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What is sexism, and is it good or bad?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Smart_Guy, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    And should it be fought, maintained, moderated... etc?

    Please give your definition of sexism so no confusions happen. Is it positive, negative or neutral? I want to know the actual practical meaning, not the textual Google meaning.

    Is having typical (as in normal cases) specific gender cultural roles like men for heavily physical duties, and natural roles like men not being able to get pregnant, considered sexism?

    I started this thread to know more about sexism and how people see it, but I placed it in a debates section for you guys to enjoy.

    Cheers!

    Disclaimer:
    I always like posts in my thread. It does not necessarily mean I like the content of the post.
     
    #1 Smart_Guy, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  2. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    Well in old old times initially it was practical, but now gender roles are enforced simply because of tradition. It really depends. 50s housewife isn't for me, i gotta move my feet. I'd say its neither. It's all tradition. Now sexism, discrimination of sexes, woman are disadvantaged. In what way? A woman is not as valuable as a man in relating to jobs. That is unfortunate, and should stop. I'd say its bad, but there are probably reasons for it being good.
     
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  3. Jonathan Ainsley Bain

    Jonathan Ainsley Bain Logical Positivist

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    Sexism is just another form of emotional blackmail that women fabricated in order to try and control men.
     
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  4. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    Thank you for sharing your view, @Terese

    How do you think it is so, and what suggestions do you have to have it stopped?
     
  5. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    In your definition, does it only concern women?
     
  6. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    I read that there were violin auditions and when the judges see a woman they were less likely to get the job. When they put a curtain so they couldn't see the person, more women were getting the jobs. It's all institutionalised. Like how when one says 'blkack male' they think of a negative stereotype. Gotta stop that 'men are better' stuff.
     
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  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    "Sexism" is such a multi-facted & broad thingie.......I say it's bad.
    But there will be variation from mildly not so great all the way up to terrible.
     
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  8. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    Cool!

    Thanks for the commentary, @Terese
     
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  9. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    I see...

    That kinda makes sense...
     
  10. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Sexism in one of those terms that’s used in different ways in different contexts but generally I’d say it refers to an assumption that an individual is less or more capable of doing something based on their (perceived) gender alone. It’s typically based on the error of assuming gender based tendencies and averages are definitive and constant. The classic example is physical strength. While it’s true that on average, men are stronger than women, there are still a whole load of men who will be weaker than the average woman and a whole load of women stronger the average man (and that’s even before considering other relevant factors such as age, illness, disability etc.). If you have a role that requires physical strength, it’d be sexism to assume that only a man could possibly take that role.

    It’s generally a bad thing IMO though as much of that can be in reactions pushing back against it, conflating sexist assumptions and legitimate distinctions or pushing back too far in the opposite direction (“positive” discrimination). It would be better if nobody made such assumptions in the first place but I doubt that can ever happen given that there is an element of subconscious human nature involved too.
     
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  11. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Trying to control others through your own prejudice is bad. We've seen what happens when people think of some people as worth less than others. They are treated badly because of trivial differences. That being said, clear differences between most men and most women exist and it's those differences many exaggerate add on to to their own tastes.

    Men for example aren't all violent brutes interested only in sex and incapable of controlling themselves when strong stimuli presents itself who gossip about sports all day. Some however are.
     
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  12. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Sexism is hard to define, as it is a set of behaviours and social norms associated with patriarchy that mean that men have social advantages over women.

    e.g. the idea that pregnency is a choice and therefore that women who get pregnant are not "committed" to their careers and therefore should be paid less or not get a promotion, because they "should" be mothers etc. that's a more obvious one. it isn't a choice when its part of your anantomy- as that assumes a very "male" definition of normal behaviour and that getting pregnent falls outside that norm.

    the difficulty in fighting sexism, is whether you are fighting a set of behaviours or a set of ideas and how do so in a free society. it is potentially very illiberal, but in the same sense that educational segregation amongst races can be seen as a "choice" where wealthy white families move their white kids into the "good" schools, whilst poor ethnic minority families and their families are stuck in the "poor" schools. there are a series of complex questions over whether recognising "group rights" is compatable with "individual rights", which often get phrased in terms of "free speech versus political correctness". in reality of course, political correctness can advance the rights and freedoms of historically oppressed minorities (or in the case of women, half the population), so it isn't as black and white as it first appears.

    (edit; no pun intended.)
     
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  13. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    What do you guys think of men not being able to get pregnant and breast feed? Women naturally have these two privileges to practice their parenthood with the extra pride men can't enjoy. Do you think this is considered sexism on nature's side?

    You know, I think these factors should actually give women more salary as part of extra allowances. Kinda like the extra tickets and housing allowance percentage expats get in my country since they come a long way from home and must go visit from time to time, that I don't get (that I'm not nor should I complain about). I also think extra payed days-off should be provided to women for those when it is needed. I think the labor laws should enforce those on all sectors.
     
  14. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Up till 20th century medicine, abortion and contraception, getting pregnant could be a death sentence because it was so risky (and still is in less advanced countries... and possibily Texas). I might be a guy but I think I am the one with the privallage as I don't have to have "contractions" when you give birth. *shudders*. I suspect your idealising motherhood, as nappy changing and being woken in the middle of the night is hardly an ideal even for dudes.

    kids are cute.... for everyone else to look at. but puke, nappies, talcum powder, soft food, falling over and stepping on random toys and "artwork" involving crayons and paint on the walls... well, its not the sistine chapel. put it that way. :D

    probably not in a free market. playing devils advocate, people are paid on the amount of work done, which means that paying women for time off in pregnency leave means more costs and dents profitability. (of course child labour was also highly lucrative in 19th century britian). this is something that the government either has to regulate bussiness to do or to subsidise if your dealing with small bussinesses. larger companies might be able to afford it and may even see advantages to doing it if keeping workers happy means they are more motivated/productive.

    I'm just getting ahead of the curve before someone accuses you of "socialism". :eek:
     
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  15. Thana

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    Sexism is discrimination against people because of their gender. It's a way of depreciating people based solely on prejudice. Exactly like racism, so no it's not positive.

    And having gender roles is oppressive, for men and women. It hurts everybody. It doesn't allow for men to be homemakers like I know some want to be, it stops women from pursuing careers in the military and sports because they've always been told they're 'the weaker sex'. The truth is that women can do heavy physical duties and enroll in the military. There are plenty of women who work out and eat a lot and are stronger than your average man. And there are plenty of men who are better at looking after children and being nurses than women. All gender roles do is suppress our individuality.

    And I know there are some people who think putting women on pedastals is a good thing, but all that does is single out women and tells everybody that 'women are different' whilst causing resentment. And if you have to raise women than that means you lower men. How is that helpful? All that is needed or wanted is equality, that's it.
     
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  16. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    You know, in my culture we have a saying that translates to: "the mother is a school if built well, you grow a good community". My beliefs also say that a mother is three times more important than a father. Now, if the employer, specially the government sector, gives women more salaries even for things they do that prevent productivity in favor of not bothering them when they get pregnant or have time off to breast feed the children (or other related stuff), the employer would be construction their own community and people well, by applying the translated saying I mentioned in the beginning we believe in.

    As for the parenting privilege, it is true that taking care of kids is annoying, but just how would a parent feel when their children come to them and love them? If you look at average families, children typically love their mothers more than their fathers. I envy women for this. It makes me feel I'm being neglected and getting less love from my children than what a women does. But I perfectly understand that.
     
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  17. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    Sexism can be against males. I wish folk would remember that: You recall that crazy teacher who wouldn't let boys play with Lego? o_O
     
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  18. Smart_Guy

    Smart_Guy ...
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    Now that's one negative teacher!
     
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  19. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I think that’s grossly simplistic (and arguably sexist). The idea that you can assign a simple value to mothers or fathers is flawed in itself. The relationship between parents and children is arguably the most complicated human relationship there is and the number of ways in which both parents can and will influence the child are almost infinite. Also, there will be massive variation between different families and different individuals.

    The thing is woman =/= mother (even potential mother). The idea of all women getting paid more because some women will have children is obviously flawed. The correct approach (and done in many countries) is to have systems and procedures to support working women and men who become parents. There is no reason to treat workers who aren’t having children differently on the basis of their gender.

    I’d suggest “differently” rather than “more”, just as the parents will love each other differently to how they love their children (we’d hope!). It’s also worth noting that nobody is average. Again, every relationship is different.
     
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  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    @Thana described and argued it well in #15 above, IMO.

    I will just add that sexism is appealling from a mass-oriented, choice-making perspective. By assigning conveniently predetermined roles to people, there are less decisions to be made, less reason to listen to what people want and what their true vocations are.

    That is still to the community's detriment, however.
     
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