There is so much about the above message that infuriates. Then amuses. Then provides a humbling view into the daily experiences of millions of women who don’t have the option of dictating who they want to work with. the latter is a privilege I have inherited as well as earned.

The above message is from a chat exchange I had with a man ( obviously ) on OLX, for an item I’ve listed for sale.

One would assume that it would be a simple transaction. Maybe something on the lines of an interested prospective buyer messaging about their interest. Maybe quoting their best price. Asking where the item is available. Followed by my responses about ability and willingness. One would be wrong to make such an assumption as is evident from the above message.

Entitlement to special treatment, my time and a woman’s “lower value”, reeks from this chat message.

I love the male of our species, obviously. At least some of them. I’m married to a rather exceptional specimen. He cringes when I share such experiences with him. And on more than one occasion, I’ve had to force him to wrap his head around the fact that the experience of the female of our species is very different from that of the male and that it is indeed hard, if not impossible to wrap one’s head around the differences.

The most horrifying realization I had was that this is just one stranger who was transparent enough to share his decision-making thought-process. What about the hundreds, maybe thousands or others who only process these thoughts without vocalizing them? What opportunities have I missed in my life so far, because of such people?

It could be a crushing realization and it was, momentarily. I choose to continue to do what I enjoy and maybe attempt to drag along some other women with me – hopefully up the ladder.

The most important thing I took away from this experience was that I MUST NOT RISE TO THEIR BAIT.

My response to this message was :

Happy International Women’s Day indeed.

Here’s to more enlightening exchanges with men who are willing to listen, are self-aware and are more keen to associate based on merit and capability instead of stereotypes and assumptions.