Working With Tools

| QC, Canada | Working | May 3, 2013

(There are two construction workers in my house to put down a wall. Worker #1 speaks French and English, but Worker #2 speaks only English. Note: I’m a female woodworker; also, my first language is french, but I’m perfectly bilingual.)

Worker #1: *in French* “I forgot the backsaw in the van. I’ll be back.”

Me: “Oh there’s no need to go back. I have one here.”

Worker #1: “What? You have a backsaw? And you’re a woman? Woah, we don’t see that often!”

(I point to the sliding miter saw in the corner of my living room)

Me: “Yeah, I have a few different saws here.”

(He pokes the shoulder of Worker #2 and points to me.)

Worker #1: *in English* “Hey, she’s a woodworker! Can you believe it? Seriously, look at her! I can’t believe she can even lift a plank of wood. Do you think she can use a power tool correctly? I mean, look at her miter saw; it’s as big as her. No way she can use this to craft anything. It would be better if she gave these tools to her boyfriend and focused on a real woman job!”

Me: *in English* “Just so you know, I’m bilingual. And for your information, I’m as capable as you to use power tools. I’m also sure my landlord didn’t send you here to belittle me, so would you please stop talking about me and go ahead with the job you’re paid for?”

Worker #1: “Uh… that’s not what I meant… I mean… uh… you look intelligent for a woman…”

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