I think it’s safe to say that, on the whole, most of the men that you associate with in your everyday life, and a lot of the ones who come in and out of your day as strangers, are not men who actively seek to commit both sexist microaggressions and bigger misogynistic acts upon women. Of course, there are always going to be horrible men who personify everything that is wrong and sexist, but as an optimist, I like to think that things are turning in a positive direction. However, any woman will be able to tell you that it isn’t just the big misogynistic statements that affect us. Here are ten sexist microaggressions we still have to put up with from guys on a pretty much regular basis!
This is when, for reasons that you will never understand, a guy proceeds to explain something to you in patronising detail that you are already well versed in. He might mean well, but it comes across as him thinking he knows more that you about a subject when in reality he absolutely doesn’t!
2. ‘Trying to Help’
This is well meaning one, but it can be very annoying in certain contexts. At a gas station, for example, if you are filling your car perfectly happily but a guy comes over and wants to ‘help’ you. He’s only doing that because he’s been conditioned to assume that women know nothing about cars.
3. Inappropriate Flirting
We can’t tell you how tiring it is to be hit on by a guy in the most inappropriate of places and situations. Just a simple outing like a trip to the bank or a meeting with a contractor. Why do guys think its cool to try to initiate sexual advances when you are just trying to go about your busy day?
4. Sexist Language
Things like ‘man up’ and ‘take it like a man’, are all phrases have become accepted in our language, but they all contain the context that to be like a man is the preferable and more desired way to live rather than ‘take it like a woman’. In these phrases, women are seen as less than.
5. Double Standards
If a guy tells his friend he slept with three different girls in the same week, he a high fiving hero. If a guy finds out that his female friend slept with three guys in a week, the immediate thought is that she is a slut. How is that fair?
That constant enraging notion that women should not be out and about frowning or in a mood. How many times has a complete stranger been near you and encouraged you to ‘smile!’. Dude, if I’m in a mood, I don’t want to smile, and I’m not here just to be pretty for you.
7. Too Girly
So guys want us to be feminine and beautiful, but then criticise us if we do something that is considered to be ‘too girly’. It’s almost as if we can’t win, no matter how we try to express our femininity.
8. Lesser Terms
I’m talking about when a man addresses a group of women as ‘girls’ instead of something more mature like ladies. He might not even realise it, but in dong so he is basically infantilising the women and reducing their maturity in his mind.
9. Negative Assumptions
One of my pet hates is just the general assumption that whatever you can do, a guy can do it just the little bit better. Excuse me dude, I’d like to see you try to give birth or get 3 kids ready for school and still look a million dollars.
10. ‘Equal Rights’
The microaggression I find to be most egregious is the notion that some guys have that equal rights have already been achieved. Educate yourself friend, we’ve still got a hell of a long way to go!