Alright, people. No holds barred here.
I don’t believe that equality means that EVERYTHING negative said about a woman or TO a woman is supposedly inherently “sexist.”.
Seriously, people, it comes down to the fact that the reality of what “equality” really means. Merriam-Webster states that equality means the quality or state of being equal. It defines equal as follows:
The reality of life here, that some feminists seem to forget, is that when we are asking for equality, when we are DEMANDING equality, it means we are asking to be treated exactly the same as men.
If both people in the interview had been men, would we be bitching about the use of the word “moan?”
No, because the word is NOT inherently anything except what it means, which according to Merriam-Webster is a complaint about something. It is used regularly by men to men, so WHY IN THE HELL CAN’T IT BE USED IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY TO A WOMAN?
Equality, my dear friends, does not mean that the other half of the global population has to bow and scrape and avoid certain words (outside of SPECIFIC words or phrases that are obviously sexist in general conversation [in private conversation between two people, it depends on those two people], such as tart, skank, whore, slut, cunt, wench, chick, babe, dame, “man up,” “don’t be a pussy,” “…like a girl,” bitch [unless you know for certain that a particular woman considers the word a compliment – such as myself – because it has also come to mean a woman who is capable and confident in herself], “grow a pair of balls,”) that are inherently sexist simply because they are speaking to or about a woman.
Which will most likely bring up the idea of microaggressions. Sadly, in our culture, we rarely are willing to withhold judgement on people. Are things like microaggression possible? Of course they are. BUT they are also a place where the LISTENER may or may not be projecting their own insecurities and issues onto the SPEAKER.
It comes down to the difference between TAKING OFFENSE versus GIVING OFFENSE.
Unfortunately, in our culture AND in our fight as women, we’ve become people who automatically take offense. It’s a habit that forms when we have repeated negative interactions with others. We’ve become so used to the negative, sexist behaviors that no matter what the speaker said, we will automatically hear it through the negative filter habit we’ve become accustomed to experiencing.
This is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than my immediate reaction to a health professional or a dentist. I have experienced so many negative interactions with those groups that I automatically walk into the door of their offices assuming the worst of them. It changes not only my whole outlook, but also my physical well-being. In fact, with some of them, I have real proof of that danger to my own well-being. I was recently at a doctor’s office who was pain specific. Because I experienced a poor interaction with that doctor’s partner, I expected I would have to fight for my health requirements. I very much entered that office with a chip on my shoulder. I asked my sister to come along, because I needed to know if I was making a projected assumption of incompetence or of malice with this doctor I had not yet met. When the nurse took my blood pressure, my systolic pressure was above 150, even though my diastolic pressure was normal. This is considered a temporary, emotionally-based isolated systolic hypertension. I’ve also experienced the other side of that (low or average systolic, with a temporary, emotionally-based high diastolic pressure – also known as isolate diastolic hypertension).
I’ve learned to check my assumptions about my interactions with medical, dental and psychological professionals until AFTER I have had a chance to assess THAT individual person. Just because most of my interactions with poorly socialized professionals during my lifetime does NOT necessarily mean that ALL medical, dental and psychological professionals are similar in incompetence or malice.
As a culture, we seem intent on insisting that ONLY our perspective is valid. That if WE view something as a problem, then it MUST be a problem for everyone. That’s an overly narcissistic view of human interaction. Just like the fact that a codependent assumes that they are to blame for all of the ills in their world, the narcissistic and paranoid view that ALL people who are different than us are somehow out to get us is unhealthy and causes unnecessary drama.
After living with a 24/7 drama queen for 20 years, I’m at a place in my life where I am no longer interested in making my own drama, and not willing to take on anyone else’s either. So, please, can we simply stop assuming ALL people talking negatively to or about a woman are always sexist?