By Victor Sojo
One of the reasons why covert sexism is so effective at causing harm is because it is typically wrapped in normal communication or interactions. For instance, when people make sexist jokes they might indirectly offend the subject of the joke. On top of that, if someone dares to call out the sexist nature of the joke and tries to explain why it is problematic, the joker can always say “I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humour?”
Such reactions challenge the social skills of the person who finds the joke offensive by implicitly stating, “What is wrong with you? How come you can’t see I am just joking?”. The result? The target is insulted once more and the offender is able to neutralise the target of the joke and whoever called out this micro-aggression.