Monday, March 17, 2008


So, overheard the other day:

"What’s wrong with being sexist? How does it matter if I’m sexist in my personal life as long as I behave professionally at the workplace? "

I paraphrase (though, trust me, the original comment was worse), but you get the point. And I have to wonder, where do people come up with this stuff from? I mean, seriously? (This is not considering that the above comment doesn't even make any fucking sense.) And how much can one argue with obtuse twits who, no matter what you say, are happy to stick to their own misogynistic world view?

Unfortunately for me, I seem to be coming across more and more of such people. The omg feminists are responsible for all that’s wrong with the world, women are really bad drivers and women can’t do math sorts. It’s irritating beyond belief and I am fast loosing patience and strength to keep arguing. It's depressing.

[1] I keep thinking, it would be great if we great if we could just unleash Falstaff on them. I’m amazed by his stamina to keep on arguing, honestly.
[2] All this makes me think so much more fondly of University. No matter how bad, it still acts as some insulation from such people. I think I would really like to go back to that cocoon.


Tabula Rasa said...

but you will agree that women can't spell "losing"?


MISSquoted** said...

what about 'women are bad drivers, but my mum and sister are better drivers than me. honestly!'?

I almost let him go :)

Szerelem said...

of course not. That's just me and my bad spelling. :p

ha, that's a good one. Also, where are you at now? Needed to mail you re some info/ help I need...still the old mail?

Beth said...

It's especially fatiguing when you're in your fifties, and you hear all the same hateful rhetoric from thirty and forty years ago being repeated, and it tells you the gains have been largely legislative and cosmetic: beneath the surface the same hatred and prejudice about women still exists. We don't have any choice but to keep arguing - non-stridently if possible - and keep on being examples of excellence. I'm totally with you - it sucks.

Fëanor said...

I guess your cretinous acquaintance is an avid fan of Dr Laura? Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Space Bar said...

what i want to know is, what did the person this was said to say in reply?

Veena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Veena said...

But why argue at all with such people? There is a certain threshold people need to have crossed before they are worth arguing with, no?

(Unless you are Falsie but as much as I love the guy, show me the last time when he actually convinced one of these cretins of his worldview)

Szerelem said...

beth: I totally understand how that could be immensely frustrating. Also, the pressure on women and sexism manifests in so many different ways now. It really is hard for women isn't it...even a little slip up is pounced on.

Feanor: ZOMG...I saw that and I was just like Jesus! WTF. It was shocking. Beyond shocking.

spacebar: I don't know honestly, I was a bit far away...but not much to the best of my knowledge. How'd you have responded??

Szerelem said...

Veena: Sorry, missed your comment! I kind of agree with you...sometimkes it's just too much effort to argue especially when you know it won't even matter. But then again, sometimes it gets a bit too much and your patience is stretched and you just HAVE to argue. Plus if you never say anything these idiots would happily think they're all right and no one questions them at all!

Madhuri said...

Echo the sentiments - though its pointless to argue, sometimes it is annoying to the point that you want these people to instantly vanish. What is with the age old debate - what makes some misogynists so insecure about women - most women don't go around explaining what men are incapable of doing or about the left/right brain etc, why can't they just evolve!

Anonymous said...

What if I changed the statement to:

"How does it matter if I’m racist in my personal life as long as I behave professionally at the workplace?"

I may not hire a black nanny but I will treat my black colleagues with equal respect (or contempt) based solely on their professional skills, not their race, religion or nationality.

Or if I say I will not buy products build in Pakistan/China/choose-your-country but will also never disrespect or mistreat (by denying promotions or in project assignments) colleagues from there.

There is some relevance to being in a professional environment (or any public space for that matter). There is an extra set of rules we have to abide by, irrespective of our personal biases.

I still don't condone having sexist/racist views but people invariably have some prejudices that we are allowed to keep in our private lives. You'll be amazed by the number of people who have very racist views (Chinese drivers anyone?) but keep that strictly out of their professional lives.

No one asks you to hang out with such people, but so long as they don't act maliciously, maybe it really doesn’t matter. Do sexist people particularly offend you or is it against all such prejudices?

~ ‘cretin’

km said...

"Being a sexist"? I am not sure I know what that phrase means. It's not like one chooses to be a sexist. That's just absurd.

If this guy has self-awareness of his thought patterns and behavior (at least enough to know there's a term for it) and *yet* he cannot change it, his problem is really something else, not "sexism".

//down with labels, that's all.

Padakkam said...

yo.. where r u these days? long time no see! hows life?

Tabula Rasa said...

i saw these videos of chris rock over breakfast and thought of you :-)

Szerelem said...

anon: I don’t deny that people have prejudices. What I find surprising is the unwillingness to question said prejudices. A lot of our relationships aren’t professional – and not governed by any set number of rules and regulations – I just happen to think that a lot can be said about a person by how they choose to conduct themselves in these situations. It isn’t just sexism, any such inane prejudice would offend me. Though I must admit – I probably wouldn’t hang out with such people and so more often than not, as you say, it doesn’t really matter.
P.S: Why call yourself ‘cretin’? :)

madhuri, km: Agree

tr: Ha! That was hilarious. Also, stereotyping me much?

Tabula Rasa said...

no, a monotype is usually sufficient for you :-D

Szerelem said...

Good to know.