I work in a masculine workplace environment; the meat department of a super market. All the butchers/Meat Cutters are middle aged/elderly men. Most of the traying/clean-up, and support staff are young men, and the counters wrappers/counters/frozen foods and Deli are women.
Working with meat, it can often lead to terrible sexual innuendos and "laddish" humor. "What kind of sausage do you like". Most time, it can roll off your back, sometimes not. Complaints to management don't end up anywhere, only "we'll talk to him, but this is a meat department, it is how it is".
One elderly (76) can take the jokes to far and often goes into harassment. What were once "laddish" jokes become attacks on gays, women, and other minorities. And unfortunately, for a time they were directed at me (with implications of how I was gay and how it was wrong or a problem to the workplace).
So, I took the question to our IWW branch: what to do when you're under attack? A FW brought up the idea he read in the magazine Race Traitor: deny your whiteness, be a traitor to your straightness.
The next time he tried to make jokes about gayness at my expense, I told him "But I am gay, whats the problem?" His face was went red, "but... you have a wife?!" I said "doesn't not make me gay".
He shut up. Hasn't made those awful jokes since. I know he hasn't changed his mind, and I don't expect him to (a co-worker once told me how he warned her that if gay marriage is accepted, "gays will break into your home and steal" her new-born son.) Still, within the workplace it allowed the worst excesses of a common masculinist workplace culture to be tempered.
As I see it, it was an important, individual direct action, an attempt to deny my own privilege as a white-straight-male and declare my solidarity with the struggles for equality. But such individual actions will never change the dominate paradigm in our workplaces. Only though true organization (not UFCW business unionism), solidarity on the ground and radical eduction/culture, can such changes have a real and lasting effect.