Even when we find the larger aggressions of misogyny missing from our lives, casual sexism steeped deep into our daily existence reminds us of the stronghold patriarchy commands. We’re never really free of gender-prompted discriminations and stereotypes, are we?
In fact, the sneaky nature of everyday casual sexism makes it a monster far more dangerous to catch and tackle than overt ways of sexism. Noticing a blatant trigger of sexist prejudices – a woman being harassed at work because of her gender, for instance, or families demanding obscene dowry in marriage – is easier to call out.
What about the smaller inequalities that often even women themselves tend to overlook?
These are behaviours, remarks, manners hiding in the open. We are so used to facing them on the regular that we have now developed an obedient immunity to them. We either close our eyes to them or our conscience. But for our own sake, and for the sake of the larger cause of equality, can we afford to look away? At this crucial point in our fight for empowerment, can we let casual sexism pass?
It’s time we wrench it out of our lives for all time.
Casual Sexism Checklist For Women And Girls: How Many Do You Face? Call Them Out
1. Someone tells you to ‘relax’ when you have an assertive tone
2. Getting your own opinions mansplained to you online
3. The ever-present, never-funny sexist forwards on family WhatsApp groups
4. Waiters handing the food bill to the man at the table
5. Your mom saying ‘do it when you get married and go to your house’
6. Relatives asking you to lose weight to look pretty
7. Using queer-exclusionary pronouns or titles in conversation
8. Being told you’re made for the arts, not science
9. A husband giving you ‘permission’ to do something
10. When a male colleague talks over you during office meetings
11. Family prodding girls in their 20s for marriage
12. Being asked to clean up after your brother because ‘usse nahi hoga‘
13. Teachers asking schoolgirls not to entice boys with their clothes
14. Men talking down to you when discussing sports
15. Every time physical appearances precede
16. Boys being told not to ‘cry like girls‘
17. Girls being told not to ‘sit like boys’
18. Getting options of wine over hard liquor at parties
19. Male strangers calling you ‘baby, sweetie, darling’
20. Married women questioned over when the ‘good news’ is coming
Views expressed are the author’s own.