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Assume Nothing

Taylor Wikowsky

Posted on March 14, 2019 09:04

1 user

This piece deals with the issue of ageism/sexism.

Very rarely do we ever have to think about ageism or sexism in this day and age. It is assumed that, because we are equal under the constitution, we will be treated as equal within society. This is not always the case for everyone. In certain circumstances, discrimination based on age and sex is still a huge issue. 

A few days ago my husband and I walked into a local tax professionals building to have our yearly taxes done. The woman who greeted us was nice enough. She was older than I, probably in her 50's and very soft spoken. There were a few things that were off. First of all, she never spoke to me nor did she make eye contact. I stood there for a few moments while my husband spoke with her. They were trying to figure out a day and time that he and I could come back to finish our taxes. She said she was very busy at the moment and wouldn't be able to get to them right away. She told my husband that he didn't have to be there in order to have them filed and that, since we were married, I could sign off on our taxes for us. When I spoke up and told her that we both worked 45 minutes away, her reply was "Oh, you work too?" This stranger was shocked that I worked.

I was instantly infuriated and refused to speak until I got out to my car. This hit home for a few reasons. First of all; this woman, who didn't know me, assumed that, because I was young and walked into her establishment with my husband, I didn't work. She assumed that I relied on his income to support me. 

Before this moment, I had never been faced with the type of discrimination that some people are faced with daily. I had, like so many others, been under the impression that we were far past a time where, because an individual was young or because they were female, they needed or wanted to be "kept."

The lesson I have learned from all of this is that it is too easy to judge someone incorrectly due to an assumption that societal standards have brought you to. A persons age, sex, race, or economical background doesn't automatically put them within a category of being inferior or a "lesser" individual than anyone else. 

Looking at what happened, I realize that this is nothing compared to the discrimination some individuals endure on a daily basis. I can't imagine walking into a room full of people and having everyone stop and look at me because I was "different" in their opinion. What I can say is that this situation has been eye opening for me. That one, four word sentence, changed the way I look at assuming anything about anyone and shows me that society is regressing/will continue to regress is this type of thinking isn't challenged. 

Taylor Wikowsky

Posted on March 14, 2019 09:04

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