It’s 2017, and people are finally starting to get more comfortable with calling out blatantly sexist things, like phrases that are said too often or moments that remind us the genders still aren’t equal in the eyes of many. More and more people are becoming ~woke~ to what sexism means, why it’s harmful to everyone, and how it is so deeply ingrained to our society that it is quite literally everywhere. Those who speak up or challenge these kinds of thoughts are a great step forward, but we still have a long way to go. There are lots of common sexist behaviors that still happen all the time and yet still go unnoticed as anything harmful to women.
Sexism isn’t always obvious or in-your-face. Sometimes it’s easy to see it – like when brands assume you must like pink because you’re a girl, or when the guy you like at school rolls his eyes when you say you’re into comic books – but other times, it’s tough. And not only is it tough to see it, but it’s tough to show others that it’s sexist. Many people either don’t want to admit it, or they don’t feel like being part of the discussion. So, these common sexist things get swept under the rug, and they keep happening.
Like what, you ask? Good question! This Ask Reddit thread is about the sexist things that happen in society that people always dismiss as no big deal. In order to truly move forward, we need to tackle some of them.
Acting Like Teen Fangirls Are The WorstRemember a few years ago, when Harry Styles announced he was leaving One Direction? Teen fans around the world mourned, and although their cries may have seemed dramatic to those who weren't super into 1D, many people acted like they were stupid, vapid, ridiculous, and needed to get a life. It was... so messed up. It's only one example of how much I hate the way society treats teen fangirls. User 360Saturn points out another example, saying, "When people say, 'Oh, their fans are all teenage girls' (implied; stupid, materialistic, unable to appreciate actual things or actually apply judgement to what they like). Actually was reading a really interesting article earlier that pointed out one reason some young girls idolize female pop singers and e.g. Disney Princesses is because they're some of the few characters or persons who are able to be feminine and still be at the center of their own story, the story revolving around them as the main character. That was eye-opening."
When Dads Get Super Over-Protective Of Their DaughtersDads who are crazy over-protective of their daughters are still, for some reason, seen as adorable. It's thought of as "cute" for a dad to have their tiny baby daughter wear shirts like these, already proclaiming to the world that dating will be TOUGH for her, even though she literally was just born. It's expected that having a girl introduce her dad to her boyfriend will be a nightmare. Guys are supposed to be afraid of a girl's dad, and a girl's dad is supposed to do everything he can to keep his daughter from dating someone. Meanwhile, these same dads often encourage their sons to do whatever they want, or say things like, "I wish I had a son, he would be so much less stress." Uh... I have a brother. I don't think so. User caffeinesdependant says, "Fathers being gatekeepers of their daughters' sexualities and love lives. It all comes to the grand finale of ultimately forfeiting her to her new husband at the alter. (I know some people love this tradition and want to walk with their dads on their wedding day, but I personally don't like what the tradition represents so I don't want that for myself.)" I'm endlessly grateful that my dad was never, ever that over-protective. I get being protective of your daughter, but there's a line, and many men cross it.
The Way People Complain About Their RelationshipsVenting about your partner to your friends is one thing - it's normal and can be a good outlet - but constantly whining about your partner to anyone who will listen because you think it seems cool is so annoying. User octopus-butterfly says, "The way people act as though they dislike their partners. My future FIL told me and my boyfriend not to bother getting married because marriage is shit. He's also complained to us that his wife constantly nags...in front of her. Many of my female colleagues discuss how they hate sex because it's boring and they're 'going to have to do it tonight because it's been a week'. That is just unhealthy that the women are doing something they don't want to do, but also, they've never discussed it with their husbands... so their husbands are thinking that their wives are having a great time when all the women are laughing together about how stupid he is that he thinks he is getting her off. I feel that the way people talk about their partners both to their face and behind their back is sexist. Men complaining about their nagging wives and women complaining about their randy husbands." It's true - this behavior is perpetuating negative stereotypes about both genders, and honestly? It just sucks. Source: iStock
How Good Dads Are TreatedI can't stand how the Internet and media treats good dads. I am so sick of seeing articles that praise a father for doing something simple, like making lunch for his kid every day, or doing things to make his kids smile. I roll my eyes at every article about how a dad did something so SILLY, like not knowing how to change a diaper so he used a t-shirt instead. "He he," the article basically says. "Men are so stupid! Why are they trying to be dads! Their attempt is so bad that it's now funny and cute!" But if a MOM did something like that? The tone would be more accusatory and everyone would criticize her. Also, user JediKnight1[S] says, "Single dads are treated neutrally or they are saints. The way society shits on single moms is horrifying. And more horrifying, you point it out and are told you are a feminazi who wants to hurts society." This is also true. Because single dads are less common, they are treated as saints. Meanwhile, single women are thought of as women who didn't do something right. Source: iStock
How Society Has Trouble Believing Women Can Abuse MenThis is a more serious part of sexism that is really, really important to confront: society doesn't accept women in the role as the abuser. User -SeraWasNever- says, "People are very dismissive of the idea that women can be abusers to their partners/kids. Or be perpetrators of sexual violence etc. My brother and I were always getting called in to see teachers because they suspected we must have a 'troubled home life'. I never spoke up, but when my brother did, teachers always dismissed it as lying. One even said it must be my dad who's the abuser! Even now that I'm completely blunt about my family issues, 100% of people assume my mother is 'probably actually nice' and I'm making it up." Source: iStock
The Way Guys Complain About MarriageThe only thing more annoying than two people whining about their partners is the way some men talk about marriage. I'm so over it, and don't find the complaints funny in the least. User aly5321 says, "When married men complain about how being married is "the worst". They'll go on and on about how much their wives nag them and how they hold them back from pursuing their dreams, and everyone just laughs and pats him on the back and agrees on how nothing is worse than being married. If getting married was such a bad decision, here's an idea, maybe you shouldn't have proposed in the first place?" Source: iStock
The Way Men Talk About LesbiansThis is a little more obvious, but who else is so over the treatment of lesbians? The way a lot of men discuss them is so gross and offensive, but yet it's still a popular trope that's used in movies, TV shows, and book. User [deleted] says, "The treatment of lesbians by straight men. (Not all straight men, of course.) I was reading a thread in a different subreddit and some lesbians were saying that they aren't treated appropriately when they tell men that they are gay. They will get responses such as "Can I watch?" or "You just need a night with me to fix that." and so on and so forth." Source: iStock
Saying Being Pretty Should Solve EverythingWe talk about the sexism surrounding a woman's physical appearance a lot, but one thing that is often blown off is how women who are very attractive are treated. User Cinzia1502 says, When people say, 'You're so pretty, I am sure you will find someone. You can have any guy you want if you really tried.' As if that was the only requirement to have a relationship with a man. Yes, being attractive is nice but that isn't enough to make a relationship. Also, if someone asks, 'Is she pretty?', when someone else mentions who they have a crush on or anything of that nature. Women are more than just looks. Even if she isn't attractive, people still judge her. Like seriously, everyone grows old and beauty fades. I just don't like it when people tell me, 'But you're pretty, I don't know why you have low self esteem.' because I want someone to like me just for me and not my face. I want them to like the best and the worst. I want them to think I am smart, capable, fun, funny, hardworking, sweet, anything that isn't related to my physical looks. If someone just likes me for only my looks, then its just terrible because there is no way they are staying in the relationship just for this face. It always irks me when people say that kind of thing. I lost some weight and now I get attention. It makes me sad that people are like this. I dont know, this is just one of the things that I have noticed lately and it pisses me off." Source: iStock