Dear Dickheads – an open letter to shut your mouths

I have two children – aged 4 and 2. We exist in the world, just doing our thing, being a parent and being kids. But on an almost daily basis I encounter many people who can only be described as complete dickheads. So I collected our experiences and wrote this letter. If you don’t like sarcasm look away now.

Dear Lady In Coles,
I don’t know you. My kids are weirded out by your exuberance for our pram. I feel strongly that my two and a half year old should not know that the answer to your inappropriately personal question “are you twins or just brothers?” is “I’m a girl.” And by the way, my son also wore that rainbow hat for two years, so how about instead of assuming my child’s gender on the basis of the colour and print of their clothes, just keep your mouth shut. Thanks.

Dear Guy At A Bus Stop,
I don’t know you. There may very well be a lot of women looking at me, thankful that they’re “not in my position, with two kids under 5 and taking the bus”. Thanks ever so much for pointing that out. How about instead of joining our conversation uninvited, insulting me by belittling my very existence and then ignoring me while continuing to talk to my children, just keep your mouth shut. Thanks!

Dear Manager At My New Work,
I don’t know you. It’s great to make small talk and find out a bit about me but I honestly can’t comment on what it’s like to be a Lady Director. Because it’s not a thing. I’m a director. Being a director is awesome. I’m also a woman, which is generally fine except when talking to people like you. How about instead of sharing your special brand of sexism with new employees, you could just keep your mouth shut. Thanks!

Dear Hairdresser,
I don’t know you. I honestly thought you would cut the hair of 2 and 4 year old children regardless of gender. Apparently I was wrong. Barbers are barbers and it evidently doesn’t matter than my daughter’s hair is EXACTLY the same cut as my sons. Thanks so much for rejecting my daughter simply for being who she is. Instead of telling me in front of her “that you were making a special exception this time but we couldn’t come back because you don’t do girls”, you could just keep your mouth shut. Thanks!

Dear Random Man,
I don’t know you. I’m glad you feel so entitled as to join my conversation with my daughter as we explore the world. Thanks for your suggestion that I should have responded to her question with the word “flower”, because when I answered “Hydrangea”, it was obviously far too advanced for a child of her age. Maybe you could overhear people’s private conversations a little better next time. Then you would know that she asked me – quite clearly  – “Which flower is this?” Instead of correcting me on how I speak to my own daughter, you could just keep your mouth shut. Thanks!

Dear Librarian,
I don’t know you. I see how you were trying to give my daughter a compliment for clapping in time. It’s a bit disturbing to me that a person who works around kids a lot is so ignorant about gender. I’m pretty sure you want to make sure you know if the child is male before calling them a “little man” and then asking “his” name. Instead of covering your gaff by saying you didn’t see her Hawaiian floral patterned shorts, you could just keep your mouth shut. Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Megan.

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