Women's Issues

People Treat Me Like A Child And I’m Too Polite To Correct Them

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girl dressing as woman When I was a little girl, adults would often brush aside my viewpoint or do things for me because of my age. I couldn’t wait to grow up and take control over my own life. Fast forward a couple decades later. I’m a mom in my 30’s, but I still find myself being treated like a child by other adults and I can’t figure out how to stop it from happening without being rude.

I should start by saying that I’m not a particularly small or helpless person. Sure, I’m 5’4″ in sneakers, but I’ve always been athletic and loud, by no means a shrinking violet. My peers have never felt the need to baby me, in fact, when I was in college and on vacation with my sorority sisters, they once told me that in the event of a burglary, I was the one they would turn to for protection and a plan of attack. But those older than me treat me like I wander through life with my shoes untied and a teddy bear dangling from one arm, and I can’t seem to get them to stop.

My mother still walks into my house expecting its condition to echo the clothing covered pigpen that was my room during my teens. I can’t visit my grandparents without leaving with at least three bags filled with stuff my Grandmother bought for me, because apparently I am incapable of purchasing Tupperware and placemats on my own. My stepdad asks constantly about the car and house- have I had the oil changed recently, did I remember to cover the air conditioning unit for the winter. I managed to graduate college and am raising two kids, pretty sure I can handle basic house maintenance. Still, I can excuse them their interjections, because they are my family and I know it comes from a place of love. As for the rest of the world, their motives are beyond my comprehension.

There was my former co-worker who had a habit of smacking me on the ass, locker room style, and calling me kiddo. I was too naive and weirded out by her behavior to say anything to anyone about it at the time, but I never understood why she couldn’t treat me like an equal and why she only acted that way around me, none of our other coworkers.

Bosses have refused to let me walk a city block alone at night to the parking garage, even though my coworkers go without being questioned. I’ve been passed over for assignments involving incarcerated individuals lest I get hurt and given assistance I didn’t ask for with boxes or files. Whenever I have voice my distaste for being treated like I’m an incompetent toddler, people get offended and tell me they are just trying to be nice, and I feel like an evil witch.

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