Sexism is Hard to Explain
Kel Campbell

A woman arrived at Detroit Metro on an international flight. With her 4 suitcases, 2 carry ons, a backpack, and purse, and her 6 year old son.

Standing at the carousel, waiting for the luggage to emerge from the belly of the jetliner, she thought: “I need two trolleys, but I can’t push two trolleys, and pint size isn’t strong enough yet to push one, hey where are those sky-cap guys who usually hang around when you have only one bag and don’t even need a trolley.. nowhere in sight, alright whatever, I’ll figure this out”. She looks around, rummaging through a pouch of coins to feed the trolley machine to release the wheels. Dammit, “I’m pushing instead of pulling from the wrong end of the trolley queue”. 25 minutes later the bags emerge 1 by 1. 15 minutes later all bags off the carousel. “Mama I can help, I promise I’ll be fine”. “The bags are bigger and heavier than you, how about I hoist them on the trolley and you help me push it?” “Aagh ok, fine”. 3 wheels, 4 bags just balancing. Men and women EVERYWHERE literally watching this. Pint size comes round without realizing that the trolley was on three wheels and shoves a little too hard from the wrong angle. The whole thing overturned, a tumbling bag missing his head by a hair. Big pile of bags, upturned trolley and mother and son staring in shock and stuck to the floor in an adrenalin haze. Son bursts into tears “SOOOORY Mama! Sorry! I’ll put them back” She pulls him close and soothes his fear and her own. “He would have been crushed”

He wipes his eyes and hugs her. “I love you mama”. “I love you too sweet boy”.

Not one person — no man, no woman- came to help, to offer a hand. In fact several of both sexes were snickering and watching for entertainment. The women MORE.

Ok I’ll admit it was slapstick funny to a degree. However, what was not funny is that no-one who watched the struggle, cared to or wanted to help.

The boy said “what’s wrong with people mama”. I said “they’re afraid, I think, and don’t know if they should offer help.” “Well that’s stupid mama, it’s obvious we needed help, you said I was allowed to say stupid when it’s true mama, but THAT, really, that’s really dumb not knowing if you should help, what the..”

Men and women have forgotten civility. I have no idea what a stranger’s journey has been or with whom. I cannot read minds and I certainly will NOT understand how an act of politeness or lifting a hand to help can be seen as an affront to ANYTHING one might have been through. We’ve all been wronged, we’ve ALL got a soapbox to stand on, some of us more than one soap box and a violin to play. Does that mean we just STOP being human and look for reasons and justifications for bad behavior and bad manners? If that’s the case, run for the hills and stay there so nothing or no one can ever touch your life again. Just be civil whether you’re a man or a woman. Why is THAT so difficult for people to do?

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