*Just a little heads-up, I rarely curse on this website, just as I rarely curse in real life. However, in this post I do use a naughty word. Trust me, I was going to edit it out, but it gets the point across much better than it does with an asterisk. *
Several months ago my husband and I ventured out into society to do some Christmas shopping and also to use up some gift cards that had been given to me for my birthday. As we wandered the mall and browsed various department stores, we jokingly bantered back and forth about what to buy.
I am a notoriously picky shopper, I like to check out pretty much everything before I spend money, especially a gift card because, hello, it's a gift to me and I want it to be good. I don't really LIKE shopping, but if I am going to do it, I'm going to DO it, you know?
So as we wandered around in one certain store for a while I picked up a watch and told Matt that I thought it was nice.
'You already have a watch, and you don't wear it' he said. This was a very valid point, I do have a watch and I rarely wear it, so I put the watch down. A voice from behind us chuckled and said something about me being a typical woman who wanted several of everything.
Annoyed I turned around to see a very sweet looking elderly man. I smiled and didn't say anything, Matt sort of laughed. I mean, what else were we to do?
I then wandered over to the shoe section and was browsing boots. Imagine my surprise when this man came over to the section as well. He continued to talk to my husband, and I heard him saying something about the fact that surely I already have too many pairs of shoes. I also heard my husband reply that that had never stopped me before.
Eventually the man left, as did we -- I really didn't have the desire to use the gift card that night. As we drove home, Matt could tell that I was not quite my usual self. He asked what was wrong, and I told him that honestly, I was upset that he would let a complete stranger talk about me the way he did, and by not disagreeing with him, I felt ganged up on. I know that Matt was just trying to be funny, and trying to be polite to this older man, but I still felt like I had been wronged in a way.
Matt replied that he hadn't seen in that way, and he apologized. Now...I know this was a little incident, really no big deal, but it did get me thinking...
I just didn't (and still don't) understand why it is okay for men to speak derisively about a women (who is standing right there) and assume it is all in good fun, and they are just being funny, but if women were talking about a man in this way, wouldn't we be written off as bitches?
Why is it that men as allowed to be a little on the sexist side in their humor, but if I were to make the same type jokes I would be written off as a femi-nazi?
It's not the fact that Matt thinks I have a lot of shoes, I DO have a lot of shoes. It was the fact that a complete stranger felt that it was okay to make me the butt of his slightly sexist jokes. Dude doesn't even know my name, how would be know anything about my collection of footwear?
*For the record, I had Matt read this before I posted it. I would never, and have never, posted anything about Matt that he has not told me he is comfortable with. However, he hopes you still love him.