Friday, February 22, 2008

I was offended!

With all the bleating in the press and the blogosphere over Loyola Hearn’s old and not-very-funny joke, I was somewhat amused to overhear the following conversation yesterday between a young, female therapist and a middle-aged female patient at the physiotherapists:
Patient: How was your Valentine’s Day?
Therapist: It was nice. John made a special dinner – seafood fettuccine. It was really good.
Patient: Really?
Therapist: Yeah, he was quite proud of himself.
Patient: Well, they’re like that, aren’t they?
WTF? I mean, how dare she demean men like that? Some of us are every bit as capable as some of the women I know when it comes to finding one’s way around a kitchen and putting complete, tasty and nutritious meals on the table.

Now I suppose I could run to the press and complain about overhearing a sexist remark (at least I was there), but since the patient didn’t appear to be anyone famous, it probably wouldn’t get very far. Or perhaps I could report this egregious abuse of my rights as a male to some Human Rights Tribunal. Uh, never mind; that’s not worth the aggravation. Then again, perhaps I could find out who this woman works for and insist they force her into gender sensitivity training.

Oh the hell with it. I’ll just blog it instead as I still have a few minutes before I have to start dinner.

I’d be surprised if this woman hates men (although that’s possible), or really believes that no man can cook. She was simply making a little joke, perhaps in an attempt to relate to her therapist on a we’re-all-in-this-together level, or just to get a smile. Who knows? Regardless, we all went on with our lives and the sun still came up this morning.

So what’s the point of all this? Just to say that being on the receiving end of biased comments and attitudes is not the exclusive domain of women. They are just as likely to be directed at men, but because we tend to deal with it differently it doesn’t hit the 6 o’clock news. And just saying that will probably get me branded as being sexist, but too bad, that’s the way it is.


Saskboy said...

So called Reverse sexism is common in our society. And saying so doesn't mean we deny sexism committed against women (which is just as much, or more common).

Canajun said...

Absolutely. But the point is that when we elevate what most would consider to be innocuous comments to crisis status, we trivialize the very real sexism issues we all face as a society. To rage against Loyola Hearn's stupid joke (or the physiotherapy patient's comment) with the same amount of passion and ire as is used for workplace prejudice based on sex, or any of another thousand sex-based inequities seems to me to be not only dumb but actually damaging to the cause.