to totally fail to understand why Sexism is never seen as bad as racism??

(306 Posts)
chemicalsister Sun 27-Oct-13 01:18:16

Following on from the Saudi Olympics thread, I keep getting upset about Sexism thriving in the modern world when racism is quite correctly - seen by the fast majority as clearly wrong and abhorent.
Even educated professionals have wound me up recently asserting we sholud adapt schools, especially first few years of infants , to better suit boys and their poorer attention span,
AND poor boys now do less well at exams at 16 so we must reduce course work etc..
I am old and remember when boys did better than girls at 16-- There was no outrage and plans to change exams then! It was just seen as inevitable ..... Fume!

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 17:47:58

When I took my exams, I am in my 40's, I was told that only a certain % nationally would achieve a A, B, etc. And that this was broken down into girls and boys. Girls had to achieve a higher grade than boys in most subjects to get an A, etc.

I don't think girls are suddenly outperforming boys. I think they always did. But now exam boards are no longer allowed to adjust pass marks to the benefit of boys.

grimbletart Mon 28-Oct-13 18:40:17

That's really interesting Grennie. I thought the 11+ example - well known at the time - was the only one and a typical 1950s' example. But it seems it is across time. Surely can't still be going on...can it?

edam Mon 28-Oct-13 19:11:55

Grennie, you are right that in the 1980s only a certain proportion of examinees were 'allowed' to get an A grade, or a B grade or so on. This changed some years ago so now, if you get the marks, you'll get an A. I think the old system was called norm referencing, IIRC.

Have never heard that they distinguished between boys and girls, though. The 11+ thing is definitely true but I'd be surprised if they were overtly discriminating in the 80s - not impossible, I guess, but surprising.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 19:12:58

That is what I was told Edam. I don't know if it is true or not though.

BasilBabyEater Tue 29-Oct-13 20:00:09

Another reason sexism is not seen as bad as racism, is because sexism is a much older, much deeper seated hatred than racism is. Racism's really only half a millenia old while sexism has existed for at least 4 and possibly as many as 8. Hell of a difference. It's going to take much, much longer to root it out.

Also on a purely practical note, the bald, essentialist racism that used to be the norm in the west, is no longer needed as an ideology. It was invented to justify what was possibly the cruellest and most vicious form of slavery the planet has ever seen, but that slave trade no longer exists so we don't need the ideology that underpinned it. We've developed other racist ideologies instead to justify the worldwide exploitation of the developing world by the developed world and the systemic disadvantage black people have in terms of jobs, housing, health etc. in Europe and America (and to avoid paying reparations of course) but it's not essentialist racism IYSWIM. It is simply no longer acceptable among educated people to opine that black people are inherently more stupid/ less moral/ more criminal/ less godly/ insert racist stereotype here than white people. The establishment doesn't need racism any more so it's happy to pretend to be against it.

But men's unfair advantage vis a vis women - well, that's still needed. Our subordinate place, economically, socially, psychologically, is still needed; our unpaid labour is still needed. If all the free labour women do stopped tomorrow, capitalism would collapse; maybe not tomorrow, but very soon. If women stopped doing all the social networking, all the emotional work of relationships... well, I'm not sure what would happen, but it would be the end of relationships as we know them. Men would have to behave differently - and frankly, on the whole they don't want to. Who would? It's nice having an unfair advantage, you have to be a really nice person to voluntarily give that up and most of us aren't that nice, we're just ordinary.

edam Tue 29-Oct-13 22:39:45

interesting post, Basil, you are very probably right. Sadly.

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