When you think of instances like sexism and misogyny, you might think of something along the lines of violence, discrimination, etc in public spaces. But here’s the thing about sexism. Sometimes it is so casual and so internalized that you don’t really know that it is happening. In Indian homes that are deeply entrenched in patriarchy, instances of sexism are so subtle that they are overlooked as mere care and concern.

Hindustan Times

But when you take a closer look, you will notice how the same rules do not apply to everyone in the same family. Women are at a disadvantage and these instances prove it further. Let’s open the can of worms and talk about these 15 instances in our homes that are a sign of subtle sexism.

1. Women getting to eat last. No matter if there are guests at home or if it’s a regular day, women are expected to eat after everyone is done eating. Most of the time, they end up eating the leftovers because they are too tired to cook all over again.

2. Expecting women to serve guests while the men sit and relax and chit-chat with them.

3. Asking the women to be home by 7 PM while men can come home whenever they want.

subtle sexism
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4. Not including women in discussions around finance, sports, and politics.

5. Expecting women to ask for permission before they do anything, including decisions that are related to them.

6. Expecting women to pick up the man’s plate after he is done eating.


7. Teaching girls all the chores of the house to make them shaadi-ready while men don’t even know how to get the gas stove running.

8. Asking women to wear something “appropriate” when guests come over.

9. Telling women not to wear makeup or dress a “certain way.”

indian family

10. Expecting that the woman will give up her job after marriage because the husband earns.

11. Not letting women go on trips with their friends.

12. Telling women that they can do things only when their husband allows them to.

desi family

13. Not calling out men for their wrongs because “boys will be boys” but chiding women for the smallest of mistakes.

14. Calling that one woman relative “kaleshi” just because she is living her life on her own terms and isn’t afraid to call anyone out.

15. Expecting women to laugh at those juvenile husband-wife WhatsApp forwards because it’s just a “joke.”


While your family might not practice these things, there are many other families which continue to do so. It’s good to see that some families treat everyone equally, but for many women, this continues to be a lived reality.

Also Read: Sex Law in India