During my internship, the boss was really kind of sexist without realising probably. He adressed me and the other female intern with cute names but he never did that with his male employees. We were working on some educational stuff for kids, and he had these great ideas about ‘girl planets’ and ‘boy planets’ *sarcastic eye roll*.
One time he had a big delivery of paper that had to be carried up the stairs. I asked if I could help, he said “No, I need strong guys for that”.
Oh there was the time I was asking for some tools at the school’s workshop and the guy working there kept talking to my friend, even though he only followed me because he had nothing better to do and he probably never even touched a hammer. When I mentioned the latter the guy tried to defend himself by saying, well but if he gets a girlfriend he has to know how to fix stuff right. (the friend has a boyfriend btw).
But what made me really angry about female/male stereotypes was when I worked part-time at a kids toy store. I’ve seen a lot of boys being dragged away from the barbies and other ‘girly’ stuff by their parents, being told: “nonono, that’s for girls, not for you”. One boy could choose a present and he chose a playmobile camper. His mom then tried to talk him out of it for like 5 minutes, telling him “no the camper is for girls, you like the cool pirate ship better, right?” Luckily he kept saying he liked the camper the most, so in the end he got it. (like wth, that stuff is unisex as f*ck). Oh and when parents are looking for a blue version but we only have pink ones left. A guy asked “are these the only ones left? Because it’s for a boy” I replied “Well maybe he’d like a pink one” and then the guy laughed and said “luckily he doesn’t.”
I do think that’s where it starts though. Little boys get told the barbies are something to be ashamed of, so they start to see girly stuff as less worthy.
About sexual assault, I usually don’t get much ‘negative attention’ from guys, but one time when I went out with a friend at night. My friend just found out she likes girls so I promised to go to a lesbian bar with her. We got approached by multiple guys assuming we were both lesbian and also somehow into having a trio with a guy (yes, let the logic sink in.).
I must say I have good hopes for the future though. Especially in films lately there has been a slow but steady improvement of female representation. I hope it keeps up and society changes for the better.