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.

Max

This is how he usually acts. This is how I currently feel.

Well, now you have it.

Fleshlight likes my blog.

Couldn't be prouder.

So this is what it feels like to hit the top.

Good one, me.

So I’m sitting here playing Minesweeper when I come to a section of the grid where I have to fully guess where the bombs are. There is no algorithm, there are no clues, it’s just pure guesswork for about 7 or 8 bombs.

(Yes, this is a post about Minesweeper. Deal with it.)

I made it through the guesswork without a hitch, cleared the whole corner area, and literally thought to myself “Wow, that was a real minefield!”

Then I realised what the game is called.

Demonstrative Compact Disc!

My band finally got the demo CD together! Wheeee! Now untolled (untold?) masses of disinterested people can listen to unsolicited alternative/prog rock in a variety of languages! Remember such goodies as “The Flood,” “Chairs,” or “Bloc Quebecois”? Me neither! And the best part is, the song named after the BQ isn’t even the French one! C’est incroyable!

If I can figure out how to harass your ears with some sweet sweet synthesized vibes and harpsichords you can bet your bippy I’ll be all over that in the next post. Nothing like 18 hour improv instrumental solos to really make a listener uncomfortable. (And make a singer feel extraneous.)

Woah.

I just had an email conversation with Miss Finster over the state of the North American postal services. True story.

That is my surreal fact of the day.

COMIC TUESDAY

Just missed it by THAT much. Was busy all day today preparing a Mexican feast for my Cook the Books class. It was our last class, so nobody cared that we missed Dio de los Muertos by a full month and four days. More on that tomorrow. For now:

dress appropriately!

Yeah, this is what’s going down in Toronto, weatherwise. Last week I weeded my patio, brushing snow off the mustard flower as I went, and today the weather couldn’t really decide if it would rain or not. Yesterday hit double digits, temperature-wise. This is why I keep at least one umbrella on my person at all times.

P.S. This is my 50th post! L!

Wednesday is the new Tuesday

So because yesterday was supposed to be comic day, but I was busy writing a 12-page paper for Irish class, I had to postpone the posting till today and declare today officially Tuesday instead. So set your calendars accordingly.

I don’t understand this. If your phone rings while you’re in the bathroom, occupado shall we say, WHY on earth would you answer it?? (As a sidenote – my mum calls this “multitasking.” Hang up if she tells you she’s multitasking.)

Whenever I hear a phone ring in a public bathroom, and the person actually picks up, I always flush immediately. Because you are being weird and making me uncomfortable, and toilet-flushing is a risk you knew you were taking when you picked up that phone. DEAL WITH IT.

omg

I went to check on my comments folder, which I have not done in awhile, and in the spam folder, nesting snugly against the random blurbs about plugins and me solving problems with my blog (apparently) was this little gem:

“A single variety of juice is certainly carrot apple spinach juice. Clearly from name itself me could well be capable to evaluate all the nutritional value affecting juice or even the things just about all that associated with. Right now me might begin by taking four for you to six carrots women cut off their particular ends. Also me need * great apples communicate two for you to great cups of the spinach. After you have the ingredients nearby this is certainly period for you to mix that everyone lady juice mixer woman function that in your your family members.”

Now, I me don’t have a very dirty mind*, but to me, this sounds a little kinkier than me like my vegetables. What are they saying here? What exactly is the aim of this spammer? Perhaps this is strange, but me have this conviction that all spammers are trying to achieve an end; whether to sell product, garner site traffic, or collect click statistics, spam serves a purpose to the person or spambot which generated it. This spam severely shakes that belief. (Just in case this specific spam WAS trying to garner site traffic, me’ve redacted the link. MUAHAHA)

This sounds a bit to me like Chef Brian of ctrl+alt+del fame.

Also: “period” + “lady juice” + “carrot apple spinach juice” (the singular kind) = horrifying nightmares about V8 for weeks.

*I totally do. This is still too weird for me.

Family values

I’m just gonna take a half second to do something I didn’t really want to do here, but tonight was just chock full of crap and I know everyone around me was all like “why does Kate look like she’s going to punch a kitten?” So I’ll tell you why I looked like I was going to punch a kitten. Even a baby soft one.

I’m not going to post a rant about tipping your waitress. Not even that mild. Oh no. I would only punch an ugly animal if it had been as mild as not tipping. Nor is it even about dining and dashing, though it is a little about that. This post is going to be a rant about dining and dashing in front of your thirteen year old son on your wife’s birthday.

So if it wasn’t obvious from the paragraph above, I don’t work in the finest of dining establishments. That’s cool. I work in a sports bar, and normally, I love it. I love the customers, especially the regulars, I love the atmosphere, the girls I work with, the fun we all have… it is such a fun environment in which to work. But sometimes, because it isn’t fine dining, we get some customers who are just plain rude. In both senses of the word; in the archaic sense, as in, crude and unformed – undeveloped – uncultured – but also in the modern sense, as in, NO manners.

Tonight, I had a table of three people – a man, woman and their young son – come in and sit at the largest booth which can fit 6. I didn’t even balk at that, which normally I do, because seriously people are you so important that you cannot sit at a booth for 4 people. I DIGRESS. They ordered two plates of chicken fingers, and a 14-oz Certified Angus ribeye. I was my usual bubbly self – not too overbearing, but still around when they needed me – and in fact, the woman realised she had ordered the wrong sauce for her chicken fingers so I exchanged them and all was happiness and light. The man had commented several times to several different people about the fact that it was his wife’s birthday, so I opened the dessert menu for them and told the woman to choose which one she wanted, because birthday desserts are on the house. She chose one, I made it, it was discounted, all was well. The man asked me to bring him the bill.

Their bill came to $85 and I signed an enthusiastic “Thanks! Happy birthday! -Kate” on top before placing the bill on the table, letting them know they could take their time paying, and walking away to check on my other tables. Maybe five minutes elapsed when I walked back to the table. The family had left, taking the bill with them, with only $55 accounted for. It took me a second to realise that the bill (with the accurate tab written on it) was missing – taken, no doubt, to throw me off the scent, so that hopefully I wouldn’t realise that I’d been shorted $30. I ran outside to see if I could catch up to them, but a crowd of smokers on the front step told me they had trundled into a car and taken off, stat.

Classy.

What a fantastic lesson to teach your son. Hey, kid, let’s live outside our means and then deprive some minimum-wage schmuck of her pay! Remember – if you take the bill with you, she won’t notice until it’s too late.

This event (clearly) dragged me down for the rest of my shift, and I can’t apologise enough to the tables and staff that sensed that. Thankfully I have wonderful managers who covered the rest of the missing tab and let me go home somewhat earlier than normal. This is a sad, strange case; but veteran servers have told me that you never can expect which tables are shifty and which ones are honest. I’m glad the majority are honest, but I suppose tonight I learned where tomorrow’s generation of dine-and-dashers came from.