The Sex(ist) Drive

, , , | Working | February 15, 2018

(I supervise a small team of four people: two permanent employees and two interns. We work out of a government building in an iffy part of town, and parking in the adjacent lot — which is well-lit and has a security guard — costs $30 a month. The interns get paid a small stipend and can’t afford our parking lot fees. [Intern #1] is a very petite young woman who graduated from college last year. [Intern #2] is a young man in his late 20s. Both drive themselves to work, and park for free on a side street a few blocks from the office. During the winter, it’s already dark out when we leave work. I would feel more comfortable if [Intern #1] left with me in the evening, and I would drive her the short distance to her car. I mention to my coworkers that I’m going to suggest this to [Intern #1]. The other permanent employees and I are middle-aged women.)

Team Member #1: “Isn’t that kind of sexist? You should offer to drive [Intern #2], as well.”

Team Member #2: “[Intern #2] spent four years in the 82nd Airborne and did two combat tours in the Middle East. We’re going to look kind of silly offering to protect him from muggers!”

(As it turned out, [Intern #2] had the same thought I did, only about a week earlier. He had already started walking [Intern #1] to her car every night.)

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