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Giving The Misogynists A Good Dressing-Down

, , , , , , | Learning | August 27, 2020

I teach at an international school for adult students learning English as a second language. Obviously, navigating cultural differences between students is an inherent part of the job. 

For the second year in a row that I’ve been at this school, at a staff meeting, an older male teacher has brought up the fact that many of the female students are wearing “revealing” clothing. It’s summer, so we’re talking things like tank tops and shorts — nothing that would get you arrested. Nevertheless, he’s previously suggested that we should have a dress code.

Male Teacher: “I mean, shouldn’t we do something about this?”

Our headteacher is also a middle-aged man.

Head Teacher: *Pause* “Does something need to be done?”

Male Teacher: “Well, I mean, in particular, it attracts a lot of attention from some of the boys, especially the ones from more conservative countries where women don’t dress like that. They’re distracted and they, you know, talk and make comments.”

One of the new teachers, who’s younger and a woman, pipes up. 

Female Teacher: “You’re absolutely right, [Male Teacher]. We should do something. Thanks for bringing that up.”

Everyone looks up in surprise, since the female teacher is known for her outspoken feminism. She continues.

Female Teacher: “I’m so glad you agree that someone should talk about appropriate conduct to these young people. They need to be reminded that, in a multicultural environment, they have to be aware of differences between what is considered respectful and acceptable to their peers, and that there is no excuse for making other people uncomfortable.”

A few teachers, I included, catch on and start smiling.

Female Teacher: “To that end, [Male Teacher], I’m glad you’ve volunteered to talk to the counselors and ask that the students be reminded that ogling and commenting on their classmates in a sexual way is flatly disgusting behavior that will not be tolerated. It doesn’t matter if that’s an okay way to talk in their country; it isn’t here. This is a learning environment and our students should feel safe, not judged and objectified. 

Head Teacher: “Very well said! Thank you, [Female Teacher]; you’re absolutely right.”

Female Teacher: “And thank you, [Male Teacher], for being so sensitive to this problem. So many people would ignore it, or even try to blame it on the young women in this situation.”

She smiled at him like the purest, most innocent angel; he nodded like he was in pain, and never brought up the idea of having a dress code ever again.

This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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Mom Has Some Half-Baked Attitudes Here

, , , , , | Related | August 20, 2020

My parents are visiting and my mother has offered to go with me to the grocery store. My husband has written out the list and one of the items is “baking sheet”. I go to the kitchenware aisle and pick up, well, a baking sheet: a flat metal pan with raised edges.

Mom: “That’s not on the list.”

Me: “Yes, it is. See? ‘Baking sheet.’”

Mom: “Well, clearly, that’s not what [Husband] meant.”

Me: “But it is.”

Mom: “Why would he tell you to buy a cookie sheet?”

Me: “Because we need one?”

Mom: “He must have meant something else.”

Me: “What else could he have meant?”

Mom: “I’m sure he means parchment paper.”

Me: “Then why didn’t he write parchment paper on the list?”

Mom: “You know how men are; they forget what things are called all the time and then they get grumpy when you bring home the wrong thing. Your father does it constantly.”

Me: “Dad might, but [Husband] doesn’t. And I’m buying a baking sheet because I had an unfortunate encounter with the barbecue last week and wrecked our only one, which is why [Husband] put it on the list.”

Mom: “You should still buy some parchment paper just in case.”

I did not buy parchment paper, and my husband was pleased to have a replacement for the charred remains of our last baking sheet.

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It’s A Man’s World; The Women Are Just Here To Fix It

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 14, 2020

I’m a man and have two roommates, both also men. One of my roommates buys a huge jar of sauerkraut but can’t get it open. It sits in our kitchen for a while until my sister comes over.

Sister: “What’s with the jar?”

Roommate #1: “I’ve been trying to open it, but no matter how hard I try, it stays stuck.”

Sister: “Oh, is that all? Here’s what you do.”

She takes the jar, bangs the lid against the counter, and easily unscrews the lid.

A couple of weeks later, my girlfriend is over and we’re cooking dinner. 

Me: “I wish the cover for this knife fit it better.”

The blade of the knife meets the handle at a forty-five-degree angle, and the cover is all right angles, leaving a small piece of the blade exposed.

My girlfriend takes a pair of scissors and cuts a piece off diagonally so the knife fits completely inside the cover. 

A few weeks after that, my roommates and I are having trouble with our front door sticking as we go in and out. We try a number of things but none of them help. 

Roommate #2: “You guys know what we have to do here. Obviously, the solution is to invite over a competent woman and have her solve the issue in two seconds.”

This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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Read the Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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Doctor Obvious Is Afoot

, , , , , , , | Healthy | August 14, 2020

I’ve had severe pain in both of my feet on and off for two years. I’ve been diagnosed with tendonitis, mild tendon tears, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and arthritis. I’ve tried everything that two doctors have suggested, plus a few things I learned about doing my own research. I’ve also had an MRI.

I’m getting pretty desperate for relief. This means that I’m willing to see a doctor despite the rapidly spreading illness going around, even though I’m at extremely high risk for it.

At my most recent appointment, the doctor proudly announced that I had metatarsalgia. This was a fancy way of saying that the bones in my feet hurt. No kidding, doc! He recommended highly cushioned shoes — which is all I’d been able to wear for two years — and that’s it.

I’ll be seeking out yet another doctor for this.

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The Kindness Of Teleporting Old Ladies

, , , , , | Right | August 6, 2020

Having just spent Christmas in British Columbia with my family, I am waiting for my flight back to the UK and decide to buy a British Columbia keyring as a tacky souvenir. There are two old ladies behind me in the queue.

Me: “Would you like to go ahead of me? Looks like you’re stocking up on souvenirs!”

They are carrying loads of stuff.

Ladies: “Oooooh, that’s very kind of you, dear; we always get carried away!”

Me: “No problem at all!”

We engage in minor chit chat while we wait about Christmas and our families, etc. At this point, my flight is called.

Me: “Oh, d***, that’s my flight! Oh, well, my keys are heavy enough as it is; I’ll leave it.”

Ladies: “Safe flight, dear. Nice talking to you.”

Off I run to catch my flight. I’m sitting in my seat on the plane and there’s a tap on my shoulder.

Lady: “After our little exchange, we thought you deserved a souvenir.”

She handed me the keyring they had bought for me! I thanked her profusely; it made my day! I can’t work out how two old ladies managed to get on the plane before me, though.

This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

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Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

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