Being ignored is a frustrating experience. But being ignored because of your gender, race, culture, or sexuality is enough to make you livid. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, being stereotyped and written off at a glance is still possible.
In a viral thread on the r/AskReddit community, redditor Teacherspet5859438e (wow, that’s a long username!) asked the women on the site to share the times that they were being ignored in favor of their male partners, colleagues, or friends, despite them being the clients.
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Have a scroll through some of the top responses and let us know if you’ve ever experienced anything similar in the comment section at the bottom of this list. Keep in mind, some of these stories might get you worked up with how unfair they are. Rude? Lacking manners? That’s just the tip of the iceberg…
I’m an Army veteran. My debit card is with a military-affiliated bank. Every time I pay for dinner at a restaurant, they bring it back, set it in front of my husband, and thank him for his service.
My husband was never in the military. The card has my name on it, and sometimes, they even have watched me pull it out of my bag!
I have also been by myself somewhere, paid for something with the card, and had the person who sees the card look at me and say, ‘Oh, was your husband or dad in the military?’ Um, no. No, they were not. I was. Thank you.
He wasn’t my husband, not even my boyfriend, but a guy friend I happened to have around when a carpenter came to fix something in MY home.
I welcomed the joiner in and started talking to him about the issue. Then, he saw my friend and did a 180° to talk to him. He literally turned his back on me while I was mid-sentence. In MY home.
I took my colleague out to lunch. When the bill came around, the waitress gave it to him because she assumed he would be paying.
He wasn’t a subordinate, he was at the same level as me. However, I was given a company card, and he wasn’t due to the nature of our jobs. He graciously grabbed the bill and gave it to me, saying, ‘She’s the boss.’ Smart move: It made me feel validated, and he got a free lunch.
The redditor’s thread got 63.6k upvotes and over 200 awards, proving that it’s a topic that resonated with the online community. Though the thread pointed out that there are plenty of guys out there who have old-fashioned attitudes, there’s a positive flipside, too: some men are more than happy to stand up for their loved ones and coworkers, setting the record straight.
Gender stereotypes, according to the Council of Europe, are one of the main obstacles on the path to “real gender equality” because they lead to gender discrimination. These stereotypes are “preconceived ideas whereby males and females are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their sex.”
We were buying a new mattress. It was a joint decision for the feel of it, but my decision for the price-point and warranty because I was paying for it. I noticed the salesperson talking to my husband more than to me (the one with the money), but I’m used to it. Then, my husband wandered away as if he’d never seen a furniture store before.
Weird, but okay. He came back and said, ‘Hey, can I have some money? I’m going to go check out the *insert dumb little decorative thing.*’ I was weirded out because I have never seen him care about even a lamp enough to go examine it on his own. But I said sure and handed him some cash.
The salesman IMMEDIATELY stopped paying attention to my husband. Suddenly, in his mind, I was wearing the pants. He started asking me what I did for a living and whatnot, and I was able to negotiate for a slightly lower price. I love my husband so much. He knew exactly what he was doing.
I have a chronic pain disease that runs in the family. I noticed that my father and male relatives have no problems securing pain meds, but my doctors would never give me any — despite me clearly indicating how much pain I was in.
So I started bringing either my father or my husband to my medical appointments (which is hugely intrusive), would have them repeat how much pain I was in, and low and behold, suddenly I get pain medication.
When my husband and I were looking for our first house, he had just graduated and still had student debt. I had been practicing law and had $20k saved for the downpayment. The real estate agent only spoke to him, even if I asked the questions.
In one house, we went to look at the basement, and the guy said, ‘You don’t want to go there. It has spiders.’ I told my husband that I wouldn’t ever buy a house from him
Later, the guy ran for office, and I told everyone the story, including a woman that called me randomly to promote his candidacy. Turns out, she was his mother. It’s a small thing but indicative of his attitude toward ‘the fairer sex.’
The Council of Europe explains the dangers of such stereotypes: “Sex stereotyping can limit the development of the natural talents and abilities of boys and girls, women and men, their educational and professional experiences as well as life opportunities in general. Stereotypes about women both result from and are the cause of deeply engrained attitudes, values, norms, and prejudices against women. They are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power of men over women as well as sexist attitudes which are holding back the advancement of women.”
As with plenty of other sensitive issues, education is one of the key ways how attitudes can be changed. But personal responsibility is just one part of the solution. New government and business policies can contribute to fighting gender stereotypes in the workplace and outside of it. That and reminding everyone that basic manners, like not turning your back to someone or pretending they’re not even there, still mean a lot, even in 2021.
I was at Best Buy getting some PC components because my friend asked me to help update his motherboard and processor. The first employee was respectful and sent for someone with keys to get the parts for me. The guy with the keys kept asking my friend what he wanted. And when I would have to answer, he would ask me twice and sometimes three times if I was sure about it.
Yes. I’m sure. I have a computer science degree. Give me the processor.
When I had my appendix taken out, I asked my doctor when sex would be okay again. He turned to my husband and said, ‘Whenever you feel ready, you can begin sexual relations again.
I don’t know if he was uncomfortable talking to me about it or was deferring to what my husband would prefer. Either way, it was strange.
I’m a female business owner with a male business partner. I’ve had a few customers and reps born in the Dark Ages who ask to ‘speak to my boss.
The worst was a guy who snapped his fingers and told me to ‘put the kettle on, girly.’ Needless to say, he didn’t get his cuppa, and he certainly didn’t get the discount he asked for.
I was trying to collect a parcel from the post office that was addressed to both me and my husband. They told me that my husband had to come to collect it. I asked whether they meant both of us had to be there, and the response was no, just him.
Needless to say, I was not happy. After a while of arguing, they gave me the parcel.
I’ve been on the flip side of this.
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For years, I worked at bicycle shops and regularly sold some pretty expensive bikes.
One day, a couple came in. The wife was interested in a bike, and it quickly became apparent that the husband was an overpowering, dominating type. “She wants to do this, she doesn’t want to do that, she likes this, she doesn’t like that” etc.
When it became clear she wasn’t being allowed to do much speaking at all, I would let the husband as the question, and I’d reply by physically turning and giving the answer to the wife, making eye contact with her only and pointedly ignoring the husband. It was pretty blatant.
She loved it. She lit up, engaged with me, and genuinely seemed to enjoy the process of learning more about riding and getting into a new sport/hobby.
My husband and I wanted a fence around our house. A man came over to give an estimate during a workday. I was ready to sign the papers, and he said, ‘I’d rather talk to your husband about the numbers and get his signature since he will be the one paying for it.’ I asked him to leave my property and never come back.
I have always worked from home, and my husband has always worked in a field where he cannot take time to meet with contractors, etc. He and I agree on terms upfront, and then I make decisions from there. It doesn’t matter in life, but for this story it does: I make more than my husband. For the fence, we had already agreed on this company based on various factors, and the estimate had ended up being less than we expected to pay.
We had already agreed on this company based on various factors. A man came over to give an estimate during a work day, which ended up being less than we expected to pay. I was ready to sign the papers and he said “I’d rather talk to your husband about the numbers and get his signature since he will be the one paying for it” I asked him to leave my property and never come back.
This August I bought a new truck and took my boyfriend with. He is white and I am mexican, we arrived at the dealership and I asked about the explorer they had front and center. Salesman comes over and is asking a bunch of questions to my bf. He told him its for me. I was ignored for the entire conversation. I got up and started looking at the truck. A Hispanic Salesman comes and asks me if I need help. I was out of there within 1.5 hours keys in hand. Found my bf with the other salesman. I looked at bf and said I bought the one I wanted Manny G got me squared away. The look of utter disappointment and anger on the guys face was worth it. My bf chuckled and told said “I told you she was the one buying.” Manny you were great.
When my parents and I went to look at colleges, the admissions guy opened by shaking my dad’s hand, constantly directed questions at my dad, and would look to him for confirmation whenever my mom said something.
My mom is defacto the money person of our family unit. She manages the family finances and investments, and she was way, way, way more qualified to comment on things like student loans or expected contribution. When we left that meeting, she was absolutely furious that she had to basically fight the admissions person to have a normal conversation.
I once caught some hunters trespassing on my property. I wasn’t rude to them at all, I just waved from the other side of the field. The next day, they show up at my house. One gestures towards the police car in the driveway and asks to speak to my husband about hunting in our woods.
I was like, ‘You can talk to him if you want, but that’s my cruiser, and this is my land, not his.’ They still insisted on getting permission from my husband.
At work, I was meeting a new vendor (‘Pat’) that was to be servicing one of the facility systems I oversee. Pat had already met the facilities engineer (also a man), who was introducing me to Pat. Instead of talking directly to me, Pat shook my hand, turned to my coworker, and asked him, ‘And what does she do here?’
A few weeks later, Pat had the unpleasant opportunity to learn that I’m the one who calls him when his company falls through and doesn’t deliver. Needless to say, I was not overly polite about it when Pat failed to do his job.
Oh, comic cons. I’ve learned to just tell men that I’m not that into comics when they try to ask me what I’m into. Otherwise, half the time, it turns into an interrogation where they try to prove I’m ‘not a true comic fan.
I’m a comic book artist.
We had our backyard completely relandscaped. When the landscaper came over for the estimate, he almost exclusively addressed my husband — even though I’d made it clear I was the one doing the designing and knew what I wanted to be done. Afterward, when I paid him, he kept looking behind me for my husband.
He almost didn’t give me the aftercare instructions for the new sod, saying he wanted to make sure it was done right so he’d email them to my husband. I finally snapped, ‘Give me the damn piece of paper, Bruce! I’m the one who will be home during the day to do the damn thing!’ (I worked nights at the time.)
He reluctantly handed it over and called my husband the next day to make sure the lawn got watered. My husband told him, ‘You’d have to ask her, Bruce. She told you she’d do the damn thing,’ and hung up. I had, indeed, done the damn thing.
We were buying a car for me. Because we were paying for it outright but financing the minimum amount, we had to sit in the salesman’s office for an inordinately long time answering questions. The salesman — who was great in every other way — would ask my husband the questions. My husband pointed at me and said, ‘I don’t know, it’s her car.’ The salesman said, ‘Of course, but we all know how it goes, right?’ and kept asking him.
We both wanted to get the paperwork signed and get the hell out of there with the car, but we were also on the same wavelength wondering how far we could go with this. So, the salesman would ask my husband a question. My husband would blatantly turn to me and repeat the question. I would answer him, then he would turn back to the salesman and repeat exactly what I’d said. The dude never got the idea that maybe he could just ask me the questions.
We bought my husband a car later and put both of our names on the paperwork. When we had to sign, the finance guy saw that my last name was different and asked when we were getting married. He was confused when we said, ‘Er, eight years ago?’
When I was a baby, I wouldn’t ‘latch on’ when my mother breastfed me, so I wasn’t eating well. The doctor completely ignored my mom and only talked to my dad because she was ‘too hysterical.’
He was on the verge of finding out what that looked like.
My old teacher told me a story about a cold caller. A man phoned the house phone (this was around the 80s/90s when people still had house phones) asking for the man of the house to talk about changing supplier for something or other. My teacher (a woman) told the man that her husband was away on a business trip and to call back the next day.
He called the next day, again asking for the man of the house, and she informed him that her husband had been delayed and to call back the next day. He called the next day, and she informed him that due to bad weather his flight had been delayed until later on that night, so please call back the next day. He called the next day, she put her husband on, the man asked about changing to his company’s service. The husband informing him that his wife dealt with all the bills and please talk to her. My teacher took the phone, said “no thank you” and hung up.
When I was shopping for a car, the salesmen at every dealership kept talking to my husband instead of me — even though I was the one who contacted the dealerships and made sure to introduce myself first.
My husband got sick of it and started telling them, ‘Don’t talk to me, it’s not my car. Talk to her.’ I wound up buying from a saleswoman who treated us equally — until she pretty quickly figured out my husband was not involved whatsoever in the decision.
We wanted to replace our roof and had found a company that was running a promotion. I called and scheduled for someone to come out for a quote. I was able to answer all of his questions, but he refused to give me a quote without my husband present (with some ‘sign before we leave for best price’ excuse). He was intent on driving back over the following day when my husband would be home.
I called their main office shortly after he left and told them that I wasn’t interested in any high-pressure sales tactics, I just wanted a quote, and if they wouldn’t give that to me, the one who would be paying for it, then to not bother coming back out. I didn’t see them again. The three other roofing companies I contacted had no problem dealing solely with me.
I was trying to buy a TV, and my boyfriend came along to help carry the box. Every time I asked a question, the employee would answer by turning to my boyfriend and talking to him. Even when my boyfriend said stuff like, ‘I don’t know, it’s her TV,’ the employee still faced and made eye contact only with him.
I was getting pretty irritated. The last straw was when I was handing him MY credit card, and he turns to my boyfriend to ask if he wants the two-year warranty. Finally, I snapped at him, ‘IT’S NOT HIS TV! I AM BUYING THIS TV! STOP TRYING TO SELL IT TO HIM!’ I was pissed, and it was the most irritating and sexist customer service I’ve ever experienced.
I work on male-skewing TV shows, and a lot of my colleagues are male. I’m the showrunner, and I direct the shows. We hire local drone operators, so when we meet our drone team, I give them an overview of what we’re looking for in the shot. Conservatively, 75% of the time, follow up questions will be directed to my male colleagues.
We hire local drone operators across the US and globally. No matter where we go, it happens. My colleagues are now in the habit of just staring back in response, letting it get real awkward, and then saying, ‘Ask her.’
One time, I described my car problem to the desk guy at the auto shop as a ‘clicking’ when I turned the key and asked if they’d check the timing belt. He said I’d have to leave my car there, so my husband arrived 10 minutes later to pick me up. The mechanic came out and asked him what was going on with the car, never looking at me.
I finally asked if he’d checked the timing belts as I’d asked the guy at the desk to do. He had not. Gotta say, mad turned to cocky when it turned out to be the timing belt. This happens a lot with auto repair.
I’m a female Marine Corps veteran. I have ‘Marine Veteran’ license plates on my car. When I got a speeding ticket a few years ago, I showed the highway patrolman my registration and USAA insurance. He was surprised and said, ‘Oh, the car is registered to you?!
I ordered a grill from Lowe’s for curbside pickup and called my best friend with a truck (who is male) to drive. The Lowe’s dude took forever before coming outside MULTIPLE TIMES to let my friend know the grill is missing, give him status updates, and apologize.
The whole time, he’s looking my friend in the face and ignoring me. Every single time, my friend says, ‘Talk to her. I’m just the ride.’ Women are allowed to make purchases. We like food, too. Friend earned major additional kudos that day for calling out the Lowe’s dude’s sexism.
We took my daughter to urgent care for stitches. My husband is holding her, and I check her in at the front desk iPad. The front desk man looks at my husband and asks for the insurance card. We’re on my insurance, so I hand him the card. Next, he tells my husband the copay — looking at him behind me — when I’m the one standing at the damn desk.
I pull out my card, with my name on it, and pay.
This doesn’t just apply to heterosexual couples, my wife and I are lesbian, I am taller and most sales people direct the discussion to me. I am not the one that makes most of the decisions!!! I’m just taller!!!
My parents were looking to get solar panels and invited several people over for quotes. This one salesperson kept looking only at my dad, responding only to his questions and not my mom’s, and only addressed my dad with the quote. My mom stood her ground and said that even if his offer was the lowest, they would not be choosing him.
My mom is very anti-confrontational, so I was really proud of her. Another time, I was helping my mom book plane tickets online for both my parents. Even though she filled her name in first, the online system suggested that my dad would be the ‘main booker’. My mom booked her tickets elsewhere.
I Was invited to a weekend away with a supplier to launch their new range. My husband went with and on the ‘order day’ the Financial Manager of the supplier came up to my husband and asked him what he thinks about the new range and what he is considering to buy. My husband replied very dryly that he is only the plus 1 and that he must speak to me seeing that I am the one with the chequebook.
When we were having our house built, the lady helping us kept saying that the house would have WiFi on all three floors. We asked to have ethernet cables run to certain rooms, and she laughed and said, ‘Well, he can have one run to his office, but you’ll be fine with WiFi.’
I was like, ‘No, I would like one as well.’ We both play games online, sometimes MMOs, and wanted hard lines run. She just couldn’t understand why a woman would need anything other than WiFi. It made me angry for her to make the assumptions.
My husband is awesome and regularly tells contractors to speak to me about things. My dad was a machinist, my mom worked for a tool company. So my husband handles the car, and I handle the house — divide and conquer. It’s so frustrating when people assume I don’t know anything about repairs or tools. I’m just glad my husband is very supportive and knows I am capable of doing things.
I’m the husband, but when we have any kind of work done on our house everyone constantly tries to make eye contact with me and pal around. My wife does all of that stuff. I don’t know anything about any of it. I literally spend the whole time redirecting people to deal with her. Sometimes I just excuse myself and have her fill me in on details (which I don’t care about or need to know) later.
Not exactly this scenario, but it rankles me to this day. There was a particular car I wanted and I wanted it with a manual transmission, which was tough to find in that car. There was one at a local dealer that was near my office, so I stopped in during my lunch hour to see what they’d do on price. At the time, I was a young, professional woman in my twenties. The car was for me and I was paying cash.
I wander in around noon on a Tuesday. No one even acknowledges my presence though there was NO ONE else in the showroom. Finally, I go up to one of the salespeople and say “Hey, do you still have [model] car? I thought you had one in stock.” The guy looked at me, in total seriousness, and says in a very condescending tone, “Oh, honey, you don’t want that car, it has a manual transmission. Let me show you these others that would be better for you.”
Ummmm, wtf? After the initial shock wore off, I looked at him and said, “Well, first off, my name isn’t ‘Honey’. I have a name which you’d know if you’d bothered to ask. Second, I know what I want and don’t need you to tell me. I think we’re done here.” And, with that, I walked out the door.
I ended up finding the same model, manual transmission, at another dealership about a hour from my house. TOTALLY worth the drive. I did most of the deal over the phone. The salesman DGAF that I was female. We got to a price we could both live with and the deal was done. SO MUCH BETTER. Drove that car until it died about 10 years later.
The first dealership went out of business about a year later. Can’t say I’m surprised.
I was buying a new sports car. My husband and I walk into the dealership and the sales guy walks up holding his hand out to shake my husband’s hand and asks how he can help.
Fine. No biggie. My husband says “she’s buying, not me”. Sales guy glances at me and says to my husband “Well, it’s not just her decision, right?”.
We left and I bought my new sports car elsewhere. Friggin Jerk.
I was the guy in the scenario but I was at a comic con with my girlfriend. It was her idea to go to the con as she actively collected comics (I have a pile of graphic novels but usually don’t bother with individual issues.) At one booth there was an indie artist trying to hawk his new book. He saw us both looking through a copy and came over to engage. He started talking to me but then she asked him a question about the book. He gave a short answer and then tried to talk to me about the book again. She just got an annoyed look for a second and then moved onto the next booth. I set the book down and cut him off to say “sorry dude, she’s the comic fan, I was just looking at the drawings” and then moved on too.
Assuming I was the nerdier one was acceptable. Still a somewhat sexist assumption, but if you look at the traditional gender split of a comic con it’s a reasonable assumption. But once she tried to engage and he ignored her in favor of a male then that just showed he was an idiot. And seeing it first-hand I really kind of felt bad for nerdy girls who have guys gatekeeping nerdy things or assuming the girls don’t have the right to be interested in them.
Not my story but my wife’s.
For clarity, I’m autistic and I do not do well with interactions at all, especially if I don’t know the person.
We had to get our septic tank pumped and when the guy was over, my wife and I both came outside to talk to him. I was mostly following her because my dad’s name was on the request and we have similar names. I assumed he would ask for our names so I went out.
The septic guy kept telling me things about the tank, where we lived, our toilet habits (the tenant before us flushed a ton of condoms, which I don’t use). My wife explained to him that they weren’t ours, that we just moved in, etc. I listened to him but didn’t respond a word (just nods and gestures).
Still, he kept talking to me about how to maintain the tank and I’m not technical. I have no clue what he’s saying. My wife kept answering because she had more experience than me at the topic.
Eventually, she stepped between him and me and fielded his comments a lot more firmly.
It was weird. She was friendly and understood what he was talking about. I was withdrawn and distracted. I guess he was as bad at picking up on social cues as me.
Bought the wife flying lessons for her birthday. Turn up at the centre and the guy talks to me. I politely inform him that my better half will be the one flying. He continues to talk to me, and gets to the point where she needs to sign a contract. He tells me that I need to get her to sign this…. weird
Happens the other way too. We were looking at a kitchen showroom. The lady taking us round spoke to me about the finances and the wife about the features of the 5 burner range cooker. Little did she know I’m the cook, the wife is the bank.
When I was buying my house, I took my boyfriend with me to the viewing. The realtor mostly talked to him and even ended up calling him with bids on a house. Yes, the house I purchased all on my own and is mine.
I don’t take myself too seriously, and I’m not easy to upset or embarrass, so I didn’t really care, I was riding high on a wave of winning a bidding war.
During my architecture internship, we had this couple client that wanted to do some renovation. The paymaster was the wife but my senior at that time kept referring to the husband about everything until one day the wife snapped because the husband changed her design and telling my senior that it was from her. He was trying to pocket some of the money for himself.
Lesson learned — always include both side if your client is a couple.
All the time, every time we go out, to eat or shop. Restaurants, car dealerships, stores. Even when the items are obviously mine – like the shoes I bought today, the salesman went to the counter and stood around waiting for my husband, who was at the back of the store, to ring the items up, while I’m standing right in front of him. I had to tell him that I’m paying for my own damn shoes! And even when I pay they hand the card or change and receipt to my husband who just stares at them with exasperation while he hands it over to me.
So this one doesn’t really involve any women but a coworker of mine, Indian contractor, had a high pitched voice when speaking english. He was on the phone with his insurance to ask why they hadn’t made the payment to the garage fixing his car and you could tell he was getting angrier and angrier at them when I all of a sudden heard him yell “I AM THE HUSBAND!”.
Apparently the guy on the other line though it was a good move to tell my coworker “Can we talk with your husband about this? you don’t seem to understand what we’re saying”. Our female coworkers were livid when they heard that and had a whole bunch of similar stories.
Any time I’ve bought a vehicle, or gotten parts from a parts counter.
Plot twist: when they ask where my husband is, sweetie, I call over my 6’ tall wife (who is a dead ringer for Brienne of Tarth) to assist. Shuts them up real nice.
My wife and I are both physicians. She is very type-A and particular. I am much more relaxed and I go with the flow. We recently had a new home built and since then have done a lot in regards to landscaping and adding to the home (finishing the basement, adding on a stand by generator). The thing is, despite my wife usually being the one to reach out to contractors, and despite the fact that she is the one who wants things done in a specific way, and despite the fact that I usually refer them to her, they always try to contact me first, talk primarily to me when we are both present, and reach out to me when they have questions or need to let us know things. It is bizarre. Like, “I am the dude in pajama pants and a sweatshirt playing the floor is lava with the kids. Does it look like I care what kind of finish is on the cabinets. Talk to the wife. We all know she is in charge.”
I was at a Mexican restaurant with my husband. I don’t eat cheese or dairy, so I was looking for items on the menu that didn’t list those as ingredients, and I found shrimp tacos. The other tacos on the menu did list cheese and ‘white sauce’ as ingredients, but I thought it made sense for shrimp tacos not to have those ingredients, so I didn’t bother telling the waiter “no dairy.” I mean, the menu didn’t say they had dairy in the first place, so I thought I was in the clear.
The tacos came out smothered in cheese and white sauce, so I sent them back and told the busser (different person than the guy who took our order) that I was sorry, but I couldn’t eat dairy. The waiter came storming out and asked my husband why “she” (me, sitting right there across the table, obviously capable of speaking) sent the tacos back. I told him that I couldn’t eat dairy, and that the menu didn’t say they had dairy on them. He ignored me and told my husband that “she” should have expected there to be cheese on all of the tacos, so I asked why it didn’t say that on the menu. He continued to ignore me and told my husband that “she” had no right to send food back, because “she” wasn’t paying the bill, and he would only talk to the one who was. My husband told him that he needed to talk to me, the one with the problem, so he stormed off to get the owner and called me a bitch on his way off. That was the only thing he said to me.
We got up and left without paying the second he walked away.
Took my boyfriend to a very expensive birthday dinner in DC and made sure he got the best wine that night. The total came to about $400 just for the two of us. I made the initial reservation so our notes stated that I would be treating. Having come from working at a high end restaurant, I’m familiar with proper service steps.
The first strike was when I ordered the wine for us and the server gave the bottle to my boyfriend to approve and taste without giving me the option. Second strike was although I clearly said I was treating, they placed the check in front of my boyfriend…on his birthday.
Finally straw was the manager coming over to introduce himself to my boyfriend. Handshake, banter, the works, without acknowledging me. Happened a second time at the end of the meal. Two manager visits. And I was the one trying to provide the experience and bankroll the night. They definitely heard about it.
I’m not a woman but I witnessed this scenario. I’ve posted it on reddit before but here it is again
A little more than a decade ago I (male) was at a party with a few friends and a whole bunch of strangers. I got into a conversation with another guy about our work. He was a programmer and I was a physicist, and at some point we started talking about quantum computing. He asked me a whole bunch of questions to which I gave answers, but my subfield was not quantum information. Fortunately my friend came to the party with me, and she was also a physicist, and specifically a quantum computing specialist. As soon as I saw her cross my field of vision I waved her over thinking she’d both appreciate the conversation and be able to contribute a whole lot more than I could.
Y’all. Even after I introduce her as a fellow physicist and quantum computing expert, the guy kept asking me questions. And I kept being like, “I honestly have no clue, [friend], you’re the expert, what’s going on there.” And like, I deflected three or four questions that way before I think he got the hint that maybe he’s addressing the wrong person.
He changes his conversation strategy so that instead of asking me about QIS, he starts trying to show off, to her, what he knows about it. Like, in his brain this flipped from an opportunity to learn more about quantum computers to an opportunity to get laid showing off what little he knows about the subject. So he’s mansplain-flirting quantum information science to a woman who had literally built and programmed what was, at the time, one of the world’s only functioning multi-qubit quantum computers.
I wish I could say I watched her die a little inside, but apparently this was so common a kind of occurrence that she was inured to it, and just laughed and went to get another beer.
I made an appointment for taxes and communicated in advance of that appointment. I was a new 1099 worker and had a lot of questions. Every time I asked one, the accountant addressed my husband.
My husband has always worked a W-2 job, had very few questions, and does not take care of our finances. All of the paperwork was under his name, and the accountant only addressed him in e-mails.
Screw that guy.
Went with my then GF when she was car shopping. I drove us there cause she didn’t have a car at the time but was more than capable of affording one. We get there, she introduces herself to the dealer that came out and he starts showing us cars. He starts showing her cars and then would address me when talking about the vehicle. Like what kind of engine it has, mileage, ect. She would ask a question the guy would address the answer to me. I was pretty annoyed as I’m not mechanically inclined at all. I said “Why are you talking to me!” dealer stopped and looked confused. “She is the one buying the car not me. Just so you know she is a certified diesel mechanic, she knows way more about cars than I do. Address her not me, I’m just the ride.” He stopped and then quietly talked to the gf the rest of the time. She ended up getting a jeep sahara.
Kind of a swircheroo, but I (a woman) sold cars, and a couple came in to buy an Accord. They made it clear it was the wife’s car, so I was asking her the questions and getting to know her, but the husband was a controlling bulldozer of a person. He’d interrupt her and talk down to her, and kept trying to bully me on the finances, which I had no control over. He hated it, but I ignored him sooo politely and patiently, waiting for him to shut the hell up so I could listen to her answer. I eventually stopped him and asked her, this is YOUR car, what do YOU think? He got up and left in a huff to harass the management, and I was left alone to do the deal in peace with her, and it was VERY pleasant without him!
I moved on to work as a victim’s advocate for domestic violence; looking back I’m sure this was an abusive relationship, but I’m glad I could offer her the kindness and respect she clearly didn’t get, and although it was for a short time, it was for something big and important. I think about them sometimes (because I got along with her so well, and really disliked him), hoping she’d driven that Accord far away from him.
I’m a pilot and decided to take my boyfriend up on a flight for the first time to a touristy town for a cute little day excursion. Everything went super smoothly, except when we were walking to the airplane to fly back afterwards: one of the ramp employees saw us and immediately approached my boyfriend. I was far enough away that I couldn’t hear what was being said, but it looked important so I went up to them just as my guy was awkwardly motioning to me like “She’s the pilot, tell her, not me!”
Aviation is still pretty male dominated so I’ve heard stories of something similar happening to other female pilots (it happens a LOT), but it was the first time it’s ever happened to me personally. Needless to say he and I were cracking up the whole flight back!
Every damn time I take my truck in for something they call my husband or my father to discuss my truck even when I express to call me it’s mine I’m not an idiot and it’s in my name.
I was buying a car and my ex was with me. I made it clear it was my car that I was buying myself at every dealership i visited. Most sales people I talked to were perfectly nice, except a guy at the Ford dealership.
Every time I asked a question he would answer it to my ex instead of to me, the person who asked it and is the actual customer. He even gave my ex the keys to test drive.
Needless to say I do not own a Ford now.
The bank was reporting the mortgage on my husband’s credit rating even though the mortgage is in both of our names and we pay it 50/50. The manager was NOT impressed when I asked him why and that it needed to be fixed. He acted like it was impossible but sure enough the next year when I checked my credit report, there it was! So damn frustrating that we still have to fight for equality when it comes to the financial industry.
So a while back my wife and I were hitting up local dealerships trying to find a replacement car for her 2006 Nissan subcompact. The first thing I would tell each salesman was that we were shopping around for a daily for her to drive.
Honda dealership was stereotypical car salesman “We can’t even let her take a test drive unless she shows intent to buy”
Ford dealership ignored her completely and tried to sell me a mustang.
Toyota was like, “oh you must want to look at our (insert soccer mom vehicle here)”
But when we got to Mazda I told the sales guy the same thing that we were looking for her next car, and he immediately nodded, turned to her and asked “what do you look for in a car?” And then he just listened to her. He didn’t ask me anything for the rest of the time we were there, focused entirely on her and answering her questions. Never rushed her or pushed her towards a different model.
So yeah we’ll probably be getting her a soul red Mazda3 cuz of that guy.
Needed a new car and went by myself to check some places out. Was patently ignored despite being seen by more than one salesman. Had to take my husband with me, whom they did talk to. I took auto mechanics for 2 years, my husband knows nothing.
While buying a car, my dad went with me as my ride and just to make sure I didn’t get ripped off. He stayed pretty quiet throughout it all, meanwhile I’d ask my list of questions… except every time I asked a question, the salesman would turn to my dad and answer it as if my dad had asked it. Eye contact with him and all. It made both myself and my dad really uncomfortable. I ended up confronting him about it and he just awkwardly looked at his feet and dodged the question about his behavior, only to ask my dad if he had any further questions and then walking away. Needless to say, we purchased elsewhere.
I’m not married, so when I make large decisions about my house (that I own and paid for) I ask my father to come along as an advisor. (I’m not young, so the female + age = stupidity assumption shouldn’t be there.)
Last year I was replacing all the windows (house was built in 1935) and I made appointments with three different companies. (National, local, hardware store chain.)
The guy from the national company only focused on my father who repeatedly told him “She’s buying the windows, she’s done the research.” (Which was true.) When we sat down at the dining room table to crunch the numbers the guy would only let my dad see the laptop screen. Finally, my dad said, “Can I see that? I don’t have my glasses.” The guy gave him the laptop and my dad handed it to me.
The second, local company sent a woman rep and there was absolutely no problem at all once I told her it was my house.
The third sent out another man, but he was younger than the first guy (and me) so once I told him my house, my money, he also focused on me.
Two or three times this has happened.
Im a butch women and sometimes get mistaken for a dude. If I’m in a group with my female friends and a dude were comes up and ask us for directions or something, they will almost certainly address me and not the rest of the group which I find really interesting.
I’ll give you one second-hand from my wife. She was buying a car (before I’d met her) and went into the local dealership. The sales person was all about “Maybe you should bring your husband in so we can talk about this, honey”. She looked him straight in the eye and said she was happily single, that she’d already talked to a salesperson at another dealership who treated her like an adult, and that he’d be getting her business…and walked out.
Buying furniture at Ashley Home Store. The (male) sales rep completely ignored me and only asked my husband questions about his preferences, budget, etc. Like I was nonexistent. The furniture was poor quality anyway so we ended up going to another store and buying from this really kooky lady who was asking us all sorts of questions about us as a couple, our zodiac signs, etc. but was super fun, and we got much nicer pieces.
I’m a 6’7, 18 stone, bushy bearded vegetarian My girlfriend is a dainty 5’5 meat lover
Never once in our almost 4 years has our favourite bar failed to give me her 20 chicken wings and her my 10 veggie nuggets
I hope this doesn’t get buried because it’s my absolute favorite thing.
My husband and I were buying a new mattress. It was a joint decision on the feel of it, but my decision for the price-point/warranty/etc because I was paying for it. In other words, all the stuff we actually needed the salesperson for. Salesperson was a fine guy, old-fashioned, not overtly rude, but he was definitely talking to my husband more than to me (the one with the money to pay). I noticed but, eh, I’m used to it, I was going to get my info and pay the man. Whatever.
My husband, bless him, wandered away all floaty, like he’d never seen a furniture store before (weird, but ok). Then he came back and said, “Hey, can I have some money? I’m going to go check out the (insert dumb little decorative thing in the other part of the store).” I was weirded out because I have never seen him care about a lamp enough to go examine it on his own and also we don’t… we don’t do that? But yeah, I said, sure, and handed him some cash.
The salesman IMMEDIATELY stopped paying attention to my husband. Suddenly, in his mind, I was wearing all the pants. He started asking me what I did for a living, etc and I was able to negotiate for a slightly lower price.
I love my husband so much. He knew exactly what he was doing.
Every time I pay for a meal, the server puts the bill in front of my guy & returns my card to my guy after I’ve paid for it lol
I had been looking at a car online for about a month. I really wanted it. It was 350 miles away but near where 2 of my kids lived. We drove up to look at the car.
Salesmen kept talking to my husband. Finally he says “Look I HATE this car. I’m here to pay cash money on it but only if she’s happy with the deal. I personally hope she doesnt get it.”
THEN they started negotiating with me. Got it for a good price and when the title arrived it bore out the cliche – it really did belong to a little old man who rarely drove it: had the death certificate stapled to it. It was an 8 year old car with less than 40k on it. And I got it for $4k – this was 16 years ago.
Now WHY a little old man had a purple car with a sunroof, idk.
This comment just made me understand that my father has done that forever and I just never saw it lmao.
My mother is a strong woman, head of 12k employees and who have worked from the bottom to the top and deserve all the money she has made. My father has the same steady job and he is happy with it but it doesnt bring the same money understandably.
Because of this we are in good shape financially so we can afford expensive stuff but everytimes we go in high end restaurants, they always talk to my father about paying the bill or they call my father for the delivery of the latest purchase or whatever but I have just understood with this thread that my father all along has always said the same things: I am not the one paying, I dont know why you are talking to me.
For years, I thought he was looking like a dumb ass on purpose because he found the situation awkward or he was bragging or joking I dont know but all along he was just saying: the woman makes the money in this couple, talk to the woman not me because I cant afford this stuff.
he was just broing his wife all along.
I don’t have a husband, but my dad used to take me shopping for big purchases, like a car or my first computer. And I have to say? This didn’t happen very often.
The only time I got this was when I was shopping alone for fishing lures at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Now, I don’t condemn the store as a whole – I’ve shopped there many times and this is the only time someone was a dick.
The clerk (older guy) saw me shopping, came over, and assumed I was shopping for someone else, and kept using “he” pronouns for this assumed person. I’ve been fishing since I was old enough to hold the pole. With my country cousins, we’d dig our own bait and make our own poles. I’ve dove for clams for supper for my family when I was 13 years old. Yet this dude kept probing, “Who are you buying for? What kind of fishing does HE do?”
I stayed polite bc my mom always said “Kill them with kindness,” and let the idiot help me bc I relaly did have questions about what kind of lure is best for catching trout down the bayou. Then I told a manager how uncomfortable this employee made me, and the manager immediately believed me and said he’s speak to the employee after I left the store. I have faith that the manager did.
I mean, I was gonna let it go, but I was waiting in line to check out and the manger was right there, and I thought, ykno, this clerk is prolly doing this for every woman in the fishing dpt, so I felt obligated to stick up for all of us.
Multiple times I’ve had this happen…shopping for hunting knives with my brother, I was at the counter. The guy stood in front of me and spoke to my brother who was 10 ft behind me and on his phone. We walked out. Multiple gun shops I’ve been looking at pistols and the salesmen have either ignore me to speak to whichever man I was with (brother, dad, husband, whoever) and some even have the nerve to say, “she’ll like this one best.” To the men. I hate most when they recommend the pink pistols because it’s pretty and I need a pretty pistol. I hate pink.
Back when I was married, I was the financial manager in our marriage. Not that I particularly wanted that role all by myself—I would have preferred to be a team—but I was on my way to learning that my husband would simply not engage in subjects that made him feel uncomfortable. Since he wouldn’t deal with looking at cash flow or budgets, thinking about housing costs, retirement, or college savings, even when I tried to make it a joint effort, I handled it all myself.
And every time I initiated a move, like refinancing our house or opening an investment account, his name would be listed first, and mine second. Didn’t matter that I was the one who exclusively worked with the broker or whatever. I thought it was sexist nonsense. He thought it was funny.
Fast forward to the first tax year after our divorce. We divided our assets but retained one joint investment account specifically to fund college for our kids. We had not addressed the issue of paying taxes on this account in our divorce decree. When tax time came around, I was at my tax accountant’s office with all my financial paperwork, including this account. She said, “You could pay the taxes on this account and ask him for half. Or you could leave it up to him. The IRS only gets the social security number of the first person on the account, so he’s the one one the hook for the taxes.” I said, “I won’t be paying them, then.” He was furious. Too bad, so sad.
It’s not so much a particular story but when I was shopping for a car several years ago the salesmen at every dealership kept talking to my husband instead of me even though I was the one who contacted the dealerships and made sure to introduce myself first. My husband got sick of it and started telling them “Don’t talk to me, it’s not my car. Talk to her.”
I wound up buying from a saleswoman who treated us equally until she pretty quickly figured out my husband was not involved whatsoever in the decision.
Went into Home Depot to buy a hard hat for my mother… seemed simple enough. Was approached by a worker who seemed to be in his 50s. He took one look up and down and said “what’s a pretty thing like you doing here? You look a little lost” I told him what I was looking for and that I had found it, and then he continued to question what I needed it for, and if I really knew which one to pick out…. it was quite the experience. Thankfully only a one time event though.
25 years ago my husband and I are looking for our first house. He had just graduated and still had student debt. I had been practicing law and had 20k saved for the downpayment. Real estate agent only spoke to husband, even if I asked the questions. In one house we went to look at the basement and the guy says “you don’t want to go there. It has spiders.” I told my husband I wouldn’t ever buy a house from him. Later the guy ran for office and I told everyone the story including a woman that called me randomly to promote his candidacy. Turns out she was his mother. It’s a small thing but indicative of his attitude toward ” the fairer sex”.
I have issues constantly when going out to eat with my boyfriend. They always put the bill down directly in front of him no matter what. Even when I reach across the table to grab it and put my card in, they almost always put the check back down in front of him after swiping the card. They will often turn to him and thank him or tell him to have a great evening or which copy to sign. It’s infuriating.
Buying a car. If anyone actually approached me I got to do a few test drives, then once I got to the negotiation stage they would ask me to take the offer home to my husband. I was single.
If they didn’t suggest taking it home to my husband, they’d then send me to the financing office – because how could a single woman possibly buy a brand new vehicle in cash.
I finally found a great salesman who didn’t pull this sexist stuff on me and I bought a vehicle same day.
I’m building a skoolie and occasionally hire friends to help out for the day when they’re in need of work. Every single time I go to the hardware store with these friends (all the hired hands have been men so far), the workers address them instead of me when I’m obviously the one actually looking at the products.
One such worker continued to address my friend, even though I was answering all the questions he asked. After three attempts to get this misogynistic old man to acknowledge me in the conversation, my friend started laughing and walked away. I continued to stand there, cheerfully answering the questions he barked at my friend, who was actively walking away. I was so entertained at this point; this was war.
When my friend was left the aisle, it was like a flip switched in the worker’s head. When he was speaking to my friend, he was asking about floor plans and fridges and all the little things that make it a home, but the moment he started talking to ME, he started absolutely questioning my engine, the capacity of my battery bank, and all the things I’m sure he assumed I wouldn’t be familiar with. I answered all the questions with ease and even had the chance to mansplain my electrical system, as the worker said something blatantly wrong while speaking with me.
The moment he realized I was explaining something to him, he turned beet red, insisted he knew what I was talking about and that I was wrong, and cited his uncle’s business as reason to believe he knew what he was talking about. I smiled, suggested he attend some local community college courses to refresh his memory, and wished him a nice day before walking away.
It was a beautiful moment. The worker avoided me every time I went to that hardware store for months until I stopped seeing him altogether.
Wasn’t my husband, not even my boyfriend, but a guy friend I happened to have round when a joiner came to fix something in MY home. I welcomed the joiner in, started talking to him about the issue, then he saw my friend and did a 180° to talk to him. He literally turned his back on me while I was mid-sentence. In MY home.
Semi related, girlfriend and I were in a restaurant in Slovakia. The waiter, older local man, comes over and directly addresses absolutely everything he has to say at me. Explains 15+ entrees in exquisite detail, etc. Then turns to my girlfriend and says the only words he says to her all night: “and the ladies, they like this” *beckoning at one dish*. Based on my gf’s face I could tell a. it was bothering her immensely (rightly so) and b. worse, that’s exactly what she wanted on the menu before he came over.
Car lot, of course. Kept talking to my boyfriend. Told the salesman, “Fine, keep trying to sell a car to the guy with bad credit. I’m going elsewhere.” Good boyfriend though. Next lot, the guy greeted him first, my bf told him, I’m gonna do you a favor and go outside before you lose your sale.” I drive a hard bargain. Got the car for its exact value, financed it and still didn’t need gap insurance. They offered me a job, but I can’t deal that way to a buyer.
Not a woman, but I know my wife and I experience this all the time. We have noticed so many times that when we go to a store, my wife will be the one paying, but the cashier still hands the receipt to me. It’s particularly frustrating because if my wife is paying, that means I am with the kids. So why they think to hand me the receipt is beyond me. The only non-sexist explanation I have is that I am taller than my wife (and can thereby reach it easier than her). But that doesn’t describe every scenario adequately.
I was in the market for a new car. I’d done my research and knew exactly what I wanted down to the color. I also knew how much I was willing to pay. The only question left to answer was how much I’d get for my trade-in.
I walked into a car dealership near my work. A salesman approached me. I told him I wanted to by this car with these options in this color and then asked, “I need to know how much you’ll give me for my trade-in.”
He immediately responds, “Don’t waste my time if you’re not serious.”
I walked out and that evening I went to the a dealer near my house. I walked out two hours later with my new car.
You can bet I called the first dealership the next day and spoke to the manager.
This is more about my mother than me, but still a good story. We went into the Mercedes dealership. She was looking at a little sports car and wanted to test drive it. The salesman told us that we would have to bring back my father for them to consider us. Now my mother was a corporate lawyer for Exxon and has her own money. She looked at him and said sure we’ll be back. Later, after we had purchased the car at another dealership, drove back by in the car and kindly informed the man to not underestimate women. *edit to say she has called this her pretty woman moment for like 10 years.
Not me, but a couple of my former partners.
My previous partner (who does Let’s Plays on YT and streams) and I went into a fairly popular game store in British Columbia. She was there to pick up some games and equipment, probably 3-400 dollars worth. The sales associate came up to us and just started talking to me, asking me what I needed and completely ignored her. I said we were there for her and he talked to her like she didn’t know anything. Before she could even say what she was there for he was like, “Oh you want Animal Crossing or something?”. Yeah, we left and went to the other shop in town and they got her business. Pro-Tip, when approaching a couple/group ask, “How can I help you BOTH/ALL today?” don’t focus on one customer.
My current partner had this happen when we went to a comic book store together here in Ottawa. She isn’t super familiar with comics but wanted to buy some art books and maybe a figure with some comics, but had some questions. Anyways, this French-Canadian dude walks up to us and rudely was asking me if he could help me find anything. So I know this shop and my way around, been there a few times and I had my comics in my hands. I told him, “No I’m fine but my partner could use a hand”. So she is trying to explain what she’s looking for in English, and it’s not her first language so it was hard. He didn’t acknowledge anything she was saying (I mean I understood “I’m looking for books with artwork in it? Not a comic but…a hard book?”. Anyways, she switched to French to try and explain to him, and apparently he just said, “I don’t have time for this” in French and walked behind the counter to look at their cards. So again we left and never went back.
Do places just not understand customer service and how much money these employees are making the owner miss out? Don’t know if you’ve seen the price of figures and art books, but they aren’t cheap.
Not my boyfriend or husband, but I went car shopping with my mom. I brought her only to keep me company. I was looking into upgrading my truck to a newer year. I knew how much my trade in was worth, and knew i wasn’t going to take less. The guy tried to low-ball me by about $8,000, and I told him I wasn’t going to go that low. He actually looked over at my mom, like she was going to talk sense into me. She looked at him and was like “don’t look at me, this is her deal, I’m just here to hang out.”
He walked away, came back, tossed the paper down at me and was like “congrats, you’re getting what you want.” Now most would walk away from that because of the jerk move. Nope. I took it, because I knew it made him so grumpy that he wasn’t able to pull one over on me.
All the damn time, but the one that pissed me off most was a male friend.
I bought a grill from Lowe’s during the pandemic and so ordered it for curbside pickup. Call my “best friend with a truck” who is male. Lowe’s dude is taking forever and he comes outside MULTIPLE TIMES letting him know it’s missing, giving status updates, and apologizing all looking my male friend in the face and ignoring me. Every single time my male friend says, “Talk to her. I’m just the ride.”
Women are allowed to make purchases. We like food too. Friend earned major additional kudos that day for calling out the Lowe’s dude’s sexism.
My stupid boyfriend at the time left the lights on in my car for a whole weekend, so it was super dead. I bought a new battery and changed it out but there was a mechanism that prevented the car from being turned on after the battery has been changed (06 civic…. still don’t know why that was a thing).
Anyhow, I was still locked out of my car so I called a locksmith. I asked my bf to go to the parking lot of our apartment with me because he was a stranger and I wanted to be safe. I explained I changed the battery but still couldn’t start my car. First of all, the locksmith wouldn’t look at me or ask me any questions even though I called it in and was giving him all my info (it was MY car). My boyfriend at the time was dumb as a box of rocks and could only tell him my car was blue and had four doors.
I explained again that I changed the battery and he couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t work. He starts messing with me key fob and I say no, the battery in my car, not the key. He drops what he’s doing and says “oh no, you shouldn’t have done that. Why would you touch that? You should have told me you touched your battery”. Why the hell shouldn’t I touch my own car battery? And maybe he would have understood if he listened to me the first 6 times I told him I changed the battery.
Long story short, he did nothing and charged me $100 (even though it was my bfs fault, and he still didn’t pay me back), so I had to have it towed to a mechanic who fixed the problem in 5 minutes.
Maybe not quite what you’re looking for but my mom told me when she and my dad were first married and buying furniture for their new home, the furniture store wouldn’t accept a check without her husband present, or with a signed note from him authorizing the purchase.
In the 1980s.
Needless to say they got their furniture from somewhere else.
My wife and I in Dubai, being the middle East they would exclusively approach me but the credit card was hers. Every dam time
When I was a baby for some reason I wouldn’t “latch on” when my mother breast fed me, so I wasn’t eating well. The doctor completely ignored my mom and only talked to my dad because she was “too hysterical”… He was on the verge of finding out what that looked like…
I’m in the market for my first pistol. If I show up to look with my husband- I get straight up ignored. I’ve even been told to move over so some other dudes can see, when I was standing there waiting for help.
Needless to say I haven’t found a dealer that treats me respectfully enough to buy from yet. I have a feeling I may ‘never’ find one, given how the firearms community seems to operate.