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#1 YoWid

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:40 AM

 
(I have never been this infuriated; this rattled; this opinionated about something before in my life--and I took some time to seriously calm down before making this topic in the Debate thread, in hope of fostering objective and less-, if not non-emotional debate about this subject.)
 
Matt Taylor, one of the project scientists in the Rosetta mission that has succeeded on landing the space probe Philae onto this comet orbiting near the earth, was being targeted by some people as being 'sexist' for his shirt that was adorned with pictures of scantily-clad women in various poses; the accusation which has led to his making a public apology in (what I presume to be genuine) tears and stated that he did 'make a big mistake'.
 
The so-called feminists or SJWs or whatever self-righteous individuals or groups out there are entitled to their opinions and, indeed, free to voice said opinions through social media or other public outlets; but is it right (and wise) for them to deem Matt as sexist while it was confirmed that the so-called sexist shirt was made by his wife and, and she did encourage him to wear it during the historical day of comet-landing itself? I highly doubt so. And, besides, can that act be deemed as misogyny on Matt's side? I think it's very unlikely. He's just expressing his joy on the success of the project by wearing the shirt his wife made specially for him on that occasion and encouraged him to wear and he appreciate both her wife and the shirt in question. Saying that it's sexist on his part is just way too far-fetched for me.
 
Poor fashion/dress choice/PR blunder (with journalists from most, if not all stripes covering the story)? Maybe.
 
Expression in favor of sexism? No. Just no.
 
Heck, even if the person gender is reversed (i.e., A woman wearing a shirt with depiction of scantily-clad and/or nude men) and she got persecuted like this too; I'd stand by her side as well. Expression should be free, with all the consequences, good or bad or otherwise, that the one who makes the expressions must take.
 
I thus posit these questions:
 
1. What is sexism, really? 
 
(Disclaimer: I'm an Asian (Indonesian) who's been exposed to, and to some extent support, a lot of Western values since as early as 3 years old (especially liberalism and the importance of science over religion--I used to be an atheist, even, though now leaning more towards peronal/non-prosetylizing spirituality like MBSR), but, to date, I still find sexism and feminism in general as unclear, baffling even--perhaps because in my traditional Javanese cultures (which uncannily resemble Japanese) upbringing, the patriarchal values are strong still and it somehow affects my judgment, though in Padang, West Sumatra, the matriarchal values are stronger and I respect that. My point here is what can truly be categorized as sexism? Do all sorts of differentiating in treatments based on one's gender belong to the sexism? Or only that that deem one sex (traditionally, the female) can be counted as one? Does reverse sexism count? I posted in this thread on One Piece about the main protagonist, who is a male, being put in a cell to be viewed by females in female-only island and even being grabbed in the penis and it being stretched like a rubber man he is in the story.) Links in which sexism is mentioned are here and here.
 
2. On ethics of sexism: is it really a wrong thing to be a sexist, even the so-called ambivalent/benevolent ones?
 
If one's cultural values in their homeland encourage sexism as is acknowledged in general in the West; must such values be thrown away in order for one to function as a member of the global modern society in the 21st century? Or is there some sort of compromise to respect each other when it comes to cultural differences? (of course, I'm against the sort of sexism that leads to rape and actual act of demeaning of a gender (read: women) as happened in many developing countries including my own, but I currently consider myself indifferent when it comes to sexism, though others might see me as somewhat an ambivalent sexist; though I never meant any disrespect or seeing others as inferior because of their genders (my mother and grandmother are powerful figures in the society who don't give a f*** what other people think, and are strong both physically and mentally), which leads me to the third question:
 
3. When one's actions are 'sexist' according to the standards of it, can that someone be rightfully deemed as sexist, according to said standards, even if that person doesn't intend, that is deliberately commit their actions with the purpose of demeaning a gender
 
Political correctness is all good when it comes to keeping stability and relative peace, but I think one is free to exert their creativity and self-expression without fear of (mostly groundless) persecution/condemnation. I'm not supporting victim mentality here, on the contrary; I'm kinda disappointed when Matt apologized while weeping, because he didn't have to feel so low and instead be proud because he's done awesome and useful achievement of humankind with that space exploration project; but I do admire his(arguably) wanting to keep everything stable and move on with the science instead of the politics surrounding the incident.
 
I genuinely wish this debate to be able to elucidate the core of the problem of sexism and its implications and impacts in general.

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#2 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 04:55 AM

the problem with many feminist is that they do not know what is truly sexism, and what is not. A good example of this would be my mom when I was younger. When I was around 16 or so myself and my brothers were watching an episode of family guy. You all know the one that was specifically targeted around sexism. She saw the part where Peter made the sexist remarks, cried this show is sexist and then left. Little did she know the fact that the entire episode was making fun of sexism in and of itself and could have been argued as a statement against sexism in a way, and also a statement of the need for moderation within groups of feminists.

 

I'm perfectly fine with feminists that truly believe in the empowerment of women through hard work, that can and will claim BS on people who unfairly judge somebody as poor at something merely for being a woman. That is sexism. That is what feminists should be fighting against. However they appear to see the need to fight against the fact that men are attracted to the female figure as something that they should be against as well. Which is utterly and completely ridiculous. Of course men are going to be attracted to the female figure. Its literally an instinct. It would be just as bad as men saying women shouldn't look at pictures of men without shirts. They as well are of course attracted to the male figure. Now I'm aware that there are some that are not/are attracted the same gender, and that is fine as well. Now when they go against cat-calling and such. That is understandable. There is no reason in this day and age to be a jackass just because somebody looks good.  (quite honestly it just hurts their chances of anything more than anything else)

 

As far as the cultural issue on that is I believe this picture here sums it up quite nicely

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Cultural differences really should be respected because that is how they were raised and are things that should be respected as their ideals vs yours. On that note should someone of a certain culture be ostracized for wanting to be different from the others within their culture because of their cultural teaching on such things? Most would say the answer to that is no, but unless you can change a cultural group to be more accepting of change then there is nothing that really can be done.

 

To your last point, Yes and completely. Sexism is usually an act committed without thinking of it as sexism. Usually due to the way you are raised. Its quite similar to racism really. You are raised to be that way and it comes out without really thinking on it.


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#3 soccerislife

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 06:16 AM

Man, I feel sorry for the guy. Accomplished something great, and is entirely bypassed because of a shirt, one that was given to him by a female friend.
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#4 DarkNemesis

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:23 AM

but is it right (and wise) for them to deem Matt as sexist while it was confirmed that the so-called sexist shirt was made by his wife and, and she did encourage him to wear it during the historical day of comet-landing itself? ... And, besides, can that act be deemed as misogyny on Matt's side?


Man, I feel sorry for the guy. Accomplished something great, and is entirely bypassed because of a shirt, one that was given to him by a female friend.

 
Female friend or wife?


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#5 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:30 AM

Female friend or wife?

does it honestly matter?


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#6 DarkNemesis

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:33 AM

does it honestly matter?

 

If we're dealing with facts and the subject of sexism and misogyny, then yes it does.


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#7 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:53 AM

If we're dealing with facts and the subject of sexism and misogyny, then yes it does.

In exactly what way would that matter? Thats completely and utterly foolish thinking who gave him the shirt is what matters.


 

Case in point. I have a shirt with a giraffe and two women in bikini's at a pool with martini's. I think its cool so I wear it. Does this make me a sexist because of women in bikini's? He did say the women were scantily clad in various poses. That should be where you focus your arguments here DN, not who made the f***ing shirt. The shirt itself was what they used to deem him as sexist. Not comments made by him, but wearing a shirt with hot women on it. (Note: the argument here is not how swell of a guy he is or how good his relationship is with his friend/wife (whichever it was), its if he is sexist for wearing the shirt)


 

enhanced-22054-1415894247-10.png

^that shirt to be exact


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#8 DarkNemesis

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:04 AM

If your wife made you that shirt and told you to 'go forth and interview', then you don't owe anyone an apology, much less are sexist or misogynistic. But if a female friend made you that shirt and your wife found out with the rest of the world that you wore that shirt, then that makes you an idiot. And you owe your wife --before any other woman-- an apology for doing such a stupid thing.

 

But let's be honest. How does any grown man where that in a professional setting with TV cameras around and think it's ok?


Edited by DarkNemesis, 16 November 2014 - 09:05 AM.

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#9 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:07 AM

If your wife made you that shirt and told you to 'go forth and interview', then you don't owe anyone an apology, much less are sexist or misogynistic. But if a female friend made you that shirt and your wife found out with the rest of the world that you wore that shirt, then that makes you an idiot. And you owe your wife --before any other woman-- an apology for doing such a stupid thing.

 

But let's be honest. How does any grown man where that in a professional setting with TV cameras around and think it's ok?

and what does that have to do with sexism. Vulgarity at best. The issue we are speaking about right now is Sexism, not vulgarity.


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#10 YoWid

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:39 AM


the problem with many feminist is that they do not know what is truly sexism, and what is not. A good example of this would be my mom when I was younger. When I was around 16 or so myself and my brothers were watching an episode of family guy. You all know the one that was specifically targeted around sexism. She saw the part where Peter made the sexist remarks, cried this show is sexist and then left. Little did she know the fact that the entire episode was making fun of sexism in and of itself and could have been argued as a statement against sexism in a way, and also a statement of the need for moderation within groups of feminists.

 

Yes, sexism and humor seldom are in good terms, imo--especially considering it's a super-sensitive subject that, when handled without much tact and consideration, could lead to the forming of incendiary arguments hurling back and forth between those who debate around the subject; while humor, in form of satire here might as well serve, instead, as a thing against sexism itself. On the need for moderation, however, I'm quite pessimistic on whether the feminist groups in question on the whole (I may be wrong) could have a levelheaded discussion, since, I saw it myself that in the YT comments and elsewhere, they just jump and turn the debate emotional when it comes to sexism--not all, of course, some can provide reasonable argument without resorting to name-calling and belittling of their opponents on the debate.

 


I'm perfectly fine with feminists that truly believe in the empowerment of women through hard work, that can and will claim BS on people who unfairly judge somebody as poor at something merely for being a woman. That is sexism. That is what feminists should be fighting against. However they appear to see the need to fight against the fact that men are attracted to the female figure as something that they should be against as well. Which is utterly and completely ridiculous. Of course men are going to be attracted to the female figure. Its literally an instinct. It would be just as bad as men saying women shouldn't look at pictures of men without shirts. They as well are of course attracted to the male figure. Now I'm aware that there are some that are not/are attracted the same gender, and that is fine as well. Now when they go against cat-calling and such. That is understandable. There is no reason in this day and age to be a jackass just because somebody looks good.  (quite honestly it just hurts their chances of anything more than anything else)

 

Now here I would do less about telling-sob-story-for-sob-story's sake than about elucidating my point earlier and its relevance in response to the post and the overall topic of this debate on my part by drawing out my background: my biological mother didn't raise me and/or actively participate in my upbringing since her divorce with my biological father (whom I never met until I was 24 years old, around a year before he dropped dead--surprisingly not by getting stabbed by some of his many enemies, being the head bouncer for a strong right-wing political figure he was, but by mere stroke), and I was raised by my grandmother and grandfather instead while being told that I should regard my mother as my older sister and my granny and gramps as my 'mom' and 'pop', respectively; since it's frowned upon by society in the late 80s in Indonesia to have an illegitimate child (which, I agreed on to do so without much fuss because it's not that big a deal to me at that time; I mean, I got a relatively happy and comfortable life as a kid up until my teenage years when my grandfather died without needing to be in contacts with my family on my father's part (my mother's side of family members are mostly moderate Muslims, while my father's are mostly moderate Protestant Christians).

 

My mother (i.e., bio) was a 'working girl' (yes, I'm using an euphemism here, and yes, it means what you think it means) and has been living a free life without the constraints of traditional marriage; while my granny is a respectable figure (a Hajjah, a female Muslim that had done pilgrimage to Mecca, and contribute quite a hefty sum to build the neighborhood) that can be somewhat overbearing and controlling, being the Matriarch she is in the family (especially after my grandfather died)--she runs the family with unwavering care for her children, and equally, harsh and strict discipline instilled since early age.

 

To me, both of them are strong female figures (the former in expressing whatever she wanna express as a woman, and the latter for asserting her dominance in filial and social settings); could that be considered sexist in my part by 'putting them on pedestal', and, therefore, treating them as the proto-figures when it comes to womanhood in general? If so, call me sexist then, because I respect them so much, despite the abandonment done by the former and the controlling done by the latter. I'm not sure if my view is misogynistic, but I would never put females in general as inferior or poorer than males, and, in fact, I kinda view them as superior when it comes to getting what they want (manipulative?); and I don't see such act as a defect, instead, that's a result of strong will on their part, and that I admire.

 

On the attraction of males to female figures, and vice versa, I think it depends on every person with their sexuality and personal preferences, but, yea, it's a bit far-fetched, I think, to quickly judge one as sexist (in the bad sense) when it comes to self-expression on the matter of attraction.

 


As far as the cultural issue on that is I believe this picture here sums it up quite nicely
Spoiler
Cultural differences really should be respected because that is how they were raised and are things that should be respected as their ideals vs yours. On that note should someone of a certain culture be ostracized for wanting to be different from the others within their culture because of their cultural teaching on such things? Most would say the answer to that is no, but unless you can change a cultural group to be more accepting of change then there is nothing that really can be done.

 

I'm sorry, but I can't see that image because of shitty internet provider and stuff and all, what's that image is about again?

 

Cultural differences and the possible clash derived from it are also a sensitive issue; and it requires change on the level of societal mindset to make a meaningful betterment of it, sadly.

 


To your last point, Yes and completely. Sexism is usually an act committed without thinking of it as sexism. Usually due to the way you are raised. Its quite similar to racism really. You are raised to be that way and it comes out without really thinking on it.

 

I have to strongly disagree with your last point, however--since it implies that the ones who are well-informed about sexism since earliest of age (read: most people from the West) are on a morally higher ground than those who don't (read: most people from the East).

 

I'm lucky enough to be raised in a tolerance-encouraging moderate and somewhat-liberal family (when compared to others in this country), but I got some friends that would be very sexist, yes, but otherwise they're quite competent and decent human beings.

 

The core problem here, I think, is on synthesizing the differing views on sexism (and feminism, to that extent) without distorting the messages here with emotionally-loaded arguments, as difficult though it may sound.


 

does it honestly matter?

 

I;m about to ask that myself


 

If your wife made you that shirt and told you to 'go forth and interview', then you don't owe anyone an apology, much less are sexist or misogynistic. But if a female friend made you that shirt and your wife found out with the rest of the world that you wore that shirt, then that makes you an idiot. And you owe your wife --before any other woman-- an apology for doing such a stupid thing.

 

But let's be honest. How does any grown man where that in a professional setting with TV cameras around and think it's ok?

 

I'll be honest, my anger is more directed toward Matt himself; why should he apologize when all he did was expressing his joy by wearing that shirt as encouraged by his female friend/wife/whatever? though I can somewhat understand if it's done to tone down the furor that's been going on with this incident.

 

Why the tears/weeping, though? did he seriously think he's done some cardinal sin on sexism here? C'mon, he's shouldn't deface himself/devalue himself like that; I mean he's an amazing scientist who made a friggin space exploration device with others and he shoulda have more self-respect on that.

 

and what does that have to do with sexism. Vulgarity at best. The issue we are speaking about right now is Sexism, not vulgarity.

 

Since many others (especially journalists) think it's sexist and/or demeaning and has caused quite some impact online, I think it's related to sexism.


 

But let's be honest. How does any grown man where that in a professional setting with TV cameras around and think it's ok?

 

Why not? must a scientist adhere to a dress code of white lab coate and formal suit all the time? Yes, poor choice if he did want public approval, unfortunately; he seemed to be too excited and too joyful that he expressed such joy without thinking of those people who would accuse him for some trivial reasons instead of the achievement made in his field of science. I find that utterly ridiculous.


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#11 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:44 AM


 

I'm sorry, but I can't see that image because of shitty internet provider and stuff and all, what's that image is about again?

 

Cultural differences and the possible clash derived from it are also a sensitive issue; and it requires change on the level of societal mindset to make a meaningful betterment of it, sadly.

 

 

 

 

I have to strongly disagree with your last point, however--since it implies that the ones who are well-informed about sexism since earliest of age (read: most people from the West) are on a morally higher ground than those who don't (read: most people from the East).

 

I'm lucky enough to be raised in a tolerance-encouraging moderate and somewhat-liberal family (when compared to others in this country), but I got some friends that would be very sexist, yes, but otherwise they're quite competent and decent human beings.

 

The core problem here, I think, is on synthesizing the differing views on sexism (and feminism, to that extent) without distorting the messages here with emotionally-loaded arguments, as difficult though it may sound.


 

 

I;m about to ask that myself

its a picture of a woman in a bikini and a woman fully covered from head to toe with only eyes showing. The woman in the bikini is saying She only has her eyes uncovered, such a cruel male dominated society, and the fully covered woman says she only has her eyes covered such a cruel male dominated society.

 

Negative ghost rider. Sexism isnt about a morally higher ground or not. its mainly something that is trained into us subconsciously through what we see in early life. If you see women as weaker, always needing men to help and always being submissive to men, then you will assume that to be the norm. as I said Sexism is usually done unconsciously just as racism is done. You don't know you are being sexist, you are just following how you think things are supposed to be. Westerners, and Easterners are equally capable of being raised in a sexist environment.


 




Since many others (especially journalists) think it's sexist and/or demeaning and has caused quite some impact online, I think it's related to sexism.

 

once again you missed my point in my arguments. What I am saying is it has to do with vulgarity and has been misconstrued as sexism.


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#12 DarkNemesis

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:45 AM


I'll be honest, my anger is more directed toward Matt himself; why should he apologize when all he did was expressing his joy by wearing that shirt as encouraged by his female friend/wife/whatever? though I can somewhat understand if it's done to tone down the furor that's been going on with this incident.


Why the tears/weeping, though? did he seriously think he's done some cardinal sin on sexism here? C'mon, he's shouldn't deface himself/devalue himself like that; I mean he's an amazing scientist who made a friggin space exploration device with others and he shoulda have more self-respect on that.

 

If a woman, actually his wife, made that shirt and encouraged him to wear the shirt, then most he should have said is: "my wife made me this shirt and wanted me to wear it so i wore it. however i understand how this would offend people, therefore it will never happen again. " End of story. So no, I don't think he's a sexist or misogynistic. The shirt itself, IMO, is tasteless and I certainly wouldn't be interviewed in it on purpose. However, I wouldn't cast him as scum of the earth either.


Edited by DarkNemesis, 16 November 2014 - 09:46 AM.

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#13 soccerislife

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:50 AM


Female friend or wife?


It was a friend of his.

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#14 Dezta

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:56 AM

sexism? in my area there never was like that, everyone has the same position even though women  have to be respected and protected by men.However, women are not weak, they are strong in the face of any event. When a husband or male  not be on their beside.


Edited by Dezta, 16 November 2014 - 10:01 AM.


#15 DarkNemesis

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:59 AM

 

Sweet. Thank you. Brilliant scientist, socially challenged unfortunately. Of course that's just my opinion.

 

However, I came across this article and read this quote:

 


Asked during an ESA webcast why the Rosetta mission was pursuing a comet, Taylor responded with a cheeky double entendre, calling Rosetta the "sexiest mission there's ever been."

 

"She is sexy, but I never said she is easy," he joked, before actually answering the question.

 

But it was Taylor's choice of shirt that really raised eyebrows during the interview: A retro-looking, short-sleeved button-down covered in scantily-dressed women along the lines of pulp science fiction classic "Barbarella."

 

Ok. I can see how those comments with the shirt can make someone think he's a bit sexist. But I don't think he oppresses, hates, or dislikes women.


Edited by DarkNemesis, 16 November 2014 - 10:07 AM.

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#16 disastrousmaster

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:04 AM

yeah, like I thought. He is a bit vulgar. Far from sexist though.


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#17 YoWid

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:25 AM


its a picture of a woman in a bikini and a woman fully covered from head to toe with only eyes showing. The woman in the bikini is saying She only has her eyes uncovered, such a cruel male dominated society, and the fully covered woman says she only has her eyes covered such a cruel male dominated society.

 

Can I rightly infer from the picture, then, that when it comes to sexism, there's this potential of victimization on a certain gender, that is, female, no matter what cultural background/upbringing you're from?

 


Sexism isnt about a morally higher ground or not.

 

 

Does that mean ethical/morality/right-wrong debates on sexism would be moot aka pointless to debate, since it doesn't related to morality?

 


If you see women as weaker, always needing men to help and always being submissive to men, then you will assume that to be the norm.

Indeed that would be the case insofar as many traditional cultures in many countries expound on such matter--the tricky part here is to bridge the traditional norms with the more modern ones without demeaning one or the other and instead try to understand both viewpoints (traditional cultures vs modern society)

 

What about the reverse? Putting them onto a pedestal because I hold mad respect for their resilience and resourcefulness--if that means treating them differently (albeit in benevolent light), would I be sexist as well?

 


as I said Sexism is usually done unconsciously just as racism is done. You don't know you are being sexist, you are just following how you think things are supposed to be. Westerners, and Easterners are equally capable of being raised in a sexist environment.

 

I apologize, I was taken by my emotional side and made sweeping generalization on East-West cultures--yes, it can equally happen in both of em.

 


sexism? in my area there never was like that, everyone has the same position even though women  have to be respected and protected by men.However, women are not weak, they are strong in the face of any event. When a husband or male  not be on their beside.

 

I agree on the part of your saying women are strong (and I add here; mentally and physically) when they're off fending on their lives on their own, and I agree they deserve respect. What about the 'protection' part here, though? Can you elaborate more on the kind of 'protection' to be given to females, in your opinion?

 


I can see how those comments with the shirt can make someone think he's a bit sexist.

yeah, like I thought. He is a bit vulgar. Far from sexist though.

 

If someone think he's sexist--even just one person, would that qualify him as sexist already? Because if yes, then it means sexism is mutually exclusive (i.e., disconnected) from whether the 'perpetrator' of an act of 'sexism' does intend an act as misogynistic/sexist, no?

 

I mean, let's suppose Matt meant no harm/offence to females; yet if he's viewed by some as sexist even if he didn't intend it, that would make him a sexist no matter what?


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#18 Maiaku

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:27 AM

no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!! all the same !!!! who do, see yourself whether it is better than people it


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#19 YoWid

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:35 AM


no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!!no sexism !!!!!!!!! all the same !!!! who do, see yourself whether it is better than people it

 

Does that mean debates on sexism is just a waste of time--since it wouldn't matter anyway what people think of your actions so long as you think it right and it doesn't add much to the improvement of the existing situations and we might as well go along with what we got and be based about it?

 

I share your sentiment on sexism arguments being too far-fetched at times; but I think it's important to hear what other also say about this, so we can reach mutual understanding on it.


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#20 Dezta

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:38 AM

as strong as the strength of women, they also need protection from men. eg hmmmmm ... when they're having trouble as they were treated rudely by people,
 as a man  we have to protect it even if they could be stronger than men. 





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