Responses to Sexism

When a person is sexist, how do you respond? You could potentially brush it off, but then how will they know that what they said is wrong? Sometimes maybe it’s better not to attack a person with feminist ideas because they can’t understand them as easily. In my opinion a good way to respond is to make the person think, to use sarcasm and rhetorical ways to make them really think about the morality of what they’ve said.

An example is rape jokes. These are wrong and should never be said, all they do is promote the idea that rape is okay. Or at least that rape isn’t a serious enough crime that people should joke about it. No one ever jokes about murder, and rape isn’t something that should be joked about either. The problem is that these jokes are made all the time by people who don’t bother to give it a second thought about the effects of it. A way to counter rape jokes is to ask the person to say why it’s funny, and force them to try to explain why rape should be considered funny. Continue to ask them, there is absolutely no response they can say without being wrong. Because the ultimate end of a rape joke is that rape is something to be made fun of and that is not an acceptable answer for why rape should be a joke.

Make people question what they’re saying and doing, so that they can figure out for themselves that it’s wrong. A lot of the time, the response tactic for sexism is very aggressive and that usually turns people away from changing their opinions. It’s much better to make them question their own opinions, than to immediately attack them for it.

I know for myself that i have responded aggressively to people before when they shared their sexist ideas, and i know for sure that it does nothing to change their minds. If anything responding in this way may make their opinions stronger. And making them question their opinions is a lot harder to do, especially since it requires good wording on your part, but it’s much better at changing their ideas.

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