Ah, casual sexism. Where would we be without it? Girls can’t throw. Boys can’t write. Women can’t drive. Men can’t multitask. The tropes are symptomatic of an utterly unnecessary chasm being created between each half of a false binary, and as they reveal it, they widen it. People don’t even seem abashed about it; it seems that it’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to someone in the street and make a sexist remark based on their assumed gender, and reasonable to expect people to laugh.
And butting in on other people’s conversations. When someone talks loudly, of course they want you to join in! Even if you’re a total stranger! And a douchebag!
And misgendering. Y’know, every time I leave my house, I can’t wait for the first big shithead to come up to me and make an incorrect assumption about my gender. It just makes my day. (withered from the sarcasm yet). Especially when it’s done to provide groundwork for a display of privileged arrogance and sexism.
And nonconsensual bodily contact. Yeah, sure, I just love being grabbed round the hips by some entitled, misogynistic asshole.
I am, on the whole, very lucky. I get read as male a lot and therefore get accorded male privilege. However, as someone for whom it’s always a toss-up how others are going to read zan, I also sometimes get incidents like that one. It’s a long time since someone last touched me in a way I felt threatened by. This guy came up behind me and another person as I was saying, ‘I can’t hit the post with a snowball, I should stop trying,’ and said, ‘excuse me,’ put both hands on my hips as he was going past, and then said, ‘girls can’t throw.’ I was slightly too nonplussed to do anything, plus the nausea from the bug I’ve had was rising again.
Times like this when I really don’t envy my female friends. They talk about this kind of thing happening fairly often.
And what’s it a symptom of? A kyriarchal culture wherein the binary is rigidly enforced and masculinity is seen as superior to femininity. If it was recognised that the binary was a broken system, there could be no division. There is more variation within the binary sexes than between them; we’re really not very biologically dimorphic, and that doesn’t even take into account intersex people. The idea of the binary is a pure social construct that enables a them-and-us division, thus fostering kyriarchy and encouraging negative labelling of the outgroup.