A few days ago, a man complimented a woman on her Linked profile photo and got an earful and more for his remark and she ended up reporting him to the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority.
I will leave it to you to decide where you stand on this story. Whether you think the woman’s reaction was excessive or if you think the man should have known better than to make an observation (however complimentary) about a woman’s appearance on a forum meant for making professional connections.
But as with all these stories, I turn the focus back to me to see how it applies to my own life (always me, me, me). I thought to the number of times I have let cruel jibes about my appearance slide by without so much as a muster passing my lips. I recall the number of occasions, when I have stood passively as unwarranted and frankly, unpleasant remarks about a woman’s looks have been passed.
I sometimes envy the women who have little tolerance for this sort of casual sexism. I wish I had their confidence to lash out at each transgression. But I do not have the energy or indeed, the courage of my conviction to go after every throwaway sexist jibe directed my way. So I stay silent and endure and fume internally.
However, I do believe that there are far bigger issues facing women today. That these kind of fracas distract us from more pressing concerns for women. But who am I to decide what is more important? Perhaps reacting to unwarranted observations about one’s looks is as important as fighting for women’s rights to equal pay.
That said, if someone were to compliment me on my profile photo, I would wonder what their motives are. If it seems harmless and fairly innocent, I would take it for what it is intended and thank the person. After all, I have been dealt a whole lot of barbwires in the past. I can use a few bouquets now.