Perhaps it's because I just got home from vacation last week just to start fighting a nasty cold, but there is much that is on my nerves lately. The first thing is something that has always annoyed me, but is particularly unbearable now. I know it's really silly, and maybe I unknowingly do it myself, but I really hate when people say "Look" in a conversation or when they explain something on TV. It's sexist, I know, but I particularly hate when men do it. It seems needlessly aggressive. I feel like in their heads, they are immediate following it with "moron" or "a#*!ole."I just want to shout back, "No! You Look!" I'm not saying this is sane or anything. It just is.
Another thing is when people (again, especially, but not exclusively, men) gesture with their index finger. I had a student do that to me recently who was challenging me on when I had said something was due. I was willing to concede he might be right, but then all I could see was that finger pointing at me, filling me with white hot rage. Fortunately, I'm pretty-self aware and can keep fairly calm, and just asked him to please not do that. I also think it might be that he is from a culture which, fairly or unfairly, is not considered particularly woman-friendly. However, this student has always been respectful to me, and felt bad that he offended me, and I felt bad I had not waited until after class to say something. I tried to explain in class that this is not necessarily an American thing but more of a Mary thing. And again, I'm not sure if I do it too sometimes.
I think it would be helpful if there was some way I could get in people's heads and see what their intentions are...or get inside my own and see why these things are so bothersome.