“Men can certainly feel uncomfortable in these situations, but it is perhaps more readily laughed off…“
As a male in a workplace with a large female majority (primary school teaching) I am often made aware that I am in the minority and in some way desirable (with regards to work). I am usually asked to help out with many of the more manual jobs, and I don't mind this at all - chivalry is not dead. I also understand that children may experience education differently when taught by a man and we should certainly embrace the differences and strengths, and perhaps weaknesses, that men and women offer in any workplace.
I have had a couple of instances, however, where my being a male has been commented upon in a way that has made me feel a little more uncomfortable. In one such instance the Head of the school, in front of the parents from my class after our assembly, commented that she would miss eyeing me up through her window, and asked the mothers in the group if they agreed with her, to which a couple whooped.
My immediate reaction was one of embarrassment and shock, although I felt I could also see the humorous side of it. On further reflection I imagined what the reaction to this comment may have been if I were a young female teacher and an older male Head had made a similar comment to fathers of the children that she taught.
The main thing that it did for me was to experience a very small part of what I'm sure many women go through on a regular basis. It must be degrading and exhausting having to frequently face issues like this and I can see where a sense of powerlessness comes from. Men can certainly feel uncomfortable in these situations, but it is perhaps more readily laughed off (rightly or wrongly by either party). Women certainly have a more difficult job working in male dominant work forces and I hope things continue to get better for all.