On occasion at my job that partially pays the bills, I have to monitor the calls of others to ensure they are doing their job and not giving away the company in free product. This is maddeningly mind-numbing work but it keeps me off the phone (which is even more mind-numbing). Today was one of those days where I requested to do the job.
On this particular day I had the wonderful experience of listening to a call between one of our female representatives and a female customer. Both were happy and laughing, but that is not the reason this story comes to mind. Neither woman seemed very aware of what they were doing (by the sound of exhaustion in their voices it was probably due to a shared long day on the job) and after uncountable minor hiccups, backtracks, repeated questions and statements, and good laughs shared by both; the customer popped off with “you know I’ve had this problem all day and I just tell people ‘I’m female, blond, and over fifty so back off.'” My representative replied with “I’m female, blond, and over fifty too so I understand.”
Most people would take that little exchange as a light-hearted example of working-class females bonding over shared work-related experiences. Had I been one of those people I’m sure this little diatribe would not be written.
I can not stand when people make statements that only reinforce the dominant and oppressive viewpoint that all women, all light-haired, and all older people are stupid and prone to making mistakes. It seems they expect us to take pity on them for a shortcoming they probably do not really have. Or worse yet, being so used to the same kind of patronizing from others they chalk up any mistake to the fact that they are a woman, or they’re blond, or they’re just old. Furthermore they are compounding the issue by adding up the unmistakable traits of all three in an attempt to justify a much bigger mistake. Where is this going to end?