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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!!

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!!

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