The micromachismos They are everyday attitudes that most of society sees as normal, which causes many people, regardless of their gender, not to realize that they are discriminatory towards women.
Sometimes these behaviors are apparently small details, but that, taken together, reveal a major problem: that machismo is so common, that it is seen as a natural part of the system and not as something problematic.
This is one opinion column where I will describe some of the micromachisms that I frequently face, and I know that many other women also suffer. I think that several of them could go unnoticed by men for the simple fact that it does not happen to them, or they have never seen it as something macho.
When I want to buy a shirt, many are translucent
It’s not that I don’t like translucent clothes, but it is exhausting wanting to buy a regular shirt in retail and find that none of them have a decent thickness fabric. An abnormal number of women’s tops have fabrics that, without being sheer, are too thin so the bra can easily be seen.
I am not interested in showing my underwear on a daily basis and, even worse, there are days when I would prefer not to wear a bra, but I cannot not do it because the shirt would show my nipples excessively.
Almost all of my jeans have no pockets or are useless
I only have jeans that have roomy pockets, a feature that really surprised me when I bought it. All the others have extremely small or “embellished” pockets, meaning they are not even real. It’s stupid!
It also happens to me, although less frequently, with some sweatpants and pajamas.
I think this happens because commerce assumes that women will always carry a purse or purse, so why give us pockets?
Everyone gets offended when I say I don’t want to learn to cook
I have a personal social network with more than 100,000 followers and I once happened to mention that I don’t know how to cook and I am not interested in learning. I received literally thousands of comments from total strangers who were offended that I did not want to, to the point that it seemed as if I had insulted them in a particular way.
The most repeated comment was “and how will you feed your children if you don’t know how to cook?” I’m sure that question is not asked of men.
I grew up in a family where many of the adult men know how to cook, and there are even those who have worked in the field, so I have never seen it as a purely feminine obligation. It is macho to assume that all women must learn to cook to feed their future families … or that we all want or can have children.
Strangers ask me if I want to have children
Linked to the above, I have also met many strangers, in real life and online, who ask me if I want to have children, as if it were normal to go around getting into the privacy of others.
That she is a woman does not mean that by obligation she must have children. If I don’t even know you, I don’t know why you expect me to explain what I plan to do with my fertility.
In public transportation, men never give me room to sit with my legs spread
It is socially assumed that women sit with their legs closed, because it is a “lady’s” attitude, but sometimes you want to sit with your legs open simply because it is more comfortable. And we don’t always have space, especially if a man sits next to us.
In public transport, men usually assume that I will sit with my legs closed and it seems natural to take part of my place, so they spread their legs as wide as possible. This behavior is known under the term manspreading. But if I paid for a seat, why can’t I take up all my space?
Let the men feel how they want, but without invading my seat.
They think I have my period every time I cry in public
It is true that many times I cry for no reason because I am with menstruation and hormones play with my mood. But I also have feelings when I’m not on my period. I can cry when I want to and for whatever reason I want, it is not a crime.
They think that I wear makeup because I want to look more attractive to men
Some days I make up my eyes because I love everything that is colorful. I love playing with shades, with highlights, bringing joy to my face through shadows and eyeliners. I am passionate about being creative through color.
And other days I wear makeup just because I feel like it. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with appearing more attractive to men.
I am not even attracted to people in general because I am demisexual, which means I am unable to be romantically or sexually attracted to others 99% of the time.
And if I was interested in dating someone in a romantic way, I assure you that it would not be with a person who thinks that I should wear makeup to look “better”, or that I look bad if I do not “fix”.
They open a door or give me a seat without any apparent mobility problem
Some women like it when men make these gestures, so it’s really personal. They make me uncomfortable because I see them as a symbol of endemic machismo, since it unconsciously implies that women are weaker than men. It is like saying “you are very fragile because you are a woman, so you cannot open a door by yourself.”
As long as you don’t see me with a broken leg or something similar, I don’t need you to treat me like someone who can’t stand 20 minutes on my feet.
Strangers call me “girl”. I am 30 years old
Totally unknown men and women alike often call me “girl” to refer to me. I am 30 years old and full of gray hair, so obviously I am not a “girl”. I am an adult woman and I would like to be treated as such.
This is one of the many ways in which society infantilizes women, which is a reflection of a macho upbringing.
Men explain obvious things to me
Mansplaining is a very familiar term and yes, it happens to me quite a bit. Nobody likes to be treated like a fool, so please don’t.
More about it in this article.
They expect you to wear a skirt and heels on formal occasions
I find it absurd that women are required to wear a dress or skirt and heels on semi-formal or formal occasions. I do not see the problem with wearing a suit with pants and low shoes, if it is a decent wardrobe suitable for the occasion. Men wear them, why couldn’t a woman?
They assume that I am heterosexual because I have “feminine” tastes.
People have always assumed that I am heterosexual because they see that I have attitudes and tastes socially associated with “femininity”, such as, for example, wearing a lot of pink clothes. For that reason, everyone is surprised when I tell them that I am bisexual.
Wearing pink clothes doesn’t automatically make me straight.