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Sexist Things People Say To Female Travelers

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I am a grown ass woman. As much as I feel like I just graduated from college yesterday, the reality is that I pay my own bills and support myself emotionally, mentally, and physically.  For some reason, this is an extremely hard concept to grasp for some men, women, and conservatives who think that women are “looking to the government to be their husbands.” Really?

Over the past two years of living abroad, I’ve noticed a very distinct sexist trend in my emails, Facebook comments, and even comments on my mom’s Facebook about me. But these comments would never be used (or used less) if I was a man. The sexist things people say to female travelers has got to stop because we work HELLA HARD to keep our bills, Visa status, and living situation in check. Can we get a little credit for that?

1. Do you have a rich boyfriend who pays for all of your travel?

Get out. I have NEVER seen anyone ask a male travel blogger publicly if he has a RICH SUGAR MAMA to pay for all of his traveling, so why am I being accused of this?  This, to me, is taken as a passive aggressive comment used by those who are jealous of whatever TINY success I’ve found on the blogging sphere and I’ve come to my final thread of patience with it. Thus, this article. If you’re hit with similar comments on a regular basis, recognize that it comes from a place of jealousy from people who can’t support their own dreams and are confused why they don’t have the same opportunities as you.

2. Aren’t you worried about your safety?

Uhh, I mean I’m not trying to die if that’s what you mean? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again, America is the most dangerous country I’ve ever been to. I’m more worried about YOU GUYS living in America, than I am about my own safety while traveling because some cultures are less prone to violence than Americans, most countries have outlawed guns, and chances are, I’m 2x bigger than most of the native men in my surround area.  I’ve only been robbed 2 times in my life and once was in Los Angeles (at gun point) and the second time was in NYC.

For those worried about getting sexually assaulted while traveling, remember that “only around 10% of rapes are committed by ‘strangers’Around 90% of rapes are committed by known men.” I will take my odds abroad where men are often too afraid to speak to me, let alone come at me.  If you need more tips on making smart decisions and keeping yourself safe, check out my article “7 Ways To Avoid Being Robbed, Kidnapped, Or Murdered While Traveling Alone.”

3. Do your parents pay for everything?

No. Nein. Nunca! With 3 other kids to support and 1 in college, my family is busy taking care of their needs; which makes sense.  They put in 18 years of hard-time and now they’ve succeed in releasing their first bird into the world.  I haven’t gone to jail, I still don’t have any kids, and overall, I think I’m doing pretty damn well for myself.

Photo May 22, 2 24 47 PM
4. What does your boyfriend think of your traveling?

I think he cries himself to sleep when I’m gone to be honest.  Missing me and shit ain’t easy. But other than that, who cares what he thinks?  When you love a wild thing, you understand that it’s not yours to keep and that you need to let it do it’s damn thing.  This kind of unconditional love is hard to understand for some more conservative people, but my desire/want/need to see the world is no one’s concern but my own.

5. Shouldn’t you be home taking care of your family?

After 50+ years of being alive, I’m pretty sure my parents have that down on lock. My siblings are all over the country, so I would realistically just be left with the 2 cats and 2 dogs at home for long periods of time. Sounds like I’m really missing out.  This is a super old-school Latin American stereotype that desperately needs to die.  It’s customary for the oldest daughter to be considered the 2nd mother of the family once she comes of age and often times, she is pressured into staying at home until she’s married off to another family. That option is a big fat NOPE for me.

6. When are you going to settle down?

When my legs give out and my lungs give in.  This question is normally followed up with the condescending “because you don’t have forever” line to insinuate that my ovaries are at risk of expiring.  However, modern medicine has come a long way in recent years and women are having children later and later without major complications. Plus, I could just adopt if it all doesn’t work out for me. Point is, even when I do have a family, my kids are going to be “Backpack Children” (aka ride around with me in my backpack) instead of living the white-picket fence American dream.  They’re going to be born in Europe (yay free education and healthcare!) and raised in Asia, and we’re going to move every 5 years to a new country (preferably developing) because we can. While your kids eat glue, mine will be practicing their Chinese characters.  Guess you settled down too hard brah.

Check out more photos like these on Instagram! It’s my fav.


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  • I completely agree! While I think some men get some of these questions too, I think there are more expectations for women, especially in certain places.

  • Jon F

    I do understand where you’re coming from, Vanessa – but at the same time I’m not sure 3, 4 and 6 are necessarily sexist. I’ve been asked every one of those things (replace boyfriend with girlfriend) multiple times – I think it’s just an issue with misunderstandings about travelling itself.

  • Chauvinist Pig

    You love saying how you are financially independent. If you had the student loans that the average student has you wouldn’t be able to afford this type of travel. And you point out that people saying “marrying the government” is sexist but you want to raise your kids in Europe for free education and healthcare from the government? OK brah.

  • Danielle Crouch

    I love this!

  • Anna Rudashko

    Love the last one. Well done.

  • I am a blogger studying in Europe and constantly see such condescending comments on female food/travel bloggers. I agree Europe is much better than US and really wish these chauvinist pigs see the light. BTW, its Nein 😉

  • Shasea

    You rock Vanessa!!! You tell em!

  • Nnedimma Ugochukwu (Dimma)

    I love this Vanessa! Thank you for clearing the light. This will be someday.

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