In college I once had a pair of terrible, misogynistic slum lords. They seemed to be fine if one of my male roommates called them for a maintenance request, but if I was ever involved I was openly accused, in my own home, of being “pushy”. One of them once told me, while I was arguing them about whether a leak in the floor was caused by splashing from washing my hair, or a faulty pipe (it turned out to be a pipe) that my landlord “Couldn’t stand women like me, and that I should just shut up and let the men do their job.”
Anyway, I digress…
The most egregious example of this behavior came two days before our lease was up. I was doing last-minute laundry. I loaded the machine, pressed start, and the machine began to fill up with water. Then, suddenly, there was a blue spark and a sound like a mini explosion. The machine stopped working, and the door would not open, leaving my clothes soaking in water. I called the slum lords.
When the slum lords showed up, I explained what I saw. Before even inspecting the machine, they argued that it wasn’t an electrical problem, as I had suggested. Instead, I was told that it was probably the underwire from my bras that had broken off and gotten lodged in the machine. I explained that I didn’t have any bras with missing underwire, and that I didn’t have any bras at all in that particular load. He went on to lecture me about how I really should wash all my bras by hand, and that it’s always the case with women that their underwire breaks off and jams washing machines. (I’ve NEVER had this happen, and to this day don’t know how, even if the underwire broke, it would somehow get out of the lining of my bra without me noticing).
As the slum lord went to work on the machine, I told him to be careful, as once again, it looked like an electrical problem to me. He told me I should just stop telling him what to do and let him do his job. After working on the machine and sustaining a mild electric shock and finding no underwire, my slum lord announced that it was an electrical problem… of course he said it as if I had never mentioned the possibility in the first place.