“You have to be careful or else you might come off as a ball buster.” That was career advice I received back in the sixties. I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t think of myself as a female with a vengeance toward man parts.
If you discount the first-grade altercation when I launched my lunch pail full of rocks upside the head of the class bully, a behemoth three times my size, I reached adulthood violence-free.
In the sixties, it was hard enough to navigate the workplace without the pall of “ball -buster” casting negative vibes over my work cubicle. I did what most women did; worked diligently and dependably in the background making sure the male department head always looked super professional—even when he wasn’t—even when he didn’t deserve it.
Years later, in 2002 a butt sketch artist came to our office for an afternoon of mandatory fun, and the explanation for my undesirable moniker was revealed.
My co-workers had a field day coming up with appropriate titles for the sketch. I prefer to categorize the object as that of an independent thinker. (First grade was the last time I threw rocks at anyone.)
Emily Peck’ s article, “How to Act Nicely Around Men,” covered a seminar conducted in 2018, that instructed women on how to behave among male co-workers, complete with desired feminine traits.
The guidelines were a throwback to the sixties and “independent thinker” did not appear in the feminine portion of the equation.
I’m pretty certain ball-busters need not apply either.