Dear Viv: What can I do about my sexist brother?

On this week’s podcast, Viv discusses what to do when a sibling thinks that feminism is "unnecessary"

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By Viv Groskop on


My brother, who works abroad and who I don’t see that often, recently came for a family meal. During this meal he expressed some very sexist opinions. I’m a feminist and believe in the equality of the sexes. He found out that I identified with the feminist label and sought to intensely question me on this – asking me why I was a feminist and proceeded to try to prove that feminism is unnecessary and, I quote, "only for lazy stupid women who want to moan about something – they just don’t work as hard as men, there are no barriers whatssoever to women – stop moaning and work as hard as men do". This questioning went on for nearly the whole meal.

I feel like I’m constantly having to justify why I’m a feminist and prove that I'm a "proper" feminist just because I identify with the label. 

How do you think I should respond to people like my brother? 

Side note — I’m nearly 10 years younger than my brother. I own my own home and run my own business. My brother is currently unemployed though he did go to university and I did not.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Got a question for Viv? Email her at The Dear Viv podcast airs weekly on The Pool at 5pm on Tuesdays. All letters will be edited for length. Unfortunately Viv cannot reply to your emails personally. 

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