Archives for posts with tag: Sexism

Perhaps it’s being short of stature that leads to a sensitive radar on my part to terms that are used at the expense of people who are lacking in height.

When I hear the word shorty in hip hop songs, it’s usually used with regard to the male singer’s girlfriend or women in general. Yes, as a woman she’s typically shorter than her typically taller male counterpart, so is that a simple observation of height difference among the genders, or is it a term of control and marginalisation on the part of a certain group of society not known for its sense of equal rights?

I’ve no idea. There are plenty of women who are way taller than many men. I guess you have to ask the woman being called shorty, how she feels. I’ve been called ‘half pint’ or such terms before and while I’m sure in some cases the intent was to bully or intimidate I’m not in the least cowed by it. It is what it is. I’m shorter than the average adult male, whatever average is.

Incidentally, it transpires – clicking on the following link will take you a gif you may not want your grandma or 7-year-old to see – that in Hip Hop the term shorty has more meanings than girlfriend. It can also refer to a girl, boy or other kinds of ingenue. Smaller, more vulnerable people in other words.

Just sayin’.

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To wear the trousers: to be in charge, to be the one making the decisions…

Is this sexist, or at best chauvinist? Probably both. Apparently the phrase originates from the convention that men always used to wear trousers, whereas women always used to wear skirts or dresses, and the trouser-wearing man made the decisions. These days you’ll still hear variations on: ‘Yeah, Paul does talk a lot but it’s wife you need to talk to. She wears the trousers in that relationship.’

I assumed, wrongly as I’m sure you’re thinking, that the phrase originated in the fact that the male adult wore trousers and the male child wore shorts, so it was the senior person who wore the responsibility-laden garments. The parents are in charge, and supposedly one parent in a two-parent family is more in charge than the other.

How far are we from this scenario: ‘Yeah, it looks like his wife is in charge but it’s Paul who wears the skirt in that relationship.’

I know, there’s 3 ways to think about that conundrum: the sexism, the sartorial aspect and my ability to be in charge of anything…