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15 Common Remarks About Women That Are Actually Problematic

15 Common Remarks About Women That Are Actually Problematic

Sexism is prevalent throughout our society, and it is difficult to argue against this fact when you consider that many people still claim that women who dress a certain way are “asking for it.” This type of overt sexism is very obvious, but there are numerous other commonly stated phrases that are often said by people who truly believe that their stereotypical view of women is not problematic. Each of the following remarks help highlight the many forms of sexism that women face on a daily basis, and they also help explain why we definitely still need feminism.

1. Women Are Bad Drivers

It is almost as easy to find a joke about women being bad drivers as it is to locate a McDonald’s. The problem with these jokes is that they are not only insensitive but are also extremely inaccurate. According to Insurance Panda, female drivers are actually much more responsible and have a lower risk of getting into an accident. Women are also 10 percent less likely to get a moving violation, and their DUI rate is a whopping 50 percent less than men.

The next time someone starts spouting off with the sexist nonsense that women are bad drivers make sure that you are armed with these statistics. You may or may not change their mind, but at least you will have proof that being a woman does not mean that you are an inherently bad driver.

2. The Wage Gap Doesn’t Exist

No matter how much evidence is published that proves there is a wage gap in the U.S., there are still naysayers who insist that the entire thing is a myth. One of the most disheartening things about this particular common phrase is that there are actually some women who have bought into it. Yes, there are some companies that pay all of their employees fairly. Additionally, some fields do tend to pay women higher wages than their male colleagues. Overall, though, women are paid an average of .78 for every dollar that their comparable male co-workers make.

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Being armed with this knowledge will make it easier to fight against ignorant comments regarding the wage gap. But beware; most people who argue against this point online do not appear to have any interest in learning the truth. Apparently, admitting that there is a wage gap would also force them to acknowledge that there is a need for feminism, and this is just too real for some people.

3. Women Who Have One-Night Stands Are Immoral

Men are given a free pass when it comes to sex, but women who have one-night stands or sleep with several people are branded as immoral or, even worse, slutty. The reality is that all humans are sexual beings, and there should not be any type of line drawn in the sand regarding who can enjoy sex. Sadly, shaming women about their sex lives can lead to unhappiness. In fact, statistics indicate that women average 50 percent fewer sexual partners than men. Instead of giving into this form of societal pressure, women can and should hold their heads up high and have just as much, or as little, sex as they choose.

4. Women Are Happiest When They Have Children

Many women choose to have children, but let’s face it: being a mother can be a thankless job, and it is not right for everyone. The U.S. birth rate is also falling, and 47.6 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 did not have a child in 2014. The erroneous idea that women need a child to be happy is untrue and very sexist. After all, people do not equate a man’s happiness with whether or not he has children. Whether you choose to become a parent or to remain childless, your happiness is not defined by your ability to give birth.

5. Housework is a Woman’s Job

More than 80 percent of married women have a job, and many of them are balancing full-time work with their family obligations. Although the dynamic of the American family has drastically changed during the past few decades, many people still believe that housework is only a woman’s job.  Everyone who uses dishes or wears clothes has the ability to wash them, and households with two working partners need to share the workload more evenly.

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6. Women Who Don’t Respond Positively to Catcalling Are Stuck Up

Women are faced with a dilemma on a regular basis: pretend they are okay with being catcalled or potentially become the target of a stream of obscenities. For whatever reason, many men believe that women enjoy being catcalled. Some of them even believe that a woman who does not respond in a positive way must be stuck up or rude. It is reality check time, guys: women are simply walking to their destination, and they do not want to be whistled at.

7. Women Are “Too Pretty to Be Smart”

Attractive women are often told that they are “too pretty to be smart.” On the flip side, women who are not viewed as conventionally attractive due to society’s flawed beauty standards are often told horrible things such as “at least you are smarter than pretty girls.” Any person who repeats these stereotypes is obviously unaware that it is ridiculous to equate intelligence with a person’s physical appearance. The next time this happens, be prepared to prove just how wrong the negative assertion is by displaying your high IQ through a witty comeback.

8. Women Who Get Promoted Are Sleeping Their Way to the Top

Whether it is jealousy or the false belief that women are not as smart as their male coworkers, it is all too prevalent for people to claim that successful businesswomen are sleeping their way to the top. Meanwhile, the same type of comments are almost never made about men. Women are actually 2.9 percent less likely to get promoted than men, and this clearly would not be the case if sexual favors were being exchanged.

If you are accused of sleeping your way to the top, you can silence your detractors by showcasing your strong business skills. Alternatively, let the HR department know about the comments, and they can show people how harmful it is to their career to make sexist remarks in the workplace.

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9. Women Are Overly Emotional and Irrational

Anytime a woman displays her emotions, she is at risk of being labeled as irrational, overly emotional or PMSing. In reality, there is less than a 3 percent gap between the genders and their probability of suffering from depression. Men are also four times more likely to commit suicide, which makes it clear that both genders are susceptible to emotions and mental illness. Keep in mind that men usually label someone as irrational when they do not like the woman’s words or actions. By refusing to retort to these comments in a negative way, you can defuse their perceived ammunition against you.

10. Women Aren’t As Strong as Men

There are physical differences between the genders, but it is preposterous to base the definition of strength merely around a person’s physicality. When a man claims he is stronger than a woman, he is basically attempting to assert a dominant position. Meanwhile, the woman may be stronger emotionally, more able to tolerate physical pain or simply more skilled at completing important tasks. Regularly showcasing your strengths can help prove that muscles are not the only way to be strong, nor are they the only thing that should matter.

11. Women Are Bad at Sports

There always seems to be at least one guy in every crowd who stubbornly holds on to the belief that women are bad at sports. The next time someone says that you throw or kick like a girl, tell them that it is a compliment to be compared to women such as Mo’ne Davis and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. After all, Davis dominated the 2014 Little League World Series, and the Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup. Women have also been clocked throwing a softball or baseball above 80 MPH, and some experts believe it is only a matter of time until a Major League Baseball team signs a female pitcher.

12. Women Belong in the Kitchen

Phrases such as “get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich” can be said in jest, but there are also many people who believe that it is perfectly acceptable to say this to a woman. This particular common but problematic remark goes beyond the housework category and falls into a strange area where some men seem to honestly believe they should not have to cook in the kitchen. Oddly, many men also claim the grill as their territory and believe that guys are the best chefs. One way to break this sexism down in your relationship is by showing your grill prowess and making it clear that you will not cook every meal.

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13. It is Obvious Who Wears the Pants in That Relationship

This phrase is sexist on two levels because it seeks to demean both women and men. Not only are people who make comments such as “who wears the pants in your relationship” implying that men should be in charge but they are also completely ignoring the fact that women actually wear real pants on a regular basis. It is no longer 1952, and women are free to wear whatever they would like. Additionally, there is no shame in sharing relationship roles, nor should anyone be content to let another person make all of their decisions for them.

14. “Let the Men Do the Work”

Also known as “men are working here,” this dismissive phrase is often aimed at women by men who have a superiority complex. Phrases of this nature are very demeaning because they strongly imply that only men are capable of actually getting the job done. Any man who dismisses a woman in this manner is clearly being sexist, and it is not a bad idea to call them out on this type of behavior. If you are in a situation where you cannot safely correct the men in question, you can make a point by completing your portion of the project in an accurate and efficient manner. Bonus points if you turn it into the perpetrator while saying, “Oh, are the men still working? The woman is already done.”

15. Inappropriate Terms of Endearment

Does a guy at your office insist on calling women sweetheart while referring to his male coworkers by their first name? This creates a work space where men are taken more seriously and receive more respect. To help curb this problem, you can first try saying “thank you, [insert coworker’s name]. My name is…” If this does not work, you could always flip the script by addressing every man at work with a common term that is not their name. This can help call attention to how inappropriate it is to use terms of endearment at work, whether they are used condescendingly or genuinely.

The world needs feminism for many reasons, including all of the previously mentioned sexist remarks. Although some people insist on twisting the message of feminism and acting like it is a four-letter word, feminists throughout history have done very important work such as helping women earn the right to vote. Women and men can help change the world for the better by embracing feminist ideas and treating each other with more respect.

Featured photo credit: Image by Bailey Weaver, via Flickr via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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