I'm from Argentina and it's very common to hear men saying

Go, wash the dishes

to women when they don't know how to do something or they do something wrong. For example, when a woman is driving.

Is that also a typical expression in English speaking countries? If not, is there a similar (sexist) expression used?

  • 3
    if someone wants to take it and make it into an answer, "Get back to the kitchen" is a fairly typical insult/jibe/sarcasm etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 9, 2018 at 18:41
  • Hi Mari-Lou, thanks for your reply. I'm sorry but I do not understand when you say "if someone wants to take it and make it into an answer," May 9, 2018 at 18:59
  • It's an answer in a comment, and as such it is not looked on favourably. Proper answer should be posted below, in boxes, and so users can upvote or downvote. But sometimes it's just quicker to post a comment. There are other demeaning expressions used against women in English, but maybe with the "me too" movement, etc. it's a bit of a taboo subject. Oh, I might well be wrong.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 9, 2018 at 19:03
  • 1
    Any statement like "Go wash the dishes" directed at a woman would be quite an ugly put-down indeed.
    – Robusto
    May 9, 2018 at 22:04
  • 2
    It's always nice to post the original phrasing (in, I assume, Spanish) May 9, 2018 at 22:10

4 Answers 4


No, "Go wash the dishes" isn't commonly used as sexist insult in (American) English. I don't really think of dish-washing as stereotypically related to women anyway, but that might differ for other people, I suppose.

That said, if you said it to a woman who was trying to give you advice on how to fix your car, the meaning would be taken.

There are two other phrases that come to mind, namely "Make me a sandwich" and "Get back in the kitchen." I think either one would be a suitable translation, although I would say the first is ruder (they are both very rude), since you are demanding the woman to do something for you, rather than just leaving the area/conversation.

Make me a sandwich

This one is mostly an Internet meme, see Know your Meme and the xckd comic linked in the comments:

sudo make me a sandwich

(The joke here is that sudo is a *nix administrator command that is used to force the computer to do something potentially dangerous. See Explain xkcd.)

The other phrase, closely tied to "make me a sandwich" is:

Get back in the kitchen

Again, from Know your Meme:

“Get Back In The Kitchen”, otherwise known as “Get Back To The Kitchen”, is a phrase often used in jest, typically as a hyperbolic response to an action performed by a woman that is more masculine than expected or that is independent. It is often followed by the phrase, “And make me a sandwich.” Additionally, it is also used regularly to make fun of people who actually believe that women should stay in the kitchen, depicting them as ignorant.

Although I would say this one is slightly less tied to the Internet in general.

  • @BahíaFlores Glad it helped. May 10, 2018 at 16:53
  • The XKCD comic has nothing to do with women (XKCD "women" are usually drawn with hair, which is how you tell them from the male stick figures). Instead, it's making fun of the Unix command sudo which grants "owner" security privileges to a user, suggesting that such a notion is pretty flimsy from a security standpoint.
    – Robusto
    May 12, 2018 at 13:09
  • @robusto True. I'm sorry if that gave the wrong impression May 12, 2018 at 16:15

In many places, "Go make me a sandwich" would be a sarcastic characterization of a supposed refutation of a woman's argument which seems to consist of nothing more than "You are wrong because you are a woman".

Though I'm sure there are places so toxically sexist that "go make me a sandwich" is considered a valid response to a completely fact-based and logical argument made by a woman.


There's always "Stick to your knitting" (or "Tend to your knitting"), but it has pretty much lost gender overtones, and now basically means simply "Mind your own business".

  • Never heard of this one - do you know if it's regional? May 9, 2018 at 22:29
  • That's odd, that phrase is used in a completely different way by me. It just means keep on plugging. As in "I'd like to quit and go with you, but I need to stick to my knitting here if I ever want to see the end of this."
    – Phil Sweet
    May 9, 2018 at 22:29

7. **Anything having to do with a woman and her place in or about the kitchen. Yes, women can make great chefs. They can make great writers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, artists and more. With women making up nearly half (47 percent) of the labor work force, any joke about a woman staying in the kitchen isn't just massively outdated, it's massively offensive.** marieclair.com

See all 13 taboo phrases concerning women at the link. Kitchen references are fairly common.

  • This answer would be better if you copied over the phrases and removed the intro paragraph (we all know that, the OP acknowledged it, and is wondering what a sexist English translation would be). May 10, 2018 at 16:52

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