Before my return to Houston, I had forgotten about good ole Southern gentlemen, chivalrous and honorable.
They open doors, exit elevators last, and buy you drinks just to be nice.
They also like to tell incredibly misogynistic jokes.
I had forgotten about the complete acceptance of sexism here!
At the bar I went to last night–which is apparently a hotspot for bachelorette parties–the DJ/bandmember brought 2 brides-to-be up on stage and wanted them to fake an orgasm into the microphone. Ok, so that’s slightly funny. But then he made one of the bachelorettes, who was unbelievably wasted, fake an orgasm into a microphone that he had placed at his crotch as an imitation boner. I found it completely demeaning and manipulative to use audience pressure to coerce a drunk girl into simulating a blow job. And this incident had been preceded by a rendition of, no, not “Poker Face,” but a graphic “Poke Her Face.” That’s right.
Of course, these were only 2 of the DJ’s offenses.
On Friday night, I somehow found myself surrounded by guys telling women jokes. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone telling such idiotic jokes. I know that (most of) the tellers don’t actually believe what the jokes advocate, but the fact that these jokes exist and are remembered indicates to me that at least on some level, sexism is thought to be acceptable.
It’s good to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously, but I think there is also a line where the humor ends and the damage begins. Men and women are, in general, different, but when women get cast as inferior or less valuable, they are denied the equality that they deserve. And that inequality, however small, hasn’t gone away.