- As feminists, we cannot allow sexism or objectification to happen to males, like it has to females. As embarrassing as Rush Limbaugh, Micheal Savage, or Bill O’Reilly and their visions of oppressed, white, straight, Christian males are, we must remember that white, straight, Christian, males need to be treated with the equality they deserve.
Struggling with this one right here, though let me preface this with saying that this list has 15 strong, important points about feminism today, most notably centered around a woman’s right to choose her own gender expression. My issue comes rooted in the notion that “sexism” can happen to a white, straight, Christian male. While white, straight Christian males can most certainly be unfairly objectified and sexualized, sexism against men doesn’t exist, just like racism against white people doesn’t exist.
In order for sexism to exist, one has to be denied a right, or access to a right based on their gender. Denying a man acceptance into a women’s institution is not sexism, and denying a man a position because he is a man is not sexism. If you claim that the best qualified person should always get a job, for instance, then 99% of the time, white, straight, Christian males are going to get the job because they face no institutionalized difficulties gaining access to power, money and the required education.
(All, “what about me, I grew up a poor white boy in Detroit” arguments should be directed to the classism discussion.)
I read something the other day and I can’t remember where it was, or I’d link the heck out of it, where someone said that a white kid getting hassled by a few black kids in the projects isn’t racism because in any situation like that, a white kid can call the police and get an immediate response. The same applies here. There’s a stark difference between sexism, which women face, and gender-based prejudice, which some men can face. If an act of sexism is perpetrated against a woman (harassment in the workplace, being fired over maternity leave, obscene hollering on the street), the perpetrator has the power and precedent of thousands of years of this sort of behavior being acceptable to back him up. When discrimination against men happens on a gender-based prejudice level, the perpetrator has no power dynamic, precedent, or institutionalized idea of prejudice against men to support his or her prejudicial decision.
If you want to read more about the various definitions and layers of sexism, this great article at Finally Feminism 101 breaks it down for you.