I do not know if it is the fact that in a few months I will have a daughter or maybe it has something to do with this election cycle, but I find myself noticing sexism more than ever. Years ago I would never have thought of myself as sexist and yet, there are things I notice that I say or do that definitely are wrong. I look back at my old posts and see how I objectified or demeaned women and it does embarrass me. I debate with myself about deleting them, but does that really solve the problem? Maybe I should add little editor notes like (I was an asshole here-Future Josh).
If you had told me twenty years ago when I was 16 years old that someday I would be having a daughter, the same year that we could possibly elect the first female president (think about it, she could be sworn in while Lindsey is giving birth, how cool would that be?). I think 16 year old me would be shocked. Not that I was having a daughter, but that it had taken us twenty years to get a female president. For some reason at that age I really believed that sexism, racism, and bigotry would be gone from the world. It seemed like so many people my age and younger were basically above that nonsense. I guess I was wrong. Or at least naive.
Don’t panic friends and family! This is not another political post (you can stop typing any anti-liberal/pro-Trump comments now). Instead, I want to talk about how I am still sexist and how I try to battle it. I feel like every guy out there (and even some women) are going to be sexist about something or another. It is impossible not to be. The key (yeah, like I have any clue what the key to life is), in my opinion, is being able to acknowledge that you may be a bit biased and trying to overcome it.
For example, when I did my list of Best Comedians, there was not one woman on the list. In fact, I tossed two into the honorable mention just because I felt bad. And here is the problem, when I am choosing a comedy special to watch on Netflix, I see tons of female comedians and yet, I always choose a male. I could make excuses, but the fact is, I just have this preconceived notion that women are just not as funny as men. It is horrible. I realize it is ridiculous because I have seen hilarious female stand-up performances. And yet when I am scrolling down the names, I go “eh, I am not in the mood for her type of humor.” Her type of humor? As if she is going to tell vagina jokes for an hour.
One of the things that frustrates me is when I tell people we are having a girl and they say “oh, I bet you are disappointed, you probably wanted a boy” or “oh no, looks like you’ll be going to dance recitals instead of little league.” Well first of all, my daughter can do whatever she wants in regards to sports and activities. If she wants to play baseball, then by all means, we will go out in the yard and play catch. If she wants to dance, I will gladly practice my pirouette. I never want to be a parent who forces my kids to do things or try to live vicariously through them. Those comments though make me realize how much most people assign things to a certain gender. Boys can like superheroes, girls like Disney princesses. It is idiotic. If our daughter wants to play with Batman toys, well then she would be the coolest kid ever and I will gladly let her borrow some of my toys. If she wants to be one of those Frozen girls (Elsa, Anna? I should probably watch this movie at some point), hey that’s cool. Toys are fun. Pink, blue, red, black, it does not matter. Having fun and being yourself. Okay, sorry, definitely going on a tangent.
I recently had a discussion at work about Serena Williams. I said that she should definitely be in the conversation as the greatest tennis player of all time. The person countered with “well, yeah, she’s the greatest woman player without a doubt.” I was like “no, I honestly think she is one of the greatest, male or female.” Unfortunately, this person really could not debate tennis and basically walked away. If you do not think she is in the top five, then so be it, give me your reasons. If your reason is that she is a woman, well that is silly.
Another thing that bothers is me the Oscars (or any of the award shows). Why do we have Best Male and Best Female Actor awards? Is there a difference in skill that is associated with gender? I thought about that when doing my picks this past year. It seems so weird that we differentiate for that category, but not for director. Shouldn’t there be a Best Male Director and Best Female Director? What about Cinematographer? It seems ridiculous at a certain point. You know what else I noticed? When they list the nominees somewhere, how do they do it? The Best Male Actor category is always first. It seems weird to me.
Alright, I ranted enough tonight. I need to wrap this up.
To all my female friends and family out there, I am sorry if I was ever just outright sexist towards you. I am trying to do a better job.