Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blogging Against Sexism

Yesterday was International Woman's Day, which I was somewhat aware of but ended up not writing on. I just read part of a post by Pen-Elayne on the Web that makes me think maybe I should.

The Truth is I don't really know what to say about this beyond "Sexism is Bad." My experience in the working field has been that I have consistently had female supervisors, and I can't think of too many instances of workplace sexism. And most of those stories are me standing by and listening quietly while someone explained that the restaurant / library / book shop would be better off if a man were in charge.

I did note that such people generally did so out of the earshot of said female supervisors / bosses / department heads. Better part of valor I suppose.

I have noticed that certain types of behavior are attributed to sex, regardless of the plainly obvious fact that both men and women engage in said behavior. Office gossip, for example. Men engage in that - but when a woman does it, it means something different.

Or too put it another way, as a white male, when I screw up, my mistakes are my own. A woman who screws up (or a person of color for that matter) has at least a percentage of that screw up attributed to her gender (or race).

Which kind of goes back to the idea that I'm allowed to be an individual, with my own faults and flaws (and successes); a woman is always an individual with a certain percentage of "woman" mixed in.

Yeah, I've pretty much restated what Simone de Beauvoir said back in the 1950s. We are nothing if not timely here at Make Me a Commentator!!!
Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female - whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.
Anyway, to sum up, Sexism is a bad thing, and you should not engage in sexism. Also Simone de Beauvoir is very interesting.

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