Reddit user u/ClaNiKo999 asked the women of the community: "What are subtle ways you've experienced sexism?"
Unfortunately they had many stories up their sleeves, proving that it isn't easy being a woman in the world. It's a pretty depressing situation (and not so subtle).
So, here are some women who've experienced sexism that'll most likely make your blood boil:
Note: Some submissions were pulled from this BuzzFeed Community post.
Warning: This post includes topics of sexual assault and verbal abuse. Please proceed with caution.
1."I had a very conservative English teacher. He used to tell the women in our class not to wear revealing, tight clothing, or skirts too short. He implemented this because 'it would arouse the boys.' Mind you, we were all adults...like, we can do whatever the fuck we want? He also reseated everyone, placing the more 'attractive' women in the front row — it was very strange behavior. Other teachers didn't do this. I mean, it was high school — we weren't children, and the rules at this school were quite loose (as we were ADULTS). We chose our own damn seats — he really went above and beyond to be offensive."
2."A higher-up told me that my boobs were the reason men got violent in bars — not alcohol, but my boobs. This was after a bar fight had broken out, and a man spit at and raised his fist at me, the female bartender. This discussion happened while he was telling me that 'we' (the company) wouldn't be pressing charges."
3."I walked into a game store in my old neighborhood to pick up a couple of things (I actually used to work at that store for over a year, but was absent for a while). The only person working when I came in was a 22-year-old dude I never worked with. He looked up when he heard the door, then turned back to shelving. I figured he was busy, so I browsed around a bit. The door opened and a twenty-something guy walked in. The employee immediately dropped what he was doing, came out from behind the counter, and went over to ask this new customer what he was looking for. Meanwhile, I was over by the glass case waiting for them to wrap up so I could buy my stuff and go. As I was waiting, a 10-year-old boy walked in. Again, the employee immediately went over and engaged with the kid. I was still waiting and said: 'Excuse me?' I was ignored."
"I started to see a pattern emerging, so I stopped trying to get his attention. I stood there and watched while two more guys came into the store and immediately got greeted and engaged in conversation. I was standing by the case with my credit card in my hand and got nothing. I left and the employee didn't even tell me to 'have a nice day' or 'thanks for coming in.' Not a word to me for 45 minutes.
The next time I went in, my old manager was working, so I got my stuff from him. I mentioned to him what happened the last time I was at the game store — I never saw that employee in there again."
4."I am a doctor (I am not a Miss, Mrs., or Ms.). But since I work with and under a male doctor, everyone calls me by my name (not Dr.) — it happens all day every day. No one believes that I am a doctor — they think I'm just another assistant half the time. I have all my degrees and certifications on my wall, business cards with Dr., and a name plate that says Dr. on it. To clarify, outside of work I would never expect someone to call me doctor. Everyone can call me by my name, or even Miss, Mrs. or Ms. — I only feel the need to correct people at work."
5."I went to Walmart to buy five $100 gift cards to walk around the store to hand out to people with kids, just to spread a little Christmas cheer. As the FEMALE clerk was ringing up the cards, she said: 'Does your honey know you're doing this?' I was so shocked, and I replied: 'I am the honey.'"
6."I was working for the census and was very frustrated with my boss. He was horrible at his job and very inappropriate with everyone. After a while, I couldn't take it anymore, so I approached him and voiced my concerns. As I did, he mocked me and then said I was sexy when I was mad. It still makes my skin crawl when I think about it. I wanted to go home and bathe in hydrogen peroxide, I felt so dirty. He was in his late fifties, and I was 18."
7."I got told by a man that my handshake was too firm for a woman, and basically it should be softer and more delicate. I read a long time ago that a handshake should be firm but not painful, and you should look the person in the eye while you shake their hand. I always took that to heart (as I personally do not like the feeling of a soft, limp handshake). It was so weird to think it was somehow wrong of a woman to have a firm handshake to this guy. Like men and women should have different ways to shake hands because of our genders? And because women are the 'softer sex,' our handshakes should be, too?"
8."I have a decently successful YouTube channel and earn revenue, and after a coworker and I were talking about different recording gear, I decided to tell him what's been working for me. I showed him my channel and it’s honestly not something I bring up often. This guy was like: 'What? You have subscribers? Of course you do — you're a woman.' As if the only thing bringing in my views and subs was the fact I'm a woman. I don't even show my face. He just plays video games (which is cool in its own way), but it's harder to stick out when all you have to offer is the same exact thing everyone else is doing. Of course it’s going to take a lot more effort for him to gain traction (that’s how I see it at least)."
9."I’m the section leader of a string bass section of an orchestra. We were playing an outdoor concert, and the sound guy wanted to put a microphone near the section leader. He went to the man in the middle first (the most illogical place for the section leader to be). When the man said he wasn’t the leader, the sound guy immediately went to the next man further down the line before he told him I was the section leader. Every section leader is oriented in the same direction, but his brain was so mystified that I could be the leader that he defied all logic in assuming who the leader was. Unfortunately, that’s about as subtle as the sexism gets in the music world."
10."Receiving 'relationship advice' from older women in your family is so hard. They mean well, but they have internalized a bunch of stuff and they have been victimized way more than I have. And yet, it's so hard not to be mad at the torrent of sexist 'advice' coming from them. At the age of 21, my mom told me that 'my primary goal in life is to pick a good man and support him.' Meanwhile, I'm a chronically successful student used to being held up and singled out by teachers, a bookworm, a person who sought out leadership, and a winner of a bunch of STEM competitions. This 'advice' was all because of my gender. 10 years later, I am still terrified of that scenario and definitely have commitment issues."
11."I immediately think of most times when my boyfriend and I go out to dinner. If we order two different drinks (one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic), he usually gets the alcoholic one placed in front of him. If we ask for advice on the wine, he usually gets much more technical answers and I usually get: 'This one is sweeter than this one.' The check is usually placed in front of him, even when I am the one who asks for it."
12."At my last job, I was in a four-person accounting department. The controller, the accounting manager, and the other staff accountant were all male. Anytime something needed to be filed or scanned, it would end up on my desk. I also answered phone calls when the receptionist was off, which I never offered to do. It was just assumed that I would because I'm a woman. And, at the time this was all happening, I had worked there longer than any of them."
13."I was being paid less per hour than my male coworkers (who hadn't worked there as long as me). I didn't even know it until we got a new female manager who convinced the owner to bump up my pay. She pulled me aside one day and told me: 'We're moving you up to [X]-hourly wage, as that should be the baseline for all employees.' It hadn't occurred to me before that I was being paid $2.50 less per hour than my male coworkers."
14."I play keyboard, and I called a store to confirm that they had a keyboard I wanted to purchase. The guy told me he was working there all day and that they did have one in stock and would hold it for me. I decided to get lunch with one of my male friends, and he wanted to see what I was getting since he also played keyboard. I walked into the store first, I found the guy to purchase the keyboard, and talked to him a bit. I stood there, credit card in hand. He gets the keyboard out, and decides to then ignore me and talk to my friend about it and upselling a stand and pedal. My friend started to back up and tried to look disinterested since he wasn't the one buying the keyboard. Guy didn't get the hint — he kept talking to my friend instead. It was quite the slap in the face."
"If the store hadn't had it cheaper than other stores I would have walked out and bought it elsewhere. Now I'll just not go back to that site in the future."
15.And finally: "I went to apply for a college student committee position and was told girls can’t stay up at night to help out because girls need security. The sexism wasn't even subtle — it was direct. I said okay, I’ll apply. If I get the votes, let me do it — if I slack off, you can remove me. He assumed I wouldn’t get the votes, but I did. I kicked ass in that committee. The guy wrote me a recommendation, and while handing it over, told me: 'You’re very assertive.' When I graduated, I told him how his words hurt and fueled me."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.