Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Thursday, November 1

Sexism & Feminism

You also want to consider, is she the right woman to be the first woman president?
- Wellesley student quoted in New York Times

So are you ready for some whiney complaints about the sexist men out there? Tough. In case you hadn't noticed, the quote at issue is from a student at a women-only university. This post is actually about sexist people, including women. Like me. Once after I claimed to be sexist, I was immediately corrected: "Don't you mean feminist?" No. Feminists advocate equal rights for women. Sexists believe their sex is actually superior. I am most definitely sexist. So the question this Wellesley student asks comes pretty naturally. Follow the logic: Women are better than men. Therefore, the first woman president should be better than all previous male presidents. That means being the greatest U.S. president ever. I don't think Sen. Hilary Clinton would be the greatest president ever. Therefore, she is not the right woman to be the first woman president. Which actually makes me an anti-feminist:

Feminism will have succeeded when a mediocre woman has the same opportunities as a mediocre man.
- I have no idea where this is from. Maybe Megan repeated this to me?

Basically, I am willing to deny equal rights to women by holding all but an amazing few back, totally violating all the goals of feminism, just so I can live in world where all the female role-models in public life are the epitome of successful womanhood. Meanwhile, I am by default supporting the promotion of mediocre men (e.g. All major candidates in the last two presidential elections) over more highly qualified, but not perfect, women. And I'm not alone. For example, I've got a Wellesley student with me. And many other people who expect professional women to be 1) incompetent feather-weights who charmed their way through grad school, 2) backbiting maneaters, or 3) hardworking, dedicated, feminine, brilliant, in a word, perfect. A man can alternately be incompetent, selfish, brilliant and just plain average. A woman is expected to find a category and stick with it.

In the end, my sexism classes me in with the same jerks who pigeonhole women and refuse to let them reach their full potential. Yeah, I'm really wrong. It's not the first time I've learned that particular lesson. I won't stop being sexist, but I can start believing in equal rights and opportunities. As long as I don't have to start treating my husband as an equal that is.

5 comments:

Megan said...

Yep, that is exactly what I repeated to you ;)

Megan said...

By the way, your last paragraph makes me happy

Jill said...

So are there any perfect, brilliant maneaters out there??

Jill said...

So are there any perfect, brilliant maneaters out there??

iPhilip said...

Don't treat Scott as an equal is perfectly understood. You should treat him better than equal. Like Cherry Pie and Banana Pudding. These two desserts are far superior than say a Pumpkin pie or Tofu.
I know this was posted many moons ago, but I still wanted to comment.