Pumping Out Some Gender Bias

, , , , , , | Working | February 28, 2018

(I volunteer for a breastfeeding support organization that, among other things, hires breast pumps to women needing to express milk. One of our machines is acting up and, since the manufacturer’s recommended repairer is in another state, we are looking into other services that know small appliance motors. My colleague suggests her sewing machine guy.)

Guy: *chirpy* “Hello, [Sewing Machines].”

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if you service other small electrical appliances at all?”

Guy: *still chirpy* “All the time! What would you like me to take a look at?”

Me: “Great! Well, I’m from the [Organisation which includes the word ‘Breastfeeding’ in the name], and we’re having some problems with one of our electric breast pump machines, so we were wondering if you could take a look at it?”

Guy: *silence… then angry voice* “What do you think I am, some sort of perv?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Guy: *really angry, now* “This is ladies’ business! You should be asking the ladies about this!”

Me: “Well, I don’t know any ladies that can tell me if the drive belt is tensioned correctly. I just thought, seeing as you are an electrician, familiar with these kinds of motors, this would be something you could look at.”

Guy: *shouts* “I am not a pervert!” *hangs up*

(We ended up getting it serviced by someone’s 80-year-old engineer grandfather; so much for “ladies’ business.”)

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