I wrote most of the following
post rant after the last of several crappy condescending and chauvinistic incidents in the three preceding weeks. Feel free to skip it. The quoted portion is what I wrote last week. I’ve since calmed down a bit and am now feeling slightly less jaded. I explain why at the end.
<rant on> Recent events in Texas have reminded me of my pet peeve of too many superficial compliments, but few to none, nada, zip, zilch about anything substantial.
Am I really just a piece of pretty fluff?
In my previous post, I mentioned how much chauvinism and blatant objectification there is of women in the south. If I sound a bit, well, annoyed, you’re right. I’ve pretty much had my fill of it lately.
I’ve mentioned before how polite Texans are as a whole, but there is a dichotomy to their manners, at least those of some of the men. On one hand most are very polite, calling you ‘ma’am’, holding the door, insisting on paying for everything. But on the other hand some of those same men will just as quickly treat you like an object, or as if you are “less than” for being a woman.
If you’ve read my Match.com dating tragedies, you know my pet peeve about lots of compliments on my looks and little or none on anything substantial, like my sense of humor, my smartassedness (that is too a word!), my goofy writing, my intelligence. Ok, maybe I’m reaching with that last one, but you get the point.
Here? Few men compliment me on my writing, a compliment I greatly appreciate, but are quick to tell me repeatedly how hot I look.
That’s not to say I don’t appreciate compliments on my looks – hey, we all want to know we’re attractive to the opposite sex, right? But there is a point when that shit just gets old. Really old. Like if that’s the only compliment ever dished out, or if the “hot” compliments aren’t tempered with ones about my (not so at the moment) sparkling personality, or sarcastic wit.
While this has been a recurring theme in my life it seems to have become much more prevalent in the last few weeks. My second part-time job has me assisting a predominately male customer base where I’ve been subjected to some of the most blatant sexual innuendos – from complete strangers who greeted me with a polite ‘Ma’am’ when they walked in. WTF?
Men (and women, too) – stop whatever you’re doing, call your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend or that gal/guy you’d like to be one or the other and say something nice to her/him about something substantial: their personality, their skills (NOT sexual), their intelligence. Tell her/him you ADMIRE them for something other than their looks. Surprisingly enough, complimenting a woman on much more than her looks may just get you laid A LOT more. (I’m not sure how much men care about these kinds of compliments – I fear my current perspective is somewhat limited. Feel free to tell me/us int he comments what you like to hear from the woman in your life.)
And then there’s the condescending attitude that I get, mostly from men much older than myself. Whether it’s how much more they know (not!) about the products I’m selling at my new part time job, or how much more they know about MY RV, not for one minute can I get a word in edgewise. All of my comments are dismissed or just ignored altogether, like whatever I say couldn’t possibly have any merit. <rant off>
Ok, so that was last week’s rant. When I posted my frustration about the blatant objectification, and chauvinism on my Facebook page a sweet female friend and reader emailed me, ‘Saw ur post about the men… You expect more out of TEXAS men? Sorry honey.’ She’s a born and bred Texan and so knows all about it.
Crap. Just when I was getting into the whole cowboy thing.
A new friend in the park, and my new boss both said they get this condescending treatment from other men, too, mostly those much older. (I should note here that neither of these two men have been anything but polite and proper with me. One is originally from Oklahoma and the other is a born and bred Texan.)
So the condescension is age discrimination. I can accept that. Mostly because I’m really ok with people thinking I’m young.
So that’s why I’m feeling only slightly less jaded.
The next post will be a real one. Unless I decide to write about dating in Texas. Then it will be another rant.