Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Gender Blender

Or maybe... The Sexism Salad Shooter. I'm not sure which I prefer.

I'm plagued by more than one of our bartenders at work, who seem to have developed a habit of bringing their trash back to the kitchen and depositing it near the back door, as though it is going to walk itself out to the dumpster. Today, as I was suffering through my all day shift, just barely recovered from the worst flu I had ever experienced, one of these vapid whores proceeded to do it, yet again. I less than politely pointed out that her garbage is her responsibilty, and I'm not interested in lugging what I can only assume is an overloaded bag that weighs more than I do, out to the dumpster.

You'll have to imagine the hairflip as she states: "I shouldn't have to take out the garbage, I'm a girl."

Oh. I see. Gender specific roles. Awesome. In that case, how I about I point you to the dishroom and you can start washing? Even better, how about I lose the apron and whilst I haul out the garbage, you make me a sammich? Guess what has two thumbs and no longer has to sweep and mop the kitchen at the end of the night. Maybe I'll jump behind the bar and open beers for the company, instead.

You know, if you hold the belief that certain tasks or chores are gender specific, thats fine. And, in your home, that is certainly your right. However, that shit doesn't float in the workplace.

Personally, I'm a big believer that a man should take out the trash. At home. I don't expect my girlfriend to lug the garbage all the way behind our building. I also don't expect her to change a lightbulb, or unclog a toilet.

Some of you are on the edge of your seats waiting for me to state that I do expect her to cook, clean, and handle the laundry. I don't. Actually, my girlfriend works 40+ hours a week and is a fulltime graduate student. Most of her 'free time' is devoted to school work. The majority of the cooking, cleaning, laundry and dishes usually fall in my hands. Something I fully agreed to take on when she elected to go back to school.

But, what happens in my home has zero bearing in my workplace.

You see, the problem here is: male or female, that particular bag of garbage is something you are being paid to handle. Its not a nuisance that you push off on me because I happen to be a guy. (And, in point of fact, I'm a rather nice guy that would gladly take out the garbage for you. If you asked, rather than assumed.) It's your job.

Equal pay for equal work.

I'm just ever amazed by the amount of women that believe that ending sexism consists of not being shut out of higher paying jobs, while having their husbands willingly pitch in with the housework. The end.

Wait a minute. I thought you wanted to be treated like an equal? Well, I've got news for you. While society may have painted the picture that women should be content to stay home and bake cookies for the boys... Society also painted a pretty expectant picture for the men folk. So, without further ado, ladies...

Why don't you head on down to the post office and be sure to register for the draft? All men over 18 are expected to do this. It puts our names on a lottery list of gun toting cannon fodder that will be forced to catch a bullet for your freedom, should the need arise. And, lets not be coy, by 2012, that nasty little operation we've shied away from since Vietnam is probably going to resurface. I'll gladly stay home and bake cookies while you parade around the desert getting shot at by guys whose names are all consonants and pronounced with a phlegmy accent.

Yes. I know. There are a great deal of women that transcend this level of thought. There are women that have jobs that I wouldn't consider taking on. Yet... it seems like for every one of those women I have ever met, I meet about 10 willing to put equality back to the status of the 1950s.  

Women will never understand the awkwardness of being the only man in a building when something breaks. "Here, you're a guy. Fix this." Because, you know, I wear a toolbelt 24/7 and automatically have the working knowledge to repair anything. Oh wait, I'm not Tim Allen. How about I pull off my holey sock and say: "Here, you're a woman. Darn this,"?

There was a time when that sort of thing made sense. The man spent all day in the wilds hunting, killing, gutting and dragging meat back to the cave. It was pretty reasonable to say; okay, I did my part, now cook this shit. But, hey, since the invention of the grocery store, times have changed a bit. I'm never going to begrudge my turn at the stove or the sink. But, don't hand me a bag of trash and look at me like it's beyond the realm of things required of you because we assume different postures when we urinate. 

Women are designed to do the single hardest thing our species does. Procreate. If your body can endure the rigors of carrying a child to term and giving it life...I'm fairly certain you can carry a bag to a can.

Should you be shoveling out the driveway while I sit by the fire with my feet propped up? Absolutely not. Should I be shoveling the driveway while you're sitting by the fire with your feet propped up? Fuck no. You better pass by the window looking busy while I'm sweating and freezing my balls off at the same time. 

Look, I try my best to be a gentlemen. I hold doors and do all sorts of 'man' things without complaint (and usually before I'm asked) but, let's not try and climb slippery slopes. I have never once presumed it acceptable to walk up to a female coworker and state: "I made a mess. Go clean that shit up, it's beneath me, as a man." And, I've worked with my mother.

Don't ever tell me that you can't do something because you're 'a girl'. If you're going to go that route, then I fully expect you stroke my ego and say: "I need you to do this for me because you're a man and clearly superior." I find those two statements to be equally degrading, and shame on the woman that doesn't. "I can't take the garbage out because I have a spastic colon and I'm afraid I'll shit my pants between here and the dumpster," will get you further with me. 

Its one thing for a woman to put her sexuality to use. I have seen my girlfriend purchase car parts, bat her eyes and inquire which of the guys behind the counter was going to put them on. They usually trip over each other trying to get outside. Its funny, and somewhat enviable. However, I know that the day she purchased something and the salesman told her, with a sigh, that he better just do it for her because, after all, she's just a girl, she would crush his soul.

It is something completely different to come equipped with the expectation that because you are female, men should automatically be willing to do whatever task you simply don't want to do. These types of women make me want to further the cause of femininity by burning their bras for them. Then watch with glee as they run around trying to remove that flaming article of clothing, that would have stumped even Houdini, from their 'delicate' little bodies.

It's funny to me that she wasn't willing to take out the trash, because she was a girl, but apparently, shoveling the shit was more than okay...

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