So, I am into politics. Like, really into politics. I classify myself as a moderate Democrat. Meaning, I politely disagree with most conservative stances but also don’t identify with radical liberal stances.
With that being said, I have been heavily involved in the political workforce ever since I have had the opportunity to apply to jobs. From crummy un-paid internships to working with local representatives, I like to think I have experienced a nice platter of uncomfortable situations.
Well, maybe I should have been aware of what I was getting myself into. After all, I am a woman budding my head into a male-dominated career path. Some people are not going to like that. Like this one man that I had a lovely encounter with.
One of the jobs I had was at the elections office at my hometown. The majority of what I did was register people to vote and answer the phones. One morning a man called asking me what he should do if he wants to change his address, while I was responding he cut me off to ask if I was a “girl”.
I responded and said, “Yes, sir”.
He then yelled at me because I should not have this level of responsibility in an institution that deals with political means. I felt more confused than offended by this man’s reaction. I mean, I never been ridiculed at my job because of what gender I was. There was even a second where I thought I was dealing with a prank caller.
Since he was rather rude to me, I decided to tell him that he can either talk to me with the respect I deserve or I have no interest in talking to him. He continued to say things that I simply had no time for, so I hung up.
I tell people this story, and most say, “Well that was stupid of you. You could have gotten fired.” Oh, yes. How stupid of me for standing my ground when it comes to someone talking down to me when I am very capable of doing the job that I was hired for.
Let’s put this situation in straightforward terms: This man has an issue with my work performance purely because I have a vagina in between my legs instead of a penis.
He can go ahead and cry me a river.
So, with that being said. Ladies, if you think not standing up for yourself is not a “smart move” because you “might get fired” it’s time to quit that job because in the real world – life is rough. If you don’t stick up for yourself then nobody will.
One thought on “The Day a Man learned that Women can work in Politics”
What a terrible experience, such a blunt confrontation with hate and misogyny- in the flesh. I always felt like female oppression was sneaky and unclear; not super easy to argue or identify for ignorant people. But this is pure aggression. I really commend you for doing what you did, and this was actually a really powerful story for me to hear. I struggle with sticking up for myself, saying what I want, and drawing boundaries. I’m aware of it- but not great at following through. I think that its so important for people to be aware of experiences like yours, not only to recognize strength in oneself (like you did for me), but for people to be aware that women’s issues are real and our perceptions of women manifest in anger and aggression and hate.