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What Is Sexism?

January 22, 2018

If you think being male makes someone superior to anybody else, or if you think it justifies his individual or institutional maltreatment of anybody else or privileged placement ahead of anybody else, you have to ask yourself how you came to be so sick in the head. And ask what is preventing your recovery. If you are a woman, that still applies.

Frankly, I’m too old for patience. Sexism is fukking things up. It’s just as viciously destructive as racism; we’ve simply done a better job of fooling ourselves about gender. As long as we have sexism we’re going to have sexual abusers. We’re not going to be rid of sexual abuse until we rid ourselves of sexism.

So what is sexism? Like racism, it’s a rigid division of the population into two, opposing groups, via stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Here’s an earlier page on how that works, and here’s a family example of dynamics in racism.  Think about it; minds can be changed.  (Note too that dominating white males have used racism to hold women down, all women, and to hold down immigrants such as the “black Irish” and the seemingly dark-skinned southern Italians.)

By “sexism” I mean when someone (a) divides humanity into two, mutually exclusive groups, on the basis of a particular, commonly observable, anatomical characteristic, vagina v. penis; (2) builds a stereotype of each group with designation of other traits—all negative, or all positive—that are deemed always to occur in the accompaniment of the vagina or penis; (3) assigns a markedly negative value to all persons in one group, in contrast and in opposition to the remarkably positive value of the other group; and treats persons badly or well depending on group membership. My vagina or penis symbolizes my identity and value, and is the triggering characteristic for discriminatory treatment.

Persons can be sexist with a vagina or a penis; but in America the actively dominant pattern of sexism is pervasive, systematic, institutionalized, private and public, destructive prejudice and discrimination on the part of penis-identifying persons (and in Trompf’s case, penis-insecure and obsessed) against vagina-identified persons.

For just a brief, current illustration of the kinds of characteristics that America assigns to accompany a penis or a vagina, along with kinds of discrimination, and the fear that is produced by a counter thought, here’s an essay by Laurie Penny (Longreads). Any of us can easily add to the list, and compare it with the stereotyping of people who are deemed, by light complexers, to have dark complexions.

You can see how sexism addles our minds, making it very difficult to sort out, and agree upon, what is actually real. Luckily, the opposite is also true: when we see reality, we quickly see that the veil is a net woven of foolishness, and it falls from our eyes.

Back in June of ’15 I was thinking out loud about some of the worst, most telling, sexist behavior on the part of penis persons, and then thinking about sexism and racism this way:

Dear Reader, isn’t that really what it’s all about:  territorial ownership of women by men?  Access and control, by means of warfare and repeated acts of terror.

Sexism is primary, racism is one form that sexism takes.

Think, for instance, of the white supremacist Dylann Roof’s reported self-justification, spoken to his victims in the black church at the moment of his murdering all but one, whom he said he left alive to report his acts and words:  “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.  You have to go.”

Even a church can be the battleground territory. We can easily think of many other places.

As President W Bush declared, the American (certainly the Republican) ideal is an “ownership society.” If it isn’t owned, it has no identity, no value, no place. The same applies to you if you are not an owner. We Americans divide ourselves into the owners, and the owned.

Bottom line: ownership of persons is achieved and maintained by exercise of superior power. Sexism is a prevailing penis way of going about that. The power of the sexist owners against the sexist owned is superior, not because they are males or because they are females, but because there are so many of the owners who vote.

But life doesn’t have to be like that. We’ve taken sexism from a secret to a political issue. That psychopathology of our democracy must be voted out.

[Indexes to pages on “sexism,” and on “racism.”  “Sexual Abusers and Abusive Sexuality” page (1).]

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