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The Continuance of Sexism In Our Enlightened Post-Feminist Era: Snow Storm Edition


[SADY, exiting the apartment and descending its several perilous steps for cigarettes, encounters her LANDLORD shoveling out the walk.]

SADY: Just so you know, I salted the steps last night, but it’s come down hard since then, so you might want to give them another going-over.



[SADY having re-entered the apartment, re-exits several hours later, with A DUDE. They encounter the LANDLORD, still shoveling.]

LANDLORD (looking past SADY, directly to the DUDE): Thank you for salting the steps last night.


Now: perhaps it is a well-known fact that girls cannot carry heavy bags of salt, lest their spindly female limbs snap off, nor touch the salt contained within said bag, lest they melt like garden slugs. OR, my landlord, in addition to his many other fabulous qualities, is sort of a sexist.


  1. Beth wrote:

    Um……….wow. I hope you told him what for.

    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  2. snobographer wrote:

    Nope. No sexism there. I’d even say you’re misandrist for saying that’s sexist. Or oversensitive. Or something. That landlord wasn’t denying your right to vote or have a job, after all, so be thankful we live in such enlightened times.

    /sarcasmo troll

    Ever personally, with your own personal hand, give cash payment to – say – a taxi driver and have that taxi driver turn to your dudely companion and say “thank you, sir?” Yeah me too. And I did give him what for, to which my dudely companion told me to pipe down and not take things so personally.

    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  3. JPeep wrote:

    Hahaha…I mean, how can your tiny LadyBrain even understand the complex chemical reaction that makes salt melt the ice?

    And as Snobographer said…I’ve had both cab drivers AND waiters thank my boyfriend when I’m the one who picked up the tab. Makes everyone feel awesome.

    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  4. octopod wrote:

    I have had people say “thank you, sir” as Snobographer describes, intending it for my male companion. His moment of confusion is usually enough for me to slide on in with a “You’re welcome” or “No problem”.

    I never think to say “You’re welcome, ma’am” at the time, though. You know how that kind of thing is.

    This kind of behaviour is bullshit, though. I don’t even understand where it comes from. Do they think you’re taking credit for what he did, or he’s delegating to you as a servant, or what?

    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Anna wrote:

    ‘Ever personally, with your own personal hand, give cash payment to – say – a taxi driver and have that taxi driver turn to your dudely companion and say “thank you, sir?” Yeah me too. And I did give him what for, to which my dudely companion told me to pipe down and not take things so personally.’

    OH GOD YES. And waiters. And when they give you the wine to taste it’s always if he found it okay, not you, and they always ask the man about the menus and foood and arrrrrrrrg.

    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  6. Shevek wrote:

    Your landlord shoveled your walk. I have two inches of ice on mine!

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  7. Jenny wrote:

    I’ve never had this happen in a taxi, but I rarely take taxis. However, just yesterday, myself and a friend of mine (who happens to be male) grabbed dinner at a pub, and when paying time came, I agreed to pick up the tab. The waitress was standing right there when we were discussing this, and she saw me place my debit card on the table before going to serve one of the other tables. Upon returning, she asked Dan to come up to the front with her to pay. He looked confused, and when I answered her, she looked confused. It was rather annoying. Even Dan noticed how weird this was, and he’s not normally very aware of this sort of thing.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  8. emjaybee wrote:

    My favorite version is when a dude tells a joke/anecdote/idea I already told, and takes credit for it! And then I have to be the joy-killer and shrill and say “Yeah, I’m the one who told you that.” Because he does not even REMEMBER me saying it, because I am apparently his invisible muse or something. And then people look uncomfortable, because how dare I own my ideas when a man wants them? Sheesh!

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  9. snobographer wrote:

    Oh I’ve got another one. You do something at work and a higher-up assumes a male peer of yours did it and declares that this male peer should be commended. You explain that actually it was you who performed the commendable action and the higher-up just sort of rolls his eyes at you and either changes the subject or continues in his praise of your male peer. Gotten that sort of thing a few times.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  10. Courtney wrote:

    Merry Christmas Sady! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for the past 8 months, and I hope to keep reading it for a while! You offer funny and important persepectives on some stuff that I am still trying to understand. You’ve talked about your family being nontraditional, and mine is too. I hope that your holidays are still great and that you spend them with people you love. Tonight my sister and I are going to watch “Ginger Snaps” together and I thought of you. I don’t usually comment, but this time of year is a time to reach out to people. So, you know, good luck. May all your wishes be seen to fulfillment in the coming years, and may your words find their way into the hearts and lives of many more.

    Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  11. Laura wrote:

    When I worked as a cashier this summer, I made a POINT to always specifically thank the person who paid (or gave a tip), adding in a “sir” or “ma’am” so they would definitely know whom I was addressing. So if a lady paid, I said “thank you, ma’am,” even if she was with a man. And vice versa if a man paid.

    Perhaps this action isn’t as EARTH-SHATTERING as it would be if I were a male, and perhaps it’s not all that EARTH-SHATTERING in general, but still. I do what I can.

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  12. Kiore wrote:

    I think a lot of it is automatic rather than maliciously intended, and that’s why you get the people defending it – because the person genuinely didn’t /intend/ to be sexist.

    The problem is, it’s still harmful even if it’s not intended; I’d argue moreso, because it gets seen as okay whereas overt sexism is more often acknowledged as such.

    That’s a hard one to combat though.

    Friday, January 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  13. Leah B wrote:

    I always just thank all people I’m serving. It’s not as though the person paying is the only person making your store money.

    In other words, I’m not thanking people for paying, I’m thanking them for coming. Anything less is poor customer service.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Permalink
  14. CSeraph wrote:

    As a note, in some cultures it is considered disrespectful for a strange male to address a female accompanied by another male directly.

    I’m not saying it isn’t sexist – it very much is – but it can be pretty powerfully ingrained in people from some backgrounds, such that not doing so would seem offensive to them.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink