7 Situations You Probably Didn’t Even Realize Were Sexist

Posted on August 8, 2014 in Gender-Based Violence, Lists, Society, Taboos

By Nupur Saraswat:

Every time somebody gets away with calling the female gender the “gentler sex” or the “fairer sex”, it’s a battle lost. Every time a daughter is given a pink bike and a son is given a blue bike, I cringe a little. Every time a gender neutral word is given a gender by a culture, humanity takes a step back. Here are 7 situations you didn’t realize were sexist –

everyday sexism

1. You correct yourself if you describe a man as “pretty

“Pretty” is described as being attractive without actually being beautiful. It is almost a compliment. Why is a man pretty ugly or pretty handsome but never just pretty? Women have had meltdowns over this word. Men have written sonnets about how other girls are “pretty”, but You My Love, are “beautiful”. Why have we reserved such a “degrading” word for women? Think about it.

2. When you hear “rape”, you think of the female gender

Face the facts – men get raped too. It may not be as familiar a reality as a woman getting raped but in this perfect little world of ours, this is an actuality. They are abused, they are molested and they get raped. It doesn’t make them any less of a man, just like it doesn’t make the rapist any more of a man.

3. Earrings

Bracelets — you have a wrist, why not decorate it. Necklaces — Let’s keep a noose as close as possible! I understand the idea of embellishing all the hinges and joints of a female body. But a completely unnatural hole in your ear loop? It dawned on me when I found myself asking a new acquaintance why her ears were not pierced.

Since the time I was able to wonder, I have wondered, why drill a hole in your ear loop just to add extra metallic weight? Sadly, before I could even question, I was branded with the Holy Hole.

4. You know too many words for a woman with multiple sexual partners, not one for a man

Imagine a prostitute. You are now thinking of a woman in fish-net stockings (don’t deny it).

No, I was talking about a MALE prostitute.

It’s all in the semantics. Whore. Harlot. Prostitute. Call girl. Slut. You have too many words to describe a promiscuous woman. What do you call a man who decided that it’s his life and only he decides how many women are too many women? A man who decided to sate his sexual drive via multiple partners? Probably a “player”. The funny thing is that you could replace the woman with a football and he’d still be a player. But she? She will always be a whore (GoT reference, muhahaha).

5. Saris

In early medieval times, a conference happened. Of men. They decided that they will convince the women population that draping themselves in a four feet long cloth is the most “decent” attire they can wear. Oh, but wear it in such a way that we can stare at your stomachs for ages to come. And hence Sari came into existence. Yet, if the same midriff or the same “amount” of midriff is left bare in a crop top, be prepared to be ostracised.

6. When my mother says “Who are you going to impress”?

When I wear something pretty. When I put on make-up. When I buy expensive innerwear. When I decide to strut on heels. Who am I trying to impress? Why is it so difficult to comprehend that when I look good, I feel good? I am trying to impress myself. Like every normal person, I like to highlight my good features, hide my insecurities, put on my best shoes and hope that nobody notices that I am having a bad hair day. I am trying to do the best I can to not get lost in this crowd, Ma.

7. You have apologized for things nobody should have to

You have said the ever-so-casual sorry for things you don’t need forgiveness for. Wearing your favourite pink dress or while getting your manicure done, because it’s such a “girly girl” thing to do. Before asking that obvious question, because you thought it sounded stupid and a man would definitely know the answer to that. When you couldn’t lift up that heavy box, because you are a man, and men should be able to lift heavy things. For not wearing make-up, because you look like a “mess” now. For wearing make-up, because you must look like such a drag queen now.