When I graduated college at 21, I had no idea about the sexism that awaited me in the workplace. From a boss who assumed I was his new secretary (I wasn’t) because I was young and female, to a boss who told me that since I had a boyfriend and would likely get married soon, he’d never have to give me a raise, my experiences are unfortunately the norm for young women in the workforce.
Here, 18 women share the most ridiculous, sexist remarks they’ve faced while just doing their damn jobs. Prepare to feel shocked, horrified, and downright sick to your stomach.
See Also: 9 Signs Your Boss Might Be Sexist
1. No one asked you, but thanks anyway…
“A few years ago, I interned for a digital strategy firm for 4 months. I worked really hard, wrote tons of social media content, regularly did research and wrote memos, worked with WordPress, and got very positive performance reviews. On my last day, a male employee who I did not do any work with said that I ‘would make an incredible secretary’ and that ‘I was amazing at answering the phones.'” -B
2. I’m sorry, has this asshole never seen Legally Blonde?
“I’m in law school, and before I went at my (government) internship I was told, ‘It’s sad you’re going to law school! All female lawyers nag! You’ll never find a husband.'” -D
3. Is it 1957?
“I travel often for my job as a consultant. On one particular Thursday, a busy business travel day, I was upgraded to first class on both of my flights home. On the first flight, the man on the aisle seat of my row was already seated when I boarded. I used my usual ‘I’m your window seat’ line, to which he replied, ‘Are you sure, honey? First class is the boys club.’ I guess he had never come across a female business traveler? I had to sit next to him for 2.5 hours, but thank goodness the alcohol in first class is complementary.” -A
4.”Isn’t a bachelor’s degree enough?”
“I’m a geologist. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, ‘You’re a geologist? But you’re actually pretty…’ or had geology 101 explained to me, I’d be retired on a beach somewhere with an endless supply of wine. I did have a guy tell me a well site was ‘tough on ladies—the guys aren’t used to having them around.’ I have been asked why I chose an Ms. instead of an Mrs., and one real peach asked me, ‘Why grad school? Isn’t a bachelor’s degree enough?'” -B
5. It’s weird that women don’t exist purely to entertain you!
“The air conditioning was out and a male co-worker told another female co-worker and I that we should bring in our bikinis and do a calendar shoot.” -M
6. Stand still and look pretty, baby
“I’m in school to be a journalist and was volunteering at a bookstore for community service hours and a customer came in and was asking questions about my major and what not and when I told him I was going to be a journalist he replied with, ‘Oh, I hope you don’t plan on being a news reporter kind of journalist, because there’s nothing worse than listening to a woman talk about current events. I get enough of that from my wife when I come home from work.’ I replied with, ‘Wow your wife’s a really lucky woman!’ and he threatened to file a complaint and then left.” -G
7. Apparently, good service isn’t enough.
“Serving job I had told us in training we had to choose one body part to ‘showcase’ (legs, boobs, arms, or back) and the official dress code was ‘sophisticated sex appeal.’ If one of the male managers complimented you on your outfit it, meant you’d ‘nailed it.'” -C
“I transferred after my freshman year. That summer, I worked in a law firm and an attorney asked me if I had to transfer because I hooked up with too many guys and got a bad rep.” -A
9. My relationship status is actually none of your business, thankyouverymuch.
“In an interview, I was asked my relationship status. Apparently, the last two women left the position just as they were ‘getting it,’ because their significant others were offered jobs in different locations. (Sounds like a cop-out to me.) Obviously, I did not take the job.” -H
10. Grab my nuts.
“My boss one time came into my desk area and stuck his fat hands in my bag of almonds. He then said, ‘Help me grab my nuts’… With a wink. After [I took]
the bag away from him, he dropped an almond and said, ‘Damn. I just dropped a nut,’ laughed, punched me in the arm, and walked off.” -S
11. TFW the “joke” falls soooooo flat
“I’m a chemical engineer at a chemical plant that’s about 80% male and I had a fellow engineer pat me on the head and tell me to go make him a sandwich.” -V
12. Potentially the most offensive thing ever
“I once had a supervisor say, ‘Aren’t you supposed to be barefoot and pregnant at a trailer park somewhere in Alabama?’ in a room full of coworkers.” -C
13. Sorry, guys are pigs so now you have to suffer.
“In a hot, outdoor job environment all of the men and another woman could wear shorts, but I couldn’t, only jeans. I was told by the manager, ‘You can no longer wear shorts because the men find you attractive, and it’s causing them to be less efficient. It will also be for your own good, because they say inappropriate things behind your back.'” -A
14. Sorry, sir, I’m going to need to kill you now.
“Creepy, middle aged customer: ‘Did you think I tipped you so you could stand there and not smile?'” -C
15. Thanks for ruining my day, asshole.
“I worked really hard for 4 years to get an engineering degree and then an engineering job. I worked on one project pretty extensively for about 6 weeks and when my boss recognized my hard work and thought I was ready and prepared enough to present to client instead of just sitting in on a meeting, I was ecstatic. Of course as soon as I walked in, the client assumed I was a secretary and asked me to get him coffee. I then had to explain that I wasn’t an assistant, but an engineer, and I would be running the meeting. It was completely humiliating and ruined what was supposed to be a really exciting experience for me.” -S
16. *commits murder*
“At a scientific conference, a man said he was surprised I was in geophysics because ‘Women’s brains usually can’t handle the math.'” -A
17. You know what they say about what happens when you assume…
“We assumed after your wedding you wouldn’t be back, so we didn’t interview you for this promotion.” -E
18. Just gonna call the cops real quick…
“When I was 16 I worked at a car wash, [as a]
cashier, and one of the men I worked with took pictures of me when I was wearing shorts.” -E