Home > Friends, justice, Reflections > fighting for change

fighting for change

when i was in law school,
my brother-in-law
would sometimes
visit

when we’d go to
the grocery store,
i’d pay and then,
four times out of five,
the cashier (female
or male) would
reach to hand him
the change

“um, that’s hers,”
he’d say, routing
the change
back to me

more than a decade later,
i continue to get
the change consistently
when there’s no man around,
but often have to work for it
when there is

so, yesterday,
when i made a kind of payment
and the change was directed to
a male friend instead,
i went ugh, gah,
still?!

but i
was silent.
i just
did not
have it in me
to fight for change
right then

having never been
in a like situation
with this friend,
i wasn’t sure
what he’d do

and thus was glad
when he said,
“you should
give the change
to her”

it shouldn’t take a man to say it
for someone else to hear it,
but in those cases
where it does,
i am thankful
for the men
who will
and do say,
“i’m not
taking
her
change”

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  1. November 7, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Wow. I’ve never been in that situation, but that’s just really odd. If a guy and gal are in line, the lady gives the cashier money, why would the cashier give change to the guy?? That’s weird (and a bit condescending). 😑

    • November 7, 2017 at 5:54 am

      Right? I was so perplexed by it then. It makes more sense to me now, seeing more of the context, but OTOH … it will never really make sense to me.

  2. November 7, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Wow, that is so weird. It’s never happened to me – even when my husband is with me I always get the change.. maybe I look like I wear the pants, haha! Either way, I am glad they spoke up, and I, like you, am glad for men who do 🙂

    • November 8, 2017 at 5:23 am

      You don’t live in the United States, correct? There’s some very peculiar cultural messaging here that I haven’t seen in my limited travels elsewhere in the world!

      • November 8, 2017 at 5:31 am

        No, I don’t! That explains it – for this to happen in one of the most ‘civilised’ countries in the world is simply abhorrent, though!

        • November 8, 2017 at 5:36 am

          Indeed! This reminds me of an exchange my sister once relayed. She was living in England and sharing a house with South Africans when a natural disaster (perhaps Katrina?) occurred. Her housemates were shocked by the images they saw. Those images didn’t align with the message about American progress at all. “American progress,” I’m recently coming to see, isn’t necessarily the kind of progress the world needs. I so wish it were!

  3. November 7, 2017 at 6:36 am

    It’s unfortunate we still need men to speak up for us in these types of things, but since we do, it’s wonderful to find those who will.

    • November 8, 2017 at 5:24 am

      Hear, hear! I’m going to try taking note of like situations more, and expressing thanks around the moment.

  4. November 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Those are the men who are also not ‘taking’ the women around them for their own gratification.
    Cherish them. Applaud them. And hope for more of them.

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