“A friend … recently shut down some sexist behavior in her male colleagues without destroying their relationship or hearing the B word. She heard a comment in passing, turned to the two guys and said, calmly “inappropriate.” One of them responded, “Really?” “Yes,” she said, and continued on her way … Balik says she thinks that her friend’s casual tone might be key.
“If you were a dude,” she says, “And someone said something that made him sound like a jerk, you’d say ‘dude, lay off,’ and that would be the end of it.” No hard feelings, no raised voices. When we call out sexism, she says, it’s easy to be seen as shrill or preachy. “Crying sexism is essentially victimizing yourself,” and in industries like tech, that’s never a good position to be in. Instead, stress that any discriminating language, boy-girl-black-white-rich-poor, is simply uncool. Doing so with a “tough” demeanor so as not to “scare” the men with your feminine ways might also be key.