The problem has a name: It’s called Sexism
Thinking about your own behaviour plays a significant role in Feminism. This is especially important for men*, because they occupy an oppressing position in current society. To reflect on one’s own behaviour is quite a piece of work. After all, we’ve spent all our lives in a sexist society. We’ve learnt and revised certain ways of behaving time and time again. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, all of society and of our actions are infused with sexism. We’ll give a few examples for situations it would be wise to think about. Because, even though we might not realise it, those things are part of sexist society and help cement it every day.
“So, what I was gonna sa…”Yeah, yeah, well, I think…“
People who were brought up to be male often have an unpleasant way of speaking. Especially when they’re talking to women*. Examples include not letting them finish what they’re saying and constantly interrupting, not taking them seriously or just increasing one’s own volume of speaking, to name just a few.
“Out of my way!”
Speaking of taking up lots of space – physically that’s also a thing mostly done by men*. Manspreading in bars or public transport. Taking their shirts off at concerts and claiming all the space in the front for themselves (and other/their fellow men*). There’s many similar situations. Taking up lots of space in an inconsiderate and smug way is shitty. Of course people need and want different amounts of space but lots of them have to deal with not having enough of it every day.
“You take care of that!”
Yes, being in a relationship can also be exhausting. We don’t only mean the romantic ones but also friendships and other relationships. Women* tend to be forced into the role of the person who tends to the relationship. Be it by bringing up unpleasant topics, by picking out presents for common friends, by (verbally) resolving conflicts or by offering emotional support.
Women* and men* learn from a very young age that they are only allowed to let themselves feel and act upon specific emotions. While women* for example are not allowed to become aggressive, men* get judged if they cry. But those suppressed emotions are still there. For a relationship to be more enjoyable, it is necessary that everyone involved shares their needs and feelings. Emotional labour should not be a one-person-job.
“Why don’t I do that”
Women* often get unsolicited explanations about how they should do certain things – or the activity will just be taken from them, be it carrying heavy things or driving.
The situation gets even worse when it comes to technological activities. In those cases people just assume that women* have no interest whatsoever in technology. Whether it’s the computer, the lawn mower or using other tools, everyone seems to know exactly what women* (supposedly) can and can’t do. This approach isn’t just unnecessary and annoying. It also prevents people from trying and learning new things.