Controversial question: Can you be sexist toward a male or is sexism exclusive to females? and why?
If you have an answer to this question, please detail the reasoning process that you went through to arrive at an answer supported with reasons and evidence. Answers only depicting personal opinion or overtly/obviously negative will be removed. Thanks in advance.
The definition of sexism is "prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex".
Typically against women, but not exclusively. One can be female, and biased against men. When I lived in San Diego, I knew a group of lesbians that would not do any sort of business with men, and would only shop and work with other women. To me, that would be sexist, because it shows a prejudice against men.
Really, it depends on who you ask. Social justice activists address sexism and racism as institutionalized forms of prejudice, and that "institutional" aspect is what would mean the terms are exclusive to groups that are systematically disadvantaged, on a societal (not individual) level. That means women suffer sexism, and non-white people suffer racism. The non-institutional form of the word is typically just "prejudice".
On an individual level, though, if you don't use these terms with the "institutionalized" definition, anyone could experience sexism or racism. I don't personally take issue with people using these terms in that way, in fact, I think these issues can be so complex and interrelated that it's irresponsible to ignore the ways in which men face "sexism" and such.
However, the reason social activists can get frustrated at this usage is because it often derails the issues at hand. Like if a man says something like, "oh you think you women have it so hard, well, I'm not allowed to sit alone in a children's park without people thinking I'm a pervert and that is sexism!" It turns sexism into a competition, often with the sense that some men are getting defensive about it and want to prove their situation is "just as bad", and nothing ends up getting done about issues that women (who obviously disproportionately experience sexism) face.
So, short answer: yeah, I personally think sexism against men can occur, especially on a lower or individual level, and the terminology is fine as long as it's clear. I also think these issues are worth talking about. But some use sexism to refer exclusively to the institution of sexism which is perpetuated by society on a wide scale, and since that affects women far more than men, many will say you can't be sexist toward men.
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