We were at a friend's house last weekend, and their DD (who I will call X) was there, she's doing AS levels and my DD (who wasn't there) is doing her A2's this year.
X asked me how our DD's revising was going, we chatted for a bit about maths and commiserated over her heavy exam schedule, as she's got one week with back-to-back exams.
Then her dad said: X, it doesn't matter how you do on your exams because you're pretty. You've got long legs and blonde hair (etc etc) and that's what is really important... [there was a bit more but that's the gist of it]
Of course we all laughed (?), of course my face was and I said, XDad you shouldn't say that! I'm sure X wants to do her best!
And he said 'why shouldn't I say that? It's the truth!' then he proceeded to prattle on at length about this. All the time saying he was just 'telling it like it is'.
I just found it really disturbing... whatever the jokey intention was.
Obviously I couldn't challenge him on his Sid-the-sexist views as were in their house but should I have a chat with his wife about it?? It's this insidious, hidden but somehow socially acceptable view that women are first and foremost 'objects' that sets them up for abuse and underachievement! Am I wrong? I'm still feeling annoyed about it.
I'd have said, in a perfectly polite and friendly way, that I couldn't disagree more with his views and found them highly offensive, and then if he had still carried on I'd probably have left. His poor daughter.
I think leaving him unchallenged in his own home, then having a word with his wife after, reinforces his sexist king-of-the-castle type views. Why not speak to him directly? Though sounds like you did challenge him a bit by saying he shouldn't say that. Whether you can do more now depends on how much contact you have with them. And a dad commenting on his dd's legs is a bit yuk imo. (Seems worse than saying she's pretty for some reason, probably as more physical.)
I think you did challenge him OP. It sounds a lot like posturing to me and I wonder if he was 'playing to the crowd'. I am sure your face spoke volumes! Yes, I think family attitudes have a part to play in determining their children's attitude to their own abilities, but the children themselves can make their own mind up too (I am a committed feminist, and my otherwise lovely dad believed no woman could ever be a successful scientist or engineer, whereas my mum believes men should pay all the mortgage erc and any money she earnt was pocket money). I think you set a good example with that challenge and the dd will make her own mind up. It might be that the mum doesn't challenge him because she finds his views laughable.
thanks all, I know I'm not being unreasonable but there's more to it of course, (NS) DH was there as well and when I complained about it later he said that he agreed with Sid-the-sexist... that's just the way the world is, females get on by their looks, a female cannot be pretty and clever, has to be one or the other etc... he trotted out all the old stereotypes. And what really p***ed me off is that he says that I am just jealous because I was never like that, ie pretty enough (?) (to expect favours of men I suppose!). ( NB I am nearly 50 and while not bad for my age have no intention of competing in the looks-ist stakes! but FFS...)
I am fuming about that-- he won't talk about it because he says I am jealous, end of conversation. But that's probably one for the relationships board.
Iggi I felt uncomfortable with Sid-sexist's borderline pervy descriptions of his DD! No I won't say anything to my friend (her mother) as in this case we all knew that he was joking and we know them well enough that he can 'relax' and be himself when we're together. But thinking maybe we shouldn't hang around with them too much.