A change is gonna come; hopefully. That’s one side of the coin. The other is that things are bad now, and maybe are even getting worse when it comes to being a woman. There is a wage gap, there are misleading and offensive representations of women in media, and still fewer opportunities it seems in position of note and power. That’s all without mentioning the chilling statistics concerning the verbal and physical abuse of women that go on daily in cities around the world.
Change must come in a variety of ways: it must come from federal government making laws and fostering positive steps; it must come from activists tirelessly doing work; and it must come from men, assuming the role of ally in the campaign for equal rights and the end to discrimination and harassment. The concern is many men don’t realize that certain things they are doing and saying is reductive, hurtful and sexist. It’s not necessarily conscious, but it sure is negligent. In part, of course, so many are raised to not think twice about certain words, phrases and actions. After all, tradition is a hard thing to shake (and that is absolutely no excuse).
Awareness is important; if one person changes his behavior, those around can change too, and thus a movement can begin to grow exponentially. It’s about reconsidering the way we think and talk, and reevaluate attitudes that are outdated and harmful. So let us consider those things that are casually sexist. The following are all important to varying degrees, and they should all be remembered and corrected. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and isn’t meant to condescend but to provoke and engage. Here are the sexist things men do they might not realize; and it’s time to change.
We’re going to start with a tangible, all-too prevalent issue that can be easily solved. Manspreading is a widespread ailment afflicting arrogant men that causes them to spread their legs wide and take up numerous seats in public, most notably witnessed on the subway or public buses. Firstly, it’s rude to be occupying so many seats. Secondly, it’s suggestive and sexual, as a with legs spread, a man is more or less acting as some animal flaunting in some silly mating ritual that no woman wants to be a part of.