Archive for July, 2010

Edited out

July 29, 2010

I took a short term unpaid work experience job as an editing assistant in a small film company.

Now, my job was to edit. It didn’t surprise me I was also asked to make the coffee and lay out snacks for visiting clients. Fair enough – I was the bottom of the pile, after all.

But the only other woman working for the company was the project manager. When I wasn’t making the coffee, she was. And get this – she cleaned the offices every morning.

I asked her why on earth she’d do that if it’s not in her job description. She gave me to answers: because the boss refused to hire a cleaning staff, and the other employees refused to clean. If she didn’t do it, the place would be a “pigsty”.

I told her, let it become a pigsty and see how well they like it, maybe that’ll make them hire a cleaner. But she just shook her head and picked up the broom.

#HFSF, of course.

Kivitasku, Finland

Comically misunderstood

July 29, 2010

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been drawing. From an early age I decided I want to be an artist. I am still pursuing this dream.

In high school, people knew me as the “artsy kid”. I was the only one interested in art in my grade, which didn’t bother me since it made me unique.

Throughout high school, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be an artist and do comics (like Dead Pool, and Batman kind of comics). The general response would be, “But what about children’s books? I think you’d be really good at those.”

1. I (really) don’t like children

2. I like to write and draw more serious stuff.

Senior year came, and people were sharing what colleges they applied to along with their majors. When asked, I said I applied to one of the best art schools of the US and hoped to major in Illustration. “Oh, so you’re going to do children’s books?” Uhm. Still no…

In addition to having to being fit into a female artist stereotype, I was talking to a male friend of mine, telling him about how it bothers me that people think I should write and/or illustrate books for children and how that’s quite the opposite of what I want to do. He asked, “Well, if you did write comics, what would you write about? High school girls in love?” When I told him no, he then said, “Maybe you would be better off writing children’s books”.
It must be #MFIF because I could not be capable of making serious comics and should do things for children who I apparently adore.

Artsy Kid, US

Just what she needed

July 29, 2010

Back when I was in college, I was once unlucky enough to have had my drink spiked on a night out. Once I got over the utter terror of having woken in my own bed with no idea of how or when I got there, I went to the college GP to get the morning after pill and whatever other tests would need to be done (sensible 19 year old that I was).

I sat for over an hour in the waiting room, only to be told by the doctor that I was clearly an alcoholic because I’d had more than 2 drinks the night before, and that I should give up alcohol. If I had no more “episodes” over the next 3 months, I would have proved him right. He also refused to write me a prescription or check for signs of possible rape.

His smugness didn’t ebb in the slightest as he shooed me from his surgery in tears. #MFIF

GG, Dublin.

You can’t win ’em all

July 29, 2010

I am Indian and a third generation immigrant. My mother told me this story. When I was first born and my mother had bought me home she was absolutely content that her second born girl was healthy and happy. As is customary the family began calling my mother to see how she was after the birth, however when her auntie called her their conversation went like this:

Mother’s auntie: Did you have a boy or a girl?

My mother: A baby girl.

Mother’s auntie: Don’t worry, next time you will have a boy.

Even when I think about it 21 years later it angers me. By rules of my culture I was not a worthy child because I was not a boy, I was not to be celebrated in the same manner. I feel this story perfectly displays cultural sexism and how deep it remains. The old ideals that boys carry on the family name and girls just cost money and must be married off seems to run so deep.

Lucky for me, my mother reminds me that I am a blessing and she does not treat me any differently than my younger brother.

But according to my auntie it’s my fault I was born female.

#MFIF

Born female and proud of it!

Those difficult female names

July 29, 2010

Several years ago I signed myself and my husband up for a trip through an agency in another state. I filled out the forms using my information and put my husband’s name in the area for traveling companion information.

After I sent that in, a letter came in the mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Husband’sname Lastname. I sent a letter to the agency and pointed out their error. I explained that I was their customer and it was my information I gave them. Husband was only going along because I was going. He couldn’t have cared less if we never went. I received a letter of apology addressed to the proper name (Ms. Myname Lastname).

A month later, we checked into our destination. The woman behind the desk asked my husband’s name, and I explained to her that the reservation was in my name, not his. She then recalled that I had sent the letter and tried to explain how their policy of putting reservations in the husband’s name isn’t sexist. Her excuse was that men’s names are easier to spell.

#MFIF
Not Mrs. Hisname – Central U.S.

Crosschannel School Run

July 29, 2010

I work in a role were I am constantly on road and could be anywhere in the country or even overseas. My husband is the primary carer for our children as he works 10 minutes from the school. It is on all the official forms that he is the first point of contact.

Yet every single time there is any issue like left lunch at home I get the phone call. Like WTF do you expect me to do I am not even in the same time zone and there is at least 500 miles and big thing called the Channel [between UK and France] is not like I can just run the missing lunch up to the school in five minutes…. #MFIF

Travelling Birthing Unit

Badly judged

July 29, 2010

About 9 years ago I had an interview with a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia to be his associate (which is sort of like a research assistant). We ended up discussing the low number of women in the Australian judiciary and he said, “There won’t be much of an increase in female judges until you women stop having babies and start taking your careers seriously.”

I casually mentioned that, perhaps, the legal profession could instead work out ways of becoming more flexible so that women were able to both progress and have children. It didn’t go down well. I didn’t get the job.

#MFIF
Cristy, Australia

#MFIF #Fail – Metro, London

July 28, 2010

The Metro (free newspaper given out on UK buses and tubes) has a great bit of sexism to start the day today. Apparently, taking contraceptives changes the scent molecules of the lemurs scientists used for the test, leading to the conclusion that contraceptives can alter scent in a way that reduces sexual attractiveness. So far, so vaguely interesting.

Then, we have the paragraph: ‘British experts last night called for more research but urged women to take care when considering hormonal contraception, especially injections’. ‘Take care’? Really? Who knew that reducing your sexual attractiveness to men came with a health warning? #MFIF.

via Jen

Start it young, keep them quiet

July 28, 2010

When I was in first grade, I was bullied almost every day by one boy in my class. I was quiet and shy and just tried to ignore his hurtful words and actions. One day, as I sat at my desk, he reached down, pulled on the waistband of my sweatpants and yelled out “Nice underwear!” Upset, I went to the teacher and told her what had happened. She scolded me for wasting her time with my tattling and told me to return to my seat. Up to that point in my six-year-old life, I had never felt so ashamed.

That same boy continued to harass me in school and on the bus for the next ten years and I never had the guts to report him again.

I learned at an early age that it’s #MFIF.

L, USA

Screw your way to the top, ladies

July 28, 2010

I was talking to a somewhat older man the other day. I’d put him to be in his fifties. He was very open-minded and had no problem with lesbians, gays, bisexuals, pansexuals, smart women, even stay-at-home dads. Finally he had to ruin it.

Him: What would you like to be when you leave school?
Me: Well I’m thinking of getting into politics.
Him: So you’re going to sleep with all the men to earn your rank instead of getting a respectable job, like nursing or waitressing? Or maybe stay home and look after your man and kids?
Me: I hate kids. I don’t want kids.
Him: Oh. You’ll change your mind when your a bit older, all women want kids, all women want to please their husband.
Me:

Obviously a female can’t do politics without having to sleep with everyone to earn her success. Strange thing is we have a female PM at the moment, and I highly doubt SHE slept with important people to get there. Or maybe I just had a moment and actually said I wanted to be a high class prostitute… but I doubt it.

I guess I should do the ‘settle down with kids’ thing and forget my dreams because it’s #MFIF

… No.

Big Dreamer; Australia.


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