What it’s like for girls

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:39 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
I've always dressed androgynously and worn my hair long since childhood, because of being nonbinary, but this was the first time I'd got this treatment. I think it gets more common after puberty?

When I was about fifteen, I participated in a thirty-mile walk to raise money for charity. The final checkpoint was a pub, and of course everyone went into the beer garden and lay down on the grass.

Now you know how when you've been exerting yourself, you can walk fine until you stop, whereupon your muscles seize up. Well, after lying on the ground for a few minutes I got up because I needed to go into the pub and find the toilet, and of course I could hardly walk. So I hobbled towards the pub door.

A middle-aged man walked up and held my elbow, saying, "Let me help you, my dear."

First thought: wtf?! Why has this creep grabbed my arm without asking?

Second thought: Oh! In these baggy walking clothes, he thinks I'm a girl.

Third thought: Wait a moment. That means that girls get this sort of treatment all the time and I'VE NEVER NOTICED.

It was seriously a life-altering moment.

Customers of today

Sep. 11th, 2017 09:20 pm
almadsfeika: (Wooster thought)
[personal profile] almadsfeika
So I work in a shop, btw. Today there were two customer interactions that stick with me most. Oddly enough both involve parenting.

Scenario 1:
Young woman, prob my age is walking around the store with her little girl. Little girl asks for sweets. Her mum tells her how they are terribly disgusting, covered in flies and they must tell the shop staff about it because it's so awful. As they go around girl keeps asking for sweets and variations on this are told to her. In one, mum says she has been warned by shop staff about how very disgusting they are already.

I totally get: a) we have chocolate at home, b) you don't like chocolate, c) you're lactose intolerant, d) we can't afford it, e) we have no time/ money right now, f) it's bad for you... Seriously, concocting a big lie like that gets to me. Also I know from experience that a total ban of certain foods is really unhealthy for people and can lead to a really awful eating disorder. Plus it's just impractical and time wasting.

Scenario 2:
A woman and her little girl are at the self checkouts and I come over to approve something. Daughter: "look mum, those are the kind of nails I want to have!"
Mum: "ooh, yes, different colours! And look at her hair! That's so lovely!"

I actually get way more compliments from customers than I do from colleagues, so that wasn't what struck me although very nice. This mum is actually encouraging her daughter to lead her own thought process about how she wants to look. Not only that but alternative looks are OK, even desirable. Nowhere was it said or even implied that she was too young.

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Joule

December 2009

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