Best tactic to combat low level sexism in the workplace?

(26 Posts)
GerbilsAteMyCat Sun 03-May-15 18:50:25

Hello,
Any ideas on the best tactic to tale with a low level sexist in the workplace?
He makes sweeping statement like 'all women do blah blah' and 'just like a woman' and my particular favourite 'I know better than to argue with a woman'. The other day I had 'your kids probably miss their mummy while you're at work.'
I want to hit him on the head with a large heavy object.
I cannot however.
Is there a vocal equivalent other than 'f*ck off'? He is a younger guy (late 20s?), married with a child.

GerbilsAteMyCat Sun 03-May-15 18:51:00

*take, not tale

YonicScrewdriver Sun 03-May-15 18:51:44

"Why do you say that" and a head tilt...

YonicScrewdriver Sun 03-May-15 18:52:42

to the "just like a woman", ask him if would say "just like a Muslim" or "just like a lesbian"?

ImperialBlether Sun 03-May-15 18:52:45

Never ever laugh when he says it.

Stare at him and say something like, "How old are you? You sound like a really old man."

Nolim Sun 03-May-15 18:53:51

'your kids probably miss their mummy while you're at work.

Either "so do yours" or "how would you know" depending on wether he has dc.

For the other stuff look straight into his eyes and say "do you think that is funny?"

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sun 03-May-15 18:59:25

Not particularly original, but I'd tell him I felt sorry for his wife.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sun 03-May-15 19:00:15

Scrub that, go with this: Stare at him and say something like, "How old are you? You sound like a really old man."

AgathaHannigan Sun 03-May-15 19:04:29

I sigh and say with a smile 'Any chance we could keep the petty sexism to a dull roar today?'... And then carry on exactly as we were... They should know better but half the time they don't, makes your point, everyone is still talking and they might learn something, hth.

YonicScrewdriver Sun 03-May-15 19:16:33

Nice, Agatha, nice.

SenecaFalls Sun 03-May-15 19:19:52

Back off the ageism, please, posters.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 03-May-15 19:24:34

Point it out, constantly, in front of people. Preferably HR.

Repeat back what he said. And then ask if he meant it.

Get out your phone/blackberry/ go to the computer. Repeat what he said while typing it out. Or ask him to repeat it while you put your voice memo app on.

I'm only half joking with the last one.

YonicScrewdriver Sun 03-May-15 19:28:51

How about "Have you just arrived from the Victorian age?" rather than an age linked comment?

GerbilsAteMyCat Sun 03-May-15 19:47:36

Excellent tips here folks!
The older men I work with are actually among the nicest so an ageist reply would be a compliment ;)
I like the 'just like a ' replies and petty sexism to a dull roar. I can definitely use those!
I'd rather not report him to HR. I genuinely don't think he realises how bad it sounds.

uglyswan Sun 03-May-15 19:51:20

Keep it simple? "Wow. That's very sexist. And unprofessional."

YonicScrewdriver Sun 03-May-15 19:55:36

You don't have to actually report him - you can say "shall I fetch HR so you can repeat that?" Or something...

EBearhug Sun 03-May-15 20:07:40

Is he a colleague on the same level, or a manager or...?

If he's on the same level in the same department, I might ask for a one-to-one with the manager and ask for a general awareness session on sexism. Alternatively, I might go to HR and ask for something like that - point out that I am not making comments about anyone in particular, just that you have been on the receiving end of some comments, and that you think it's mostly coming from a lack of awareness, and it's something that everyone could benefit from being more informed about.

But depending on how things are set up there, it could still make it obvious who's prompted that, so you'll have to take your own judgement on the possible outcomes from that side.

slightlyeggstained Sun 03-May-15 21:41:44

"Hellooo, the 1950s are calling..."

Or, as a male colleague tartly remarked: "Wow. Patronising much?"

BeakyMinder Sun 03-May-15 23:26:02

He sounds like the sort of twat who's trying to get a reaction from you.

Active listening: repeat back the exact words, with a half-interested, half-concerned expression ("you know better than to argue with a woman" "you're worried my children miss me"). This will prompt him to elaborate or explain, at which point you do it again. And again. And again. Make him do all the talking and he'll back himself into a corner.

I'm sure it's totally unethical to use professional counselling skills in this way, but by jeez it is effective with work arseholes smile

GerbilsAteMyCat Mon 04-May-15 01:20:47

Oooo, I'm not sure he's that bright, but I'm happy to play with him a bit. That sounds like fun.

wickedwaterwitch Mon 04-May-15 01:37:31

I'd actually get him in a room and say "can I give you done feedback?" And then I'd calmly and politely call him on it. And ask him to stop.

TeiTetua Mon 04-May-15 17:52:44

'I know better than to argue with a woman' is a particularly good one. You can come back with "Good. I don't want any more stupid put-downs from your direction. Any arguments to make?"

BuffyNeverBreaks Mon 04-May-15 19:39:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GerbilsAteMyCat Tue 05-May-15 10:06:49

@wickedwaterwitch, he and I have already had 'feedback' discussions. He is not overly fond of them.
I do like the idea of repeating it back at him and getting him to clarify exactly what he thinks he's saying.

I think he's basically threatened by me and can act like a spoilt child.

holmessweetholmes Tue 05-May-15 10:31:39

If he's threatened be you, how about saying "I'm a bit worried that you are making all these childish, sexist remarks because you're feeling a little intimidated as I'm more experienced / better at the job than you. Don't feel bad - I'm sure your self esteem will improve as you grow up a little". <sympathetic head tilt>

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