Brooklynite (brooklynite) wrote in feminist,

Definitions of Sexism.

(bumping this up from a comments thread, because it seems like it'd be of general interest)

There's been a lot of discussion in the comments on this post about whether men's behavior toward other men can be sexist, or women's behavior toward other women. A lot of folks have made reference to the community's code of conduct, so I went back and took a look at it.Here's the relevant passage:
We do not recognize "reverse" sexism, ie the idea that women are capable of acting thinking in a sexist manner toward men. The reason for this is that women do not, as a group, hold privilege or institutional power over men. While women may be individually prejudiced against men, and may even act against them, it is an instance of prejudice, not sexism.
Unless I'm missing something, this just says that a woman's prejudice against men --- so-called "man-hating," for instance --- isn't sexism, because it's not backed up by "privilege or institutional power."

But a lot of what's being talking about in that thread is different --- men in positions of privilege deploying sexism against men who don't conform to traditional gender roles, and (in one of the sub-threads) women who are backed by institutional power deploying sexism against other women.

It seems to me that if we say, as one commenter has, that "sexism is when a male exhibits prejudice against a female," we're disregarding the institutional nature of gender bias, and the ways in which sexism is deployed to enforce gender conformity. (And it also seems to me that such claims aren't supported by the community's code of conduct.)

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