Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Old Lady, 1, Obnoxious Boy, 0

A few weeks ago I was hooking up a projector to a laptop at one of our homeschool co-ops; part of the students' homework was to make videos at home which would then be shared in class.  I am continually blown away by the current technology available on our laptops.  If I’d had access to that kind of technology when I was growing up I might never have left my room.  I loved making mix tapes with my dual tape deck which I’d hooked up to my CD player and record player.  I’d make tapes that faded songs in and out and sounded like the kind of radio station I wanted to listen to.  Which meant 90% Amy Grant, 10% any other Christian artist popular in the 80’s.  Well, 10% might be generous.

Anyway, I was connecting the projector’s cords to the laptop when one of the students asked if I was sure I knew what I was doing.  “Excuse me?” I asked.  “I just wanted to make sure you knew how to hook this up.  I know all about electronics and thought you needed help.”

This was not an innocent offer of help.  This was a 12 year old boy looking at me like I was a dinosaur.  He was completely convinced I couldn’t possibly have a clue how to attach two cords from a projector to a laptop.  Two color-coded and labeled cords. 

It would have been bad enough if he’d simply implied I didn’t know what I was doing because I’m old.   But he went on to say in his experience (his vast, 12 years of experience) most women don’t understand technology. 

Oh my word.  Did he really just say that?

I'm no bra-burner.  I love being a stay-at-home mom.  I enjoy taking care of my home, don't feel like I'm wasting my college education by staying home, and sincerely enjoy providing a loving environment for my husband and children.  But honey, when a 12 year old walks up to me and says, "You can't do that because you're a girl," I get a little perturbed.  What kind of mother allows her son to talk like that?

I said, “Son, I realize you think your 12 years of experience with iPods and laptops and fancy projectors far outweighs my 40 years of living.  I also realize you may think most women don’t understand anything with a plug.  But, my dear boy, I assure you that just because I don’t have a penis does not mean I don’t have a brain.  So no, I do not need your help.”

Well, that’s what I wanted to say.  What I said was, “No thanks, I’ve got it.” 

I hooked that projector up, rolled it to the front of the room and hit play.  Which it did, perfectly.  Oh, how I wanted to turn to the budding misogynist and ask, “How’s that for girl power?” But I'm older and wiser and wasn't sure if one of the moms in the room was his, so I kept quiet.  But next time, I'll be ready for him.  I'm even thinking of printing a little sticker just for him: "Have vagina, can think."