So, here I am. Four years after I originally started this blog, restarting at the request of another. Because apparently, I have opinions that just need to be shared when it comes to politics….and beer.
I could jump right in where I left off….religion and politics. It’s still relevant. It’s still playing a roll. And I could try to unpack race and law enforcement and racism and white privilege; but is that where I really want to restart? Or I could delve into Trump and the Republican party and everything I absolutely despise about the GOP.
No. I’m not going to restart with any of those. I’m going to start with sexism. Partially because I had an experience yesterday that I’m still grated by.
Me: “Thank you for calling [. . .], this is Deanna in Service, how may I help you?”
Male customer: “Service department.”
Me: “This is Deanna, in Service, how may I help you?”
Male customer: “NO.” Hangs up phone.
I’d like to tell you this is the first experience I’ve had like this. It’s not. It’s just the most blatant sexism I’ve encountered. Yes, I’m a woman. Yes, I work in the service department of a car dealership. Yes, a service department, like where you take your car for maintenance. No, I don’t fix your car, but I can absolutely get you set up with an appointment. And no, I don’t know everything about cars and how to fix them, but I promise I’m not an idiot. I understand what an oil change is, what brake pads and rotors are, and that there’s an engine and a transmission. I also understand there are brake lines, compressors, condensers, engine control modules, transmission control modules, timing changes, and various belts and hoses throughout the vehicle. I promise, my job is not rocket science, but apparently because I’m a woman, some men think I know nothing about cars other than what looks pretty and only care that it drives.
We will not diagnose a vehicle over the phone, because quite simply that’s not our job. If you want your vehicle repaired correctly, let the people who know look at it and tell you what it is…and not the 5 (or more) things it could be that you want us to over the phone. My job is to bring people into the dealership for appointments. I’m not telling you to come in because we actually know what it is over the phone, but we don’t want to tell you because then you’ll get it done somewhere else and then blame us when that isn’t the problem. I’m telling you to come in because that’s my job. And if I don’t do my job, our technicians can’t do their jobs. And, you know, that whole unemployment thing kind of really sucks (note to self: a post about unemployment is necessary).
It’s similar to making a doctor’s appointment, telling your doctor what’s wrong with you and that you Googled it and here’s how to treat it, and then handing them a list of prescriptions that you need. Chances are your doctor is going to say they need to do some tests and figure it out. If by chance, your doctor goes with what just happened and writes you the prescriptions, and it doesn’t fix what was wrong with you. Well, you’re not going to be happy, you may even be sicker, and then you’re going to go back to your doctor and tell them the meds they prescribed didn’t work and they need to fix it. At that point, I hope your doctor asks you where you got your medical degree from, and I hope either you say you don’t have one or that you decided to be funny and say Google or WebMD.
Anyway, back to my original point. Men (and women) think that just because a woman answers the phone in a predominantly male profession, doesn’t mean they don’t know anything. And yes, you read that right. Some women even treat me differently because I answer the phone in a service department of a car dealership. The most striking incident was when a female Illinois State Police office called, and I answered the phone with my standard greeting, and she asked for the service department. I repeated my name, said I was in the service department, and asked how I could help. She was taken aback, and even commented, “I didn’t expect to hear a woman on the phone in the service department.” REALLY?!?!?!? YOU ARE A FEMALE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE OFFICER!!!! You of all people should know what it’s like. I can guarantee you are disrespected by civilians and people within your profession because you are a woman working as a law enforcement officer. I absolutely respect the work that you do. My dad is a retired local officer. I know female officers from the local department. It’s a small police department, and it was a BFD when they hired their first female officer. My problem with you is not your profession. My problem with you is that you are a woman perpetuating this idea of a “man’s” work.
I’m so tired of this and that being seen as a “man’s” job and a “woman’s” job these days. I get it. I was raised with a double standard my entire life in my parent’s house. My brothers definitely got to do things (and got away with things) because they were boys. And I was definitely treated differently when I wanted to do those or did those same things. When I have children, I will definitely be holding them to the same standards and talking to them about the same things (age appropriate of course). Because in the end, gender shouldn’t matter. All that should really matter is that you’re a decent human being. Notice I said human in there? Humans have faults. I by no means expect perfection. Humans get angry. Humans have limitations. But enough of telling women they can’t do certain things because they’re women. And enough of telling men they can’t do certain things because they’re men. We are all humans. We are all equals. And it would certainly be nice if we could all recognize that.