Saturday, May 22, 2010

"So, you must be one of those feminists, huh?"

Last night I ran into an old co-worker at the gas station where he was employed. He didn't recognize me at first, as it's been a few years since we worked together and I look a little different now. When I mentioned working with him at McDonald's he remembered my name and asked how I was doing.

"As you can tell, I haven't really moved up in life. How about you? What are you up to these days?" he asked me.

I told him that I'm a stay at home mom, to which he smiled and said that he thought that was really cool. Then I told him that I was about to start school again.

"Oh," he said, his smile dropping slightly, "so, you must be one of those feminists, huh? You think you have a voice, I bet."

I was a little confused. The last I'd heard, at least in this day and age, just because a woman is in school doesn't mean she's necessarily a feminist. Not to say that I'm not a feminist or that I'm against feminism - I just didn't see how it was related. I asked him to elaborate.

"Oh, I just think that women, especially mothers, belong in the home."

I was becoming aggravated, but I had people waiting for me in the car so I kept my cool.

"You know, I'd love to stay at home with my kids and be there for everything that happens, but I can't really afford to do that. And I can't afford to continue living paycheck to paycheck like I've done my entire life up to now, so I have to go to school. I want to provide my children and myself with a better life. Otherwise, I might work, you know, in a gas station."

I turned and left, leaving him in a state of silent confusion.