Hey you! Don't talk down to me!
Earlier this week, I went to the hospital to get my injured foot checked out. I spent ten minutes being judged by a female doctor because I "spend my time running about all day" and wore high heels (granted my foot problem was probably caused by my footwear but that isn't the point). What gets me is the way I was spoken to. I was patronised and judged for no good reason. My treatment was put second because the doctor thought that being a bitch was more appropriate. Would she ever have done that to a guy? I doubt it.
In the end, I didn't actually get any treatment. I wasn't passive. I asked her four times what I could do to get myself better. The answers varied between, "it'll clear up" to "you might have to have an operation" and in a couple of days the hospital will have a strong worded letter from me with their mail. I've never complained about the NHS before but I didn't deserve that. Just because I'm a woman, doesn't mean my treatment should be taken less seriously.
And it's been happening elsewhere too.
Just because I'm female, this doesn't mean that the guy in B&Q can tell me I look lost and call me "young lady". I'm 26! I run an interiors website, and I'm putting up my own shelves this weekend. I'm not lost! I can use a power drill! Don't mess with a girl who can use a power drill.
I don't need the checkout woman to comment on me buying low fat cream cheese. It's better for baking and they'd run out of the stuff I wanted! If I'm making cake, I really don't care how much fat goes in it, do I? And even if I did, why is someone I don't know judging me about it?
I'm noticing that more women are getting talked down to in shops or when they're asking advice. For no reason. Women don't ask questions because they're stupid. They ask questions because they want to be clear on what they're doing. They're not ignorant. I would much rather ask a question that makes me look stupid than leave somewhere confused. Apparently asking questions makes me an idiot.
Sometimes it's just people making (very misguided) conversation. But it's going a step too far when I'm thinking to myself "are you allowed to talk to me like that?" I'm not impressed that recently, I've been patronised when I'm asking a perfectly reasonable question. Or more annoyingly, when I'm not even asking for advice. A lot of other girls I speak to are finding it happening to them as well.
Sometimes, a little humility and understanding can go a long way. Especially when I'm talking to a doctor. If I'm worried about my health, I would rather someone just did their job instead of using my time to be horrible to me. That kind of bedside manner I can do without.
Flickr image from nyki_m's photostream.