Fa Real?

I like to think of myself as an intelligent, strong, independent woman.

I assume most women like to think that about themselves.

I work hard. I take care of my responsibilities. I take care of my finances. I take care of my car.

My husband considers me his partner. We share responsibilites equally. Except laundry…cause he won’t touch it no matter how much I hint or ask or declare I’m not doing it all.

But I don’t do dishes, so it all evens out.

I do not do things in my life based on antiquated gender roles. My daddy raised me to take care of myself and be a specific kind of person not woman. My husband treats me as his equal in everything. Because I’m his partner in life. Not a 1950s version of a wife.

I studied gender and feminist theory in school and I love it. I dearly love it. And if someone wants to hold the door for me because I’m another human being and that’s the polite thing to do more power to ’em!

But if you hold the door because I have a vagina, I’m not gonna be impressed…

A few weeks ago we had lunch with Homie’s family. At one point during our lunch my fil made some comment about how the last time he rode Amtrak he had to give up his seat to a woman.

The comment alone wasn’t entirely the problem. He said it in a bragging/lamenting way. As in “oh it was such a drag and so inconvenient” but at the same time his facial expression and his tone and body language were demonstrating that he was so proud of himself. He literally did a fake humble shoulder shrug. “She said she didn’t need to sit, but I kept insisting she take my seat until she finally did. But ah what are you going to do? If there’s a woman you have to give your seat.”

Seriously? You don’t have to give your seat to someone just because they have a vagina. I find that to be disgustingly insulting. If someone is older, or obviously injured, or maybe pregnant then by all means offer your seat. But if there are more people than there are seats and you are capable of standing and don’t mind doing so then you should offer your seat to anyone around you.

A male standing near your seat might have an injury that makes it difficult or painful for him to stand. Or maybe he’s just tired. But our stupid cultural norms have made it unacceptable for him to admit that.

So ask around, offer your seat, but don’t badger and insist that someone with a vagina takes it.

I didn’t say it that explicitly, but I chuckled and said “well…it’s not really necessary to give your seat to someone just because they are female. If I were that woman I would think it was rude of you to insist that I take your seat when I politely refused.” And he was incredulous.

I had kind of pushed that conversation and my outrage over it to the back of my mind until now.  I just got a call from my fil. He never calls me. I didn’t answer because I’m at work. I listened to the voicemail and it said, “I know (your husband) is at work, probably busy, and working hard so I thought I’d call you since you’re not.”

Umm… I’m assuming you meant you knew I’m not at work and not that I’m not busy or working hard. But fa real?! Do you seriously not realize that by saying that you are implying I’m not at work, I’m not working hard, and that I’m just sitting on my ass?

It’s especially irritating because he doesn’t know anything about my work schedule. Or really much else about me.

Love how I never get a call until you want something, and in the process you’re going to insult me. And maybe I wouldn’t quite read it like that were it not for the whole Amtrak story. But fa real man?!


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