Being an equal in a (mostly) patriarchal world
Something I’ve noticed time and time again at home, or when I travel abroad is when I am with BF, I am not addressed as a person.
He’s the one that gets the: How are you doing today, sir?, and I get jack squat.
This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough for me to notice that I am not acknowledged in about 20% of the situations I’m in.
Or when I reply to them when they say vaguely: How are you doing today?, they’re surprised I opened my mouth to say anything. Or when BF defers to me.
Of course, this happens in stores and areas that are more geared towards the male race, but it has happened in banks as well, when we went in together to figure out what kind of investing options there were at a particular bank.
He was addressed formally with a handshake and everything, and I was just the decoration.
He was the one they talked to, until I quietly asked what the minimum was for a particular investing account.
When they told me $100,000 in a slightly condescending manner, I just asked if I had more money invested, if it would mean better terms for me.
They were taken slightly aback, but their attitude changed to one of bemusement.
(I feel like we still live in the Mad Men age, to some extent)
It even happened at the border when we were thoroughly questioned, and he was grilled 10X more than I was about consulting, because they assumed I was his assistant secretary, but not a “real” consultant who had any power.
I was too young for them to have any brains, and add on top that I’m a woman, and they couldn’t imagine another scenario.
It amuses me at the same time that it bothers me slightly.
Even though I am able to make the same salary as BF who is a decade older than I am, and even though I have significant assets for my age, it doesn’t matter when everyday people don’t know that and treat me as though I’m some insignificant partner.
They think he has all the money and power in the relationship, when in fact, we’re equals in that respect, even if I am 10 years younger.
WOMEN GO THROUGH THIS ON A DAILY BASIS
It made me think that this is probably not a singular phenomenon, and many women must go through the same marginalization by being treated differently just because they’re women.
I’ve read plenty of stories in PF books about how millionaire women are underestimated because they’re women, and sadly enough, it doesn’t surprise me (but it does make me laugh when it results in a favourable outcome, when they play with those misconceptions).
It doesn’t surprise me that women’s voices are still not heard as loudly as men’s in elections, and that we still don’t have a woman President (USA) or Prime Minister (Canada), and the closest that Canada got was with Kim Campbell, but in the U.S., I haven’t heard a single peep from any woman wanting to even run.
It’s all men making the decisions and calling the shots.
A lot of it, is we are still clinging to old values — men lead, women follow — and women are just not doing their part in stepping up to the plate to seize the crown.
What we can do in our daily lives, is consider if the way we treat women is equal, in the sense that it disregards their gender.
It means an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
If a woman is rude, tell her off the same way you’d tell a man off. It goes both ways.
The last point would be to vote or STFU, and vote with your money.
Don’t give money to businesses who don’t treat you well or don’t treat others well, whether you are a man or a woman.