Avast! Feminist Conspiracy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sexism Against Women By Other Women

I've been stewing over this for a few days, so I guess I should just write about it and get it out of my system.

Little Circus needed some dental work done, and because of work schedules, it was easier for me to take the her to her first 2 appointments (a consult, and then a filling). The pediatric dentist is a woman around my age, which at first made me happy. In general, I try to select female doctors for LC whenever I can because she's generally much warier of strange men than strange women, and I want her to be comfortable.

As soon as she had her exam and xrays at the consult, the dentist told me that LC had several cavities that needed to be filled. "I know," I said, "she has my teeny little teeth, and it makes it extremely difficult to floss. I had the same problem when I was a kid. Also, she drinks a lot of filtered water so she probably doesn't get much flouride." (I grew up on well water, so we got flouride treatments at school every so often - the dreaded "swish".)Dentist pretty much rolled her eyes at me and said "Her teeth aren't that small, and neither are yours. It's not genetic, you just have to do a better job of flossing, Mommy!"

First of all, wtf? Is my name "Mommy?" Can't you read the chart in your hands and see my name? Didn't I introduce myself by name 10 minutes earlier? How hard is that?Secondly, I DO have small teeth. Every. single. dentist. and. orthodontist. I have EVER seen has commented on it. My teeth are so small that when I had braces, the brackets almost covered my entire tooth. Needless to say, the dentist did not score any brownie points with me.

LC, on the other hand, loved her, so I bit my tongue. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to find a pediatric dentist who doesn't try to insist that you wait out in the lobby while they take your kid back by themselves (like I'd ever let THAT happen), who takes your insurance, and has reasonable hours. Seriously. It's like winning the lottery.

Last Friday, MrC took LC back for another filling, and got a totally different response from the dentist. I was both totally unsurprised and totally pissed off by this. Suddenly, the reason for LC's cavities is "she has really small teeth, must be hard to floss really well. It's genetic, you know. Just gotta try to stay on top of it." Then she asked "So does she get her small teeth from you?" (MrC has big, sturdy Korean peasant teeth) "No, her mother." "Oh, LC must get her good looks from you, then." (And, no, she didn't call him "Daddy". Believe me, I asked.)

I'm so sick to death of being treated like a terrible mother - and an idiot - by women who then turn around kiss men's asses. I mean, what's the point in arguing with me about whether or not my teeth are small? I'm 33 years old and can easily compare the size of my teeth to other adults around me. And also? Just because my kid is biracial doesn't mean she doesn't have ANY of my traits, lady.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of being treated like the enemy by other women; that I must not have 2 brain cells to rub together, and that anything wrong with my daughter is moral shortcoming on my part, while the men around us get praise and compliments for doing the most basic things when it comes to childcare. Yay, you got the kid to the appointment on time, sit down and let me give you a backrub, you poor over-worked man! I'm sick of the bullshit. How do we get it to end?