I had tasked our young 21 yr old assistant, let's call her Tesa, with shopping for one. So off she went. A sweetly smiling Hispanic girl, she came back with three options for me to choose from. I notice they are all the exact same camera and my options are limited to the bundles available i.e. accessories, etc. I ask her why she didn't research other brands. "Oh," she replied quite readily,"it's because THIS is the best brand."
"Well," she started, "for one, it's the smallest." I blink at her blankly, thinking to myself how odd that size in technology is diametrically opposed to desired penis size where men are concerned. I ignore the random thought waiting for more.
She continues,"And Hector thinks it's the best one too." Hector (not his real name) is one of our crew who has a habit of sniffing round pretty young things such as her constantly trying to impress them with bluster. He also happens to have an equally annoying habit of pretending to know more than he does - something I found out the hard way via a server crash. An eyebrow raised, I ask "And Hector would know it's the best one because why?"
Then she says it. "Because you know, he's a guy".
And THAT was the moment I almost gave myself whiplash. I must've rounded on the poor thing so fast dust practically flew. "Tesa," I gasp surprising myself at my apoplexy,"did I just hear you say that?" She giggles. I think this must be what women before me felt. "Please don't tell me women burned perfectly good bras in the 70's and marched and chained themselves to things, so you can argue a choice simply on the basis of it being made by a man." She knows I'm not mad at her at all and withstands my rant good-naturedly as I conclude that next time I expect her to base her research on facts.
I return to my office still out of breath and think that, here, here is an entire generation of women who forgot or horror, have possibly not known (!) about the fight for women's rights. That historically and globally, we are the longest oppressed members of society, where the less fortunate of us are still second class citizens beyond the west. We are also the most forgiving, and no, I don't care what your ex-wife did to you, you probably deserved some of it.
I couldn't fault her. I knew part of it was culture, and having been born at a time & place when it had become a passing awareness. I was a toddler in the 70's, but I had brothers and a Chinese father. I had that culture too, that bowed to male superiority. That made my father listen more attentively when one of my brothers would repeat the same exact thing I just said five minutes ago, and declare it was a grand idea.
There wasn't anyone really around to say it was wrong, my mother "managed" situations around this dominance deftly getting her own way through wily suggestion and tactical intelligence. It was like a game of Mind Fuqers Inc. She secretly ran the country but Dad was the figurehead. We were the puppet government. Or at least expected to be.
I turned out to be the rogue state. Instinctively knowing something was off about the whole scenario. I don't know how to remind younger women of their rights, would it be like telling someone you could breathe air? Stupidly obvious for words? What I do know is that at some point in their lives, they will encounter some kind of discrimination, whether in pay or treatment. I decide I'll just have to say something, even if they end up glad I'm done ranting and mutter relief when I go back to my Bitch Cave. As I also know, one day they'll join me there.