Women shared how they make sexist men explain their nasty jokes, and it's so satisfying

This article originally appeared on 11.13.19


Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?


Perhaps women's familiarity with such episodes is why writer Heather Thompson Day's tweet about asking her male boss to explain a sexual joke to her has had such an enormous response. Day told a story of working at a radio station when she was 19 when her boss, who was in his mid-40s, made an inappropriate comment:

"When I was 19 my boss said I should be a phone sex operator & laughed.

I said 'I don't get it'

He said 'it's a joke'

I said 'explain it to me'

& that's how I learned that once sexual harrassers have to explain why their inappropriate jokes are funny, they stop laughing."

Day's tweet has been shared more than 130K times. Other women also chimed in with similar stories of stopping sexist men in their tracks with their responses to inappropriate jokes.



RELATED: Woman's explanation for being 'standoffish to men in public' brings up an important point about unwanted attention.



What's baffling is that some men may think that women actually might respond positively to such jokes. One woman simply responds to random harassers with "Please tell me about the last time this worked on an actual woman for you." Works every time.

Of course, sometimes it takes more than just a no nonsense response to get some dudes to back off.

RELATED: Emma Watson launches hotline that provides women legal advice on workplace sexual harassment

Sometimes it simply takes repeatedly being called out, especially if a man holds a position of power.

As one woman pointed out, it might take the threat of being documented to put an end to it. (Or, you know, actually documenting it can do wonders as well.)

Several men jumped into the conversation with words of support—and even a wicked burn about mansplaining.

Because of course plenty of men are bothered by sexist "jokes" as well and understand that genuine jokes can be explained without hesitation or embarrassment.

Men can also use a similar approach when confronting their friends, acquaintances, and colleagues when inappropriate comments or jokes come up.

In fact, Heather Thompson Day said it was her dad who originally instructed her on how to respond to men's inappropriate comments. "Don't laugh," he told her. "Ask them to explain the joke. They will stop making them." Well done, Dad.

It was also pointed out that this approach works with "jokes" that are racist, homophobic, or otherwise harmful as well. When people have to explain their prejudice and bigotry, they usually can't.


And then there's always the next level "You remind me of someone heinous" response, which may be a bit brutal, but is sometimes necessary to drive home the point.

People in marginalized groups have had to put up with hurtful jokes for far too long. Asking people to explain them and making them sit in the discomfort of their own filth is an excellent way to shut that garbage down.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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