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20 December 2016 @ 03:48 pm
no time for your unexamined patriarchal party line  

Indy had a dentist appointment today. The dentist, who is a woman, and who keeps up a pretty constant stream of chatter to reassure her child patients, made no fewer than four separate comments to Henry about how “girls talk a lot.”

By the third I was livid. What I do not need is a woman–perhaps ESPECIALLY a professional woman, A DOCTOR–reinforcing stereotypes that my six year old son has *certainly* never come into contact with from me, and which I wish him to be armed to resist when he does. When she did it again I obviously looked disgusted enough that she began to backtrack, but it was too late by then.

“As a matter of fact,” I said, sharply, “statistically, in groups, men talk a great deal more than women, and if women speak as much as *thirty percent* of the time, they’re percieved as dominating the conversation. *Seventeen* percent is regarded as *equal* time. Study after study has backed this up.”

She backed down but then she *said it again*, although she also instantly called herself out on it–“At least, *this* girl talks a lot,” she said, but HOLY SHIT I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR UNEXAMINED PATRIARCHAL PARTY LINE.


(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Autopopeautopope on December 20th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oh dear.

(How old is the dentist? I'm guessing middle-aged with baked-in traditional Irish attitudes to gender, perhaps?)
kitmizkit on December 20th, 2016 07:49 pm (UTC)
I think she's around 45, which, at 43 myself, is hard to think of as middle-aged, but...yeah. :)
Autopopeautopope on December 21st, 2016 12:04 pm (UTC)
I'm 52 and I don't feel middle-aged, but every morning my joints remind me! And I can't forget that I started school in 1970.

Your dentist probably attended primary school in Ireland in the mid to late 70s: the post-church modern Ireland wasn't on the map, and neither, I fear, was second-wave feminism.

Edited at 2016-12-21 12:05 pm (UTC)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on December 20th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
I hear duct tape will take care of that...
Phil, previously newjerseybadger: pic#97149002newjerseybadger on December 20th, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
The good news is that when a (involved and loving) parent strongly and rationally objects to a bit of BS like this, kids are very very likely to credit the parent's statement over the stranger's. (I have this from some reading I did a while ago, as well as from personal experience raising my kids, bless 'em.)

The flip side of that, of course, is that you can't be around all the time, and sometimes, kids (and adults!!!) will just swallow stuff like that from an authority figure, or if it in some way aligns with their worldview or supports their egos.

But in this case, you done good, and pretty much cut that one off at the root for the foreseeable future.

--Phil, still a Badger but no longer in New Jersey.
Lauratavella on December 20th, 2016 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Good for you for speaking up, so that Indy didn't get it unexamined.
kitmizkit on December 20th, 2016 07:51 pm (UTC)
I've called ALL KINDS of people out when I've had Indy with me, because I've had Indy with me, when on my own I'd have probably left it alone. But *froth*!
martianmooncrab: pic#59898509martianmooncrab on December 20th, 2016 08:53 pm (UTC)
men also gossip more than women...