Originally posted on September 3, 2009
Given a recent discussion over at No, Seriously What About Teh Menz, I thought this old post was particularly relevant.
It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. This one happens to be a powerful dose:
There’s a very common misperception that sexism is subjective—that any given incident identified by one person as sexist could be identified by another as not sexist, and either both of them are right, because the whole thing is just a matter of opinion anyway, or the latter is right, because if it’s not equally obvious to everyone, it can’t be sexist. It’s this conventional wisdom about the subjectivity of sexism that underlies the ubiquitous “I don’t see it” rejoinder, particularly recurrent in discussions of expressed sexism against women, on which this post will be focused.
Sexism is, in fact, not subjective. What’s subjective are individual reactions to sexism, but sexism itself can be objectively determined. (I’ll come back to that in a moment.) Individual reactions to sexism will, naturally, be as vast and varied as the individuals who react—but because there are men, or women, who aren’t offended by something, or don’t find it sexist, doesn’t mean it isn’t. One can always find someone who refuses to be offended by something: That Michelle Malkin wrote In Defense of Internment doesn’t American government-built concentration camps any less objectively offensive or wrong.
Well, technically this contradicts the blog’s previous position about sexism which clearly demonstrates that sexism is the result of a subjective theory. However, that is not the one. Continue reading