I used to be sexist. Not covertly and quietly sexist, but I was loud and very proud to say “Yep, I’m sexist!”. I would say it like a badge of honour, I wasn’t one of those hairy arm-pitted, Doc Martin boot wearing, man hating feminists.
No siiiireee, not me. I was a “good” girl. I knew my place and I knew how to please my man!
Deep down in my heart I knew men were better than women. I knew that to be valuable I had to look hot, be an insatiable sex kitten and feed my spouse meat laden meals.
I knew that drinking pints of beer was not lady like and to stick to delicate glasses of wine, even though I didn’t particularly like it.
I knew I should be grateful when any man showed me attention, even unwanted. I knew the standards I should live by, the shoes I should wear, and my place in society.
Happily, I knew I was beneath men, and it felt good, everything was right in the world.
I grew up with a dominant Dad and a Mum who just wanted to keep the family happy at her own expense. My Mum waited on my Dad and he was satisfied with this, she kept quiet and followed his decisions.
Men in my family were the hard workers, the ones who deserved a big dinner at the end of the day, the ones who shouldn’t do housework, the ones who should be revered.
Women were a burden to men, we were nags and to make up for it we should be obedient, charming and selfless.
I have a vivid memory eating dinner in Ireland where the men ate first at the table. Once the men had their fill the women and children ate next and were sat on small stools or on the floor. The dogs and cats then got the scraps.
That’s just the way the world worked. Everything made sense.
The hierarchy was men on top then came women and children and then the animals were next.
Life was good for me. Yes I had an abusive boyfriend but that’s all I was worth after all.
Yes, my self-worth came from men’s approval of my appearance but I could always work harder on being sexy.
Yes, I thought it was hilarious when my boss said “None of you bitches better get pregnant or I’ll throw you down the stairs”, I wasn’t uptight like some people who thought it was offensive.
Until everything changed. I started looking at life through a different lens. Perhaps women were equal to men? But if that’s true then why do men get paid more?
Perhaps women shouldn’t be objectified? But then why are the adverts on TV doing just that?
If women are really as great as men then why do men get called studs and women get called sluts? It just didn’t make sense!
So many things confused me, angered me, upset me. My place in the world has changed.
So, that’s why being sexist was the best time of my life.
I didn’t need to stand up for myself.
I didn’t need to question a colleague who made sexist jokes.
I didn’t need to end friendships and relationships with misogynists.
I didn’t need to shout at the TV when a beer commercial came on.
Even though things are different now that I am a proud feminist I wouldn’t go back to that time when I wasn’t.
I am happy I can continue to learn about the complicated world we live in and hope you will join me in the quest to understand others and bring a feminist perspective to everyday situations.
If you’re a proud sexist like I was: I get it. Just know that you can drink pints of beer if you want to, you don’t have to wear high heels everyday if that’s not your thang. You can refuse to laugh at sexist jokes.
Or not, do whatever makes you feel good.