Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Please Don't Be Sexist

To the two sweet-looking little ladies standing outside the store tonight:

Please don't be sexist.

I realize you grew up in a different time but I don't think that's a good reason to be prejudiced.

It was storming tonight and my husband and I had a cart with a couple of bags of food and four cases of diet soda. I said I'd bring the car around so I started walking through the rain to our car while Nathan waited with the cart.

While I was trudging through the rain to get to the car, you both turned around to my husband and curled your nose up disdainfully. The point wasn't lost on him but one of you went far enough to say sarcastically, "It must be nice having someone to bring the car around for you!" as if he were somehow morally deficient for allowing me to brave the rain and get the car.

Here's what you don't know: the car I was trudging through the rain to get was a rental car that, by contract, only I can drive. For Nathan to have driven it even through the parking lot would have been to violate our contract.

Here's what else you don't know: Nathan is a very kind man and a very good husband who respects me and goes way beyond the call of duty to care for me. He treated me very well before I became disabled and he takes very good care of me now. He does not enable me or treat me like I'm helpless; instead, he helps me manage my care and monitor my health.

And here's the last thing you don't know: I'm disabled - not dead. It's harder for me to do things than it used to be but I still do them. I'm not a delicate flower that will melt in the rain. I'm not a helpless female who can't drive. And I'm certainly not some entitled-minded bitch who thinks that men were put on this earth to serve me. I'm a woman and I can drive, make purchases, and do all manner of other things without input from a man.

Now, due to the nature of our relationship, Nathan and I act as partners. We consult each other about major decisions and we share the burden of bills. We don't tell each other what to do and we don't play mind games or indulge in power trips and pity parties. We are adults who choose to live together as equals. Where one is weak, the other is strong and vice versa.

So please stop judging my wonderful husband and stop judging me. Please don't be sexist.

Thank you,

To the readers: There's been a lot of talk about the sexism in the atheist community for a while now and we've seen how disgusting and reprehensible misogyny can be. I don't mean to detract from any of that. The purpose of this post is to show another, more insidious, side of sexism and to demonstrate how sexism is harmful to both men and women.