Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hump Day Hmm February 27, 2008

This week's Hump Day Hmm over at Julie's Using My Words blog this week is to evaluate assertiveness and gender politics in the workplace, relationships, educational environments, or where ever else they come into play. I think that women and men are wired differently for a reason. I think that there is automatically a difference between women and men when we're born. Women are built to nurture their children, in general, and men are built to go be bread winners. That said, I think that both genders are intelligent. I get so FRUSTRATED when I go fill out paper work at a doctor's office or a hospital and I put "homemaker" as my job description. I completely fill out my husband's work information, and it seems obvious to me that he'll pay for the visit. However, when I go to turn in my paperwork at the desk, I inevitably get a look from the receptionist that says, "a homemaker? Yuck." It's even worse when the person makes a comment such as, "You stay home, who will pay for this visit. " Or even worse, "You stay home, don't you know that you're supposed to contribute to society?" Do stay-at-home Dad's get this type of treatment? Or is it even worse for them.

The problem is that, as with the homemaker thing, people seem to assume that just because I'm a woman, I must be stupid. Rob is now frustrated with me because I have started making him make all the appointments for the cars. When I call up there, they're rude, and sometimes, they still call him to check to see if I can bring it up there. When he calls, they're not exactly cordial, but at least they skip the middle step. They certainly don't call me to check. Am I above my station just because I'm smart enough to take the car in for an oil check every 3,000 miles? I think that it's only happened once that we called up a repairman over to our house, and he HASN'T called Rob to make sure something's really broken. I LOVE the air conditioning man. He didn't think I was stupid. In fact, he thought I was smart enough that he signed his 25 year old daughter up for violin lessons with me for a year. I think that it is different when I'm assertive than when Rob is assertive. People are nicer to him about being assertive, but I'm going to continue to be assertive anyway.


Melissa said...

The whole "homemaker" is such a double edged sword. If you stay home, you don't "contribute to society", but if you go back you let strangers raise your child. Can't win. Stop trying.

And I'm so with you on the repair people. Drives me batty. Don't have as much trouble on the cars fortunately. The repair people always try and second guess me. My response is usually something along the lines of: Hello? Who uses this thing? Do you think HE can tell you how the blamed thing works? :)

Robert said...

In my post today, I also wrote about my frustrations with tradesmen bothering me when my wife has asked them to do something. I think there've been more than two who haven't called me, but there's also been more than a few who have. It makes it hard for me to not say "She's not stupid, but obviously you are for calling me about this." I'm rarely if ever so blunt, but I completely agree that you have a right to be assertive. So can I be assertive and get you to call about the cars again? (just kidding)

le35 said...


Thanks for the support on the homemaker thing. I guess I don't care whether I win or lose. My kids have their mom at home, and that makes a huge difference to their lives.

I love your response to the repair people. I will have to try that next time. :)


As for calling the car maintainance people, SOL. I've had it with them. . . said...

You know, my husband is a SAHD and he doesn't put down homemaker. I think he still puts down engineer as this is a temporary stay at home (which it probably is). The term homemaker is maybe a bit outdated. I would go with self-employed as your kids have hired you to care for them. If you had a career before, you could put that down as you will probably return to it once you're kids leave home (a 20 year leave of absence). I'm certainly not putting down what you do (trust me, I wouldn't trade my SAHD for anything!), just trying to give suggestions to avoid the look of disdain.

Our Crazy Family said...

I guess this another instance where I take living in Utah for granted. I do taxes here, and about half the wives are homemakers, so it isn't strange for me to be a homemaker. Just keep your chin up and realize that you are doing the best thing in the world for your family. Get a little snippy with them, maybe if you do they will be nice to the next homemaker.

Robert said...

I suppose you could put music teacher on there, if you want to. I don't think homemaker is anything to be ashamed of, though, and many people would agree but I think their disdain sometime stems from their own feelings of guilt over leaving their children with other caregivers. Just a thought.