In a modern age where Beyoncé is seen as the definition of feminism, it’s difficult to tell when you’re committing sexism. Frankly, it’s difficult to understand why any American male would venture outdoors. You might encounter a feminist female (or male) who has already determined you to be a card-carrying member of the patriarchy. You’re clearly on a mission to threaten the female population simply by existing. It’s not required that you do anything outright to deny females their rights in order to be labeled a misogynist. Oh no, even attempts to be respectful and keep to yourself are, in fact, a whole new world of discrimination. Welcome to passive sexism and benevolent sexism.
The bitter, modern feminist mouthpiece, Jessica Valenti, recently took to Twitter to express an episode of horror she experienced while riding the subway. She observed a man (first strike against him) surfing Twitter, who followed most of the people she did…except “NO WOMEN”. This, she declared, is “passive sexism”.
The guy next to me on the subway was checking Twitter; he followed almost all the same people I did but NO WOMEN. Passive sexism is for real
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 12, 2015
She assumes this male’s inclination for not including women, her instant conclusion from a very brief, limited perspective, must certainly be due to his lack of respect for them. Sexism on the subway? It’s probably at every stop!
Passive sexism involves no physical action of disrespect, other than the accuser’s colored assumption, much like another form of abomination known as “benevolent sexism”. This also occurs without the conscious knowledge of the supposed aggressor, but with full awareness from the victim. As discussed in this National Post article earlier this year:
Men who open doors for women are as guilty of sexism as those who are rude to them, according to a new study.
Jin Goh, a psychologist from Northeastern University, Boston, in the U.S., said: “While many people are sensitive to sexist verbal offences, they may not readily associate sexism with warmth and friendliness. Unless sexism is understood as having both hostile and benevolent properties, the insidious nature of benevolent sexism will continue to be one of the driving forces behind gender inequality.”
The phrase “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” suddenly comes to mind. Most women appreciate when men act gentlemanly and exhibit respectful behavior most likely instilled in them from a young age. Unlike our easily triggered female counterparts, we’re not overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy when a man opens the door or insists on paying for dinner. Our natural reaction isn’t to recoil in disgust and assume they believe us to be weak or financially incapable. We don’t believe we’re less than the man, we are just appreciative of the respect exhibited in word and deed.
The poison that is second and third wave feminism has seeped into the most basic, seemingly nondescript parts of our lives. Its efforts to label every man as sexist or a potential rapist does most harm to actual victims of those things. If everything is sexism, then nothing is sexism. Those like Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte, who inhabit the privileged, comfy realm that is modern American feminism, must be incredibly bored. They have to dissect the very miniscule and mundane of daily life in hopes of finding something to offend them…which they usually do.
Oppression of women still occurs in 2015, but it looks much different than the meaningless examples one like Valenti shares. She only sees herself, and other women, as constant victims of a male dominated society, ready to quiet silent choices or harmless acts. So, male population, you might as well play it safe. Save everyone else the trouble, and assume you’re a sexist. But please, whatever you do, continue to open that door.