Friday, July 08, 2005

The most recent was a squish-n-wipe operation.

Sometimes being a feminist can be damn inconveient.

Yeah, I know you already know this. And no, I've never been nearly arrested at a protest or testified in a lawsuit or had to buck the powers that be to have my talents recognized despite being female.

I was once a fill-in speaker on a panel for the local American Association of University Women group. The panel was made up of local big/medium wigs discussing how they had advanced in their careers despite the obstacles presented by our patriarchical society. Being a good 20 years younger than anyone else on the panel, all I could say was that I was greatfull for all the work they'd done before, because I hadn't had to deal with any such problems. (I think the group was somewhat underwhelmed. They haven't asked me back. Ha ha!)

There are still issues though. One is bugs. I hate bugs. I hate 'em a lot. I especially hate the crunchy/squishsy sound they make when you step on them. Eew. There are others who hate them more. One such person is my good friend ER (not to be confused with the E. of the Naked Little Palestinian Man story). She sometimes comments under the name ChevyPickup. She hates bugs a whole lot.

We work on the bottom floor of a four-story, otherwise abandoned old hotel. There are three floors of rat, mouse and pigeon droppings hanging over our heads. And there are bugs. Every morning when ER gets to work you can hear her exclaim upon entering her office: "Oh, GROSS!" I guess she must give off bad vibes or something, because her office always has the most dead bugs littering the place in the mornings.

When I first started working here she would call one of the guys to go de-bug her office. I just couldn't stand it. In defence of my gender I had to do something. I debated with her. I cajoled. I prodded. She still insisted on calling some man to rid her of the insect carcasses instead of doing it herself.

So, I came to realize that if I were to proclaim convictions, then I must work in support of them. Sort of a "faith without works is dead" kind of a thing. Now I clean the bugs from ER's office each morning and dispose of them in a trash can at the far end of the building. I still hate 'em so she pays me with a coke each time. Its a nasty job, but I am doin' my part for the movement! (Plus queching my morning thirst. Generally with a caffeine free Diet Dr. Pepper. "Cept on those days when I have a headache or things have started out wrong and I imbibe that sweat nectar of the gods - plain ol' Dr. Pepper - straight up.)


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I think that being a good feminist would include being smart enough to let men do the dirty work when you did not really want to. I mean, I can change a tire. Then I have a flat tire and I can change it but it is smarter to let a man change it for me. I have saved time and my nails! But since you are helping a fellow woman I guess you get points for that. However, I think it is smart to get a coke out of it but you really should go up on your rates.

Headless-Around-Bugs said...

Hmmm...I know the feeling - the conflict for sure. Here's how I settled it.

First, assume a very dignified, snooty, intellectual persona (meditating on British women helps - think Mary Poppins).

Second, ask your challenger to draw a logically correlation between female genitallia and hatred of bugs. This will normally embarrass and fluster them and therefore give you the upperhand.

Then I ask them to please answer the following question: True or False? *All* women hate bugs.

Then tell them this:

"Since you cannot draw a connection between female biology and furthermore, you cannot state with absolute certainty that all females hate bugs, the only logically conclusion you can come to is the *I* hate bugs, correct?"

This is how I avoid both injuring The Great Movement as well as...well...bugs.

reverendmother said...

I'm sorry to say, I totally deferred to R in regards to the huge black snake that was slithering near the garage.

He moved it with a rake.

Captainwow said...

I hate bugs too. I CAN take care of them myself but have no trouble deferring to any and all who might be willing - male or female. Unless I'm by myself - I've been known to flatten a spider with my bare hand out of panic. I'd rather have it dead and squished on my hand than crawling only God knows where.
You getting a Dr. Pepper out of the deal is genius though, I must say.

Friday Mom said...

Since ours is a two-woman household, we have some interesting ways of dealing with these issues. AM takes care of bugs. It's not that I mind them; they really don't bother me, but AM feels like she has to do something because she completely defers to me when the cats bring home reptiles. So far, the reptiles have included geckos, lizards, and smallish garter snakes. If they bring home a large snake, I guess we'll have to rent a man. There's no way I'm dealing with it!

Phantom Scribbler said...

My husband and I both deal with bugs in my house, but my kid has more fun when it's my turn, because I yelp piteously while I do it.

Ok, so I still have a ways to go on my feminism credentials...

jonboy said...

In response to all you "feminists" out there I have but one thing to say ...... "Chicks!"

SpookyRach said...

Yew better watch out, jonboy. I knows where yew live.