One of my favorite life moments of sexism happened when I was an undergrad. I was just starting to change some girl's tire with a sorority sister when a trunk rolled up. "Do you girls even know what you're doing?" a man drawled as he walked up, eyeing us with skeptical amusement.
In my memory, we just threw up our hands and walked away. Hey, man, if you wanna do the work, you go for it. Be our guest.
I've been thinking of that moment recently because I seem to have hit a spat of something that feels similar. It starts with my suitcase for BlogHer.
On the way to BlogHer, my suitcase was 48 pounds. Heavy, but not too bad. On the way back, it was 60. Yes, it would have been cheaper if I had two bags. If this is THAT big a deal to you, btw, you're too cheap to date me.
So, 60-pound suitcase. Here's what happens when you warn the bag check guys (2 of them), the bellman, the cab driver, and the guy at the baggage belt at JFK:
Liz: Careful, it's really heavy
Man: Rolls eyes, grabs bag firmly, almost kills self, feels compelled to grin sheepishly and admit that yes, indeedy, that suitcase is really heavy.
Liz: Told ya.
Each time, though, I thought, Hm... Gray Hair or Vagina?
I'm beginning to wonder if I'm getting more of this sort of thing lately due to my gray hair. It confuses perception of my age - and since older women are often registered and mentally dismissed before a real look, it can have a rather noted effect in casual circumstances - or if it's simply a matter of my lady bits and all the wonderful assumptions they often bring with them.
It doesn't really matter, of course. For one thing, it made for rather amusing encounter after amusing encounter, although I'm glad no one actually hurt themselves on my 60-pound suitcase. And since I'm not planning to give up my lady bits or my gray hair anytime soon, the effects of both are simply life to be navigated.
But today: Grateful when silly assumptions amuse me.