Yesterday I spoke about feminism and why the movement – or, if a better fit for the individual, the general belief in equality for men and women – is needed. I support feminism, not for my own personal experiences alone and those alike, but for every individual female and male experience. Today, though, I want to talk about specific instances where it is extremely evident – even for those like me who feel privileged and the furthest from restricted by my gender – that sexism exists even in my society. A society I am pretty grateful for.
The Girls Can’t Drink Beer Phenomenon. A couple of weeks ago I was out for dinner at a pub in Cardiff. Upon ordering a Guinness at the bar, the bartender (it is notable that the bartender was also male because I have never experienced Beer Prejudice from a female) was shocked: “YOU want a Guinness?!” How… can… a… DRINK POSSESS GENDER EXPECTATIONS? This experience isn’t an isolated one. Furthest from it. A few years ago I ordered a beer at the pub with some friends and a (male!) friend almost humiliated me from doing so- “You’re drinking beer?! Oh, what a lad,” he said with a lot of negative strength behind it. To drink a certain drink to be perceived as “one of the lads” really does seem like a massive waste of time. It’s more than insulting.
But Girls Love the Attention! Before I talk about my next point, some girls will feel neutral or enjoy what I am about to talk about and that is FINE. Why not?! However, personally, I despise boys/men thinking it’s a-okay to beep and/or shout out of their car at me or wolf whistle as I pass them. My head straight away takes it as an insult and makes me feel super self-conscious. I will never take it as a compliment. It puts unwanted attention upon me while I’m doing an every day thing- walking to work, town or to see a friend. For me, it’s a completely sexist invasion of privacy.
When do girls ever beat boys?! A competitive conversation at the pub once lead to a male saying, “Well obviously I’d beat you in a 200m sprint.” When I asked why he said, “Because I’m a guy.” And a couple of the guys agreed too. *Rolls eyes 1000 times.* Whether he would win or not, it’s the amazingly sexist implications that make me feel infuriated. It’s also made worse by the fact everyone at the pub are aware of the time and effort I put into running (which does even include sprint training!), and this friend openly admits to not doing any exercise. So even when girls put many, many hours a week into exercise and boys put a grand total of zero, the guy will always win. Every time.
I don’t think I need to say much more to show how this flippant, boring and insulting sexism needs to stop. Males don’t need to act/be a certain way to be a male. Females don’t need to act/be a certain way to be a male.
~ Kat ~
P.S. 8/21 ❤