So, this morning my husband and I are in the escrow office signing papers for our new house (90% of the down payment and 100% of the logistics and correspondence courtesy of yours truly). I had already been fighting annoyance every time the sale was referenced solely under his name by our realtor over the last couple of months despite the fact that I was the sole person with whom she was corresponding. (Am I his secretary?) Mid-way through a relatively short, as far as signings go, stack of paper work is one form. Just one little form. This form registers the name of the property tax payer with the county and for whatever reason, my husband was listed solely.
"Why is it always the man?" I ask.
"Some things never change." The (female) escrow agent chuckles, moving on to the next form.
"Well, it's my money and my work. It's insulting." I huff humorlessly.
... In the end, after some back and forth to determine if it was relevant, she wrote my name in.
I wished I could have been charming and good-humored about it but after 10 years of a career in a male-dominated field where I have had to fight for every inch of respect, none was every given freely, I am plumb out of humor. I want to be granted the same rights as my husband without asking prettily.
When I was young (especially before babies) I felt the thing to do was to be cheerful and press on and eventually merit would be rewarded. It's not been all bad but I was not entirely correct and there is ample empirical evidence to back up my anecdotes of inequity, unfortunately.
But the thing is, I'm mostly angry at my fellow women at this point. Men aren't holding me back. My fellow women aren't backing me up. I'm tired of being an outlier. [Edited to add: professional "outlier" was my primary meaning here. Didn't think to clarify since this is the Working Parent board.] I doubt many women would have been the least bit troubled in the escrow office because they seem to all take their hubby's name and happily slink off to lurk beneath his shadow anyway. The less forms and financial and professional responsibility the better, it seems. [Edited to add: I understand sentence offensive to some of you. And you're right, it was not in best taste. It's not a factual description but an emotional one that comes out of my continual shock that in the 21st century people seem to still take exception to the fact that I expect to receive equal treatment to my husband, and male colleagues, in all matters. Their reaction seems to indicate sometimes that I'm being done a favor by being relieved of such burdens.]
I have a gorgeous, energetic two year old girl and I just don't have a lot of hope things will be much better for her because I have come to believe women don't really want them to be. Am I totally alone on this? I need perspective. [Edited to add - I genuinely want all of your opinions, even if you disagree. I have been interested in what even those who disagree STRONGLY have to say on this ;) So bring it on, but kindly if you can.]
Edited by LittleGriff - 7/27/11 at 9:41pm