Why sexism in men is not always easy to spot?
Would you be able to spot sexist attitude in the man you’re dating?
Some men hold beliefs they don’t even realize are sexist, as do some women. Consider that most men are on their best behavior in the early stages of a relationship and are unlikely to express blatantly sexist opinions (although remarkably, many still do). Instead, sexist men often display negative beliefs about women in subtle ways, ones that are easy to miss in the early stages of excitement and romance.
Most women would probably want to know if the man they’re dating is potentially sexist and the following tips should help them do so. However, these signs should only be considered red flags or issues that warrant further attention, not grounds for immediate condemnation. Some men might not have thought through their attitudes sufficiently and others might not be aware their behavior or opinions are problematic. If your date displays any of these signs, it might be a good idea to ask them directly about issues that concern you.
Check out the following signs!
He orders food or drinks without asking what you want: When someone orders for you they’re assuming they know what’s good for you or what you would like. Unless your date is a renowned mind reader with his own power, he should always check with you first. It might not be sexist if he had mentioned his favourite drink/meal earlier and you indicated you would be open to trying it. Even then, he should have checked with you but hopefully, his unilateral move is more a reflection of over-enthusiasm than it is sexism.
He asks you questions about your child-rearing goals but not your career goals: By doing so he’s assuming you should be more focused on motherhood than on your career. It might not be sexist if you had clarified your preference to be a stay-at-home mom previously, if he discussed his role as a father with equal enthusiasm, or if he happily mentioned his company gives paternity leave.
He calls you babe, sweetie, or other per names on a first date: Pet names should reflect feelings of love or affection and as such, they should be earned. If he’s addressing you with pet names after knowing you for all of two hours, it more likely reflects feelings of superiority on his part.
He resorts to name calling when referring to an ex: Using derogatory terms about another woman when on a date is not just bad judgment but likely a reflection of his feelings about women in general. It might not be sexist if you were the one who asked him about his ex.
He finds it necessary to share his “philosophy of women”: The fact that he even has a philosophy of women is a problem as it assumes all women are alike and want the same things which smack of sexism even if his “beliefs” sound positive. It might not be sexist if you asked him about his views “on women.”
Remember, if the man you’re dating fits any of these criteria, you need to think twice. It might also be a good idea to think through your own opinions and attitudes about the differences between men and women to assess whether your own beliefs are sexist in some ways. Having sexist beliefs is usually a product of our upbringing and social context so we might have such opinions but our attitudes can and should be updated if we take the time to think things through.
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