Subtle sexism is a sneaky monster that has mastered the art of hiding in plain sight. Encouraged in huge part by patriarchal conditioning, and partly by our own resistance to change, sexist attitudes run so deep in all our lives that we hardly know how to filter them through. Is it women’s fault though, that we often fail to catch these micro-aggressors?
Women have more or less hardened themselves to everyday misogyny. What does one do except build immunity to something toxic that shows no signs of eroding in the short term? When women are reminded they are mothers first and then individuals? When at work their road to leadership is obstructed by male colleagues? When they are left to fulfil domestic ‘duties’ alone after marriage even by supportive husbands who are ‘letting’ them work?
This is the slow poison. It kills softly but in a manner far more deadly than blatant, boorish sexism that many women are learning to call out today. Casual sexism in speech, actions, behaviours manages to escape.
Ladies, let’s train ourselves to be a little more observant, a little more shrewd and, if that’s what it takes for equality in this world, a little more arrogant about who we are and what we deserve as women – beginning with the little things.
Signs Of Subtle Sexism Women Should Catch And Squash
1. Your biological clock is ticking away, have a child fast.
2. Add a little makeup to the look. It will make your face pop.
3. Girls shouldn’t be roaming out at night. Um… for their own safety.
4. Oh, you are planning to work after marriage?
5. At least, you should know how to make roti and chai.
6. Become a teacher. It is the most convenient job for women.
7. You’re newly married. Don’t wear such plain clothes. Deck up!
8. Buy flat shoes. Do you want to look taller than your husband?
9. You’ve completed your studies. When are you planning to settle down?
10. He’ll drive. Why are you in the driver’s seat?
11. Why have you hired a nanny for your child? Embrace motherhood yourself.
12. Just find a rich guy. Why waste your parents’ money on so much education?
13. You are pretty but should shed some weight off your face.
14. Are you sure you’ll be able to handle whiskey? Maybe you should take wine…
15. Trip with friends? No, go with your husband after marriage.
Views expressed are the author’s own.