Since they may not see me cringe, hidden by my masks, what can I say to object? Not to offend, but still make it clear that it’s really humiliating? I know they work hard, but really?
L .: You, a man, cannot tell women what brings them down or doesn’t bring them down. Because it’s demeaning, to suggest that they can’t think for themselves or represent themselves competently.
Also, women can use “girl” because it is their gender, and the term is meant to diminish them; they can adopt it or co-opt it as they see fit.
They may also say “guy” very well in analogous situations, which would make “girl” perfectly fine by your standards. Male / female, gentleman / lady, boy / girl, boy / girl, male / female – all pass the gender bias test when used in paired sets. It is the persistent use of male / female, or male / female, male / female – or female / male! – it puts a soul in trouble.
If you don’t know if these women use “guy” in the same context, because there has never been a “guy” at the front desk, at the window or at the counter to whom you gave your papers? Then, a feminist man concerned about equal opportunities for women might want to continually and disproportionately call on women to fill generally low-paid, dead-end, public-facing and crucial office positions, and the lingering effects. At work. centuries of American male chauvinism which is the center of his well-meaning concern.
Perhaps not interrupting their workflow to judge and correct them, meanwhile, is the most accessible way you have to advocate.
Dear Carolyn: Covid has really separated us. My 45 year old daughter and her family live three hours from me. I haven’t seen her in person or in video chat for 14 months. Although she summons the kids for a FaceTime visit, I can’t see her. She won’t talk to me on the phone either.
I contacted several times to schedule a visit, hidden and distant, but she refuses. Although my husband and I have been vaccinated against the virus, she will not let us into her home. I asked for his landmarks for a visit to no avail. I also asked FaceTime with Just Adults to try and fix this issue. She refuses.
How can a mother break through?
—Feel helpless and hopeless
Feeling helpless and hopeless: A mother cannot, if her daughter does not want it.
And she told you in several different ways for 14 months that she didn’t.
I’m sorry to be paraphrasing it from the bad news.
Why she pushed you away, I can’t tell. You wrote that “covid. . . separated us ”, but I don’t see how you can blame Covid-19 for her refusal to FaceTime when she allows her children. Something else is going on here.
From your story, your answer to every ‘no’ is to try a new angle – and that alone can strain a relationship.
So there could be two reasons here for his withdrawal: 1. his first last year, whatever it was (which indeed could have been covid, or the exhaustion it caused to caregivers. children); and 2. the news you gave her when you kept pressing her for more attention than she needed to give her.
But I just spit. As far as I know, you said or did something horrible and unrelated to her a year ago and you won’t recognize it, or she is horrible now. If I start listing the reasons adult children are moving away from their parents, I will keep typing in the next pandemic.
What matters is that you become a better listener, stat: “You said no, and I was so caught changing my mind that I forgot to listen.” I am sorry. I’ll take no for an answer and stop pushing. I am there when you are ready. And, if I haven’t said it already or enough, thank you for being so good at putting the kids on FaceTime with us. “
It might make you feel resentful, like you’re making all the sacrifices here. It’s a common complaint when I recommend full retirement – but it’s also a trap. This prompts you to seek fairness when fairness does not apply; reality is in control. And the reality is that there is nothing you can do to your daughter (in fact, she’s probably tired of repeating herself), whether or not fairness demands it. You can only work on your side of the problem.
So you give it respect, space, grace – and you give yourself the best chance to mend the breach.