'misogyny cleanup in premium whiskey aisle, please'

illustration: cathy wilcox,

today i was at the LCBO on king and spadina.  on a quest to find the magic whiskey to celebrate the end of the year, was my friends were coming over for dinner- had soda water, ice, just... whiskey! (we have a healthy stock at home, so yeah, this really was the magic unicorn chalice chase)

so i thought this would be a good branch to walk into.
hmm. may be.

as a  young-ish small asian girl, i waited for the floor helper to approach me. he (in his 50s i guessed) went and served a gentleman in his 50s.  okay, we walked in at the same time. i will wait.

then he went over to another man, in his early 40s, talking in great details about the 'premium' stock.

as he was making a pass to a third man, he asked the obligatory question:
did you find everything?
are you looking for a gift?

i was quite a bit shocked. REALLY?

monkey: nah, was looking for something classy but i see all you have in stock is leftovers from 20th century middle class.

man: (confused) aha, you were looking for something in particular?

monkey: well, something with grace, like glenfarclas 17 or laphroaig 18 but i dont think youve got refinement here today.

i left the confused man behind. i dont think he really got my point.

i live in 21st century, in safe and prosperous G20 country.  i live in a metropolis filled with all kinds of interesting people. majority of the population in this city would claim that they have educated themselves to be fair, square and to be without prejudice.

of course, i get it. i may not have been the most exemplary customer for the high-end whiskey.  however, if i was older, and more importantly (and problematically) if i was a man- it makes me wonder if i was asked the same question; after all, he did ask two other people if '(they) found what (they) were looking for?'

recent news, as always, are stained with different issues. however, this issue of embedded sexism is troublesome.  i was sincerely shocked when particular conservative american media worried about hilary clinton's presidential campaign because she was going to be a grandmother.  WHAT? HOW?

the north american gender earning gap continues to exist (and become even larger differences year after year, especially concerning the higher-tier business management positions).

even in europe and north america, in immigrant families and non-immigrant families, often the boys take priority over the girls.  in education funding. in all kinds of opportunities. in social freedom and customs.  honour killings are still a reality.

arranged marriages all over the world happens against the girls' wishes.

female genital mutilation.

countless female fetuses that never saw the light of the day, as parents chose abortion over birth, for hope of having a boy.

and lately, boko haram nigerian girls abduction, the poor girls, who became pawns of war, of extreme misogynists.  of course, boko haram as a special interest group may hold many different meanings but the matter of the fact is, from the point they involved innocent girls as power-bargain chips illustrates their lack of respect for women.  in my mind, not only they are violent sub-group, they are foremost misogynists.

whiskey situation was funny. sure.
but it does make me wonder how long these built-in sexism and gender inequity will continue on in the name of 'small (and/therefore large) matters.'

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