Why I Was Told To Sit Down At Work

A simple debate on why ‘no-nonsense women’ are sometimes referred to as ‘b**ches’ at work, led to a male colleague telling me to ‘sit my a*** down’.

For some reason, I always engage myself in these type of conversations. I just can’t help it. I’m not afraid to voice my opinion. If I believe in something and I have an opinion about it, why should I keep quiet? Nevertheless, I realise that this is what happens to a lot of ambitious young women not only in the workplace but also in society. Everyone can be voicing their opinion, but girls are told to sit down and just be quiet. Especially, if we portray any (assertive) behaviour that’s not people’s perception of how we are supposed to be/behave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging any rude behaviour.

For example, I was told “b**ch sit down” not because I disrespected anyone or said it first.

I was told to sit down because I had a strong will and opinion which was not conforming to the box that people wanted to place me in. And I believe that this is one of the many challenges not only millennials but women (in especially male-dominated work environments) face today. It’s like we literally have to strive to be taken seriously. Reacting to any belittling comments is often brushed off as “Oh it was just a joke” or “Why are you so sensitive?”.

“When pursuing the things you’re passionate about people will tell you to sit down”.

You must be wondering, was I offended?

I personally don’t think it’s alright or professional to refer to anyone by the B-word in the workplace. However, I was even more concerned about being told to sit down just because I had an opinion. So did I sit down? “definitely not” (at least not when I was told to). And that for me was a personal moment of victory. It’s like a lightbulb went off in my head. And I suddenly realised that in life, when pursuing the things you’re passionate about when having an opinion and when you’re trying to positively change the things around you, people will tell you to SIT DOWN.

  • You are too ambitious “sit down”
  • You can’t be a boss and a good mother “sit down”
  • You can’t get married and have successful career “sit down”
  • You can’t start your own business “sit down”
  • You don’t have the experience “sit down”
  • You are not being realistic “sit down”
  • You are too opinionated “sit down”
  • You can’t write that book “sit down”
  • You are not capable of doing the job “sit down”
  • You don’t know what you’re talking about “sit down”

But hey, you have to realise that you’re on a mission here. People telling you ‘b**ch sit down’ has nothing to with you but everything to do with how your opinion, ambition and drive makes them feel about themselves.

It’s funny how someone tried to make me feel bad for starting a blog that encourages young women to be ambitious and inspire others. What is truly bad about that? Even if I can just help and inspire one single person, I will NOT allow anyone to convince me to SIT DOWN.

Experienced something similar? Feel free to drop your opinion in the comment box below or submit your story here.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah is Founder and Editor of IAMICareer. She currently holds a BA of Commerce and has a strong background in Marketing. Sarah is passionate about seeing millennials thrive in career and the workplace and is dedicated to helping millennial women bridge the gap between university and the corporate world.