Letter: Your sexist snark while I pumped gas was a teachable moment

Editor:

To the young man at the Chevron station on Brunette Avenue on the evening of July 30.

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(He) deliberately drove up to my car window while I was getting gas to blurt out comments about my weight - as perceived by your standards - and how nice it must be that my husband bought me an “insert a certain brand of a car” and even nicer that I get my gas pumped by the attendant - in Coquitlam, where full serve is an option.

How dare you? Are you for real? I was stunned, my kids were speechless, hurt and upset at this verbal attack on their mother, their sole provider all their lives.

What gives you the right to antagonize a complete stranger sitting in her car with kids within earshot, not knowing anything about my life as a single parent and working professional often holding two jobs to make ends meet and maintain the lifestyle I want for myself and my children?

So I drive a nice car that I worked for and pay on my own for and no, I don’t have a husband nor has anything ever been handed to me. To this end, I have been working outside the home daily during COVID. Not a day off since March 13, all while my kids were home alone managing their own home schooling assignments and me not knowing what risks I was taking going in to work during the scariest days of the pandemic.

I am ashamed for you. I feel sorry you don’t recognize that many women work hard for their material goods and don’t all have husbands to buy them their luxuries - if that’s what you think husbands do.

Nonetheless, thank you for giving me a teachable moment to explain to my kids that females should not be intimidated by anybody for working hard and having nice stuff they clearly earned and perhaps saved a long time for.

My 13-year-old said to me, “How can he be so judgmental. What if somebody lived in a small apartment for most of their lives and then moved in to a mansion years’ later, will people always judge them and wonder how they got it, even though they squirreled away everything for most of their lives while earning a higher education and made some sound investments that paid off, along the way?”

Who are we to judge what people have and how they got it and then make assumptions that somebody must have bought it for her? What era are we living in?

My kids value education and I am glad they know the difference between ignorance and being educated, which helped me get ahead and nobody can ever take that away from me.

I cannot understand what your prejudice stems from but you are precisely why such things as the BLM has started.

I hope this Anglo Saxon, macho male mentality changes and my kids will experience an adult world with no day to day prejudices as they drive around in any car they want and earn.

Leah Webb, Coquitlam

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