# Sexism in society

AlephZero
Homework Helper
Fans argued it was tradition and they were only words, it didn't mean anything.
Nothing in this debate "means anything" in absolute terms. (There's nothing new in that point of view: when the ancient Greeks started to build their empire, they were horrified to discover that some of their new subjects thought the only acceptable way to dispose of human remains was by burial, others insisted on incineration, and others used them to feed the local wildlife.)

After all, throwing bananas onto the pitch isn't racist either: everybody knows they are healthy food for all athletes, regardless of skin color

I wonder what people think about the fact that the "Blurred Lines" music video (and many others like it) was directed by a female (in this case Diane Martel).

I suppose it does speak to an underlying sexism within society. The song itself was intended to shock some people, obviously, but it also panders to a lot of the popular "shocking" tropes of late. Music by both men and women share these themes. (also, to be honest, while not being a huge fan of the song, I had completely different understanding of that song than, apparently, a lot of other people...I found it to be saying that, yea, she was a good girl, but he saw that she had urges and desires she wanted to express and that he wanted her to go with him and free herself from some other guy, who was trying "to domesticate" her...also those "blurred lines" while obviously having two meanings, mainly implied that while she put on a good girl exterior she had a wild side too, after all, the song implies that she was "talkin' 'bout gettin' blasted"; and, if that wasn't enough, one of the lines says, "The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty, Go ahead, get at me" clearly implying that he's inviting her to make the move...and tons of people smoke weed, he's not getting her high to take advantage of her, that's ridiculous...that's off topic though)

I think the debate should focus less on the sexism of men against women, but rather of society as a whole against both sexes. Women are pushing these "sexist" ideas (though I disagree that "sexism" is the correct choice of words*) just as much as men in most areas of life and it's almost always been this way.

Yes, in the somewhat recent past, men are often looked at with some derision in the way many treated women as possessions, or things to command or look down upon. But recall that for hundreds (thousands?) of years, women too have been preaching to sons and daughters that these roles are part of life. Good boys will protect their woman when they grow up while she raises the children he's expected to have. Little girls are supposed to learn to grow up to be soft spoken, gentle, submissive, etc.

That, at least, is what's wrong with the debate in my eyes; and why I see extreme feminists (including any feminist group or individual who implies that men specifically are actively against women) just as I see any other loony-bin group. I think we've come a long way and, for the overwhelming most part, we've gotten rid of active sexism in many first world, industrialized countries and simply have to learn as a society how to grow out of our passive sexism (which, I think, is what causes most of the issues today)

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We all unthinkingly use language that's deeply hurtful to other people. Why it's so hard to simply hear them out and make such an insignificant change as using a slightly different word, instead of getting ultra defensive and mock offended is baffling to me. Some people just really need to feel persecuted, or they decide to make their big stand for freedom of speech and individual rights over a word or team name instead of their actual rights that they're continually losing.

Travis, that's a good point about women being part of the problem as well, since anybody immersed in a society will at least partially internalize its views. Studies back this up. But I don't think it's right to dismiss sexism as somehow affecting everyone equally; the victims of women's sexism are often women. At least I've never, ever been in any way affected by "reverse sexism", or reverse anything for that matter and most of the examples of these things are either made up or laughable.

And let's not forget that this isn't just a problem of being told to smile or people asking if a woman is going to be a nurse when she tells them she's in medical school. Besides the high profile rape cases I mentioned, abortion rights are being steadily stripped away and even the right to enter the clinic without being terrorized* is in jeopardy. If you think this is just a question of fetal rights and has nothing to do with gender, ask yourself if the arguments and tactics would be the same if men were the ones who got pregnant. Do you think they'd be shamed by religious groups and told, essentially, that their baby is punishment for being a slut? I doubt it.

*They call themselves "counselors" and use sweet old ladies as their representatives, but those groups know what they're doing when they publish the personal information, including pictures and video, of doctors and clinic escorts: waiting for one of their more mentally unstable followers to take the hint and do their dirty work for them, as has happened several times, which is why the buffer zones were originally put in place...but I guess people have short memories.

abortion rights are being steadily stripped away and even the right to enter the clinic without being terrorized* is in jeopardy. If you think this is just a question of fetal rights and has nothing to do with gender, ask yourself if the arguments and tactics would be the same if men were the ones who got pregnant. Do you think they'd be shamed by religious groups and told, essentially, that their baby is punishment for being a slut? I doubt it.
Ok, I may have some other comments on the rest, but the simple answer here is that it is not a fair question to ask "would this be the same if it were men who were pregnant". This problem is wholly religious and has nothing to do with the sexism we're talking about here. This issue is based on religious dogma and it isn't the only form of misogyny perpetrated by those more-extreme religious groups of people. It's sexist, but it's not a reflection of society as a whole, it's a reflection of one group of people in society. Though, admittedly, they are numerous in some regions and therefore they have some degree of power (as we have seen with some recent legislation).

Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
We all unthinkingly use language that's deeply hurtful to other people. Why it's so hard to simply hear them out and make such an insignificant change as using a slightly different word, instead of getting ultra defensive and mock offended is baffling to me. Some people just really need to feel persecuted, or they decide to make their big stand for freedom of speech and individual rights over a word or team name instead of their actual rights that they're continually losing.
There's little choice here. Many people are genuinely offended and many people genuinely believe it's a freedom of speech issue. And the gradual erosion of rights is not what is under discussion here.

And let's not forget that this isn't just a problem of being told to smile or people asking if a woman is going to be a nurse when she tells them she's in medical school. Besides the high profile rape cases I mentioned, abortion rights are being steadily stripped away and even the right to enter the clinic without being terrorized* is in jeopardy. If you think this is just a question of fetal rights and has nothing to do with gender, ask yourself if the arguments and tactics would be the same if men were the ones who got pregnant. Do you think they'd be shamed by religious groups and told, essentially, that their baby is punishment for being a slut? I doubt it.
Since this isn't how it works, we cannot know. It's just pure speculation.

Ok, I may have some other comments on the rest, but the simple answer here is that it is not a fair question to ask "would this be the same if it were men who were pregnant". This problem is wholly religious and has nothing to do with the sexism we're talking about here. This issue is based on religious dogma and it isn't the only form of misogyny perpetrated by those more-extreme religious groups of people. It's sexist, but it's not a reflection of society as a whole, it's a reflection of one group of people in society. Though, admittedly, they are numerous in some regions and therefore they have some degree of power (as we have seen with some recent legislation).
I don't think women are comforted by the fact that it's just one group of people when the legislation is passed, or that it's not a reflection of society as a whole. Although I'm not so sure it isn't a reflection of society as a whole--if the laws aren't a reflection of society, what is? There's not even the excuse of cultural inertia; we're actually regressing.

I know that men don't actually get pregnant, so of course this is hypothetical, but you said yourself that the issue is sexist and misogynistic. I'm not sure what kind of sexism we are talking about here, but if we make excuses and try to explain away every single example, then it's impossible to see any kind of sexism in society. Only by taking a wider view can trends be seen. That should be especially easy to understand on this site. If I'm testing a medicine and go about it by looking at every person who improves and convincing myself that it wasn't the medicine, then I'm not likely to conclude that the medicine had any effect.

That doesn't mean that every man is actively oppressing every woman, or that no woman can ever do wrong like so many strawman arguments suggest (in fact, I'd argue that a white Wellesley student whose parents are both doctors occupies quite a privileged place in society). It just means that even subtle sexism isn't always so subtle and can have real effects.

I'm a sexist : I believe in the superiority of women in every aspect of human life...
They would be godlike creatures if they weren't biologically programmed to make babies...
I'm a sort of heretic believer though... Qui aime bien, châtie bien...

I'm a sexist : I believe in the superiority of women in every aspect of human life...
They would be godlike creatures if they weren't biologically programmed to make babies...
I'm a sort of heretic believer though... Qui aime bien, châtie bien...
Duh. Its obvious. Why do you call yourself sexist, though? You are just telling the truth.

WWGD
Gold Member
2019 Award
I think that's exactly what spacemonkey412 is talking about: "it's just a pop song", or "it's just a word", "it's just a team name", "it's just a compliment", etc. These things add up and it's the easiest thing in the world for white men, for example, to dismiss them. And "gangster rap" is just a type of song too, if we're going that route.

Nobody's criticizing "moderate" feminism because they lump every feminist into the category of "radical" and then criticize feminism that way (while claiming that modern feminists have lost their way, as if they're the real feminists or something). It happens with anyone or any group that criticizes the prevailing social conditions--despite the pathetic attempts by today's conservatives to pretend that they admire MLK and would have been on his side, he was very much considered a radical extremist.

Maybe you aren't one of these people, but your responses are literally the exact same ones always thrown out against feminists, and this very thread was immediately derailed by some guy claiming that it was sexism that a woman got a job instead of him and then you claiming things are being crammed down your throat. Maybe you can actually say what you think is so bad about that video? Do you think they're claiming that every woman gets raped every day or something? They're trying to make a point that on an everyday level a lot of women get unwanted attention to the point of not feeling safe, and on a more extreme level, accusations of rape aren't taken seriously and the women are often blamed. There were at least two high-profile rape cases in the last year where this was on full display: coverups, victim-blaming, death threats, houses burned down, etc.

There are some things about feminists that can be criticized, like the lack of intersectionality by some of them, but that's to be expected. Even in that video, that Muslim (I think) guy was weird and a little bordering on the old white savior theme, especially from a former imperialist power...
The extremism is seen in terms of, e.g., cherry-picking, where (often genuine) injustices against women are highlighted , but injustices against men are ignored : family court (which assumes by default the mother is a better parent) , lack of reproductive rights, etc. It is also seen --often in some of the comedy channels: Fox or MSNBC -- in terms of claims like "women get paid $.77 for every$1.00 a man makes, for doing the same job". This is extremely difficult to prove, given there are hundreds of different jobs, and the difficulty of measuring the amount of work done, etc. *
But the radicals repeat it as a given, as a plain, clear and uncontroversial fact ( Obama lowered himself to saying that the inequality can be seen as " plain Math" --most likely catering to part of his base, describing those who disagree with him, as " not wanting equality of pay for both sexes). When asked to support this statement, ladies replied : " but of course is true" , or " young people today agree with us". And here again there is the cherry-picking ( or maybe just ignorance) that men tend to take the riskier jobs , i.e., the jobs with higher fatality rates -- even seen a female miner, oil-rig worker (see below for refs.) ?

Some references for my claims. While there are valid points made by the women's movement, they (the more radical ones) claim to be doing worse than men across-the-board, i.e., in most, if not all areas. There are many areas where men are doing more poorly than man that the feminasty movement does not bring-up :

* Let alone the fact that if this was true, no boss would want to hire a man: just hire all women, and pocket the 23% difference.

1)Here is some data on deaths on the job, by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Stats ):

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/09/occupational-male-female-death-gap-is.html

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2) Death rates for Prostate Cancer similar to death rates for Breast cancer. But breast

cancer gets more than twice the funding. Ever seen street ads for prostate cancer?

Me neither, but I've seen hundreds for prostate cancer. See page 2 of:

http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/webcontent/acspc-042151.pdf

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3)Imprisonment rates by gender:

http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/genderinc.html

around 10.5-to-1 male-to-female.

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Suicide rates for over-50. Men vs. Women (per 100,000 ).

27.3 for men , 8.1 for women . More than 3-to-1. :

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html?_r=0

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High school dropout rates for males vs. females : 8.5 to 6.3 :

This makes it difficult to argue that women are systematically oppressed and mistreated in comparison to men.

Does this not make the feminasties look radical?

How about the stupidity of naming themselves 'womyn' to avoid having 'women' ending up in ..men. How about then using 'hisbal tea' , or why do we use mother nature? How about motherland, mother country?

This is typical of radical movements: cherry-picking. Maybe this is just confirmation bias on steroids, since the comedy channels Fox, MSNBC have business models based on catering to the radicals.

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WWGD
Gold Member
2019 Award
I don't think women are comforted by the fact that it's just one group of people when the legislation is passed, or that it's not a reflection of society as a whole. Although I'm not so sure it isn't a reflection of society as a whole--if the laws aren't a reflection of society, what is? There's not even the excuse of cultural inertia; we're actually regressing.

I know that men don't actually get pregnant, so of course this is hypothetical, but you said yourself that the issue is sexist and misogynistic. I'm not sure what kind of sexism we are talking about here, but if we make excuses and try to explain away every single example, then it's impossible to see any kind of sexism in society. Only by taking a wider view can trends be seen. That should be especially easy to understand on this site. If I'm testing a medicine and go about it by looking at every person who improves and convincing myself that it wasn't the medicine, then I'm not likely to conclude that the medicine had any effect.

That doesn't mean that every man is actively oppressing every woman, or that no woman can ever do wrong like so many strawman arguments suggest (in fact, I'd argue that a white Wellesley student whose parents are both doctors occupies quite a privileged place in society). It just means that even subtle sexism isn't always so subtle and can have real effects.
Just curious: what do you think about the fact that if a women becomes pregnant as a result of consensual sexual relations, it is her who has the only say on allowing the pregnancy to come-to-term. But her decision will have great impact on the man, who will have to pay support until the child becomes 21. This will cost around \$300,000 , which means the men may have to change job, or get another job. And the man may have to relocate to be able to visit the child.

So the man's life is greatly impacted, but he has no say on this. All obligations and no rights. Who is getting the raw deal here? What a gross hypocrisy of all those women clamoring for reproductive rights.

And, again, radicalism results in part from the business models of MSNBC, Fox, who cater to the hardliners on the left/right respectively. Neither invites serious debate, and the false/exaggerated claims go uncontested , and then spiral into more false claims/exaggeration.

It is sad to see that even on channels like C-Span Book TV, which show views from both sides, whenever one side's view is presented, it is most often done to the respective choirs, i.e., Conservatives present their views to Conservatives and same for Liberals. I have not seen a place where a genuine debate goes on. I'm glad I have reasonable friends who are willing to disagree with me and which other, and to debate these issues.

WWGD
Gold Member
2019 Award
Duh. Its obvious. Why do you call yourself sexist, though? You are just telling the truth.