Yesterday I read a lead paragraph that was part of a larger article about a study done in the UK (I think) about a term called ‘benevolent sexism’. I didn’t read the entire article, as I didn’t have time or interest, but I’ve seen discussions on it before. Today I thought I’d write about it.
Benevolent sexism is essentially a new label applied to men who are respectful and polite to a woman, which – according to the people behind the study – apparently results from a belief that women are incapable of looking after themselves, therefore the man should do what he can to look after them instead.
Apparently it’s ok when men are polite, respectful and helpful to other men, but as soon as he does this with women, it’s because he subconsciously believes men are better than women and need special treatment.
Sounds like rubbish to me. General politeness to all people does not mean you think you’re better than women just because you’re being polite and respectful to them the same way you do to men. It just means you’re polite and respectful.
I’m not really sure how can any of this be taken seriously. If being polite and respectful to women is sexist, then does that mean that being rude and disrespectful to women proves you’re not sexist and is a better outcome?
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