From The Message Boards: How To Deal With Sexist Guys In Class

Unfortunately, sexism is still around. No matter how much progress we make, it’s still very prevalent. It’s there when you walk down the street, it’s there at work and it’s there in schools. It’s everywhere.

Dealing with sexism can be really tough because you want to fight back, but you also don’t want to give a sexist person the satisfaction of getting under your skin. This week, y’all have been discussing sexist guys in school and how to deal with it.

Let’s see what you had to say!

scuzz said:

Best advice… ignore them.

They are just immature, stupid or ignorant and sexist. Though they also might not be as sexist as they let on and are just trying to get under your skin which is still just immature and stupid. Even if you ignore them they will continue for at least awhile, but don’t let it get to you and don’t show them that it is affecting you. If they see that is making you mad or upset, it will just make the situation worse. In this situation, you aren’t going to change their minds by arguing with them or trying to prove yourself so it is better just to drop it. Hopefully someday if they really are sexist they will change their minds when they are in a serious relationship with a woman or have daughters of their own.

raynarose said:

Unfortunately, it is the world we live in. As a female, I don’t let things like that get to me. Brush it off. Do your best. These guys do not matter! What they think shouldn’t impact you. It will bother them even more if you show it doesn’t bother you.

starryphoenix said:

You can tell them to read Sheryl Sandberg. She wrote a bestselling book on career advice for women. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, essentially second in command to Mark Zuckerberg and she went to Harvard so the sexist males can suck it.

I’ll just throw it out there: sexism sucks. It really does. I grew up mostly around guys and was always the punchline of sexist jokes. As much as I’d love to tell you that sexism goes away when guys get older, I can’t. At 23 I’m still dealing with sexism in my daily life. It doesn’t suck any less, but I’ve gotten much better at handling it.

When I was in school, I would get so mad at guys in my class for making sexist jokes or claiming that girls weren’t as good guys. And they were looking for a reaction. They wanted the girls to get upset and angry. They wanted us to quip back because they thought it was funny.

Dealing with sexist guys is a lot like dealing with a bully because they are bullies. Bullies want a reaction, and sexists do too. The best thing to do is to take the high road and ignore them. When they don’t get a reaction out of you, they’ve failed.

No matter how valid your argument is and no matter how many times you talk about your good grades or all the amazing women there are, sexist guys don’t care. If you ignore the comments, you take away their power to upset you, which is what they wanted in the first place.

Have you ever dealt with sexist guys in class? How did you handle them? What did you say? Tell us in the comments!

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  • A.

    I don’t think the advice that what sexist people say “shouldn’t impact you” is helpful. It shouldn’t impact you but sometimes it *does* impact you. It’s not your fault if sexism hurts you or bothers you. It’s the fault of the system and people acting badly towards you. One of the poisonous aspects of sexism is society telling you that you shouldn’t feel bad about it, or that you are “overreacting” because you feel hurt. Sexism is about erasing females from important places in society and devaluing our lives. That means minimizing the impact we feel from sexism.

    If you get hurt from sexism, don’t deny your feelings or try to reject them, bury them or pretend they don’t exist. *Respect* your feelings and sit with them, acknowledge them and give yourself comfort. Then you will be taking a step in the right direction because you will be caring for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel.

  • zfevxxv

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  • Kathryn

    Over my time (my whole 16 years) I have had to deal with a lot of sexist guys at school. The most effective approach I have found is grilling them about it.

    There’s this one boy at my school who says horribly sexist, demeaning and just morally wrong things during class. Whenever he says anything sexist I just am on him about it arguing with him until he gives up. Because he is never saying it to be funny he is just saying it because he wants everyone to see his opinion (literally whenever the teacher says something eg. cat he’ll go off on this rant about how cats are evil and every cat should be shot yeah seriously for about 5 minutes he’ll go on about cats). So I just let him know that if he says anything sexust or homphobic around me he’ll regret it. And it has worked to an extent because I don’t hear him say nearly as much sexist stuff as he use to.

  • Daya

    High school boys are just..ugh. They think everything said about women is true. Like when the guys in my school call women’s sports a big jokes, say that if you can’t make a sandwich you are not a good woman, and calling girls a combination of vulgar words. And if you stand up for yourself then you’re a lesbian feminist. It’s even worse in history class.

  • Laurence

    One of my best guy friends loved saying “It’s the age of women now”
    I never was sure if he was serious or not…

  • jen

    saying that you should just let sexism roll off your shoulder is kind of a horrible approach to it. If that’s how everyone reacts women will never get equal pay, and will just constantly be told that we can do things as well as men. People need to stand up and let people know that sexism is wrong, women as supposed to have equal rights as men and somehow we are being denied that. Especially with young guys in schools because they are going to be the ones growing up to be sexist pigs if they don’t get straightened out at a young age.

  • natasha

    What a boy name johnny told me that girl are dumb…….

  • tyler

    Wow i never new that could ever happen

  • Marie

    Most guys in high school are just immature, not sexist. And guys mature really slowly, so saying your 23 (which is still rely young) doesn’t mean much. As a dancer I can usually accurately say I’m stronger than most guys, though in different ways. I don’t know any guys (lol I don’t know many girls either) who have really the fine muscles in your feet strong enoug for pointe shoes.

    It’s high school. Guys are mean to girls, guys are mean to guys, girls are mean to girls, girls are mean to guys.

    I really don’t understand why all the Gurl writers spend so much of their life complaining about how sexist the world is. Yes, it’s heartbreaking in some parts of the world, but in America islets just annoying. There is so much more sorrow that can be fixed.

    /end soapbox rant

  • Gicelle

    I can do 60 push ups and situps without getting winded. I can swim a pool length in less than 20 seconds and I graduated valedictorian of my class. Sexism is just bullshit. I knew a guy who called me a dumb blond once, luckily it was in front of my old Honors Geometry class-he sure set him straight (straight A’s baby).

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