Insidious sexism in everyday life

So I’m a feminist. Duh. I firmly believe that if you’re not a feminist, you’re just not a good person. As it stands, I understand that the rest of the world is still getting used to the idea that lady-humans are actually quite as capable of doing things that man-humans can do, but that doesn’t excuse the atrociously subtle sexism I came up against today in the music store.

I’m not going to mention what music store it is, as I have no motivation for vengeance or discrediting a strong establishment. Suffice it to say it is a large chain which should have better trained staff. Not training in the actual knowledge of gear – which this person had quite a lot of – but training in the customer area of customer service.

I have a gig tonight. It’s at Rancho Relaxo, I’m super stoked, etc. etc. I’ve been nervous for days, but tonight is the night, so I’ve gotta get over it and get my rock n roll on. I went into the music store this morning to pick up a pickup, which I thought would’ve been a pretty straightforward venture. Bring guitar. Put pickup in it. Test pickup. Rent pickup.

The gentleman helping me out was of an older persuasion, perhaps from a time when it was considered high scandal for a lady to know what a guitar looks like and how it works. When I asked for a pickup, he looked halfway shocked that I knew what that even was, or that I needed one. “I have a gig tonight” I said. “Do you!” he exclaimed, as if it were the most adorable thing a lady has ever done.

He looked at my strings and was confused momentarily, since I opt out of using standard bronze. “And what have we here?” he asked me. “Silk and steel,” I replied, automatically.

“Well! She even knows what kind of strings she uses.”

Well.

She even knows.

How completely unexpected that she would know the components of her own instrument.

The one that’s in “impressively good shape for a 3-4 year old guitar.”

Yes, impressively. We expected the lady-human to be incredibly indelicate with the guitar, seeing as she doesn’t know what she’s doing with it. She knows to store it with the proper humidity over the winter? How could that be?

Be it noted that this gentleman strayed several times from the rental agreement I was attempting to pursue in favour of aiding other (male) customers. Not to sound like a woebegone sufferer of female inequality, but it can’t be coincidence that you’d rather help a male customer when you’re continually surprised by the simple, basic knowledge that your female customer possesses. Shock.

It still surprises me when I come up against this subtle but very ingrained sexism in society. We still have a long way to go.

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The baaaaand!

So my new band, Young Doctors in Love, is really picking up lately! We have a gig at Rancho Relaxo on the 31st of July, a gig at the Handlebar on Aug 18th, and we’re starting our Southern Ontario tour this fall!

Look out for our CD release coming this fall, too. We’re doing a photoshoot in September and filming a music video pretty soon!

Life is looking good 🙂