In this day and age! A thread for unbelievably obvious examples of sexism.

(433 Posts)

A thread for "I can't believe that just happened to me! In this day and age!"

Yesterday we spent about 40 minutes in a Toyota dealership, looking to spend about $10k on a used car. The salesman only asked DH's name, only wrote down DH's number, and only talked to DH about the cars available. DH kept referring to me, asking my opinion, and generally looking uncomfortable. Eventually DH snatched back his license from the salesman and said "No, I don't think so. Let's go." And as I turned I added "Joe? Thank you for your help today. I work in sales and I wanted you to know that since I walked in here you haven't asked me a single question, or addressed me directly even once. At one point you walked away from me, talking to my husband about the next car you were showing us, so that I couldn't hear what you said. I just want you to know that I earn more than my husband (actually not yet true, but soon will be!), I know more about cars than my husband (v.true), and you acted like I didn't exist. Which is why we're leaving."

When I got into our car, DH was cheering. We drove 5 miles away and bought a nissan.

As we were doing the dishes last night, talking about this, DH said "I do hope you tell Mumsnet about it." grin he knows me so well.

BoffinMum Tue 18-Sep-12 16:04:49

John Lewis once refused to let me get my fridge freezer repaired because I didn't have permission from my husband. Upon investigation it was because Dr Boffin had bought it (i.e. me) and they assumed this would be a man. I made a big complaint about that. It had been a woman on the end of the phone, as well.

LemarchandsBox Tue 18-Sep-12 16:11:31

Woman from BT said she would phone back and speak to DH, despite my name being first on the billing/system.

Have only had good experiences in car showrooms tbh. DH didn't get a look in when I bought my car last year.

LastMangoInParis Tue 18-Sep-12 16:17:02

Have also been gurning with alternating amusement and (horrified) amazement whilst reading this thread. Silly to be amazed, though, since most experiences described here are commonplace enough - and of the sort that usually leave me thinking 'WTF? Was it something I said? Something I did?'...

But Uppercut - what's really the point of your contribution to this thread? Are you trying to say that if women aren't extra vigilant all the time to second guess and compensate for other people's stupidity then they've got only themselves to blame for sexist slights, insults, etc?

Dh recently got a letter with a new card to pay his council tax on to replace the old one. Bit confusing as both of us are on the council tax bills (me first I think) and neither of us as ever had a card - we pay online. Not sure if it was sexism or just incompetence.

grimbletart Tue 18-Sep-12 16:54:09

We recently had solar heating - quite expensive. Company man to me.."savings rates are so low it's a good investment of your husband's salary".

Cue me = "Whatever" and resigned shrug.

Husband is retired. The solar heating was paid for out of the profits from my business.

Sometimes, you really really can't be arsed......

I've only had good experiences with my local Toyota dealer, just to balance things out.

However I was a bit pissed off with my solicitors recently. We decided to write our wills, I looked into finding a solicitor, made contact, made appointments, sorted out all the information, took DH along with me, dealt with all the further correspondence, getting them signed etc. Six months later a letter from the solicitors announcing a change of address or something, addressed only to DH. Grrr. I am going to email them about this.

BlingLoving Tue 18-Sep-12 17:03:11

Lighter: man comes to advise and quote on new boiler. Admittedly, appointment was arranged by dh but he was not here so I was the one he dealt with. He talks ne through it all then leaves a brochure and says, "when your husband has decided which one he wants, get him to call me."

It actually made me laugh, but it shouldn't.

Not so light: I was disturbed by all the news coverage of the family killed in France recently. Throughout, the two women were referred to only in the context of him ie his name and they were his wife and mil.

I noticed that, but the cyclist was just "the cyclist" (no actual idea if cyclist was woman or man). Makes me think there are maybe reasons...can't think what

BlingLoving Tue 18-Sep-12 17:07:10

I think the cyclist was not considered relevant to uk media because he/she was not English. However, I am pretty sure they referred to him as "he".

Willabywallaby Tue 18-Sep-12 17:07:51

I'm currently trying to sell a flat I own, the estate agent lost all my respect when I said I would think about an offer I had he said have a chat with hubby about it. It was more the 'hubby' bit that got me angry

Oh yes, and in the news the other day, an article about Sports Personality of the Year and the possibility of having a male and a female category this year. Someone was quoted as saying that having a female one wouldn't detract from the main award.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 18-Sep-12 17:08:16

I think there was the context that his work might have led to the death.

Good luck with your email WhoKnows. Our solicitor did similar but refused to change it as "it's just how the files are set up." won't be recommending them, ever.

That would make sense. I assumed he, wasn't sure if they referred to "he" or whether it was because they didn't talk about "the female cyclist" Judson

No idea who Judson is!

Claifairy Tue 18-Sep-12 17:19:29

At work a customer asked to see the manager over a complaint on the electrical department and sent in my direction.

I was speaking to a male member of staff, who unfortunately, then got a mouthful of abuse and shouting and couldn't get a word in edgeways and kept looking at me perplexed till I decided to step in and say I think you want to speak to me!

It is amazing how many men and even women start talking to a male member of staff before accepting I am the manager! It is also funny to see their behaviour change as I am only 5'2 and look about 12 though for many it makes them think they can walk all over me and bully me into getting what they want! I do have discression over what I do with faulty items and believe me I do not take kindly to being abused.

I have also had customers asked to be dealt by a male manager! Also my team have also had customers who had said to female members of staff that they didn't need help when asked and then go straight over to the closest man!

Uppercut Tue 18-Sep-12 17:20:19

LastMangoInParis
"But Uppercut - what's really the point of your contribution to this thread? Are you trying to say that if women aren't extra vigilant all the time to second guess and compensate for other people's stupidity then they've got only themselves to blame for sexist slights, insults, etc?"

Saying 'Yes, I'm Dr Smith' in response to 'I've got a package for Dr. Smith' must be such a crushing burden of 'extra vigilance'. I don't know how the poor women manages to breath. I directly indentify myself to delivery people all the time like that, but it's taken years of Shaolin monk-like training to achieve this incredible feat of mental stamina.

I don't suppose its fair to suggest everyone else do it, rather than get their nipples in a vice over some misperceived insult.

TakingTheStairs Tue 18-Sep-12 17:22:54

I was a DJ for ten years. Gave it up almost two years ago as I couldn't put up with the drunken messes I'd have to be polite to on a nightly basis. And I was making myself ill from exhaustion.

At least once per gig one of the below would happen;
If I was in the DJ booth on my own - I'd be asked where the DJ was & when he would be back. Did they think I was wearing the headphones to keep them warm for someone else? confused
If I had a male friend with me and I spoke to the customer, they would ALWAYS presume the bloke was the DJ. Even if, as above, I was wearing the headphones and would have stepped away from the decks to speak to them while my friend was sitting on a stool at the back of the booth keeping out of the way.
Or a woman would say "oh a girl DJ- go you/girl power!" I know they meant nice but it annoyed me that they were so surprised that a woman would/could be a DJ

The car thing ticked me off so much because

(1) I love Toyotas and secretly quite wanted the ones they had (pricier than the Nissan we ended up with, but really, people rave about this model) ... Actually, I'm very happy with our new car, but I really wanted to test drive the Toyota option just to see if it was worth splashing out the 2 grand more... [nerdynerdnerd]
(2) It was just so stupid of the salesman. We were buying a frickin' minvan, for goodness' sake, not a 2 seater sporty thing. The American nickname for this kind of car is "mom-wagon" - so he would have been more justifiably stupid to assume I would be the main owner/driver. . . that would at least fit lazy sexist gender stereotypes (actually I won't be, as DH does the daycare run)... but no, it's a Big Money Purchase and so he basically never even introduced himself to me, shook my hand, or asked my name. I just ... I can't get over how stupid sexism is! I'm used to a more insidious kind, so I suppose when it hits you in the face like that, it really baffles you!

Frontpaw Tue 18-Sep-12 17:28:25

Ha! Most of our bills and credit cards are in my name. Even our bank account is joint but DHs name has dropped off in the system somewhere. He always jokes that from a financial point of view, he barely exists. I don't think our IFA or mortgage company have ever dealt with him.

Databases are incredibly stupid. They go on whose name is in field one, so if that's the way the form was filled out (when I input data, I out whoever bothered to fill out the form as Contact 1). Credit card companies can only speak to the main cardholder anyway. I don't get wound up by it, but then I hjavent been told to 'speak to my husband' about anything.

eurochick Tue 18-Sep-12 17:29:48

I have a car one too. I took my dad car shopping with me (husband has no interest and we enjoy it as a bit of father-daughter bonding time). One car salesman spent the whole time talking to my dad despite my dad making it clear several times that I was the one who was buying the car. I bought the same car I had been looking at from a dealer down the road. On the way back from collecting it I was sat at the traffic lights outside the first dealership with the roof down, feeling great, with the "big mistake, huge" scene from Pretty Woman playing in my head.

The other one is a holiday I booked with my then bf, now husband. I booked and paid for the entire thing as he had some problem with his credit card. We arrived at the destination airport to be met by the tour guide who handed him an envelope in his name with all of the hotel and transfer vouchers, also in his name. I may as well not have existed. I mean, what the actual f***?

OddGoldBoots Tue 18-Sep-12 17:32:08

Oh I love the idea of a fake beard, CMOTDibbler, maybe we should all have one ready to hand in case, they'd show up the ridiculousness of these situations very nicely. Maybe a fake penis too.

WanderingOkapi Tue 18-Sep-12 17:41:58

At the black country museum there is a 'pit. Experience' thing. You go down a reconstructed mine, bits of it pitch black so they hand out torches. Unbelievably they only handed torches to the men in the group. Presumably so that the women and children were forced into dependency on the men. It wasn't a joke and it wasnt part of the experience!!
This was 7 or 8 years ago, hope things have evolved there since!

BoffinMum Tue 18-Sep-12 17:49:02

I had to sort out our car insurance recently for the one DH usually drives (i.e. insurance in his name), and I decided to pretend to be him whilst speaking in a deep voice, as he was busy at work and had asked me to try to sort it out for him.

I tell you, I have never been so politely treated by a call centre. It was a revelation. You should all try it sometimes.

<considers penis transplant>

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Tue 18-Sep-12 18:01:26

I've found airlines, hotels, rental cars and the like to be particularly bad about this.

I almost always book and pay for that type of thing on my card, which is in my name 'Dr. Occam'. When we turn up to check in, DP is almost invariably the one they address and try to deal with, even though I'm often the one who instigates dialogue by saying we have a reservation for Dr Occam.

Greythorne Tue 18-Sep-12 18:05:43

Sadly, the description of one of the police officers brutally murdered today. Can you imagine a male PC being described as "a real chatterbox" as one of these women was?

Talk about undermining her, defining her with "female" attributes. How about lively, articulate, a good communicator? But now, she's a woman, so a chatterbox.

RIP

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