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"Micro" acts of every day sexism...

(390 Posts)
GunpowderGelatine Wed 13-Nov-19 11:43:00

...you know the kind of things that, if you didn't look for it you wouldn't even notice?

For example, I'm at hospital today for an outpatient appointment. I noticed that when the staff (Male and female) would call out for patients for their appointment, they would use women's full names (e.g. "Emily Dixon?") and for men they'd use their salutation ("Mr Roberts?"). Every. Single. Time.

I feel like if we look out for things like these we'd notice a lot more? Is it just me going mad or do other people have things like this happen?

sillysmiles Tue 03-Dec-19 17:35:47

Yes I agree, but I don't think it is healthy - either for the mother, father or children to have this idea that the father is "bumbling" and mother is "in charge". It leaves women with increased mental load and infantilises fathers - I think.

deydododatdodontdeydo Tue 03-Dec-19 15:25:27

It might be fair that if the mother is the main organiser, the father has to check things with her before organising anything, but that directly leads to the situation which we see in many posts, where in-laws and such go directly to the mother to ask "what are you doing at xmas?", etc. and the man never gets asked.
And because the mother is more involved in the children's lives, she is the one who is asked what they want for birthday and xmas, etc.

AnneElliott Tue 03-Dec-19 15:14:04

I don't think that's surprising Silly. Even when parents are together the dad is more often less involved than the mother ( cue hoards of mn descending to tell me the dad was main carer).

Certainly when DS was small then DH deferred to me as I did know him best.

KristinaM Tue 03-Dec-19 15:13:21

Silly - i think that’s fair If the mother is the one who keeps the diary and implements the plan for the children. Even if they are togther.

Of course if the father is the primary carer and deals with school , dentists, doctors, play dates, birthdays , Christmas, various out of school activities etc then the mother should consult him. It’s not about sex, it’s about role and responsibilities.

sillysmiles Tue 03-Dec-19 15:04:36

One I notice a lot on MN - only mothers know their children and can make decisions about them - fathers cannot make plans/schedules/decisions with consulting/seeking permission from the child's mother.

And I mean in situations where both parents are together - not in a separated situation.

BritishSleeperAgent Tue 26-Nov-19 19:23:43

Oh, too many to mention. Here are my "favorites".

At the gym, man gets off the plate-loaded leg press. I ask him if he's done or going to do another set. He tells me he's done and grabs one of the 45lb plates to slide it off. "I'll just take a few of these plates off for you." I look him straight in the eye and tell him actually, I need to put two more on.

I'm actually Dr BSA. I never changed my last name when I got married. In the car dealership, waiting for my car to be serviced, the receptionist comes up to us and addresses my husband, "Dr BSA, your car is ready." My husband grins and points at me. "Talk to her, it's her car."

Fellow academics who react with astonishment to hear that my husband has spent his life moving around the country (and later, to the US) to follow my career.

deydododatdodontdeydo Tue 26-Nov-19 16:09:12

But, why were the women given the same thank-you as the children, and the men given something different?!

Maybe they asked them beforehand.
Even if not, this seems to be a tradition. At weddings, the women get flowers as gifts, the men something like whiskey.
I think for big professional theatre shows, the men get flowers too, though.

katmarie Tue 26-Nov-19 15:43:51

I regularly work with my DH doing house renovations. We have an arrangement where I tend to be the gofer and he gets on with stuff on site. That means I have to go to screwfix, b&q, trade counters, etc on a regular basis. Its fascinating which staff are helpful and respectful and which ones assume I have no idea. I had one staff member in a tool shop assume I didn't know how to use the check in point in order to collect my online order. I sarcastically pointed out it's just like the one in asda so I could probably manage. He hadn't offered to help the guy in line before me. Or the guy after me.

On the other hand the shop next door seemed to work on the basis that you know what you're doing unless you ask for help, and were incredibly helpful when i did ask for help. I went in at 39 weeks and asked them to help fetch me stuff because I couldn't walk round the shop and they were great without being at all patronising. In fact I went in there so often I should probably drop in and introduce the baby. Given the choice I shopped there simply because they treated me with respect.

undomesticgodde55 Tue 26-Nov-19 15:41:58

@Wavescrashingonthebeach I always check mirrors/look both ways and have an imaginary break on the passenger side blush it doesn't matter if a male or female is driving

PiedImperial Tue 26-Nov-19 15:10:26

This one annoyed me, but DH & DS couldn't see any problem:

DS school recently had a big concert, at a local theatre/concert hall.

Music teachers from the school took turns to conduct pieces.

Each female conductor was presented with a bunch of flowers.

Each male conductor was presented with a bottle of wine.

I'm not sure why the women were assumed not to want wine, or the men not to want flowers confused

Soloist pupils (both boys and girls) from the school were presented with flowers - I guess they can't really give out wine to the children, even if they were mostly 6th formers! Fine.

But, why were the women given the same thank-you as the children, and the men given something different?!

Wavescrashingonthebeach Tue 26-Nov-19 11:58:14

Another example..

When I am driving (have been driving all over the country for over 10 years) I have noticed male passengers quite obviously check my mirrors before i change lanes. Ive never noticed a female passenger do this same thing, they just trust me to drive. Anyone else had this?

EBearhug Tue 26-Nov-19 00:25:38

Can't stand being an "honorary man"

Yes - I pulled my colleagues up when they were leching over a new woman in the workplace. "Oh, but you don't count, you're one of us." I've had this in two separate workplaces, and it's nice to be seen as equal and all, but why does it have to be at the expense of my sex? They could see me as equal, and a woman, and be respectful about other women in the workplace.

milliefiori Mon 25-Nov-19 23:14:24

Going to buy carpets - not cars - carpets but still salesman directs his entire speech at DH and doesn't even meet my eye. Talks over me if I try and ask a question. I'm the one paying thousands of pounds for the carpets, and the job is not going to anyone who can't look women in the eye and conduct a business conversation with them.

GunpowderGelatine Mon 25-Nov-19 23:10:06

Or when in films men say (to be taken as a compliment) "You're not like other girls". WTF is wrong with other girls?!

AryaStarkWolf Mon 25-Nov-19 20:55:04

Oh yeah, being called "one of the lads" like I should be happy because clearly women are less than

Slightaggrandising Mon 25-Nov-19 20:46:44

Can't stand being an "honorary man" and "work wife" is awful.
Why can't women just be valued for themselves without ridiculous qualifiers.

Findumdum1 Mon 25-Nov-19 20:13:26

yes I am also an "honorary bloke" in my all male tech team. Which I don't really mind tbh as they do treat me as an equal (hallelujah, only took 20 years!!) and they are trying (Gents has been replaced by Guys).

I am also someone's "work wife" apparently which I am less keen on ...

MoreJammyDodgersPlease Mon 25-Nov-19 11:56:32

one of those inconvenient non-gent types

Another colleague and I were told we were "honorary men" in a previous job, as the other women in the company didn't have to attend a technical meeting, but we did.

fernandoanddenise Mon 25-Nov-19 07:45:24

From my husband this weekend doing the quiz in the newspaper. When I answered a question about fashion designers easily and quickly he gave a rueful snort and rolled his eyes. I had answered other questions on history (no snort) electromagnetic currents (no snort) and literature (no snort). I called him out on it as to why fashion and me knowing about fashion was in some way air headed? Amusing? Why he belittled that knowledge but not other? Should I go the whole hog a do a patronising little gesture when he answers sports questions?

Aderyn19 Mon 25-Nov-19 07:40:24

There's nothing wrong with that police officer's hair. I don't know what I was expecting when I clicked that link, but definitely something that stood out as noticeably different to the norm. Her hair is like lots of other people's.

EBearhug Mon 25-Nov-19 07:27:24

*Hi all
*they
Stupid phone

EBearhug Mon 25-Nov-19 07:26:31

I've seen a fair few group emails addressed to 'Gents'

This really pisses me off. It is so easily avoidable with "him all" or "Hi everyone," and then you don't even have to remember if there's one of those inconvenient non-gent types around. I do point out that we're not all gents to the culprits, because otherwise they will never change. Thry may not anyway, but maybe one will.

Peanutbatter Mon 25-Nov-19 06:55:41

Working as a decorator- went to buy sealant, looking in the catalogue male staff member instantly comes over 'do you know what you're looking for?' Never asks any of the blokes next to me who are browsing. Got to till 'do you need a gun for the sealant?' And not in an up-selling way. No I thought I'd use my nail file to push it out.

Went to do a job for elderly couple, she says 'I hate to see you reversing out of the drive onto that busy road, I want you to turn around before leaving, how can you see around the bushes?' Err the same way your sons and male gardener manage when they leave.

Moving house- Removal guy comes to quote keeps saying things like 'he'll do that the night before, he'll disconnect the dishwasher in the morning' then added 'before we arrive' realised he was assuming 'he' must be the big burly husband I hadn't mentioned. I only wish he knew how to disconnect the dishwasher!

Sanding a front door, schoolgirl walks past from next door 'wot you doing? That's mans work!'

Same phrase used last week by 70 year old man who learnt I'd just cleaned a conservatories windows.

MoreJammyDodgersPlease Mon 25-Nov-19 06:32:48

I've seen a fair few group emails addressed to 'Gents', including from customers who've already dealt with female staff members. But the worst was when a female colleague addressed the team I was in (I was the only woman) as 'Gents', and when pulled up on this, told me what a hard time she had being on the receiving end of things like this, and then went on to address the group as 'Gents and Lady', which made me cringe even more.

crankysaurus Mon 25-Nov-19 05:59:22

Long Distance Clara was ace, big fan of hers.

I work in a very male industry and seem to be seeing more informal team emails stating "Morning Gents", or such like. They've mostly been where I'm not in the original distribution, more where I've been subsequently added. This from a company that has a really decent equalities policy.

Enquiries going to the young male intern rather than me when we the only two in our part of the office also does my head in. Men will even say they'll come back later than ask me (not that I can help as it's someone (female) else's expertise).

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