Friday, September 23, 2005

I Am Iron(wo)man!

What do sexism, Medicare, JoAnna and the number 110 have in common? Walking into work and noting the mountain of boxes outside the correspondence office, I was destined to find out.

The task of the day was to pack, label, and haul to the post office 110, twenty-five pound boxes of Medicare pamphlets. Now think about this: This summer I worked at a factory doing pretty much the same thing. So I am extremely good at the heavy lifting, packing, and taping of boxes (here's my modesty showing through). But this summer, I got to wear jeans and steel toed boots. And I was paid. And the postal truck came right to the door to pick up the boxes I packaged.

That's not how things work in the senate offices. Thus for the next four hours I dragged boxes down the freight elevator on a cart, twelve at a time. I pushed them down the hall, gathering speed, and then struggled up a ramp to arrive at the post office. There I had to lift each box on to the counter to be labeled.

The purpose of me telling you this is not to complain. Instead it is to note the incredible sexism that exists in the very buildings in which our government resides. As I pushed the boxes down the hall, every man I walked by asked me "who is making girls do this kind of work?" and then asked if they could push the cart for me. I really wouldn't have minded if they had just asked to help me out. Instead of that vote of confidence, they underestimated me because of my gender. What do I have to do, let them feel my biceps? Have them watch me do 100 pound squats wearing heels?

Needless to say, it's scary to think this kind of behavior runs rampant, playing tag and duck duck goose in the offices of our nation's leaders.

To sum up, if you are going to be in the DC area on October 1st (this coming Saturday) you should come to American University Women's Initiative's Breastival. The festival focuses on Breast Cancer Awareness but also addresses a variety of women's issues (including sexism). See you there.

1 comment:

random person who is in florida missing their roommate said...

Tag and duck duck goose?

YAY BREASTIVAL! So sorry I have to miss it...