You’ve done it, I’ve done it… we’ve all screwed up and unknowingly made offensive comments to men, women, transgender, gay and other various groups of people. We don’t all do it because we want to hurt anyone but often because we are just ignorant in knowing how we are actually coming across. So today I want to clear up some confusion so we can spread MORE LOVE and less derogatory and demeaning comments.
1. ” You’re pretty good for a girl.”
Please realize this comment makes the statement that girls aren’t really all that good at doing anything, so it is SHOCKING to see a woman be good at something. Which is absolutely not true and we all know that but you’re playing into gender stereotypes when you make such statements. Also… we aren’t exactly “blushing” over this comment when we hear it.
2. “You’re Better than the other girls.”
How about we just make a statement that isn’t putting down another person male or female, transgender or pink hair? Maybe this individual is really exceptional at what they do because they bring something to the table that others just aren’t. So bring up that thing, that WOW factor. It’s far more genuine.
3. Statements and advertisements like, “Sexiest performing artist.”
Finding someone or something sexy is subjective to the individual. It also takes out the “talent” and objectifies this human being as an object. Which again can go towards either sex, but we are seeing this focus on flyers and advertisements for many female djs.
Some artist may use it for their branding and that’s totally 100% fine. But as a promoter you should always ASK a performing artist how they’d like to be advertised before you “go there.”
4. “I’m so glad you cover it up, unlike those other djs.”
All people have the right to dress and look the way they want. The second you start making statements about how you feel someone should or shouldn’t dress, you are going down a slippery slope. Yes, even the comments about “man buns.”(Guys aren’t safe from this either.) It tells the individual, “I judge people based on how they look.”
Note – if you hold up different standards for women than you do men, you may want to take a look at what that is about.
5. “You’re my favorite FEMALE DJ”
If you know of 100 djs and you tell one of them, “You’re my favorite!” That’s pretty damn flattering. But when you say, “You’re my favorite LBGTQ dj.” And you know of 3, you might as well say, “You’re my favorite dj in Winnipeg, Manitoba with red hair that doesn’t use Serato and has one arm as a stump.” Be more general about the “art form” but “specific” about what you LIKE about that person’s brand without touching on identifying gender, ethnicity or physical attributes.
6. Assumptions – “It must be sooooo easy getting gigs cause you’re cute!”
I hear this one all the time and honestly it’s the most frustrating topic among women in male dominated industries. The assumption that someone gave you something you didn’t deserve just because you are cute or a part of a minority. An article by James St. James a transgender man explained 25 examples of male privilege he experiences. He touched on the issue that:
“24. People Think My Successes Have Been Made Purely By My Own Gumption. I’ve worked hard, sure, but I’ve also had plenty of luck and help. People just don’t question my supposed right to be praised anymore, nor imply that I earned what I earned by playing some sort of card. My same exact successes are somehow now all me, all hard-earned, and all things that had absolutely nothing to do with the cultural system we have in place.”
Sometimes people get work because someone thinks they are attractive.
Sometimes people don’t get work because someone thinks that person gets everything handed to them. (Even if that’s not the case.)
Sometimes people get work because they’ve worked REALLY hard and have proven their worth.
Sometimes people don’t get work because business owners live in a world with some serious stereotyping issues where these statements ring true to them.
If you read the above quotes and have personally used them it’s time to ask yourself if you approach individuals in derogatory ways because of your judgement or confusion about their life style, culture, background, sexual orientation or what gender they identify as. Do your research so that you can at least TRY to avoid running into these sticky situations.
Wondering what I mean by awkward situations to avoid?
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