I have a certain body part that’s been grabbing headlines recently (rim shot). Something I’ve been struggling with not just during this spite filled election cycle, but for the past few years is WHY having said body part makes me less of a person.
It wasn’t something I came upon much living in a large city, and before that I was at a woman’s college so it sure as shit didn’t ever come up there! But now I’m in a town that is often photographed as encompassing “Americana”. Many times of the past few years I’ve taken a back seat to my husband who is the presumed owner of our business (financially we’re 50/50 partners, but I do most of the management while he does the public appearance type things). I’ve been looked over by douche-bag blowhard’s who assume I’m an idiot (since I have blue hair, large ass, and boobs). I have a masculine name, so people who are too lame to do a Google search to determine who I am, assume Sam is a man. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of just nodding and smiling as someone belittles my chosen name, by gender, and my ability to own a successful business. The straw that broke this pussy’s back was a thank you card that was sent to our store (wrong store name on the envelope) and addressed to husband’s name “and staff” (honey, I ain’t no one’s “staff”!)
But you know, I’ve decided I’m not going to do that anymore… I own the freakin’ business, I work 40+ hours a week to keep it going, and I sacrifice many nights of sleep to keep the shop viable for the last 11 1/2 years. So, YES, when my husband is presumed solo owner and I am negated I’m going to speak up now. I did so for the first time this week. We got a call from a local tourist association that was trying to solicit our membership. The woman assumed “Sam” was a man. (note it’s been less than a month since my husband and I were featured in a local magazine… and that is just the latest press that includes the fact that the SAM that owns the shop is female). She then, admittedly embarrassed by the mistake, made the assumption that my name was short for the feminine “Samantha”. I used to just laugh these two things off.. this time I didn’t. I didn’t berate the woman or anything, but I didn’t play along. I was terse… “No I am Sam, and I’m female” “No it isn’t short for that”. That is all I said, but I feel like for the first time I’m sticking up for myself against built-in sexism… sexism of which the person speaking to me might not be aware. A woman CAN be named Sam, a woman CAN be a full partner in a business, a woman DOES NOT have to sit idly by when you make those mistakes to her face.
I know this woman who called probably isn’t sexist.. I mean she herself is a working woman who deals with businesses owned by women all the time… BUT maybe just maybe by me not giving her a free pass she’ll think twice about not assuming a gender based on a name, and hopefully she’ll Google before she tries to solicit money from a business again. It’s not like we’re a new business… after 11 1/2 years of being in the news for our community events and involvement.
I’m just tired of me and my work for this community being erased… I AM A FEMINIST, I AM A WOMAN, I HAVE VALUE and I’M TIRED OF SEXIST & LAZY-ASS STUPID SHIT