I was in a charity shop today, & came across a couple of instances of casual sexism (not outrageous in the grand scheme of things, but it still ticked me off royally):
I was looking at the books, & saw a book called ‘Tell Me A Swiss Joke!’. I was curious, so I flicked through it. To my annoyance, the book opened at the following rib-tickler:
“I run an exclusive fashion boutique & have a very odd question. One of my regular customers who spends quite a lot in my shop always pays with damp banknotes. Why do you think that is? Probably your customer’s husband weeps as he hands over the money.” Because OF COURSE women spend all their time shopping & treating their husbands like walking wallets, & OF COURSE this (presumably female) customer wouldn’t have her own money! God forbid she should earn her own money & spend it HOW SHE WANTS TO, & who says she’s married anyway, let alone to a man?! I know it’s only a joke, but I was still annoyed by the blatant sexism & gender stereotyping in this ‘joke’. Needless to say I didn’t buy the book (the other jokes were pretty lame anyway, to be fair, but I suppose that’s horses for courses).
I also saw a greetings card in the same shop with another wife joke on the front:
“Last night my wife sent me a text saying she was in casualty*. As soon as I got home, I watched the whole programme & never saw her once. She still hasn’t come home yet. I’m starving! :(” Because of course this man’s wife’s job is to cook his dinner for him, eh? This joke is sexist to both women & men, as it implies that men are lazy & uncaring, & wouldn’t lift a finger to cook a meal if their lives depended on it, & paints women as basically free housekeepers who are expected to cook for their lazy-arse husbands! It annoys me that these sorts of jokes are still finding their way onto greetings cards in 2017.
I also saw a magazine in Waitrose called Flat Tum (sic) Diet Plan, which had a picture of a young, tanned, impossibly thin- so skinny you could see her ribs- in a string bikini on the front cover. Her face is not shown, just her torso. Yet more unrealistic expectations of what women should aspire to look like.
*Casualty is a British medical drama, & the casualty department is the British equivalent of the Emergency Room in a hospital.