Teenager Gabriel Moussa has learned that girls aren’t the only victims of sexist thinking.
In the last year I’ve done a lot of babysitting for families in the neighborhood. I’ve been a camp counselor, I have lots of babysitting experience and I’m CPR certified. However, I am a teenage male. This shouldn’t pose as a problem but believe it or not, it does.
Some time ago, a new client reached out to me over text to see if I could watch her children that night. I agreed and provided a reference who had children of similar ages. My reference said great things about me, but a little while later, I got a text from the client saying that her plans were cancelled and she no longer needed me. I later found out that she assumed I was female and learned my gender from my reference, then decided that I was not to be trusted.
This was my first exposure to blatant sexism. This lady whom I have never met, trusted me to watch her kids based on only the preconceived notion that I was a girl. After finding out that I was not, in fact, female, I suddenly became un-trustworthy.
Besides, why would a boy want to babysit? Taking care of children is for girls, right? Just a couple days ago, I went to pick up two children from aftercare at their elementary school, because their mom couldn’t make it in time. As we were about to leave, a third-grade boy came up to me and asked if I was their babysitter. I responded “yes”, he then said, “I’ve never heard of a boy babysitter, that’s weird.” I didn’t know what to say in that moment, it caught me off guard.