Do I have to be business Barbie?
Lately I’ve been getting into fights with my parents. Well, one main fight. They want me to find a job.
The argument part started when my hair turned out three different colors by mistake this year and I really wanted to dye my hair back to its natural, dark color. They said they will pay to dye my hair, but only dirty blond because I need to have “sex appeal” in order to find a part time job while going to school. Gross.
I want to be all natural and real, not fake like I’m trying to look like workplace Barbie. They told me, “You need to use your femininity to get a job. Half the workers are male workers and you can’t even do those jobs because you are a female.”
I just refuted, “Not every woman gets a job based on what she looks like…there have to be some jobs based on merit!”
My mother said, “Sometimes it’s merit…mostly it’s sexual appeal. I got hired into the oil industry after college and I was so excited and thought it was all because of my hard work paying off and then my boss directly told me ‘you want to know why you were actually hired? You’re sexy.’”
Can I vomit now? I mean, you’d think in the year 2011 the workplace would be different. Or at least the way my parents feel about it would be different.
Oh yeah, and let’s top this little piece of unfair cake off with a beautiful ending, provided by my Dad. I told him that he shouldn’t be telling me to use my sex appeal to get a job and that I’d never seduce anyone to get work. His response? “You sound gay.”
Thanks, Dad. Thanks for making it sound like being gay is bad when all I did was tell you that I disagreed with what you said. Does that make any sense? I think not.
The worst part is, while I know they are wrong for saying that to me as my parents, I can’t help but wonder if there’s some truth in what they’re saying. Do I need to have sex appeal to get a job? Even if it is true, I’m a feminist, and I’m going to use my brain to get a job, not my looks.