I worked on a movie set some years ago when I used to need to get a job for the summer months. I was a historical consultant which sounds terribly important but basically it is a fudge to allow movie companies to attach the label — based on fact — to their non-factual stories.
Anyway I didn't have much to do except offer some advice that was usually ignored. But every day a very friendly Irish woman would walk past me at around 1.00 pm when everybody was being served lunch. She would always ask me if I enjoyed it and was the food good.
I struck up a sort of friendship with her but I didn't know who she was. One day I asked her if she worked for the catering company. She became quite offended and began to lecture me in a friendly tone about how I would not have asked a man that. She was with props, not catering. I had made assumptions about her she said, because she was female and I had probably put the same internalised limitations on myself. She didn't accuse me of “internalised misogyny” but that is what she was suggesting.
Feminist boilerplate emanating from a nice person who doesn't even realise she is doing it.
The point is that I had not made the assumption that she was connected to the catering company based on the fact that she was a woman. I didn’t know her. I had based my assumption on the fact that each time I had encountered her; she had asked me what I thought of the food.