Why Are We More Offended By Racism Than Sexism?
As a culture we are more offended by racism than sexism – which is not to say that we’re more sexist than racist.
But sexist jokes are more easily traded. Nearly anyone at a U.S. University knows the punch line to, “What’s the difference between a slut and a bitch?” (I’ll answer that in a later blog post.) I attended a university in which jokes about women students prevailed. Typical “coed joke”: “What’s the difference between a coed and the trash? The trash gets taken out once a week.”
When Don Imus called Rutger’s women’s basketball team “nappy headed hos,” we were offended by the racism. But the sexism was mostly overlooked.
In fact, sitcoms rarely have mixed-race casts, possibly because they fear a racist joke cropping up, or a comment coming across as such. Meanwhile, I’ve watched a couple of seemingly feminist shows that used the word “bitch” (and not in a good way) in nearly every episode: Ugly Betty and Life Unexpected. Some TV shows’ raison d’etre seems to be spewing sexism. Family Guy and The Man Show come to mind.
Gangsta’ rap is full of sexism, but few complain. If a genre of music talked about people of color the way that women are labeled in rap we would be outraged.
During the last presidential election mainstream media took way more shots at Hillary than Barack, as with Tucker Carlson’s well known crack, “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”
There’s a reason for the difference in offense.
Basically, women put up with sexism more than ethnic groups put up with racism. But why?
First, ethnic groups are aware of times and places when whites haven’t ruled, from present-day Japan to pre-imperial Africa. People of color know that things can be, and have been, different. U.S. racism is glaring by comparison.
On the other hand, most women are unaware of cultures that have existed with gender equality. Knowing nothing else, the inequity they face can seem natural and normal to them.
Many women attend churches that teach that men should be in charge. These women don’t want to go against God. I’m not aware of any ethnic minority churches that preach God wants whites to rule.
Men are women’s lovers, husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers. They love them and want to keep relationship with them. They don’t want to offend them.
Meanwhile, our culture does much to make sexism seem sexy, from Eminem, Rihanna, and Megan Fox sexing up domestic violence to a Rolling Stones billboard depicting a woman sprawled on the floor, mouthing, “I’m black and blue and loving it,” to Justin Timberlake slapping Janet Jackson around and ripping her blouse in a so-called “wardrobe malfunction.” Yeah, right.
All of this leaves ethnic minorities unified in their offense against inequality, while attitudes among women are more mixed. I’ve heard women say that they don’t want to be equal to men, but I’ve never heard an ethnic minority say they don’t want to be equal to whites.
So racism is more difficult to spew, as it meets greater indignation.
As women become more aware of sexism, and come to understand that their silence sounds like acceptance, things will more quickly change.
See related post: Eminem Makes Sexism Seem Sexy – And That’s A Problem
Posted on July 28, 2010, in feminism, gender, race/ethnicity and tagged bitch, culture, feminism, gender, Life Interrupted, pop culture, race/ethnicity, racism, sexism, Ugly Betty. Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.
“Most women are unaware of cultures that have existed with gender equality” this makes so much sense. Most women are unaware that there are communities out there where sexist jokes aren’t tolerated.Living in America, Women grow up around all these sexist jokes that by the time they reach adulthood its “normal” to hear all these things and not have a reaction when a joke is thrown at us. As a women, i can say that i’ve grown numb to the jokes, its like someone said a sexist joke and its okay to laugh and if you aren’t laughing with, your considered the “outcast.” Now if a racist joke had been said, and someone wasn’t okay with it, there would be a whole different outcome than just being looked at funny for not laughing. You would be taken more seriously.
one thing that really stood out to me was the fact that some women don’t want to be equal to men. Now why on earth would a women not want to be equal with a man? Not being able to equal to men is like saying that society has a favorite gender and thats its the male gender. By not standing up and acknowledging that sexist jokes are just as bad as a racist joke, women are slowly becoming doormats for men to see as sex objects and giving men the upper hand. where is the equality that we have been fighting for generations?
“I’ve watched a couple of seemingly feminist shows that used the word “bitch” ”
And you’ve never seen people in black movies use the N word?”When Don Imus called Rutger’s women’s basketball team “nappy headed hos,” we were offended by the racism.”
Because that was more racist than sexist.
“I attended a university in which jokes about women students prevailed. Typical “coed joke”:”
Well why do the sexist jokes against men gets ignored? There is a whole lot of sexist jokes against men such as men are pigs, men are dogs, boys are stupid throw rocks at them. If those jokes were used against girls there would be outraged. Also if sexism is taken more serious than racism why was Stephen A smith suspended for his opinion on the ray rice incident but bill OReilly and Sean Hannity were not suspended for their racist views on Trayvon Martin being killed.
I’ve seen black people use the N-word. And they do this to take back a word that has harmed them — so that it won’t harm them.
Similarly, sometimes women use the B-word to take back a word that has harmed them, So that it won’t harm them.
But it shouldn’t be okay for white people to use the n-word towards blacks.
And it shouldn’t be okay for male tv writers to write men using the b-word toward women.
Of course sexist jokes against men shouldn’t be ignored.
But a couple black male students in my class once asked why women got upset about sexist jokes. They didn’t get upset about sexist jokes against men, they said.
I asked if they got upset about racist jokes. They did.
I told them that as a white person, I don’t get upset about racist jokes against whites because white is such a strong/ dominant category that it’s hard to harm someone in that demographic.
I suggested that similarly, being male is such a strong/dominant category that it can be hard to harm someone in that demographic, either.
And so as a white woman I wasn’t hurt by white jokes but I was hurt by sexist jokes.
As black men, they weren’t hurt by sexist jokes, but were hurt by racist jokes.
(By the way, one of the Black guys who asked me that question told me that my class was the best class that he had ever taken.)
Thank you for responding.
But If you believe that both should be taken serious despite the fact that racism caused more problems, Why aren’t you mentioning the fact that sexism against men gets ignored? Jay z was attacked by Solange and people laughed at him and victim blame. Ray Rice attacked his girlfriend and people want to end his career. Also contrary to the public opinion, I don’t think that sexism is taken less serious than racism. For instance when blacks bring up race issues they always are told that they are pulling the race card. women are never told that they are pulling the sex card. When blacks request for black superheroes people tell them to stop complaining and that we have BET. When women request for female super heroes people are more sympathetic and they are never told that they have Lifetime or LMN. Another thing is how Stephen A smith was suspended for his opinion on the ray rice incident but bill OReilly and Sean Hannity were not suspended for their racist views on Trayvon Martin being killed. They said Stephen A smith was defending a woman abuser but Bill Oreilly and Sean Hannity was defending a killer and saying it was blacks fought for what happen to Trayvon Martin. Why weren’t they suspended?
men often try to change the topic from what’s hurting the more powerless to what’s harming the more powerful, so as to sustain patriarchy.
If you think blacks should address racism against whites on their blogs, and women should address sexism against men on their blogs, you’re reading the wrong blog. Those sorts of comments are intended to maintain the status quote of power for the powerful.
I will be posting more on this in a few weeks, the piece will be titled: “Feminists Must Fight For Men’s Rights?”
interesting post i hear from alot of people that sexism and racism on a systematic level doesnt exist and there are alot of people who hate feminism why do you think that is
Because they feel threatened by equality. Life is easier in many ways if you are privileged. When you make things equal some people feel like they are being harmed as they lose their privilege. And sometimes they just don’t know what will happen if you have equality and they fear the unknown.
So people fear equality. But they are also harmed by inequality even when they are the more privileged group. Each group develops increased hatred and fear of each other. Non-feminist men and women both dislike men more than feminists do!
I often get comments from men talking about why feminists are so horrible – how they harm men. And I always point out how the things they are complaining about would be alleviated if you had feminism/gender equality. For instance, they complain that women almost always get custody of children. (Because in America judges go by “best interest of the child” and they believe that children will be more harmed by being ripped away from the parent who has mostly taken care of them/The parent they are most bonded to.) If men parented equally then men would get equal custody. If men parented more than women they would be more likely to get custody.
Men are also harmed when they have to take the lead. They are more rejected in dating partly because in our culture they are the ones who ask women out. But we also repress women’s sexuality so that women are less interested. And that harms relationships after marriage. When your sexuality is repressed you have less interest in having sex. And most men want to be with partners Who want sex and who enjoy it.
Plus men have to bottle of their emotions which puts them in an emotional straitjacket. High Expectations create pressure to perform, which is why the highest suicide rate in America is middle-aged white man – the most privileged group here.
I could go on …
Feminists Like Men More Than Non-Feminists Do
Men Shocked To Learn They’re Feminists
Feminism Is Good For Men, Too
To me, a major thing that needs to happen is the acceptance of in between genders/ sexualities/etc. As in an understanding of many variations. But, to start off, not only full acceptance of homosexuality, but also of transexuality, intersexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, androgyny, as well as sensitivity in men and men who are more gentles, and a dominant, take charge persona in women.
Even just accepting these last two as being valid genders, gender roles and sexuality, would go far to sending the message that men are not expected to be promiscuous or tough, and women neither should be punished with sexual harassment for having leadership or dominant type traits. Also, macho men should be seen as. being a gender/sexuality etc, as should more at eassubmissive types of females.
This will give people a better picture of what they should strive to accept and be respectful of in others. It would reduce sexual harassment and abuse and give people more of a sense of security as they explore what can seem very insecure questions about just what particular type they are.
Sounds like good advice. Thank you.
There are a lot of good points here. However, I think there is another big reason that has been neglected. I think overt sexism is more socially acceptable than overt racism because it’s more common, and it’s more common in large part because people are more likely to have negative personal experiences with the opposite sex than with other races. Straight people often resent the opposite sex if they themselves are too undesirable to find a partner, or if they have been frequently betrayed by their partners (cheating, etc.) They then generalize this behavior to the entire sex, and other people often do not react with anger because they assume that they’ve been hurt in the past and just feel pity for them.
Makes sense. Thanks.
You’re welcome. Anyway, I came upon this conclusion after noticing that it seems like the most sexist people are often the ones who always find themselves in the “friendzone”, or who have been divorced several times. However, it is likely that many of them were bad people to start with. That would help to explain why others aren’t interested in them, or why they attract other questionable people and their social relationships end up going badly.
I believe racism is a much more prominent issue in our society than sexism. It is not because I believe that sexism is not an issue, but rather because it seems racism is a more taboo subject. People seem more likely to not take sexism seriously (whether it is females towards males or males towards females). When I was younger the area I grew up was predominantly white. Maybe as a result I have been taught to be extra careful of what I say and how I say something. This hypersensitivity, at least to me, stems more from historic roots, perhaps even originating from guilt associated with my skin color. Throughout the years my skin color has become glaringly obvious to me. When I look into the mirror I don’t see just a woman, but a white woman. Maybe it has something to do with it being pointed out to me, or the fact that although I have a moderately diverse background (including Japanese, Native American, Lithuanian) white is the only thing that shows through, or my mom (half Japanese) is a lot darker than I am, or maybe it is a combination or none of these factors.
Throughout the course it has been mentioned that women have been in communities with men (sometimes with different roles) yet people of different ethnicities with different appearances have not always been forced to live together.
I am not meaning to say that there has not been conflict with women living in cultures, even today. And I am not saying that it compares to what has infamously occurred in the early United States (and can still be seen now), I am just pointing out that not just one group is subjected to violence. Human history is chalked full of violence. It could be result of many things including: religions, skin color, hand preference (left or right handed), gender, intelligence/ideas/beliefs, and/ or sexual orientation.
Unlike what freemenow said I was not raised to be much quieter than my brothers. All of us were taught to be courteous to others and to reduce the amount of yelling (and eliminate swearing). As I child I was definitely stubborn, but my father has admitted that he and my mother did not want to punish me for this trait because they wanted me to be able to stand up for myself. Although it was (very) frustrating at the time, they saw the benefit and encouraged me to be independent. But who knows, maybe I am one of the few that were raised to stand her ground.
Unfortunately, this is true. Women have no notion of a culture where women have the same level of power or recognition as men.
I believe some women just genuinely believe that a culture of equality amongst men and women is a dream too far out to become reality; this is why they simply remain silent and go with the flow. I think this is the biggest mistake a woman can make in society. It’s giving up the undeniable power all women posses, their voice. Our thoughts and concerns must be heard; given that patriarchy will never speak for us, we must do so ourselves.
i feel that in our generation, we in courage sexual behavior, and sexual cultural, because its all over the media, and we embrace it to a certain extent, the whole sexism in general is a little hard for me to figure out, i cant really figure out which one is more offensive to me, because i’m both a women, and ethnic. i guess i would have to go with i would be more offended by racism then sexism. i don’t want to say this the wrong way, but there are always sexist jokes being thrown around, and i don’t want to say that i’m in anyway use to it, but that’s just what they do i guess. it’s there ignorance to deal with. but the state where in, i rarely ever here racist jokes, because in our generation, most people look past the color and strait to the personality. they don’t care what color you are, or what country you came from, your just you. so if i did here a harsh racist joke, i would be nothing just shocked and disgusted.
People say women are emotional or over-reacting when trying to stand up for themselves. They are hormonal or pmsing or given excuses for why they act the way they do. Whatever happens it is a lose-lose situation. Well I for one will not stand for it. I’m not buying it at all. People need to get over the fact that women, people of different ethnicities, sexual orientation, etc. are going to stand up for themselves. They are equal to men and should be treated as such. Hopefully we can work on these issues and make the world a better place one day soon. It is sad that we still treat each other this way. Once we recognize these problems (ignorance, sexism, racism, stereotypes, objectifying people, degrading one another, and insulting them to make another feel better) instead of dismissing them can we finally remove them.
Well they both hurt badly. A lot of people are prejudiced against until they get to know me. But it really hurts dealing with both. Last night I was out and I felt the agony of being alone just because I am black and not male. I noticed that we face so much discrimation because our look is only valued in men. I believe I’m attractive, I take good care of myself and I am not desperate by any means, but it hurts to see women like me be relegated to solitude because they are females and of african descent. People may say oh, we’re ugly that’s why we’re alone, but we’re ugly because our looks are only accepted on a man, that in turn means we’re denied the human experience of love because we are females and black. We cannot be both. This is hurtful and I do pray that things will change in time because people cannot continue to mistreat other human beings without paying for it karmically.
Yes. I wasn’t saying that we as a culture are more sexist. In fact, I think the culture is likely more racist. But it’s more acceptable to express racism than sexism. The culture is more sensitive to it. I’d like for us to get over both.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Freemenow you have have such valid points. Everyone does. It is so sad that we are more offended by one. We should be offended by both equally. Hilary Clinton is always made fun of for being caught up in politics which is so-called a man’s expertise. She was called emotional or seen as pmsing if she offered up any ideas or what have you. These ignorant ways must stop because they are seen as the norm. This should bother each and every one of you. I know I’m annoyed by it. Think of your sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts, cousins, peers, friends etc out there. Do you want the generations to come to pick up on these awful habits of putting people down because of race, class, sex, gender, etc? NO. So stand up and say enough is enough. It is easier said than done but hopefully one day soon we can overcome the ignorance once and for all. Going off on the issue of rape we should not dismiss the victims. Instead we should commend them for coming forward and speaking out. It is better to share your story and not remain a victim all your life. We should stand by them instead of tear them down.
his article hit the nail on the head, especially in the last line where Platts’ states, “…and come to understand that their silence sounds like acceptance, things will more quickly change.” This, to me, is the simple truth. People often times do not say much of anything simply because it may mean more of an inconvenience or headache for themselves than anything beneficial. However, as we found here, silence often times indicates a passive acceptance of a behavior or mistreatment of an unjustifiable regard which is almost as bad or damaging as actually committing the grievance itself. For instance, often times rape victims are traumatized by the incident itself, enough to be impacted by such a terrible, brutal injustice for an entire lifetime. Yet, victims sometimes must also endure another crime, which is often times called a second rape. This means that when the victim finally finds the strength to use their voice to discuss the horrible truth about what was done to them, they are often faced with cynical responses and critical inquisitions which are just as damaging, if not more demeaning, then the actual incident itself. It really is a shame.
Finally,my cousin,Ferguson Jenkins,is a Major League Baseball Hall-Of-Famer,and another cousin,Tony Dungy,was the first African American Super Bowl Winning Head Coach-Super Bowl XLI.
Oh,and by the way,a lot of buxom women don’t get silicome or any artificial enhancement,FYI.
I know. But that’s the only way a lot of women can become buxom.
Objectify!!!Well,maybe,but since-without being braggadocious-even approaching 60,I have women HITTING ON ME in bars/pubs,restaurants,stores,etc.9I’m conderehave Hollywood leading man good looks0,don’t you think THEY are objectifying ME as a
handsome black man?PLEASE!!!!All I meant is,that while I oppose sex/gender discrimination,as I do race,religious,colour,ability or sexual orientation discrimination,the fact is that the only true and constantly oppressed Americans are black men.DEAL WITH IT!!
You’ll be surprised that I agree with you on the intensity, persistence issue.
But I still get irritated that oppression towards women is so often so taken-for-granted as to be invisible.
Andy yeah, maybe those women are objectifying you. The problem as I see it isn’t finding men or women sexy (and it sounds like you are) but rather, when it’s a one-dimensional way of seeing. More on that in a later post.
What? “the only true and constantly oppressed americans are black men?”
What about the fact that the majority of women you will meet have been raped and/or sexually abused? What about the fact that, on average, a woman will earn $450,000 less per year than a man with the EXACT same job who has earned the same degree? What about the fact that I can’t walk down the street without someone saying to me “damn girl, nice ass” (yes, you have had people hit on you, but this is treating me like an animal? I could go on, but I won’t.
And just because someone has been treated “worse,” it doesn’t mean that its ok to not care about sexism. Just because, in your opinion, women were never treated as poorly as blacks there is no excuse to not treat everyone equally. So with this logic, we shouldn’t care as much about racism against blacks as we should care about “racism” against Jews? I mean, blacks weren’t all gathered up and sent to a death factory to be methodically killed. No, that argument is ludicrous. The only reason I am saying this is because your response seems to suggest that you agree that sexism shouldn’t be taken seriously.
That’s not a fact, though. Woman do, on average, earn less than men, but not for “the EXACT same job.” The disparity comes from fewer women in higher positions. So you could argue that we have a promotion problem, but studies of wage gaps for “the exact same positions” show very little gap in most cases (with some noted exceptions, like doctors and dentists), usually in the low single digits like 3-5% maybe.
Generally you are right Nathan. Though women still are sometimes paid less than men for the exact same job.
But research has also shown that when people doing hiring are given the exact same resumes, but with male names on the top of some and female names on the top of others, they typically recommend men for higher level and higher paid jobs.
Also, when a married couple decides that things aren’t working out in terms of combining work and family, and feel that someone needs to quit and focus on family full-time, it’s usually the one who makes the financial sacrifice. And it’s not merely a matter of choice. Women and men are both socialized to think that it’s the woman who should make this so-called choice. For instance, when I asked one woman why she was the one who quit her job she said that she couldn’t ask her husband to do that. That would be too emasculating. Another woman said that it was too bad that she and her husband were the sex they were because she loved her work and hated giving it up, And he would rather be home with the kids. But because of their sex they couldn’t make the choice to do it that way. Often times people have internalized gender roles so strongly that they feel they have no choice but to have a woman sacrifice for career. So women downsized their workload or quit work for a few years and reenter at a much lower salary then their husbands — or where they would have been if they had kept working. That hurts women financially. And it’s not really a choice much of the time.
That said, no one can have it all. Men end up sacrificing relationships with their families.
But it is all gendered and not merely free choice.
Well,as a black man,I’ll say it’s QUITE SIMPLE!!!How many white women were lynched in the Southern U.S. in the per-Civil Rights era?You could count them on one hand.Compare that to the tens (at least) of thousands of African American men who ended up hanged,shot,strangled,drowned,etc.-OFTEN BECAUSE SOME LYING WHITE BROAD CLAIMED SHE WAS RAPED/STARED/LEERED AT/DISRESPECTED AND THE DUMB-
A**,FAT,GREASY GOOD OL’ BOY COPS,MILL-HANDS,PIG FARMERS AND ASSORTED REDNECK RIFF-RIFF WHO WERE OH,SO READY TO BELIEVE IT-OFTEN AFTER THEY RAPED SOME UNSUSPECTING BLACK WOMAN!!!-SPRANG INTO ACTION TO DEFEND
“WHITE SOUTHERN WOMANHOOD!”,I.E.,KILL BLACK MEN,MANY OF THEM THESE
BUBBAS’ EDUCATIONAL,INTELLECTUAL AND AESTHETIC BETTERS!!!-THUS RIDDING THEM OF ECONOMIC COMPETITORS TO WHOM THEY’D HAVE LOST WERE THE SOUTHERN SITUATION NOT A TOTAL APARTHEID SOCIETY.
Also,remember that crone Geraldine Ferraro’s bigoted comments about Pres. Obama during the 2008 campaign(to say nothing of Bubba’s and Hillary’s appeal to racism to get HRC the Democratic nomination over Obama0,and you see why we black lads
LAUGH UPROARIOUSLY-AND BITTERLY-when you white chicks try to conflate sexism with racism.(Excuse me,I have to go and laythe black boyfriend on my 27-year-old buxom blonde girlfriend.SEE YA!!!)
You’re right that more state oppression has been perpetrated on blacks of both sexes than on women as a class. You make a good point there. We seem to be more aware of state-sponsored oppression, and more sensitive to it. Looking at violence not backed by the state — violence in the private world — women as a class have been more affected by rape and battering. But that exists in the private world and doesn’t get so much attention.
I’m not begrudging attention to oppression toward Blacks. I just bothers me that oppression toward women is so often invisible and that too often no one cares.
Oppression toward women is so invisible and accepted that I often have to say, “Ok, suppose this were a black/white issues instead of female/male” for my listeners to get it.
btw, “I have to go and laythe black boyfriend on my 27-year-old buxom blonde girlfriend” seems to sexually objectify a woman (the only way the reader sees her is as an object sexually described and brought up for no partricular reason), with a clear preference for a particular narrow body-type which many women can’t get unless they mutilate themselves via surgery, and which makes many women feel “not good enough” if they don’t. The statement also suggests “colorism” (a preference for light [blond] over dark [brunette]).
Or, perhaps your girlfriend just happens to be buxom and blond, but neither are your preference? 🙂
Okay, okay, I know, feminists have no sense of humor.
Thank you for your comment. You do make a good point.
And how many women across the world have been stoned for adultery, when their male partner was forgiven? This continues up to modern times, by the way. If you count the numbers, I’m afraid to say it far surpasses the number of lynchings.
Women have always lived with this inequality and it exists in every society. This makes sense as to why it seems to be tolerated more. It could have easily come from the fact that since we evolved, men were physically stronger than women and therefor had the power to control them. However, in modern society where we don’t need to hunt down prey and have things like guns, physical strength is no longer such a powerful thing. Although women have made some great advancements in equality in recent times, we are still far from where we should be. I find myself to even find gender jokes much less offensive than racist jokes. Analyzing why this is, I can only come to the conclusion that it must have been taught through society. As a Caucasian, so I haven’t really had many racist jokes targeted at me, so why as a woman do i still find them more offensive than sexist jokes? I feel I have been taught to tolerate it. Women are also taught to be passive in our society, so as much as a joke may bother a woman, she may refrain from speaking up about it. I realize there are genetic learned differences in how men and women act, however that doesn’t mean we need to be passive. Many women are taking a stand to try and equalize our society. I belive that overcoming gender differences will be the hardest battle of all when looking for equality in our society. Even our constitution says “every MAN is created equal”, yet women were not even worthy of being considered.
You will probably be happy to learn that actually, there hasn’t always been gender inequality, but few people know that. I’ll write more later.
Thanks for your comment.
Now before I post this comment, I’m going to say this. I’m not sexist, nor racist. In fact, any prejudice tends to piss me off in general. So, now that that’s been said, here we go.
In my opinion, the reason why people are more offended by racism over sexism, is both a mix of what’s said here, and things in history. Many feminists now-a-days don’t look at the past. They look at what they don’t like, and pick on every bit of it they can.
Tell me, are women not sexist too? Like femenist women, I’ve met a few in my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so offended before that time. I’ve never disrespected a woman, because she is that. A woman. But these women I’ve met, when I attempted to simply defend myself, and some of the men I know, because I don’t tolerate any of my friends being sexist, they attack me. They shoot every word I say down. I tell them they shouldn’t lump all men together, but they shoot it down. Anyways, I’m getting off point.
In ancient times, women were put in what some people would see as a.. Less significant role. For example, the men would do the hunting, while women would do something like foraging. But that’s not less significant. Hunters in families back then would be gone for a month on average. If the women hadn’t done foraging, and the man came home without a catch, the family would starve. Physically, men are built stronger than women. I’m not saying some women can’t kick many men’s ass, but naturally, men ARE built stronger. So men in those times, always got the more physically taxing work, while women got less taxing work. And it wasn’t that men put them in that place, it was more like a natural agreement. The men would do the important harder work, while the women would do the important easier work(Easier would be a term of opinion here, I suppose.).But, many people don’t know, that women weren’t seen as unimportant. Many women were seen as wise. Women were priestesses, were oracles, or soothsayers. Healers, or poets. So they weren’t insignificant. And throughout the ages, it stayed this way. Women accepted their roles, and embraced it. But now in modern times, many women don’t know that. But over hundreds of thousands of years of women being in that position, whether they knew it or not, they sort of accepted it. Not necessarily happily. But they did.
I think I kind of got of point with my whole comment, as I’m tired and it’s 3 am here, so I’m off to bed. Thanks for reading~
Thanks for staying up until 3 a.m. to comment.
Re the division of labor base on female’s giving birth/breast feeding and male muscular strength, I agree. You don’t necessarily get sexism with a division of labor: American Indians of the Eastern Seaboard, before contact w/Europeans, for instance.
Re: feminists “look at what they don’t like, and pick on every bit of it they can.” And there’s some reason why they shouldn’t try to change the things that reflect inequality?
Re: “Tell me, are women not sexist too?” Sure there are. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Of course, there should be a fight for equality. I never meant to imply that there shouldn’t, but I’m not always the best at wording my opinions.
You’re absolutely right. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Men shouldn’t act in such ways towards woman, just as women shouldn’t act in such ways towards men. I merely stated that, because when most people look at sexism, they generally jump to the conclusion, “Men belittling women”, and that’s just not fair to us.
My main point was to add, that another reason Sexism is generally seen as less offensive, at least to most people, is that from pretty much the beginning of true civilizations, and BEFORE that, not even staying with the human species. In the Animal Kingdom as well, males have been the more dominant being. And over the millennia, our ancestors, and us too, have become more accustomed to this.
That was my point, as well: that sexism has been around for so long that too often women are just used to it by now. It seems natural and normal. There seem to have been early egalitarian societies, but no memory of it. (I’ll discuss that more later)
And males aren’t always dominant in the animal kingdom. For example, I have a male and female cat, and the female is definitely in charge. Her brother is a bit afraid of her. The alpha female cat. The Black Widow. Ever heard of a queen bee? Some things which may appear male-dominant aren’t necessarily. Consider lions. Among males there are fights for dominance. But females are the aggressive hunters (male role in our society). The males sit around all day, and sure, typically one male has sex with all the females, but that doesn’t make him dominant over them. The male lion is larger, and that doesn’t make him dominant, either. People are smaller than many animals. That doesn’t make them dominant over us.
Actually, among people even in our society, you can probably think of couples where the man is “head of house” but the woman is actually in charge because she has a strong personality. I can think of several couples who are like this. Culture affects general patterns, but people don’t individually always adhere to the pattern, because personalities have individual effects, too.
Both comments are from men. No women answered. How odd!
Women had long fought for others but have been raised to put themselves last, to be good girls and keep quiet. Go along to get along.
When Hillary had that moment in NH- the media immediately accused her of pulling the crying bit.
We have been taught from birth to give in and give up and keep the peace. Anything else is met with disgust and good little girls never ever want to be disgusting do we? And God forbid we stand up for ourselves… well that is just not acceptable at all. Hysterical , I believe that is the appropriate term for out of control females.
We will be dismissed, fired, laughed at, ignored, picked on, beat, or worse. From birth to death we know or should know our place in the man’s world and how to conduct ourselves.
If ever the majority gets our act together – we will be a force to be reckoned with. IMAGINE The Majority United ?(TMU)
IMAGINE: Empowering Women To Unite & Mobilize !
I offer the following perspective on how things are, but not as a justification.
As humans we are more tolerant of subjugation when there is a quid pro quo of protection. Racism became unacceptable to the politically correct and to the mainstream conversation when it became evident among the racial minorities had less need for protection as they gained more rights. Racial minorities asserted their independence and threw off the shackles with little retaliation.
In the case of sexism, the quid pro quo of protection is still alive and well. Power and subjugation requires two to dance that dance.
(This is a dangerous subject for a man to comment on, so please be kind)
Sexism is much more subjective than racism because women have varying opinions about what constitutes sexism. No one hated or disrespected for being a particular color or religion, et al. ever thinks there are acceptable forms of racism.
I would argue that while many of you points are valid, what has been left out of the equation is the issue of power. White women have always been in positions of superiority to men of color. (I will use the white/black dichotomy for the remainder, but many other ethnic groups and cultural distinctions could apply.)
White women were allowed to own black men in America. White women have always been the beneficiaries and subjects of most of the wealth and art created by white men over the centuries. White Women are celebrated and often the goal and prize men seek when they attain their wealth.
Frankly, women have historically traded on this, willingly subjugating their equality if it meant a nice house, a nice car, vacations in wonderful places and children by men they regarded as superior in the gene pool. This continues today.
It is not up to the men to stop thinking of women as sexual objects before women themselves stop seeing themselves in this role. I would argue (having come from the same college you attended) that the first step in ending the institutional sexism of college campuses and thus later on in corporations, politics, and other places of power, is for women to stop treating their sexuality as a commodity. So long as women think their sex is something to be won, or used to attain a goal, they will not be viewed as equal. Nobody ever views anything they can purchase – in whatever way they have purchased the item – as something they do not own. And there is no equality possible when one owns another.
yes all women are shallow, men never seduce rich women, (it only happens more often the other way round because the man is more likely to be rich)
yes i think i can use sex to get what I want, its not like a woman suddenly finds out she was hired by her Boss because she had big boobs. If u think SOME women shouldn’t be using their sexuality to get what they want, you could always not let her get away with it. But of course men aren’t part of the problem, “It is not up to the men to stop thinking of women as sexual objects before women themselves stop seeing themselves in this role.” – Viscous cycle much?! – what a naive statement, if men think of women in a certain way, then women may come to fulfill that role/ expectation (self-fulfilling prophecy)). (to put it childishly, if i was repeatedly told i was ugly, i would come to think I’m ugly) Finally try telling women who are victims of human trafficking that it is somehow their responsibility to make the men stop thinking of women as sexual objects. Again such a naive statement. So this blog is obviously women trying to break from this viscous cycle, and you dare to insinuate that woman are busily plotting how they can use their sexuality to trick you (you know the corset was invented by a man right?) Female beauty/ sexuality is defined by what men like (amongst other factors). I’m not saying women are entirely innocent…but for me to respect myself as a mans equal I would want to be treated as such by him (by human right) without him staring at my boobs!, men have as much a responsibility if not MORE.
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