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Sexism

09 March 2006

I seem to be turning in to a feminist lately. But yesterday I got really annoyed again.

At JD's university, a place of open minded people you would assume, JD walked in to the toilets. Some American girl followed JD in and said: Excuse me, this is the Ladies' toilets. (suggesting JD was a bloke). JD turned around and said: I have boobies. The girl apologised and said: oh sorry. I thought...you know...with your short hair...

JD then spent 5 minutes looking in the mirror, feeling insecure and complaining about the hairdresser having cut her hair too short and now she looked like a man. I don't think JD looks like a man at all. But this stupid cow only saw the back of JD's head and just made an assumption.

When she said: "It's just...the short hair...", what she was really saying was:: "You do not fit my image of how women should look." It is extremely insulting because she did not say: Excuse me, are you a man, because if you are, are you aware that these are the Ladies' toilets?" No. She just said, as most people do: "Sorry, but these are Ladies' toilets." Leaving the insinuation hanging in the air as some kind of accusation. Suggesting that the other party does not belong there. This leaves the other party the responsibility to say: "But I am a woman, can you not tell?"

You think that is funny or over-reacting? Well, let's turn it around. Let's do the stereotype that all lesbians look like men or have short hair. If I said to a woman with long hair: "Sorry, this is the Ladies' toilets and you do not fit my image of a woman", the woman in question would be extremely offended and accuse me of being so narrow minded that I would only see people 'like me' as women.

So why is it OK for others to just assume someone is not a woman, based ONLY on looking at someone with short hair from the back?

These days just about 50% of the women have short hair so this American cow was clearly not very intelligent (what was she doing at University???) or she is plain ignorant, rude and even sexist.

I found it all extremely insulting. It happens on a regular basis that people assume, without looking properly, that either JD or I are blokes when we walk in to a toilet. I never used to think about it much and would just laugh it off. But seeing JD getting insecure about her hair being too short, looking like a bloke etc. after the throw-away remark from an ignorant American, it just made me think.

It is insulting. If you think a bloke is walking in to the Ladies' toilets, make sure you know it is a bloke and not a woman who does not fit your stereo typical idea of what a woman should look like. Because an ignorant remark like that can really hurt someone.

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