What Happened When A Man Ran Into Something Sexist And What Happened After: A Fable.
*names have been changed to protect nobody really, just because I felt like it
Jay, Man With Children: You wouldn’t believe what just happened. I had to jump through so many hoops to get child benefits for my own children. I actually needed written permission from my wife! Can you believe it? That’s so sexist!
Jay’s Boss, Fran: You’re right, Jay. We shouldn’t have sexism anywhere. I have a great idea. We’re going to treat you exactly like anyone else receiving these child benefits directly.
Jay: Good! Sexism is terrible!
Fran: Right. So let’s get started. What did you say your salary was?
Jay: *Pauses* … what does that have to do with this?
Fran: Oh, here it is, in your personnel file. Wow. Ooof, you’ve been getting some big raises, haven’t you? *Eyes drift down to his crotch* Well, in the interest of treating you fairly and not being sexist, we’re going to adjust your salary. Let’s see… a 28% reduction in salary should do it, yes? Just bring you in line with pretty much everyone else receiving the child benefits. You can expect to see the adjustment on the next paycheque.
Jay: Wait, what?
Fran: Hmm, I also see you’re in line for a promotion. *Eyes drift down to his crotch again* You haven’t really earned that yet, though, have you? You’ve been promoted on potential, really. I’d like to see you prove you can do the job before we take that chance on you, so we’ll just be pushing that promotion off. Don’t worry, it’ll only be for a few months. Year or two at most. We just want to make sure we have the right candidates doing the job. You understand. Besides, you’re busy with your children, aren’t you? So I’m sure you’d rather not have all that extra responsibility and worry anyway.
Jay: *Shifts in chair, crosses legs tightly* Wait, that’s not fair!
Fran: We promote on merit, Jay. You need to prove yourself. *Still stares at crotch*
Jay: Why do you keep looking at my crotch? You’re making me uncomfortable.
Fran: Oh, Jay, honey, if you didn’t want people to look, then those pants wouldn’t be so tight, would they? *titters* Now, let’s take a look at your health insurance. I see you had a prostate exam last year. Men problems, hey? But I’m sure you’ll agree, the company really shouldn’t be on the hook for these problems if only one half of our employees need it. So that won’t be covered in the future.
Jay: But the doctor said I might have cancer! It could kill me! This is my health!
Fran: “Health”, eh? Having a little trouble keeping the Missus happy? *winks* Oh, all right then. Go ahead and make an appointment. Make sure you leave extra time because now you’re legally required to get an invasive videoed penile probe and have a scripted conversation on the risks of masturbation before getting access to any healthcare. It’s for your own good.
Jay: *angrily* But that has nothing to do with my prostate! What the hell is happening?!
Fran: There’s no need to get emotional, Jay. We just wouldn’t want you making rash decisions. Anyway I have to dash. I need to finish a few things before I leave today. I’m taking the rest of your team out for a social event. You wouldn’t like it, though. Me and the VP and the CEO. Just girl talk. I’m sure you won’t miss anything. So you can stay and fill out this paperwork. I’d normally do it but I think you’ll be so much better at it. Oh and before I go, get me a coffee. Two creams, no sugar. You’re sweet enough, right? *winks*
Jay: ….On second thought, it really wasn’t a big deal to have to get my wife to sign off on those child benefit payments. Can we just… pretend this conversation never happened?
Fran: Sorry, Jay. You should have spoken up about sexism when you still had male privilege instead of only giving a shit when it affected you. That ship has sailed. See you in the morning, and ooh, could you bring cupcakes? Thanks, honey.