A Definition for Sexism
When you understand human nature, a clear definition for sexism emerges.
“Sexist” is an interesting word. It’s become one of those rubber-band words that can be stretched to mean one of two things: (1) a man who thinks men are better than woman, or (2) a man who thinks men are different than women.
Usually, we employ two different words to denote two different concepts so we can cultivate distinction in thought. “Sexist,” however, has done the opposite by obliterating distinction. It is an anti-word.
True to the word’s form, I now see “sexist” being used to obliterate another important distinction.
I recently read an article on Nerve.com in which the author, a 20-something male, chronicles a night he spends at an AirBnB house in Cleveland with his girlfriend while the two are on a road trip to Wisconsin. Through observing the behavior of their Clevelander host, “Simon,” the author comes to truly understand what a sexist is.
You can read the article for yourself to get a better illustration of Simon, but in short, he preemptively brags about his status as a local celebrity, his television appearances, and of course, about how many girls he has sex with. Simon also throws some crude language in the persona stew to make him seem like worse of a person than he is.
The author summarizes Simon’s sexism, and sexism in general, as this.
A portrait of Simon was painting itself strikingly clear in front of us. A man who was an honest-to-god, straight-from-the-womb sexist. There was never a point in the night where Simon cat-called my girlfriend or outwardly suggested she was any lesser of person than, but the way he talked to her was just different. Growing up with 90’s sitcoms, I had always thought of sexism in an extreme way where a man will literally tell a woman she’s unequal. He’ll laugh at her feminine ways, accuse her of being catty, and make some reference to PMS-related mood swings. (bold mine)
True sexism, the author concludes, is more subtle than he previously thought. Ironically, this conclusion is based on the author’s inability to pick up on social subtleties.
The motivation for Simon’s communication, both in words and style, isn’t his disrespect toward women, or his hatred of women, or his view that men are better than women, or any sundry concept that may comprise “sexism.” Not even close. Guys like Simon are sheep in Old Navy clothing, and if you give them the mere hope of spending the rest of their lives with a beautiful girl who shows them a glimmer of genuine affection, they will become, well, sheep.
The true cause of Simon’s behavior is twofold: (1) lack of social acumen; he doesn’t understand when you try to impress others, they unconsciously and automatically slot you below them on the social hierarchy. And (2) insecurity—he constructs a macho persona so others do not see his true self. When you’re insecure, your true self mustn’t be exposed. So he brags about his fame and conquests, half of which are probably lies. I know this firsthand because I’m from Cleveland, which is a city filled with guys like this. I’m sure a part of Simon’s performance the author didn’t mention was blaming something on LeBron.
Simon wouldn’t be a sexist even if that word had meaning.
Simon may impress a teenager with his bravado, but it’s extremely clear to someone who understands psychology that Simon feels nothing but shame for who he is. His communication is a lie to cover up for his inability to understand himself, women, and the world.
For instance, the one Simon line that is most laughable to me is, “I definitely would’ve fucked [this girl who was staying with me] if her mom wasn’t also staying here.” If Simon was secure, he would never care about having sex with one girl in particular enough to bring her up, especially a girl he didn’t even have sex with. And if Simon had social acumen, then he would realize the “obstacle” of the mom could work to his advantage. I can think of at least three reasons why.
The feminist-soaked mind, which rarely digs deeper into an issue beyond the level of sense perception, cannot see this complexity. As such, it only knows when it feels uncomfortable, and so it resorts to knee-jerk invective before any thinking can occur. It screeches the word “sexist” so it can proceed to feel better about itself, the MO of feminists. It thinks, “Simon is wrong to act in the way he did—therefore, since I notice this, I must be right and whatever names I choose to call him must be right.” As such, the author and his girlfriend drive away from Simon’s house the next morning, smelling each other’s farts all the way to Wisconsin.
Interestingly, the author feels the same sense of shame Simon does. Instead of compensating for it with feigned bravado, he compensates for it by displaying submissive traits. He apologizes for himself, he is overly self-effacing, and he can’t even stand up to Simon when he’s being rude. He has to wait until he gets in the car with his girlfriend to gab about him.
The author also kowtows to his girlfriend. He says that if he ever acts like Simon, she should "cut his balls off." It’s said as a half joke, but the implication is glaring: women have been right about sexism and the ruling patriarchy all along. The only reason men don’t get it is because men are big, dumb creatures who only think about one thing. It’s shameful to be a man. The only way you can be saved is to be corrected by your woman and to see the world through the wisdom of her complaints.[i]
The author neither has the semantics, self-esteem, nor understanding to grasp what he’s trying to grasp. The result is an article that’s no more interesting than if you were to psychoanalyze a confrontation between two hippos.
The only way out is to learn, practice, and not let the sheen of an issue blind you to its truth. Otherwise, you’ll be left bragging about girls who don’t have sex with you, or blissfully unaware of a world that controls your life.
i. The author and his girlfriend are on a road trip to Wisconsin because she’s moving there for grad school. Yeah, I’m sure she won’t cheat on him or anything.