KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Member of the Serious Sex

I handle the finances in my family because I'm the one who's good at it. I'm the one who makes all the appointments and navigates the customer service labyrinths. I'm 46 and have a good deal of life experience. I have an IQ of 142. I'm no shrinking violet; I've taken on many an authority figure and corporation and won.

Yet when I deal with male auto mechanics, male home appliance sales reps, home-remodeling supplies deliverymen, and male credit card customer service reps, I'm thought to be the airheaded little missus. If I'm with my husband at the moment, their eyes flick over to my husband because they're waiting for the "real" authority to speak up. If I'm alone or on the phone, I'm asked questions that insinuate that I don't know what I'm talking about. Back when I married my husband and we both hyphenated our surnames, I even encountered one credit card customer service rep who refused to change my husband's surname on our account, telling me that men "can't" change their surnames.

And my husband's boss and coworkers (all men)—he's a cabinetmaker—can't seem to fathom the concept of a woman (me) owning her own business, or even holding down a job, so they don't understand my husband sometimes taking time off from work to handle family emergencies rather than leaving all the crises for me to deal with. He actually thinks my job is as important as his. Imagine that!

Seems that if you don't have a penis, you don't count. Maybe I should buy a cadaver penis to carry around with me so that I can say, "Here's my dick—now take me seriously."



discrimination sexism self-employed feminism gender culture patriarchy EditorMom

3 comments:

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Hey there sweetie - I'm still alive and kickin'! Good post. I run into the same malarkey. My hubby and I have different last names. I refused to change anything when he and I married (I had mine longer - so I'm kinda used to it). I get everything from 'it's not legal' to 'You're not really married'. It's even worse here in the south. Here, I'm not even considered 'Christian'; a must, evidently. *sigh* I just wish people would get past all that bullshit.

Katharine said...

You poor dear—trapped in the South. I escaped Texas in 1982, glad to leave behind rampant discrimination against everyone who's not a conservative white Protestant male.

KL said...

You must be joking that such attitudes exist in South!! My Goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best thing to deal with these type of people is have some basic knowledge in all these areas.

Ha!ha! you know what the funy thing; I get such behaviors when I go to those electronic-stores (Circuit-city, compusa, etc.). There people try to behave in that way and then get confused when I teach them :):):).......

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