What do you say to someone who’s being sexist? That’s my big question here, and it’s not an easy one. When you want to speak up, when you think it will be well received, or you need to protect yourself from encroaching assumptions, or you just can’t stand to be silent, what do you say?
I have not found a lot of information about this. I have read a lot of stories about sexual harassment and sexist interactions, but those stories don’t include saying anything back. I don’t know if that’s because people don’t typically say something, or if they’re just not mentioning it. I wish I could find more examples because I don’t know what to say, myself. I will share my thoughts with you, though, and maybe you will have some opinions and some experiences to share as well.
Part of what makes the question of what to say so difficult is its complexity. There are so many variables. Let’s see… places where you could encounter sexism? At work, home, out running errands, school, at a party, at a family gathering, the doctor’s office or on the bus. People who might be sexist to you? Your parents, friends, coworkers, boss, strangers, a teacher, a kid you know… the list could go on and on. Basically anyone you interact with could be sexist to you. So how do you decide how to react, with so many different situations and so many different relationships? Continue reading “In Search of a Silver Bullet”