Well. Today I went into a speciality paint shop to see if I could get a couple of colours specially mixed because the actual colours that I want aren’t readily available in Australia. Thats because they are colours more commonly seen in Mexico or Europe. I’m talking that wonderful ‘Mexican Pink’ colour and a Mediterranean blue.
I go into the shop to be greeted by an older man and I tell him what I want and show him a photo on my phone of the colour. We go to the swatches on the wall and trawl through to see if we can find something that matches. We can’t find anything. Thats because the colours I want are close to two different shades for each of the colours and will need to be specially blended. I say to him that, “the blue and the pink colours must be the same tone so that they match as they will be near each other”. I was a bit stunned when he said in a jovial tone, “oh, picking the colours is a ‘girly’ thing”. Really? I say to him. “That remark is sexist and that men also pick and are just as good at matching colours and tones”. He says that ‘his wife always does the colours and ‘didn’t I know that most men are colour blind?’ I tell him that whilst many men might be colour blind them not picking colours or taking an interest is often more about them not caring less and therefore the colour selection may fall to their partner or wife. He was a little taken aback and looked puzzled. I reminded him that there are many male designers and creatives of all types so his assertion that it was a ‘girly thing’ was incorrect.
He still persisted until I told him that the Architect of the Australian Opera House was a man and I’m sure he didn’t get his (girly) wife to pick the colour of its famous tiles. Ok that did it. He understood. I decided to go to another paint shop – not because of his sexism, but because he was basically telling me that he, as a man, was not going to be any good at helping me with the colours!
So, we are still in this fight for equality it seems.