MeToo: Even Subtle Sexism Can Be Exhausting by Lisa

It’s been ten years since the satirical news outlet, The Onion, published its iconic headline: Man Finally Takes the Helm of Floundering Feminist Movement. The fictitious 53-year-old management ⁣consultant in the story humorously resolves the gender pay gap by “making a few calls to the big boys upstairs”.

This headline came to mind recently​ when the Financial Times exposed an all-male charity gala where young, attractive “hostesses” were showcased on stage and then subjected to hours of tedious conversation with inebriated businessmen. The majority of my male ​friends⁤ responded with a collective cringe.

However, when it comes to sexism, the real challenge arises when the discussion shifts from overtly offensive​ behavior to more subtle, systemic issues.⁤ As one woman​ confessed⁤ to me, ⁤”The thing about Harvey Weinstein is, he looks like a sexual predator. If he was more ⁢attractive, no one would believe that ‍the women weren’t willing.”

Indeed, it’s​ easy to denounce drunken bankers ⁢harassing young women, but​ it’s harder‌ to confront the fact that many men, even those who identify as feminists, regularly attend events at all-male ‍private ‌clubs. These clubs were established to exclude women​ from spaces where⁣ discreet deals are made and the‍ old boys’ network thrives.

While most men understand that it’s inappropriate to touch their female colleagues inappropriately, some still think ⁤it’s ​acceptable to host “bonding” nights at ⁤strip clubs.⁤ This leaves women with a difficult choice: miss out on networking opportunities by refusing to ⁤attend, or go along and feel uncomfortable and out of ‌place.​ Beyond the sexual objectification, it’s simply disrespectful.

Interestingly, many men I know aren’t fans of this “boys will be boys” ‍culture either. However, ⁣too​ often they choose the path of least resistance and remain silent. They convince themselves that by not actively participating in offensive behavior, they’re part of the solution.

But this passive approach isn’t enough. Men need to understand that women are exhausted by these ⁤issues, and it shouldn’t be solely⁣ our responsibility to address them.

I⁣ view sexism​ as ⁣a Bullshit Tax. In addition‍ to my job, I have to: politely smile at strange ⁣men‍ who yell​ at me on the street, for fear of provoking them;‍ endure constant scrutiny of my weight and ‌appearance whenever I appear on TV; and read comments on my articles that imply I’m too unintelligent to write.

Other professions present different challenges – customers who condescend because they believe a second X chromosome reduces your IQ; bosses who take all the credit; inflexible‌ working hours ‍that make it difficult to have children; and significant pay disparities between men and women for the same ‍work. Dealing with all​ this⁢ Bullshit drains your energy: it’s a‌ tax women pay just to live our lives. And actively combating it is even more exhausting.

Personally, I appreciate when men confront sexism and advocate for equality ​in a straightforward manner. You ⁢don’t need to be familiar with the works of ⁤Andrea Dworkin, Germaine Greer, or Caitlin Moran to do​ that. It was refreshing to hear Canada’s leader Justin Trudeau simply state that his Cabinet‌ has equal numbers ‌of ⁣men and women because he wanted it “to look like Canada”.

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