There’s a moment in almost every woman’s life when she realizes that the cards are systematically stacked against her because of sexism. The realization hits us at different moments, but it hits hard. For some, it’s the first time we see the unfairness of being scolded for climbing trees or getting in trouble for strict dress codes. For others, its when they get their first paycheck or have a male-coworker call them something like “sweetie” or “hun.”
I clued into this reality back when I was a kid watching TV on the couch with my twin brother (aka my same aged brother who had no reason for being treated any differently than me). My mother had been in the kitchen when she called me over to clean up. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked for my help with cleaning, but it was the first time I realized I was the only one asked, and that it was total caca that my twin hadn’t been asked as well.
Of course, I knew better than to make a fuss about being asked to clean.
CREDIT: Lifehacker.com / Giphy.com
Mama didn’t raise no dummy who talks back. However, I did open my mouth to say something like “But what about my bother?” which was quickly met with “Boys don’t clean the kitchen.”
And thus began my understanding of the subtle yet very obvious ways he and I were treated differently growing up.