I deal with a lot of misogynistic bullshit at my job. I work in a shop that deals with key cutting, watch repairs, shoe repairs and engraving. There is nothing expressed in that job description that specifies that it is a male job, and yet often I will be having a good day and some chauvinist male customer will make some sexist remark, and I find myself fighting the urge to show them just how hard a woman can punch them in the face.
For a start, the company I work for has the word ‘Mister’ in the name. Right off the bat, I’m at a disadvantage. The kind of men that make sexist comments are the kind of men that see the name of the company on my shirt (conveniently located over my left boob) and assume that I’m no good at my job, because I happen to be a woman. It doesn’t necessarily happen daily, and for every rude male customer I serve, I serve plenty of lovely ones, but sexist comments are at least a weekly occurrence. To give you an idea, here are some examples of things that men have actually said to me, and my female colleague at work;
– ‘Oh, can you actually do that?’
– ‘Thanks, but I think I’d rather have the man do it’
– ‘So, if you want to just give it to the other guy…oh, you mean you can fix it?’
– ‘Look, ah, no offense sweetheart but I’d prefer to give it to someone who actually knows what he is doing’
– ‘You must just press a very big button to do your work for you in here’
And one one particular occasion, a man walked up to my friend, saw that there were no men in the store, looked at her and just said ‘no’ and walked away.
Yup. As if the comments aren’t bad enough, on more than one occasion, I have greeted a male customer and had him completely ignore me, to speak to one of the three men that I work with instead, regardless of how busy they may be with something else. Admittedly, there are things that I’m not yet trained to do, and if someone needs something done that I can’t do, I have no problem with asking the guys. But when men come up and assume I can’t even change a watch battery, that’s when I get irritated. I am perfectly capable of doing my job, and being a woman shouldn’t and doesn’t affect the way I work. But evidently, there are some men in the world who assume that because I don’t have a penis, I can’t do anything for myself.
These men are the kinds of men who think a woman’s job is to cook and clean and have babies. The kind of men who believe that a woman can’t do anything as well as a man, and that we thus don’t deserve the same opportunities, or pay rates or freedoms. And it is that kind of man that makes my job more difficult, and less fun. A sexist remark can make a good day bad. I am an intelligent, capable young woman and I don’t deserve that kind of disrespect from complete strangers.