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14 Teeny Tiny Acts Of Sexism You're Facing, Even From People Who Love You

Everyone's been conditioned by wacky norms about how to treat women, even our best friends, our families, and our baes.

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Here's a thing to keep in mind before you start reading this list: Not everyone who reveals sexism is doing it maliciously. We've all – men and women alike – grown up having internalised certain stereotypes and ideas of what roles each gender plays in a home, in a workplace, and in a relationship.

The best we can do when sexism comes from people who love us isn't to respond with anger (unless you have good reason to believe it's deliberate!) but to start a productive conversation to deconstruct why we believe the things we believe, and how we can undo the conditioning that harms us.

Now you're ready. Carry on.

2. Telling friends that certain clothes are "flattering" and therefore good.

Dharma Productions

"Flattering" is a euphemism for "this makes your body look more like a conventionally attractive body" and those conventions are pretty random.


4. Praising men by focusing on their work ("Sharma ji's son has an MBA and an offer from Deloitte") and praising women with a focus on much more ("Sharma ji's daughter has an MBA, an offer from Deloitte, and was such a lovely hostess.")

6. Praising parents for "letting" their daughters work, or husbands for "allowing" their wives to go out with friends.

Excel Entertainment

It's true that up until recently (and for a lot of women, still) fathers and husbands have full control over their whereabouts. But we should decry that oppression, rather than treating it as exceptional when a woman has freedom.


7. Building up marriage as the ultimate ambition every girl should aspire to.

Behind every successful woman are her parents... wondering why she hasn't found someone yet and when she plans on getting married.

9. Assuming women of the house know where everything is... Or tasking them with the searching.

Star World

"Where are my socks?"

"Where are my keys?"

"MAAAAAA where are my jeans?"


10. Dividing tasks around the house by gender – tech stuff is the dude's wheelhouse, kitchen stuff is the woman's – regardless of each person's actual abilities.


We end up pushing folks of both genders toward dependence when we pretend women don't understand wires and dudes don't understand cutlery.


11. Pretending there's such a thing as a "friendzone".

Dharma Productions

When someone complains that a woman has "friendzoned" them, they're admitting that they kept up a friendship with the hope of getting a fuck out of it, which is actually much meaner. Friendzoning > fuckzoning.

14. And telling a girl you love that you love her because she's "not like most girls" or "other girls".

Imaan Sheikh / BuzzFeed India

This is you revealing, sandwiched in a compliment, that you don't think "most girls" and "other girls" are worth your affection. Shut the heck up.