I’d like to share a little story today about sexism. For those who chose to believe it doesn’t exist anymore, what happened this morning proves it does.
It happened at the gym. In the morning workout session was myself, my sister and two guys in their 40’s that my sister and I work out with enough to banter with them. As we got started, one of the guys said “Can I get in touch with my feminine side and do what they’re going to do instead?”
Seemingly innocent, right? Wrong.
Our trainer doesn’t take it easy on us because we’re women. He pushes everyone equally to work their hardest and do their best. This guy has been with our trainer long enough to know this fact. So I said, “That’s a little insulting, don’t you think?”. I didn’t screech, whine, cry or nag this statement (as so much of mainstream media prefers to say when a woman is expressing an opinion). I said it evenly and matter of fact. His response?
“Someone is sensitive today.”
The other guy laughed and repeated, “Yeah, someone is definitely sensitive today.”
Excuse me? Because I called you out on a bullshit statement, I’m sensitive? This type of situation is infuriating. If I kept the conversation going, in an attempt to create a dialogue, these guys would keep on the “she’s so sensitive” angle and roll their eyes while thinking “this is why you can’t talk to women”. If I stayed quiet, then I’m regarded as someone they can make fun of and isn’t worth their time.
It’s a lose-lose situation for me and one that is not uncommon in the daily life of a woman. When we try to call attention to comments directed at us, we’re called sensitive (which, by the way, why is that so bad?). If we ignore them, we’re passive and get walked over. How can we ever change the way we’re looked at if anything we try is wrong?
I think the part that bothers me the most about what happened today is both of these guys have daughters. What do you think they would have done if that was their daughter in the gym today and some jerk made a comment like that?
I’ll willing to bet they wouldn’t be calling their daughters sensitive.