q Wake up at around 5:30, turn my alarm off before it wakes up my son
q Get in the shower
-I shampoo and condition my hair with Samypure, which comes in a bright pink bottle and has a distinctively feminine scent
-I wash with melon and cucumber body wash, which also is in a feminine looking bottle
–Then I shave with a pink razor . . .Its definitely a gender thing to shave my legs and my armpits. . .but I just noticed, I also do it with a pink razor.
q Get out of the shower, brush my teeth, put my hair up in a towel and get dressed
–I put on women’s undergarments. . . that’s a gender thing. . .and then put on nylons, tan dress pants, and a black blouse (blouse. . . now that’s definitely a “girl thing”)
q I go into my son Christian’s room, get his clothes out of his dresser, wake him up, tell him to go potty and then I help him get dressed (these things I do as a mom which is a gender thing, but also because I am a parent, and a single parent, so it is up to me whether I am a mom or if I happened to be a single dad—although, single moms are definitely more prominent than single dads) Historically in two parent families, it was the mom’s job to do these motherly type things anyway.
q We go to the kitchen and I get Christian yogurt and make him a frozen pancake and blow dry my hair. Blow drying is not necessarily a gender thing, but my hair cut which is longer and layered is a pretty feminine hair cut.
q I plug my curling iron in and gather my things, which includes another set of clothes, because I also have to work tonight- Wednesdays are a long day, and get Christian’s things together. Another mom thing, we brush our teeth and I curl my hair (gender thing).
q We get everything we need out to the car, I get Christian in his car seat, and we head out to the babysitters
q Once we get to the babysitter’s house she starts talking to me about a Pampered Chef party she will be having—yuck, if I was male, I can almost guarantee that no one would bug me about going to a Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia, Partylite, Mary Kay, etc. . . blah, I tell her I’ll check my calendar. I give Christian extra hugs and kisses today because I know I won’t get home until after he is in bed (his grandma picks him up Wednesday nights—it’s interesting, he goes to a female baby sitter, my female mother picks him up and watches him Wednesday nights, and when he goes to school all of his teachers and the daycare workers are female)
q I head out to my internship at The Salvation Army. I stop in a park parking lot to put on makeup- gender thing- the parking lot thing is just because it is easier for me to put my make up on without a three year old asking me if he can help and coming at my eyes with an eyelash curler—Yikes. The fact that I even use an eyelash curler seems ridiculous to me when I think about it. . .who decided that women needed to have long lashes. . . and everyone I know that has naturally long and pretty eye lashes happens to be male. Figures.
q I park and grab my purse and tote – my purse. . .also another feminine thing and go in.
q I am a senior in the Social Work program and have had my field practice/internship since September at the Salvation Army working as a social worker.
q The first thing I have this morning is an interview with someone on the waiting list to get into the transitional living program. I interview a male who throughout the interview won’t make eye contact with me and continually calls me ma’am.
q After the interview I call some of the other local agencies that this person has been working with. I speak with several social worker from these agencies, and then it dawns on me that everyone I speak with is female. . . then I think about the fact that all of the social workers at my internship are female—except for the director, who happens to be male. There is only one male in the senior year of the social work program I am in. I the field of social work a gender thing. There are males, but the field really is dominated by women. “Pink-collar” I’ve heard it called. Is that because it is a helping field, and nurturing, compassion, and empathy are historically thought of as women’s traits.
q After my interview I am sitting in my supervisors office talking to her about the interview, and another one of the case workers comes in and starts talking about her husband. She is complaining about how he leaves food out on the counter for hours, and then eats it. We all compare our stories about the stupid food things our husbands/boyfriends do, and make all sorts of generalizations about men in general. I don’t think I would get in on this man bashing if I was male.
q Next there is the case management staffing meeting. The meeting consists of 4 women, including myself, and one guy (he is the Life Skills Coordinator, not a social worker). The meeting starts out in the typical way, where everyone complains about a particular female employee at the Corps. It has nothing to do with the purpose of this meeting, but it happens every time anyway. The whole meeting should only take about an hour and a half, if we all just stuck to talking about our clients, but it ends up taking between 3 and 3 ½ hours every time because it tends to turn into a gossip session, which is, stereotypically, a woman thing to do. Is this gendered? I don’t know, I have a group of male friends who gossip more than any woman I have ever met.
q After the meeting I have to rush out and go to my job. I work at a small bar. I unlock the door and then lock the door again behind me. I make sure I re-lock the door, because I need to change clothes and I don’t feel comfortable being a woman alone in a closed bar changing clothes.
q I go to the bathroom and change out of my definitely feminine clothes into jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. I am almost un-gendering my clothes. I don’t wear short skirts, heals, or low cut clothing to bartend here, yes, I’d probably get more tips, but I’d have to put up with a lot more crap. I throw on a pair of tennis shoes. Then I redo my make-up. Oops, now that’s definitely something that I identify with being a woman.
q I get ice, cut fruit, fill the sinks, turn on the lights, and wipe down the bar. I normally stock the cooler before I unlock the doors (because I don’t like leaving the bar to go to the basement when there are people there), but I don’t have time today because of the meeting that ran way over. So I unlock the doors and wait.
q I start making popcorn right after I open, then someone walks in the front door and sits down at the bar. It’s a middle aged guy, I have never seen before. I say hi and ask what I can get for him. Then he decides he needs to introduce himself, shake my hand, and asks my name. I say I’m Kate, and go get him his beer. I give him his beer take his money and he says, “thanks sweetheart” and I smile and say “mm hmm” but I’m thinking, “why did I just tell you my name if your going to call me sweetheart??” He continues trying to talk to me and keeps telling me some pretty crude jokes and I laugh politely and am super relieved when the popcorn starts popping so I can go take care of that.
q I don’t know this guy, have never seen him before, but he comes off as a little creepy and my sensors are out. I’ve learned to be wary when I am here, especially when I am the only one working (which is usually since I don’t do a lot of weekends since Christian was born). Would I be so sensitive and alert if I were one of the male employees here? Probably not, and I know they are not. If I am alone in the bar with a male who I don’t know, or one that is making me uncomfortable, I am always aware of where I’m standing, what’s around me, how they are moving, and what is in distance for me to grab and hit someone over the head with (seriously), and it happens naturally, I can still talk and smile and be a good bartender while thinking about all those other things. And even if someone is making me a little nervous, I never act nervous—in my experience, in this profession, some men that come in and can tell your nervous continue to try and make it worse and take it as an opportunity. I might feel intimidated, but I never let on, and am very alert of my plan of action if something happens. Once again, if I was one of the guys here this probably would not be as much of an issue. I know all of the other women who work here and are here alone are the same way, they all are confident and assertive, or bitchy as some put it, and don’t ever dress provocatively. It’s a safety thing.
q The guy calls me over again (he calls me “honey” this time) and orders another beer. So I open the tap and it sprays all over me which means its out and I need to go to the basement to change it. I tell him its out and ask if he wants something else, of course he doesn’t. Then he tells me to show him were the barrels are and he’ll tap it for me. I tell him not to worry about it. I grab the keys to the basement and unlock the door when I notice he is walking towards me. He offers again to go do it. (a lot of guys offer to do this for me and the other women who work here—this is kind of a gender thing to I guess, because barrels are heavy and it takes a little muscle to tap them, and women are of course so much weaker than men and obviously can’t handle such a strenuous task *sarcasm). I jokingly tell the guy to go sit down and open the door. I make sure to shut the door behind me because it locks automatically and I don’t need some random man following me down the steps. I go change the barrel and come back up. I give the guy a beer and he says again that he would have done it for me. I say something like I can handle it, I’m tough in a joking way and take his money.
q Thank god someone else comes in the bar now. It’s one of the regulars, I get him his drink and talk to him a little. At the same time the other guy keeps calling me down by him to tell be some crude joke or make some sexually inappropriate comment. The regular, who normally only has one drink then heads home, actually orders another and states that he doesn’t want to leave me alone with this guy. I am appreciative of this, but I know that he doesn’t stay if there is a creepy guy there when one of the male bartenders is working. He feels he needs to protect the women that work here. Chivalry? Sexism? Depends what mood I’m in I guess, but right now I’m relieved. Does that mean I’m feeding the women need men to protect them stereotype? I don’t know, but I’m still grateful there is someone else in the bar.
q A couple of other regular customers file in after a while. All men. They are usually pretty respectful, so I forgive the occasional “thanks hun”, or “hey sweetheart, when you get a second. . .” Now I have a legitimate reason to ignore the creepy/bad joke guy that is still trying to engage me with crude jokes and comments. He’s only on his second beer, so I can’t really kick him out. Now that there are more people in the bar, I feel more secure and relax a little. I don’t think it matters that they are all men, I might feel just as relieved with a group of women that came in (that doesn’t really happen here, so I can’t say for sure), but maybe the fact that there men does of something to do with it. I can’t believe that I’m even considering that as an option, feminist that I am, but now that I think about it I can’t say for sure I feel better that there are more people, or if it is specifically that they are men.
q After work I go home, take my makeup off, wouldn’t be wearing make up if I wasn’t female. . .probably. I type this journal, and now I am going to bed.