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new boyfriend constantly telling sexist jokes.. should I end it or am I over sensitive??!!

(184 Posts)
misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 17:52:59

I've been seeing a lovely man for a few months and he is great in every way except one... he makes some sexist jokes. They are just jokes and initially I laughed as I didn't want to come across as having no sense of humour or being over sensitive! His father is also like it... cracking sexist jokes all the time and jokingly saying his wife cant do x, y, z etc because she is a woman... its constant joking sexism with his family.

The other day my boyfriend started telling me how he and a colleague told a female colleague they could tell she was on her period. He was laughing hysterically as he told me this and told me she got very embarrassed. I've been thinking this over and over and I dont think its acceptable. Q. is would this be enough to end the relationship for you? He is amazing in all other ways but for these stupid jokes and comments

His friends are also like it too!! Last month we went on a weekend away with his friend and his friend's wife. His friend CONSTANTLY leered at the air hostesses saying "phhwwoooor look at that" (this was a 3pm flight with families, kids about... not a night club environment!

My boyfriend is 33 years old by the way. Would you get rid now???? He is great in all other ways!!

buss Mon 26-Aug-13 17:55:07

That's grim.
Tell him - see what his reaction is.

Nagoo Mon 26-Aug-13 17:55:17

I would tell him I thought the behaviour was twattish and unacceptable and see if he could stop. But TBF, if it's entrenched in family and friends I doubt he'd change. I don't want to move in those circles.

If they talk the sexist talk, presumably they live like it too? Does his mum run round after his dad etc?

perplexedpirate Mon 26-Aug-13 17:55:30

Jesus. He sounds absolutely awful. Personally, I couldn't spend a minute in his company, let alone have a relationship with him.
He had zero respect for you, you know that, right?

hiddenhome Mon 26-Aug-13 17:57:01

Laughing at someone because they're on their period is plain nasty. I would ditch him, he sounds like a bloody teenager hmm

MissDD1971 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:58:01

Ugh no. It's ingrained in this cretin and he won't change.

I'd give him the old el-bow.

MissDD1971 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:59:02

And what hidden home says the period stuff is nasty and he's 33 not 13.

LittlePeaPod Mon 26-Aug-13 18:00:37

Mmmm what he did to the girl at work wasn't a joke. It was demeaning harassing. That doesn't sound like a nice person to me. Nothing wrong with jokes but if they make you uncomfortable then that's a different story.

I love a laugh like the next person but personally I couldn't / wouldn't stay in a relationship with a man that behaved like your partner did to the girl at work. It's sad, idiotic, sexist, very childish and shows a serious lack of respect. Can you imagine how you would have felt if you were her?

No one can tell you if you whether you should or shouldn't be with him. I wouldn't be able to carry on in a relationship with this kind of behaviour going on.

BrianButterfield Mon 26-Aug-13 18:02:17

I would hate that. We were at a family do with DH's brother (who we rarely see) and he kept making these "women, eh?" sexist jokes. Everyone else was obviously uncomfortable but he wouldn't take the hint and kept looking around at the other men expecting them to join in. DH made a few sarcastic comments to try and burst his bubble but he is very thick-skinned! I remember thinking how embarrassed his girlfriend must new and hoping he is not like that at home.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 26-Aug-13 18:02:25

The entrenched sexism could probably be worked on but the nasty bullying of his colleague would be enough for me to bin him tbh.

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 26-Aug-13 18:03:09

Plenty of women I know can have relationships with these men, and that be their only awful trait and they are good in so many other ways?

But me personally? I would literally die if he kept on making comments like that over Sunday dinner or leering at air hostesses on romantic weekends away. Seems harmless enough, but so juvenile I would literally start to hate him.

I couldn't see myself with someone like that. If you think you can try not to explode or blush with embarrassment as he goes through life making these bizarre comments, then erm...good for you?

FourGates Mon 26-Aug-13 18:05:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyMud Mon 26-Aug-13 18:09:22

Someone constantly telling any sort of joke would really irritate me.

captainmummy Mon 26-Aug-13 18:13:00

I have a friend who's husband is like this - because she works 'only' part-time (having 2 dc, the housework, the gardening, the ironing, the shopping etc is obv not enough work to be treated as an equal ) he treats her 'jokingly' like shit. Even the dc (2 boys) make jokes like 'get me a drink, woman' or 'I don't clean things, I have a mum to do that', so she is teaching the dc to be as MCP as the father. Yeah, why have a dog and bark yourself, is one of the 'jokes' haha.

Another 'friend' would never go out with a girl over 25 - he was 45 at the time - because he wanted others to be envious of his 'prowess (i assume)

I don't see any of them now, TG

zippey Mon 26-Aug-13 18:26:03

If you stay with him for anything long term you might be the butt if these jokes. If you can give as good as you get, that's fine. If you wouldn't like it, I'd consider ending it.

badguider Mon 26-Aug-13 18:30:42

I'd be too embarassed to take him out with my friends or family so yes, I guess I would have to end the relationship sad

I suppose maybe you could try giving him one warning, but I doubt it would work. Sorry.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 18:30:52

He failed the 'Waitress Test'. I'd end it right away.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 18:33:01

cozietoesie he wouldn't be rude to a waitress... quite the contrary!! Lots of smiles and looking into her eyes etc

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 18:36:09

cozietoesie he wouldn't be rude to a waitress... quite the contrary!! Overly polite I'd say... a bit sickening. His dad even once gave a very young waitress a compliment about the food etc and she said oh thank you etc and then he pointed to his cheek for her to kiss which she did!!!! I was sooo cringing!!!

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 18:38:07

(And that in itself is demeaning to a professional server in my view.)

It's a phrase. There's a view that people's basic attitudes to others doesn't really change so that while you might be getting the benefit of the honeymoon/on a pedestal phase, you're seeing how he basically reacts to - in this case - women. I happen to agree with that view - and I suspect you might also if you stay with him for more than a few months and he stops trying with you.

Silverfoxballs Mon 26-Aug-13 18:40:08

Yuck, he sounds immature.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 18:42:08

cozietoesie when you said "and that is in itself demeaning to a professional server".. did you mean him being overly polite? Smiling, staring into eyes etc? TBH it makes me feel uncomfortable but I thought I was being oversensitive! I'm not going to start saying "oh my god, you were staring at that waitress.... "

GrendelsMum Mon 26-Aug-13 18:42:48

If you're not careful, one day you'll have a daughter with a dad who's taught her that women are for leering at, bullying, and generally treating badly.

Tell him why you're dumping him and then get rid.

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 26-Aug-13 18:43:30

He is going to turn into his dad, you realise that?

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 18:44:17

Just think about it miss. Would he react in the same way to a male waiter? And if not, why not?

tribpot Mon 26-Aug-13 18:44:49

I agree, the sexist jokes, whilst not funny, could be toned down. Leering at cabin crew and humiliating a colleague for sport - wanker. (Okay it wasn't him leering at the cabin crew but wanker by association in that case!)

FWIW, if the female colleague had refused to take the bait and simply talked about the symptoms of menstruation, perhaps with a short essay comparing the benefits of tampons and the Mooncup, both he and his arse bucket of a colleague would have run away gibbering in terror. Pathetic.

BOF Mon 26-Aug-13 18:45:13

If he is looking at her with sexual interest, then it's disrespectful to both of you.

nkf Mon 26-Aug-13 18:46:42

The first thing is to stop laughing at the jokes. In a way, you're miscommunicating. He doesn't realise that you don't like it. Perhaps you're not really right for each other.

Pawprint Mon 26-Aug-13 18:48:20

He sounds dreadful and, on some level, it sounds like he despises women.

Viviennemary Mon 26-Aug-13 18:49:48

I don't mind the odd thing about men not seeing chores that need to be done. But this period thing with a colleague would be a red flag. Very immature and silly. I couldn't put up with that. I would just finish and not give a reason. Just say you're not suited.

They are not 'just jokes'. They represent his actual view of women.
Lucky escape. Bin.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 26-Aug-13 18:52:19

I used to be a waitress. I hated the smarmy flirters much more than the openly hostile ones. They made you feel uncomfortable and dirty but not in a way you could complain about and they knew it. It's a nasty way to control people.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 18:58:21

Let me come at it from another angle, miss. Right now, you're being 'admitted into the club' because you're 'special and not like the others'. Sadly, that can make some women feel good. They won the competition.

But it doesn't last because he's showing you how he basically views women and he'll give up trying with you, eventually.

How would you feel if he started telling that sort of joke to his mates about you? Because that's how it will end up.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 26-Aug-13 18:59:36

Get rid now.

Sexist jokes, sexist friends & family, leering at waitresses, bullying colleagues: He's telling you who he is.

How did you react when he told the story about the colleague? Because I'd have been shock and angry and shown it.

ouryve Mon 26-Aug-13 19:00:38

He sounds a right plonker.

ExcuseTypos Mon 26-Aug-13 19:07:02

Hes acting like an immature, leery twat. I don't expect he'll change if he surrounds himself with like minded individuals.

grimbletart Mon 26-Aug-13 19:19:56

OP - he's not a "lovely"man. Lovely men don't continually make sexist jokes. You know what you should do.

MexicanHat Mon 26-Aug-13 19:25:19

I should have seen a huge red flags when I started dating STXEH and he was always making fun/undermining and being downright rude and disrepectful to his Mum - yep he eventually started doing it to me.

He sounds pathetic. Dump.

YoniMitchell Mon 26-Aug-13 19:46:51

He sounds like a cock. Get rid.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Mon 26-Aug-13 19:47:29

So he and his male colleagues called their female work colleague out on her terrible bleeding vagina? If a man did that where I work it would be a sackable offence.

I'd lay money on the fact that if you've slept with him, his friends have been treated to an in-depth run down on the state of your nethers as well. Judge a person by the company they keep and the way they treat people who aren't in a position to answer back.

Run. Like. The. Wind.

LizzieVereker Mon 26-Aug-13 20:18:17

OP, you sound nice, and he sounds like an irredeemable twunt. Please ditch him, put it down to experience and find someone worthy of your respect thanks - I wouldn't think twice about it.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 20:19:45

Right, time to ditch him me thinks!! Thank you all so much for making me see sense!! :-) xx

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 26-Aug-13 20:29:50

Tell him it's because he's just not strong & manly enough for you wink grin

<revenge for his colleague>

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 20:32:30

Oh I think you'd already seen it, eh ? Just needed to talk about it.

You were already feeling uncomfortable and questioning it. Cherish that instinct!


PAsSweetOrangeLurve Mon 26-Aug-13 20:35:55

You do realise that if the female colleague had complained to HR they would have been on a formal disciplinary for it?

Would you find it funny if a man came up to you at your work and told you that he could tell you were on your period? If your answer is no, then you need to dump this twat. He sounds vile.

ExcuseTypos Mon 26-Aug-13 21:18:04

Well done

something2say Mon 26-Aug-13 21:44:05

Hello I am late to this as usual!!! But yes I would ditch. I had an excessively right wing boyfriend at one stage and he was the same, making crap comments, being an embarrassment, it drove me mental.

Just one thing tho, do you think you might be able to tell him squarely what you think bout the sexism on your way out of the door? Say for example, would he make racist jokes in mixed company and expect everyone to laugh at the black people, including themselves? I told a man I was leaving him partly because he was sexist. I said I had told him and to,d him I didn't like it, and he carried on, and well, now I was leaving him, I think the more we do this as women the more men will learn that women won't put up with it anymore.

Good luck x better luck next time as well!

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 26-Aug-13 21:55:36

Only read the OP. Yes, I would end it. He is very disrespectful. Humiliating others for know if you stay with him you will be his favorite subject to degrade and I would predict that nothing would be kept private.

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 22:26:08

Really? surely you know the answer op?

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 22:29:15

no portofino because I've just told you the negatives about him. In all other ways he is amazing... a long long list of fantastic qualities. On the list for negatives this is the only one thing! So I didnt want to just write him off with no consideration on the matter

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 22:32:19

So if he so lovely, why are you even asking?

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 22:32:35

But it's a biggie, I'm afraid. Given that you've only known him for a few months, it's one heck of an indication of what his inner beliefs are. (And ally that with his upbringing.)

I think you've been more than fair to give it consideration - before walking on by.

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 22:34:39

I could not/would not put up with sexist shite. It does not bode well for any relationship. The way a man thinks of other women, is generally the way he thinks of you.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 22:35:14

seriously porofino??!!! I'm not asking people to tell me what to do! I'm asking people their view on the one point above that I've stated. Sometimes you need a little advice from others... hence the need for family, friends and this website! To talk to people to discuss things!!!! Yes ONLY I can make my decisions and it is what I think that counts but part of the point of this site is to share and ask for a little advice is it not?

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 22:36:07

yes I totally agree cozietoes thank you for confirming my view! :-) xxx

mcmooncup Mon 26-Aug-13 22:36:14

I think trust your gut on this.
You've only been dating a few months. He's already setting off your spidey senses. Let him go. It will only start to make you seeeeeeeth now you have seriously taken note of what he is actually like and will notice it all the more.
Good luck.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 22:37:37

sorry portofino didnt mean to come across as shouting! Didnt see your second post til after. I just wasnt sure if was being over sensitive!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 26-Aug-13 22:41:33

He's showing you his attitude towards women OP. They can all turn on the charm at the beginning of the relationship - but his sexist jokes/treatment of his female colleague are massive red flags.

Cheerymum Mon 26-Aug-13 22:49:09

My preferred way of calling people on this (assuming they aren't racist) is to challenge them by asking if they'd still think it was funny if they switched the reference to women with a racial word (as someone suggested up thread). It very quickly differentiates harmless banter from offensive sexism for anyone for whom it isn't already clear.
If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, stop laughing at the sexist things, explain you don't find sexist jokes funny and that actually they are demeaning to women including you. Say it seems to be normal among his family and friends, so you can see why he hasn't necessarily given it enough thought before, and say that it is a potential deal-breaker for you. If he doesn't get it, go over a few recent jokes with race words substituted. Suggest that he tries out any potential jokes in his head that way before they come out of his mouth. If he doesn't take you seriously and respectfully at that point, tell him it's over. If he is racist, the tactics won't work and you need to leave him anyway, as too separate lots of prejudice, unthinking or not, are simply too unattractive a package regardless of any redeeming features!

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 23:05:57

I never told you to do anything at all. I know what my standards are.

ZorbaTheHoarder Mon 26-Aug-13 23:18:24

Surely if he is so lovely in every other way, you should be able to sit down with him and tell him exactly what you are not happy about? Perhaps he will get what you are saying and shape up, but if he doesn't, you know that he will never change. These 'jokes' are not really jokes at all - they are comments designed to put women in their place, and sooner or later, when he has decided you are ready, they will include you...

ethelb Mon 26-Aug-13 23:28:29

Once my FIL gave me a lecture on how all men look (read letch) at women.

I realised what he was really trying to say was men have a sexuality and that must be explained to me as I am a woman and obviously have no sexuality of my own.

This is what I hate about letching and unwarrented sexual comments. It is all a reminder to women that their sexuality is there for the taking from men when ever they want it.

That is why I could never respect a man with this attitude.

BIWI Mon 26-Aug-13 23:35:05

Goodness. I'm amazed that you would even have to ask other people women about this. Surely it would be enough, hearing him talking like this/dealing with other people like this, to realise that he is a COMPLETE SEXIST TWAT?

Where are the shades of grey? Get rid.

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 23:46:38

I couldn't live with it, and I'd tell him why and also point out that if the woman he works with puts in a complaint, he'll probably be up on a (well-deserved) disciplinary. Mind you, I'd have probably questioned it a lot sooner, but then plenty of people find me humourless.

misssounsure Mon 26-Aug-13 23:53:52

Lol ebearhug. A lot of people laugh at sexist jokes .. most do when it is occasional... We laugh at blonde jokes and jokes discriminating re men. I just wasn't sure if he's crossed the line.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 26-Aug-13 23:55:05

Only if humourless = not putting up with sexist crap, EBear. In which case I'm humourless too grin

No woman should put up with this shit - then men might just stop being sexist twats.

Cheerymum Tue 27-Aug-13 00:21:41

Meant to say the work colleague/period thing sounds worse than crass, poor woman putting up with that. He will be in worse trouble than being single if he doesn't re-evaluate that sort of behaviour.

BadLad Tue 27-Aug-13 05:28:28

His dad even once gave a very young waitress a compliment about the food etc and she said oh thank you etc and then he pointed to his cheek for her to kiss which she did!!!! I was sooo cringing!!!

Christ Almighty. I have often thought I have the most embarrassing dad in the world. Mine will sometimes try the wine, and then pretend to be feeling ill for a few seconds at the vileness of the taste.

But the above is just unbelievable. That's something I'd roll my eyes at in an episode of Alan Partridge.

justgivemeareason Tue 27-Aug-13 06:34:53

These are not 'jokes' but ingrained attitudes towards women which probably affect everything he does and says. I don't see how he can express these views (constantly making jokes) yet be a lovely bloke. He must have these awful attitudes towards you.

And I must say his behaviour is quite unusual. I can't think of anyone I know who is so extreme in their sexist views. He sounds very unpleasant. You can't really defend him by saying how wonderful he is in other ways.

Lazyjaney Tue 27-Aug-13 07:34:40

Surely if he is so lovely in every other way, you should be able to sit down with him and tell him exactly what you are not happy about?


Emptychairs Tue 27-Aug-13 07:43:59

Oh yes, she can, defend him I mean. After all, as its his dad and friends who are acting so obviously horribly that there is some vestige of doubt if dp is REALLY like this too.
Don't get me wrong, I DO think this man- child is being sexist, its just that some men disguise it so well, make themselves appear to be victims or just going along with friends etc
My dh is sexist but really very underhand about it, I've confronted him directly and he acts hurt, amazed. But his daughter, 16, acts just like the poster mentioned above, to be leered at, treated badly etc. his wake up call came when I told him her bf plays a violent sport, won't let her wear heels, etc. Dh wants to be like his (sexist) dad too. After all, he had a fantastic career, etc. he can't be all that bad???
It's very difficult separating all the good bits clouding the actual issue.

NapaCab Tue 27-Aug-13 07:51:44

Jokes about women being on their period? Seriously?

Sounds like he's 33 going on 13... those redeeming features had better be good. He has some, right?

Dahlen Tue 27-Aug-13 09:49:23

I'd end it. Even if his sexism is of the more chivalrous variety, it illustrates a backdrop in which women are 'different' to men. While things are good, you might find you enjoy being treated as a rare precious jewel. When things go bad, or if your wants come into conflict with his, you will quickly find yourself considered inferior, which will be hammered home firstly with jokes at your expense and possibly with outright abuse eventually.

Contrarian78 Tue 27-Aug-13 12:00:23

Do you know what? Your partner sounds like a bit of a prat, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit here. Given that you said he's amazing in every other respect, I'm surprised that you're not at least being advised to work on things. The behaviour is wrong, but he needs to be told it's wrong, and given the opportunity to change.

I've worked in environments before now where the culture was very sexist. Whilst it didn't make me a sexist, I can't pretend that my baromoter wasn't shifted; which is to say that things I might have previously thought of as sexist, were (in this environment) acceptable banter.

If he's amazing in every other respect, it's worth spending the time to see if you can't change his barometer. It's unlikely he's an absolutley lost cause. The air stewerdess thing was disrespectful though.

misssounsure Tue 27-Aug-13 17:41:18

Contrarian. Thank you so much for your view. It's nice to hear a different view! The air stewardess comments were not made by him by the way. It was his friend that was leering and saying things. Because I was there and my boyfriend could see I was unimpressed he didn't make any derogatory comments but I've no idea if he would have done had I not been there. (In the past he has said some derogatory comments and I've looked horrified so he's really calmed down with the comments but he still thinks things and does still crack sexist jokes hes just no where near as bad as he was. I guess he can keep a lid on his comments etc around me but he's going to "be himself" when im not around I suspect

This friend is a very good friend whom he spends a lot of time with. They say you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. This friend is really awful (stares obviously at young attractive women and makes awful comments comments like "phwoooorr look at THAT"... My boyfriend is good friends with this guy!!

LittlePeaPod Tue 27-Aug-13 18:28:31

Miss you sound so lovely and dignified. I am struggling to see why anyone would want to spend any time with your DP and his friends/family. Some of the things you mentioned make me cringe and i wasnt there. I think i would have left/said something had I been there wouldnt have been able to help myself I understand he may be lovely in other ways BUT ultimately this behaviour towards women seems to be inherently part of his personality. The more comfortable he gets in the relationship the more he won't feel the need to behave himself in front of you.

ZorbaTheHoarder Tue 27-Aug-13 22:05:56

Just imagine going on to have children with this guy. How do you think his daughters would feel hearing him spout this crap on a daily basis? Is that what you would want for them? What is stopping you from challenging him about it now and seeing whether he is likely to change?

misssounsure Tue 27-Aug-13 22:33:33

Yep Zorba you are very right re.challenging. IF I do decide to give him a chance I'd certainly speak to him seriously about it and expect him to no longer act this way but I'm not sure I should even do that as even IF he did change and never breathe a sexist word again (in front of me!) I'll always be thinking "what is he saying when he's not with me and around his friends/family"... surely he's not going to tell all his friends and family that they need to stop their comments/behaviour!

misssounsure Tue 27-Aug-13 22:36:32

I just wanted to check I wasn't being over sensitive on the topic simply because sexist jokes/comments are part of our society and in SMALL doses most people just laugh and find it funny. It's not until I've met his friends and family I realised the full extent of it all!!! (when I first met him he was very respectable and perhaps only said the very odd joke)... its just as times gone on .. thank you all for your advice xxx

hollyisalovelyname Tue 27-Aug-13 22:46:39

Has he sisters?
Just wondering.
If so, how are they treated by him?

ALittleStranger Tue 27-Aug-13 22:47:36

Do you know what? Your partner sounds like a bit of a prat, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit here. Given that you said he's amazing in every other respect, I'm surprised that you're not at least being advised to work on things. The behaviour is wrong, but he needs to be told it's wrong, and given the opportunity to change.

Is he a partner though, is this an established relationship where the investment justifies "working on it"? You might well be right, but equally the OP has been in a relationship a few months. This is still getting to know you territory where you almost actively look for reasons to leave, and the OP appears not to like what she's discovering. Unless the other stuff is wonderful she risks wasting a lot of her time and spending a lot of evenings trying to apologise to waitresses etc while her boyfriend is in the bog.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 22:52:58

Yuck. What a creep.

misssounsure Tue 27-Aug-13 23:08:37

He doesnt have sisters but has 2 brothers. He, his das and his brother's all roll their eyes when his mum speaks etc. Shes institutionalised in that she laughs when they laugh at her ... She even puts herself down saying things like "I went into jessops on Friday to buy a camera and I told the man serving me "now, I need a camera a woman can operate". They love her dearly and treat her v.well in terms of taking her for lunch, buying her things etc. It's all just comments" and "Jokes" but its tiring

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 23:10:10

It isn't joking. This is his world view.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 27-Aug-13 23:15:45

That's how he'll expect you to behave if you married him, op. Count on it.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 27-Aug-13 23:37:32

Are you a woman?

Unless you are a man, I can't conceive of any reason why you would consider dating a sexist man.

Even if you were a man, I would question your taste in wanting to spend time with a leering, sexist bully.

But you are a woman and you know that he believes women are inferior to men.

And yet you are considering seeing more of him?


How amazing can a sexist man be?

What can possibly be so brilliant that it makes up for someone basically thinking that you (and all people who share your gender) are lesser beings than him and his offensive, socially embarrassing friends and family?

misssounsure Tue 27-Aug-13 23:46:36

Thanks joinyourplay.... And everyone else... Need to stop doubting're totally right!!!!! X

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 27-Aug-13 23:54:12

It's weird, isn't it, how women are basically taught to overlook this kind of objectionable behaviour?

We're meant to laugh and go along with it and not make a big deal out of it.


"he needs to be told it's wrong, and given the opportunity to change."

Like as a woman it's your responsibility to teach a man not to be a sexists boor grin

Why on earth should you waste your precious time on a man like this?

If he can't figure out that bullying women at work, leering at waitresses, belittling his mother and making sexist jokes is not a nice way to behave on his own, that's not your problem.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 28-Aug-13 08:37:34

If he had sisters the family would not have got away with sexist remarks, and 'jokes'. His mother is a certain kind of woman of her generation.
Sadly I don't think he would change, it's ingrained in his pysche.

Lovingfreedom Wed 28-Aug-13 08:47:04

It's early days....only a matter of time before you transition from being his new sexy bird to becoming her indoors giving him earache!

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 10:12:15

I'll say it again, he sounds a bit of a prat. He's definitely crass. I'm not convinced that he's properly sexist though. It was quite telling that you said he seems to have toned things down in front of you - which suggests that he might at least 'get it'

I've got friends that are like your partners friends. I probably do behave a little differently when I'm around them though a broad would have to be absolutely stunning before she illicited any response (note the intentional sexism there) smile My wife probably wouldn't approve of everything that gets said (I should point out that we're not animals) but she knows that I know how to behave in polite company - that's enough for her. She als oknows that I'm definitely not sexist, despite the fact that I have, in the past, laughed at and repeated sexist jokes.

None of us are perfect. I just wouldn't extrapolate (in the way some have - though I can see their logic) that he's an absolute sexist mysoginist arsehole becasue he's made a few crass comments.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 10:21:43

Contrarian - the mistake you are making is in imagining that you are not sexist.

Making sexist jokes, being sexist in sexist company - that IS being sexist.

Just like people who make racist jokes, laugh at racist jokes, repeat racist jokes are racist.

Even if they know that they should tone it down when people of colour are present.

They might not be the very worst of white supremacists, but they are very definitely and damagingly racist.

Women don't actually have to put up with that kind of offensive shite from anyone. The ones that genuinely feel they have a choice in the matter will not.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:12:26

I'm not. I'm not prejudice and I don't discriminate.

I'm not sayng what this chap has done is utterly acceptable. It's disrespectful I guess, but hardly crime of the century.

There's a line to be drawn between 'harmless banter' I actually hate that term as it's often mis-used and sexism. There's an inclination here to take ourselves to seriously and over-analyse. I'm not trying to get this chap off the hook, but I would ask for some perspective. Some peeople on these forums are quick to jump on these character flaws and label them. Quite often, be it bullying, sexism, etc., the cases are boarderline at best. That's just my opinion.

FWIW: Whilst I don't subscribe to the Nick Griffin: "Islam is a wicked and vicious faith" school of thought, one thing that Islam - and by extension, many Muslim's- is/are guilty of, is the subjugation of women. Something (on many ocassions) I've been very outspoken on. This is why my wife knows I'm not a sexist.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 12:22:16

"There's a line to be drawn between 'harmless banter' and sexism."


And you're the one who's going to draw that line, are you?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 28-Aug-13 12:22:21

This would be your life though, and reflect on how any future relationship/family decisions were made.

Doesn't bode well in my opinion. Especially seeing how his mum is treated.

JuliaScurr Wed 28-Aug-13 12:26:36

swap racism for sexism
then would you want him?
would you go to eg Indian restaurants?

JuliaScurr Wed 28-Aug-13 12:28:16

X posted so it's already been said

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:31:02

JYP: No, we all draw our own lines on what's acceptable and what isn't. These forums are useful becasue it allows us to gague where we are in the grand scheme of things. I try and offer a contrary view.

With the OP, I'd suggest that this is a borderline case. She knows it's wrong, but also recognises that she's perhaps being a little over-sensitive. She's sought advice on here (a broadly female forum) and got the response that you/she might have expected.

MorphyBrown Wed 28-Aug-13 12:44:45

'Oversensitive'? The shit his friend said that he found so hilarious would have him in from of HR with a formal warning in many workplaces. Because it's not the 1970s and that is recognised as completely inappropriate.

MorphyBrown Wed 28-Aug-13 12:45:40

Expat is right.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 28-Aug-13 12:50:53

With the OP, I'd suggest that this is a borderline case. She knows it's wrong, but also recognises that she's perhaps being a little over-sensitive. She's sought advice on here (a broadly female forum) and got the response that you/she might have expected.

how can she both 'know its wrong' but also be 'a little over sensitive' at the same time? That makes no sense! confused.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Wed 28-Aug-13 12:51:17

With the OP, I'd suggest that this is a borderline case.

While 'my sexy burd can't reverse park hur hur' is perhaps borderline, and a type of attitude someone can be trained out of, what promoted the OP to post was her boyfriend boasting of the fact he ganged up on a female employee with another man and humiliated her by telling her they could sense she was menstruating and finding it hilarious she was upset.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 28-Aug-13 12:56:41

And whilst we do 'draw our own lines' about such things, there are also some attitudes that are considered so wrong, those lines are actually drawn on our behalf by the court of law.

GummyLopes Wed 28-Aug-13 13:00:38

From what you say, he sounds like a ridiculous buffoon.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 13:16:00

Look, we all do things that are "wrong" in some sense or another. ALL OF US. Some 'wrongs' we can tolerate, others we can't/shouldn't.

Interestingly enough, rarely would the behaviour described (the worst incident arguably being the one with the female colleague) wouldn't be sufficient to get you anything other than a stern talking to by HR or perhaps (worst case) a final warning. Other forms of abuse (for example racial) would most likely result in a finding of gross misconduct and you'd be down the road.

For better or worse, society (it seems) is prepared to tolerate some things and not others. For what it's worth, I think that (especially in the media) blokes get a worse time of it than women. We live in a society where sexism (from both sides) is tolerated/promoted.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 13:49:32

"For what it's worth, I think that (especially in the media) blokes get a worse time of it than women."


Yeah, men really get a hard time.

Hopefully all the power and money they have hoarded for themselves will be some tiny compensation for the evil women do to them.

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 13:55:41

Contrarian it seems you may be partially defending Op's partner because you recognise that you have/do behave in the same way when out of sight of your wife and polite society of course However bottom line is, there are a lot of women on this thread that have made it clear that to us as the females objectified / leered at / joked about what Op's partner/family/friends, maybe you and your friends say and do in this regard is unacceptable. We think it's appalling sexist behaviour. After all it is the female population that these comments are targeted at. Maybe you can revisit this and try to recognise that we are actually, truly offended by this type of behaviour. It may give you a bit of prospective!

I don't mind a bit of comedy/banter etc. but what Op has been describing goes beyond light banter making a female work colleague feel embarrassed by her menstrual cycle etc. Whether this guy can behave himself in front of Op or not is irrelevant. Op would still need to spend time with his family and friends who I am sure will carry on regardless of how she feels. God forbid she tells them she is unhappy/uncomfortable with their behaviour. They would probably accuse her of been an overly sensitive female that cant take a joke, ohhhhh bless her note condescending tone at the end. This behaviour is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

FWIW: Whilst I don't subscribe to the Nick Griffin: "Islam is a wicked and vicious faith" school of thought, one thing that Islam - and by extension, many Muslim's- is/are guilty of, is the subjugation of women. Something (on many occasions) I've been very outspoken on. This is why my wife knows I'm not a sexist. I am really sorry Contrarian but this sounds a bit like the cliché saying I am not raciest because my friend is black or because I have friends that are black Very cringe worthy!

Op ultimately it's your choice but I would have jumped ship well before now making sure he was fully aware of my reasons for ending the relationship. Op if you didn't think this behaviour was all that bad you would never have asked for third party opinions in the first place.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 14:04:56

I sort of agree with you. I have an opinion on the matter, but it's not one that I couldn't articulate sufficiently well so as to be certain you wouldn't track me down and do unspeakable things to me.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 14:13:00

"Whether this guy can behave himself in front of Op or not is irrelevant."

Agreed. Totally irrelevant.

Who in their right mind wants to be in a relationship with someone who has to restrain themselves from saying horrible things about women in your presence?

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 14:19:12

Contrarian You have a right to have an opinion, we all do. However I feel this is more to do with you defending your behaviour which you believe is totally acceptable. And this behaviour may be acceptable to you but if it's anything like the Op's partner's behaviour then having read this thread you are now aware that it's not acceptable to the majority of women on here. These women represent the same women you work with, talk to and walk past in real life every day. Maybe you could consider that next time you and your friends have a bit of banter.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 14:37:51

My behaviour isn't as bad - but I won't lie and say that I'm an absolute saint. FWIW I've been present when a woman (talking to my wife in my presence) absolutely objectified a bloke who was going to be playing in a band at our local. She left us in no doubt as to what she'd do to the chap if she ever had him alone. I just said that I couldn't possibly allow my wife to attend (joking obviously). Strictly speaking, it wasn't acceptable, but I know that the woman in question (in her 50's and one of the most lovely people you'd ever meet - and also in the presence of her husband) is not sexist. I just think that we're sometimes too quick to judge people.

I don't accept that my dislike of certain elements of the Islamic faith is in anyway akin to my having "a black friend" Nothing like it. What would be analogous would be to say "I'm not sexist....I have a wife"

Dahlen Wed 28-Aug-13 14:57:03

I work in a male-dominated profession notorious for banter. I can cope with banter. The difference between banter and sexism is that the latter is insidious, and it has to be taken in its cultural context. Sexism towards men is not the same as sexism towards women, though it can be equally damaging.

For example, ogling a woman can leave the woman feeling objectified. The same can be true if the genders are reversed. However, the woman may also feel fear, because generally speaking men are physically bigger and stronger and capable of overpowering her and she lives in a country where 20 years ago rape within marriage was legal, a country in which 1 in 9 women will be raped (probably by someone known to her) and 1 in 4 experiences a sexual assault of some degree, a country in which the first questions asked around a rape case are was the victim drunk, have a history of promiscuity or was she wearing risque clothing. 1 in 4 women will be abused by a partner. A woman is well aware that the right to autonomy over her own body is reliant on men's willingness to accept that. Men do not have that backdrop to contend with and are more likely to be flattered by overt sexual attention. Some will feel very uncomfortable or annoyed, but few will feel intimidated or downright scared.

Sexism contributes to a backdrop that sees women as different to men. As the jokes are always subtle putdowns, it creates a backdrop where it's ok to treat women worse than men. That joke about women being unable to drive has a direct relationship with a man feeling entitled to hit his wife because she burned his dinner.

I'd show him this thread and see what his reaction was.
You'd have all you need to know right there!

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 15:08:25

Contrarian, and others who don't experience sexism, you might find this website eye-opening.

nkf Wed 28-Aug-13 15:13:56

What strikes me is that the OP doesn't feel comfortable about her boyfriend's behaviour and yet can't deal with it. She laughs along with it and then asks for opinions on here.

OP, if you don't like it, you don't like it. It's okay not to like it. You don't have to tie yourself into knots trying to like it. Be honest. If you don't like it, admit it to yourself and admit it to him. That will be better than pretending that you don't mind.

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 15:15:26

So you admit that Op's partners behaviour is bad? If you condemn his behaviour as bad like the rest of us on here do, why would you advise someone to stay with an individual that behaved this way? The example of your wife's friend doesn't compare to what Op has been putting up with. I get the feeling your wife's friends and her friends family/friends don't publicly objectify the opposite sex or communicate with the opposite sex in a completely inappropriate manor, like this guy and his family/friends? We really should judge people by the content of their character and from what I have read about this situation thus far, the content of this guy and his family/friends character(s) is pretty poor. I wonder what would happen if you scratched at the surface a little further? By the sound of it , this behaviour has been bred into him by his father. I don't think it will improve, this guy will progressively get worse as he becomes more and more comfortable in the relationship. I most certainly would not want my daughter due 2nd Jan 2014 to be in a relationship with him, anyone like him or to associate with the people this guy associates with.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 15:16:39

I can see what you're saying. I just think there's a tendancy to over-analyse. I simply look at it from my own point of view - which is that I've said some things (NEVER in a hurtful way) that would, by some on here, be construed as sexist. Although the op's partner has gone further than I would (though it's difficult to know the context entirely) I'm not necessarily prepared to submit to the notion that he's a lost cause.

People have assumed that sexism is this chaps world view. It may well be at the moment - but that might also be because he's never been told any different.

This chap probably fails the acid test that every man would fail in that he's not good enough for my daughter. If he has other redeeming qualities though, take the time to see if you can potentially mould him into something acceptable.

I have to absolutely contest though that there is a direct relationship between jokes about women not being able to drive (which I've laughed at) and me (and I can only really speak for myself here) feeling entitled to hit my wife. It's just a bit of a leap.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 15:21:01

LPP: Because there are different degrees of bad. I've sort of backed myself into a corner in defending this chap though it's not quite indefensible because it's important to offer a contrary view.

If the behaviour is symptomatic of something altogether more sinister - and the op has't suggested it is as he's apparently perfect in every other way, then he just needs to be told about himself.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 15:23:53

By the way. I have experienced sexism (in the truest sense) as my old boss - many moons ago - seemed to think it was entirely appropriate to make my life (as her subordinate) a living hell becasue her husband decided to run off with one of her so-called friends.

mrsmono Wed 28-Aug-13 15:24:13

Relationships eh? I'm having my own dilemmas too!. Hmm - difficult situation for you? Sounds like you like him a lot? It also sounds like this is a problem for you or you wouldn't have brought it here? But in the end only you know how much of a problem it is to you . All that matters is how it affects you and whether you're prepared to accept a 'trade off' because of the things you like about him. I agree with the good advice to talk to him and see if he's prepared to listen and try to change. One thing though if he gives your relationship the credit of taking on your feedback, don't expect miracles change doesn't happen overnight and there will be lapses. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 15:27:09

mrsmono: Perfect.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 28-Aug-13 15:34:18

So the situation with his mum/dad/brothers, if it was 'just jokes' and no real sexism, then they'd all be sharing the housework equally.

Is that what happens?

Or do The Men Of The Family sit on their arses while she bustles round after them, by any chance?

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 15:35:59

"take the time to see if you can potentially mould him into something acceptable."

No woman should EVER waste her time trying to mould a man into "something acceptable".

Our lives are too short and precious to be squandered on teaching men how not to behave like dicks.

Just find a decent man (there are lots of them) who treats women well and doesn't think that he knows all about sexism because he once had a bitter female boss.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 15:49:11

Hold tight. You're being a little unreasonable there. I said I'd had direct experience of sexism. It was properly awful (I was 17 at the time). I didn't claim that the experience somehow made me an expert.

I stand by my other comment. I'm a better person because of my wife. She has, to a degree, moulded me. It wasn't a difficult or arduous process - more about me understadning where her lines were and modifying my behaviour accordingly. It didn't fundamentally chage me as a person, but rather knocked off some of the "rough" edges. I think (on balance) she'd say that she's glad she did even though I'm not everyone's cup of tea grin

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 16:09:46

take the time to see if you can potentially mould him into something acceptable

You can't change someone and even if you try to they will resent you in the end, in the same way you would resent them if they tried to change you.. You either accept and tolerate their behaviour or you don't. But imagine having to live with someone whose behaviour irritates you. No thanks. Anyway, why would anyone want to change someone else anyway? All that effort… Tiring! My view, cut your losses and find someone who is naturally, intellectually, emotionally and morally in line with you.. Expend your energies in enjoying a mutually mature and satisfying relationship. Don't waste your time trying to mould an adult that should know better!

Dahlen Wed 28-Aug-13 16:13:29

Of all the isms, sexism is the one proving most difficult to eradicate. Although there is still some way to go, the unacceptability of racism in society has really taken hold, certainly in official and workplace circles even if not yet on the street. Racist jokes are no longer acceptable. Once you accept that actually a black person is no different to a white person except for the colour of their skin, you realise the jokes are just not funny. In fact, they're downright offensive.

Why it seems to be so hard for people to accept that about sexism I don't know, though fortunately it is happening, just more slowly.

Contrarian, you may not want to think of yourself as being sexist and I can accept that you are a product of your society and that no malice is intended, but that doesn't make it any more ok. Ignorance is not an excuse. By laughing at jokes against women you contribute to sexism. Just as ignoring abuse makes you complicit in it, so does ignoring sexism, racism or any disparagement of any minority group (for legal purposes women are classed as having minority status).

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 16:28:04

That person doesn't exist. No two people are ever that compaitable.

You can't fundamentally change a person; however, when you're in a proper relationship, you want to be the best version of you that you can be. As a result, you end up modifying your behaviour. It might even be something as simple as giving up smoking. It's something that happens naturally - though some of us do need to have it spelled out.

I went through a stage of using bad language - because the people I worked with at the time did. I didn't see it as a problem (I wasn't aware I was doing it) and I'm sure for many that it would have been a deal-breaker. My wife (then girlfriend) said that she didn't appreciate the swearing and it made me sound like a c*nt she has a wonderful sense of irony I stopped swearing. It'd have gone unnoticed (by me) had she not raised it. My instinct says that this chap is the same. That he's easily led and that his view has been shaped (for better or worse) by association - rather than because he necessarily believes in it.

Dahlen Wed 28-Aug-13 16:30:20

But bad language is a discrete behaviour. The constant use of bad language is just generally offensive. It does not have a target. Sexism does.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 16:35:15

Do you recommend to your male friends that they should stick around and mould girlfriends who behave in obnoxious and socially embarrassing ways?

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 16:38:39

I'm a product of "our" society. We all are.

I laugh at all jokes. The one caveat being that they have to be funny. On the joke side of things I can sort of see where you're coming from with the whole "thin end of the wedge argument" but to me, it doesn't really stack up. I, nor any of the people I associate with (I beleive) would prejudice a woman purely on the basis of her gender; anymore than we'd go out committing violence and rape against women becasue we'd done it on a computer game - for the record, I don't play such games, but my friends do and I've not heard reports that they have spent their evening beating and raping prostitutes

You're right though, attitudes will change eventually. The reason I think they've been slow to, is becasue there are more shades of gret in this argument. We first need to recignise (as we did with racism) that there must be equality of opportunity for all. That's easier said than done - but we need to understand that the differences between men and women are greater and more complex than the difference between say black and white..

JohFlow Wed 28-Aug-13 16:38:52

Some of the worst sexist is dressed as jokes - does not make it any less offensive! I think you need to have it out with your new boyfriend; better early in the relationship - don't be surprised if you get an 'oo er Missus!' at first - but persist. If it comes to it; you can make respectful talk a condition of your being together. I wouldn't be able to tolerate it.

aufaniae Wed 28-Aug-13 16:39:37

I love DP's mates (male and female). I've got to know them and many have become great friends.

That's not ever going to happen with your boyfriend's mates though is it? Sounds like they see you as an object - as are all women to them.

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 16:40:10

Contrarian You make assumptions based on your relationship. I beg to differ with your assumptions. That person does exist for me.. I have lived with him for years, I am marrying him on the 23rd September and we are having a baby in January 2014. I have never even considered changing anything about him / his personality/behaviour nor has he tried to change me. Just because your wife had to make allowances / tolerate aspects of your personality and ask you to moderate the behaviours she wasn't comfortable with doesn't mean all women do or have to do the same. My DF and I will disagree and have an argument but it's never anything that is based on the fundamentals (morality / acceptable behaviours etc.). For me, what this guys has been doing would be classed as a deal breaker. I wouldn't waste my time trying to change/mould him. His not a child, he knows what is acceptable and not acceptable.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 16:42:40

Yes. My best friend's (now) wife was an absolute nightmare when drunk. She ruined many a good night out. When not drinking, she was utterly reasonable. He was remarkably patient. She sought help and grew up a bit and they have since married and had a child. Their relationship seems o.k. (from what I know of it).

Nobody would have blamed him if he'd walked away (she'd offended just about everyone at that point) but his life (as it is now - and ours to an extent) would have been poorer for it.

CeliaFate Wed 28-Aug-13 16:43:10

I'm imagining my dd was that waitress and had some pervy letch make her kiss his cheek. Vile. They all sound awful.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 16:43:18

It's so bizarre having this discussion about a wife that I was reading about only recently asking for a divorce because of constant sexual bullying by her supposedly non-sexist husband.

This is how sexism flourishes, because nobody thinks THEY are sexist. Even the really sexist ones.

I'm a feminist, and I frequently catch myself making sexist assumptions, so you can be pretty sure that if you are a man who thinks banal and simplistic things about gender politics that you are probably quite sexist.

BelaLugosisShed Wed 28-Aug-13 16:50:06

This twonk is 33 years old, not some silly teenager who thinks it's cool to act like a dick with his friends.

"Mould him into something acceptable" ? Fuck that right off, it's not womens' responsibility to police mens' behaviour and stop them being sexist morons.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 16:51:49

That's great. I'm pleased for you (I mean that honestly, not sarcastically).

We try to be be the best we can for our partners. That often means making allowances/changes (whether of our own volition or otherwise). You can't fundamentally chage a person, nor should you have to - however, on the basis that you and your partner would have had different upbrinings (as is perhaps what's happened with this guy - not having any sisters) there is some adaption required ni order to function as a couple. This is true of 99% of relationships.

If the OPs partenr generally isn't a nasty person (she hasn't given the sense that he is) then he behaves the way that he does because he doesn't know any better. That's not to excuse it, but it's better (for her) than the alternative.

you and your partner are very very lucky. For most of us, it doesn't happen like that.

BelaLugosisShed Wed 28-Aug-13 17:02:27

I hope we've brought up DD to understand that it's not her job to mould a bloke into a decent human being.
My DH wasn't sexist at 17 when we got together, I didn't have to modify his behaviour, I can't imagine anything more depressing and soul destroying than having to treat an adult like a child and "teach" them what is and is not acceptable when it comes to how they view and treat women.

Contrarian78 Wed 28-Aug-13 17:27:40

I'm not sensing much empathy here.

We're all agreed that sexism is wrong. THis chap has (by the sounds of it) been brought up in a sexist household. This has doubtless coloured his thinking. If he's o.k. in every other respect, why shouldn't he be given a chance? What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Some on here (not particularly this thread) carry on as if they're perfect. We've all got flaws.

The op has been given some good advice. I hope she considers it.

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 18:09:07

Contrarian, there is a subtle undercurrent of sexism that suggests that women should improve their men. That they can't do it without them. If you've ever read Cosmo, or heard a MIL having a chat with DIL about their DS / DH, you'll know what I mean.

It is not a woman's job to sort her boyfriend / partner / husband out.

I have plenty of empathy for the poster; less so for her partner. One day he may realise that he doesn't want to act in this way - but it's not the OP's job to get him to that realisation.

BelaLugosisShed Wed 28-Aug-13 18:13:01

Benefit of the doubt? He's 33 FFS!

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 18:53:47

Contraian I am starting to think your are just having a giggle and trying to wind us up. I keep thinking surely his not serious!? Are you really serious? If you are I would be really interested in knowing your age if that's not too intrusive because you have some really out dated views on what women want, should accept and how relationships should work. In the old days maybe women were prepared to mother their partners and tolerate ridiculous/childish/inappropriate behaviour. We don't do that now. We want an equal, mature partner and we don't want to wont deal / put up with bull shit behaviour. Why try and mould someone when the person that suits your needs is out there anyway.

With regards empathy grin. Dear god! His an adult for god sake. His fully aware of his behaviour and what's wrong or right.. His an arse, he behaves like an arse and his friends all sound like arses.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 19:00:22

When I imagine Contrarian IRL I see a woman who is having a good laugh being the gobshite who comes onto a woman's forum to show us all his "contrary" views and mansplain to us how we should be behaving.

And like the obedient little eejits we are, we are all trying to convince him that he's wrong.

Here we are arguing that women shouldn't waste their time improving men who are quite happy being sexist twats whilst we are doing our best to improve this guy by showing him the error of his sexist ways.


Well played, Contrarian, well played.

It is only our being raised in a sexist society that would convince us to pay any attention to views as banal as those you have expressed on this thread.

expatinscotland Wed 28-Aug-13 19:02:22

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 19:03:55

Good point Join smile

LittlePeaPod Wed 28-Aug-13 19:07:22

join grin

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 08:34:56

Oh no, you're on to me!

Seriously though, I think you're over-analysing this. Someone commented earlier that my belief that women should try and mould their men was evidence of sexism insofar as it suggested that it was a womans job. That's patently absurd.

We live in a sexist society. This guy is 'sexist' (I'm not of the belief that he's a full on sexist - I don't know many people who are). He needs to be told that his attitudes are wrong - just like people of our parent's generation (who I don't believe were full on racists) had to be told that some of their views/terms were wrong. When we over-analyse (not saying that the incident with the colleague was acceptable) we undermine the broader argument. As an example - somebody earlier on the thread made reference to "people of colour" that's an outdated and to some, offensive term. I didn't shout that person down as a racist. What I should have done is said "we don't really use that term anymore" but I didn't thik it would add to the debate.

Here in the real world not everyone is perfect. Men who have grown up in our society do need to be moulded. That's how change happens. It doesn't happen on its own, but rather by one person at a time changing their views/behaviour.

I know I sometimes seem like a troll, but my arguments, although contrarian (hence the name) are - I hope - always reasoned. The same cannot always be said of the counter-arguments. Some people are hard-wired to find offence or transgression where none was meant/exists.

So in conclusion: <effects best Michael Winner voice> "Calm down Dear"

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 29-Aug-13 08:44:43

Interestingly, I have not seen evidence of anything other than reasoned argument here. They just don't agree with your position is all.

Your final comments come across as really quite arrogant. is that how they were meant? Wouldn't want to misread transgression where none was meant wink

LittlePeaPod Thu 29-Aug-13 08:50:23

Contrarian. I think your views are distorted by what has been going on in your own relationship.

For those interested I came across this thread by chance this morning. It all makes sense!

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:00:38

No, I'm pretty sure it's reasoned. Not always right, but reasoned.

the final comment was, I suppose, meant to be ironic.

LPP: By chance? Honestly?

I stand by what I wrote there. I don't want to hijack someone elses thread. I've offered a contrary view (I don't always so this) in the hope that it might help.

Fifi2406 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:11:00

I had a boyfriend that used to do this all the time if he ever did anything wrong and I was a bit miffed at him or didn't find some of his absolutely shit jokes funny he would instantly say "your on your period" I wasn't ever on my period when he said it he was just a dick! And I don't even suffer from pmt when I am on! Eventually I thought I can't deal with this guy he's so annoying as anything I said was taken badly and I was "on my period"

LittlePeaPod Thu 29-Aug-13 09:11:44

Yeap honestly.. It is after all on the first page of the relationships threads.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 29-Aug-13 09:13:15

I know I sometimes seem like a troll, but my arguments, although contrarian (hence the name) are - I hope - always reasoned. The same cannot always be said of the counter-arguments. Some people are hard-wired to find offence or transgression where none was meant/exists.

By final comment, I meant this (I ignored the Winner reference as a bit silly really). Was this meant ironically??

cory Thu 29-Aug-13 09:19:54

Fair enough, Contrarian, that you can sometimes in a committed relationship work on changing somebody's views. Sometimes in a committed relationship you have to work through serious difficulties that you could not have foreseen when the relationship started.

But the OP is not someone in a committed relationship. She is someone who has only started seeing a new man and is wondering whether to take it further or not.

You might say (if you are of the traditional kind) that people have a duty to try to make the best of their marriages within reasonable limits.

But even the strictest oldfashioned morality does not claim that you have a duty to enter on a longterm relationship if you don't think it looks like a good idea. (Unless you think that a woman should be so grateful for any bloke that offers that she just has to rush into a longterm relationship with him.)

At this moment there is no commitment. She is asking "does this look like a good proposition?" And the rest of us are saying "well no, not really".

OP, this bloke already makes you feel uncomfortable. It is unlikely that you will feel any less uncomfortable when he is further into middle age and you are in a committed relationship.

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:20:26

Oh so you ignored the final comment?

I stand by the other bit. The counterarguments aren't always reasoned.

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:26:29

cory. I agree with everything you said. If the op was so sure of her position, she wouldn't have come here. Perhaps subconsciously she came here (over analysising it perhaps) becasue she knew the response she'd get. She's acknowledged that he's perfect in every other way. If that's the case, I'm saying that she should give him a chance to change his behaviour and improve his outlook (she'll need to help him do this). For some, that seems utterly unreasonable.

cory Thu 29-Aug-13 09:39:26

But why does she have to give him a chance if she is not sure? I don't get that. Does she have to give any bloke a chance that offers?

LittlePeaPod Thu 29-Aug-13 09:42:20

Yes I think it's unreasonable to expect the Op to start teaching mothering a grown that should know better how to behave towards women and in public. Why should she waste her time when she can cut her losses and start afresh with someone more suited to her. Even if he did change which i doubt and think it would just get worse she would still have to put up with his family and friends that have the same views as him. God forbid she spends the next year/2 years trying to mould him only to discover he won't change. What a complete waste of her time/life..

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 29-Aug-13 09:42:22

Sorry to be picky but my original post said final comments (plural), referring to the paragraph and not just your last one single sentence. Yes, didn't see the Winner thing as a constructive contribution. I was more interested in what you said really.

Anyho. I also agree with Cory too. Wonder what op has done?

cory Thu 29-Aug-13 09:45:35

One of the most depressing things about MN imo is realising how many women have entered on marriage or a longterm relationship with men they were never sure about in the first place because they had a subconscious feeling that they ought to be grateful that any man would have them. They have been told that not being in a relationship is some kind of failure and having a boyfriend (any boyfriend) is a sign that you are a success. And then things go from bad to worse and children are involved and it all becomes terribly messy.

(And before you ask, I am not talking sour grapes here: I am writing from a very happy 30 years relationship which I have no doubt will last until one of us dies. But then I didn't marry the first man who offered: I married the man I felt sure about.)

LittlePeaPod Thu 29-Aug-13 09:48:52

Cory very well said. I couldn't agree more.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 29-Aug-13 09:51:11

As is goes, I would agree with contarian if we were talking about picking up dirty socks or remembering birthday dates...or something little but annoying.

However, you are taking a massive risk if you bet on trying to change these beliefs, as Cory says. Why not cut losses and find someone who shares a similar outlook on life in the first place?

Dahlen Thu 29-Aug-13 09:56:26

The difference between the racism of our grandparents' generation and the sexism of today is very different. The casual racism of the past was borne of ignorance rather than malice. That doesn't make it any more acceptable, but it does make it more understandable. It is true that many of our grandparents would have (and did in some cases) change their outlook when they met someone black/asian. But for many of them their lives simply took place in a race vacuum. They never met anyone of any other colour or culture than white.

The men of today are, and always have been, in a society that comprises 50% women. Ignorance is not an excuse. If there is ignorance, it is a wilful one.

Keepithidden Thu 29-Aug-13 10:25:30

If there is ignorance, it is a wilful one.

Oh I don't know about that, I'm ignorant of much of the sexism that exists in society (I'm male) and it is only when it has been pointed out to me that I think, actually, yeah that isn't fair/right and should be changed.

To an extent I think the OP, and all feminist women, do have to try and make those who are unaware, aware because things aren't going to change unless the sexist parts of society are exposed and educated.

Having said that, there does seem to be a sliding scale: the OPs BF seems to be at one end, deeply ingrained gender sterotyping manifesting itself in the jokes and behaviour that is outlined. Whereas a lot of men (and women too I suppose) are aware of the need for equality, but have been so subconsciously indoctrinated by society that they need someone to point out to them when they are being misogynistic.

Whether the pros outweigh the cons in the OPs case is open to debate (hence the thread) and I suppose only she can judge how much effort she'll have to put into educate her BF to her acceptable level. If she's going to be challengeing his behaviour and words for the next two years without apparent benefit, then I'd humbly suggest she finds someone else. If he can be challenged and change his own behaviour/attitude within a week or so, she may deem it worth the effort. You never know he may even start trying to persuade family/friends that their behaviour is wrong too! (Can you tell I'm clutching at straws in an effort to maintain my belief that humans are generally nice people?!)

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:32:07

cory (I agree) this is becoming a bit like the "I agree with Nick" (before the last general election) but I think the same is (to an extent) true for men too.

I'll try not to make this about the OP as I don't know her specific situation, but speaking more generally (and without ANY referene to this situation) I do believe that some people's expectations are too high. Nobody has to settle for second best, but (and this is true of both sexes) let's keep things grounded in reality.

Just look at the expectations that people have of women (and men). We're told how to behave and what to expect. I know this from my own experience. I expected my wife to have a career, be a great mother, wife, cook and for us to have the sex life that was well er.........

We're programmed to think we should have all of those things and that our lives will be better if we do (I honestly think women put more pressure on themselves than is healthy) a cursory glance through a celeb type mag will confirm this

Equally, though, this idea of the perfect modern man, also doesn't exist.

Don't accept second best, but equally don't potentially miss out on a fulfilling relationship because somebody fell short of this notion of a perfect human being.

Dahlen Thu 29-Aug-13 10:33:54

Keepithidden - I both agree and disagree with you. A lot of people - including feminists - are blind to a lot of sexism because it is so entrenched and normalised in our society.

But only a first-class twat would think that constantly telling sexist jokes is acceptable in 2013. You could only get away with putting that down to ignorance if you've been living under a rock for the last 30 years. Work-based sexual harassment (sometimes in the form of jokes) may still be commonplace, sadly, but enough people have lost their jobs over it and enough high-profile cases have made it into the media that no one can claim to know it's not offensive. The difference is that the perpetrators believe that it's 'PC gorn mad' and the rules shouldn't apply to them. That's not the same thing as being unaware at all.

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:39:51


Thank you. Sensible and reasoned debate.

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:46:05

What's actually happening (here in real life) is that men are genrally toning it down, and women are generally ramping it up. Eventually (rightly or wrongly) there'll be a meeting in the middle.

I think on one end of the scale you have workplace bullying (bad) and on the other end of the scale you have married women taking their husbands surnames (bad?) I know this is becoming less common, but I've known (otherwise) sensible and educated women change their name by deed poll so that it matches that of their partner and kids.

Keepithidden Thu 29-Aug-13 10:50:40

That's not the same thing as being unaware at all.

Well, when you put it like that I don't think I can defend the OPs BFs behaviour! OP, he hasn't been living under a rock for thirty years has he?

Thinking about it though, I do feel a bit of pity towards throwbacks like the OPs BF, in the same way I kind of feel sorry for older folks who still insist on calling corner shops "P*ki-shops" and using outdated racial terms. It's like they lack knowledge and I tend to make allowances (in the same way you would for a puppy after it trashed your living room) for their ignorance, despite challenging them on a lot of their beliefs.

Maybe it's because their world is changing and they aren't.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 29-Aug-13 11:00:22

To an extent I think the OP, and all feminist women, do have to try and make those who are unaware, aware because things aren't going to change unless the sexist parts of society are exposed and educated.

keepithidden this is so true...but there is a tendency to accuse women of being over sensitive, emotional or too quick to take offence. I can see why op has posted, get that 'is it just me?' Reassurance.

I also think there is a difference between prejudicial treatment of men and sexism towards women. It seems to me that sexism involves the holding of prejudicial views about gender but with the power to affect other people's lives as a result of those prejudices. In general (and there will be examples of exceptions) men have been in the position of power and therefore their prejudices have a greater impact on the lives of women around them.

I would be concerned that the underlining sexism within this man and also with his family would make changing opinions very difficult...but you are correct, only Op could judge that in the end.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 29-Aug-13 13:47:31

"To an extent I think the OP, and all feminist women, do have to try and make those who are unaware, aware because things aren't going to change unless the sexist parts of society are exposed and educated."

To an extent, yes.

And extent (for me, anyway) is to make women, such as the OP, think about whether they really need to be giving "chances" to objectionable men.

To challenge the idea that many women have been raised with that men are better than them, that they should constantly overlook how men treat them and make excuses.

I have no interest in convincing sexist men not to be sexist.

They are grown ups living in a world that is organised entirely to suit them.

If they can live in that world and still feel the need to put women down, refuse to see the bleeding obvious about how our society treats women, then that is their problem.

I will not associate with them. And where there is any harassment, I will report it.

But teaching men how not to be sexist is not my job.

Keepithidden Thu 29-Aug-13 14:04:26

I have no interest in convincing sexist men not to be sexist.

Maybe convincing is the wrong word, I'd say challenging. Convincing implies a kind of protracted debate which would be exhausting considering the amount of sexist men out there!

^They are grown ups living in a world that is organised entirely to suit them.

If they can live in that world and still feel the need to put women down, refuse to see the bleeding obvious about how our society treats women, then that is their problem.^

Well, the trouble is much of it isn't conscious. The need to put women down is normalised, it's how it has always been, it isn't a deliberate decision in many cases. I don't wake up in the morning and think to myself "I'm a man, I think women need to be put in their place today I'll make a few sexist comments, treat them as second class citizens and make their lives a misery". I wake up and try to live a life without causing harm and grief to anyone, but because of the society I've been raised in I will invariably end up being sexist somewhere along the line. I need people to tell me when this is happening and why I shouldn't be thinking/behaving/speaking along those lines.

I will not associate with them. And where there is any harassment, I will report it.

Good. Unfortunately I'm afraid because of the sheer number of sexist people out there your associates may be limited in number.

But teaching men how not to be sexist is not my job.

No, but challenging opinions, words or behaviour that is offensive is all of our jobs. In the same way as I'll challenge someone obviously spouting racist rubbish, I'd hope that a feminist would challenge me when I 'revert to type'.

LittlePeaPod Thu 29-Aug-13 14:22:33

To an extent I think the OP, and all feminist women, do have to try and make those who are unaware, aware because things aren't going to change unless the sexist parts of society are exposed and educated

Why is it down to women to do to this? Why do we have to mother these men? Men are fully aware of their behaviour and what's right/wrong. I have never wanted to mother my partner the thought irrates the hell out of me I want my partner to be mature and be fully aware and take responsiblity for his actions/behaviour. If he needs me to spoon feed him these basic principles then I am very unlikely to have any respect for him. The is probably why it took me till I was 32 to finanally meet someone I wanted to settle down with. His 4 years older than me and we have been together years. We are completely suited to each other. I wasn't prepared to settle for anything less than what was right for me. Like another Op mentioned above women and men shouldn't just settle.

Interestingly I asked my DF his opinion on this discussion. His view is his embarrassed that some men still try to abdicate responsibilty. They know what's right/wrong, they just think they can get away with it. If this isn't the case then thy are either stupid or very immature.

Dahlen Thu 29-Aug-13 14:34:52

Keepithidden I can see you are trying to find some middle ground here, but I really don't think there is any when it comes to the sort of sexism that is characterised by frequent recounting of sexist jokes.

The sort of sexism you - and I - are guilty of takes place entirely unthinkingly because of social norms. This is the sort of sexism apparent every time you wrap a present in some pink paper for a niece or ask if there's anything you can do to 'help' around the house. This is the sort of sexism that, while wrong, tends to be carried out through benign, unthinking habit rather than a conscious desire to reinforce male status above women's. There is no conscious target because it isn't even realised that there IS a target.

A sexist joke has a target. That is what makes it 'funny'. hmm When you repeat such a joke you have made a conscious decision that it is ok to mock that target. It's different.

Some people can make the odd joke like this and get away with it. If they are the sort of people who clearly demonstrate a belief in gender equality through their actions and they recount a joke that is genuinely funny (often because the humour is a benign observation rather than an 'edgy' mockery), it doesn't tend to cause offence. That's banter. IME, however, the sort of person whose entire humour repertoire consists mostly of sexist jokes is a sexist. Their humour reflects a deeper mindset about women, and it's not one characterised by equality.

Keepithidden Thu 29-Aug-13 14:42:07

Dahlen, you're right. I'm just complicating things by trying to explain my sexism in the context of the sexism demonstrated by OPs.

Apologies to all I've confused/annoyed.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 29-Aug-13 15:39:48

"because of the society I've been raised in I will invariably end up being sexist somewhere along the line."

I bet you will.

And so will I.

Despite it being something I am very conscious of.

And I do tend to challenge that kind of laziness where I see it and where it can be done gently.

But I only have so much energy and I'd rather spend it on convincing women not to put up with sexist crap than on trying to convince male chauvinists to only tell their nasty jokes when there are no women around.

We are more than half the population.

Even with the money and property and positions of power that we have been denied by mediocre, domineering and avaricious men, we can still do a lot.

I look forward to a day when no woman would even consider dating a man who makes sexist jokes.

And she would just laugh when some other sexist told her to give sexists and chance and fix their deficiencies.

quoteunquote Fri 30-Aug-13 08:34:59

Relationships are really finding someone who's faults you can live with,

You can't change someone, pointless trying,

So unless you want nasty undermining sexist crap as a back drop to the rest of your life, move on and don't waste any more precious time .

nkf Fri 30-Aug-13 12:26:40

Great quote from Congreve about the faults and failings of spouses. You should like their faults as much as you like your own. That's the summary. Here's the exact quote.

I'll tell thee, Fainall, she once used me with that insolence that in revenge I took her to pieces, sifted her, and separated her failings: I studied 'em and got 'em by rote. The catalogue was so large that I was not without hopes, one day or other, to hate her heartily. To which end I so used myself to think of 'em, that at length, contrary to my design and expectation, they gave me every hour less and less disturbance, till in a few days it became habitual to me to remember 'em without being displeased. They are now grown as familiar to me as my own frailties, and in all probability in a little time longer I shall like 'em as well.

GrendelsMum Fri 30-Aug-13 15:35:47

MN needs more Congreve on the Relationships board.

Except that rather than LTB, all the advice would probably be CTB (cukold the bastard)

nkf Fri 30-Aug-13 16:23:30

And the town versus country debate would be settled in no time. Never move out of London.

GrendelsMum Fri 30-Aug-13 17:17:34

Would that be the town versus <nudge nudge> country debate?

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 21:25:49

Contrarian78 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:32:07

"Don't accept second best, but equally don't potentially miss out on a fulfilling relationship because somebody fell short of this notion of a perfect human being."

I'd say, don't miss out on a first class relationship because you felt obliged to take second best if he came along first

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 30-Aug-13 21:29:26

"I'd say, don't miss out on a first class relationship because you felt obliged to take second best if he came along first"

Perfect smile

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