A frequent response to complaints of sexism is advice about how the individual who is experiencing sexism should respond to it on a personal level. This keeps the conversation away from a discussion of systemic problems and puts the burden for stopping sexist behavior on the marginalized person who has been its target.

  • It sets the tone or framing for appropriate responses to an incident of sexism
  • It implies that complaining about sexism is only legitimate if the complainer has been taking activist steps that "count" in the perspective of the advice-giver
  • It implies that the advice-giver is in a position to judge or criticize the marginalized person
  • It shuts down the conversation by falsely presenting the problem as solved
  • Related to You should be flattered, Unsolicited critique, Unsolicited revenge fantasies


  • "You should take that to HR!"
  • "You should yell back at them!"
  • "You should kick him in the balls, that's what I'd do!"

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