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Sexism at Work: How to Deal with Sexist Remarks at Work?


In an age and era like today, it is very important to know and how to deal with sexism at work. It definitely isn’t the best thing to experience in the world and can often get painful and tiring. The sad part is that women have to be so careful all the time, even when raising their voice is a concern. No matter what the situation is, there are some tips and ideas that are tried and tested and promise to change the scenario at your work place. So without further delay, keep reading.

sexist remarks at workSexism at Work: How to Handle it Easily?

1. Ignore:

The first thing you should do is ignore them. Ignore the people who are pissing you off. A lot of people think being sexist is funny or amusing. But you obviously don’t feel like that. So don’t bother to entertain things like this. Keep things to yourself and don’t let these people get on to your nerves. Know that they aren’t worth your time and talking to them isn’t going to help you feel better in any way. Plus remember that people at your work place will say things just to get you all agitated and worked up. Don’t give them that satisfaction at all.

2. Role Reversal:

Another technique that has been proved highly effective these days is role reversal. Sexism often has this lack of sensitivity and respect for the opposite gender. So if you find someone’s remark extremely rude and offensive, just turn the tables towards them. For example, if one of your male clients has something really harsh and offensive about your clothing, say something equally rude. This role reversal will bring light towards his body and take away all the power that he thinks he has over you.

3. Speak up to them:

This is also a popular method used by most women who deal with sexist comments at work. Sometimes it should boil down to a single confrontation. And that is what you should do when things get too harsh. No we are not talking about the same old how dare you speak to me like that you useless… etc. That will not solve a thing. You should instead tell the person that they should stop being sexist. This will make them think twice and maybe they will begin to understand how wrong they have gone and how much their words have affected others.

4. Speak whats on your mind:

This is also a very smart technique you should apply. Speak whatever you have in mind. We know it can get really hard and difficult to pull of something like that at times. But the faster you learn that in a world like this, the better it is for you. Expressing yourself is highly important. Let people around you know what has happened and that you have the right to be heard.

5. Be the best version of yourself:

This is also something that will work very well. The only way you can be valued at your work place is if you have faith and belief in yourself. If you know your worth and are hard working enough, then there will be nobody making mean comments at you because you won’t let them. Hopefully you will be able to use this tip to your advantage because several people have and it was worked wonderfully for them. Having self confidence is always important and makes a huge difference at work.

6. Do not feed into it:

People do have the tendency to base their humor around what has been happening in popular culture. There are commercials and movies that have shown sexism of some form and that have affected the way people think. People have adapted that kind of lifestyle, humor and way of thinking. So if someone makes a sexist joke at you like for example making a sandwich or using your brains being a woman, don’t feed into it. And most importantly, don’t laugh about it. Laughing will only encourage them. Instead, give them a look that shows you have been offended.

7. Upper management:

Alert upper management is also a good technique and something you should definitely apply at work. It is difficult to deal with a person who intimidates you with their voice or by the way they speak or even their body language. It is vital for you however to tell your supervisor or someone who holds authority about the current situation. This also assures that the person making those kinds of remarks will be reprimanded for being so rude to you. And next time they will not make the mistake of saying something offensive to you. This is definitely one of the best ways to deal with it.

8. Practice your reaction:

Now this one is very simple. Imagine that you are babysitting a little boy… somewhere between the age of 9 to 11. And he shouts “I saw boobies!” is that really very sexist? Exactly! Think of the situation. It is definitely gendered and can be considered immature. Definitely immature! But do you even feel threatened by it or do you think you will be harmed in the future? No. So what do you do… just laugh a bit and then roll your eyes and say “Hey! That is not appropriate”! Similarly there are some cases in your office that needs to be reported to your HR and some that deserve a playful warning. Think about it before giving in.

9. Point it out to them when someone calls you a sweetheart:

Sometimes a sexist comment doesn’t have to be a long argument or predicament. It could be a throw away comment such as “Nice work, sweetheart!” Your response to this one could be “Oh. So do you call your entire junior developers sweetheart? I would like to name that row of desks over there as sweetheart alley. But I guess George would never be appreciative of that. Another option you could try! Say something like “Sweetheart? It is actually a good thing that I am not a sweetheart or nothing would really get done in this floor?”

10. Blame on the generation difference:

Now this one is definitely going to burn if you know how to play it right. So your male boss is probably old and he says something like “Women are bad at math.” What should your reaction be? You could say something like “Wait! What are you saying right here? What does this ancient hieroglyph really mean?” Make sure your voice is neutral when you say this one. You should play it as cool as possible. He will say things that are offensive but they are not going to be mean. So you make sure not to sound too hurtful or offensive. Instead try to talk about the generational differences and how life was back then. That would give a good twist to the situation.

11. Clarify with the person:

If someone has been sexist with you for too long, make it a point to speak to them personally and that what they are saying is too harsh and sexist. Try to understand why they are saying things like that. There are times when people are sexist and they don’t even realize what they are saying can be offensive to someone else. So do the job of being honest. You could also clarify things and change their perception. In that way you are going to change your work place in a good way and you won’t even have any enemies.

12. Pretend that you don’t get it and then make them explain:

This is a final and very effective technique we would suggest all of you ladies to try at work. If someone cracks a joke like women cant drive just give them a plain look in the face that you don’t know what they are talking about. And then they are going to say something like it was a joke and that you shouldn’t take it so seriously. Your reaction could be something like having a blank expression. Say that you have never even heard something like this and it is surprising.

This brings us to the end of the list. Hopefully all of these ideas will help you in the future. Even if you havent experienced anything like this earlier, there is a slight possibility you will. So prepare yourself from beforehand. If there are questions you would like to ask, please feel free to comment below. And also we are keen on hearing on how these tips have worked for you. So don’t forget to mention that either. On that note, good luck and here’s hoping that all you can bring a change at your workplace through this post.