I thanked my driver for finding me. It was already hot and steamy at 8 am in the Phoenix sun. I asked him where he was originally from and he said Hawaii; he had only been here for 8 months. I asked him if he missed it, and he said very much. He said Arizona was nice, but Hawaii was beautiful…beautiful but expensive. The houses were all a million dollars. Everything was expensive. I told my driver that he seemed familiar only because I thought I recognized his glasses. They were very distinct.

I told him that Arizona is a beautiful state too, but the politics are very ugly. He asked me where I was from, and I explained that I am originally from Minnesota, but I lived in six different states across the U.S., and traveled to 36 states total. My driver said that since I am from Minnesota, I must “know about” Ilhan Omar, the Representative from Minnesota. He then claimed she was trying to “turn the U.S. into a communist country” like her own country. I said wait a second; the U.S. is her country, that’s why she is in the House of Representatives. She was born in Somalia, which is not communist and never has been. I told him we have to be careful about making those kinds of false claims, especially when centering those around women, because women have a much harder time than men do in politics.

My driver said that women are equal now, there are no longer barriers. He said that women can run for any office. I told him that women face much greater scrutiny when it comes to public office. We are expected to apologize for having a career and family and we are expected to appear a certain way (aka have sexual appeal) or be absolute saints, otherwise we are doomed. He replied by saying, look at that Hillary Clinton. And I said, what about her? She isn’t President despite winning the popular vote, and she was absolutely battered and humiliated for the stupidest things like having pneumonia. My driver didn’t deny it. I told him that women don’t even have 50% representation in the House and Senate. What made him think we were “done”?

He then said, well, what about doctors? There’s equality there. I told him that right now, there are 30% female doctors and 70% male doctors. Female doctors act tough to compete with male doctors. That attitude is passed on to female patients. Female patients are treated as if everything should be reconciled with counseling. You have a tumor? You need counseling. You have acid reflux? You need counseling. The mesh we implanted is tearing your organs? You need counseling. It’s all in our heads, our very female heads, that these issues need treatment. [By the way, all of these scenarios are real. All of these have been written off as mental health issues by doctors to female patients and have been relayed to me personally.]

My driver said that women are now in all fields of work and paid the same. I said not true again. And I even know of plenty of women who have multiple, high-level degrees who have been passed up for promotions. [Ask me about the one who was denied a promotion 26 times. She has a master’s degree and her co-workers have high school diplomas.] Men are promoted according to their potential. There have been so many studies substantiating this. Women can have multiple degrees, put in the long hours, prove time and again they/we are capable, and it’s simply not good enough.

The real kicker here, though, is this man is telling me it’s better for me. The problem is done. HE IS TELLING ME.

So at the end of the ride, he tells me the conversation was great because it made the time pass. I say, oh, yeah, it made the miles melt. But what I’m thinking is, that is some serious gaslighting. Cool story, bro.

I Stopped Waiting For The Light At The End Of The Tunnel And Lit That Bitch Myself tank top

I Do A Thing Called What I Want acrylic box

Well, The Patriarchy Isn’t Going To Fuck Itself mug