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21 November 2007 @ 11:14 pm
The Gender Police  
I witnessed a crackdown by the gender role enforcement police on Monday.

I was at a pharmacy buying my leg brace and was waiting for some adjustments to be made to it. Nearby was a family whose grandfather needed special, diabetic socks to help his circulation in his feet. They needed to special order his size and his adult daughter was with the sales person. His young grandson, sitting in a stroller, became bored and frustrated since they had been there a fairly long time. The boy was a little over a year old, I'd guess. He began crying. The grandfather first tried bribes (If you stop crying I'll get you some candy before we leave) then threats (I'll give you a good smack) and then came the words that made me absolutely crazy:

"You should have been a girl, you crybaby. Only girls cry. Are you a girl? That's right, you're a little sissy girl, crying like that. Nothing but a girl." And he went on in that vein until his daughter finished and came back, hearing what he was saying. She picked her son up and said to him that grandpa was a bully. I was hoping she'd also say that grandpa is wrong and that it's ok to cry.

I bit my tongue but it was very hard. I was basically a captive there so not free to deliver some stinging retort to the sexist grandpa and then leave. That's what I would have liked to do.

After I got home and cooled down, I reflected that of course that's what the grandpa was told when he was little.

I wonder what he does when he needs to cry?

I'm a feminist because sexism hurts men as much as it does women.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on November 22nd, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
OMG I would have gone off on somebody...:can't sigh deep or loud enough:
litlebananalitlebanana on November 22nd, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
I think you're right about the grandpa... I bet he was told that a million times and thinks it's an acceptable thing to say. I'm glad you didn't intervene though. I hate it when passers-by get involved in personal conversations because they really have no idea of the dynamics behind it.
labrys6 on November 22nd, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
++I wonder what he does when he needs to cry?++

He drinks. Or hits something. Or someone. Yeah....someone never comforted himself becomes incapable OF comforting.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on November 22nd, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Amen to that.