Monday, June 24, 2013
Men who hold open doors for women are SEXIST not chivalrous, feminists claim
Men who open doors for women are guilty of 'benevolent sexism' according to a new study by feminist psychologists.
Helping the ladies choose the right computer as well as carrying their shopping are also signs of 'unseen' sexism in society, according to the report.
Referring to a group of men and women as 'guys' is also a no-no, says the research, meaning that even men who seem enlightened could be unknowingly committing daily acts of sexism.
It could also mean that women, too, are unaware of it but are unwittingly affected because it helps to create a culture of women being seen as the vulnerable sex who need a man's help.
Other examples of unseen sexism include calling women 'girls' but not referring to men as 'boys' and a man offering to do the driving on a long journey instead of a female partner.
Researchers from the Society for the Psychology of Women conducted a study among workers of both genders in America and Germany.
The volunteers were asked to keep diaries in which they were asked to note examples from a long list of both sexist and non-sexist incidents - without being told what the study was for.
The list included blatant acts of sexism such as referring to women as 'b****' or 'chick' or unwanted attention from men.
But it also included acts of 'benevolent sexism', even romantic statements from men about how they cannot live without a woman or how much they 'cherish' women, said the study.
The research comes just two days after a celebrity lawyer sparked outrage by accusing women of victimising men by dressing in a sexually provocative way.
And last week, scores of women took to the streets in London, marching on a 'slut walk' to challenge commonly-held attitudes that provocative dressing in women were linked with rape and sexual assaults.
Writing about the sexism research for the Psychology of Women Quarterly, described as a 'feminist, scientific peer reviewed' journal, authors Julia Becker and Janet Swim said men and women were to blame.
They wrote: 'Women endorse sexist beliefs, at least in part, because they do not attend to subtle, aggregate forms of sexism in their personal lives.
'Many men not only lack attention to such incidents but also are less likely to perceive sexist incidents as being discriminatory and potentially harmful for women.'
The study claims that both men and women are 'not aware of the overall prevalence and extent of sexism in their personal lives.'
But even though they are not aware of it, such regular and daily sexism only reinforces inequality and injustice, it is argued.
After keeping a diary, the volunteers were asked to look back at their records and decide which incidents they thought were very, moderately or not at all sexist.
Having done that both men and women were then much more aware of subtle forms of sexism that occurred on a daily basis.
It is only by being aware that such 'unseen' and benevolent sexism can be tackled, said the report.
Posted by Blogaholic at 6/24/2013 05:00:00 AM