I called out a coworker for using a sexist stereotype to criticize one of his employees.
He called out the only other woman in our very large department for “filing her nails” all the time and not getting out in the field enough. After he mimicked her nail filing for the 4th time to emphasize his point, I told him that was a sexist stereotype to use to describe someone who is the opposite of lazy. He was really upset, insisted that he is not a sexist and that he files his own nails all the time (what does that have to do with evoking this stereotype? Also, I never called him sexist, just the phrase he used), and then he called in sick today. Should I apologize? I worry about my continued professional relationship with this person going forward. We work together closely to manage the department, and he can be very political. I also worry about my female colleague and how this may come back to bite her! Any advice?