Example - at work today a couple of blokes were flicking though the Metro at lunchtime and started passing comment on the appearance of some female celebrity or other. It started off harmlessly - if depressingly - enough; all "Cor, look at her" and "She's a bit of alright" and the suchlike. Then in moved onto "But she can only get away with it because she's young", "Yeah, just wait until everything starts going south, hahaha". Charming. Still, not quite as bad as "Anyway, someone's probably going to rape her, dressed like that".
So, from objectification to ageism to rape apology in one idle lunchtime chit chat. The worst thing is, I don't think these men were genuinely misogynists - such views are so widespread that people do make these throwaway comments without even thinking about them. Sexism has become part of our lexicon.
The reason why, so far as I can tell, is simple frequency of use. People are sexist in public because other people are sexist in public, until it becomes an acceptable way of passing the time. One way to combat this, and to halt the dissemination of sexist views is to start being more feminist in public. I'm probably guilty of not being "out" as a feminist with everyone, when it comes to colleagues and acquaintances. I don't hide my views and I'm not afraid to call people out on their sexism where necessary, but I don't use feminist language with the thoughtless ease that people seem to spew misogyny. I don't make idle gossip about sexual discrimination and the objectification of women by the media. Because people aren't used to hearing such views, the last time I aired them in public with a group of strangers I was accused of being deliberately contrary.
But if these views were repeated loudly enough, often enough, surely they could become just as commonly accepted as the current trend for casual misogyny? If we're all feminist in public, with friends, with colleagues, with strangers on the bus and we treat this as though it's completely normal, maybe, just maybe, one day it will be.