I’m Not a Feminist, but I’m Still a Girl

I’m not a feminist. There isn’t anything wrong with being one, it’s simply not a description I’ve ever applied to myself.

But I am still female.

And this past weekend, I had two completely different experiences in two predominantly male areas.

*********************************

First stop, Best Buy.

When I walked into Best Buy, I knew exactly what I was looking for. Well, not the exact model, but I knew I wanted to upgrade my ancient dvd player, and I had very specific requirements. Nothing particularly complicated (blu-ray player that also plays divx, around $100), but I also didn’t want to have to read the box of every dvd player in the store. So when a salesman asked if I needed help, I agreed, and explained what I wanted.

I’ve had bad experiences in Best Buy before, but I’m an inherently positive person (usually), so I was willing to give the blank stare I received a pass. After explaining what divx was, and pointing out that the box typically lists divx compatibility, the salesman said he thought one particular model fit my needs. Okay, fantastic, I’d get to leave with a new dvd player. I looked at the box, and there was no divx compatibility listed. Upon pointing that out, I was told, “No, I’m sure it will work,” and he walked away.

Um… really? From not knowing what the format was to being sure it will work in less than a minute? And then wandering off to help the guy at the other end of the aisle? If it hadn’t happened before, I might have been able to excuse it. But I keep feeling that the employees at Best Buy, various Best Buy locations, in fact, see a girl shopping for technology and assume she’s oblivious.

Well, y’know what, Best Buy? I’m not.

*********************************

Second stop, Brave New Worlds, my local comic shop.

Before I say more, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I adore my comic shop. I’ve been a customer there for as long as I can remember, long before I ever started reading comics, when they were still three moves away from their current location. They’ve watched me show up for the sole purpose of bringing a friend over, to picking up my first Doctor Who comic, to becoming a still new (but quickly learning) comic book fan.

So when I wandered into the store on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I trusted the guys (and yes, they are all guys who work there) to advise me. I was looking for good books for a fledgling Marvel reader, and had no idea where to start. We talked for almost forty-five minutes, and when I left I had spent more than $50.

And not once, in all the years I’ve shopped there, have I ever been treated like a girl… who happens to read comics. They look at me as a reader of comics. Period. Whether it’s one series I’m reading or twelve or thirty, no one ever tries to tell me that I’ll like something because I’m a girl.

*********************************

Two stores, two completely different experiences, same me.

And I know which one I won’t be going back to anytime soon. And which I’ll be singing the praises of, to anyone who will listen.

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One response to “I’m Not a Feminist, but I’m Still a Girl

  • Mandy

    I’ve had similar experiences (of the later, thankfully!) with my comic shop. The employees are mostly male, with one girl. Every time I’ve gone in there (with the exception of the first time, but I’m allowing that one) I’ve had a fantastic experience. Gotten really good advice from all the staff and not felt like I was being treated differently because I’m a girl.

    As for Best Buy, they don’t know anything anyway. So fail on them.

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