Growing up, we’re exposed to ideas of sexism that are unfair, and yet thrown around so casually that they seem normal. When it comes to sexism towards women, it’s so common that if we do not stop people, it becomes a mandate on how they should treat women, in general. It seems so messed up to know that something is wrong, and we hardly ever notice it.
And when we do end up noticing how casual sexism is rooted, as if in our to-do lists, we’re termed ‘too sensitive’. At other times, when people do try to treat women equally, they usually end up considering it an obligation.
Sadly, all women are subjected to casual sexism and we’re so used to it, that at times even we end up missing out on the cues.
1. People mostly assume that you’re lashing out, when you have an opinion.
If you’re opinionated, you’re usually considered loud, unreasonable and everything else that makes you look like an uninformed person. Meanwhile, there are people out there who defend hate crime – and THAT gets more support.
2. When men tell women that they ‘let’ them make their own choices.
The idea of ‘allowing’ or ‘not stopping’ women from making their own decisions is so messed up, we hardly realize that it’s problematic. To anyone who thinks that they’re kind, to give women the freedom of choice, who asked you?
3. The concept of ‘not like other girls’.
A lot of people think that it’s a compliment to put other women down, and deeming one woman ‘different’ from others. When, in fact, it is a sexist remark which is casually thrown out there, by both men and women.
4. When people always think it’s ‘that time of the month’.
Do people think that women are always menstruating? I know the condition of sex-education in the country is terrible, but seriously? Expressing oneself or dealing with emotions is such an alien concept, that people find it hard to deem as normal behaviour.
A lot of men (that I’ve known) are so used to being condescending, that they assume that women need to be ‘taught’ stuff. And dare not take offense, because then you’re just thankless.
6. The hero trope.
I appreciate men who want to make women feel safer, but if you think that we need a man to act as a savior, that’s where you’re wrong. We only need men, and people to be sensitive about their actions. We don’t need bodyguards, literally protecting our bodies.
7. When ‘well-wishers’ nag us for ‘taking care’ of how we look.
The world could be falling apart, but there will always be that one relative who’s extremely, deeply concerned about our pimples, a grey hair that popped randomly or the unwaxed legs. I mean, we don’t leave our bodies elsewhere, we know what’s where.
8. Addressing the woman in the room.
For people, women have an invisibility cloak on, when it comes to listening to what they have to say. But, the moment they need something from the kitchen, it’s like we’re ‘the chosen one’. Next time, act like you didn’t listen and walk away.
9. Jokes on driving.
Skills cannot be associated with gender, they solely depend on practice and well, the specific person. But, every time a person wants to sound ‘smart’, their easiest resort is to attack women and crack unfunny jokes on their driving skills.
10. Restaurant staff placing the bill in front of the man.
I don’t remember the last time when a staff member at a restaurant placed the bill in front of me – that is, when I visited with a male friend. It’s like they assume that women depend on men for basic requirements like food. Now, they even go on ask women to fill the feedback form, while the man pays the check. You know, something to keep us busy.
Hi, it’s me – just another woman, lashing out as usual.