A Local Home Improvement Store

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Erica Vega
Hum. 116
Professor Felix
2-9-12

Field Project #1
ENVIRONMENTAL OBSERVATIONS

When I first sat down to write this essay about sexism, images of far away counties where woman are considered property and treated as second class citizens immediately popped into my head. In some of these countries sexism is hostile and practiced openly. Upon further evaluation, I came to the realization that sexism is alive and well in this country as well. Here are three of the most interesting examples that come to mind about the sometimes “unspoken discrimination” that exists between the genders.

A local home improvement store was offering weekly “Handy-Woman” classes. The goal of these classes was to empower women to be self reliant when it came to home repairs. My expectation for the course was to learn the basics about a few power tools and to get a good understanding of some of the most common do-it-yourself home repairs. What I got instead was very different and quite disappointing. The instructor made several sexual innuendos and jokingly compared some of the tools to a man’s private parts. He spent the majority of the time promoting certain brands of tools in hopes that we might purchase them for our husbands or as he implied “significant other”. The situation became more unsettling when most of the women responded in a positive way to the sexist behavior exhibited by the instructor. Some of the women even came to class dressed provocatively. I could not help but wonder if they were really pleased with this behavior or had just gotten so accustomed to it that they fooled themselves into thinking this was flattering. The instructor possibly assumed “that a bunch of dainty, fragile women” could not even begin to understand all the complexities involved in fixing a leaky faucet.

Another observation is a core belief that has been instilled in me since childhood: women are not considered whole unless they marry, bear children and allow their husbands...
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