Sexist Remarks pervade our everyday life like a recurring character on a sitcom. Women in 2021, are still subject to deeply misogynistic commentary dressed as compliments.
“Don’t go out at night, it’s unsafe for girls”, “woman toh know how to cook”, “sir here is your bill”, comments like these keep occurring every now and then, they may seem like an everyday thing but are shrouded within a stark undertone of sexism.
Sexism is the most common way of reinforcing gender-based stereotypes, where some remarks and comments may seem outright sexist some of them come sugarcoated which translates as benevolent sexism. People often confuse benevolent sexism with chivalry, it may seem like a compliment or respect for a woman but the truth is there is still a sense of inequality. ‘Pedestalising’ a woman and treating her as someone who should be taken care of is not concern but sexism.
It is important to draw a line between the two ideas, here are 8 sexist remarks that are told as if they are compliments.
You are not like other girls
This is the most common remark coming from any men and shouldn’t be confused with a compliment, it is equivalent to homogenizing women as a group and confirming your breakaway from it, but the truth is every woman is unique in her own way and has her own individual story to tell.
You have such a skinny figure
Comments on body image are not compliments even though they may seem like one, such remarks propagate the notion of ideal beauty standards and unconsciously confirms an ideal body type. Telling a woman she is skinny isn’t a compliment rather reinforcing body dysmorphia.
For a girl, you know how to handle your alcohol
This is another example of a sexist remark, as it highlights that drinking alcohol is a male-centric trope and women are not capable of drinking much, gender discrimination occurs with simple drinks also, when you hear a man say, “women generally drink wine” “oh! cosmopolitan is such a girls’ drink” it all counts as sexism.
We didn’t know you play video games/ do coding
Another remark which may seem like a compliment but brings forth the idea that the activity of playing video games or coding is only meant for men and if a woman does it, it is something out of the world. It is important to understand you cant gender activities based on stereotypes. Technology is not something that only men are fond of, woman can be coders and gamers.
It’s nice your husband lets you work after marriage
Yet, another remark people feel proud in passing and receiving, marrying doesn’t account for a woman passing on her entire authority to a man, working is her own choice and shouldn’t be subjected to closest male around her, this only furthers patriarchal notions and standpoint of a man an authority figure in a woman’s life.
You are like a mother figure
We seriously need to stop romanticizing the idea of motherhood, being a mother as something that completes a woman and at the same demeaning those women who choose not to have children. Being a mother is a choice and associating a woman with nurturing, caring, and raising confines their identity to a specific role.
You look so feminine in a saari
Clothing and accessorising are something that has been always viewed under a feminine trope, certain pieces of clothing are considered ultra-femme which brings out the beauty in a woman. When someone tells you saari makes you look feminine, it’s the stereotype that is talking not a compliment.
You are naturally beautiful, you don’t need make-up
Again wearing make-up is a woman’s own choice, telling someone that they are naturally beautiful and do not need make-up is otherising all those women who wear make-up and rendering them ugly. Comments like these may seem simple but the target women as a collective either homogenising them or othering them. Let them exist.