Somehow I have forgotten how to deal with the everyday arrogance of some men. It seems that I have been blissfully in control of all behaviors standing there in front of my classroom. Anytime I sense attitude from my, generally, male students I could turn to him to suggest another way of acting without in any way feeling that I am imposing upon his spirit and certainly without his feeling that he has altered mine. After all, he has been placed in my classroom to learn from me not just what to do with an apostrophe (oh, the horror since they are all but forgotten in this age of txtng) but how to be a decent, civilized man of the world who does not think he is heads above any and all women. And let me tell you, I have been fastidious in this. Just ask Harold, who I had last year. In response to the question, “What have you learned this year in or out of school?” he wrote that he “learned he can never win against a teacher.” His mother, I think, thanks me. I met both her and her husband, and I think she would have liked to send her husband to my classroom for some lessons too. (He was a meeting time-hog.)
Even the arrogance of the men who have demonstrated their arrogance in an email exchange or even a date, I have managed to quickly put behind me with an equal amount of bravado or arrogance since there was no reason to be coy since the very purpose of the endeavor was the culling itself, if necessary.
All of which brings me to the phlebotomist who did the initial poking and interview with me prior to donating blood. I sensed that man-to-woman condescension that I have not experienced for some time. It was a bit of a shock to have him attempt to demean me and ask me questions at the same time. In those instances I suddenly became cold and persnickety, forcing him to speak clearly. Did I do that because it tends to dull the tone? Or because I wanted to be sure that I am answering the question asked and not what I think he has said and to force him back to his job and not to think he can toy with me?
Thankfully another woman came in to finish the interview and yet another female phlebotomist drew the blood.
I’m glad my antennae are still working. I’m glad, too, that I have not needed them for some time. Maybe on the whole things are getting better in the world of male egocentricity. It’s certainly about time. But have no fear, I won’t trade in my antennae just yet.