A friend pointed out to me that nowhere in this joke does it say that the bus driver was a man.
Talk about perceived gender roles! What a trap I fell into.
Reminds me of this (common) anecdote:
A father* and his son were both in a car accident. The father was killed, and the son was rushed to the hospital, where he needed an emergency operation to save his life. The surgeon examined the boy before the operation and said, “I can’t operate on this child. He is my son.”
How is this possible?
Of course, the answer is that the surgeon is the boy’s mother, and this story is used to illustrate the common perception that surgeons are always male. Likewise, I made an assumption that the bus driver was male, while bus drivers aren’t limited to one sex over the other.
*I’ve also heard this story from another angle – the mother is in the car with the son, and instead of a surgeon, a nurse is at the hospital and exclaims, “That’s my son!” I like this version of the story better in some respects, because it dashes the perceptions that nurses are always female (gender roles) if the nurse is the father and that the parents have to be of opposite genders (heteronormativity) if the two parents are lesbians, although the latter is far more politically charged.