Sexism and you

 

Standing up against sexism can be a challenge, but approaching and confronting a sexist person is very necessary.  According to Anna North, “confronting a sexist male or female about their sexist behavior or perception, is the best method to make a sexist be nicer, more aware and more accountable for their actions.” I know the word confrontation seems scary, but in theory what can be the worst possible outcome? the person yelling, shouting, resentment, deeper hurt scars or maybe no reaction. If these feedbacks are shown then it confirms the truth he or she is indeed sexist. However they might refuse to admit out of shame, pride or for the mere fact that they don’t care.

Men as well as women are egotistic and are both culprits.  They do give a negative pushback on the victims end which is always  expected  if sexism is a natural thing for them.  Do not let those actions deter you from speaking up! A person who is considerate and wants to make headways in life by being a better person and taking the high road would react or respond to the confrontations with less hostility, more appreciation for the affected person, approach the situation on a more resolving and less attacking perspective.

Knowing that the negative outcome of speaking up against a sexist person opens strength and wisdom; understanding what both outcomes could be is key.  Not all situations of sexism will result in an amicable and equal scenario.  The delivery is important, prepare for the hurt feelings, unpredictable consequences and the harsh experiences.  If a sexist wants to do better he/she will listen, digest and prepare to change.  Otherwise don’t feel bad if based on the persons reaction you don’t feel like ever talking to them again.

You have the right to stop in mid-sentence and walk away if the person makes you feel uncomfortable.  If the friend or lover shy away and don’t want to deal with you after the conversation; they probably didn’t deserve your friendship or love in the beginning, rid them out of your life if that is the case because they will find another victim if they don’t want to change any ways.

Understand that you have a right to feel angry and vulnerable and if they use it against you then the better ending is that they lost a great person and the truth is already told.   I gathered some information to share with you from “Psychologist Today” Five signs he/she might be sexist:

1. He orders you a drink or dinner without asking want you want. When someone orders for you they’re assuming they know what’s good for you or what you would like. Unless your date is a renowned mind reader with his own Vegas spectacular, he should always check with you first.

It might not be sexist if: He had mentioned his favorite drink/meal earlier and you indicated you would be open to trying it. Even then, he should have checked with you but hopefully his unilateral move is more a reflection of over-enthusiasm than it is sexism.

2. He asks you questions about your child-rearing goals but not your career goals. By doing so he’s assuming you should be more focused on motherhood than on your career.

It might not be sexist if: You had clarified your preference to be a stay-at-home mom previously, if he discussed his role as a father with equal enthusiasm, or if he happily mentioned his company gives paternity leave.

3. He calls you babe, sweetie, toots, or other pet names on a first date. Pet names should reflect feelings of love or affection and as such, they should be earned. If he’s doling out pet names after knowing you for all of two hours, it more likely reflects feelings of superiority on his part.

It might not be sexist if: You called him a pet name first or if he works as a waiter in a greasy diner (“What can I get fer ya, toots?”).

4. He resorts to name calling when referring to a previous girlfriend or ex-wife. Using derogatory terms about another woman when on a date is not just bad judgment but likely a reflection of his feelings about women in general.

It might not be sexist if: He’s getting over a really bad and really recent divorce in which he sustained significant emotional or financial wounds and you were the one who (unwisely) asked him about his ex. Regardless, he’s definitely not ready for a new relationship, so give this one a pass.

5. He finds it necessary to share his “philosophy of women.” The fact that he even has a philosophy of women is a problem as it assumes all women are alike and want the same things which smacks of sexism even if his “beliefs” sound positive (e.g., I think women should be put on a pedestal!).

It might not be sexist if: You asked him about his views “on women,” offered your own manifesto about your views on men, or criticized an ex for how they viewed women—prompting your date to make the point that he’s not “like that.”

Shana McCormack

 

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