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Cola 2: Glass Ceilings

Title: Glass Ceilings
Main Story: In the Heart
Flavors, Toppings, Extras: Cola 2 (strong enough for a man, but made for a woman), My Treat (Someone is irritated about "casual" sexism), malt (Summer challenge 350: "Always on the wrong side of every door" The Rum Tum Tugger by T.S. Eliot.), caramel (the last two sections), fresh strawberries (a potato.
Word Count: 700
Rating: PG-13.
Summary: Whoever said sexism is dead was lying.
Notes: This is every freaking day.


Danny cornered the lead instructor after a morning meeting, and said, without preamble, "I don't appreciate you referring to us as 'the boys.'"

The lead instructor didn't look up from his clipboard. "You're all boys to me."

"Funny, that," she said, not bothering to hide her irritation. "Since I'm a woman." As were a good half of the other instructors. "Thought the tits gave that away."

"Unprofessional," he said, sounding bored. "Just deal with it."

If she didn't need this job, she'd have flipped him off, and fuck professionalism.

But she did.

She gritted her teeth, and let him go.


She should say something, Gina told herself, as she prepared for the fifth time in a row to take notes. She should tell her boss that she didn't appreciate this. It wasn't like she had particularly good handwriting. Besides, there were admins here, and at least one intern. Wasn't notetaking their job?

But they were men.

She should say something.

But she was the only woman in the room; that was uncomfortable enough. It was hard enough getting stares and pet names, being hit on.

She should say something.

Ivy would be disappointed, but she'd rather take the damn notes.


"Sugar, can you get me a thermometer?"

"I'm going to need to suture this. Honey, grab me some thread."

"Weigh the cat in room five, please? Thanks, kitten."

It was the kitten that did it. Sugar and honey were nauseating, but fucking kitten? Ivy stopped and glared at the offending coworker. "Don't call me that."

He looked hurt. "What? Why not?"

"Oh, so many reasons," she said, "but let's start with because I asked you."

"Awww," he said. "Don't take it so seriously, kitten. It's just a nickname."

"Fuck you," Ivy said, stalking off. "And weigh your own damn cat."


"Oh, honey," somebody said. "You shouldn't be doing that."

Olivia dropped the sack of potatoes in its spot on the shelf, and turned to find a middle-aged woman watching her. "Thanks," she said, as brightly as she could manage, "but I've got it." She turned, lifted the next sack.

"Oh, honey," the woman said, again. "Those must weigh fifty pounds."

"Twenty-five," Olivia said, no longer bright. "I can handle it."

"One of the men should be doing it," she said. "Let me find one for you." She trotted off, oozing condescending benevolence.

Olivia, gritting her teeth, finished stocking the potatoes.


At med school orientation, a girl turned perkily to Summer and beamed at her. "Hi!" she said. "I'm Meagan. What's your name?"

She didn't feel particularly social, but it was the first day, and she must try. Summer managed a smile. "I'm Summer," she said, and shook Meagan's offered hand.

"Summer," Meagan said. "Pretty name. What are you going to specialize in? I'm pediatrics."

"Pathology," Summer said. Live people would be bad, for her.

Meagan's eyebrows rose. "Really?" she said. "But that's... such a guy specialty, don't you think?"

"No," Summer said, and lost all interest in talking to Meagan.


The five of them sat in a line, nursing drinks and listening with increasing disdain to some asshole talking too loudly to the uncomfortable bartender.

"What're they bitching about, anyway?" he asked, slurring. "Like there's sexism anymore. Feminists're so uptight, a guy can't even compliment a chick anymore."

Ivy rolled her eyes. "Maybe because," she told him, coldly, "what you call a compliment we call sexual harassment."

He leered at her. "Hey, you don't want guys looking, don't put it on show."

"Oh, yeah," Gina said, sounding pissed. "Because my body is public property if I dress the least bit nicely. Fuck off."

"Bitch," he said.

"She isn't," Summer said, voice precise and clincal. "A bitch is a female dog. She is a woman, and you are cruel."

"And stupid," Olivia muttered. "Don't forget stupid."

"Hey." He lurched to his feet. The bartender grabbed for him, but Danny got there first, and loomed.

"You," she said, pleasantly, "are everything that's wrong with the world. Now go the hell away, or I'll kick your balls into your ribcage. Mmkay, pumpkin?"

"I'll call you a cab," the bartender said, hastily.

"Bitches," he spat, lurching away.

"Bastard," Ivy said, and felt unaccountably sad.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Ugh, so fucking true. Tyvm for writing this.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Seriously, fuck sexism. In all its forms.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
The last four words are probably the best thing about this. Way to go, society. :/
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
I know, right? Nothing good comes of sexism, ever.

Thank you.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
Is there no six?

I already love you, obvs, but, OMG ILU. This is just... well, amazing in that it's disgusting and so fucking relatable because this happens all the time, every goddamn day.

This is wonderful, and I love it, and you are amazing.

Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)

No, really, I just fail at counting. I'll edit after this.

And yeah, all of this happens to me. The pet names thing most often, the notetaking thing least often, but it's just. Ugh. The little things are what make it the worst, because if you fight back you're an overreacting bitch. Never mind that it's demeaning and degrading, you just need to chill out. Fuck that, seriously.

Thank you. <3
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
There is exactly one coworker of mine who is allowed to call me by a pet name, and that's because she calls me "sunshine," and never in front of customers. Everyone else? Can stuff their pet names somewhere painful.

Thank you very much.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
Summer's last line is, indeed, awesome. Take no bullshit, Summer. I love you.
Aug. 7th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
Summer takes no bullshit at all. And she deserves love. Thank you!
Aug. 3rd, 2011 06:51 am (UTC)
You are absolutely amazing for writing this! It's all so true and so easy to relate to...especially the pet names. *shudder* Those are always the worst...D:
Aug. 7th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
Word. Nobody needs pet names from strangers or co-workers.

Thank you!
Aug. 3rd, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate society.

ALSO, WHEN DID MY MOTHER GO TO OLIVIA'S GROCERY STORE. (Did anyone tell you about how my mom said Geena couldn't help move a sofa because she was "just a frail little woman"? ASLETYESAIN. Geena's probably stronger than I am, wtf.)
Aug. 7th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
Word, and omg, no, no one did! I threw that in because I was hauling gallons of shampoo at work and some dude tried to take them away from me because they were "too heavy" and I was all, "THEY ARE GALLONS. I AM OKAY. BACK THE HELL OFF." PEOPLE SOMETIMES.

Thank you!
Aug. 5th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
This is a good fic and you should feel good about writing it.

"or I'll kick your balls into your ribcage" = *LOVE*
Aug. 7th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
Danny thinks that an ambigious warning is nobody's friend.

Thank you!
Aug. 6th, 2011 07:29 am (UTC)
This is an awesome fic that is sadly too fucking true. Ugh.

Well done, and that last line! Pretty much perfection.
Aug. 7th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
I know. I live for the day that people read this story and go "...that really happened?"

Thank you! Sexism hurts everyone, not just the ladies who suffer through it daily, and I wanted to make that point. Glad I did. :D
Aug. 24th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
UGH, PEOPLE. I do not blame any of them one bit for being offended, particularly when the offending party was told to knock it off and didn't. UGH UGH UGH.
Aug. 31st, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Srsly. The worst part is that I have experienced all of this at one point or another.

Thank you!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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