Earlier this week, I was pulled aside by one of my professors. My professor wanted to tell me that someone in the class complained about a joke that I made about boys being “dumb.” The person who complained referred to what I said as being a sexist remark.
The remark was one I had made several times in class before, and in this instance, it was relative to the discussion at hand. We were talking about how males have higher life insurance rates, which is due to males’ tendency to be more impulsive. This is also the reason why males have higher car insurance rates.
Researchers have found that males have less input from their prefrontal cortexes, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, to their striatum when compared to females. This is what leads to impulsivity.
Regardless of its relevance, apparently, the comment I made was seen as a microaggressive action against men. The comment I made is even something that has been joked about a majority of people, including men. It’s not an uncommon joke to make.
This is all on top of the fact that I, as a woman, have encountered sexism many times in my life. It is something that has been so engraved into society that, oftentimes, no one even questions it.
Growing up, what I, along with the rest of the girls in my school, wore to class was monitored by a dress code. It was considered a distraction to boys if I wore a tank top or if I wore shorts above fingertip length. My male classmates, on the other hand, didn’t have a dress code for what they wore like I did.
High school was when I began hearing boys say things like,“Girls are complex,” and “Females are too emotional.” This is something we were hearing as we were still trying to figure out who to be in life.
Since entering college, I have still been given talks about how I am supposed to dress, and now, those talks come alongside and a bunch of lessons on what not to do if I ever want to go to a party.
Meanwhile, there is a newly developed program for students on Albion’s Campus called Green Dot. While Green Dot is a step in the right direction, it is still not required for every student to complete. Only athletes and residential assistants are required to go through this training.
Green Dot is going on its third year here at Albion College, but it doesn’t the counteract the years women have been taught to protect themselves while men weren’t taught about consent.
When going to the grocery store, I am taxed on essential items such as tampons and pads due to them being considered a luxury item, yet condoms are not taxed. Something that is essential to my life as a woman isn’t deemed essential, yet men have the ability to buy condoms, which are far less essential, at their leisure.
Now more than ever in this political climate, I worry about what I will be able to do as a woman in America. My right to choose what happens to my body with birth control and abortions is at stake right now. The government is trying to enforce control over my body, but men can get viagra and have vasectomies without a problem.
If the argument with birth control is to let things happen naturally, then the same logic should be applied to viagra and condoms.
All of these instances are severe sexism that women face daily. They’re so common and rooted so deep into our everyday thinking, though, that no one thinks about how we’ve conditioned society to normalize sexism against women.
I’m sorry to whatever boy in my class was offended by me saying men are dumb, but look at what I face on a daily basis and throughout my life as a woman.