Serving in the military is no picnic for anyone (even for our nations’ elite Outdoor Dining Corps) but it can be especially difficult for women, who still have to deal with jackasses that just can’t wrap their brains around the idea of a woman soldier. A grocery store parking lot effectively demonstrated these difficulties in Concord, North Carolina recently.
The spot in question was at a Harris Teeter grocery store. Harris-Teeter reserves a few primo parking spots just for veterans, a nice little way to say thanks to those that serve our country.
It’s an honor system, with only a sign to enforce the veterans-only rule. The closest grocery store to my home happens to be a Harris Teeter, and I’ve seen these spots. Despite my years of service to our country in both the Cold War and the brutal Cola Wars (I still see small plastic cups of fizzy brown liquid in my dreams) I’ve never availed myself to these choice parking places.
One person who did, though, is Rebecca Landis Hayes, a woman who served eight years in the United States Navy. That makes her pretty damn qualified to park wherever she pleases, including the veteran’s spot. When she came out of the store back to her car, she found this note:
This note is problematic on many, many levels. First, the handwriting makes it look like it was written by a particularly annoying fifth-grader. Second, if you’re going to admonish someone to “learn to read,” and you’re leaving them a written note, you’ve just set yourself up for a nasty logical Catch-22, dumbass.
And, thirdly, and most misogynistically and maddeningly, the entire basis that the author of this note seemed to have to determine that the person parking in the veteran’s spot was not indeed a veteran is locked up in the word “lady.”
The writer of the note may possibly be a recently-awoken vampire, because I’m not sure who else could be currently active and not realize that women have been serving in the Navy for over a century, since the Nurse Corps in 1908. Women have served in the military in every war in the 20th and now 21st centuries. The idea of women in the military shouldn’t be a surprise to this anonymous numbnuts.
Hayes herself fired back on Facebook, and like all satisfying smackdowns where we can all read it and feel vicariously smug and superior, like we had anything to do with it, it’s been going viral:
To the person who left this note on my windshield today at the Coddle Creek Harris Teeter in Concord, NC:
I know I parked in one of the Veteran Parking spaces today, it was hot. I had been in and out of my car several times already this afternoon, and I was only going to be a minute. Besides, the parking lot was full, so I just did it. It was the first time, and I won’t do it again. I’m sorry…
I’m sorry that you can’t see my eight years of service in the United Sates Navy. I’m sorry that your narrow misogynistic world view can’t conceive of the fact that there are female Veterans. I’m sorry that I have to explain myself to people like you. Mostly, I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to have this conversation face to face, and that you didn’t have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to identify yourself, qualities the military emphasizes.
Which leads to one question, I served, did you?
Yeah, eat it, anonymous dipshit!
The lesson here is to really be sure to think through your pissy notes before leaving them on someone’s car.