I spoke briefly to a woman at the “meet the teachers” event at my son’s school. She asked me if she was in the correct room (a waystation for parents when a teacher was absent), I replied, “Yes,” and then asked the name of her child. She replied, and that was the end of the conversation: no reciprocal question about my son, no introductions, no small talk. We sat in silence together for the next 10 minutes.
Initially, I considered this antisocial behavior odd, but then I read a(nother) blog post here at WordPress regarding the alleged phenomenon feminists label as “mansplaining.” I’m observing hostility from women in both public and private encounters whenever the cordial conduct necessary to accomplish customer-vendor transactions isn’t necessary. If hostility followed conversations more complex than “Hello” I’d worry that perhaps my social skills had entirely vanished, but the moment of shunning really has developed to be the moment a woman recognizes she’s speaking with a man.
I’ll keep an eye on this strange behavior, but it may be a relief to join the custom of mutual shunning.
It’s not like I’ve met many women with anything useful to say.