Sexism is present in all areas of life.
It also affects women and girls disproportionately.
Watch this video to understand the types of casual everyday-sexist comments women encounter.
You're out on a coffee date with a new male friend that you've met online. So far, so good— the conversation is flowing and you find him super attractive! He suddenly catches you off guard and asks:
Do you feel fulfilled just being a stay at home mom?
How To Respond
It may be tempting to brush or laugh the comment off, but this could seem like you're accepting their behavior, which could ingrain this person's sexist tendencies. It will take confidence and power to respond in the moment.
Keep these 4 tips in mind:
Accept your emotional response.
You have every right to feel mad, insulted, or taken back. Take a second to understand what you're feeling and why.
Don't accuse, or assume.
Don't assume this person knew that this comment was sexist and offensive, as they may be uneducated about sexism.
Explain your reaction.
Try saying, "That comment made me really uncomfortable because it implies staying home with my kids isn't equally fulfilling as a job".
Ask a question.
"What did you mean by that?" This question will force them to reflect on the comment, and uncover their biases or misunderstandings.
Taking Other Approaches
If... you must be in contact with this person regularly and you feel unsafe then... escalate the issue with someone you can trust.
If... you believe this person could benefit from information on their inappropriate remark then... offer a tidbit or statistic on how stereotypical gender roles hold women back.
If... you're a leader then... take offensive comments seriously. See them, name them, and condemn them.
Kayla works with a male colleague who is constantly making sexist remarks. He diminishes her work, and makes jokes about her good looks getting her ahead. Kayla needs to take action. How should she respond?
The next time you experience casual sexism as a woman, remember: