One poster on Mumsnet has unleashed a week of backup frustration from users on the site by asking “what sexist event happened to you this week?”
The responses came in droves, with many explaining the discomfort, disrespect, and microaggressions they face on a weekly basis.
The original poster started off the thread with an anecdote. She said: “I went to a group golf lesson for the first time the other week and as there were not enough bays, all the women were told to share and the men had a bay to themselves…for an hour…and I was the only one who noticed and said anything!!!
“Response from male instructor…. an hour is a long time the women might get tired.”
This kind of casual sexist behaviour is reflected in other comments in the thread with another woman posting: “How about being told Well Done! When I backed into a tight parking space in my larger than average car.
“Microaggressions like this every day. Not from my husband btw, he always asks me to park if its tricky because my spacial awareness is better.”
In fact, many of the issues highlighted in the threat are to do with working conditions.
One comment read: “One of my colleagues, while fixing the toner cartridge in the copier, told me he had to “whip it out and shake it vigorously” and then said “I’m sorry, I’m not concentrating, I’m having really smutty thoughts right now”.
“We were alone in a small office and it made me feel really uncomfortable.”
Swapping one form of discomfort for another, one poster gives insight into working in a male-dominated environment: “Budget setting at work. I was the only woman in the room. Manager complains his payroll costs are up “due to all the maternity leave – every woman in my department getting pregnant right now”.
“CFO agrees: “must be something in the water”. Ohhhhhkay. Fortunately, I am not myself pregnant – that would have been worse, right?”
Other commenters had more serious systemic concerns:
One said: “Left my old job because in a recent round of recruitment 2 inexperienced young men were appointed over more experienced older women.
“I’m now doing the DBS check for my new job. I know from past experience that DBS can’t cope with the fact that I’m married but didn’t change my name.
“They will most likely reject the form first time round because my maiden name isn’t on it, despite the fact that I don’t have one. I complained last time this happened and was told that ‘most’ women have a maiden name so, meh, I just have to accept it.
“It’s likely that my check will take significantly longer than a man in the same situation and will delay the start date in my new job.”
To read the whole thread would be a depressing exercise, with 90 replies to the original post, but if you want to give it a try it is available on the mumsnet website.
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