Suburban Snapshots

Diary of a Wimpy Chick

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When we first moved here, I went to the local Mac store to see about picking up the software bundle I used for freelance work. I needed 90% of what came in this particular bundle, and when I asked the clerk what I'd be shelling out he said, "That costs twelve-hundred or so, but you won't need most of what's in there." Not that he jumped to conclusions based on, my lack of external sex organs? Facial hair? I was furious at being pigeonholed. I smiled politely and continued browsing.

We have one neighbor who's a nice enough guy, but if the cops discovered 14 missing hitchhikers living as enslaved chipmunk taxidermists under a trap door in his back yard hot tub, I wouldn't be the neighbor interviewed on the news saying, "I can't believe it, he's always been a nice, quiet man." The last time I saw him he acknowledged my recent weight loss. He said, and this is a quote, "I noticed your breasts are smaller." Instead of alerting him to the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of his observation ("You know you just said that OUT LOUD, right?"), I folded my arms over my chest, replied that my top half always goes first, and tried to get out of there as fast as possible.

After incidents like these I feel like crap. I wonder what I'm doing just sitting there — being polite, even — when I know I ought to speak up for myself.

I remember the woman instructor of a self defense class I attended saying that part of the reason women become targets is that we tend to do exactly this — we don't want to ruffle feathers, or tell some dick at the computer store that yes, in fact, I am a professional web developer and photographer, and I'm pretty sure I'll be using all of the programs in that bundle, you little generalizing twit.

Instead I get as mad at myself as I was at the offender, rant here, sometimes cry in frustration. I hope that somehow I'll find a way to teach my daughter to speak up for herself and that until then, the strength I've found in being her mother will help me fight for her in ways I rarely seem able to for myself.

blog comments powered by Disqus