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In this day and age! A thread for unbelievably obvious examples of sexism.

(433 Posts)
blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 12:31:43

A thread for "I can't believe that just happened to me! In this day and age!"

Yesterday we spent about 40 minutes in a Toyota dealership, looking to spend about $10k on a used car. The salesman only asked DH's name, only wrote down DH's number, and only talked to DH about the cars available. DH kept referring to me, asking my opinion, and generally looking uncomfortable. Eventually DH snatched back his license from the salesman and said "No, I don't think so. Let's go." And as I turned I added "Joe? Thank you for your help today. I work in sales and I wanted you to know that since I walked in here you haven't asked me a single question, or addressed me directly even once. At one point you walked away from me, talking to my husband about the next car you were showing us, so that I couldn't hear what you said. I just want you to know that I earn more than my husband (actually not yet true, but soon will be!), I know more about cars than my husband (v.true), and you acted like I didn't exist. Which is why we're leaving."

When I got into our car, DH was cheering. We drove 5 miles away and bought a nissan.

As we were doing the dishes last night, talking about this, DH said "I do hope you tell Mumsnet about it." grin he knows me so well.

xkcdfangirl Tue 18-Sep-12 12:48:48

I was house hunting, and thought I'd found the right house for us. I agreed to see the financial adviser attached to the estate agent. They had only dealt with me at all points, but when the woman started filling in the forms she insisted on putting my DH into the system as applicant 1 despite the fact he earns about a quarter of what I do. I also walked out saying I would not be doing business with them because I didn't expect to be treated like a second class citizen like that - I realised that this was a bit of an over reaction but I think that the culture will only change to being actually egalitarian if we challenge casual unthinking sexism as well as overt and blatant sexism.

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 12:57:26

Ooh, nicely done, XKCDfan (love the name, too!).
DH said to me as we drove off "I'm so glad you SAID something!" and I said "Well I had plenty of time to plan it, since he talked over me for over half an hour!" But I did surprise myself a bit. This was a very young man, so here's hoping that perhaps some of what I said sinks in, otherwise I can't help thinking he's not going to make much money selling cars!

LittleBoxes Tue 18-Sep-12 12:57:54

I called a holiday company about a last-minute deal I'd seen on Teletext Holidays, and on the other end of the phone was a man giving me the horrible hard-sell, including adding on a raft of extras which almost doubled the price of the holiday that had been advertised. OK, no, that's too expensive, I said, preparing to put the phone down. He then started trying to bargain with me, and his main argument was that I should 'call my husband to ask for more money' shock

CMOTDibbler Tue 18-Sep-12 12:58:09

Car buying drives me nuts. I drive a lot for work, have a company car allowance, yet the dealerships only ever want to talk to dh. Who has none of it, and we've walked away on a number of occasions due to the sales attitude.

Working as I do in a v male dominated industry, I get lots of sexism. Ranging from people questioning what happens to ds when I travel (umm, dh looks after him..), telling me they wouldn't like it if their wife travelled etc.

But my favourite ever was at a conference - we have a big exhibition booth, do demos of software, available to talk about issues etc. Guy comes over 'I need to talk to someone about x' 'yes, I can help you' 'no, I need an expert' 'yes, that would be me' and so on. So he decided to try and test me on this, which was fine. He just could not believe that a woman would know this. Best thing was a customer friend who had done a lot of work with me on implementing this thing was waiting to chat, and I could see him pissing himself laughing at all this. He suggested after that I keep a false beard to help people feel comfortable grin

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 12:59:32

These posts have me pulling faces at my screen that alternate between shock and grin

Maybe I should have had a fake beard handy yesterday? smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 18-Sep-12 13:03:29

Good thread!

WiseKneeHair Tue 18-Sep-12 13:06:30

Where to start!
Although, it has got better as I have got older. I think being young and female seems to be percieved as incapable. Middle aged and female, sometimes I am given the benefit of the doubt!

Recently went into a posh jewellers as I am thinking of getting myself a nice watch for Christmas (circa £1250). When the sales woman asked what the occasion was, I said it was for Christmas. Cue her saying I would have to do more ironing and cleaning to put DH in a good mood shock.
I said that probably wouldn't work as I don't do much housework and DH does all the ironing. grin

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 13:13:58

grin the idea that we need things bought for us by indulgent owners partners is always egregious and shocking, isn't it?

DH does the ironing in this family, too. Partly cos I'm not very good at it, but mainly cos they're his shirts and he's an adult. It's not rocket science, is it? smile But my mum nearly fainted when she found out... hmm

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 18-Sep-12 13:14:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

millionlovesongslater Tue 18-Sep-12 13:14:36

Hmmmm, every advert on TV for washing up liquid, washing powder, householder cleaners, cooking ingredients, children's products.

I think the ones that piss me off the most are those (for example, Kinder eggs) where they talk about things being 'approved by mums'. WHAT ABOUT DADS? Feeding my child is not solely my responsibility. My OH helped make him too.

C'mon ladies, what are you doing chatting online? Don't you know there are houses to be cleand and children to be reared.

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 13:25:12

Oh yes, million - or the adverts where the man is incompetant but it's okay! Because MUM has a cleaning cloth which can do the job in no time! Or whatever. Urgh. Mums are so clever and special and 'better!' - at specific, boring jobs that no one wants to do. uruuuurugh.

Also, every time I see a woman's body (that is less dressed that the jeans-and-a-shirt outfit I am currently wearing) advertising any product. I think: Wow! Buy this razor and get extra woman's bumcleft free!


blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 13:26:02

Holy crap, SGM that's horrific.

Buy our "I am a kidnapper!" stickers here!


StewieGriffinsMom Tue 18-Sep-12 13:35:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vezzie Tue 18-Sep-12 13:35:27

dd1 took part in an activity which involved decorating t-shirts. Most of the children had their whole families there. At the end the leader of the activity addressed us all, saying "Mums: you will need to seal this with a hot iron and greaseproof paper..." my heart sank, not at first because I noticed the sexism, but at having another thing to fit in over the weekend. Then I thought, "or maybe the dads could do it?"
This kind of relates to the "influenced by social pressure" thread because my heart is always sinking, in a small way, but repeatedly, by a continual involuntary monitoring of my domestic inadequacies (I WOH full time) in a way that passes DP blithely by (SAHD and part time freelance earner)

Wigeon Tue 18-Sep-12 13:40:24

A female friend answered the door to a delivery driver with a parcel recently:

Delivery man: I've got a parcel for Dr Smith
Friend: I'll take it
Delivery man: But it's for Dr Smith. When would be good to arrange a re-delivery?
Friend: No, it's ok, I'll take it
Delivery man: confused
Friend: Because I am Dr Smith

Friend: 1, Delivery man: 0

AliceHurled Tue 18-Sep-12 13:45:23

At one of my ante natal classes we were told that while in early labour we could pack our husband's hospital bag for him.

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 13:47:13


blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 13:48:07

Wait, I was grinning at widgeon story - not yours, Alice - While I was in early labour I watched telly and got DH to make me sandwiches. I believe this is the appropriate and medically-recommended approach, I must inform the NHS...

Uppercut Tue 18-Sep-12 14:04:37

"A female friend answered the door to a delivery driver with a parcel recently:

Delivery man: I've got a parcel for Dr Smith
Friend: I'll take it
Delivery man: But it's for Dr Smith. When would be good to arrange a re-delivery?
Friend: No, it's ok, I'll take it
Delivery man:
Friend: Because I am Dr Smith

Friend: 1, Delivery man: 0 "

Delivery man: I've got a parcel for Dr Smith
Friend: I'll take it Yes, that's me.

Err, if you don't identify yourself in the first instance what do you expect to happen?

EmmelineGoulden Tue 18-Sep-12 14:31:58

Uppercut if it had to be handed directly to Dr. smith I would have expected delivery guy to say "are you Dr. Smith?" like anyone who didn't have a complete blank on the idea that woman in front of them could be the person they were looking for.

Uppercut Tue 18-Sep-12 14:41:38

That he made a statement rather than asking a question does not prove, or even suggest, he was being sexist. "I have a delivery/parcel for..." is hardly an unusual opening line for a delivery person.

CailinDana Tue 18-Sep-12 15:43:35

On a positive note, my DH has ordered a good few things for the house lately and has used "Dr Dana" on the orders showoff. All the delivery/workmen have assumed I'm the doctor smile One (very stereotypical workman type) even asked me to look at his foot! I had to explain I wasn't a doctor, and my DH isn't that type of doctor so he was on a hiding to nothing grin.

Not so encouraging is the fact that when I go out with my SAHD friend and his daughter, people always assume we're a couple and either that our children are twins,despite the fact that they couldn't look more different than each other, or that we are both single parents who are now together and raising our children together. Either way it is assumed that I am responsible for both children and that the friend is just in the background, because he's a man. No one can seem to get their head around that 1) we are friends, not a couple 2) my friend is a SAHD who does all the normal things like going out to the park and soft play with other SAHPs and 3) despite being a woman I don't in fact make all the decisions for all the children in my vicinity and that if something needs to be sorted for my friend's child then I am not the person to ask, her actual factual parent, who is standing right there, and who is perfectly competent, is the person in charge. I feel sorry for my friend really. He is a fantastic SAHD yet wherever he goes he is sort of invisible.

blackcurrants Tue 18-Sep-12 15:50:46

Cailin - yes, yesterday's invisibility has really helped me see a bit of what DH has been experiencing a lot this summer (he's a teacher and has been 'at home' with DS while I work). He gets frustrated being treated with suspicion when he strikes up the same kind of chitchat-y conversation that I do at the park or whatever, despite it being quite obvious that he's the one looking after that little toddler... soooo weird, and such great evidence that really, this sexism shite is bad for us all!

slug Tue 18-Sep-12 16:00:23

DH has many stories of the suspicious looks he got as a SAHD.

You might like to post your stories here

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