10 things I’ve realised since the ‘exchange’

…that I spoke of in my last post.

  1. Every woman I knew had at least one story of sexism to recount. Many had several.
  2. Almost all of them struggled to respond appropriately, though every one wished they had a scripted response.
  3. All my white contacts thought this was a purely sexist issue.
  4. All my non-white contacts thought this was a purely racist issue.
  5. All my friends (regardless of colour) thought it was a combination of both — this would not have been said to a man of colour; and it most probably would not have been said to a white woman.
  6. That all those who have accused me of being oversensitive (in the past as well), are those I’ve accused of being racist or sexist. The bystanders have invariably seen my point of view.
  7. And that is called gaslighting, Tracy tells me. Here is the link to an article on that: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/ (And thank you Tracy for being such a good friend that evening.)
  8. And coming back to those who think I’m oversensitive, they genuinely don’t get it, or think it’s only a ‘joke’…
  9. So that brings me to Moha‘s comment on my post that there’s always truth in a joke… an intention as well, I must add. And that intention is not always to get a laugh.
  10. The worst kind of sexism for me is the one shown by women… when they do think it’s okay to receive such comments or to be stereotyped. I feel a mixture of anger and pity for them.
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5 thoughts on “10 things I’ve realised since the ‘exchange’

  1. Kisara says:

    I am a big believer in having a response ready. Not because a scripted response gives you a glib set of words you can throw back at an offender. But because in that moment of shock and surprise, a well thought through response is what saves us from the regret and humiliation of looking back over an incident and saying ” I wish i had said this” or “I wish I said that.” That’s what a properly thought through scripted response gives us – the readiness to reply. Offensive people count on our silence. Its their get-away vehicle.

  2. Sujata says:

    I love Kisara’s comment above. But then, how DOES one have a scripted response ready? The worst thing is, UmmON, I am so afraid that I won’t even recognise such remarks and dialogues for what they really are until they have passed! Also, this issue like any other ‘sensitive’ one also creates a 3rd category of people — those who would rather not hear it or rather not be drawn into these discussions. We sort of know why, but will they ask themselves why???

  3. corpuscollossus says:

    Here’s the perspective of a RWG (note: not The RWG). Firstly, as to whether this was sexist or racist, there’s no doubt it’s both. He would certainly never have asked a man to take care of his children, regardless of race, and I would wager he’d never have asked a RWGirl to do it (unless he had some unsavoury designs on her). That said, its not necessary to distinguish. The point is RWG felt sufficiently entitled and privileged to ask someone in a more or less equivalent professional position to mind his children while he hit the water slides, without a hint of irony or shame.

    It’s unfortunate that this sort of behaviour is not yet viewed as unacceptable in workplaces in the GCC yet, but it’ll come, slowly.

    The question of over-reaction is absurd. RWG could only have over-stepped further if he’d thrown in a ‘sweetcheeks’ or a slur of some sort, but regardless, both are more or less implied. It’s easy for people that are never on the receiving end of social subordination and injustice to have no concept of what its like, and to take what they believe to be an objective view and tell you to suck it up… ‘he may have been joking, chill out’.

    It takes courage to slam it when it raises its ugly head, and you did admirably. People that think otherwise need to rethink their values.

  4. Saniya says:

    Hi there,

    How are you?

    Wanted to get in touch to invite you to participate in our new Bloggers Contest. To enter you can blog about any of the 2 topics given here: http://bit.ly/1aDNtXH

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    Saniya

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