Women Talking (Part II)

“I’m not stupid. I know everybody thinks I am. I just don’t like answering their questions.” ~ Louis Sachar

Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.com

It is amazing to me how men have NO IDEA the hoops women have to jump through in life, JUST BECAUSE WE’RE WOMEN!

A female co-worker was talking to one of our security officers about working out. She mentioned that she wished she could go work out but it wasn’t possible. He immediately started in with the availability of 24-hour access facilities, and making time for herself and blah, blah, blah. Clueless . . . absolutely clueless. She pointed out that her shift is from 10 am until 10 pm. She’s taking care of farm chores and animals before work, and it’s dark when she gets off work. None of those fantastic 24-hour access gyms in the area have great lighting in their parking lots. Not to mention, at night there are very few females working out which leaves us alone in the gym or with males. Now, not all males are a threat, but just recently a woman was attacked IN HER GYM by a male member.

Eliza Fletcher was the female runner, abducted and killed in Memphis, Tennesee last year while out for a morning run. A teacher, a mother; she was trying to go about her life’s routine and practice healthy self-care. I love to run. I hate to run on treadmills. I prefer the slap of my feet on the pavement, the constant change of terrain — flat, inclines, declines, flat out hills. There was an obscene amount of victim-shaming when her body was discovered near an abandoned house. She shouldn’t have worn this, or been out alone at that time, or . . . or . . . or. MAYBE, just maybe, the asshole that abducted and killed her should have known to leave people alone, leave women alone, and control his urges. Please explain to me why women are expected to dress like nuns, change their routines, or only exercise in certain areas at certain times. NO!

I’ve had other experiences which have been disheartening. Apparently, they are shared by other female professionals.

I was listening to a podcast hosted by an architect — a FEMALE architect. She relayed a story about going to the hardware store to buy an S-hook. When she asked an employee where she could find one, rather than tell her what aisle or even show her, he demanded to know what she needed an S-hook for. WHY does she need to explain her use for the item she is purchasing? It’s none of his business.

I had a similar experience at Lowe’s. I had placed an online order and was picking it up on my way to another appointment. I was wearing a dress at the time (as I am prone to do during the warm weather months.) I arrived at the service desk and gave my company name at which time the male clerk asked, “Oh! Picking up an order for your husband?” Isn’t that just precious? Unable to resist, I replied, “No, I don’t have one. I killed him. Just got out of the pen last week actually. Now, could we hurry this up, I have an appointment with my parole officer and I cannot be late! You understand, right?” Within minutes, I had my order — ready to go.

A couple friends of mine have a successful YouTube channel, a fantastic career in preservation and restoration, a beautiful IG account and they work their hind ends off together to restore some beautiful old houses. More than once, they have been approached by television networks interested in doing a “sizzle reel” to pitch to networks to develop their own television show. Alas, the wife of the couple works just as hard as her husband and is often seen underneath the home, or in the attic, on ladders – sometimes paint stained, caulked fingertips, paint in her hair and on her face. These networks want her to look “more feminine” to which both her and her husband’s response is, “Yeah . . . NO!”

As a firefighter, I attended a “Firefighter of the Year” banquet. This banquet was hosted by a group of insurance underwriters. Understandably, my 5′ body next to my date’s 6’2″ frame was not particularly “buff” or muscular. I was wearing a dress and heels. More than one person, making conversation (or attempting to) addressed my date, asking at which fire department he was employed. He very kindly pointed to me EVERY TIME the subject was broached and advised them to ask me the questions as I was the firefighter, he was a heating/cooling technician.

Exactly who is stupid in these scenarios? Not us.

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