Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Advantage fair sex

My last trip to my regular pizza joint was anything but regular. The skinny nerdy boy who'd been taking my order since months decided to break the ice finally and strike up a conversation. Except it wasn't much of a conversation. At least not a pleasant one.

"Where do you work?" he demanded out of the blue.
"Umm at this fun company. Why?"
"I'm looking for an internship in IT. Know of any openings?" Direct and to the point like most men I know.
"Well I..." don't really know how to respond when get asked that question by semi-strangers. Granted he knew
my taste in pizza toppings and I knew he was quick with orders and never forgot to include extra crushed pepper in my take out bag but that hardly qualified as grounds for professional recommendations.
"We all have to work hard for our first jobs don't we?"
"Yeaa" Smart kid I thought. He knew the whole deal right off the bat.
"Well not you I'm sure. Not girls. Pretty girls don't have to struggle for anything. Things just fall in their laps." Wait. What. He's got some nerve being snide with me.
"Excuse me? You don't even... "
"It's true. You can argue all you want but I am convinced." I couldn't let the arrogant prick get away with it. I had to dispense with the niceties.
"You know I'm sick of hearing that. That's just bull. I've heard it since I was 12. And it's far from truth. So may be you should reconsider your sample size before you go about broadcasting your conclusions for your own benefit."

I took my take out bag and stormed out wishing I'd forgotten to pay which would make him run behind me like a moron in the corridor. It’d ensure I had another opportunity to give him a piece of my mind. But it wasn’t just him I wanted to yell at. I wanted to yell at every guy who’d alluded to it. That guy who’s told me not to worry about learning apparatus in the physics lab since I could just get away with fluttering my eyelids. That guy who’d told me I’d easily get hired in IT for diversity. Many more of them. All of them.

Except I wasn’t sure if it was true or not anymore. Was it? Or have guys been happily living with the assumption that the unfair advantage does exist for the fair sex.

Not that I’ve been oblivious to stories like the Boston Marathon this year that allowed women runners 30 extra minutes for the qualifying round than men. Of course there was no evidence that women really needed that much extra time. But then those are few and far in between. I’d like to think that thus far in life, everything I and most girls I know have achieved is based on merit. Guys, do you have a different story?

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