Yesterday I wrote a post about benevolent sexism, and as I was reading over it, I realised that in this quote is another example of my ‘black and white thinking’:
“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?”
As I read that, I realised that I was seeing the polar opposite of one attitude as being the desired attitude. If it’s unacceptable to engage in behaviour A, then surely that means behaviour Z is the desired outcome?
Obviously it’s not. Obviously there’s various types of behaviour in between. But when I was trying to look for them, I couldn’t see them.
To me, if being polite and respectful towards women is seen as sexist, then how can I not be sexist unless I’m not polite and respectful? Surely if I’m not being polite or respectful, then I’m being rude and disrespectful?
It seems quite clear to me. I really can’t see any other options here. You’re either polite or you’re not polite, and if you’re not polite, then you’re rude. Therefore, to avoid being labelled as benevolently sexist towards women, you must be rude to them.
No, I’m not trolling, even though I suspect that many will think that. This is simply my mind, and how I think. I can’t see shades of grey in things, everything is clearly one or the other.
While I suspect there are other options in behaviour to avoid being benevolently sexist, I can’t see them. I don’t know what they are. And I suspect this is because I have the Aspergers’ mind that thinks in black and white.
So I’m seeking your feedback. Help me understand how to avoid being sexist to women without being polite or respectful to them, in a way that is socially acceptable. Help me see some shades of grey that I’m missing by commenting below.
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