Monday, September 3, 2007

sexism is alive and well!

I went to the local hardware store this afternoon to get a piece of plumbing pipe that Chris needed to put in the sink downstairs. He gave me the piece that he needed and asked me to get the exact same thing. I couldn't find what he wanted so I asked the staff person. He was extremely condescending to me, I felt like a drooling retard who had no right to be there the way he was looking at me. He showed me a pipe that was the same size as what Chris wanted but was black (instead of copper) I said that my husband wanted copper, not black. The man sighed and said slowly, they're exactly the same. He lectured me on the difference between the black and the copper (they're exactly the same but they paint the black ones so you can tell them apart). I was extremely offended. I brought home what he told me to, feeling like a failure and worrying that it was the wrong thing. Of course, when I got in and showed Chris he said, these aren't the right thing, they're hardened with heat and the copper ones aren't (or something to that effect.)

I've noticed a lot that when I go into a "man" shop, like an auto parts store or a hardware store that I get attitude. Once, we went to Mopac (an auto parts store) and three men, standing behind the desk ignored me completely, I may as well have not existed. One was doing some paperwork, okay fair enough. One was on a call to a supplier and the other was doing absolutely dick all. Standing with his arms crossed gazing into the store. When the one on the phone hung up, he looked at me, then turned and started shuffling through some papers. I was extremely angry. Chris had been wandering through the store looking for what he needed. He approached the desk and all three of them sprang into action clamouring to serve him. He said to them (this is why I love him) "my wife has been standing here for 15 minutes. Even if you had the phase inverter (or whatever it was that he needed, I can't remember now) I wouldn't buy it from you. Then he gave them a withering look and we left.

I don't know why men feel that it's okay for them to treat a woman that way when we're looking for something "manly". I think that chauvinistic (word that rhymes with brass moles) should not be in customer service. When a man comes into a "woman's" shop, like Michaels or something they are treated exactly the same as anyone else. I think these dinosaurs need to realize the world is changing, women aren't going to stand for arrogant pricks belittling us and treating us like second class citizens. Although, who am I trying to kid, as long as we live in a patriarchal society and the good ole boys club is in full swing, what chance do we have? I'm going to have my say by boycotting Mopac and I think I'll talk to the manager at the hardware store I went to.

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