Sexism from Sales Reps

Women often report being treated differently when making big purchases.


Megan at Jezebel tells her refinancing story, which involves being treated poorly by loan officers. She writes:

This guy was from the hard sales side of the aisle. He kept telling me how he, and he alone, was looking out for my financial interests. Why would I want my mortgage rate to go up in 2008? Didn't I know rates were rising? How was I going to be able to keep my home if my ARM adjusted upwards by 3 points or more? Didn't I understand that he did this for a living and he was just trying to help me? I share this story because it wasn't the first time I've had a dude try to muscle me into a bad financial arrangement.

I've also experienced such condescension, most notably when my husband and I were buying a car and the sales rep addressed all of his comments to my husband, as if I were just a passive observer. (Another pet peeve—after we bought the car, all of the mail related to payments and car maintenance comes addressed to Mr. and Mrs. My Husband's Name, when that is not even my name. From the car company's perspective, I don't even exist.)

What do you think—is this sexism or oversensitivity?