Why is racism worse that sexism?

(116 Posts)
BuffytheElfSquisher Thu 12-Dec-13 13:23:53

Just that really. Prompted by the first of what I imagine will be several Christmas cards addressed to Mr & Mrs DH initial surname.

It would be unacceptable to use a "traditional" form of address that reminded a non-white person of their historical status as lesser, wouldn't it? So why is this still OK?

CaptChaosGlitteryBaubles Sat 14-Dec-13 15:19:00

That's what happens when you get married, I am mrs his initial his surname.

Oh no it isn't! I am Mrs, my initial, my surname, the fact that DH and I share the same surname is because I chose to do so, he had a nice one, so it's now mine. I certainly don't want to have his first name as well, no one can spell it and it really wouldn't suit a woman! I might detest my first name, but that doesn't mean I'm going to use DH's instead! Ridiculous concept!

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Sun 15-Dec-13 09:55:42

For example why can a man shout 'bitch' at a woman and it not be seen as a hate crime? exactly. legally, can there even be a hate crime against a woman?

CaptChaosGlitteryBaubles Sun 15-Dec-13 10:09:22

legally, can there even be a hate crime against a woman?

No. Hate crimes can be committed against people because of race or perceived race, religion or lack of faith, a person's sexual orientation, transgender, transsexual or transvestism, or disability, be that mental illness, physical disability or learning disability. Being a woman is not a protected characteristic.

According to this

Mary2010xx Sun 15-Dec-13 10:54:06

For many it is just as bad. The comparison was used in the segregated seating issue. If I said at one of my talks blacks at the back, whites at the front I'd get shouted down, whereas if I had men at the front and women at the back many more people think that's okay.

takingthathometomomma Sun 15-Dec-13 11:02:49

Mary, can I ask what topic you give talks on? I wouldn't have thought that either would be acceptable, as the backlash from the suggestion for gender segregated university lectures has shown.

googlyeyes Sun 15-Dec-13 12:34:09

Seems quite bizarre that sexist abuse is not seen as a hate crime.

I can't help the fact that I am female, and so to receive abuse specifically based on my gender should be treated in the same way as any other prejudice-based crime. It would be a strong signal to those who throw terms like 'bitch' and 'slut' around if the law was changed, telling them that society had 'officially' deemed such behaviour unacceptable.

Mary2010xx Sun 15-Dec-13 12:50:13

Just my work area, nothing gender related or religious. I give about 50 talks a year. I certainly would never tell anyone where to sit in my own case of course on any grounds at all. In fact I like to wach people taking seats and work out why they sit where and what makes them choose their position. There's a lot of interesting psychology about it. Some want to be at the back so they can be on their phones all day or sleep. Others choose friends they know. Some want to be in the front row appearing keen intending to ask a lot of questions (wanting to be teachers pet etc).

I do wish more women speakers put themselves out there in their areas of business.

EvilRingahBitch Sun 15-Dec-13 13:15:32

I was just thinking about this yesterday. There is a strong case for saying that racism is "worse" than sexism and homophobia because it combines disadvantage for the individual trying to make their way in society with the inherited disadvantage from their parents. Women and homosexuals from the most privileged racial group only face half of this disadvantage, whereas women from a discriminated racial group get it in the neck three ways. This is particularly applicable to African Americans where the legacy from their ancestors involves unimaginable crimes, as opposed to "simple" economic and social disadvantage.

Doesn't make sexism or homophobia OK of course, and I would agree that, eg, sexist bullying in schools should be taken much more seriously.

BillyBanter Sun 15-Dec-13 13:18:03

The history of both the isms and the battle against the isms have been organic and taken different journeys and so look different.

takingthathometomomma Sun 15-Dec-13 13:21:04

Evil, you have worded what I was initially trying to say perfectly.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Sun 15-Dec-13 13:51:40

evil the individual trying to make their way in society with the inherited disadvantage from their parents

i can see what you are saying, but what about daughters growing up with single parent mother? or in a household where women are second class citizens in their own home? treated as such by their own family? subject to d violence etc.?

personally i think that every type of discrimination has its different features when compared with another, i do note that repeatedly discrimination against women is seen as lesser than other types.

googlyeyes Sun 15-Dec-13 14:53:44

Do ethnic minority women who come from privilege not also fare better in terms of prejudice than those from less privileged backgrounds?

Why is it only white western women who benefit from being wealthy and privileged? And conversely why can rich western women not face sexism? For example, historically aristocratic women in this country were treated as little more than chattels, who were told who to marry and then treated as little more than brood mares (reference Princess Di and her mother!)

takingthathometomomma Sun 15-Dec-13 15:02:58

googlyeyes no one is claiming that any woman can't face sexism. or that sexism isn't an issue. As I've said many time in this thread, my issue with feminism is that, for many "women of colour", it feels like a white-women-only movement and fails to take the perspective of other cultures and races. By making sexism and racism into separate things that need to compete with each other, this thread has highlighted that issue exactly. Of course the OP has already stated many times that that wasn't her intention and her general point could have been worded differently, however the thread has now led to a discussion which shows the issues within "feminism".

Chunderella Thu 19-Dec-13 21:47:53

Stick that's bollocks.

The thing I don't like about the whole racism v sexism thing is that sometimes it seems to suggest that women are white and black people are men. I'm not suggesting OP is doing that, but that's how the discussion often gets framed. Whereas actually you have a great big massive number of people who get to enjoy the full delights of both, and when the issue of discrimination crops up they're expected to choose between their race and their sex too.

StickEmUpSideways Fri 20-Dec-13 16:59:39

Well that's what I thought. Bollocks it may be. Not bovved really, I got married and took 'is name, it 'appens. Was a bit off topic anyway.

youretoastmildred Thu 02-Jan-14 00:10:40

I have been wondering a thing about racism and sexism and I would like to talk it through. I am white btw and apologies in advance if this is clueless about race. happy to hear about it if so, if you have time or energy for this.

I have a feeling that sexism in this country (UK) is more similar to racism in the US than racism in the UK. Racist rhetoric here is often built around a notion of "go away"; the "problem" (I do not suggest there is a problem, I mean the implied problem), as implicitly or explicitly framed, is that a bunch of people moved to here when they belong there. I know this is rubbish; and in fact disingenuous for a million reasons; but this is the language that is used.
I think this is to do with the fact that the work that people of colour have done for the UK, under exploitative conditions, has to many people here been out of sight. The UK grew rich on black labour without the inconvenience of having to see it. People here who are used to having servants are used to having mostly white servants. And most people have forgotten servants as a way of life; however most men are still pretty used to male privilege and the comfort and convenience that is accorded to them of having free access to women's labour.

On the other hand, in the US, if you are white and of a certain age, having people of colour in your house, doing your dirty work, whether as slaves or a different sort of underclass, has been part of folk memory for generations. There is a rage therefore against "displaced" people of colour not as being in the "wrong" country, but in the "wrong" social position - as a judge, or doctor, or sitting on your commuter train in a suit - and this rage is partly about "who is going to do my shit work?" It's not "I don't want them here," it's about, "they'd better be here, in my house, wearing overalls or an apron. If they are doctors now, who is going to cut my grass and clean my bathroom? Not ME?"

this to me is what sexism is. Men are used to sharing their houses with women, they are not alien in that sense; but they must be constrained to very particular roles, not just because they "don't belong" in the "wrong" place, but very very sharply and particularly because if they are there they can't be here, doing my shit.

Notes, criticisms, other thoughts, from people who know more than me about race or the US or anything else?

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