Other people have said this better than me but I want to collate those responses here because this still happens all the time and it’s always irritating.
Despite being a relatively small issue, this one’s important to me. Hopefully I’ll explain why and what you can do to address it too.
An (imperfect) example that fellow nerds will be very familiar with is:
To boldly go where no-one has gone before
You’ll recognise that as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening credits. In a previous iteration, it went thus:
To boldly go where no man has gone before
Split infinitive pedantry aside (you’re wrong, anyway), unfortunately this change was less about including women and more about including non-human species, but, hey. Take what you can get.
There are far more examples, though, and since whenever we discuss this some men will tend to get very angry, let’s look at it in a bit more detail.
#MeToo has led to a lot of questions about what healthy interactions look like between people where at least one of the parties wants something sexy to happen. Unfortunately, a very widespread lack of understanding (and in many cases coupled with disregard for the safety or feelings of others) means that a huge number of people have been subject to painful experiences.
Sometimes men’s fears about ‘being labelled a harasser or rapist’ are absurd and absolutely should be met with derision (also, try living in fear of actually being assaulted) – if you can’t understand the difference between flirting and harassing, please get yourself some help. This is your problem to fix. Also watch this video!
But there is also a deeper problem in that we get a lot of bad information and there are vacuums that are filled with nonsense when it comes to sex and relationships, while we grow up. I recall chatting with friends around the time that the original 50 Shades film was announced (wtf?! we exclaimed – then last year brought us the second) and our discussions of abuse, relationships and sex education in schools; how bad it all is.
How I wish we could stop suggesting men should be “gentlemen”.
Wait, wouldn’t it be great if we all taught boys gentlemanly ways, and we returned to a time of walking canes and hats (admittedly cool things)?
The problem is with imposing what you want to do (or think you should do) on women, rather than listening to what they want or what makes them comfortable; with taking their discomfort, however they express it, as a personal insult instead of a reason/request to behave differently.
Because the dance of the gentleman and the lady is outdated, sexist, and ignores the fact that we’re all individual people with different personalities and backgrounds and needs.
Topic: marrying while female. People start making assumptions and asking questions when this happens, because we still place a lot of societal expectations on women who take this step in a relationship, often without parallels for men.
Turns out I have loads more to say on this than I thought, what a surprise!
None of this post is a dig at anyone who’s done some or all of the things I wish to avoid (that others may find fun or necessary) – freedom is about choice, but choices also have context; that context differs in importance for different people, because we’re individuals. My/our choices and reasons, not necessarily anyone else’s.
If you’ve arrived for advice this might not be it, but my take-home is: never settle. You are not “too picky”. Be picky, being single is not inherently bad, and single is better than unhappy with the wrong person/people.
I know I haven’t written a thing for ages but I felt the need to lay this one out in more than a Storify because… does anyone actually read them?
But here are my favourites:
- Pockets! They’re sexist. How much stuff have you broken?
- Trump, misogynists, ‘gamerg*te’, white supremacists – a weird web of misery
The Storify topics are just 2 examples of sexism – quite far apart on the scale as it goes – but another huge one is rumbling along, the Google memo. Cue a bunch of guys coming forward to defend him because really, female inferiority is just science, right?!? Continue reading
This comes up a lot. Other people have written insightful things about it, so I linked them in a Storify, which now lives here.
As background, my profile became quite long and specific over the years I hopped on and off OKCupid. It contained web links. Someone took issue with one of them…