WOMEN

If you wanna hear what I have to say but don’t want to read it this post is now available as a podcast episode: https://open.spotify.com/show/5pP5lIQD962EdtqikcHeCc

Happy belated international women’s day!

I think it’s clear that we, as women, are all still struggling. No matter what we do, no matter what we say, it is never as good as something a man says or does. Just yesterday, I had a somewhat awkward situation with a so-called man. First things first, I’d like to clarify that not all men are stupid and disrespectful towards women. Anyway, back to my unpleasant experience. 

We’ve all encountered them before people on the street who are trying to make you donate to a charity. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against them – at all. Of course, they can be rather annoying with their persistence, but that’s not the point today. So this guy ran over from across the street to talk to me. (side note I was wearing earphones; don’t stop someone if they’re wearing headphones) I’m relatively nice, so I stopped and told him that I was already approached by one of them and told him, “no, sorry, not today”. Usually, that works, and they just wish me a nice day and move on – not this time. He was very persistent and tried to still convince me, which I understand’s his job, but then this happened. As always, I was asked, “Are you even over 20?”. By my mistake, I said yes. As soon as I said that, he moved in front of me, looked me up and down and said: “no, you’re not”. Once again, I said, “yes, I am.” (hoping that he would leave me alone, but no). He just repeated himself and was like, “no, you’re not”. Trust me, I get how it’s supposed to be flattering if someone tells you that you look younger than you are, but that’s not how you do it. The way he did it – it was just to objectify me.

It doesn’t stop there, my friends. After repeatedly saying that I’m not interested in donating, he just asked me another question – “What do you study?”. Again another mistake of mine – I responded instead of just walking away. So I answered with “Business Management”, and he was like “, Oh, I am sorry that it must be hard for you”. It was obvious that he was insinuating that it was hard for me because I am a woman. To his surprise, I disagreed with him. At this point, I was getting severely annoyed. No one tells me how being a female affects my work negatively – no one. 

So I looked him right into his eyes and said, “That’s not how you make a sale”. It was clear that he was not used to a woman disagreeing with him. He started stuttering and said, “I know, but I still do it”. After that, I just walked away. It took me way too long to get out of this unpleasant “conversation”. Keep in mind, the conversation was only about 90 seconds long.

The further I was walking, the madder I got. Not just with him also with myself. I could have put him in his place and educate him about his unacceptable behaviour, but I didn’t. I didn’t do it for two reasons. First of all, I was kind of in shock by his audacity. Because of that, I couldn’t think straight and wouldn’t have communicated it clearly to him. On the other hand, I didn’t want to involve myself any more; it was enough for me. 

I’m sure he’s still out asking for donations, so I decided to ask for his superior and report him if I see him again. A tip to all women ask for the full name and organisation they’re working for before you leave – learn from my mistake. To be honest, although I’d love to personally teach him a lesson, I don’t think it would have a significant impact on him. I’m very aware that sometimes the “superior” method doesn’t work either, but it will still have a more significant effect on him. 

Unfortunately, this is just one of many discriminating and sexist experiences that I have. I’ll share a few more in the future. If you have similar experiences, please do reach out and share them. We can all women AND men learn something from other peoples experiences. 

Especially now, I think we must keep the conversation going so men (guilty or not) are aware of their actions and how they affect us women daily. 

If you would like to share your story message on Instagram @anitaklos_ or send me an e-mail at anitaklos@gmx.at. Don’t be shy; your name can be kept anonymous, and I will only share it publicly if you want to. 

IG: @designartanita

I hope you’re all fine, healthy and safe (from covid and men).

Anita

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