Yet there they are in the same sentence.
I am a sexist feminist.
And I'm not the only one. You might be one too.
There was one night I was at my boyfriend's families house and then we had all (family included) went out for dinner. On the way back, my boyfriend's brother and I were desperate to go to the bathroom and he said he was going first. I retaliated with "What happened to ladies first?" and what he said back was a mental slap in the face.
And it was. It shut me up immediately and I couldn't stop thinking about it. That was about a year ago and I swore to myself that I would think about what I say more before I say it. And I'm failing. Even a year later, I only am able to seem to catch things after I've said them. And I hate it.
Granted, these things are never said to hurt anyone and I'm not trying to be sexist. And yes, things are said as a joke sometimes but these casual remarks of sexism on both sides, not just women, are only perpetuating that divide between the sexes.
I can hear it all around me.
"Be a man."
"You fight like a girl."
And I'm no better. I realise immediately after when I've said something but that's not good enough. I identify as a feminist but I have a bad habit to kick with this. Phrases like these are so ingrained in us from childhood that it makes it really difficult for us to not repeat it. They just come out. That's where it all starts, that's where we pick things up that we hear and take everything in that we're being told. We take all that as fact and it's carried with us throughout our life. The thing is, we're never going to stop casual sexism this like in our speech unless we are consciously aware of what we're saying all the time. Otherwise, our kids will keep repeating us and their kids will repeat them and so on.
Aren't we, as feminists, supposed to be stopping casual sexism in everyday speech?
I know what I'm asking here from society and from you is hard. I know that being aware and stopping yourself from saying these things is extremely difficult. Like I said, I'm failing. But it makes me realise that I'm no better than these people who say these things and don't realise these phrases are sexist. They don't realise but I do. I know how harmful and sexist these simple phrases have become and because of that, I'd argue that I'm worse.
These phrases are said in a way and worded to put people down. Both males and females. And it's not right. You should be able to go through life and not be put down by stereotypes and sexist statements. Isn't that what we've been breaking these past few years? Stereotypes? Teaching people that they aren't restricted to a box that society made?
This is a hurdle that I think will be the hardest. Knocking these sexist phrases out of society, out of our speech and out of our heads will be the roughest hurdle. We still have many hurdles to go before full equality for everyone, but cutting out this kind of speech, it's going to be a long process.
In fact, cutting out any kind of sexist or homophobic or racist speech is a long process. I like to think we have made some good progress in the racist and homophobic speech but I am sheltered from that. We only notice the problems that directly affect us.
If we all took a few seconds to think about what we're saying before we actually say it, imagine how much of a difference that could make.
Let it start with us. Let us be the ones who start calling out these key phrases and stopping their progression any further. Let us all think before we speak. Let us all teach our future generation that phrases like these are not okay. Let us start with the most important step.
What sexist phrases can you think of? Put them in the comments down below!
What are you like for phrases like this? Do you say them? Or are you better and have pushed them out already? Tell me in the comments down below and don't forget to share this on social media!