Dear Sherman

Dear Sherman,

How do we break the cycle of insensitive and sexist jokes among boys? This includes jokes about getting with girls. I understand some degree of objectification is inevitable in both dorms, ie talking about the attractiveness of people, but we need to stop it from being degrading. What do you do if you’re a girl and you overhear a group of boys making small talk/jokes that are misogynistic and you don’t feel comfortable stepping to them?

 

Anonymous

 

Hi Anonymous!

First off, thank you for sharing. The situation you just described is an extremely challenging one to be in and there is no easy way to approach it. I think the important thing to do in this situation would be to call them out on it. It doesn’t have to be right then and there when they are all in a group, but it’s critical that you let them know that what they were saying was hurtful. People sometimes don’t realize the full impact of their words, especially when they are joking around with friends. but when they are confronted, they might realize their comments are inappropriate and unkind. In order to fully eliminate the “cycle” you talk about, it’s paramount that as a community, we keep reminding the perpetrators that these types of jokes and comments are not okay. Keep upholding your own sense of morality and trust that people are good at their core and capable of change!

Best,

Sherman