Recently I ran into a woman I met a few months ago. When I saw her I remembered she was the girlfriend of a man I had met on the same occasion. “Oh, you’re Damien’s girl,” I said immediately. I realised then my brain, despite my rational and reasonable nature, is wired for sexism.
It is peculiarly sexist that the single most important fact I could remember about this girl was that she was somehow connected to a man. My very language implied that he owned and controlled her. It would probably exaggerated to say that this implied that she had no separate existence. But it would not be a gross exaggeration.
I always find it interesting to observe how my brain does not work they I would envision it to work. I am a white heterosexual male, endowed with male white cisgender privilege. The unconscious pathways of my brain were formed in the soup of this privilege. It will take time and deliberate conscious effort to rewire them. In the mean time, feminists (and I consider myself one, despite my sexist brain), be patient with me.