A strange thing happened today and I’m still struggling to process it.
Dean and I went to price up a job and after the appointment he left to play golf. (If I haven’t mentioned before, I’m a golf widow).
I ran some errands and ended up in the queue at Plumb Center, behind about 8 men, all tradesmen from the look of it.
The solitary staff member behind the desk finished serving one man who turned, long lengths of copper in his hand. I was nearest the door so I opened it for him. He said, to the room of men, “Looks like I’ve got a little helper.”
I stepped outside as I pushed the door and as he passed me he said, “Do you want to come and help me?”
I replied – and I’m so pleased I did – “You can come and help me”.
But it left me feeling weird, so weird that I posted on facebook about it. I couldn’t work out if I should laugh it off as banter, or if I should be offended by a comment from a man around half my age.
In the end I did both. Laughed at it and also stormed angrily. Why on earth would I want to be a ‘little helper”? Was it just something he said awkwardly or did he actually think it was ok to say that about me?
Is it still so unusual to see a woman queueing at a plumbing merchants that the only thing she could possibly be doing is helping a man?
I am no gender rights campaigner, but this didn’t feel right.
On FB some people (women) got angry. Others thought they were overreacting. Most thought it was funny and posted innuendos about ballcocks and wrenches.
I just found myself wondering how, in the 21st Century, it is such a big thing for a woman to hold the door open for a man that he couldn’t just say ‘thanks’.