We think that we understand how deeply gender roles have affected us as a society. But every so often we all realize that this stuff runs deep! 

For instance, this post by Reddit user u/could-it-be-me where she’s shared how she was asked to bake cakes for her office really makes you reconsider how sometimes, male colleagues have the weirdest demands for their female co-workers. 

And it seems this is a recurring pattern, because other women have opened up about how they’ve been asked to do subservient things by their male co-workers and bosses. Many, many times! Here, take a look:

1. “My old boss asked me to make coffee for clients. I didn’t even drink coffee then and had no idea how the coffee machine in our office worked. I declined & started taking those job offers on LinkedIn seriously. Life is so much better now without all this BS.”

– _justliketherain_

2. “I was asked to do that (make coffee). Once. It’s easy to make really, really bad coffee.”

– Late_Again68

3. “I was asked to make coffee once when I was a water plant operator. I explained that I didn’t know how to make coffee. I really didn’t. But the guys thought that was a joke because women are born with ‘coffee-making-knowledge’ or something. I broke the coffee maker. It was an ugly, foamy mess. Management never replaced it. If you wanted coffee you, brought your own.”

– RandPaulTownhall

4. “So, each time there is a bigger meeting in the company, my boss asks only the girls to make them a drink. We are fed up with this sexism and try to find good ways to refuse. 

Edit: To clarify, none of the women asked to make coffee including me, have any of it in their job description. I’m a web developer while others are in accounting or design.” 

– u/sad-mustache

5. “I once worked with a team of all men. The boss was requiring overtime over the holiday so he decided to provide holiday dinner for the entire crew of like 40 people. He looked at me and asked if I would cook the meats. I laughed because that was really the funniest thing he’d said in a minute. 

And then I gave him the numbers to some caterers and restaurants that were far better equipped to handle catering a holiday dinner for 40 people. It hadn’t occurred to him to outsource that to professionals because I was standing right there, being a woman and all, so surely I could just pull that off.”

– Dogzillas_Mom

6. “I was asked to help decorate our area once, at my last job. There was a competition going on, and it was a fun break, so I didn’t mind. For the first year. 

The second year rolls around. The boss looks at me and says, ‘Can you and other-woman handle it again this year?’ So I looked right at him and said ‘No, I think the boys can handle it this year.’ He was a little taken aback, but he DID ask them to step up, to his credit.”


7. “We had an International Women in Engineering day last year where ‘the females’ were asked to self cater.”

– pqu

8. “Software developer here with an actual computer science degree from an accredited university. Also note: I may be a woman, but I am militantly childfree. We were throwing a baby shower for someone in the company. I was the only woman in the development team. 

My team lead asked me to ‘think of and get’ the gift. I laughed and asked, ‘Why? Because I’m a woman?’ He stuttered then said, ‘Yes?’ I then said, ‘That a sexual harassment suit right there. Want to rethink that? You’re lead. You do this.’ I didn’t get the gift or even think of one. And yes, my coworkers at that job knew I was childfree.” 

– hdmx539

9.”I’m one of the ‘big bosses’ for my organization. But the number of times I’m still asked to take notes for a meeting by a male peer…”

– ThreeChildCircus

10. “The fury I have when asked to ‘set up a meeting’ or ‘take notes’ when on a call. I’m not a project person. I’m an engineer. I’ll take notes for myself for solutions or potential blockers. But I’m not. Your fucking. Secretary. And it’s really obvious when you consistently don’t ask the men in the room, with the exact same title as me, to do these tasks.”

– kaekiro

11. “Retired female developer here. I was the only female on the team. After having worked there for months, my boss asked me to take notes during one of our meetings. He’d never asked anyone to take notes before. And he never asked again. I didn’t keep my opinions to myself.”

– soulinameatsuit

12. “At my last job, I was the only woman on an IT team of about 25. The first time this happened, they asked me to track and assign everyone things to make for a group potluck. I did that one, I was new, I figured okay, it’s my turn. But the second time it occurred to me what was going on. They dumped a credit card, and a list of materials to buy to decorate our area for a holiday onto my desk. Ummm… no. 

I jumped out of my office like I was excited and said, “Hey guys who here LOVES Halloween and is dressing up?!’ About half of the department raised their hand, the first one to speak got all that shit dumped on THEIR desk while I said ‘I don’t decorate my house, I’m not decorating this office’ much confusion ensued. The third time, they asked me to arrange a baby shower for one of the guys whose wife was having a baby. I flat out said ‘No.’ They insisted I was the only one who knew how baby showers worked. I told them if they didn’t know, they should visit Pintrest and Youtube. I think the department gave them a gift certificate and skipped the party all together.”

– Xerisca

13. “One of my engineering colleagues bakes cookies for the guys (her choice). So when I started working there and got comments from some of them, I shut that down quick… ‘I’m not your mom, I ain’t buying favors, and I don’t bake.’ Nobody asks anymore – they know where I stand.”

– kaosbellybutton

This reminds me of when a female classmate of mine was automatically assumed to be the note-taker in a group project, where we had 3 male group members.

For some reason, the guys were sticking to the practical things (such as photography and recording the footage for our final project). No one even asked or considered who wanted to do what.