Friday, January 22, 2010

Reverse Sexism and Reverse Racism

In our reading, Marilyn Frye, states that women as a whole are oppressed as woman, but men as a whole cannot be oppressed as men. (49) If a man treats a woman as weak because she is a woman, then he is sexist, but if a woman were to treat a man as inferior or to hate a man simply because he is a man that is not sexist.
To say this opens up another can of worms. It says that some people have the right to hate others while it is not okay for another group to hate. If women cannot be sexist against men, then one might as well say that black people cannot be racist against whites. Looking at it from both sides, I can see why some people would think this. In history, women and African Americans have been oppressed by men and whites, so it makes sense why women and African Americans would hate their oppressors. Though i can understand why some people might believe that, I cannot agree with it. Women and African Americans are not the only groups to have been oppressed. If racism is when a white person hates an African American person and so called reverse racism is when an African American hates a white person, where do the other cultures that have also been oppressed come in? Is it not racism if a Hispanic person hates an Asian person simply because that person is Asian? And if sexism is only the discrimination of women by men, and reverse sexism would be the discrimination of men by women, then where do hermaphrodites fit in. Can they be forced into a category of man or woman?
Sexism is not just men discriminating against women because they see women as the weaker sex. By definition, sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. It does not say that women cannnot be sexist towards men. Likewise racism is not just whites hating African Americans because they are African Americans. By definition, racism is prejudice or discrimination based on race.
Personally, I do not believe in reverse sexism or reverse racism. This is because I do not believe there is a difference in sexism and reverse sexism or racism and reverse racism. If you discriminate against someone because of their sex then you are a sexist. If you discriminate against someone because of their race then you are a racist. Bottom line is discriminating against someone based on their sex, culture, race, or religious background is wrong no matter which way it goes.


  1. I am very glad to see you wrote about something I had questions about from our reading last class period. I think you are certainly correct in your bottom line that these injustices are what they are, despite who uses them. What I think the article meant to express, that I also happen to agree with now, is that we cannot label these things as oppression based on the qualifications the author gives and she makes a compelling argument. One small injustice does not inhibit a fulfilled life; many working together indeed form a cage. Men cannot be oppressed as men? Perhaps they cannot. I am beginning to buy this idea. I can be oppressed because I am overweight, short, have black hair, or sometimes paint my fingernails because bars are erected in many instances based on how individuals perceive me. As a man, how many bars are being placed around me? As a man, so many opportunities are opened up to me. How often will I be oppressed based upon that? I have a feeling Rubin is correct: with the bars placed around me from being merely male, I have a feeling I cannot form a cage.

    I am, however, still adjusting to this idea and taking her writing under heavy consideration.

  2. This blog expresses the concept of sexism and reverse sexism as well as racism and reverse racism very well. I guess the controversy begins when people claim that african americans who discrimnate against whites are not racist or women who discriminate against men are not sexist. Being a minority myself, I could discriminate against any other race and would not be thought of as expressing racism. I have been told many times that it is not possible for me to be a racist simply because I am not white. Consequently, because I am an Indian female, I am "doubly oppressed" but can never be seen as the oppressor.

    I agree with the blog that any sort of prejudice should be considered as racism, sexism, etc, depending on the particular type of prejudice, regardless of race or sex of the discriminator.


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