Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Auto Shops and Feminists

A great thing about living alone is it gives you time to get inside your own head, indulge yourself in new things. A bad thing about living alone is you don't have someone else to temper you. You tend to grow quickly, indulge your whims and for better or for worse become your own magnifying glass. So, I have been doing some feminist reading over the last few months...and.....I have had some car trouble over the last 10 days or so.

Many women, when faced with car issues hand the keys over to their brother/father/husband/boyfriend and allow him to take care of the issue. I however, do not have this luxury as the closest male family member is about 900 miles away, and I am blissfully single. So I deal with my own car. I have been taking it for it's regular oil changes and tire rotations, just like a good consumer should. So when I got a flat (I changed it myself) and took the car in to have the tire patched.

The very nice person at the desk asked me if I needed any additional maintenance work done, and I happily informed them I just had it all taken care of, and all was well with the maintenance of my car. I got a phone call 4 hours later. The tire was patched, but the tires were in need of a rotation, badly. I asked a few more questions and ascertained that the garage that had been doing my 'maintenance' had not been rotating my tires, and furthermore, since I bought the tires from that garage, the rotations should have been free. And it is in these situations that I find myself asking the question....did this happen because I am a woman? The answer- I will never know, but the fact that I even think it makes me mad.

More than mad, it makes me sad. I am sad to see that women in this world no matter how intelligent, how educated, how powerful we are- we are still just dumb girls in many minds. This very issue has been brought to the spotlight in recent weeks in the way the media is covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, the way the candidates are talking about women's reproductive rights and the way I feel walking into an auto shop.

I'm beginning to see why women who read lots of 'feminist' literature and identify themselves as Feminists are seen as angry, and it just might be because we are.

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