My current work partner is, to put it mildly, not from my cultural background. He was raised as a very strict Traditional Values Evangelical Christian complete with weird homeschool co-op, didn't have sex before marriage (which wasn't such a hardship since he married at 17), and he still doesn't know a lot of the important dirty words. I'm teaching him so much. (That's not a joke. He's not a prude, simply sheltered, and although he would never do any of these terrible things himself, he's quite fascinated by what heathens do in bed.) He's sort of in the process of moving into the mainstream; he's not renouncing his faith or anything but he's started swearing and drinking and other things people from his original community would never do.
And he tends to say sexist things without realizing it. Not overt, "git in the kitchen bitch" stuff, nothing that's meant as an offense, but he loves to deride frivolous or wimpy things as "girly." (Or "gay," which is, intriguingly, a synonym. But "lesbian" doesn't connote toughness and strength, so it's not a consistent system.) He's always saying shit like "I drink light beer, I'm such a woman." Or "that guy was acting like a total girl. Man up, pussy!"
I'm never sure how far to go with pointing out that, hello, the person you're talking to is a total girl, cannot man up, and has a pussy. And I love me some Double Chocolate Stout.
On the one hand, he's a decent guy to me and we know each other pretty well by now, so I think he'd at least try to listen. On the other hand, I don't want to be a controlling jerk. There's a line between standing up for your gender and being the Language Police that wants Christmas carols to say "peace on Earth and good will toward multi-gendered inclusive humanity," and I'm not sure which side of the line I would fall on. Or more importantly, which side of the line he would see me on. It's hard to refute negative stereotypes of my gender by acting sensitive and demanding. A real man would laugh it off.
With the beer thing, I did point out that I like dark beer, and he thought it was very funny that a woman liked man beer and vice versa, but I couldn't quite explain why that's not the point. The point isn't "sometimes girls do manly things," the point is that the whole concept of manly and womanly things is 98% a crock of shit. There's no beer that interfaces better with a Y chromosome than another, for god's sake, so declaring a beer manly and seeing women who drink it as exceptions (or more perniciously, "cool girls," not like those lame girls who like girl things) is ridiculous. Some people like some beers and some people like others, and you can leave it at that. It's not important, it's not exactly denying my civil rights, but it's symbolic of a pointlessly gendered worldview. And one that always seems to assign my gender the shittier beers.
Kind of hard to convey all this to a guy who's only spent a couple years out of a culture that really would have me in the kitchen.