sexism

Feminism Friday: The origins of the word “sexism”

Although it has long since become a household phrase, the origins of the term “sexism” are not widely known. In researching this article, I found that the term is most commonly dated to the 1968 paper “Freedom for Movement Girls – Now”, however there are actually two other known appearances of this word prior to […]

Open Thread: Feminism, Sexual Orientation and Social Hostility

This thread is a response to a comment from Astrodyke in the Suggestions thread: I don’t see tags for “lesbian” or “sexual orientation”. It’d be nice to have some FAQs about lesbianism and how it relates to feminism. There are the straw questions, “Don’t all feminists hate men?” or “Aren’t all feminists lesbians?” But there […]

Double standards

Jessica of Feministing is asking for input regarding sexist double standards – e.g. sexually active men are studs, sexually active women are whores etc etc. Sexist double standards are going to be the subject of her next book, and she wants to include as many “infuriating, funny, weird (or whatever)” examples as she can, with […]

FAQ: Isn’t the existence of the term “sex-positive feminism” effectively an admission that many feminists are anti-sex?

If only it actually were that simple. Sex-positive’s opposite is not sex-negative. The terms sex-positive, sex-pos etc came about as a movement in opposition to the feminist anti-pornography activists of the late 1970s/early 1980s. Let’s spell it out: Pornography does not equal all sexual behaviour.. Prostitution does not equal all sexual behaviour. Consensual sex play […]

Frequently Whimpered Whines: The Nice Guys™ theme song

From the FF101 Jargon File (edited to add, for the benefit of those who can’t/won’t find the time to click on a link, with the full text of the “Nice Guys™” entry, added text in italics) : “Nice Guys™” – The “™” marks the difference between men who are genuinely nice people and men who […]

FAQ: Aren’t feminists just sexists towards men?

AKA Aren’t feminists just “reverse sexists”? Short answer: Neither feminists as a group, nor feminist theory, engages in sexism or “reverse sexism” against men. Often times the feminist focus on women’s issues, as well as their recognition and continued efforts to correct the imbalance of power (see male privilege), are seen as looking to privilege […]

FAQ: But men and women are born different! Isn’t that obvious?

That idea is known as “essentialism”: the belief that there are uniquely feminine and uniquely masculine essences which exist independently of cultural conditioning. Both actual (minor) and alleged (major) differences between the sexes have been used to justify inequities and constraints which harm women emotionally, financially and physically. Even where (and if) such differences do […]

FAQ: Why "feminism" and not just "humanism"? Or "equalism"? Isn’t saying you’re a feminist exclusionary?

This question implies that one must be either one or the other. People and philosophies are far more complicated than that. A feminist may also be both a humanist and an equalist. There’s no law that says only one box can be ticked here, and it’s hugely important not to get sucked into thinking that […]

FAQ: I’ve got nothing against equal rights for women, but we’ve got that, so isn’t feminism nowadays just going too far ?

Simple, basic legal equality regarding the right to own property, sign contracts or vote does not always translate into social equality in work, the community or the home. Feminists who point out residual cultural traditions and reactionary business practises that disproportionately disadvantage women are not making it up…

Women online: coping with abuse, threats and cyberstalking

There’s been a lot of discussion of the threats made against Kathy Sierra online over the last week. Many other women online know how it feels to be objectified and have your arguments trivialised or mocked because of your gender, and a substantial number also know about graphic threats of sexualised violence and brutal death. […]

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