The one that REALLY bothers me is the kinda meta-sexism, the questioning and doubting of my experiences as a woman.
Once a guy hit on me in a crude way. Because I’m asian, his catcall involved various references to Chinese food and how he “wanted some tonight!” I later told this story to a group of people, and one guy REFUSED to believe that this happened, or that if it did I must have been mistaken, because he had never heard anyone do that to a woman! No shit, dude, you’re a guy. He went as far as to google map search nearby Chinese restaurants to try and convince me that, no, what I had experienced was not in fact sexualized racism but a perfectly polite inquiry into where the nearest Panda Express was (yeah, like normal people make slurping gestures with their tongue when asking for directions. also, if that was the case, wouldn’t he actually, y’know, ask for fucking directions?), and I was only interpreting it that way because I wanted male attention.
Some guys will try till they’re blue in the face to deny that sexism exists.
2. Men = individual, but Women = the group
How, if a guy does something not good, it’s him as an individual, but if woman does something not good, it’s typically women.
My otherwise not-at-all-sexist x did this without even realizing. If a guy drove poorly, he’d be a jackass and/or stupid, but if it were a woman, it’d be “Women drivers, am I right!”
3. Men pay because they’re the breadwinners? What is this, the 1950s?
When my boyfriend and I go to a restaurant, just the two of us, they never ask if we need separate checks, and they always put the check in front of him. Even if I take it and put my credit card with my obviously feminine name on it down, they bring it back and put it in front of him to sign.
4. Coffee for me, madam
I have noticed that in professional meetings with groups of men, when someone requests a cup of coffee or water, they naturally address me, or another woman in the room, even though we are all colleagues on an equal level. Expecting the woman in the room to serve you refreshments while you chat business with the boys is sexism.
5. Stop cutting me off, dammit
The one I notice the most and is most obvious post socially transitioning is:
Being cut off when I’m speaking and then being dismissed and not taken serious.
Contrasted with I most likely never had this happen to me post-Navy – only if I was fighting with someone in a very aggressive way I suppose. Everyone used to take me seriously. Now, some days I think only my partner and Mother take me seriously.
6. Read the About Us page more carefully next time
The posts about people assuming that whoever is in charge must be a man reminded me – 3 times I’ve had women bosses, their first names were Gillian, Erica and Carol. There was a steady stream of mail / phone and face to face queries for Julian, Eric and Carl.
7. Shut the door behind you, Carol. Men are working here
Being dismissed in conversations. Whenever anything remotely serious comes up my points are all casually dismissed because it’s men talking time.
8. Taking women a little more seriously because they act a little more masculine
“You’re not like most women,” and it’s a compliment. Thank you for letting me know that, in your eyes, I’ve transcended my gender and now have the privilege of being taken almost as seriously as a man.
Also, having my experiences of situations assessed as somehow crazy, because I may want to analyze something more closely or look at it from a different perspective. There is that sort of half-laugh, and a dude will say authoritatively (regardless of having no authority) “chill, don’t worry about it”, and I’m like, oh sorry I guess my hysteria must have been making me want to DO A BETTER JOB.
I stand up straighter, and my voice gets deeper, in these situations.
9. Actually, we guys talk about video games and Twitter jokes
At work, getting called “Princess”, “Sweetheart”, “Darling”. It’s awful because the men saying are not being nice at all, they’re being condescending, and they know it. If you try to take them up on it or mention it you get called ‘bitchy’ or are told you’re overreacting. Meanwhile the men in the office talk on a serious and grown-up level with one another.
10. “Do you work here, oh you don’t? Well, can you take my prescription anyway?”
I used to work as a pharmacist in a community pharmacy. If a male was in the dispensary, some people would look straight by me and ask to speak to him, assuming the male was in charge. This would be regardless of whether that male was another pharmacist, a student, or a delivery driver just passing through!
11. I know everything, but I can’t say anything, because people will call me a bitch
I have to try harder to be thought of as confident and competent, otherwise I’m a flake or taken less seriously. But trying my hardest I’m a know-it-all bitch.
Been riding the Can’t-Fucking-Win train all my life.
12. Drama kings don’t sound nearly as bad as drama queens, though
That women are emotional and men are not. Its not true. Men tend to just have little patience for the emotions of women whereas women tend to be more understanding. It fucking sucks. Its discredits how we actually feel. What we feel is valid and should be respected. I know just as many hetero men who are drama queens as I do women.
13. If we do the same thing at work, then I expect to be treated equally and fairly, so stop ignoring what I say
I was just thinking about this earlier this week. I recently started a job at a trucking company. My background is in engineering and this job will just have to do for now but I don’t think they’re used to being around a woman with some technical knowledge. I’ve noticed that the office seems to keep things along gender lines. I’m not sure how to describe it but for example, the guys will ask each other about weekends or things going on in their lives, but they don’t ask the women. Maybe they’re not friendly with each other, I don’t know. I’m still pretty new so my observation could be incorrect.
Another example is in the afternoon, I’m in an office with two men around my age (mid to late 20s) and they talk about problems with their vehicles or video games, etc. I occasionally play video games and they were talking about new games being released so I mentioned a game I’m excited for and I didn’t get any response. Guy 1 describes a noise his truck is making, Guy 2 says it could be a wheel bearing. I said a wheel bearing sounds more like a different kind of noise (I’ve had one go out before). Again, no response!
14. As a male, I get asked why I look so angry all the time
I know this one comes up a lot here, but “You’re so much prettier when you smile,” “Why don’t you smile more?” and anything along those lines. It is 99.9% of the time coming from men (the other 0.01% it is asked by super old ladies). When would a man ever say this to another man?
15. Women aren’t the delicate little flowers society makes them out to be
“But who wears the pants in our relationship?” Um, we both do. Consider it a sack race. We both get a leg and hop along together. It shouldn’t be a shock and scandal for me to be in a fucking egalitarian relationship in the 21st century. I don’t need my fiance to micromanage my life in order for it to be a “real relationship”.
I get stopped from carrying heavy things at my job because I am a “little lady” when carrying heavy things is a part of the fucking job description. Just because I am petite old doesn’t mean I can’t lift heavy boxes. If I couldn’t do the required lifting they wouldn’t have hired me in the first place. I’m not some delicate flower.
Shock and defensiveness when I know how to fix things because I am a woman and very girly one. I thought knowing how to use tools and make basic repairs was a basic life skill that most adults know how to make. I’ll get complaints of showing people up if they aren’t used to me.
16. Being sexually ambiguous when referring to someone is probably your best bet going forward…
Just something very small I’ve noticed – I work in a chocolate shop. There are only three male employees, and at least ten female employees. The entire management team is female. And yet, I’ve noticed, whenever someone asks if they can speak to the manager, they say, “Is the manager in? I’d like to speak with him.” Like, yo, you don’t need to assume that everyone in a position of power is male. You can use singular “them” if you’re not sure.
17. If I don’t know something, I will ask you – or Google it
My job requires a lot of statistics and data-related work. It’s what I do 40+ hours a week. I have gotten As in graduate level statistics courses, self-study different programs, and generally geek out about numbers on a regular basis. My direct reports joke that my catchphrase is ‘Numbers have meaning.’ I’ve taught myself R and I’m currently teaching myself Python, all so I can work with our data.
A few weeks ago I had a manager from another team explain to me how to take a grand mean of 4 values in front of three departments. I was speechless.
18. This is a thing? Wow, we’re more fucked than I thought
Benevolent sexism. Example: There will be a set of double doors, a man will open door one for me and I’ll go through and say thank you, then I’ll open the second door for him or otherwise hold it open and he sort of freaks out or hesitates to go through it.
19. On Memorial Day, I saw this guy literally following this poor girl, saying creepy things like, “Baby, I like your shorts. It’s got all these sunflowers on it, damn!” She walked faster and he ended up walking across the street
I just get sexually harassed all the time in the form of ‘jokes’ – you know, like at the supermarket, “Wow, sushi and malbec – I’m going to follow you home.”
Uh, no. Also, I wear a WEDDING RING. Yes, follow me home to meet my husband.
One time I had some guy (philosophy major) try to explain to me what grammar was – he didn’t know I have my masters in English…also, he was pretty bad at reading body language because I had a look on my face like, “Are you fucking kidding me” and he kept going. When I told him how I have two English degrees and I was fully aware of the concept of grammar, he apologized – so that was nice, I guess. I still wanted to tell him to fuck off and suck my dick, though.
He just assumed I was some blonde ditz with big boobs who had no idea about a very simple concept. I think that’s what pisses me off about most of these situations when I end up being the object of some ‘joke’ or comment. The assumptions that I’m either ignorant/stupid and that I’m totally open to having stranger make kind of weird comments at me.
I won’t even get started on the cat calling (from the sidewalk and cars) and the weird guys staring at me in the elevator. I feel like I need a fucking bodyguard. My husband doesn’t understand why I get scared to walk in our neighborhood without him. I just need my fucking boundaries to be respected by strangers :(
Gah, now I’m all upset. I have a creeper montage playing in my head.
20. Totally inappropriate
Dude I literally just walked a block and got two comments about my appearance. I was outside for a total of five minutes! That’s casual sexism. Those bizarre, unsolicited comments that people really believe are “compliments” so you should just “accept them”
Specifically in a work environment, I had a manager who would call all the girls who worked there pet names like “baby” and “sweetheart” when he was addressing us…completely inappropriate and infantilizing.
21. Why is it not first come first served
Trying to get service at the mother. Fucking. Auto parts store.
Sure, I don’t know shit about cars. But my dad does, and often he’ll just tell me “Oh, that’s a blahblah problem, you just need to go buy a new blahblah.” He’ll tell me exactly what kind I need, and I go in all ready to buy it. But the problem is I don’t know what a blahblah looks like, and after looking around a bit, I don’t find it. So I try to ask a dude behind the counter. It will take maybe ten seconds of his time, probably less, to tell me where to find it. But it is like women are invisible there. Dude will serve all the men, even the ones who come in after me, while completely ignoring me. Even if I say “Excuse me.”
This has happened to me at at least four different auto parts stores.
22. My form is fine
After a brief conversation, guy in the gym starts giving me tips and telling me the exercises he’s going to teach me. Nothing I said indicated that I wanted or needed help, and my form while lifting was just fine.
23. Baby whisperer
Assumptions of maternal instincts.
So I’m out having coffee with my fiance, my cousin, and her husband. They’ve got their 3 month old son along. My cousin left the table to take a phone call, and the baby started fussing in his father’s arms, so he passed him off to me without even breaking stride in the conversation.
It’d be one thing if I’d spent a great deal of time around the kid, or if I’d offered to try to calm him down. I wasn’t mad about it…I didn’t even really realize what had happened until a few minutes later. My dude says it’s because I’m a known baby whisperer, but if I’m pretty sure it’s the boobs that makes that sort of presumption seem okay.
24. Wait, seriously?
When I tried to kill myself, my therapist decided that it was PMS. Isn’t every day that you’re not on your period technically PMS? Honestly, what the fuck, though. I have severe depression, anxiety and PTSD, but no, it was because I WASN’T ON MY PERIOD. That was the biggest load of sexist bullshit that I have ever experienced.