Subtle sexism is all around us. In order to get through the day, women have to let the misogynist things people say to them go in one lady ear and out the other. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a nursing mother or a high-paid female executive; you’ve been forced to stomach the following comments—comments that men also have to hear.
“You look tired.”
Your coworker might try to pass of this comment as concern, but don’t be fooled—it’s casual sexism at its most insidious. Society says that modern-day women can “have it all” in the workplace and at home, but that doesn’t mean we get to slow down on the Botox and fillers. Get plumped up or get ready for the putdowns. Would anyone ever tell a man that he looked tired? Yes, this even happens to men! Wow.
“Do you want paper or plastic?”
Ever since Eve said yes to that apple in Eden, women have been taught to doubt their decision-making abilities. So, what might seem like an innocent question is actually a discriminatory dig. Are men faced with the same discrimination? Well, the guy in front of us at the grocery store was also asked, “Paper or plastic?” yesterday. So, yes.
It’s very presumptuous for someone to assume that any given morning is a “good” morning, but does that stop every receptionist and barista from saying it? Not a chance. It’s like every woman is expected to wake up with a smile on her face and flowers blooming out of her vagina. What an unfair emotional burden. We polled 50 men and asked if THEY’D ever been bombarded with such a presumptive greeting, and 100 percent of respondents said that they HAD. These are the things that really make you go “Hmm…”
“I’m sorry, the number you have reached is not in service. If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.”
As a woman, don’t be shocked when your boss, your husband, or even an automated recording tells you you’re wrong or tries to shut you down. If you hear the message above, try having the nearest man redial and see if he gets the same message. Then, don’t be surprised when he does, because that’s how phones work. Typical!
It’s simple. It’s final. It’s sexist. Women around the world hear this two-letter word every day. Whether it’s the doctor saying, “No. You can’t have children,” or the saleswoman at Anthropologie saying, “No. We don’t have that sweater in any other colors,” the gender bias creeps in whenever this word is uttered. But don’t think this is just happening to women. Men also hear the word “no” in response to their questions! Get with it, society!
“Those pears are decorative, not edible.”
If you go to the same Pier 1 Imports we do, you’ll hear this a lot. It’s Misogyny 101. As women, we should have the right to choose what we do with our bodies, and if it’s enjoying a sparkly painted styrofoam snack, so be it. When confronted, our friend said she’d never seen a man attempt to eat the pears at Pier 1, nor any other woman for that matter, but if she ever did, she’d also tell a man not to eat the pears. Well, shit.
This list is just a small portion of the things women, and also men, have to hear each and every day. Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments, and help fight the sexism that affects all genders.