Educating the advantaged
a little at a time

Today, I had to combine my account with my husband's account at my athletic club. I asked that I be made primary member and that he be made a secondary member under me. It was quite a bit more complicated than just that. He had a membership on his own as a primary member already. I, because I used to be an instructor and am now a substitute instructor, I was getting a special rate. I used to get a substitute rate, but they did away with that category and they had to put me under something. So they chose "secondary membership" in order to give me the discount. Technically, secondary to actually no one, since I was the only person on the membership. So they set about combining our membership and I asked to be the primary member since I have been a member at this club since 1984 and he had joined around 8 years ago. They wanted to just put me as a member under him since his said "Primary member" already and mine already said "Secondary member". It was just easier that way. I explained to them that I really am the primary member having been here for 33 years. They insisted that it doesn't matter because the money was going to come out of the joint account no matter who was listed as a primary. And they knew I was primary so what did it matter how it was listed. Let me tell you how it matters. When I got married the first time, my name went from being Sharyn Chan to Mrs. Husband's name. I wasn't called Sharyn and my last name was no longer Chan. I completely lost name that I had for 23 years. Poof! Gone if a flash. Women have a long and sad history of being relegated to the "secondary" person in a relationship. I had to explain that he, an advantaged, male, never really understands what it's like to lose your identity. To him, what does it matter and why should it really matter to me? I had to explain that technically, it doesn't matter in the case of an athletic club membership, but that because I have had years of being "secondary" it matters to me. It matters to me a lot in ways that is hard for him to grasp since he has never had to experience it. While logically, it matters not, emotionally, it matters a great deal. As I explained this to one of the account personnel, the other one was quietly working on the computer. When it was all said & done, the account personnel working on the computer showed me the screen which listed me as the primary member and my husband as the secondary member. I am hoping my explanation educated both of them about the plights of the disadvantaged.

Educating the advantaged a little at a time....