Is sexism, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder or is it more concrete and sinister? This topic came up bit ago among some of my friends and it really got me thinking.
The basis of the discussion was the holding of doors open for women, and men acting as placeholders in a line or even giving up their place in a line, pulling chairs out from the table and generally deferring to women at all times. Those of us involved all had differing opinions on whether such actions could be construed as sexist or if they are just what polite boys do.
To borrow loosely from the Supreme Court, is sexism is kind of like pornography… I know it when I see it… or is it real?
In my life I:
– am referred to as Mrs. _____ and I RSVP to weddings as Mr. and Mrs. DH’s first and last name
– want doors to be held open for me, hands full or not
– get all giddy when DH opens the car door for me (doesn’t happen often because we don’t go many places one-on-one.)
– have never had men stand for me as I arrived to or departed from a dining table but that’d be pretty neat
– have never had a gentleman tip his hat to me. (but then again, men don’t wear hats anymore. Sigh. Thoughts of a bygone era… and no, baseball hats don’t count.)
– love it when DH thinks to walk on the street side of the sidewalk (although there is debate about this one as people could hide in the alcoves on the non-street side of the sidewalk
– loathe “cat-calls,” “wolf-whistles,” or any other animal like mating call. That’s just wrong.
– am not your “baby,” “sugar,” “hot thang,” “sweetness,” “b*tch,” “wh*re,” etc., etc. But I am a chick. (I don’t know why Iike “chick.”)
I could go on and on, but I got to get to parenting. What I am trying to say is, in my opinion, the idea of sexism is really grey. I don’t think sexism and sexual discrimination are the same thing, mind you, but is sexism definable?
You have thoughts, you know you do! Share them here. I welcome disagreements but you have to be respectful and stand by your statements.