Let me be really honest. I'm so used to dealing with the subtleties of racial ignorance on a daily basis that when I encounter sexism it can, sometimes, catch me off guard. Like a right hook to the chin; before I know it the deed is done and the assailant has escaped without punishment. Unfortunately, It simply reminds me that I have more than one hill to face alongside my deeply packed melanin. I mustn't forget that I'm also female...
I went shopping in PC World to buy a printer and a projector. My brother accompanied me to give some tech advice and also to help carry it home. I had done a lot of, personal, research and was pretty sure I knew which ones I wanted. As I was navigating myself around the store showing my brother which printer I had chosen, a sales assistant came to speak to us.
I explained my needs to the sales assistant. He answered my queries and described all the benefits of the printer whilst giving both me and my brother clear eye contact. Then my brother asked a question and something very peculiar occurred. The sales assistant directed his answer to my brother and him only. He then continued to converse, mainly, with my brother.
We were, then, passed on to another colleague who showed us the projectors in stock. Again, he answered all my questions and there was good eye contact until my brother spoke. Suddenly I was no longer included in the conversation about a projector that I was purchasing.
To the checkout we venture and after a brief discussion about the warranty on the items I ask for the price of my goods. I then get out the cash to pay. The cashier tells us that he'll need to register a name for the purchase. He looks to my brother expectantly....My brother tells the cashier that it's obvious who's making the purchase and he should direct that question to the right person aka ME, THE FEMALE! The final slap to the face was after I paid and awaited the receipt, the cashier hands it to (yup you guessed it) my brother "Here you go sir," he says.
My head was spinning. Both my brother and I were baffled by such an experience. These may seem like tiny, subtle actions but the gravitas of them is mighty.
It's not about me being treated as a man or even equal to a man, it's simply about treating me with the dignity I deserve as a human being. I'm not lesser simply because I do not have testicles. Neither is a man lesser because he cannot give birth.
Being treated like that completely undermines the customer service of PC World.
The next time sexism rears it's obnoxious head; Adanna will be armed and readily equipped. I'm not going through that nonsense ever again.