My husband, daughter, and I went out to eat the other day, and fortunately Liliana was having a wonderful day. She was all smiles, charming the people around us along with the staff.
Our waitress came up, introduced herself, and asked if she could get us anything. Then she did something that caught me off guard.
“You’re such a little cutie,” she cooed at the baby. Then she turned to Matthew and I, “You’re so lucky. I always wanted a cute little girl, but I just have two sons and a yucky grandson.”
‘Yucky?!’ I thought to myself. ‘Did she just use the word, ‘yucky’ to describe her grandchild simply because he’s a boy?!’
She couldn’t see my face, but I don’t know if she noticed my body stiffen in my seat at that description. She hurried off to take care of other customers, but her comment stuck around, clouding my thoughts.
What an awful thing to say! I’m sure she would have been horrified if someone had referred to their granddaughter that way. In some countries, male babies are valued far above female babies, and Americans find that disgusting, so why in the world did it seem okay to her to refers to her male descendants that way?
And while we’re on this topic, why is it okay for me or my daughter to dress in masculine clothes, but men and boys would be immediately ridiculed if they decided to wear dresses. If it makes someone comfortable to wear the same kinds of clothes that make me feel comfortable, it’s really none of my business. I’m sure previous generations were equally appalled at the idea of a woman in pants.
I guess what I’m saying is, let’s not get so wrapped up in protecting women from sexism that we don’t recognize inequality when it is applied to men. My gender does not define me.