Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Is it as sexist if a woman does it?

72 Comments

Saturday afternoon found yours truly enjoying a beer on the patio of one of Kingston’s livelier establishments. At this particular place, since it is Irish, the waiting staff wear kilts. Both the girls and the guys.

My table was adjacent to a table where three middle-aged women were sitting. Between us, a waiter stood talking to some customers. His back was to the other table. I watched as one of the women extended her arm and wiggled her fingers below the hem of the waiter’s kilt, as though she was going to reach up under it and tickle… something. I didn’t know whether to smile or be appalled. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.

So let’s see… what is your reaction? Take the poll:

I could probably have come up with some more answers, but I’m interested to see what you have to say. Let’s discuss.

Edit for clarification: The woman didn’t come in contact with the waiter, and he didn’t notice she did it.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

72 thoughts on “Is it as sexist if a woman does it?

  1. I agree with dalecooper57, it can’t be harassment if one gender is called out for it and the other isn’t. That makes it a double standard, which is where harassment comes from in the first place if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you think a man doing it to a woman is wrong, then you also have to think the same if the positions are reversed, otherwise your argument is invalid.
    Simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the fact that the question has to be asked tells me the pendulum has swung too far to the side of political correctness.
    Of course this is generally not appropriate public behaviour for anyone, particularly towards someone you do not know personally and have no idea if they’ll take it as a joke or be thoroughly offended.
    But this is just being silly. It’s not lurid, violent, or even threatening. For an action to be truly offensive there has to be a “victim” who perceives that they’ve been harmed. How does anyone know if the waiter would have even been offended had he noticed?
    However, had it been a man doing this to a woman; totally unacceptable. Yes it’s a double standard but I’m okay with that, because men and women’s daily realities are totally different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a good point – men’s and women’s daily realities are different. What a woman sees personally as harassment, a man might view as a joke.
      But then, as you say, the pendulum HAS swung too far. That also is a reality, as evidenced by most of the comments here.
      Thanks for chiming in, Norm. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Had you not been there no one would have noticed. The ladies were having fun and should be forgiven an indiscretion. (Was poor taste for sure)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes it is inappropriate but we take life too seriously! A trio of young-at-heart old gals having a laugh!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do take life too seriously. I suppose it would have been much worse if he’d actually known she did it. Still, I was taken aback, probably because I was able to put myself in the “victim’s” shoes… or kilt. πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In my kilt-wearing days, I’d have women come up all the time and ask “the question.” My answer was usually “have a look.” No one ever did.

    I never had a woman brazen enough to try and reach underneath, but she’d likely have found my *sgian dubh* (the knife we carry in our sock) stuck in her palm if she did. Honestly, that’s just wrong, and I think there’s a whole genre of romance novels that practically encourages it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I see there’s a reason you carry a knife in your sock. πŸ˜› Ha!
      Many romance novels are extremely politically incorrect in this direction. Quite hypocritical too.

      Like

  7. Ah me. I’m male, white, over 50, from a country that exploited many others and am financially independent at least in part on the back of that exploitation. If I judge then I’m judging based my many ingrained prejudices which, however hard I try, I can never shift. Nice post, not that I’m judging…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think that’s sexist per se; just gross!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. It is wrong, though probably easier to laugh off as the power dynamics would suggest she posed him no real physical threat as could be an issue if the roles were reversed, one should always be careful with men in kilts though, at a rugby match a few years ago I joking asked one is he was a true Scot under his kilt rather than answering he lifted the hem and I got the sight of more than I bargained for lol

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha! Well then! πŸ˜€ I’m wondering how I’d have reacted if the roles were reversed. I probably wouldn’t even be writing about it – it just seems so ridiculous and yet… wrong. You know?

      Like

  10. It’s wrong. I regret sometimes that what we fought for in the 1960’s and 70’s comes down to the lowest common denominator. The point….missed.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I reckon she was drunk. On a girlie evening out…
    Still doesn’t make it right though…

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Great piece. Quick question – are you sure it is an Irish bar? I’m guessing it has to be Scottish: I’ve never seen an Irishmen in a kilt!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! I know pipe bands wear them from the Ulster Scots but you could travel from Cork to Belfast and never meet anyone who’d worn or seen anyone wearing a kilt unless they were in a marching band! πŸ™‚ I think Irish Bars would be more un-PC & questionable to a lot of my Irish mates – cultural appropriation by people not from the island – than a lass pretending to grab the waiter’s arse. If she’d done it yeah – but pretending would be laughed off in Ireland I think. πŸ˜‰

        I’m a Dane living in the UK though so can’t swear to it, but I’d buy a pint of Guiness for anyone who can find me an Irish pub with anyone born outside Scotland wearing a kilt in it πŸ˜‰

        Like

  13. Gosh! That’s bad and wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay, first off, it’s not sexist for either a man or a woman to observe and be attracted to the opposite sex. If the woman had said, “That server is a man–and so he must be stupid” then we could discuss whether or not it was any more or less sexist than if a man had said it about a female server. But the situation that you describe is not one in which assumptions were made regarding a person on the basis of gender.

    That having been said, I believe that servers who work in bars will always be viewed as sex objects by a portion of the clientele. That’s part of why people go to bars. That’s part of how bar servers get their jobs, on the basis of how attractive they are, and how willing to play along with patron’s fantasies. You may think that’s wrong, but it’s a fact of life.

    Since the incident involved only a gesture and not physical contact, I would say that it falls under the heading of tasteless but not wrong, and I would view it the same way no matter which genders were involved.

    Ogling, flirting, and joking is going to happen in bars. Successful servers will play along with it. Once you cross the line into physical contact, it’s assault.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Tasteless” is a good word in this case. Still, the question remains whether had he seen her do it, would he have slapped her hand out of the way as quickly as a female server might. And whether or not that type of flirtation has become socially unacceptable compared to 20 years ago. I think the bar has risen on servers’ tolerance, don’t you?

      Like

      • Would a female server have slapped a man’s hand? It depends on the server, I suppose, and the venue.

        I do think that many segments of society have become intolerant of the sort of casual flirtation that used to be commonplace in this country. And I think that’s too bad. Being afraid to express any hint of an erotic component in casual relationships puts an undue strain on both men and women in mixed company.

        Like

  15. I believe that the urge to do what the woman was intending to do is not rooted in a particular gender. Giving a thought to the action of the woman, in this case, tells me quite clearly, that she is among people who would like it if the same action be repeated with her, or, be a hypocrite and condemn such an action. Some may say, that it was all for fun, but, then there could have been anything else done for the sake of fun and not just this particular gesture. So the urge it there.

    What is right or wrong cannot be judged unless public harmony is disturbed, after all you and I are public to the event. If the waiter likes such advances, who are you and I to judge any of the two, and, if, the waiter dislikes it, he has every right to condemn it, irrespective of the gender.

    The social perception in the era of feminism and hoarse cry about misogynistic attitude has created an imbalance that makes us ask the question you have framed for the poll. I am not against the feminism movement and I condemn misogyny, but, I am barely stating a fact that has led to your question.

    Humanity is simple and if you see from the human perspective, the answer is right there in front of your eye, just, that we have blinded ourselves with prejudices and biases, causing it difficult to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The question is, have we either gone too far in the quest for balance between men and women? Just that I’m asking the question that is the reason for this post, tells me that maybe we have. I know how I would have reacted 30 years ago, and it’s not the same as I have reacted now. I wonder if I’ve grown up, or if today’s views have affected mine. I suppose I’ve just echoed your last paragraph… πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your insightful comment, Sandeep. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • It very well may have Linda. There is a fear among men like never before. Have you not seen people choose not to meet eyes these days. I have been conscious about it too, for a simple reason that the whole movement has gone to encourage women to question the integrity of another man, irrespective of the intention. I am not vouching for men or women here. Only, answering your question with a fact. We have created a wedge between man and woman. So, the simple answer to your question is that, while both men and women, for their behaviors in day to day life, should be judged with the same eye, but the social attitude that has changed over past decade or so due to the concepts of women empowerment, feminism etc. has created an skewed the balance in favour of women. I only and only say this from the point of view of judging them for the case you pointed out in this post of yours. Cheers. :).

        Like

        • I agree. We’ve gone over the top. And it’s not only the imbalance between men’s and women’s rights, it’s an imbalance between political correctness and trolling – I have to wonder if we’re trying to tip the scales in favour of politeness by going overboard. Neither should be necessary – common decency is enough.
          Cheers. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  16. You know, I don’t really think it’s a matter of political correctness. It’s a question of being decent and respecting other people. JusrtJustmy humble opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Generally such behavior is tacky in a restaurant. For goodness sakes, wash your hands. πŸ™‚

    I’m going with it is pretty much never okay, especially not with complete strangers. I suppose if you’ve introduced yourself first or something….

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sometimes I wonder if we want equality but only the parts that are important to us. Sexual innuendo is definitely one of the areas that women don’t seem to respect with the opposite sex yet demand that men don’t treat them like objects… just thinking out loud. ❀
    Diana xo

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Totally inappropriate whatever the gender.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Reblogged this on Prog Chik and commented:
    Interesting post, so I thought I’d share. Take the poll!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s disgusting for either a male or female to do such a thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Liked by 1 person

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