Ask a woman if she’s ever received a misogynistic comment in her life and the answer isn’t “Yes,” but “How many?”
Misogyny is a daily part of life for those who are female-identifying. It’s in the content we consume — how many ads only show a piece of a woman’s body? — the leaders we elect and the people we interact with every day. Misogyny is so rampant in our culture that there is a term — “internalized misogyny” — for being misogynistic without knowing you are.
So, when Redditor CaptainHMBarclay asked the r/AskWomen subreddit:
“What outrageously misogynistic incident or comment left you so stunned that you couldn’t even respond?”
Nearly every commenter had a different story.
Those stories are infuriating, shocking, surprising and jaw dropping, proving there is still so much work to be done.
Here are 20 examples of some outrageously misogynistic incidents.
1. Rape is rape, no matter who it is
I work in staffing. We regularly run background checks in staffing. I had a new employee come to me for advice on a background to see if it was permissible.
His candidate had a rape charge. I said absolutely not. Especially violent or sexual crimes are NEVER permissible for any of our clients. He then proceeded to tell me it should be okay because the charge was filed by his wife.
I had to explain to him that rape is rape no matter the parties involved. He was an absolute idiot.brunette_mama
2. There’s a reason for tech’s bad reputation
I work in Tech, a very male dominated field. Many years ago, I worked for a company that was headed by a woman. They hired a new person to head my department who was a HUGE misogynist and overtly sexist. Multiple women filed complaints against him with HR. He was put on “coaching plans” after they found they were valid. Ultimately, every woman who worked under him quit or got a transfer (including me). They kept him in the company.
I was meeting with the head boss one day on something else. My old supervisor’s name came up during conversation (in a benign way, like “Okay, that room is adjacent to this person’s office.”
She then spoke up and said “Ugh, he is absolutely terrible. It’s so bad we cannot even let him supervise women anymore!”
I was so taken aback. First, that is illegal – you cannot not hire women or have women work in a department because the boss is overtly sexist. Second, she is a woman and was actively prohibiting women from working in tech! I left shortly after.apostate456
3. Umm, women can be business owners
A guy who, when I told him that I’m a business owner, would not believe that my business was copywriting and marketing and NOT OnlyFans.
The convo was about how women are “never the breadwinners yet expect a man to do everything for them”. I brought up that I work 60 hours a week and my boyfriend does most of the housework and cooking.
Then he went on to tell me that my boyfriend probably resents me secretly. Like, dude I make close to 6 figures alone and he gets to play video games for most of the day. He’s living the fucking dream.blondedavinci
4. Living on your own??? What’s that?
I had someone ask me why I moved out of my parent’s home. I had no husband or boyfriend so obviously I couldn’t live out in the world alone. Who would take care of me?purozero
5. “Just ger her pregnant”
When I was first hired at my university, my department head tried to convince me to move to the city instead of commuting. I told him I couldn’t, because where I live was halfway between my job and my wife’s job — my wife being a tenured professor and department head at another university.
The shitbird said, without missing a beat, “Oh, just get her pregnant and she’ll calm down.” He was completely serious.Sailbad_the_Sinner30
6. For “your protection”
While getting written up for my dress being “too short” I was told something along the lines of “we do this for your protection because that’s how attacks happen”
I really wanted to tell him “that’s funny because when I was attacked I was in jeans and a shirt”, but I knew I couldn’t say it without crying.Steffany_w0525
Years ago I worked retail in a male dominated place with male only clients, and to make things worse, I looked very young, I was maybe 20 and looked 14, so it was hard to be taken seriously.
Sometimes some clients would get upset and argue about something, and wouldn’t take any explanation from me, would either not listen or not even let me talk. One time, an older male coworker (and he wasn’t even the most professional looking, well dressed but never tidied up, always coffee stains on his shirt, wrinkled blazer, etc) came up beside me and just went “yeah mhmm”. Oh, now the client agreed. All was goof from then on.
For the nest few years I worked there he became my yeah mhmm guy.bliiiib
I was in a male dominated meeting advocating for additional funds for my department. When I finished the chair looked at another male and said, “Wow, she’s feisty today.” Ugh.susgrigs
9. The cousin made the right choice
Me, my cousins, and their bfs were all sitting together eating dinner one night. One of my cousins boyfriends straight up, while sitting in between his girlfriend and his 3 year old daughter, that “any woman wearing a skimpy dress at the club is asking to be raped.”
I am not a very confrontational person, but this really set me off. As a woman, I was so triggered. This casual comment………. ooooooohhhhhh…… My blood was boiling. We got into a heated argument about it and I did not give a single fuck about ruining the night. I could not believe the absolute stupidity and ignorance of this dude. Soon after, my cousin dumped him.auxxxcordddlorddd
10. Worst boss ever? Yep.
I had a boss tell me that “women make too big of a deal out of rape because it’s just someone putting something inside you it’s not like they are killing you”. This was a man I always respected and liked working with and after that I couldn’t look at him. This was my first job, I was only 19 at the time, and this was the early 2000’s so I didn’t know that it was something that should be reported. Such a disgusting creep.Local-Bullfrog-801
11. Let the men discuss
There was an Italian guy, early 20s, in a group training for a new analyst job. The group was led by a super badass female manager whose literal job was to moderate the convo, but this dude had the audacity to cut her off and say “no, let the men discuss.” Like…bruh. I was shocked at the blatant disrespect.Hecc_hooman
12. Intimidated by numbers
I was interviewing for a postdoctoral position at federal research facility after finishing a PhD that had a significant computational portion (lots of statistics, math and coding). The interview panel was two people – one woman in her 40s and an older man in his 60s.
During the interview the old dude asked me three different times if I was ‘intimidated when I saw large numbers and datasets’. I repeatedly said ‘no, my thesis has a large computational portion and I used to teach some of that as well’. Then he asked me two more times and that’s when I was speechless…because he didn’t believe me despite having published papers kn the topic. The woman looked visibly uncomfortable but said nothing. Had to hard pass on that job offer.miss_micropipette
13. Pregnancy moodswing
For work, I look after maintenance budgets on 128 commercial buildings and my job requires a lot of interaction with trades people. While I was pregnant I was sent a plumbing quote wanting to spend 23 hours to do one tap install. The job at best should have been 3 hours. I sent it back to the plumbers questioning it. The plumbers emailed me back cc’ing my boss and their department head and asked if I was having a pregnancy moodswing. I didn’t actually have to do anything, my boss rained hell on them and the Estimator was disciplined… I’ve never awarded anymore work to him after that.habitatforhannah
14. Must be your looks
I was on the job market, interviewing for a finance tenure track position.
One of the famous faculty in the finance field said “your job market paper is amazing but I was surprised to see such high teaching evaluations, it must be because you are so pretty.” I was so dumbfounded and completely shocked. Luckily another faculty changed the topic immediately.algebragoddess
15. Women can be misogynistic, too
My MIL telling me that i HAVE to give her grandchildren it is my obligation and if i don’t she will find a way.
Her telling me she will make my SO rape me to get a child. All kinds of disturbing shit just because SHE wants grandchildren.
She is so scary and has dismissed my opnion on kids multiple times. I actually believe she would poke holes in the condoms or fuck with my pills.Odd_Meet_8632
16. Ah, yes, the “period” line
Probably the first time a guy hit me with the “are you acting like this because you’re on your period?”kaylintendo
17. Reminder that women are sexual beings
A man I was friends with at the time told me that he would never date any woman who’d had a threesome or any type of group sex because she’s “automatically a whore”. It really shocked me, because he felt so much vitriol for a woman who didn’t exist, at least not in terms of someone he’d actually met. When I stuck up for this hypothetical woman, I guess he assumed that the only way I’d feel strongly about it was if I’d done it myself. He told me, basically, that if I’d done that, it was a mistake, and I “didn’t know any better.” I noticed this was always how he acted when my sexual past came up (I’d only slept with one person, and that had been a committed monogamous relationship.) We’d had feelings for each other, and I guess it just felt better for him to pretend I was “coerced” or “didn’t know any better” to avoid acknowledging that I’m a sexual being.iamthewethotdog
18. Spa days pay the bills, for sure
A year or two ago, I was asking for a promotion given the additional work and growth I had seen in my responsibilities. Instead of my going to bat for me and agreeing that I should get a promotion or offering me clear steps on how to improve to get the level I wanted, my boss offered me a Spa Day.
I think the irony was lost on him (and me because I was baffled) that I could treat myself to a lot more spa days if I had gotten the promo and pay raise I was asking for.gspallone
19. Why are there so many bad bosses??
I was recently having a conversation with one of the guys I work with about how the bones in your forearms work (it was actually a lot more interesting than it sounds!)
The boss was listening in and said.. ” the only anatomy I’m interested in is womens tits”…..he’s such a charmer!! We just ignored him, rolled our eyes, and carried on enjoying our conversation.
There are decent, intelligent men out there – he just not one of them!delightfuldaphne
20. COVID… isn’t her fault
Just today a potential client sent me an unsolicited d*ck pic + “suck dis” in response to my polite refusal to book him in (he’s unable to comply with my business’ Covid policies).
I feel like instead of “this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs” commercials, we need a series of things like “the correct response to rejection is not escalated retaliation, it’s just to say “ok” and walk away.” “Therapy is great!” “Anger management class is for you if you can’t control your words or body when you’re mad!” “When you’re upset, try writing down your feelings and why you’re feeling them instead of yelling at anyone, then take your journal to your next therapy appointment.”setfiretolife
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Lead image: Wikimedia Commons