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Common traits of the everyday sexist

By September 26, 2020No Comments

We love men. Of course we do. We know some. But there’s no denying that some of them are…well…malfunctioning. This week, contributor Aoife Geary asks the critical question: have we tried turning men off and turning them back on again?

This week it was announced that misogyny could become a hate crime in England and Wales. The Law Commission, a group that advises on changes to UK legislation, has recommended that gender be classed as a protected characteristic under hate crime laws. 

It would mean that crimes against women would be prosecuted with the same force as other hate crimes; those motivated by a person’s sexuality, race, religion or disability. 


It’s a welcome and long overdue move that could see harassment of women given the gravity it deserves. It could also free us up to campaign for the criminalisation of the more everyday abuses of women. 

We’ve all been there. The seemingly innocuous interactions with men where you start off politely smiling in near agreement and end up ready to rip your second x chromosome clean from your body and pierce the next male you see. 

The truth is we face sexism from men on a daily basis. And what’s worse is that these men are largely unaware of their own bias. We must watch these everyday sexists with a vigilant eye as they are likely to strike at any moment. 

Here are some of the most common of the species: 

Sir tech support

This male is most commonly found in the workplace or around the home but really they can pop up anywhere an unsuspecting woman is using a website, app or digital product. These men enjoy offering unsolicited help when a device is not working as it should. They’re known for their distinctive weary sighs and their inability to process the information you’re offering them. “Yes, it’s charged. No the battery is not dead.”

You may be surprised to learn that they actually have very little advanced tech knowledge but this is not a deterrent for them getting involved. 

Sample phrases: “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” 

Old school colleague

Your old school colleague is under no circumstances to be confused with a misogynist. I repeat, he is not a misogynist. He’s just ‘old school’. He’s chivalrous and holds traditional values, as well as the door for women. 

Common ground with this man will be where another man walks, so expect conversation to revolve around your male partner, brother or father. He may also compliment what you’re wearing. He doesn’t mean any offence therefore you must not take any, regardless of your own feelings. He recognises that you’re ‘qualified on the subject” but he also holds pretty strong opinions on the subject, so get ready to hear them. 

Sample phrases: “Lads are just easier to work with.”

Sports pundit

The sports pundit reads sports-specific publications and has a penis. For these reasons and these reasons alone he will offer his male friends his regurgitated expertise. He will discuss the latest tactical changes within his favourite football club and what they mean for the wider league. 

He will offer female bystanders more relevant sporting insights such as key information on the different colours of the jerseys and which players are married to famous models. He believes that women’s sport is great but doesn’t watch it because it’s just not as competitive, unfortunately. 

Sample phrases: “I just really like the physicality of men’s sport.” 

Woke colleague 

This guy gets it. The plight of women, the struggle for equality, the pains of menstruation. If you’re talking to this male, you’re talking to the converted. His wishes for the future include – but are not limited to – more women in senior positions, fewer ‘old school’ men around the place, and better parental leave for all. He knows multiple women and even has a gay friend that he sees every Christmas. 

So invested is he in the success of women in the workplace that he often agrees with your points in meetings. He even helpfully translates those points into his own words so that they may be more palatable to the rest of the team. 

Sample phrases: “And just to add to that point…” 

Opinionated friend

This is potentially the most dangerous of all the casually sexist males; the one that lives amongst your close friends. He is often camouflaged by shared interests, humour and compassion but every so often he emerges with a subtly sexist opinion. 

So subtle in fact that you may not recognise it immediately. You may go home after your discussion and feel totally fine, showing no symptoms of a sexist exchange. But the words may linger on your brain, on your tongue, on your skin. You will replay the conversation. Then, you will wonder if your male friend just suggested that women are prettier without makeup because of a deep-seated belief that a woman’s value is irrevocably tied to her appearance. Then you’re in trouble. 

Sample phrases: “It’s not because she’s a woman. It’s nothing to do with sex, it’s just my opinion.”