2016-05-20 Fri


This is not about women.

I am not a misogynist.

One of my best friends is a woman!

That said, I had three experiences yesterday that reflect badly on humans, and in all three events the humans were women.

So I’m using the word “woman” and “women” because they were not Men.

(1) On my walk northwards up Yonge Street from Bloor, twice I nearly got run over by a car driven by a woman, turning from the street I was about to cross (so, a street feeding into southbound Yonge street traffic, a street leading in from the west, my left). In both cases the driver was so focused on the possibility of a gap in the traffic to her left that she was oblivious of pedestrian traffic on her right.

In both cases the woman was only slightly younger than me, with a child in the car.

Now this is only a guess, but I suspect that in both cases Grandma was taking her beloved Grandchild somewhere.

I’m not sure what the impact on Grandchild would be when Grandma had an impact with a man about Grandpa’s age.

(2) I sat in a room in a library to listen to a concert. We helped ourselves to the printed programs. Four pianists, so four biographies, plus a biography of the group, plus the list of pieces in the order they were to be played, plus composer’s names, and so on.

Plenty to read.

Ten minutes into the concert a woman gets up, walks to the door, turns out the lights. Why? “Because this room is hot”.

Of course, not a vote was taken , not any kind of voting system either.

Presumably this woman was at one extreme – either illiterate – hence no need to read anything – or a speed reader and photographic recall - hence no need to read anything.

What really ticked me off, well two things actually that really ticked me off were

(a) The lights in the room were fluorescent tubes. Now Fluorescents give off heat its true, but it is convectional heat from the ballast in the fixtures, and that heat rises upwards through the ceiling. Unlike incandescent lamp bulbs, fluo tubes give off very little radiant heat. (You can test this by CAREFULLY touching a tube and a bulb after they have been turned on for five minutes). So here was an appalling lack of knowledge about basic domestic equipment for the modern age. Let alone an appalling lack of knowledge about high-school physics.

(b) I, of course, was trying to write notes. About what? None of your business really, although it was all about enhancements to MRUse. But I could have been a reporter for a local paper, or a student of music.

(3) I boarded the subway train to return home. Hatless, bald, and clearly old. My wonky left knee doesn’t show through my trouser legs, but it is always present.

I moved through the train to find a seat, found one, – and as I went to sit down another woman (who I took to be “Grandma”) waved me away with a screeching noise. I heard something about “saving this for an old person”, but I sat down anyway. (I don’t turn 70 until next month).

I said “Grandma” because sitting next to her was what I took to be “Mum” and sitting next to her was what I took to be “Granddaughter”.

There was no hint of ten-year-old Granddaughter getting off her seat and standing so that an older person could sit down.

It did not escape my notice, so I bring it to yours, that I was quite obviously the oldest of the four.

This bugs me more than anything else.

All my young life I paid my dues and stood up to give my seat to an older person.

Today the ten-year old is deemed more deserving of a seat than a (alright – “old”) gentleman.