Sexism is something you do

Oh right, I have a blog. I suppose I should post on it before midnight today. Whoops.

While I’m quite happy that Hillary Clinton is a candidate for the democratic nomination,1 I’m also upset that people are bagging her with sexist insults at mach 2. The constant calling out of such examples of sexism currently has Melissa (from over at Shakesville) at the 94th installment of her Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch series, and that may go up by the time this post gets out of my draft queue. (update: it reached 100 as of Friday 2008-5-23.)

One thing that this barrage of feminist-antifeminist dialogue has brought up is a huge public misconception: That sexist is something you are. If that were true, this blog would probably never exist, I’d probably be a Young Nat, and Barack Obama would be significantly less awesome. Moreso than other forms of discrimination, misogyny and sexism are deceptive and invisible, especially to men. This leads to many men offending women by doing stupid things like equating one woman who performs badly with all women, (apparently if your girlfriend sucked at maths, so does every other woman in the history of the human race) or by considering them invisible, (“Hey guys!”) or by demeaning female sexuality, or by implying that men who are feminine are inferior, or by perpetuating one of the other hegemonistic norms that pervade our society. Continue reading