As is our norm, we headed off the grid last weekend to hang with our friends. While we were sitting around visiting, the topic of conversation turned towards one of the guy’s divorces. His wife left him and took half of all his stuff. You know the song and dance. It was a fairly normal conversation amongst our group. Sharing bits and pieces of our lives. Learning new things about each other. Delving deeper into the things that happen in our lives that shape us into who we are. You know. That type of conversation.
Then it changed.
He said, “Well, you know how when a woman gets to a certain age her hormones start making her ….”
I turned directly towards him and stared him straight in the face. He goes, “What?” I said, “I’m just curious as to where your sentence is going to go, that’s all. Please. Proceed.”
He was quiet for a long moment as he looked directly into my eyes. There was a long, awkward silence as we looked at each other.
One of the guys burst out laughing and goes, “Don’t do it, man. It’s a trap!”
But he did it.
He continued on, “Well, women’s hormones make them go a little insane when they hit midlife.”
I smiled. “It’s called a midlife crisis. Men have them, too. Is that hormone related?”
“I don’t know. I’ve just been told that a woman’s hormones cause her to do weird shit when she hits a certain age.”
I said, “So, when a man hits middle age and has a mid-life crisis it’s just that…a mid-life crisis. But when a woman does the exact same thing it’s because her hormones have taken over the world? The same way an assertive man is a ‘go getter’ but an assertive woman is a ‘crazy bitch?” Is it like that?”
I couldn’t stop. “Why is it such a double standard with men? Why is it that both sexes can behave the exact same way but when a woman does it there is something wrong with her? Why is that?”
His wife stepped in here. “Yeh, L. Why is that?”
After a little hemming and hawing he said, “I don’t know. It doesn’t seem right, does it? All I know is what I’ve been told.”
One thing my group is learning about me is that when sexist comments are made, I will do more than just raise an eyebrow at it.
It’s good to learn about each other.