Recently I’ve been noticing how many sexist comments I’ve been receiving, especially in the workplace.
I work in a mechanics garage (I’m not on the spanners!) I work on reception and deal with bookings and customers etc and lately I’ve really been noticing the comments I get from customers and actually how sexist they are.
For example I’ve recently had a new desk and the top of it is a shiny metal, so you can actually see your reflection in it. A couple of days later some salesmen came in and commented how nice the desk was and one of them said “Oh this shiny top is nice, have you had that fitted so you can check your make up and re-apply your lipstick?” I don’t actually wear lipstick and wear very minimal make up. I kind of brushed it off and never really said anything but afterwards I though hang on, this person doesn’t know me so why assume just because I’m a woman I wear lipstick and make up when at work?
Another example was when I had a customer come to drop his car off and noted that we’ve got security cameras installed and I have a monitor with the screens displayed and he said “Nice camera’s, have you had them installed so you can check out all the Mechanic’s bums when they bend over?” Again assuming just because I’m a woman does that mean I enjoy looking at men’s bums all the time?
My final example is more of a general idea of the comments I receive from men about their cars. I’ve lost count of the times men will come into the office and say “I’ve got an issue with my car, but I won’t tell you because you won’t understand” I have to try and brush it off because if I let every single comment get to me I’ll drive myself mad!
However recently I’ve been starting to think why is it ok for people to tarnish women with the same brush and assume we’re all the same? That we all wear heavy amounts of make up? That we all want to perve at men’s bums? That just because we are women we don’t know anything about cars?
I’ve never really considered myself a full on feminist, obviously I agree we should all have equal rights but lately I’ve started to think that sexism is everywhere and it should not be tolerated. I know they’re just comments but it’s unfair for people to make these assumptions without even knowing me.
Have you had similar experiences? How did you handle it?