I think no one has had more of a profound influence on my self-belief and confidence than my mother, yet she wasn't without her sexist blind spots.
For example, although she often told me I was amazing, sometimes she'd express it in iffy ways, especially if she was trying to discourage me from doing something (she thought was) dangerous. "Not even a man would try to do that on his own".
Not even. Such a tiny word. Such a world of meaning.
When my older sister married, I ceased to be the go-to person for things requiring the use of power tools, or manual labour or technical wizardry. That became my BIL's job. I resented that a bit. I also resented the way she'd talk about the benefits of having a man around - like she might talk about a beast of burden. It's kind of a thing with the women I know. A standing joke. That you "don't keep a dog and bark yourself". I don't like to hear women talk about men like they are dumb animals. I don't like how they assume there are certain jobs "the men" ought to be doing. There are very few jobs that are gendered. It's every bit as annoying to me as hearing men talk that way about women.
Originally Posted by Ivy
Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.
Most of the blatant sexist attitudes and behaviours which have stuck in my memory occurred while overseas, but there are a couple I can think of. Firstly I went to an all-boys boarding school for high school. We used to do mixers with all-girls schools called "socials". I hated them but was forced to do them for the first couple of years after which they became voluntary. But they always started the same: girls lined up along one side of the room and guys lined up on the other. Then the guys would be invited to choose their dance partners, at which point they would rush across the room to pick whichever girl had caught their eye (sometimes more than one guy approaching the same girl) while the girls became suddenly super involved in conversations with the girls around them. The girls were not invited to choose, although they were free to reject.
The other one was a bit less blatant. My family were hosting a Finnish female exchange student for several months. Most of that time I was at boarding school (age 16 or 17), but when I came home for the Christmas holidays (our version of Summer holidays) I had a bit to do with her. I didn't consider her attractive but got on really well with her in a sibling kind of way. We had a camping trip planned with some extended family, and given the amount of people going and the amount of equipment needed there weren't enough seats for everyone. So myself and the exchange student were designated to ride in the back of the ute (pickup truck). One of my uncles made a somewhat lecherous comment about what I and the exchange student might get up to during the trip, and my dad said dismissively "Nah he's completely safe. He wouldn't even know what to do." I remember in response to the tone of that comment and the reaction it met with from my uncles feeling a sense of shame that I wasn't considered a sexual threat to her. I spent most of the 5ish hour trip to the camping site checking her out and trying to figure out how to negate that reputation even though I wasn't in the slightest attracted to her.
When we got to the camping ground it turned out that there were some attractive girls my age nearby and I spent an inordinate amount of time hitting on one of them -- to the point where I'm pretty sure I creeped her out. One morning I'd gotten up early to go visit her, and later on in the day my dad proudly made a comment about how I'd gotten out of bed and left with my dick in my hand, which was met with approving uncle-ly laughter. I was left with the very clear impression that in order to be a successful male I had to be preoccupied with looking for sex.
ETA: that story may not technically be sexism, but I think it's a good example of how guys are encouraged to behave in a sexually aggressive manner.
Since the title of the thread doesn't say that this is limited to sexism against women, I think that men should also post examples of when they have encountered sexism.
My brother-in-law was laid off from his job in corporate real estate several years ago. He had trouble finding a comparable job, and eventually started working in Home Depot just for the paycheck. He was later injured in an auto accident, and was unable to work for many months, before recovering enough to cross-train into another field. During his long jobless/disability period, his well-paid wife happily supported him, as he would have done for her, and he did much of the housekeeping. The family, however, looked down on him during this time as a freeloader, not providing for his household as he should.
Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it. We should remove the carrot and walk forward with our eyes open. -- Raistlin Majere
Of course, the thing is, men and women shouldn't really have to trade sexist stories. If you follow the trail, you find most instances of sexism are harmful to both sexes somehow anyway in the big picture.
Go to sleep, iguana.
INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp. Live and let live will just amount to might makes right
* I do handyman work. I do contract stuff but also a lot of work for homeowners, husband and wives. I'm often thrown into a tense environment where the wife is upset with her husband for not doing or finishing a job he said he was going to do, and he is cross with me because he thinks I'm making him look bad (as a husband and a man). This is a frequently occurring scenario, domestic disputes over this sort of stuff seem very common. Gender roles are a big part of this, but it can be difficult to separate out what are gender role issues and what is just taking responsibility for your commitments.
As far as I'm concerned he already made himself look bad by agreeing to do something he didn't want to or could not do, but sometimes I notice that the wife simply unfairly expects the husband to take on jobs that he's really not capable of. It's a service job, so I try to mitigate this effect by demonstrating to the husband that I'm not there to make him look like an ass, and I sometimes try and get him involved a little in the work so he can say he did his part. (Sometimes the wife wants to help, or she's a single woman, and not all my clients are tense like this.)
* I've been sexually harassed by one client who cornered me in the basement, which on some level I did find amusing in retrospect but on another level it was profoundly screwed up, especially considering that her teenage daughters frequently chatted with me while I worked (I went to the same high school as them years prior and talked about some of the same teachers and classes, friends, boys they liked) and they saw me to some degree as a friend and role model.
*Occasionally I get comments regarding my work along the lines of "you'd make a good husband" which I don't necessarily find sexist. After all, it's a good thing that I'm capable of doing work and fixing things - who wouldn't want a spouse who is capable in that respect? (insecure guys aside...) However there is an underlying assumption that sometimes goes with that, that I must really desire the sort of "girly girl" who is dumb or incapable and that she couldn't or wouldn't do the things I was doing herself (people have suggested this in a roundabout way).
* People sometimes ask me where I got my skills from. Not always, but sometimes they specifically ask about only my father. My dad has zilch technical skill, really my mom would be the better candidate as a general crafter and artist (though I learned mostly on my own...).
Two girls came by to load up some furniture in their truck. It was never stated explicitly, but they were annoyed that I suggested a configuration - I've been packing trucks forever and most people picking up furniture are happy for advice (it's my job). Funny thing is, most the people (men or women) who seem to object to help are especially bad (and sometimes I get schooled). They insisted (and I just shrugged, it is their stuff and their vehicle) on a really unstable configuration that left the furniture in danger of getting scratched (and it wasn't even easier to load), and when they were done loading they commented to each other something along the lines of "yeah, girls can do this" and gave me stink-eye. I tried to smile politely, even though their packing was abysmal. Sure, girls can pack, but these girls couldn't.
I've had many females make fun of my appearance and complexion but I guess that's not sexist because it's impossible for females to be sexist according to some feminists. I guess that could be called racist because it's usually been lighter skinned females making negative comments about my very dark skin tone but there is a gendered element too.
To the OP, I think if a fairly attractive woman told some random guy, "smile, you're too handsome to frown" most men would see this as extremely desirable.
Women are socialized to be far more selective in potential mates while a man's sexual orientation might come in to question by a lot of people if he refuses a sexual advance from a female. If the man was normal looking and handsome instead of being strange would this change the situation?
This usually means it is easier for most women to get laid while men face rejection more often.
I really enjoy make-shift, improvised solutions to home fix-ups. I was raised with a single mother and my brother was kinda spacey and not mechanically inclined, so I don't have that sense of gender delineated work. I do have a funny impulse to protect my romantic partner from heavy labor and will sometimes overdo when I'm alone, so that it will be done when he gets back. I'm not sure what that is, but I tend to gravitate towards feeling protective. I sometimes desire it in return, but not always and not beyond what I offer. I also deliberately did not develop the skill of cooking elaborately or beyond just heating up something to eat. I never wanted to be well suited for a traditional, domestic housewife role. My interface with the concrete world at home is relatively unbothered by sexism.
The struggle I have with sexism is harder to define and has to do with the emotional implications of gender roles and of not causing conflicts to push back against what is in place. It has also affected my self concept in relationship to the world.
Originally Posted by Robopop
I've had many females make fun of my appearance and complexion but I guess that's not sexist because it's impossible for females to be sexist according to some feminists.
Sorry that has happened to you, and it sounds like it could be sexist. There is a different context for female sexism, but even within each gender there are many different levels of power to impose their prejudice, so I don't think it could ever be a completely categorized issue.
The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY