, you'd be a fool to let that out during the initial hiring stage. Because even if most of the attorneys don't really care, you always run the risk that an interviewer will deliberately torpedo your candidacy because you were part of the Federalist Society or something.

Michael said...

Ms Trunk is absolutely on point but fails to point out what should be obvious and that is that honesty about ourselves has to be accompanied by conformity to the business culture. If you honestly think that being "yourself" requires outrageous dress or language then it will not only not advance your career but it will likely be the end of it.

Most major businesses have no problem with hiring and retaining great employees regardless of their sexual orientation or race, etc. If someone remains closeted in these organizations it is their own problem and very likely not that of the company.

This goes as well for people who have drinking or drug problems which they attempt, poorly, to keep hidden. If they "come out" and seek help there is not a single large company I know of that would not both accept and support the person. They need, however, to do so before they fuck up drunk at work but that is a separate topic.

Finally, I am not so sure "everybody" has something to hide. I am not one but I believe that perfectly normal people exist without hang-ups, phobias, sexual or drug addictions or untamed or unrecognized sexual orientation. More of them than not.

Pogo said...

He is avoiding use of the word "shame".

Destroying shame has been a major thrust of the boomer culture. Its effects have not been wonderful; more often they have been deleterious.

From a sex standpoint, the hidden is often more desirable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If I take my truck to get serviced, or I use a valet, I always make sure the radio is not tuned to a right wing radio station. Everybody on the right knows the dangers of pissing off a liberal who has the tiniest bit of power in your life.

THIS.... would be the only thing that I might have to hide if I were in a work environment again.

It IS something that we hide or don't discuss when we are visiting with family or friends in the 'urban enclaves' who are pretty much all extremely liberal. It isn't so much as we are 'hiding' our true selves as much as trying to have a civil and pleasant visit.

mulefly said...

There was a story about a college athlete last week that donated bone marrow for a transplant... in doing so it ended his collegiate athletic career but as he was a perfect match for a person that he didn't know... he saved a life. That person is a hero. A NBA player that "comes out" might be news, but he is no hero.

I'll bet the fellow that donated his bone marrow didn't get a follow up call from the President.

AllenS said...

What's up with all the homo shit anyway?

MikeDC said...

We should hide ourselves at work because it's work. Introducing your private affairs into the public realm you participate in doesn't seem very useful to me.

Renee said...

Collins is a public figure, unlike most people who work. Our sports/entertainment culture has always had some level of obsession about who is kissing who.

Are most work places at the emotional maturity of middle school?

So weird, usually at the passing of a celebrity, that we learn that they had a very quiet stable family life. But shouldn't it be like that? I do not watch any celebrity shows on TV, and that is one of the reasons why we don't have cable.

edutcher said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That made me LOL.

Thank you, ma'am.

furious_a said...

This post raises an entirely new question: The way we hide ourselves at work.

How about this -- work is a safe zone where we avoid inflicting our lifestyles/paranoias/alliegiances/cults/scouting fundraisers/petitions/cat pictures/etc. on our co-workers as reciprocity for them doing the same.

We clock in, be all we can be for seven hours plus a half-hour lunch and two fifteen minute breaks, clock out, and go home to our families -- or cats -- and outside friends -- or cats -- and inflict our extracurricular on them.

kcom said...

I'll be curious to find out how many climatologists and others working in a university environment "come out" when the AGW scare is sufficiently in the past and claim that they were never really sold on the idea in the first place. I'm guessing the number will be surprisingly large.

bagoh20 said...

"What's up with all the homo shit anyway?"

Haven't you heard? It all the rage right now.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I can't say that there is anything that I'm hiding a work. There's a lot that I don't share at work, because it is not relevant to my work.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said:

... Everybody on the right knows the dangers of pissing off a liberal who has the tiniest bit of power in your life.

It took until the last post. The crux of the issue is that the left creates victims and abusers. That way they can attain that sense of moral superiority they need to treat the other how they want to treat them because they are bad people.

I wish we would stop calling progressives liberals. These statists loath freedom. Especially freedom to think for yourself. The author doesn't want to talk about the Collins story because I think she realizes what it has become and has almost opened her eyes. Anyone who speaks out against the brave Jason Collins is an other and can be treated as a criminal. Now it is gay people. Before it was feminism. Or racism. Or being too rich. Whatever morally degenerate thing they could come up with to make their opponents evil and avoid logical discussion.

And I think Mrs. Althouse is starting to realize in the thought police game who the abusers are, and who the victims are and that she is/used to be a part of that game.

furious_a said...

I have no experience with marriage, and I don't even get laid enough to be considered anything but a novice. why the hell are they asking me?

Ummm, dude, because they think you're gay. The same reason straight men go to Queer Eye for lifestyle makeovers.

Oso Negro said...

Dear Penelope has made a happy career of providing too much information about herself. She is charming, of course, but while a few clowns at a circus are a happy distraction, a whole busload of them is way too many clowns for most folks. She says "no one is enchanting if they are not whole." But what if your natural self is harsh, critical, and utterly intolerant of mediocre performance? In a turn around situation, companies love that sort of person. In day to day business, that sort of behavior is poorly received. The bottom line is this: all groups have norms and people who fall outside those norms will be made to pay for it by the group.

Saint Croix said...

Don't hit on anybody. Don't say "tits." Watch out for that internet.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

"no one is enchanting if they are not whole."

What utter bullshit.

Henry said...

I think the classic thing that people hide at work is inexperience.

In a good work environment you say, "I know A, but not B" and your boss will help you learn B. In a bad work environment, everyone pretends they know everything.

Mark O said...

An entirely "new" question? I choose "Our Inner Conflicts" by the early feminist psychiatrist, Karen Horney (actual name for those who can Google). There, on page 147 she wrote,in 1945,"Another fear . . . is the fear of exposure."

Pogo said...

The solipsism of the left is really tiresome.

So what if we hide some things?
What's so great about complete transparency?

Should I take a shit in the hallway at work because while other people might not need to hide this, for me, it’s different?

When is the best time at work to bring up your undying love of macrame, the Cowsills, or your collection of foreign power adapters?

Should I know that some of the women at work are feeling "not so fresh"?

Never, that's when.
Work ain't the place for it.

And Collins's special super power is not such a great plus for basketball. I think the team owners would have been far happier if he had revealed that he could, in fact, shoot well, and was just holding back out of feeling "not whole", whatever the fuck that means.

Rusty said...

"It’s a story about how, to some degree, each and every one of us is scared to be ourself at work. Each of us has something we are scared to own about ourselves because we are scared people won’t like us. We’re scared the top people in our field won’t respect or like us.

Nope. I'm good. As you were.

Howard said...

The one personal thing I will talk about is that I don't talk about personal things, even to close friends and family. That type of talk is boring amateur-hour therapy. That means I'm leaning forward in the Eternal Now (or should I say "_ternal _ow" out of respect??). Apparently this makes one a Nasi or Commie or hedonist or elitist or all the above.

JAL said...

"The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked...."

That's what most of us are trying to hide in one form or another.

Only it's all of us. We live under the lie that everyone else (or most everyone else that "matters") is telling us who they are.

You know what? I never wanted to work with people who had to tell me all about who they were.

I wanted to work with people who did their jobs.

(And too bad he couldn't tell his long term "fiancée" years ago while she wasted her time.)

bagoh20 said...

"Ummm, dude, because they think you're gay."

Nobody who knows me in person thinks that, and I was living with a woman at the time. My closet doesn't even have a door.

SJ said...

@Ann,

I mentioned hunting once.

However, there is another factor. The State I live in has issued me a Concealed Pistol License.

Not only have I never told this to a coworker, I have told very few people outside of immediate family.

I've told a friend or two, because knowledge had seeped through our circle of friends that they were "gun guys" who may have carry permits. One such friend has a similar license.

When I had friends and acquaintances inside academia, I didn't tell many about my desire to hunt. Or my penchant for purchasing firearms.

Rusty said...

I have always found being honest to be the best way to deal with things that crop up at work.
That way the people you work with know you're an asshole early on and they quit talking to you about useless shit they think is important.
"Are you going to the company Christmas party?"
"No"
"Why not"
"I don't want to be miserable during the holidays."
Honesty is always the best policy.

Saint Croix said...

Don't tell women they're pretty. Don't tell women they smell good. No touching! Don't touch the women!

Methadras said...

scared to be ourself at work.

What a load of utter garbage and bullshit. Mr. Collins also falls under the auspices of a discrimination free workzone like everyone else does under federal guidelines, no? I'm no more scared of who I am at work than he was. He only decided to out himself as a means of self-promotion. Plain and simple. And even now people are questioning whether or not he is a homosexual at all. Thanks for making it a joke, Collins. Kind of like your entire career.

Anthony said...

Of course we hide stuff from co-workers (or as I call them, 'cow orkers'), same as we hide stuff from different groups of people in our circle of acquaintances.

Frankly, I'm more old school in my work routine: I leave politics and religion at the door and conduct myself much more formally there, with a few exceptions for people I know well. And I don't talk about my family very much, don't have pictures of them on my wall, etc. They're people I work with, not my friends or family.

Didn't Emily Post write about this like 100 years ago?

Smilin' Jack said...

Don't talk about the gay.

Talk about something else that you hide in the work environment, something that you feel you cannot show.


But what if I feel I cannot show my homophobia?

n.n said...

Context matters. At the beach, we wear a swimsuit. At the office, we wear a suit. Our behavior changes accordingly. Only people who have difficulty adapting will find this change to be a burden.

Sam L. said...

Yes, it's about distraction from the important things.

ken in sc said...

I have some secrets that I never talked about at work. I'm not going to tell you guys either.

JAL said...

Phew. Thanks Ken.

ErnieG said...

@DADvocate:Should we start declaring our sexual orientation and other "secrets" as we check out at the grocery store?

If you use a "loyalty card" or habitually charge with a debit card, they already know.

Seeing Red said...

People are people, some are snakes, you share, they'll use whatever they can to get ahead or to compromise you for their benefit.

Dude, you don't need to let it all hang out that you're a nudist.

Not interested physically or mentally.

Whatever happened to personal space?

Bender said...

Yes, there is a reason that people wear clothes to work. Some things are meant to be private.

All this walking around naked, figuratively or literally (having to shower with other people), really is an imposition.

Dan L said...

Was I the only one driven to distraction by the awkward use of "ourself", and particularly by the inconsistent usage of it in the following sentence, which switches back to "ourselves" for no apparent reason?

(The "about ourselves" in the next sentence doesn't refer to the "we" immediately before it, but instead refers back to the "something", which in turn refers back to the singular "each". The "we are scared to own" is a dependent clause that modifies "something"--removing it and the prepositional phrase "of us" leaves "Each has something about ourself".)

I'm not usually especially pedantic when it comes to grammar, but for some reason I found the inconsistency very distracting. Using the plural "we all" with "ourselves" for both sentences would have been much more natural.

Tom said...

So I'm devoutly agnostic. I work at a Fortune 200 company where most folks are Christian - especially at thr executive level. I know one person I work with who is also agnostic and we've discussed it privately. But neither of us would be comfortable with others knowing. I don't know that I'd be directly discriminated against - in fact, I knkwni probably wouldn't. But I am worried I'd be trusted less (ironic, I know). So I just don't talk about it.

Also, it doesn't bug me to live in a predominately Christian nation. I'm not sure what a agnostic nation would look like and good chance, we'd have to partner up with the atheist in that country and, frankly, who would want to do that?! ;-)~

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I teach in a church preschool and I hide that I have a potty mouth, that I think most risk-mitigation strategies are total bullshit, and that I know for a fact a lot of the training they subject us to is riddled with factual errors.

I do not hide [from co-workers--my students' parents are a different can of worms] that I am a devout Catholic, that I am a Republican, or that we are a gun-owning household. I'm not annoying about it but I let these things be known because I'm out and I'm proud!

Anthony said...

I've worked mostly in government-related areas -- county gov't and now in a university -- and I hide my libertarian views accordingly.

David said...

You aren't supposed to be "yourself" at work, if "yourself" includes all of your sensual, political, ideological, psychological and other human characteristics. You are there to work. At work you may be lucky enough to be "valued as a human being," but the part of your humanity that is most valued is your ability to work and produce.

Luckily in this era there are ways that you can explore your personal self ad nauseum. But you get that privilege because somebody worked effectively at something and created value. That person may not be you, of course, but the benefit of someone's work is still there.

Ben Calvin said...

17% of all American men between the ages of 20 and 40 who are 7 feet or taller have played in the NBA.

Now that's something you can't hide at work.


http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/05/what-percentage-of-7-footers-are-in-the-nba.html

Bob Ellison said...

Ben Calvin, that's good mythology!

99% of stupid ratios and numbers posted online are pure crap.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Wow, the menopause is strong today with Althouse.

Threats to go along with the lectures, how ugly.

I wonder how conservative students at the UW feel about having to hide themselves.

harrogate said...

I don't know if I have ever seen a quote more representative of the majority commenting base than this one:

"Context matters. At the beach, we wear a swimsuit. At the office, we wear a suit. Our behavior changes accordingly. Only people who have difficulty adapting will find this change to be a burden."

Golly gee what acumen!

pigpaws said...

The way we hide ourselves at work.

Because you are there to do a job, not be a reality show.

Nathan Alexander said...

As harrogate demonstrates, liberals are fully capable of recognizing and/or regurgitating reason when it is stated by someone else, but as the Democrats demonstrate every time they are in power, they are utterly incapable of acting reasonably.

Methadras said...

Don't talk about the gay.

Talk about something else that you hide in the work environment, something that you feel you cannot show.


Yes, like pens and notepads. And those cool stickies. Oh, and my red stapler, which no one can have or know about.

Pianoman said...

@AA: Talk about something else that you hide in the work environment, something that you feel you cannot show.

I can't reveal that I'm a center-right Libertarian in front of other musicians. It would lead to a loss of gigs. The community is very small, is very Facebook-y, very Leftist, and VERY intolerant.

I just keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics. If I said what I really believed, I'd lose half my gigs instantly.

harrogate said...

William, maybe you could become a shoe salesman?

Seeing Red said...

Ahhh, Harro hasn't seen the studies of "casual Friday."

Or incurious.

Jay said...

Wow this story gets worse by the day:

Jason Collins to appear with Michelle Obama at Democratic fundraiser

William said...

I feel that if I were 7 ft tall, had the build and coordination of a professional athlete, had multiple millions in the bank, and was on a first name basis with some of the most powerful people around that under those conditions I would be willing to share all my little secrets with world.

Leland said...

Bagoh20,

I was somewhat joking, mainly because I don't listen to Limbaugh regularly anymore (like maybe 2 or 3 times in a year). But no kidding about what you leave on the radio when you hand over your car for some service. Fortunately, I primarily listen to audiobooks through my auxiliary jack. But when I do listen to AM, I flip the station before handing off my keys.

MarkD said...


I'm an INTP, I've got nothing.

virgil xenophon said...

My wife the RN (42 yrs experience) who keeps her hand in as a travel nurse several times a year (to get away from me and save the marriage--retirement will do that, lol) is around mainly pro-Obama staff constantly no matter which hosp in which state. She just keeps quiet and smiles...and, as she is a Louisiana Creole, both the blacks AND the whites AND the hispanics (they just can't figure out her ethnicity--the hispanics often start speaking to her in Spanish and are astonished when told she doesn't speak Spanish--and ALL are astounded when, when pressed she tells them she is a rock-ribbed conservative Republican--and grins--as she has the luxury of not being permanent party, lol.

gutless said...

I'll admit it. For years at work I hid the fact that I regularly engaged in receptive anal intercourse much as Mr. Collins. For a number of different reasons I have not yet announced this on national TV.

gutless said...

I'll admit it. For years at work I hid the fact that I regularly engaged in receptive anal intercourse much as Mr. Collins. For a number of different reasons I have not yet announced this on national TV.

Rusty said...


Let's keep this comments thread to that topic.


And the beauty part about it is that people think I'm kidding.

Ralph L said...

We clock in, be all we can be for seven hours plus a half-hour lunch and two fifteen minute breaks, clock out, and go home to our families -- or cats -- and outside friends -- or cats -- and inflict our extracurricular on them.
We have five cats in our two man office, plus another dozen or so ferals outside that the boss wants to feed. Four of them compete for our attention when they're awake, the new one stays in a separate office most of the day and hisses at the others.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darleen said...

This post raises an entirely new question: The way we hide ourselves at work.

I'm late to this thread, but why is that a BAD thing?

Honestly, as a supervisor of 21 women I'm flippin tired of too many "just being real" narcissistic, juvenile, carping, gossip-mongering females.

PLEASE keep your character flaws to yourself during work hours, and be civil and professional and ADULT

Pick the lint out of your navel on your own time.