What do you think? Is the title of this story sexist?

The forum discussion header says it all. This is the story. What do you think?

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This is another one of those questions where I can’t see anything wrong, but that’s probably because I’m not of the group that would be affected by it. As always, I would like to understand.

I will say though that I initially misread it. I thought the last word was a typo of “too”, and couldn’t get the syntax to work. It was only after I stopped assuming a typo that I could get the title to work in my head.

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I think yes. To me saying a woman will only do X if she’s paid is problematic. Women aren’t vending machines where you put money in and get services out.


It would seem that employees of (sex-adjacent?) establishments are paid to be appealing to that establishment’s customers.

I see it as just a more extreme version of customer-facing roles like most shoppers are more familiar with.

“No, Gary, the cashier at Wal-Mart wasn’t flirting with you, she’s paid to be nice to all customers at her checkout.”

As this was about an interaction at a strip club with female dancers, I don’t think it’s specifically sexist.


I’m pretty sure I know what TWG is trying to get across: staff who deal with the public are being paid to deal with the public in a courteous/professional/friendly manner; away from work they are under no such obligation.

I wonder if because of the nature of the work, along with the phrasing(*) and the use of “women” rather than “staff” or “people” that makes the implication of the heading that much worse?

( * )TWG is going for a pun: “Pay you attention” along with “paid to”


But is it really any different than saying the cashiers are only friendly to you because they’re paid to be? It’s not about saying women are vending machines or the like, but that the job they’re paid to do includes being friendly to the paying customers, and the moment they’re not on the clock, working, getting paid for their time etc. their friendliness is no longer guaranteed.

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I think the difference is that not all cashiers are women, and not all women are cashiers. So singling out women feels slightly sexist. Not enough that I would have said anything about it is the topic hadn’t been created, but slightly.

For example, it’s sexist to tell a woman she’s supposed to be smiling. But cashiers (in America at least) are “supposed” to be smiling whether they are men or women. But a customer would be more likely to tell a female cashier to smile than a male one. So even though it’s part of her job, the phrasing is slightly off.

If that makes any sense.

It makes sense, but in the context of the story literally all the workers in question are women - which I feel softens the implications of the title.


I’m pretty sure that the title is an insult directed at the customer in the story rather than suggesting women en masse only care about people who pay them. There is a stereotype about women only caring about looks, money and status though so I can see why people might be sensitive to this topic but IMHO reading the story should clarify that this isn’t what the title is suggesting.


^I agree with the above. As far as I get it, the title says “women” because the customers are of the “jerk to women” category.
That said, especially since it’s not even about one particular customer but about how some guests want to cheap out, it could be replaced with “This is why people will only pay attention to you if they’re paid to”.


It’s sexist. While the point is correctly made that strippers are paid by customers to pay attention to the customer, there’s no limitation on the class “women” in the title the way there would be on the class “dancer”. The title is framed in such a way that ALL women will only pay attention to other people if they are paid to. If you limited it to “these women” or “strippers” or “dancers”, it wouldn’t be sexist because that would in fact refer to a group of people who will only pay attention to you if you pay them.


Curious. It looks like there is a difference in how we interpret “you” in the title, which colors whether it is sexist.
To me, the “you” in the title is a specific “you”, meaning “you, pig, who are a jerk to women”, not a generic “you”, meaning “people” or “anyone”. I see how, without context, it could be interpreted as a generic you, though.


Well, since what I disagreed with was the statement that “(all) women (including myself) will only pay attention to (someone) you if you pay them”, my interpretation of “you” in that statement isn’t particularly relevant. It doesn’t change my statement that not limiting the category of women is sexist, particularly since not limiting it plays on the sexist trope that women only interact with men because they give us money or buy us things. The category of women can be limited to women who actually do need to be paid to give attention to someone, or it can not be, and one of those choices is sexist.

A cashier is a job description. A gender (or a lack of) is a core piece of a person’s identity. Conflating a job title with an identity isn’t great. If you don’t like how you’re treated as a cashier, you can figure out how to get into a different line of work. If you don’t like how you’re treated as a woman, you can’t just quit. (And no, being trans isn’t a way to quit being one gender; trans people never were the gender they were labeled. If you’re happy with being a specific gender, you aren’t going to want to change that because people tell you to smile, you’re much more likely to want to make telling people of your gender to smile a problem.)

I honestly think you’re reading way too much into the choice of words. Let’s take it through set theory for a moment.

Set A: All women.

Set B: Women who are paid to be nice to you. Or phrased differently, women who are nice to you because they are paid to be so.

All of Set B are in Set A, but they don’t make up all of Set A. There are those women who wouldn’t even be nice to you if you paid them to, and would probably drop their neutral niceties if you tried to go straight into un-nice.

However, this does not change the statement that the only way for you to get women to be nice to you is by paying them. That statement does not suggest all women would respond favorably to such an offer, only that it is the ONLY way you can achieve that goal. It speaks way more about the guy than the women.

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I don’t think it’s sexist.

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I think any indication of sexism comes from, as someone else said, the use of the word you.

If it’s a general you, it means “Women will only pay attention to anyone if they’re paid”.

If it’s a specific you, it means “Women will only pay attention to you, specifically, if they’re paid, because you’re awful/a dick/ugly/etc”

The first is sexist, the second is an insult.


That’s exactly how I took it. The “you” in the title referring to the jerk on the story.


Wouldn’t be too much of a change to make it less ambiguous. “This Is Why Women Will Only Pay Attention To Him If They’re Paid To”


It sounded not so much sexist as sexual to me.

But then again, OP insulted their girls by saying EVEN THEM, as if they were easy, or indeed ugly and had to lower their standards. So the entire story isn’t exactly a friendly one.