Welcome to the first edition of “This Month in Sexism,” an anonymous compendium of gobsmacking true experiences.
Unless we’re sorely mistaken, feminists don’t really have time to take on the re-education of everybody who says something dumb, intentional or not. At the same time, we are tired of pretending it just doesn’t matter. Our solution? Send us your FAIL stories (see the link here for how) and we’ll compile them into a post that will make you groan, laugh – and move on.
Here are this month’s jaw-droppers:
- I pause during my lecture to ask if anyone has any questions. A hand from the back shoots up. “Yes,” I acknowledge a male student who rarely speaks. “Where do you get your clothes?,” he asks.
- In a public meeting, my VP referred to 4 senior academic administrators as “ladies” – as in, “Thanks, ladies. Good work!” (This happened twice.)
- A senior colleague in my field patted me on the head.
- My new dean looked me up and down and said, “You didn’t have to dress up, you know.”
- My first professional advice? “Women can’t direct Shakespeare.”
- Sitting beside a (female) colleague from another institution during dinner: “Wow, you sure can pack it in, young lady! Better watch your figure.”
- As I walked up the aisle of the classroom distributing notes, a male student complimented me on my skirt, which I guess is okay . . . sort of. Then he complimented me on on my legs. I told him that I grew them especially for his pedagogical benefit. I suspect it was this student who described me as “a sarcastic and cynical feminist” on my teaching evaluations that term.
- For a slightly longer rant, see Mama non Grata’s blog entry for today!
What’s that? You can top these? Email us at sexism (at) hookandeye (dot) ca and show us!