We all encounter so many different people who say sexist things without realizing it or without the intention to favor one particular gender. In fact, I used to say sexist things too, that was until I came across feminism and became a feminist.
The thing is, gender based discrimination has become so traditional that people do and say sexist things without actually realizing it.
For instance, your grandmother might expect you to do household chores instead of your brother. This is really sexist, but she doesn’t realize that because it’s traditional that women do household work and men don’t.
So if you hear people saying sexist things then you shouldn’t be afraid to correct them or point out how they are discriminating between genders. To stop traditional sex-based discrimination, we must stop saying and doing sexist things that have become so usual to us. Like expecting men to always be strong or depicting women as weak.
Like the Simpsons family once said:
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
Once my math teacher heard one of my friend say something about her boyfriend, she instantly started lecturing us about women’s dignity. I love my math teacher and she is awesome at teaching but what she said didn’t sit well in my stomach. She said something along the lines that, “It’s okay if boys approach you for dating but it is your duty to say no. You have to respect yourself and turn them down.”
Now, my school is an Indian school and even though India has developed a lot, some of the older generation still remains sexist.
To get this one thing cleared up, dignity is self-respect. And self-respect comes from within, it is if you respect yourself or not. And that will definitely not change if you are dating someone or not.
The most outrageous thing my teacher said was that it was okay for boys to date, because they are boys and you know, boys will be boys. (God, how much I hate that statement.) She said that for women to have their dignity they should not ‘mess around with boys’ because if they did, they would lose all their self-respect.
She was saying this to thirty one young girl of only fourteen who will probably grow up thinking that ‘boys will be boys’ and that anything that happens to them is their fault because they ‘messed around.’ None of which is true.
It’s not for you to decide what a girl has to do, neither is it up to the society, it is her own wish if she wants to date or read a book in a library while drinking coffee.
If I could go back in time to that moment and call her out on her sexist lecture and try to change her mind set about dignity and what women should or should not do, I would. I most definitely would!