I had a job about 15 years ago where sexist jokes were routinely e-mailed around the office, an office divided into (male) engineers and (female) clerical, with a handful of us (mostly female) in hard-to-define positions at the bottom of the echelon of professional positions, doing work that was essentially clerical, but with a “specialist” title that made it look like their highly educated, well skilled people were actually being utilized properly. The first day I was there, my e-mail was graced with a visual joke about a woman-only parking lot. It was a junkyard.
I had just come there from a job where I was an intern who could expect nothing more because they didn’t offer full time jobs to women (they always did it in a way that made it hard to prove – no jobs available today, sweeties. As soon as the woman eligible for the full time position had moved on, they emptied her desk for the male they had just hired for the non-existent position). At that job, I was called a feminazi by my boss. I challenged him, and he “acknowledged” that I wasn’t really a feminazi, it was just a “joke”.
I have been subjected to sexist “jokes” my entire life, and yes, they did affect me. They created an environment that left me depressed and half-alive. They slowed me down in my path, because I internalized a lot of this hateful humor, and couldn’t find my path until I was already in my 30s and was able to clear the cobwebs out of my head enough (from the youthful conditioning) to realize that, hey, I was GOOD at science! I could actually be a scientist! When I think of how much time I wasted, and how much more I could have contributed, it makes me burn.
Then, I became a scientist and faced the situation mentioned above. Since moving on into academia, the sexism has been more subtle (at times), but is still very present in the dean who refers to female teachers as “Sunshine” (teachers with a doctorate degree in their field, highly competent professionals) and talks down to females, often without even realizing it. If told, he would deny that he is sexist or has ever done anything sexist. As would the people passing on these jokes, or denying jobs to women in subtle ways.