Gender bias or just credit card bias?

Gender bias or just credit card bias?
Does the person who holds the purse strings get to be "the man"?

Over a decade ago, I put my name on the Cubs waiting list for season tickets. Me, Kim Strickland. And then I waited and waited. And then three years ago, my name finally came up! And then I had to talk my huge Cubs fan of a husband into buying those season tickets. (I have the most priceless photo of him sitting in our new seats, an apprehensive look on his face that says, I can’t believe she’s talking me into this.)

And now, every single correspondence I receive from the Chicago Cubs is addressed  “Dear Jeff  *Smith.”

Six years ago, we bought a new car, because my car had died. We have joint ownership of the new car, both of our names appearing on the title, although my name goes first. (Ladies first!) It is my car. I am the primary driver. However, every time I pull into the dealership, the fancy electronic screen flashes, “Welcome Jeff Smith.”

This trend, in case you haven’t noticed, is beginning to get on my nerves.

Last spring, I took my two sons to Men’s Wearhouse to buy new suits. I drove them to the store pick out their suits and get fitted for their suits and I took them back to the store a second time to try them on and buy them. Three weeks afterward, guess who received two $50 off coupons from Men’s Wearhouse? That’s right. Mr. Smith.

Perhaps a part of the reason my husband is getting the credit for all this purchasing, at least for the Cubs tickets and the suits, is that we used a credit card with him as the primary cardholder. (Yet this does not explain the car.)

But honestly, do the Cubs really think only men buy season tickets? That they have to cater to the man. I even wrote our ticket representative:

Hey Mike and Cubs,

I have a question for you guys: I was the one on the waiting list for ten years. The tickets were purchased in my name, Kim Strickland.

Why is “Jeff” the only one being addressed in ALL correspondence these days?  Just wondering.

Their reply? Crickets. And they’re the ones who are so crazy about not letting season tickets be transferred, yet they somehow managed to transfer my season tickets to my husband!

As for the car, I don’t know. It’s the world of cars. Maybe they think a man would be emasculated by being greeted with a “Welcome Susie Smith.”

At first I thought this was more credit card bias than gender bias. That these companies and institutions were just trying to cater to and thank the person that held the purse strings, even though I’d used my card with my name on it, my husband was still the primary cardholder. It sorta made sense.

Until, we bought a subscription to the Lyric Opera for this season using that same credit card. Our first night in our new seats, we found a lovely handwritten message thanking us for supporting the Lyric Opera.

The letter was addressed to “Mrs. Kim Strickland.”

The ultimate irony? Buying the opera tickets for the season was my husband’s idea.

*Smith is not my husband’s real last name. Neither is Strickland. It has been changed to protect his privacy.

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