June 15th, 2005


Courtesy and feminism

It's Wednesday! That means it's serious post day! I was going to write on a slightly different topic, but something happened yesterday that made me reshape the post.

I was waiting with my bike for the bus when this woman rides up asking what bus stopped there. Both myself and the other guy at the stop just sort of looked at each other in confusion since a lot of buses stopped there. Just then a bus approached and she said, "Oh! Where does that one go?" We were obviously dealing with someone who was 100% clueless about the bus system. We finally figured out that she wanted to go to the west side and that she could take the 94 which was my bus. Just then the 94 arrived and I saw that there was already one bike on the rack meaning there was room for only one more. I thought I would try to board the bus with my bike so that she could use the rack. The bus driver yelled at me that I could not bring the bike on board. The woman was clueless as to how to get her bike on the rack, so I just went around her and threw mine on. The bus driver got off and started yelling at me for cutting in front of this poor woman and that I was very rude. I yelled back that I had been there first and this was my usual bus. I boarded and heard the driver talking to the woman who was now totally confused and flustered. It turns out that another route would get her closer to her destination.

I was totally pissed on the way home. I was pissed off at the asshole bus driver but I was also pissed off at myself. I personally think that society has become much more rude. I think that everyone is looking out for themselves and we are becoming very selfish. And here I was, living proof of that. Or was I? What are the standards of courtesy? Should I have let the woman have my spot even if that would have meant another 30 minutes standing in the hot sun? In this case, however, the point is illustrated on why being courteous does not pay and perhaps sheds light on why we are becoming less courteous. How many times have you let someone with 1 item go ahead of you at the supermarket only to have them try to pay with a 3rd party check from Nigeria? How many times have you let a driver get in front of you, and then he proceeds to go 10 MPH under the speed limit? And in my case, I would have given up my place to a person who really shouldn't have been on that bus in the first place.

So where does feminism fit into all of this. Well, I was raised with the idea that men and women are equal. Women can do anything men can do. Does anybody remember the E.R.A.? I have grown up having many female supervisors. I fully believe that a woman has equal rights to that of a man. In that same vane, I don't believe that women should be treated any differently than men. You want a gender-equal society? You got it! The good and the bad.

The bus driver was hispanic. I have seen this in my hispanic co-workers as well. There still is this idea of machismo that is pervasive in the culture. All he saw was a cute little latina and this big asshole white guy. Of course the woman should be first! Yeah, buddy. Fuck you. I am about as couteous as anybody else, but it doesn't matter if you're a guy or a gal. That's the way it should be. The Hispanic and cowboy mentality makes me sick. They will bend over backwards to help a woman, but disregard a man. I especially like the double standard as well. Women are put in such high regard, and yet the police blotter is full of domestic violence charges against men with hispanic surnames. And just 3 days ago a hispanic tried to show his respect for women by assaulting my mate in a parking lot. Fortunately, ahora el tiene mucho dolor en sus cajones.

Anyway, this was not a rant against ethnicity. This was a rant against double standards of treating one sex one way and one sex another way. We should all try to strive to be at least civil to one another. Maybe we're becoming less courteous because it seems that many people are getting stupider.
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