Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Tired of offhand sexism

Just like any other typical Sunday evening, I was working my shift as a server at Texas Roadhouse a month or so ago when I an older man sat at one of my tables.

He had graying hair and some wrinkles to show for the years he’d lived. He was nice and asked me what I was studying.

When I replied journalism and my focus was in broadcast, he asked which network I’d like to work for. When I replied that I didn’t know yet, he asked about a particular station, to which I informed him that no, I couldn’t work there because I couldn’t stand it.

His reply was, “Well there’s a lot of attractive women who work there!”

I didn’t know how to respond. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Despite the career path I wanted to take, it didn’t matter as much as my looks did.

Now, I am sure the man meant well and it was his way of complimenting me, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was implying my attractiveness should take precedence over my beliefs and dictate my career.

I doubt he would have said that to a man. He would’ve congratulated a man for sticking to his beliefs and having a strong opinion.

It’s this innate sexism.

Of all bylines and on-camera appearances in 2013, 63.4 percent were men in 2013. Women constituted 36.1 percent of contributors, according to the Women’s Media Center.

The experience was only a minuscule puzzle piece in the sexist enigma of our society.

According to Time, the UK conducted a study on Twitter that examined the source of misogynistic terms like “slut”, “whore” and “rape,” and who was behind it. They men used them more at 116,530 times with women close behind at 94,546 times.

“Boys will be boys” is a saying that allows for men to be excused from their actions because they can’t “help themselves.” According to Elizabeth J. Meyer PhD, this saying is a dangerous opening to many gender biases and social constructions of gender to be formed unconsciously.

Women are blamed as victims of rape and abuse because they were “asking for it.”

Women are objectified, hypersexualized and debased for their attractiveness.

Women are paid 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the White House.

These facts are what control how women are deemed and treated, and it all starts with the small details like thinking women are more fragile, emotional, irrational, etc.

Little things like that may seem petty, but ultimately this is what allows sexism to continue.

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

I don’t believe the majority of people are trying to be sexist on purpose, but that’s just the problem. I implore you to think twice before saying or doing something as it could be the helping hand in the plight of sexism. And I speak for every woman when I say that it’s beginning to get old.

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