This prompt comes from The Daily Post. Each day they post a new prompt. It really helps get the creative juices flowing. Check them out for yourself. You might find just the inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Pretty much every job I’ve had as an adult has been in a male dominated field. I literally can’t count the number of times I’ve had to wade through miles of misogyny just to get them to realize my mouth is making actual words that they should actually listen to.
The last job that I had before I became a mother was at a Landfill. I worked on the gas wells. The only other women there was an older woman in the office running the scales and a promiscuous, voluminous mid 30’s something whose hem-length crept further and further up as the days went by.
The manager there was an older gentleman who was the epitome of southern. From his accent to his blatant sexism, I realized from the start that this fella and I were going to exchange words and not all of them fit for polite company.
During our first safety meeting together I was responsible for giving a short speech about the dangers of fumbling around with things they don’t understand. Landfill gas is poison. There is about four different kinds of gases that by the time they hit your olfaction system, you’re already a goner.
As I spoke, I watched the managers face get progressively redder and redder until finally he word vomited his indignation.
“Stop trying to make yourself sound so superior by using all those big words”!
I stopped and looked at the room of men. They all looked a bit lost and it was clear they had no idea what I was talking about. As my eyes made the circuit of the room, I could see varying degrees of anger on each of their faces. Honestly, this hit me completely by surprise. I thought back on what I had said and couldn’t really see how I had gone wrong. The words I was using are the words I use in everyday conversation.
Apparently, being an intelligent woman is disrespectful to men.
However, I could see that I had clearly insulted these men. So, I began to apologize when I was again interrupted by the manager.
“I won’t put up with such disrespect from a woman”
Hold up. Now I was the one indignant and I’m sure my face went through the red scale. I slammed my hands on the desk to make all of the men stop laughing. I looked hard at each one of them and I said..
“I wasn’t trying to insult you, I was trying to talk to you. Clearly, I wrongfully assumed you were all intelligent human beings who were capable of comprehending the English language. Seeing as that’s not the case, I’ll be sure to speak to you as if you’re children in the future.”
I did the equivalent of a mic drop and tossed the table over into the floor. As I was walking out I heard the manager grumble about how I must of been “on the rag”.
I filed a complaint on him for the entire episode and of course because it was Arkansas, that went completely no where.
After that day, the manager would often throw in a decently intelligent sounding word in his e-mails to me. I’m sure he meant for them to sting but the only one stung was him. Almost every time he used the word incorrectly or misspelled it.
That entire experience is the epitome of the south. Sexism, racism, and patriarchal hierarchies abound.