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Why it is important to start noticing every day sexism

We challenge you to look around and be aware of the daily micro differences that we suffer because of our genders.

Sometimes they are quite obvious, but others are very subtle, so much that you feel that you can’t possibly be upset about it. Maybe you didn’t notice, or you did but thought it was insignificant. Maybe you think it is an overreaction to even talk about it. Classic angry feminist, always picking a fight, it is not a big deal.

And of course, compared to the other big battles of feminism, being angry about who was given the bill in the restaurant, who was handed the salad and who the steak, or to whom the car mechanic keeps speaking to, are just anecdotical fights.

But the power of these micro-misogynisms lies in the fact that they are symptoms of a bigger problem. They are the symptoms of a society with damaging differences. Is not what they mean per se, it is what they imply and what they pre-assume. By noticing them, by stopping them, we make the choices broader, and people freer. Of course, we can´t change the world by making a point to the waiter or wearing a t-shirt asking if you would say it to a man, but encouraging critical thinking is a hell of a start. The truth is that we wouldn´t say the same things to a man and we need to ask ourselves why.

Yes, it is just the bill, but it is also the way men feel judged if they don’t pay, the expectation that their value is associated with money. It is the way that she is expected to be passive in the relationship; or, even worse, the feelings of entitlement and indebtment that the payment can trigger. I know, it is just a freaking bill, it doesn’t mean anything! And it wouldn´t have to mean anything at all if it was just one isolated event in an otherwise really equal society, but because it is not, because the same messages replicate the same ideas then it becomes a non-spoken rule, then it aggravates a severe underlying problem. We won´t change that big problem only by challenging those micro aggressions, but we only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

You probably think that is very easy to blame everything on the patriarchy, but the reality is that it is so rooted in society that it contaminates everything else that has been built on top of those unfair foundations. A lot of things that seem innocent end up having a very big patriarchal base underneath it, but it is so deeply imbedded that pointing it out seems dramatic and extreme.

We challenge you to find one little thing each day that you noticed was different based on gender and ask yourself why? Don’t ask if in the grand scheme of things it really matters, just ask yourself why it was different and what kind of message it reinforces; not if the message is positive or negative, just which one.

Challenge accepted?

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