5 Non Sequitur Responses To A Female Colleague’s Sexist Experience

So you’re out at lunch, in a meeting, or on the road with a female colleague – you know the one who statistically has a higher education than you do, but only earns about 80 percent of your salary – when it happens: society drops a sexist experience right in your lap, with you as the witness and her as the victim.

What should you do? What’s the proper etiquette? It’s clear that neither HR nor your parents prepared you to act like a proper human being in trying circumstances like these, so we put together this quick guide to get you through to the other side of the gender divide without having to actually challenge your own latent apathy.

1. Suggest That You Both Head To A Buffet

She’s fuming at the way she’s been treated because of her gender, you’re confused and scared because you’ve never felt so ill-equipped to deal with both your own failings and those of society. How about stuffing your face and hers with so many calories you’ll forget that she’s being judged far more harshly than you are when she gets up to fill her plate for the third time?

2. Awkwardly Tell Her About The Time You Sort Of Also Experienced Social Injustice

Social injustice sucks! I’m sure she’ll appreciate your story about that time the bouncer wouldn’t let you into the club because they ‘already had enough men inside.’ Enough men?!?! Is there REALLY a such thing as too many men? What the hell!??!?

3. Ask Her If She Wants Some Water

Being hydrated is really important, especially when the realities of a patriarchal institution are significantly disrupting your career. She’d probably feel a lot better if you told her where some water was so she could go and get it, and bring some back for you, too.

4. Buy Her A Balloon Animal From A Street Vendor

There’s nothing like an empty, air-filled day-glo tube-sculpture to take both of your minds off of the fact that something shitty happened and that you just sat there doing absolutely nothing the entire time. Bonus points if it’s something she can wear on her head.

5. Quit Your Job In Protest

Middle management is going to regret the day that they snubbed the most talented up-and-comer in the company because she happens to use the wrong restroom! You quit! However will they continue to steamroll over opportunities for women to advance in the workplace without your incredible spreadsheeting skills and/or ability to silently occupy a chair in a conference room where the actions of those around you go completely unchallenged on a daily basis? Good thing you won’t have to finally stand up for what’s right and initiate change from within – those anxiety dreams were starting to eat you alive.

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