Posts tagged Sexism
Posts tagged Sexism
About a week ago, I wrote a post on Penny Arcade vs. Rape Culture, which sent my blog traffic skyrocketing after it was linked on Reddit. However, both in comments on the post itself and elsewhere on Reddit, quite a few people seemed to be missing the point: or, more specifically,…
This comment appeared on my blog today in response to a piece I wrote two months ago on the inherent sexism of friendzoning as a terminology. (I also put it on tumblr, where it quickly became the most reblogged original piece I’ve ever posted.)
Clearly, the article struck a nerve - not just with people who agreed or disagreed with it to various degrees, but also with people like this commenter, to whom the worst-case behavioural scenarios it describes are apparently normative, natural and desirable. Despite this conviction, he still felt the need to drop by and justify himself.
And even as I’ve been writing this up, another male commenter - whose contributions to the debate merit a post of their own - has dropped by to offer the following endorsement:
Some days, there just isn’t enough facepalm in the world.
In case you were wondering, this is what sexist bias in the media looks like.
The question of anti-male sexism is, I think, a vexed one. What makes anti-female sexism so problematic - and so prevalent - is the fact that it’s backed up by social expectations and sexist culture worldwide, to say nothing of legal and religious restrictions placed on female freedoms. What this means is that, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when someone tells me about how terrible a particular instance of anti-male sexism is, I’m going to treat it with skepticism, because culturally, politically, socially and institutionally, that discrimination is counterbalanced by the enormous historical weight of anti-female sexism. By which I mean: the guy’s feelings might be hurt, and I’m not going to say that’s OK, but in the vast majority of instances, the person doing the discriminating will lack the ability to fire, physically threaten, economically threaten, sexually threaten or otherwise back up their attitude with anything that can actually cause the guy harm, distress or inconvenience beyond the level of any garden-variety insult. Anti-male sexism simply isn’t loaded with the history that anti-female sexism is, and nor is it supported by the same institutional and cultural biases that keep women underpaid, underappreciated and victimised by the societies in which they live.
There are nonetheless instances of anti-male sexism that are backed up by privilege, culture and hierarchy, and these will always concern me. Though different in impact, extent and frequency, these instances are generally united by a single common facet: the penalisation of men who engage in traditionally-feminine or perceived-feminine activities. This hurts everyone, and is something that makes me absolutely furious, not only because it manages the impressive feat of discriminating against every gender at once, but because it demonstrates the underlying prevalence of what we might call traditional (or anti-female) sexism, viz: that women are inferior creatures. This ranges in impact from dads being treated like sexual predators in the playground to advertisers masculinising products previously marketed towards women to the demonisation of men who like ‘girly’ things like My Little Pony. This sort of sexism is toxic and awful and just as anti-female as the regular kind, because it’s ultimately based on a fear of feminine things.
So, to answer your question: I will be covering any and all sexism that is perpetuated by society, culture, politics and religion, and which is backed up by existing institutions and hierarchies. Most of the time, that means I’ll be talking about stuff that affects women, because the vast majority of sexism is anti-female, but the whole point of equality is that we’re all in this together, and while women now have the freedom to behave in traditionally masculine ways without raising eyebrows - wearing pants, driving trucks, playing with robots, excelling at maths - there’s still a huge social stigma around men behaving in traditionally feminine ways - raising children, wearing dresses, playing with dolls, excelling at dance - because at base, we still think feminine things, and the people who do them, are lesser. And until that changes, we will always live in a sexist society.
This comic is about how there are two sides to every story.
“My last girlfriend was totally crazy, not like you right?” is like……practically the #1 red flag as far as I’m concerned.
So…..you want a unicorn.
Cuz last I heard… Bey has a professional trainer, nutritionist… oh and rehearses like 8 hours a day in heels.
Shut the fuck up and come back when you’re an actual adult.
What in the actual fuck.
A screengrab I took on 28 August 2011 for inclusion in this article. Which pretty much sums up the problem, really.
By happy coincidence, today’s Sinfest perfectly encapsulates the hidden sexism of blog comments that this tumblr intends to make public.
A hideous rape joke that appeared in my Facebook feed on 16 May 2012. The comment conversation went on longer than is shown here, but though multiple friends of the original poster expressed disgust at the post, he remained baffled as to why people had found it offensive - or rather, why they’d bothered to express their disgust through commenting as opposed to just looking away. Additionally, the female commenter who thought it was funny responded to my criticism by saying that her life was “too complicated” for her to think about the deep and meaningful subtext of jokes like this, and that as the OP wasn’t (in her estimation) a fuckwit, his post couldn’t possibly be offensive, and that only people who weren’t really his friends would have a problem with it. *facepalm*
So I made a post on my book blog recommending some graphic novels/comics for my readers, partially as a response to seeing a whole bunch of guys lately (more so than usual) insisting that girls don’t read comics and comics aren’t for girls anyway.
I got one comment. From this dude. And I had to share.