Ever heard them mentioning the new intern as an “item”? Did she walk off with disgust or retaliate? Even if she did retaliate, did her colleagues stand up for her? Maybe they did or maybe not because they just took it as a joke. In fact, most offensive and innately sexist comments can nowadays be passed as “I was just kidding. I didn’t mean it!” Whatever the comment, it doesn’t change the fact that your colleagues could be a significant part of the problem.
Damsel In Distress? The Victim of Sexist Comments
Workplace can be a very intimidating space for women whether or not it’s male-dominated. Some cheeky comments with sexist undertones can always catch you off-guard. Some valiant men will overplay their gentleman role putting you in an unwanted damsel in distress scenario. Even some women might boost their ego by making you a butt of all jokes!
If you belong to the female species, you are no stranger to mean comments hurled at you.
Things Not To Say To Your Women Co-workers
Creating sensitization to workplace harassment (verbally or physically) is very important. So, how do we make it a better place for our women? Here comes the list of ‘Things Not To Say To Your Women Co-workers’.
Pay attention or get your ass kicked by your pissed off female peers.
#1 Crossing Personal Boundaries
Some women get called “honey” or “sweetie” by their colleagues and bosses. Is that supposed to make our women feel better? No. That is sheer disrespect and a very offensive stunt one can pull.
#2 Period Jokes – “Are you PMSing?”
A commonplace sexist joke which men love shooting at women. A misogynist joke on menstrual taboo is as cliché as it can get but our men folks love it anyway! Even if it’s none of their business; they do it just for fun. No offense, ladies!
Body-shaming is a very prominent problem that women face in their workplace. Being called a “hippo” or an “elephant” or even a “matchstick” is humiliating. Getting laughed upon for your appearance is also not uncommon. Body-shaming often takes a toll on mental and physical health.
#4 Marriage Jokes
The most irritating are marriage jokes – “You are married. Why do you want promotion? Have kids and enjoy life”. To be told off by men on this topic is outrageous. This diminishes the potential of a woman to manage both personal and professional life.
#5. Seemingly Nice Comments
Comments like “You are not like other girls” or “You are not just a pretty face” can sound like a compliment at first. But, that’s just a sexist way of showing that women can’t be both pretty and intelligent.
#6. The #MeToo Haters
Twice every social media post, you will come across the holy gang of #NotAllMen coming up with “Are you one of those feminists?” comment whenever they feel threatened by women speaking up against workplace harassments. Don’t do this to your female co-worker when you don’t have the slightest experience of what it feels to get harassed.
Let’s face it, even after lots of awareness, people still love to indulge in smutty humor of this kind. Most women don’t find sexist jokes cracked by men as remotely funny.
So, whenever you try to make a “harmless” little comment on your female colleague, check your privilege. Stop depending on the narrative set by your male friends. It is high time we change the way we think rather than telling our women to speak up and protest.