[Split] Sexism

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vijayjohn
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-10, 22:50

linguoboy wrote:
languagepotato wrote:secondly, not all men are sexist.

You could be right about that, but I'd have to take it on faith. So far every man I've ever met has been sexist. It's just a question of degree. That doesn't mean that there aren't any men out there who aren't the least bit sexist, but they'd have to have a pretty unusual background. It would make a good book, actually.

I'm curious: Why is that? Is that something particular about sexism, or are there other forms of discrimination that are seemingly omnipresent in different degrees, too?

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-04-11, 10:16

Most (all) people have internalised at least some stereotypes and fall prey at least a little to most (all) of the series (sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia transphobia, classism,...) They may be aware of this, and consciously try to go against those internalised beliefs, but nobody is completely free from prejudices. Sexism is just one of the more noticeable ones, as sexist beliefs dictate for everyone what they can and can't do, and it's impossible to avoid as it's present everywhere.
Ableism, homophobia, transphobia, on the other hand, are only directed towards a subset of the population. It's perfectly possible to go your whole life without ever meeting a trans person or being confronted with trans issues. In that case, it's possible to never show any transphobia, regardless of what you'd do or think if you had met a trans person. This makes transphobia a lot less present, less visible, easier to pretend you don't hold those beliefs or participate in continuing them, easier to pretend it doesn't exist.
Sure, there are people claiming sexism doesn't exist, or that it does exist but they're not part of it, but sooner or later sexist thoughts and/or actions will be present around them—whether they (allow themselves to) recognise them or not—and they'll be most likely to hear about it from the women they know. Contrary to trans people, it's impossible to go through life without ever meeting a woman (women are still the primary victims of sexism; male victims are often ignored or not believed).

In short: I'd rephrase languagepotato's quote as "All people are sexist, some less, some (especially men) more."

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Yasna » 2017-04-12, 7:33

linguoboy wrote:So far every man I've ever met has been sexist. It's just a question of degree.

And how many women have you met that weren't sexist to some degree?
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-12, 15:19

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:So far every man I've ever met has been sexist. It's just a question of degree.

And how many women have you met that weren't sexist to some degree?

Their baseline of awareness is just so much higher. Every woman I've ever met has been subjected to sexism and most have given quite a bit of thought as to what would be necessary to eliminate it from society.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-04-13, 4:29

vijayjohn wrote:I'm curious: Why is that? Is that something particular about sexism, or are there other forms of discrimination that are seemingly omnipresent in different degrees, too?
I would say racism is close to omnipresent, perhaps because skin colour is so visible. It's easy not to know someone is disabled, but generally pretty easy to look at someone and put them into one of a few arbitrary racial categories.
Yasna wrote:And how many women have you met that weren't sexist to some degree?
1. Easy there, All Men.
2. See Aurinĭa's post.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-13, 5:37

mōdgethanc wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I'm curious: Why is that? Is that something particular about sexism, or are there other forms of discrimination that are seemingly omnipresent in different degrees, too?
I would say racism is close to omnipresent, perhaps because skin colour is so visible.

Hmm. I don't think I'd say (close to) all white people are racist but just to different degrees. Then again, maybe I just haven't thought about it enough. Idk.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-13, 17:08

vijayjohn wrote:Hmm. I don't think I'd say (close to) all white people are racist but just to different degrees. Then again, maybe I just haven't thought about it enough. Idk.

Racism is just so thoroughly baked into the structure of our societies, I don't see how you can live surrounded by it your entire life and resist it completely. Just an hour ago, I was sitting on the train having racist thoughts about another passenger and musing on the fact that I probably always will have those thoughts and the best I can hope for it simply to catch them in time before they affect my words or actions.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Prowler » 2017-04-13, 18:16

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Hmm. I don't think I'd say (close to) all white people are racist but just to different degrees. Then again, maybe I just haven't thought about it enough. Idk.

Racism is just so thoroughly baked into the structure of our societies, I don't see how you can live surrounded by it your entire life and resist it completely. Just an hour ago, I was sitting on the train having racist thoughts about another passenger and musing on the fact that I probably always will have those thoughts and the best I can hope for it simply to catch them in time before they affect my words or actions.

Yeah I think we're all racist to some degree. And if not, we all have our prejudices. I'd be lying if I said I had not said lots of racist stuff in the past even without being aware of it.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-13, 18:27

Once again, I think it comes down to the conflict between intent and impact. If intent is central to your definition of discrimination (as it is for many people--most, though not all of them, in the dominant category), then most people aren't being discriminatory. That is, they aren't knowingly setting out to discriminate against people based on their gender, race, etc. But if impact is central (as it is in social justice circles and most academic approaches), then it's a completely different picture. You can set out with the best intentions imaginable and you'll still end up discriminating because there are impacts that you have been trained since birth to overlook and disregard.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-14, 4:21

For me personally, I think whether I actually take offense at racism directed towards me depends on whether or not it exceeds my personal threshold of how much racism I am willing (or able) to take. When it's tolerable, it can even be cute, like when people say things like "how can y'all eat so much hot food?" It's another story when people try to, say, lecture me about the effects of colonization on India when they don't even know that much about it themselves. They're unaware that I've spent my entire childhood learning about exactly this sort of thing, that I have been working on translating the memoirs of someone who experienced said colonization firsthand, and apparently even that the fact that I'm Indian is not the be-all and end-all of my knowledge about these things but rather a speial incentive for me to learn more about them.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-04-14, 8:09

vijayjohn wrote:Hmm. I don't think I'd say (close to) all white people are racist but just to different degrees. Then again, maybe I just haven't thought about it enough. Idk.
I would, because I've seen the racist shit that white people (especially dumb adolescent males, but no group is immune) say when they know nobody else is listening. And also, like linguoboy mentioned, I know what it's like to have unbidden racist thoughts pop into your head from absolutely nowhere, despite being actively anti-racist, because of being exposed to that kind of thinking your whole life. I realize these are just fleeting intrusions and not any more significant than the random thoughts we all have about socially inappropriate or violent impulses, but still, I always catch myself thinking "WTF" when I have them and wonder where they're coming from. I would be very surprised if there were any white people, or any people period, who never have these kinds of thoughts ever.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-14, 14:28

mōdgethanc wrote:I would be very surprised if there were any white people, or any people period, who never have these kinds of thoughts ever.

Well, there are people who are just never exposed to people of another race or ethnicity to begin with. By contrast, I'm not sure it's possible to not be exposed to women at all.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-14, 16:15

vijayjohn wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:I would be very surprised if there were any white people, or any people period, who never have these kinds of thoughts ever.

Well, there are people who are just never exposed to people of another race or ethnicity to begin with.

Really? Where? Somewhere beyond the reach of television?

You don't have to know people of particular race or ethnicity IRL to have racist thoughts about them. In fact, it's probably easier if you don't.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Babbsagg » 2017-04-14, 17:03

I guess that would only apply to some native tribes that haven't been touched by civilisation yet. It's been shown time and again (at least in Europe) that xenophobic mindsets are strongest where there are the fewest foreigners/immigrants and people almost only "know" them from TV and internet. Probably because they're really alien and unfamiliar to them, there has never been any social interaction, and so the entire impression is built on what they see on TV, read on some internet blogs, hear from certain politicians, gossip, hearsay etc. I'd expect that to be similar for the related/overlapping issue of racism.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-14, 17:15

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:I would be very surprised if there were any white people, or any people period, who never have these kinds of thoughts ever.

Well, there are people who are just never exposed to people of another race or ethnicity to begin with.

Really? Where? Somewhere beyond the reach of television?

Sure.
Babbsagg wrote:I guess that would only apply to some native tribes that haven't been touched by civilisation yet.

That's pretty much what I had in mind, yes. But also, I'm sure a lot of Indian villages are like this, for example.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Prowler » 2017-04-14, 19:31

Babbsagg wrote:I guess that would only apply to some native tribes that haven't been touched by civilisation yet. It's been shown time and again (at least in Europe) that xenophobic mindsets are strongest where there are the fewest foreigners/immigrants and people almost only "know" them from TV and internet. Probably because they're really alien and unfamiliar to them, there has never been any social interaction, and so the entire impression is built on what they see on TV, read on some internet blogs, hear from certain politicians, gossip, hearsay etc. I'd expect that to be similar for the related/overlapping issue of racism.

I think that 's kinda debatable. I mean, I never hear people talking smack about Samoans and Mongolians... because there are zero here. So we don't even think of them at all or have any opinion on them whatsoever. But if you brought in lot of them in I bet many people would suddenly start disliking them. Back in the 80s/90s there wasn't much Islamophobia in Europe either.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-14, 19:54

Prowler wrote:Back in the 80s/90s there wasn't much Islamophobia in Europe either.

Um...there was, it just wasn't so visible. Don't mistake a lack of visible racism for a lack of racist thoughts and feelings.

Yes, there is a well-studied effect by which negative reactions increase once a "foreign" population exceeds a certain threshold (generally about 10-15%). But that doesn't mean that negative attitudes weren't already present in the population. To suggest otherwise amounts to a sort of victim-blaming, as if there wouldn't be any problems with bigotry of the minority population just laid low and didn't draw attention to itself. But often the reason why these populations clump together is because there exists so much casual hostility within society.

The term "Islamophobia" is over a century old. Negative European views of Islam are a millennium older than that. If you didn't live through the massacres, hijackings, and bombings of the 70s and 80s (do the names "Black September", "Abu Nidal", and "Achille Lauro" mean anything to you?), you may not realise how far back the stereotype of the murderous Arab terrorist goes. It's been around my entire life.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-04-15, 4:55

vijayjohn wrote:Well, there are people who are just never exposed to people of another race or ethnicity to begin with. By contrast, I'm not sure it's possible to not be exposed to women at all.
There is research showing that racist beliefs decrease as a function of exposure to other races. I think it's next to impossible to not know that other races exist, and to not hear any negative stereotypes about them. There were no Romani people near where I grew up, but I remember hearing jokes about how the Gypsies live in camps by rivers and steal children, and I certainly heard "what a Gyp!" even more than "he Jewed me".

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-15, 5:33

mōdgethanc wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Well, there are people who are just never exposed to people of another race or ethnicity to begin with. By contrast, I'm not sure it's possible to not be exposed to women at all.
There is research showing that racist beliefs decrease as a function of exposure to other races. I think it's next to impossible to not know that other races exist, and to not hear any negative stereotypes about them. There were no Romani people near where I grew up, but I remember hearing jokes about how the Gypsies live in camps by rivers and steal children, and I certainly heard "what a Gyp!" even more than "he Jewed me".

It's definitely true that exposure can hinder racist beliefs. I still have my course packet from my introductory Romani Studies course (it was taught by my advisor but officially called "Gypsy Language and Culture" or something, apparently against his own will), and it includes an interesting survey where Americans were given a list of ethnicities and, IIRC, asked to rank them from 1 to 10 with 10 indicating people of the highest social standing in their opinion and 1 indicating people of the lowest. "Gypsies" were ranked at the very bottom. However, my advisor pointed out that there was another category of people who were also listed in the survey called "Wisians," and they ranked pretty low, too. It turned out that Wisians don't even exist and were a group that the people who made the survey just made up. Because people were unfamiliar with Wisians, they ranked them low, but even so, they apparently figured that they couldn't be as bad as Roma.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-04-15, 5:47

Even my own mother, a bleeding-heart liberal, trolled my brothers about selling us to the Gypsies if we didn't behave. My own hypothesis about why the Roma get it so bad compared to other groups in Western culture is because they are one of the most deviant in their lifestyle. They don't conform to European norms, and get judged as depraved for it.

It would be interesting to see where they ranked next to other unprivileged groups like Native Americans, I think.


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