Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Feminine Differential – Treated Nice

I am ma’am more and more these days. This happens many times because I intentionally present that way and sometimes by happenstance. I am beyond correcting when I am mis-gendered. I just go with the flow.  

Based on someone’s perception, is how I am typically treated. Yes, the quintessential door being held open. An older gentleman smiling or looking a little too long. A wave to go ahead in line at the coffee shop. All of these make me feel that my presentation is worthy when out as Rhonda.

Several nights ago, I had a very pleasant occurrence that started with much trepidation. I had a flat tire en route to an event. Luckily, my dash “tire pressure monitors” gave warning. First, there was a low indication, and then quickly an ominous view that the pressure was going down. What to do?

The tire pressure was going down so rapidly I knew this was going to be something that I needed to deal with now, less damage the wheel. I remembered that I was about half a mile from a car dealership of my brand, although not where the car had been purchased. This was my best option and a workable spare was in the trunk.  

How was I dressed? – White pants, off-white knit sleeveless sweater, high heels, and I had just left my hairdresser. Could I change the tire myself? Of course – I have done it many times and even taught my family members to do it. However, changing the tire myself was going to make me late at best and would likely ruin the outfit.  

I pulled into the dealer service area, and was greeted. I explained that all I needed was to have my spare put on. The service adviser mentioned that the shop had already closed and likely, there was no one left to do it. I gave my best disappointed look and mentioned there was somewhere I really need to be. He smiled and said, give me the key and let me see what I can do. He told me to take a seat in the service waiting area. There we only about three people left behind the counter and seated.  

About five minutes later my car magically appear and I was handed my key.  I could see the spare was on.  He waved for me to go and told me to get to my event.  No Charge.  I thanked him profusely.

There are some aspects of the “Feminine Differential” that I could get used to. 


  1. Been there, done that! The fact that I learned such basic mechanical things as changing a tire empowers me as a woman. Many men are empowered by coming to the aid of a "damsel in distress." That I allow a man to help me not only validates his masculinity, it further empowers me as a woman. A woman does not need to prove that she knows how to do it; just how to get it done. :-)

    1. Great comment Connie.

      Thanks for reading and commenting - do not be a stranger...

  2. A few years ago, on my way to a client meeting, I got caught driving in a torrential downpour, which, consequently, caused my windshield wiper to disintegrate (it rains a lot in Seattle, but not usually with monsoon force). I squinted my way to an auto parts store nearby to get a new blade. Although I know perfectly well how to find the right replacement and install it, I allowed the guy behind the counter to make his recommendation without any input from me. I made the purchase and headed for the door, dreading the task ahead. To my surprise, though, the store manager appeared to open the door for me. To my further surprise, he told me to go ahead and get into my car where it was dry, and that he'd be happy to put the new blade on for me. As I sat there, watching this gentleman getting soaking wet, I was reminded that male privilege isn't always such a privilege at all - except for a woman, sometimes!

  3. What a great experience - Thanks. If you would like please send me a photo I will put this up as a daily post. It is great!
    I love being treated as a lady and relish the attention. I was not even expecting to have my tire changed the other evening and especially at no charge. I had hopes but not expectations. Girl Power!