"Women of Reddit, what is your 'trying to buy a car/item but the seller is sexist' story?" –– That was today's burning question, this one asked by Redditor DEDCMDM94, and it served as a reminder that sexism is alive and well.
This is what it's like being a woman in a world that doesn't value your input or respect your personhood. A sobering read lies ahead.
Was once in a car crash and spend the next day sorting out panel beating, etc. Went to get the front axle realigned. The guy was incredibly condescending and questioned me for a couple of minutes with questions such as "now why do you think it's out of alignment sweetie". Got really fed up and just asked him to follow me out to the car where he went quiet and admitted it was bent. He would've only been a couple years older than me (22).
The landlord (who was a middle-age lady) kept talking about how I needed to find a husband to take care of the paperwork for me.
In fact, a whole lot of our conversation was about how I needed to find a husband. She also made passive-aggressive jabs about how I wasn't getting any younger. And she kept saying that I should have "a man around" to deal with basic things like changing lightbulbs and taking out the trash.
I wish I could say I didn't rent from her, but the unit was really nice and cheap for its size.
Ironically, every time I needed help with something, she said to deal with her (not her husband), because he was lazy and incompetent.
"We were having problems..."
We were having problems with our water heater and called someone to come take a look at it. My husband happened to take the dog for a walk just as the guy arrived. For some reason he decided he was going to need to cut a giant hole in our wall behind it. I didn't know any better so I started helping his move stuff out of the way. Just as he's getting his saw ready, husband walks in the door. Suddenly his entire story changes and actually all he needs to do is replace a small part. His attitude was completely different and magically he did not need to ruin our drywall. I was pretty frustrated.
"I went to a dealership..."Giphy
I went to a dealership to purchase a car after mine was totaled in an accident. My father in law drove me because my husband was at work. This guy kept ignoring me and talking to my father in law. Even after every question was answered, "I don't know what kind she wants, ask her." and "I have no idea what her budget is." I walked off and he was still talking to my father in law, showing him a car. I walked up to another salesman and told him that guy apparently didn't want to sell women cars and asked if he did. He was glad to help me and kept smirking at sexist guy while filling out the paperwork. I think there was some rivalry there because my sales guy was very accommodating and even threw in four brand new tires.
"When we were buying a house..."
When we were buying a house we told the lawyer to contact me. He kept contacting my husband instead and not even cc'ing me on emails. The problem was that my husband was working nights and sleeping during the day, so he wouldn't return calls or check his emails until the business day was already over. It was so frustrating! We actually had a deal fall through because the seller's broker did something shady and our lawyer's response came too late and was incompetent. When we bought our home, we used a different lawyer.
During my horse riding days one guy wouldn't sell me a stallion because I was a woman and I couldn't handle him. The stallion needed a "strong man like him."
Not me but my wife's aunt who is an engineer at one of the biggest car manufacturers working on engines.
She went to get her oil changed and the guy behind the counter kept trying to up sell her on the more expensive oil and telling her why she was wrong when she kept insisting on the OEM oil specified in the manual. She eventually had to tell the guy that she helped design the engine to get him to use the oil she wanted.
I wanted to buy a car that was present on the lot and not already in process with someone else (the kind of car where every dealership has 15+ of that car because it's kind of their flagship) and while I was allowed to test drive it, it became clear to me that I was NOT going to be allowed to buy it.
They told me they could sell me one, but it wasn't heeeere yet. I was like can you sell me that one, pointing to one on the lot that was exactly what I was looking for, and they were like ohhhhh no, not thaaat one, that one is not the sport version (I'm looking at it and I see the sport tag and visible sport-tier changes to the exterior). So I'm like ok you're weird, that's fine, I have another car to drive, let me know when "the good one" comes in.
I get a call, I go back to buy the car I asked for. The one that came in is the super luxury premium version. I say no. They've got another one, it's got wheel locks and an upgraded sound system. But hey! It's $500 off the $3000 difference in price! I'm a dumb woman, that must sound like a good deal to me, right??? I ask again if they're willing to sell me any of the many cars that meet my criteria on the lot. They tell me that none of those cars exist.
I left and bought a car from another dealership in a different town. That guy said yes, we have a car like that, it's this one, would you like me to put your name on it? Ok I'll have it detailed, come test drive it this weekend to be sure and I'll have the paperwork ready. Bought a car in one day, after spending 2 weeks trying to buy one somewhere else.
"I had a guy..."
I had a guy refuse to rent me an apartment because I'm a woman. I called to ask for details on the place, and he asked if it would be just me or if anyone else would be sharing the apartment. When I said no, it's just me, he told me a "single lady shouldn't be living alone", and he would not rent to me. When I tried to insist on seeing the apartment he yelled over me "GOD BLESS" and hung up. This was 2012.
"I was at an..."Giphy
I was at an airport duty free shop looking for a decent bottle of whiskey to get as a Christmas present for a friend. Shop employee came up and asked me what I was looking for, I told him I was deciding on a bottle of whiskey. He asked if it was for a man or woman and I responded, kind of puzzled, why does it matter? He told me it mattered a lot because women only like sweet drinks, and then in response to the totally baffled look on my face, asked me to explain why, if it wasn't true, women like Coca Cola so much.
I just...what? Women only liking sweet drinks is a common and irritating stereotype, but his reasoning...that women like Coca Cola, the most popular soda in the world...what?! Okay.
"I lived alone..."
I lived alone in a home I purchased myself. My husband and I were only just engaged and not yet living together as he had his own house and we were just doing our own things. I wanted to get new windows. A salesman stopped by and when he noticed the ring and asked if* I was engaged everything stopped.
He refused to continue the appointment unless my fiance was there to help make the decision. I kindly explained he doesn't own the house, I do and that he doesn't even live here (he lived an hour away at the time). The salesman would not do it. He would not sell me any kind of window unless my fiance was there, too.
Obviously lost my fucking mind over that, reported his poor behavior to his company and told them all to f*ck off. I got windows elsewhere.
"I am the wife and I always buy the car."
I am the wife and I always buy the car. The last time my hubby was living in one town and I was living in another town (for temporary work reasons) and he went to the dealership to try used cars. When he made his choice he told the sales guy he was going to have to talk to the wife about the sale so I get on the phone with the guy and proceed to tell him what we will pay for the car (used, 4yo, 40K mi Prius). He did the "I gotta talk to my manager" routine 3 times trying to upsell me but I just kept telling him what I would pay for the car out the door. He even tried "adding" stylish racing lines and heated seats and I said aren't those things already on the car? My hubby said they are aleady on the car why are they extra? After that, he just gave me the car for what I asked in the first place. We have done this routine for years as my hubby hates to haggle. I also am a retired Pharma sales rep....
"He proceeds to tell me..."Giphy
I was in a hardware store looking for some screws after one got messed up during an installation. I had the screw I needed in hand and was looking at the selection. A male employee comes up and asks me if I need help. I say "no, just looking for what I need." He starts to ask questions about what I need, blah blah. I finally give in and show him the screw. He asks what it's for. I tell him.
He proceeds to tell me that I'm looking for the wrong thing and hands me a packet of screws that are ENTIRELY different from what I need. I just say "thanks" and walk away, waiting for him to leave the aisle. After he was gone, I went back and and traded the pack out.
"I was at a hardware store..."
I was at a hardware store with my husband. He had to go to the bathroom so I told him I would go check out and meet him after. The checkout guy was asking me if I knew what anything in my cart even was, and told me I was "too pretty" for manual labor. He then said women shouldn't even need to work at all, since their husbands should be able to support them while they raise the kids. My husband is an A&P (aircraft mechanic) for an airline, and I realized I was wearing one of his hoodies from the A&P school he went to, so I told the checkout guy I was an A&P and threw a few buzzwords at him. He then asked if I was a lesbian. I reported him.
"My favorite story..."
My favorite story along these lines was the time my hubby and I went to Game Stop to buy me a tiny XBox 360 wireless controller for my tiny hands. The male clerk asked my husband what he needed. I said, "I need one of those small wireless 360 controllers." He then asked my husband what games I liked to play. My husband said, "My wife can answer her own questions, thanks."
"I wanted to trade in my car..."Giphy
I wanted to trade in my car for an SUV about a month after I got married, but before I changed my name. Found one I wanted, called my husband to come see what he thought. The salesman, an older guy who had previously been super nice to me, completely flipped the switch when my husband showed up. He started catering to him and acting pretty condescending towards me. When he found out we were newlyweds, he started asking if the upgrade was for babies or if it was a wedding present for the "little wifey."
Husband (who rocks btw) said "nope, this is 100% her car. She the breadwinner, I'm a stay-at-home dog dad" (not completely true, he runs his business from home, but I do make a lot more money than he does).
Salesman laughs like it's a joke and continues to talk options with husband, ignoring me.
I asked the receptionist who the newest salesman on the floor was, and then asked him to show me a Platinum package, fully-loaded 4WD version of the SUV I wanted. Bought it on the spot with all the bells, whistles and warranties.
I filled out all the paperwork while the old salesman was still trying get my husband to buy a completely different vehicle than the one I was looking at. He didn't even realize what had happened until the store manager brought me my keys.
I wish I had a picture of the look on his face.
"During wedding planning..."
Car salesperson kept drifting the conversation over to my husband when I was buying a car.
Car insurance kept emailing my husband about our joint car insurance policy instead of both of us. When my husband took his car off that policy (he sold it without replacing it), he kept getting all the emails instead of me.
During wedding planning, I was addressed regarding all the details, and my husband was addressed regarding payments.
Oh, and waiters always hand my husband the bill and the card machine, even if it's my card with MRS KHEANEY written on the card.
"As a female gamer..."
As a female gamer who majored in CompSci and sold electronics at Toys R Us during college, I don't think a day went by where I wasn't talked down to about technology by someone. But the absolute strangest one wasn't as a buyer, but came from an older lady who was looking to buy Studio Ghibli movies.
I'm also a huge anime fan, so I was excited to recommend my favorites and ones she and her grandkids might like... but she just refused to talk to me, and kept asking if there was another employee who "knew about this kind of stuff." She eventually caught eye of my long-haired, male coworker, and was like, "he looks like he would know!" and went off to ask him. He knew nothing about anime, but when he finally figured out what she was talking about, I saw his face light up. "Oh, you should ask ekyou over there, she knows all about that stuff!" And she stomped off without another word.
"My mum recently..."Giphy
My mum recently went to purchase her first new car from a dealer and brought my dad along with her. They looked around, a dealer met them and mum said she was after this type of car. The dealer proceeded to show cars like that to dad, following him all around the car yard selling away, so mum left and went and bought one from a different dealer that wasn't sexist and ignoring her.
Mum was pretty fucked off because she's never been in a position to buy a new car before this, and was super excited, but this dealer just wanted to cater to dad.
"I went to a dealership..."
I went to a dealership to purchase a vehicle with my then husband. We were certain of the type of vehicle we wanted plus the payments we could afford. Salesman puts us in a completely different truck with payments $200 over our budget. He convinces my ex-husband that this was the BEST deal for him and that it was all he could get. I said that we needed to go home and talk about it, knowing it would be a case of buyers remorse. Salesman looks at my ex and says "You need to get your woman in check." I never went back and proceeded to buy two vehicles from a dealership 4 hours away in the next month.