Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Suggestion

One of the effects of having a gender- neutral primary name is that I do received telephone calls from people who assume that I'm a woman.  Just after I returned from a multiple hour road trip someone made a cold call to my phone number. An obviously young African-American woman asked me if she could speak to Miss Bates.

I said, "who?"

She immediately hung up.

This is clearly incorrect.

While my is voice clearly male in origin the caller apparently didn't think about what she was doing.  I could have been honestly asking to correctly state the name of the person she sought to speak to.  Furthermore she didn't give any thought to the possibility that a husband, son or other male guest may have answered the phone.

But then it really doesn't take any thought to be an African-American.

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