Is benevolent sexism dangerous

Sexism in everyday life

Open criticism becomes particularly difficult for me when I am close to the person or otherwise find them very sympathetic. I only assume very few people have bad intentions. In most of the cases, in my opinion, it is more a question of unreflective behavior or a simple ignorance of the problem. Because the classic gentleman has so far still avoided being clearly labeled as "sexist" on a broad social level.

So when I take my courage and speak to someone about specific, sexist behavior, I never use the word “sexist”. That would lead to even greater incomprehension. Because of course nobody would like to consider themselves a sexist. They were the ones who pay less money to women despite having the same qualifications or who want women to go back to the stove and into the nursery. In contrast, in the cases described, apositiveand, in the opinion of many, emphasized a female characteristic: such as the pronounced and allegedly innate female ability to act diplomatically.

How to deal with benevolent sexism

What I find particularly annoying and presumptuous is the assault of assuming a certain quality based on my gender, even though I may not be known well enough. Comments such as "Women are like that", which many consider harmless, prompt me to put my counterpart in their place as respectfully as possible. Even if that means at first that I “don't understand joking”.

In concrete terms, I answer the comment: “You can do this and that so well because you are a woman”, often simply that I am myself and cannot be compared with any other person. A statement that is often misunderstood at first. Only with a more detailed explanation react somewhat empathic conversation partners a little more insightful. Which, at least in my personal experience, is fortunately more and more the case.

Because, especially in the professional context, women should not allow themselves to be protected or belittled. At the latest with the next upcoming promotion, the job could go to a man again. No matter how diplomatic the colleague is. The colleague, on the other hand, is naturally much more assertive. Or?