Women Share The Most Common Forms Of Sexism They Deal With On A Daily Basis.
Twenty-four women share the most common form of sexism they experience on a daily basis.
Many thanks to the Redditors who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article.
1. For whatever reason, I am at my most attractive when viewed from a car. I've had people yell pretty vulgar things at me and just drive on their merry way. Street harassment is real, people.
2. Medical issues are brushed off as pms or period cramps a lot.
I went to the ER for depression this year. I told the doctor I was on my period and he asked if I wanted to go home and "wait it out" to be sure it wasn't just my hormones (uhh. Yeah. It is hormones. My body isn't making the ones that keep me from wanting to kill myself??). I also was told that my severe abdominal pain was probably just my period when I actually had a UTI and severe case of mesenteric adenitis. The doctor went from "I think you have appendicitis" to "oh it's just a bad period" as soon as I told them I had light spotting.
3. "There are women on reddit?"
I've been accused of "not understanding women at all" several times on reddit and no one seems take a few seconds and think "maybe OP is female and knows what she is talking about."
4. The biggest one I see is that many guys see a friendship with a girl as a sign of interest.
As a guy, I have so many friends who become friends with a girl and then assume this friendship means that the girl should be interested in them. And when she isn't, they get insulted / unhappy about it.
I don't think that falling for a girl who is your friend is sexist. Those are feelings and difficult to control. The sexist part, in my opinion, is when the guy gets insulted that the girl doesn't like them back. This is because they had an expectation that taking the time to become friends with the girl means the girl "owes" them feelings.
5. People expect me to be bad at certain things. Or if I am bad at some things, it's because I'm a woman, and not because I'm inexperienced.
Kind of a petty example, but I love video games, but not FPSs.
I play RPGs. When I play call of duty and get beat, it's because I'm a girl, not because I hardly play those games.
6. My girlfriend tells me this all the time:
When men are serious in an email they are considered professional, but when women are they're considered cold.
7. When builders, mechanics, plumbers, car salesmen, etc. would rather talk to the man you are standing next to than you, when you would be the customer and he has nothing to do with your decision.
8. Probably the most common form of sexism I experience is women being expected to handle the emotional labor in their relationships. Most men probably don't even realize how much more of this kind of stuff women do because they've never been expected to do it.
In the workplace, one of my biggest pet peeves is the women being expected to do secretarial work even when they aren't secretaries. I'm a lawyer, most of the people I work with are lawyers. We don't have any true secretaries, so everyone makes their own copies and that sort of thing. My supervisor's desk is literally one foot away from the copier but rather than make her own copies she would walk across the office to hand me a stack of papers and tell me to make a copy of them. I found it incredibly degrading and I called her out on it in a meeting with our boss and pointed out that everyone else does their own copies and certainly no one was giving the male attorneys any copies to make.
9. As someone who likes to lift weights "aren't you worried about getting too muscular" or "you really should stop hitting arms."
Hey, I'm already cursed with bring genetically weaker, don't act like I'm a freak for wanting to make sure I'm strong enough to take care of myself.
10. In group meetings women get talked over all the time. And if someone says something wrong, and they interject and correct them, they are being a 'b***h'.
11. My friend once mentioned that both of his parents are doctors, but his friends address only his dad as "Dr." and address his mom as "Mrs." despite knowing that they are both doctors
12. Women who speak up at work and defend their positions in business are "aggressive, unfeminine, tactless" although they are just doing exactly the same thing as their male counterparts who are "assertive, dynamic, and straight-shooters". This has been keeping women out of senior positions for years, because no matter the track record, references and hallway talk make the difference.
Because men are still the norm in senior management, they tend to be forgiven some failures and shortcomings as "no one is perfect" or "that's how you gain experience". If a woman in the same position slips up- it is proof that women can't do the job.
In some careers, women are still promoted as tokens and set up to fail (although this may also occur with visible minorities). They get put into skilled jobs without the training or experience normally expected, they are in a hostile environment, and then measured against an impossible scale - again proving that they "can't do the job".
Women are not expected to stand up for themselves. They are expected to be timid and easy to intimidate. Some men, when they are slighted by a woman (the last parking spot, didn't brake to hand over her legitimate right of way, didn't let him butt into line) become quite aggressive and foul-mouthed, but are really cowards and take off when openly confronted. But their first instinct is to make her cower and to take advantage - and too many women still put up with that.
13. If I'm upset about something at work, no matter how genuine - I am immediately assumed to be PMSing.
I manage a team of 10 people and work as a liason between several departments. Every day I put out fires before they get a chance to get nasty. If I get stressed out by my job, "oh she must be PMSing, she's on fire." If my male counterparts are angry/stressed, "Oh he's under a lot of stress, I feel sorry for him."
14. I've known multiple guys that say they wouldn't be with a woman who made more money than them. Always struck me as unnecessarily vain and sexist, especially since my mom makes 4x what my dad does.
15. Pain is not treates seriously. Basically, you are dismissed. I have taken my husband to appointments with me because doctors listen to him more than me.
The doctor even asked his permission before preforming a medically necessary hysterectomy. I was sent away with back pain last week. I called my doctor and they never got back to me. Now I have a fever of 101.5F and am in terrible pain. It is likely a kidney stone. I don't get fevers often, so this is a problem. I still expected to get blown off. I know lots of women who have these kinds of issues.
16. I think that something I've seen a lot of is an expectation that women (and minorities in general) are expected to do a lot of extra emotional work if they are wronged in some way. I was once harassed at my workplace and when I told my coworkers and boss about it, the response was basically, "Well, what did you do to encourage it?"
The fact that I had a strange guy follow me around my (retail) workplace, telling me to smile, or hanging around when I was ending my shift was chalked up to something that I did - not that he was behaving inappropriately. Because he was a semi-regular, I was told "Oh, he means well" and wasn't backed up - which puts the onus on me to manage his behavior, while also knowing full well that the people I was asking to help me all thought he was "such a nice guy".
Not so nice once he started screaming at me because I didn't smile at him, huh?
17. If you like sex, you're a slut.
If you don't like sex, you're frigid.
If you are neither here nor there on sex, you are lazy. Or possibly a slut trying to 'act normal'.
18. I am in dental school. Some of our very talented student dentists whom just so happen to be female will always get mistaken as the hygienist.
Often these are from the older generations. One went as far as demanding to see the "real" doctor. The classmate went and got the clinical director. Who was also a women. The patient was very upset and left.
19. There is a lot of "soft sexism" in the workplace that goes unquestioned because people don't even think about it. If someone needs to go pick up lunch, a lot of the time a woman will be asked to do it, even if her job title is the same as a man's because women are assumed to be better at guessing what people want and providing it. It isn't only men who think this way; I've worked for women who share that mentality.
Same with things like crafts and decorating. I took a job working a machine in an embroidery shop once, and that was supposed to be my only duty. But, my boss got upset with me when she found out I couldn't wrap gifts or decorate the storefront to her standards without being trained. Like, sorry, that's not my thing, it's not hard wired.
20. I'm not allowed to have a quiet day or an off day. If I'm just tired that day, and don't feel particularly cheery you can bet someone is going to tell me to smile more.
It's very hard to get medical professionals to take you seriously. I'm "exaggerating" or "being fussy" when I am suffering from a progression of my chronic illness. It actually took me finding a female doctor to get the proper treatment. My medication needed a higher dose.
My male colleagues are called by their names. I am referred to as "sweetie", and will be told I'm PMSing if I correct them. Currently enduring the backlash of reporting that.
Remembered a "favorite". I've had multiple shops try and swindle me when I take my car by myself. These incidents drop to zero when my husband is around. I'm the one who knows more about cars.
21. An older, unmarried, childless woman is a sad, lonely spinster, who either couldn't find a man willing to marry her or couldn't have children. An older, unmarried, childless man is a suave bachelor who decided to do more with his life (career, travel, Nobel Prize?) than have a family.
Basically, this idea that a woman without children will feel like her life is incomplete. Even women contribute to this with the "as a mother..." condescension toward other women. Once a woman has children, she's suddenly endowed with a secret knowledge that only other mothers understand.
22. That in general even if it's socially acceptable for women to be enjoying things that are stereotyped as "manly" and it's even considered cool, the reverse is not because things stereotyped as "feminine" are not cool and being "feminine" is not cool. Like, people expect you to be "feminine" but that's not because they think it's cool but because they want you to stay in an inferior position.
It's cool and "empowering" if a girl plays FPS, does carsports, studies software engineering, goes to military, etc. Well there will be people saying that they "don't like unfeminine women" but I already explain why.
However for a guy to enjoy make up, romance films, cake decorating or fashion is bad because it's "feminine".
Well this whole situation just illustrates it well that in general "manly"=good, "feminine"=bad.
23. I often see stuff about "Tumblr feminists", and how some of them "take it too far." Then, the poster(s) will continue on with the Tumblriest, whiniest, bunch of tripe that I can only describe as "Meninist". Any disagreement with them is because you are clearly an "sjw". And yet, nowhere on the internet do I see anybody stating that those "Reddit meninists sometimes take it too far." and that they're sjw's. It seems oddly like a bit of a double standard.
24. Clothing not having pockets in them. But seriously, I know women get a lot of flack for getting defensive when guys ask if we need help carrying / lifting something, or opening doors or w/ever else. And it's not that we don't appreciate the offers--I for one do--but SOMETIMES it starts to pile up and its easy to get frustrated and lash out, not always at people who deserve it.
But after so many "sweetie" and "hon" comments, insinuations that you don't know what you're looking for in the hardware store or that you need help changing your oil (it's not rocket science) and so on and so forth, eventually a good natured woman is going to snap. And as soon as you do, even if it's just a clipped tone, you're immediately some sort of "feminazi".
I just wish more men would be a little more accepting of the fact that I'm not always being rude on purpose, it's just frustrating when it feels like no one believes you're a capable person.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.