Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sexism in an Elevator

Sexism seems like such an archaic idea to me.

When I was little I was constantly told, "You can be whatever you want to be. You can be a doctor, or a lawyer, or even president."

I recall in nursery school playing with wooden blocks of career-appropriate dressed characters.
There was a woman in a business suit, a man in a business suit, a fireman, and a female police officer.

Oh the political correctness and equality of it all!

It didn't really occur to me that there was such a thing as woman not working, or wearing pants, until I read The American Girl books.
So, being raised in this 'modern' way certain things just baffle the hell out of me. For example, the fact that women are still paid less then men.
And for an even better example...

I'm at an elevator the other day, and two men are already waiting there. The down button has already been pressed, and I have to go up. I walk to the elevator and hit the up button, and smile politely at them. Then this happens:

MAN 1
I would've gotten that for you.

SUE FUNKE
Oh, that's OK.

MAN 1
That's right.
(Turns to man next to MAN2 with complete conviction, voice completely lacking sarcasm.)
Women these days can do everything themselves.
They open doors for themselves, work for themselves.
They don't want a man to help them.

MAN 2
Yep! It's like we're good for just one thing.
(MAN 2 ends statement while looking lewdly.
Elevator arrives.)


SUE FUNKE
Oh, you guys are going down. That's yours!

END SCENE

I then checked my calendar and found out that it was still the year 2010.

Then thought a little bit about whether or not I'd been in any hot tubs recently that could've secretly been time machines....

Then I did the math and realized that women have been working for a living for like over 30 years.

Then came to the conclusion, that yes, I had indeed run into sexual harassment.

The weird thing is, it was the first time I had ever encountered it in an office. I've been doing office work for about 10 years. Seems like a crazy margin for it to happen now.

I'd say I ran into the only man left that's sexist, but that would be a lie. I mean, I perform stand-up, there's still sexism out there - just like there's still racism out there.

This particular form of sexism is just so ridiculously antiquated.
Basically, it felt like I was getting sexually harassed Mad Men style.

...and yes, there was a dorky part of me that was a little excited about that.