A couple weeks ago, our building arranged for a large group of our residents to go play Laser Tag. Each resident and each of the three RAs were allowed to play three games each. During the second game, I totally kicked ass and ranked three out of twenty. Two guys were in front of me: a guy that worked at the place (doesn’t really count) and my resident, Jurrand. We sat outside the laser tag room and I started talking to another resident named Markel, (modestly) bragging about my success. He says, “How’d you do that?!”. I blinked. “What do you mean, how’d I do that? Are… are you being sexist?!?!”
At the beginning of the semester, the RAs had a guest speaker to touch on the topic of diversity and prejudices. During that event, we learned to confront situations like that. I’ve also found that a large group of boys my age tend to hold to the common perception that men are better than women, which is why I asked if he was being sexist. I felt that he was trying to imply that I should, couldn’t, or wouldn’t rank high at such an activity because I am a girl–which goes along with the book’s higlights of female staerotypes (Gamble, 2003). He proceeded to blush, laugh, and deny what he had just said. I kept insisting that he was being sexist and made it kind of a spectacle to all the other freshmen boys who may or may not think the same things. Markel was very embarrassed. Obviously, he wasn’t being extremely sexist, just a little bit (because of society’s gender-role expectations). He was certainly thinking about the stereotypes of women when he made the comment. I let it go, soon enough, but it was interesting to see his reactions to the statement and maybe he’ll start to realize that stereotypes aren’t always right. Oh, the joys of being a Comm student.
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.