Women Share The Subtly Sexist Thing Men Do Without Even Noticing.
Sexism is so pervasive in our culture (and across the world) that sometimes it feels like it's ingrained in us. From birth, people tend to treat male and female children differently, which shapes the way we see ourselves and others. Yes, some sexism is hard to miss, but a lot of sexism is so subtle that, many times, both parties fail to take notice. Thanks to these women, who shared the subtle micro-aggressions that occur in their everyday life. Hopefully it will help people to be more aware of their ingrained biases.
1. I'm a pilot and last week I was on a flight, standing next to the flight attendant (male) as people boarded the plane. There were two families that got on and told their kids to say hello to the pilot, while pointing at my male coworker. When I corrected the first family, they just blushed and corrected themselves. But the second family actually did something I couldn't believe. The son (probably about five years old) got panicked, turned to his father and said, "But I thought you said women couldn't drive very good."
I knelt down to the boy, to talk to him at eye-level, and said, "Don't worry, sweetheart. I've been driving planes for 15 years and I've never had a single accident. Next time your daddy says women can't drive I want you to remind him what year it is, and tell him that saying women can't drive is pretty old fashioned. Can you do that for me?"
The little boy nodded. At this point, the father was bright red as he went to his seat.
2. When they dismiss sexism. For example I was telling a guy how my boss had smacked my butt and the guy goes "Oh Its only fun and games, Don't take everything so seriously"... What the heck, its not OK !
3. Tell us we're cute/adorable/sexy when we're mad. It is massively demeaning to be legitimately angry and then smirked at and told we're 'so cute.' Along the same lines, when we have a large accomplishment at work and you say, "how'd your little presentation go?" Or tell us we're cute when we 'act all professional'. These are all ways of belittling us, our accomplishments and our emotions. Might as well talk to us in a baby voice and pat us on the head.
All that being said - I LOVE men, and guys have BY FAR been my favorite colleagues and biggest supporters. It's just odd that men in relationships seem to feel the need to take us down a few notches.
4. Whenever I have mentioned not liking strange men making comments/gestures about my body or looks, the response from guys is always 'Oh, but I'd love it if random chicks said I was sexy/handsome/whatever!' I don't like getting groped on the bus. I don't like creepy comments if I am on a run. I don't like having men make kissing noises at me when I simply walk on the footpath. These aren't compliments, and they're not pleasant.
5. The use of the word "btch." When you call a girl a btch, it means she's mean. If you call a guy a btch, it means (Continued)
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it means he's weak. Let's just think about this for a second.
6. 'Don't wear so much makeup, I think you look better without it.'
It seems to be a common misconception that girls wear makeup just to please their guy. Actually, it's about making ourselves feel better by looking better. We don't do it for you, we do it for us.
I don't actually have much experience wearing makeup (or with boys for that matter) but this is a complaint that I see a lot.
7. This is a minor thing, but has happened to me often lately. When I'm at a party and the (male) host offers whiskey to all the men, but none of the women. It's like it doesn't even occur to them that women would also enjoy something other than wine or cider. Then I'm left drooling at their whiskeys 'cause I feel that it would be rude to ask for some after specifically NOT being offered it.
8. I dunno if I can chalk this up to sexism, but I hate when guys give me unwanted advice on how to "improve" my appearance when it's obvious that by "improvement" they mean "how you can get closer to being my ideal woman," because when did I ever say I was interested in being that? Worst example, I got a haircut and a guy I knew from high school saw me and said out of nowhere, "That's nice, now just smile more and dye it brown and you'll be the perfect girl!" Perfect to whom exactly?
9. Defensively claiming that I'm calling him a rapist by pointing out that women's safety considerations are different from men's. Pointing out that "men have it just as bad" whenever someone is trying to discuss a topic like rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, or sexism in general, never allowing the conversation to be just about women.
10. One time we were having a small-group discussion with some of my classmates in university and there was a guy in my group that was a chronic interrupter. I didn't even notice, but eventually someone in the group said: (Continued)
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"You do realize that every time you interrupt it's only when women are speaking, and every time a man is speaking, you just sit patiently until they're finished." Since then, I've noticed that phenomenon isn't specific to him. There are lots of men that only speak over women, especially now that I'm working and in meetings all day.
11. Calling other men "girly" or effeminate as the most profound insult ever.
12. When people say men are "more visual" so it's like some excuse for why they get to be horny all the time. But a woman being horny all the time? People act as if this is some absurd thought.
13. If I'm wearing something more revealing it might mean I'm looking for fun, but it does not immediately give you permission to grope me. There's significantly more steps involved. Like talking.
14. Addressing yourself to my male co-worker (back up) when I am the one in charge and making all the decisions only makes me more aggravated.
15. Several times I have heard "You play video games? Aren't you a girl?" or "Wow you play video games! That is so cool" thinking I will take it as a compliment. Video games are video games, it shouldn't matter who plays them. I am not a unicorn.
Or that good old backhanded compliment: "Wow, you don't look like a girl who plays video games."
16. I was once building four 4'x4' raised garden beds. I had already built them myself with my own power tools and just needed top soil to fill them with. Dressed in jeans, t-shirt, and ball cap I went down to the new landscaping company with my truck. I had no issues. They gave me the same treatment they usually give contractors, used a loader to fill up the bed of my truck with dirt and let me pay in the contractors' area. Great service. I was super impressed.
Unfortunately, this wasn't all the dirt I needed, so one day our whole family stopped by the same business. The only difference was I was dressed in nice clothes and my husband was with me. (Continued)
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The guy kept addressing himself to my husband, argued with me when I explained how it worked the last time I was there, argued with me over how much dirt would fit in the truck bed, and finally refused to load the dirt until I went into the store, stood in line, paid at the register, and brought him the receipt. Needless to say, I never have them any more of my business and encouraged others to avoid their store.
17. Sometimes it's not my period, I'm mad because you're just being a dick.
18. I bought a futon from LA Popular. I picked it out, I found the salesman, I signed the paper, I paid for it, it my card. The man selling it shook my boyfriend's hand, and thanked him for the purchase. He didn't even offer his hand to me. Boyfriend got to restrain me from flipping the desk over. I chewed out the salesman though. What a moron.
19. Rape jokes/casual mentions of rape within contexts where nothing but a slightly uncomfortable instance occurred. (i.e. "The background color on this website is really raping my eyes." When what they mean is that the color is bright and uncomfortable to look at.)
To me this minimizes the impact of what rape really is and how awful it is. Speaking from experience, rape is having all of your bodily autonomy ripped from you. You are no longer a person. You are just a hole/dildo for someone to use. You are now an object and therefore any autonomy you think you had is gone. Look how easily this person took it away from you. The sudden realization of this is akin to psychological torture. Well it was for me. This is especially harmful in our society where victims are still blamed for their rapes based on arbitrary standards of looks, clothes, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc. and a lot people don't even believe men can be victims with women as perpetrators.
Speaking personally, whenever this happens it forces me to think about what happened in some kind war flashback type thing and it's incredibly hard to snap myself out of it. It especially sucks that I'm really into the gaming community on youtube and a lot of the content providers do this. I really wish people would be more mindful of the full impact these jokes and shit have on victims. No one should be forced to have to relive their rapes like that. Such an incredibly large amount of people are victims that if you have any sort of public audience/soapbox whatsoever chances are there's a victim or two mixed in.
It's bullshit and people just need to think about what they're saying more often. That's all.
20. Why don't you just smiiiiiiiiiile?! Ew.
21. When a group of women is referred to as "the girls" and a group of men is referred to as "the men". I notice this a lot since I do (Continue)
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closed captioning for a living, but it's so rude. It's men and women, guys and gals, boys and girls.
22. Men in the christian church who refer to the bible verse where women should be quiet in the church. Nothing pisses me off more. The church I went to when I was younger believed in this. I remember a girl saying she wanted to be a pastor one day when she grew up, and the pastor's wife had this huge talk with her why she couldn't become one because she was a female.
23. When my fiance and I made the announcement that we were engaged, 100% of the people asked how he proposed. Uhhhh, he didn't? I also asked him on our first date. That's less of a men being sexist to women thing and just engrained gender roles, but still interesting.
24. There's the notion of the 'old fashioned gentleman' that some guys that I've been on dates with still think is sweet. If you just take a step back for a moment and think about how the 'old fashioned gentlemen' act is based on the idea that women are less capable human beings, it's pretty sexist. Yes, let's be nice and courteous to each other because that's a great thing to do. When I hold the door open for you or offer to pay, you don't have to act like it's an affront to your masculinity.
25. My current boyfriend used to have this bad habit of cussing out other drivers on the road based on their gender, 90% of whom ended up being female. Stuff like "Of course it's a woman!" when someone cuts him off, things like that. Eventually, I finally managed to drill it into him that I already had reservations about driving in this city (It's seriously the worst city to be on the roads in in Canada) and him cussing out every other woman in a driver's seat was not helping, and not appreciated. He's stopped doing it except for every once in a while, but then he catches himself and apologizes.
26. Last time I beat a coworker in a game of soccer I get off the field and hear someone say, "Wow, she beat you and she's a GIRL!" The problem with this is that this just perpetuates that idea that women shouldn't be able to beat a guy at stuff, and that this is some sort of far-out anomaly.
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27. After signing the lease on my most recent apartment, my landlord turns to me and says, "I'm a feminist. I only rent to women because they're better at cleaning." Thaaaaaat's not what feminism means, buddy.
28. I play video games, lots of video games. I said something along the lines of " Why are so many games about a male hero? I'd like to see a heroine." and my ex said " If they start catering to female gamers then all games will go to hell! Look at what happened with Nintendo! You're not part of their audience." like, really?
If you think all women gamers want to play bubblegum games and assume that females don't like GTA and games where you can "shoot people" you're dead wrong.
29. As a woman, if I offer an honest opinion, I'm being a btch. If a man says the same thing, he's being "hard but fair" about the situation.
30. There was a study done recently, where a team conducted research on graduate level letters of recommendation in the STEM field so for the most part these were young men and women pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math. The words that professors used to write letters for males and females were incredibly disparate. Men were usually described as 'genius' and 'innovative' and while women were described as 'hard-working' and 'attentive'.
31. I'm a female tattooer. When people express their surprise at the degree of my competence in my profession, it really grinds my gears.
32. In my family, all the women are expected to do the dishes after family meals. The men simply sit, chat, and fall asleep. Last Thanksgiving when my aunt poked her head into the living room and told me to come help, I poked my brother (1 year older than me) and said, "I've been helping every family meal for the past 12 years. Dave's going to sub in for the next 12 years, since he hasn't had a chance to get on the court yet. If you need anything, I'll be in here sleeping."