This was originally posted on my old blog on 10 November 2013
I’ve recently come into contact on a regular basis with a person who has brought home the impact of subtle sexism to me. The definition of subtle sexism is:
1. Discrimination based on gender.
2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
This kind of behaviour matters a lot. Without the person promoting it meaning to do so, they damage those around them (women are on the receiving end in the vast, vast majority of incidents, but it is totally possible for men to be the victims). Women feel isolated, targeted, and intimidated. Subtle sexists create a hostile environment for women.
The tragedy lies not only in the damage to women, but that the men in the situation are also damaged. Their views of women are warped. In the case I’m aware of, the boys involved are told again and again in little “jokes” and endless anecdotes that women are useless chatterboxes who always turn out to be stupid, and whose views always turn out to be wrong, especially when these airheads insist they are right and the superior male goes along with it just to show the ridiculous woman up for the idiot she is. They are trained to disregard or undervalue the opinions of those who don’t have a penis.
Lastly, the perpetrators of this kind of misogyny damage themselves in a tragic naked-emperor-like way. By contaminating the world with their belief that all women are useless bimbos, they reveal that the only women they ever get a chance to know are useless bimbos. The intelligent, funny, practical, strong, pleasant majority of the female population are smart enough not to hang out with arseholes.