8 Sexist Things You Should Never Say to a Woman

Here’s one from one of my female readers. I thought it was worth sharing.

Take it away Melanie.

If you’re a woman, you’ve likely experienced your fair share of frustrating comments and questions from family, friends, and even strangers.

For some reason, many people think that it is totally OK to ask prying questions about a woman’s love life or make snarky comments about her eating habits. And for some reason, people get upset when you don’t give them nicely-packaged answers to their idiotic questions.

Luckily, some men (and women) realize the idiocy of such questions and comments, but unfortunately, there are many others that don’t. Consequently, many of us dread family get-togethers with that uncle who makes too many comments that toe the line of sexism. You don’t feel like it’s worth correcting him, since you just have a few more hours to get through before another 12-month break from him, but you certainly don’t feel good about letting his remarks go.

In the spirit of not letting others get away with covert sexism, here are some of the many dumb questions and comments that women receive throughout their lives. If you’re a woman, take solace in knowing you aren’t alone in hearing these remarks. If you’re a man, try to avoid saying these in the future. After all, we don’t need you to hold the door for us. We just want to be treated as peers.

1. “You look tired.”

Never say this to a woman, even if she looks like she just walked 30 miles straight without any rest. People throw this one out often (especially if the woman in question goes without makeup one day), but they really shouldn’t say it at all. We ladies receive enough attention on our appearances without your commentary, thank you!

2. “You might scare guys off with that attitude.”

This is an insult to both men and women, since it assumes that all men are looking for a passive female to stand by their side. Some relationships certainly operate that way, and that’s great, but in others, the woman will be more dominant… and that’s OK. Plus, a woman’s sole purpose on Earth is not to find a man. The recipient of this comment might not even be interested in men. And if they are, they might not be interested in being in a relationship. So please, just don’t..

3. “Calm down, it’s just a joke.”

If you say something stupid or make a sexist joke, don’t act defensively when someone calls you out. Own your actions, learn from them, and move on. Saying that something sexist is “just a joke” does nothing besides make you look immature. Instead, be an adult, and take your slip-up as an opportunity to grow, admitting that what you said was insensitive.

4. “You’re not really into sports. Since you say you are, name all 32 NFL teams.”

Ever heard of the WNBA? Women’s soccer? Any female college athlete? Any female kid who plays kickball? The idea that women should have to prove that she actually knows sports is just plain dumb. Why not grab a beer and talk about trade rumors with her instead?

5. “You’re not seeing anyone?” (Often featuring: “We need to find you a man!”)

This is another classic that women often hear at family gatherings. Again, a woman’s sole objective in life is not to be in a relationship at all times. This sexist comment makes it seem like seeing anyone – even someone who treats you terribly – is better than being single.

6. “Why not him? He’s nice!”

This suggests that finding a partner is just about finding “a nice young man who will treat you right.” It’s an extremely old-fashioned idea, and frankly, a terrible way of thinking.

7. “Are you sure you want to order that?” (Often featuring an unwelcome comment on your weight.)

“Yep, and I’m also going to get a side of ‘mind your own business.’” Sadly, this question often comes from other women, but that women-hating-women cycle doesn’t have to continue. Don’t comment on someone being “so skinny” or “a little big,” and don’t comment on their food choices, either. Pay attention to your own life, and let people enjoy their cheeseburgers in peace.

8. “When do you think that you’ll start having kids?”

Do you know what’s especially great? When someone asks you this question after they hit you with #5. Because again, all that women are here for is to get married and have kids, right?

Can we all agree to leave these sexist comments and questions in the past? They’re shallow, insulting, lazy conversation. Instead, ask someone about their interests, comment on something amazing they did (that isn’t related to their appearance), or talk about something that’s going on in the news. There is an infinite number of great things that you can say to women… and none of them involve their appearance or romantic prospects.

 

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Carol – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I was introduced to Carol by a friend of mine who works as an event director for a center city restaurant. I was literally sitting at the bar and my friend walks up with Carol, and says “Can you babysit this one for a while and I’ll meet you next door in a little bit.” Carol and I immediately hit it off and were chatting and laughing. We went to Square 1682 for a drink. Carol seemed fun. She has  a nice face, long brown hair she’s probably 5’4″ green eyes and is somewhat voluptuous. Very busty. She recently cut her hair to shoulder length and donated it to make wigs for cancer kids, so that’s a nice gesture.

I liked her well enough. She was bubbly and fun to be around. I did notice that her regular speech was peppered with profanity to the point where I would have to say something. I can trust a person that uses the whole language but too much cursing is just a lazy mind’s way of expressing itself. Something I also noticed that when she would drink she’d become very intense about whatever it was she was talking about. Sometimes it seemed overpowering and I can see how that would drive people away from her. But we had fun that night and I saw a green light so I went in for a kiss but she deflected it. I thought I saw a green light but apparently it was turning from yellow to red!

So after that night I didn’t see her for a while but I ran into her one evening. She was coming from her latest job and was on her way home. She worked at some start-up here in the city. We chatted and decided to have a drink. We get there and she is drinking, and getting excited and loud and as usual a little profane. It was actually painful for me to be sitting there. I was feeling stressed just listening to her. Then she saw someone she knew outside and went out to chat with them. We were in a bar I frequent so I was comfortable sitting there by myself. The bartender even looked at me like; “Dude, I feel your pain.” She got me a whiskey just to soothe my nerves.

Carol had mentioned she was supposed to meet her friend for birthday drinks down at some bar down in midtown village or as some call it the gayborhood. Her friend who was having the birthday is gay so it would stand to reason. I can’t remember the name of the place but it’ll come to me. Carol hadn’t come back from whoever she was talking to outside and I wanted to go see my friend who worked the door over at Ashton Cigar Bar, so I settled up at Square 1682 and text Carol that I had to leave. Frankly I was relieved to get away from her.

So I’m chatting with my friend at Ashton sipping a drink and smoking a cig so I’m calm and happy now. Carol texts me and asks me what I’m doing. I tell her I’m at Ashton. I know I shouldn’t have done that but I had already had a few drinks in me and was feeling fine on a Friday. So she comes to Ashton and gets carded by my friend. As a sidebar here my friend has a good job but was bouncing just as a part-time gig. Anyone you ever met who has worked at a bar knows it’s a tough job. You have to deal with a bunch of drunk and arrogant people some of the time. So when Carol gave him a hard time when he carded her and may have called him an asshole, my buddy wanted to toss her out. But I smoothed things out. But his tolerance for that kind of nonsense is very low.

Carol begged me to go to the birthday thing with her and I was like what the hell by then. So I agreed. I find that the more alcohol I consume the easier it is to deal with her volatility. So we walked over and her friend was there. Surprisingly enough it was a great place. The people were friendly and I was having a good time. I even ran into a guy I had met in my business network there with his friend whom until that moment I didn’t know was gay.  I believe in live and let live, but when you’re in a bar you would never go to and you’re like, “I know that dude.” “Wait… that dude’s gay?”

Anyway we had a good old-time there and later Carol jumped in a taxi and I walked home.

 

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