no time for your unexamined patriarchal party line

Indy had a dentist appointment today. The dentist, who is a woman, and who keeps up a pretty constant stream of chatter to reassure her child patients, made no fewer than four separate comments to Henry about how “girls talk a lot.”

By the third I was livid. What I do not need is a woman–perhaps ESPECIALLY a professional woman, A DOCTOR–reinforcing stereotypes that my six year old son has *certainly* never come into contact with from me, and which I wish him to be armed to resist when he does. When she did it again I obviously looked disgusted enough that she began to backtrack, but it was too late by then.

“As a matter of fact,” I said, sharply, “statistically, in groups, men talk a great deal more than women, and if women speak as much as *thirty percent* of the time, they’re percieved as dominating the conversation. *Seventeen* percent is regarded as *equal* time. Study after study has backed this up.”

She backed down but then she *said it again*, although she also instantly called herself out on it–“At least, *this* girl talks a lot,” she said, but HOLY SHIT I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR UNEXAMINED PATRIARCHAL PARTY LINE.



  1. I should probably keep my mouth shut, but BRAVO for speaking up. The unexamined patterns of behaviour are the most insidious.

  2. you go mom! a dentist I was referred to for my daughter’s mouthful of cavities did that uninterrupted stream of consciousness and singing… she asked me half way through the work if we had to come back since this guy was annoying… LOVE that nitrous oxide!!!!

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