Just now, in class, I was talking to two male classmates about how we need women’s only hours at the gym.
They went off about how there’s no men’s only hours, and that men might feel uncomfortable with women looking at them.
They then went on to say how there shouldn’t be a women’s centre, that there should be a men’s centre full of porno where they can eat chicken wings and burp. One guy said, “Oh yeah I’d go there.”
What’s wrong with this?
They’re making their own sex look bad, making it seem that the only men care about is sex, meat, and burping.
What’s wrong with this blatant sexist discourse?
Both men refused to even consider the fact that sexual injustices still exist in Canada, whether it’s in the way we communicate, the workforce or at school.
By not having women’s only hours at the gym, a group of women who don’t feel comfortable around men (for whatever reason, whether it’s because of a history with sexual abuse, religion etc.) will not be able to workout and feel comfortable.
Yes it is a co-ed gym, but shouldn’t compromises be made so that the entire student body feels safe and comfortable?
One of the guys said, “Hey. I can’t go to a bar, lean against a table and unbutton my shirt and say, ‘Do you want to buy me a drink?’”
How pathetic of him to actually think women are like this. Hearing this, I felt degraded that he was even saying this, as if all women go to bars just to get free drinks. As if we don’t make our own income and can’t support ourselves and have to use our bodies to attain free stuff.
This is sexism in the works – these ideas of women not needing to be comfortable is sexist – and it really frustrates me that I couldn’t articulate a comeback to this.
They were being sexist and they probably wouldn’t even think they are.
As feminists, how should we communicate the wrongness in their language and attitude?
After telling one of the guys I thought he was being sexist, I was told not to take things so seriously. It’s answers like these that brushes away my opinion and implies I’m too uptight.
It’s easier to put the blame on others instead of reflecting your own faults.