Feminism | Posted by Klee on 12/22/2014

On Sexism at Home

I have always tried to be the best person I can be. I’m 16, do well in my homeschooling, don’t drink or do drugs. I try to be as respectful as possible to everyone: I consider others, and treat others the way that I would want to be treated. I feel that I can take care of myself and stand up for what I believe in and what I want. Yet all of these things always seem to be overshadowed by the fact that I’m a girl.

When my brother and I were young, we thrived outside. If something was dangerous, like riding dirtbikes (one of our favorite things), count us in. So naturally we hated when our mom gave us more chores that kept us indoors, like loading the dishes and folding the towels.

My dad stuck up for my brother. He said, “He’s a boy. He should be outside with me, not doing women’s work!” My mom tried to stick up for me, too, responding, “You can let her work outside with you, too. Besides he needs a little house care knowledge.”

For about four years we all argued back and forth until my brother and Dad won. My brother was released from his chores and to this day I do them all while he smirks and makes fun of me.

The double standards have only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. The rule in our house was always that my brother and I could start dating at 16. My brother has a girlfriend with whom it’s pretty obvious he’s sexually active: he spends the night at her house and even spends entire weekends with her. Even though my parents have never met his girlfriend, they’re fine with the arrangement.

I’m sixteen and am honestly not particularly interested in dating. I do, however, have a lot of male friends, which my dad is not happy about. For example, I recently asked my dad if I could go to a show at a nearby record store with a male friend my parents have both met multiple times. He immediately said no, for no apparent reason. That’s hardly an isolated example: my dad is generally over-protective in a really sexist way. He believes that I’m inherently defenseless and will be taken advantage of by my male friends, that men can’t be trusted around women. Sometimes, though, I wonder if these dangerous men he’s so scared I’ll meet were raised by fathers just like him — fathers who talk about other women in vulgar terms, like my father and brother do, and who tell their wives and daughters that their opinions are stupid.

I’m sick of being limited. The women before us fought for the right to be free and we shouldn’t still live in a society where many women still fear the men around them, even in their own homes. Even if we can’t change these attitudes in our male friends and family members now, I believe we still need to speak out about believing in equality if for no other reason than the hope that future generations of women will live with more enlightened fathers and brothers.

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  • Aria @ at 5:18 am, January 24th, 2015

    my dad is the exact same way. I’m the oldest female in my house (I have two younger sisters and an 8 yr old brother) yet my dad treats me as if I’M the youngest. I also have to endure comments about dressing modestly (I’m 24) and whenever I go to school/work my dad lectures me on safety in a demeaning way like I’m a 6 year old. What makes matters worse is the fact that my parents are divorced (my mom lives with her boyfriend & my dad has primary custody of the kids so I live at home because I’m helping take care of my 3 younger siblings) but I have a lot of resentment and even hate for my dad as of now. It also annoys me when I talk to older women/relatives about it and they say its because “your still daddy’s little girl” It honestly makes me even angrier when they say that because I feel degraded/not taken seriously. I truly just want to be rid of my situation and be a free, independent, self-reliant adult with a place of my own. Hang in there love, your not alone.

  • Alex @ at 9:57 pm, October 28th, 2015

    I dont know if im sexist or not. I’ve grown up in a house divided, my parent divorced when i was 2. Anyways, its always been my sister, my mom, and my stepmom annoying me. I love them, but they just annoy me. I moved away from my dads house because my stepmom was unecessarily rude last june. But, my sister is and has always been rude or is just mean to me. And my mom always reminds me of my schoolwork and how I should do it. She also babies the crap out of me and signs me up for things i really dont want to dp. All in all, they annoy me, but I love my sister and mom anyways. So, with that said, ive never really had a bad experience with my dad or stepdad. Theve usually been there for me, they dont annoy me or call me names, and they just let me have my space, unlike my mom whom is always on my ass. I dont know, my mom scheduled a therapist for me (without my permission) so I can tell him about everything. She thinks im depressed when really i just dislike school and am obsessed with my computer and comer games.. Idk

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