Racism is no excuse for sexism

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(This video is a few months old. But I decided early that I would transcribe it, and didn’t get around to do that until now.)

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Racism and sexism can be a matter of individuals being prejudiced or bigoted. It can also be a matter of oppressive social structures, where people get discriminate and marginalized. And it’s also a matter of prejudice and bigotry being built into the “common sense”, those things that everybody take for granted.

Racism can happen to any race and people of any race, and sexism can happen to either gender or people of either gender. But this is not evenly distributed: In most societies, one race is norm and one gender is norm.

In USA and Europe, one could argue that there’s a white norm and a male norm. It’s considered more “normal”, in a way, to be white and to be male. This really sucks. This kind of norms sucks no matter what categories of people have a little bit to gain, and what categories of people have a lot to lose. It’s unfair, it sucks.

When such a norm is established, the category that is the norm is usually made invisible. A white man is not a white man: He’s a person, period. A man is not a man, a man is just a person. It is a woman who is a woman: The man is the norm, the woman is the exception. And in the same way, in western society, white people are not considered white. They are considered people. While people of African or Asian heritage are considered as such, and being stereotyped and so on. And this is all really unfair.

One problem here is that no individual belongs to just one category. Everybody has a skin-color and a gender. And we also have all these other categorizations. With religion or other belief, Sexuality or sexual orientation, and so on and so on.

This becomes a problem in many ways. Not least when people are trying to fight against one oppression while neglecting the others. When people fight for the rights of women, it’s very easy to slip into fighting only for the rights of white women. And when people fight for the rights of African-Americans or Asian-Americans, this easily becomes a struggle actually only for African-American or Asian-American men. A struggle for the normative group WITHIN the marginalized group. This IS racism and sexism, respectively.

One very creepy form of sexism is sexual entitlement. People who believe that other people should have sex with them or relationships with them because this is something that they are entitled to. Something that they deserve or have a right to. Or whatever. This is not a good thing.

Sexuality should be mutual. If you do something together, romantically or sexually, it should be because both (or everybody involved) wants to. You shouldn’t try to coerce or guilt-trip people into pretending to want it. You should try to make them actually want it, in good and just ways.

The reasons some men make up, for why women would have some kind of obligation or duty to sleep with them, or not sleep with other men or women or whatever might be in their sexual orientation… Well, these reasons are plentiful, very diverse, and they all suck.

Sometimes, they are about race. There are two main versions here. One is to demand racial loyalty. Demand that women sleep with men of the same skin-color. And the other is to accuse the women of being racists. “If you don’t sleep with me, it’s because you are a racist who hate my skin-color, blah blah blah, blah.”

These reasons are both extremely much bullshit, and they really drag the real struggle against racism into the dirt. Yet another way to despise it, another reason.

Some people take this both ways. They argue that “Hey, I’m not white. An I live in a white-dominated society. Therefore, I have a right to women who share my skin-color. If they don’t sleep with me, the they are BOTH racists AND race-traitors.” Totally dishonest argument.

My own experience with this kind of bullshit is mostly limited to white racists. But I have also encountered some really whiny Asian-American men. I can understand that they are upset with certain injustices in American society, I really do. But it doesn’t give them any right or reason to pick on women. Much less demand racial segregation.

It’s bad enough when openly racist supremacists demand racial segregation. But it’s totally pathetic when people who pretend to be against racism want men to be free while they want women to be oppressed. And they don’t even understand that this is what they’re talking about. Probably because they see the man of skin-color as a person of skin-color, while seeing women as some kind of special case, some kind of extension of the men, some kind of property of the men. And this all really sucks. Racism and sexism always suck, in all its forms.

Racism is not a valid excuse for sexism, or vice versa. Wel all need to learn to see and respect each others as individuals. And overcome and break down oppressive social structures. Without building up new ones. And for the record, since someone asked: No, I don’t live in America. Those skyscrapers over there are Jakarta, not New York. I currently live in Indonesia, a country where being white is not the norm. We are some kind of exotic creatures that people find very interesting and amusing, and love to stereotype.

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