At Christmas, Magic for Her, Technology for Him
We get advertising every Monday from a variety of businesses near by us. This booklet came yesterday in the mail. I immediately started to twitch and tick when I saw the cover. Not only is Christmas shopping being promoted from November 2nd in the stores, but this cover is so sexist!
From the time I arrived in France, I was always upset and angered by the casual sexism in companies and in society as a whole. I used to scream at some of my more macho co-workers for their off-hand comments about women at work. I went so far as to get the entire copy of the United States Sexual Discrimination law to give to one of the most obnoxious of my colleagues (the French Sales Manager).
It used to get the Sales Manager's goat that I was at the same level of hierarchy as he was. He made it a point every day to slimily complement me on my clothes, my hair, my general glowing positive nature, etc., etc. He treated his assitant (a lovely woman) like a slave and she'd just take it. I used to try to get her to revolt but she was too scared to lose her job.
There are so many jokes about women; blonde jokes are especially popular here. And if you take the time to explain the sexist content of these jokes, the guys just stare at you as if you were from outer space.
Since moving out of Paris, there has been less of this kind of rampant sexism being thrown in my face. However, the equality of pay doesn't exist here. On average, for equal work, a woman gets paid 30% less than her male counterpart. I guess I've let being outraged take a backseat to other, more immediate concerns. Maybe I've gotten older and I don't fight as much as I used to. Who knows?
But when I saw this toy brochure from our local supermarket, I saw RED! In all of the pictures, the boys are doing the cool expensive stuff (pool tables, scientific experiments, heavy machinery at 153€ 73) and the girls get WHAT???? Babies and kitchen items for 29€ 70!!!! Give me a break!!!!
I'm about ready to go to that supermarket and give the manager a piece of my mind. The first few years here, when I'd get mad and wanted to make an intelligent point about political-correctness, my French would falter and I'd wind up just getting mad.
I think that I've been here long enough now to be able to sound reasonable sane and coherent when complaining. Otherwise, I'll make an idiot of myself, and as usual, Monsieur Titi will be deeply ashamed for me.