Jokes about sexism

Anita Therese Smith atsmith at
Mon Feb 26 18:07:54 EST 1996

rar453s at (Ruhlen Rachel) wrote:
>This isn't science-related, but I keep encountering this from people who
>are supposed to be professionals, and I find it annoying.
>Occassionally someone says something along the lines of "Women should bbe
>inthe kitchen anyway," meaning it as a joke.  (Or, women aren't as smart,
>or some obviously sexist remark.)  I don't think it's funny, but I usually
>laugh anyway, or at least smile, to show that I understood it was meant as
>a joke.  
>What would be a better way to respond, without being rude?


In an evolutionary and historical perspective wasn't a "real man's" place 
in the bushes or on the hunting fields for thousands of years? Didn't real 
men use to have developed muscles and big dirty hard-working hands (not 
pale thin fingers like you often see today...just look around). You only 
have to look at some old photos to get an idea of what "real men" used to 
be like. 

So if the modern man has completely changed hunting grounds and seem to 
cope well with it, is there any logical reason that women who change 
"kitchen environment" should be less capable? Of course generally speaking 
men and women are different in many ways. However, I believe that for most 
people the only limits on how far we can go are the ones we set for 
ourselves in our minds. And no way should we let others set the limits for 

Another thought which comes to me is: What's the point in using energy on 
finding ways to respond politely when someone is in fact being rude (to 
you or women in general)? It's usually easy to tell a real laugh from a 
"fake laugh". Laugh if it comes from your belly, - and if not, may be the 
best way is to neglect the comment and just continue to show clearly in 
"which kitchen" you belong! 

Or explore your acting talents: Smile sweetly, then look very surprised 
and ask "Do you really think so Mr./Dr./Prof./Sir X?" putting the emphasis 
on "really" or ask "Dear Mr./Dr./Prof./Sir X please tell me exactly why  
you do think so?" (or if you dare to smile and be a little rude yourself: 
"You sound so convinced Mr. X, actually I think you'd become a much better 
housewife than I`ll ever be), or..... 

A question is often the best and most efficient "defense". And it often 
make people think a little about what they say or even become a little 
embarrased if you're lucky! A joke or a funny comment might also work, - I 
don't have any that I can think of. Anyway it has to come natural in order 
to work. Experiment! - and observe the variety of reactions to your 
response. It can actually be quite fun as long as it is not viewed at as a 
problem which has any real impact on yourself.

In my opinion "sexist comments" really do not deserve any attention at 
all. Aren't they usually thrown by men who in some way feel that their 
positions are being threatened by women? Why else say something like that, 
- it's not informative, it's no instruction and it is not funny! It only 
tells a rather "sad story" about the inside of the person who is giving 
the comment. He is trying to cover up and compensate for a lack of 
self-confidence. And it is also a problem of attitude in my opinion.

Good luck and have lots of fun while experimenting! 

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