Many people respect men more than they respect women.
When a man complains about something, many people subconsciously assume that what he has said is rational or backed up by statistics. Whereas when a woman says the same thing, people are more inclined to view her as being whiny.
In reality, the man and the woman are just as likely as each other to have a certain level of statistical knowledge or emotional drive, but people respect the man’s opinion more.
I sometimes notice this faulty gender stereotyping in my own thinking. When I picture a man saying or doing something, I can view him differently to how I view a woman doing the same thing.
For example, if I see a man cooking or looking after a baby I might slightly recognise what he is doing more than I would recognise a woman in the same position. This is because I’ve absorbed the well-known male and female role stereotypes. And I don’t do this stereotyping on a conscious level at all. It is such a slight bias that it is very difficult to notice it and pin it down. It is even harder to put it into words.
The great thing is that when I do observe this kind of thinking in myself, I am able to challenge it. It does make me wonder about all the other subconscious assumptions I make.
Another thing I sometimes do without thinking is excuse people’s lack of niceties if they’re male. Not out loud, just inside my head. And this isn’t because I think men aren’t nice, it’s just something that I’ve picked up. In fact, it’s taken me ages to realise that I do it.
Once again, it is a faulty thought pattern that can be fixed. Unfortunately, I’m not the only person that needs to fix it in their mind.
It is frustrating when people have higher expectations of women being agreeable, nice and polite. And the thing is, most people don’t even realise that their expectations of women are slightly higher. I certainly didn’t, until quite recently. Before, I’d always known that there was some kind of difference but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.
People tend to be more accepting of males that make cheeky or insensitive remarks. I often wish I could make silly jokes that aren’t too sensitive, but I know I wouldn’t get away with it because I’m female. People might not object out loud, but they probably would in their heads.
Knowing this, I am going to go ahead and make those silly remarks. I won’t be rude, but I won’t let being female stop me from doing anything I’d otherwise do, no matter how small.
Keep challenging your own assumptions. Have a good night.