An actual e-mail from an actual (former) customer
no, what i was enquiring about in your shop today was not ‘for my wife’. i have never come across such blatant patronising sexism. i have been working with wool and canvas for over 30 years and wanted to know the price of mono 14 count canvas. i will never shop in your premises again and i will relish in regaling my sordid tale and actively encouraging everyone i know stitchers and knitters alike to avoid your store at all costs
I’m still shaking my head over this. I sent him an apology, of course, but here’s what I WISH I had written:
Dear Polly Prissy Pants,
Give me a break. Ninety-nine percent of the men who come in our shop are only there to pick something up for a female family member, and most of them get so defensive about the fact that they’re in a “craft store” that you’d think we were giving free castrations out the back. So if a member of staff accidentally implies that you might not be shopping for yourself, that’s not sexism… IT’S STATISTICS. We’re all about guys who stitch. Seriously. Ask any of the (admittedly few) guys who come to the shop SnB. They’re treated like rock stars. Needlecraft has been belittled as “women’s work” for so long that when anybody with a Y chromosome takes an interest, we fall all over ourselves trying to help them out. We think it’s sexy. (See: “Russell Crowe knitting”.) So maybe you could, like, GET OVER YOURSELF, okay? I deal with “blatant patronising sexism” every day of the week, so forgive me for dismissing your cries of “Help, help; I’m being repressed!” Call me when you’re getting harrassed on the street and earning seventy-five cents on the dollar. Seriously. I’ll teach you to knit.