24 Times Women Experienced Subtle Sexism At Work That Will Infuriate You To No End
1. "I accidentally rolled my office chair into — not over — my boss's foot, so I apologized. He responded with, 'Oh, it's okay, I'm always cautious when women are driving.'"
2. "My male PhD colleague and I regularly talk at the same events. Everyone applauds him for being a guy talking about feminist theory, and he hardly gets any hard questions after even his most controversial/inaccurate talks."
3. "My sister used to be a waitress and her BOSS, who was a woman, told her and the other female waitresses to be all smiley and give all the attention to the man at the table because he's paying and they’d get bigger tips."
4. "I'm a youth director at a church, and any time we have a vendor come in or someone who doesn’t really know the staff, I ALWAYS get asked if I’m the secretary."
5. "I was working retail at a cigarette store when an older guy came in and said, 'Wow, are you old enough to be working here? You look like a kid.' When I ultimately told him his total, he said, 'You know, when someone compliments you, you're supposed to say thank you.'"
6. "I am a teacher who used to be in the military. We had some training, and the trainer asked if anyone knew of any ex-military people. I put my hand up, and so did a male coworker. He was asked if the ex-military person was him (it wasn’t), and I was asked if it was my husband."
7. "Male customers would try and mansplain things to me on the phone 'cause they heard a woman’s voice and assumed I knew nothing about I.T."
8. "Patients always call my female PA colleagues and I 'nurse' while my male PA colleagues are called 'doctor.'"
9. "I worked at a cemetery one summer where the girls always got the job to take care of the flowers and the boys mowed the lawn. One day they needed an extra person on the lawnmower and I said I could do it. They said, 'Are you sure you can handle that?'"
10. "When I worked as a meat cutter, most of the team were men, including my boss. He suggested that I should wear just a t-shirt and put my hair up in pigtails for NFL Spirit Day. Ugh!!!"
11. "We work with criminals and those who use drugs or alcohol, so we have staff who get allocated as 'first responders' just in case anything goes wrong. Every single time they're men, and when I volunteered, they said, 'No, don’t worry, you shouldn’t have to do that.'"
12. "I worked in ED registration and a gentleman wanted to visit someone (pre-COVID). He asked if I could show him the way to the room, and as I was walking him there, he said, 'You walk like you own the place. Don't be cocky, it's unattractive in women.'"
13. "One time, I was helping another server. She was struggling and I walked up smiling while she was bringing a table their food and a male customer said something to her like, 'See, she’s smiling, that’s what you should try to do!'"
14. "After my promotion, I was called a 'bitch' for requesting a desk in my office by another Department head who had three desks in his office."
15. "When a light bulb blew out in a room at a hotel I was working at, I said I would go change it. A guy working there asked if I knew what I was doing and if I needed help. To change a freaking light bulb..."
16. "My old boss would only take advice and suggestions from males. It was subtle because he would nod and smile as you made the suggestion, but he would only follow through with things that male colleagues said."
17. "I used to work in Outside Garden at Home Depot and I got a call to load up seven bags of top soil, actually an easy order. The customer saw it was me, came running over, and said, 'Oh no, darling, don’t get your hair messy.'"
18. "A few years ago, I was dealing with a lot and gained A LOT of weight quickly, and the owner of the store where I worked would constantly ask the manager if I was pregnant, and then the manager would tell me what the owner said/asked and laugh."
19. "I was on a video call with a client when he asked about my upcoming wedding and said, 'You look like you’ve slimmed down, is that for the wedding?'"
20. "I got told that I didn’t look like I could be a leader in the Navy unless I had a broom or mop in my hand."
21. "My former boss used to refer to me and my younger female colleagues as 'girls.' If we ever disagreed with anything he said, no matter how reasonably and calmly we voiced our dissent, we were told, 'You need to stop whining.' (Or worse, 'Stop bitching,' if we were more persistent)."
22. "I used to work at a fast food restaurant. Once, a customer got his food, and when he left, he immediately called the manager to complain that I didn't smile at him."
23. "I’m 5’10”. One of my male colleagues always comments 'playfully' when I wear heels. Things like, 'Whoa, you shouldn’t be ALLOWED to be that tall!' Or, 'How’s the weather up there?'"
24. And "I used to work a job where we made breakfast. One day, my coworkers and I had a meeting with the owner about needing to make sure that we dumped our bacon grease into the big bucket and not into the sink. He looked directly at me and said, 'Your husband is not going to enjoy cleaning out the sink drain because you didn’t feel like dumping the grease out.'"
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.