Ten Things Samhita can do without

In the spirit of Courtney’s ten things she could do without list last week and all the amazing responses I wanted to do my own list. Now we must pressure the other ladies to do them too!
10. Being told I have an accent but you can’t place it, when the closest my accent comes to is California valley girl.
9. Shops that don’t carry larger than a size 8.
8. Body hair removal.
7. Being asked for empirical, statistical and quantifiable evidence, policy briefs, historical documentation, video, and whatever other proof that racism exists.
6. Being told that because of my interests and education I am not really a person of color.
5. Progressive men that do sexist shit.
4. The McCain/Palin ticket.
3. Having my weight scrutinized by friends and family on a regular basis even though I am a grown ass woman and it is none of your business.
2. Homophobia/transphobia/queer-phobia/disability-phobia. It is gross, it is tacky and it is upsetting.
1. Dating.

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33 Comments

  1. Molly
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Yes!!!
    I hate family commenting on my weight in the guise of “are you eating healthy at school? are you going to take a dance class?” aka “you look fat” and i get the same crap from my doctor, “you’re healthy, but…”

  2. Posted September 24, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    1. Dating.
    Dude…dating’s the fucking worst.

  3. Janet
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    yes dating is the worse! (especially being a single mom….)
    Also, the whole weight commenting by family. I have the opposite problem, because apparently I am too thin by any of their standards and I need to put some meat on my bones (mind you I can probably out eat any of them at the table, and I just don’t gain weight!) Mind you my 14 year old sister wears a size 9, and everyone is telling her to slim down. It’s a no win situation!!!

  4. elbow
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    “5. Progressive men that do sexist shit.”
    AMEN!!

  5. kelseyfro7
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    “4. The McCain/Palin ticket.”
    A-freaking-men.

  6. Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m also with you on hating stores that don’t stock more than a size 8. My friends who are over size 8 but look fabulous and are totally healthy are always having to shop at different stores, and it sucks. Why should we have to maintain an arbitrary size just to be able to shop at the edgier, more fashionable places which I find are guiltiest of sizeism? Also, what do these stores get out of this sweeping size discrimination? They must make LESS money in the end, because they are cutting themselves off from the majority of the female market, who are mostly over size 8. It’s just counter-intuitive!

  7. crshark
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    6. Being told that because of my interests and education I am not really a person of color.
    Holy Oreos, coconuts, bananas, and apples, are you shitting me!? Wow, I’m latino, have a graduate and professional degree, and work in a field with not a lot of POC, but I’ve never heard this one (although I still get a lot of “You speak English very well”).
    Samhita, if you have the time and inclination, I’d love to read a post expounding on this issue.

  8. dondoca
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Stores not carrying sizes over 8 and dating. I have been looking online for a Halloween costume and those costumes in large will not fit, and to add are skimpy. I am no prude, but there is skin I don’t want to reveal! Regard to dating, I have a bf, but sick of people asking when we will get married!!!

  9. judc
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    People have asked me where my accent was from as well. When I say California they get an expectant look on their face, like their waiting for more information. It would be much more straight forward of them to just ask for my ethnicity. I feel annoyed and insulted every time it happens.

  10. Tara K.
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    As for #7, I’d add sexism too. I teach English 100 at a Kentucky university, and my freshman just can’t grasp how I can claim that racism and sexism are still rampant, though this tends to come most often from upper-middle-class frat guys.
    And your #6 made me hurt. I’m sorry you deal with this crap, but I think you’re pretty awesome.

  11. Janet
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    oh, one I would love to add is…
    my daughter’s pediatrician always asking when I am going to give my child a brother and/or sister.
    like its any of his damn business, besides I am a single mom now and as much as I would love to have more children someday, its just not an option right now. or what if I was told I no longer could have children, how more inappropriate and insensitive would that statement be?

  12. FrumiousB
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Ha Janet, tell him you think it’s irresponsible of him to be encouraging you to have children outside the context of a Christian marriage. Report back on the results.

  13. Bee
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    About the weight issue–I hate it when I complain about my weight and my S.O. says “well I think you look beautiful.” I understand he is trying to be sweet, but who the f cares what he thinks? It’s not about what he thinks of me…it’s how I feel about myself. When will men realize it’s NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THEM!?

  14. feisty_nomad
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    beautiful. I especially loved #3

  15. Posted September 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree with ALL OF THAT. IT’S ALL TRUE!

  16. Megs
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Not being taken seriously because I’m only twenty-something and cannot possibily understand the real issues just because I happen to disagree.
    I totally understand the issue of choice. It is not my youth that has me questioning whether or not marriage is necessary. I do however understand that if it is a great thing then how come it is not a choice that everyone can make?
    I disagree with most of my family and a great deal of those I go to school with that are older than I about every issue politically and socially, but I am not doing it because I am young, or because I’m trying to be contrary.
    I am young but I am also intelligent and can think on my own to make decisions that have nothing to do with my age. Just because I disagree it isn’t because I’m young and I don’t understand.
    Sorry for the rant…just had a situation come up…

  17. crshark
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    christalmighty, Bee, what would you rather your S.O. do? When you complain about your weight, have him say, yeah, you’re right, you’re a real mess?

  18. Logrus
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    10: I think if enough people are telling you that they believe you have an accent then you either do have an accent or a minor/unusual speech impediment; or you just plain talk funny. Of the three assuming it’s an accent is probably the least potentially offensive.
    8: No shit. I look like Thufur Hawat from the David Lynch version of “Dune” if I don’t crop my eyebrows twice a week.
    7: Yeah, it is a no-brainer, but then that’s who your dealing with if they ask for such; people with no brain. Just disengage and walk away, arguing with them is like teaching a bear to dance, as the saying goes.
    6: Chris Rock has a great routine about what I believe you’re alluding to. I get the same thing, sort of, in reverse. I’m not “Jewy” enough for a large portion of me own ethnic group.
    3: Have you considered sneezing in people’s faces when they do this? Just hork one right in their eye, but act like it’s nothing; or violence. Violence is a really gratifying solution.
    1: My motto: “Don’t date! Masturbate!” You can often really reduce the impact of #8 if you life by this.

  19. Cicada Nymph
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    One of my biggest “could do withouts” is when the bus is crowded yet men are sitting on seats with their legs spread out and knees wide open about as far as they can get them, taking up 3 times the room they need. It always irks me when I see the women all scrunched up to make room and I have an asshole beside me so that I have to sit on the edge of my seat instead of the middle and scrunch my thighs tight together and tuck them to the side unless I want the whole length of my leg pressed up against his. (which I don’t)

  20. Posted September 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    3. Having my weight scrutinized by friends and family on a regular basis even though I am a grown ass woman and it is none of your business.
    Oh my! This is so interesting to me because when i was in college i was very thin (naturally) and was always questioned by my family if i was eating right. now that i am older and have gained (not too much) weight, i’m hearing about how i need to be careful because i’m getting “fat” – it is so frustrating!

  21. Chartreus
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Someone the other day saying, “thin people are healthy”.
    Comments like “real women have curves”… because clearly what makes me a “real woman” HAS to do with my physical appearance.
    People who get offended by bumper stickers about gay pride or black pride, claiming that if they had one that said straight pride or white pride, it would be homophobic or racist.. like it’s the same thing.
    A smug asshole telling me, “don’t you get it? you will ALWAYS be judged by the way you look”.
    This one is stupid, but that “no derek with a mustache plan” cell phone plan commercial. Why is his daughter being singled out instead of him being chastised for wanting to call “the lady at the soccer games he always stares at”.

  22. Bee
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I know, I know, crshark….it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason.

  23. Halo
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I’d have to add ‘net trolls to my list (if I were to have one)…
    I’m stunned at #6 though. That strikes me as one of the single most rude (and bizarre) things I think I have ever head of someone saying- it’s not something that would ever cross my mind to question about a person…

  24. damisa
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    “One of my biggest “could do withouts” is when the bus is crowded yet men are sitting on seats with their legs spread out and knees wide open about as far as they can get them, taking up 3 times the room they need. It always irks me when I see the women all scrunched up to make room and I have an asshole beside me so that I have to sit on the edge of my seat instead of the middle and scrunch my thighs tight together and tuck them to the side unless I want the whole length of my leg pressed up against his. (which I don’t) ”
    It could be that they can’t help it. I almost always sit like that on a bus. I have to, my legs are long and will otherwise hit the seat in front.

  25. ZoBabe
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Re: No. 6 -
    So, then my lack of formal education means I’m not really white? (Just Kidding! I know damn well it doesn’t.)
    I’ve actually heard that line myself in mixed company, and think it roughly translates to:
    “I have all kinds of silly preconceived notions regarding race, and you are rudely failing to reinforce them, thus inconveniencing me by calling attention to my silliness. However, I am far too important (and intellectually lazy) to re-examine my silly preconceived notions, so instead I will dismiss you as an anomaly so I can smugly go back about my business of feeling superior to everyone else.”

  26. Lydia Encyclopedia
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Terrific list, Samhita. I especially feel for you on the accent, I have Asperger Syndrome, and I naturally tend to speak with a low, “monotone” voice, and being from Hawaii, sometimes slip in a word or two of Pidgin without realizing it.
    So it’s a mix of No. 6 and No. 10 for me, since I get teased for being white and speaking “improper English”, and being too “droll” and formal simultaneously! I’m glad someone brought up both points.

  27. mayfly
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    “Not being taken seriously because I’m only twenty-something and cannot possibly understand the real issues just because I happen to disagree.
    (snip)
    I am young but I am also intelligent and can think on my own to make decisions that have nothing to do with my age. Just because I disagree it isn’t because I’m young and I don’t understand.”
    AMEN!
    Also, progressive men who do sexist shit. Very depressing. My boyfriend shocked the heck out of me the other day by acting like a complete rape apologist. We had a Very Serious Discussion about that one.

  28. ShifterCat
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    “One of my biggest “could do withouts” is when the bus is crowded yet men are sitting on seats with their legs spread out and knees wide open about as far as they can get them, taking up 3 times the room they need.”
    Ah yes, Phantom Testicle Syndrome. “Gotta give mah boys some room here…”
    I say “excuse me” quite loudly while indicating that I’d like to sit. That gets them to move any bags they might (and often do) have on the next seat and to make at least a token effort in closing their legs. Then I plunk down and shift about getting comfortable, which will sometimes mean smacking my leg into theirs.

  29. Jolynn
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I could do without people wrinkling their noises when I say that I am single and have three cats.
    I could do without the “but you don’t seem the type” when people find out I have ink. Tattoos are not just for sailors and bikers.

  30. Jay
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    10. I can totally relate to the “can’t place your accent” which is compounded by the “can’t place your looks” and then the “Really?! You don’t look Indian.”
    Errr there are over a billion of us how exactly are we supposed to look?!
    9. Garment manufacturers who assume that women who are around 5 ft. tall do not have hips!
    8. My husband telling me for the umpteenth time that I really ought to get my nails “done” and that all American women do it. I’m not sure who should be more offended! American women or me?
    7. Friends in India who feel compelled to use hip phrases like “he’s the man” when they talk to me. (Have you ever heard me talk like that? No!)
    6. Progressive men that do sexist shit and when called on it they rationalize the “shite” with circular logic till they are blue in the face!
    5. The once a month weigh in over the phone.
    Mom or Dad: “How’s your health? Have you put on any weight?”
    Me: “I’m 5 feet 2 inches and I weigh about 125 pounds, which is average! Why do you keep asking?”
    Mom or Dad: “Hmmm, be careful. Eat properly”
    Eh?!
    4. Smart, well educated, otherwise well informed and intelligent women who insist that we are all equal… everything’s fair just work hard… this is as good as it gets… men and women we’re not the same you know?
    3. Nincompoops who don’t understand why minorities have special days or months and want a “majority day” because it’s so unfair.
    Newsflash: Everyday is majority day!
    2. Another TV show where this very capable fab looking woman stays at home and holds her man’s universe together while he dodders around being the lovable jerk who means no harm! Of course she still loves him! Everybody Loves Raymond? Reba?! Saw Reba for the first time this week and I get sick just thinking about it. She’s still supporting her ex-husband and his wife! The man now relies on the wife and ex wife!!!
    1. Patriarchy. Do we need another 4000 years to come up with an alternative?

  31. Jay
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Halo: I learned the hard way how to deal with the “space hogs” on overcrowded buses in India. It’s simple but I know what you mean, it’s frustrating as heck watching other women suffer in silence!
    My space hog strategies…
    1. Look them straight in the eye and move head forward expectantly with a movement of the hand. Some men will simply move over and one can sit.
    2. Pointedly ask them if they could be kind enough to move over so there’s enough room for me to sit down.
    3. If a “space hog” occupies the seat next to me after I am seated I pointedly tap them on the shoulder and go “Do you mind? You’re almost in my seat?”
    Worked like charm when I was younger and relied on public transport. Haven’t run into the same situation here in the US.

  32. Cicada Nymph
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    “It could be that they can’t help it. I almost always sit like that on a bus. I have to, my legs are long and will otherwise hit the seat in front.”
    Nah, on most of the buses I take many of the seats face inward towards the aisle. Trust me, the guys I am speaking of are not sitting this way out of necessity. I think it relates to a cultural thing where men are encouraged to spread out and take up space while women are supposed to take up as little space as possible. Plus, a man sitting this way is manly cause he’s drawing attention to his genitals or implying they need a lot of room (I realize this is likely ingrained and not conscious) while a woman sitting this way is not “ladylike” because she’s expected to be “discreet”. I’m not talking about men making a little room for their junk, I’m talking about exaggerated room because nobody but King Kong has nuts that big. Thanks everyone for the tips, I have been known to “bump” offenders with a knee or bag accidentally but am inspired to be less passive aggressive and more proactive. :)

  33. James_
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Jay Newsflash: Everyday is majority day!
    That’s weird. The only day out of the year that even pretends to be a celebration is my birthday. Every other day I feel just like a normal person devoid of race or gender just mucking through another day of work.
    I guess I should go back to oppressing the (minority) masses…
    And about guys who don’t take up much space – it’s a flag that they can be walked on or pushed around. Just like you’d like what’s due to you, we would like what is due to us (which, in both cases is nothing – everyone is fighting to get what they can).
    On rape apologists – it’s harder line to walk than you think to be a guy and be progressive. Take Bee as an example. Her boyfriend is supportive as best he can, but that doesn’t mean he will ever “get it”. What if he learns to listen to how she feels and not try to fix it by telling her that he thinks she is beautiful – what then? Would the next complaint be that he doesn’t tell her that she is beautiful when she could just use a little encouragement?
    10 things I could do without…
    1: Misandry
    2: Sexism
    3: Rage (unhealthy anger)
    4: Racism
    5: Ageism
    6: Misogyny
    7: McCain / Palin – not so much the party ticket, but I could really do without some of the people who are voting for them and their reasons for why they’re voting for them.
    Ok 7 things, I don’t have much to complain about.

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