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Why Men Cannot Be Victims of Sexism

If you google the definition of sexism you will find it to be defined as, “Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.” I only half agree with this. The reality is that sexism can only be directed towards women, not men—that is, straight, cisgender men. (Disclaimer: from this point on, whenever I mention “men” I am referring to straight, cisgender men.)

Believing that you can be sexist towards men is the same ideology that makes white people believe they can experience racism (a.k.a “reverse racism”).  Men hold privilege over women and other genders the same way that white people hold privilege over black people and other POC (people of color) in our society. This is the same way that you can’t be heterophobic, because heterosexuality is considered the norm so it holds privilege over any other sexuality. These groups can experience discrimination, but it’s not the same as sexism, racism, or homophobia.

Yes, men can experience discrimination and bullying based on their gender, but that does not equate to sexism. This is because sexism is institutionalized. Sexism against men isn’t ingrained in society through our history the way that it is against women. Individual incidents of discrimination against men are not sexism because society is in their favor. Yes, misandry has negatives effects, but misogyny can kill.

Regardless of these incidents, men still hold privilege over women, and at the end of the day it will most likely only be their feelings that are hurt.

The most important reason as to why men will never be victims of sexism is because they hold power; they’re in control. The New York Times reported last year that out of 200 of the top-paid executives in the US, only 11 of them were women. Most of the people in government power are men. Women, especially women of color, are consistently paid less for doing the same jobs as men, which is known as the (gender and race) wage gap. Men’s power is also displayed through sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse towards women. 85% of reported cases of intimate partner violence are reported by women, while only the remaining 15% are reported by men.

If you also consider historical context, all women weren’t allowed to vote until pretty recently, so this means that society and its laws reflect more of men’s interests and needs. Sexism requires this level of institutionalized marginalization, which is something that men can never claim to have experienced based on their gender.

Opportunities for men are hardly ever hindered by their gender. Yes, they can face many challenges, but they aren’t on the basis of their gender. Nobody isn’t hiring a man just because he is a man. They aren’t constantly reduced to their gender.

There is no history or institutional bias against men on the basis of gender. They aren’t at a constant disadvantage because of their sex or gender, which has been occurring against women for centuries.

Because of these reasons—and so many more—men cannot face sexism and aren’t marginalized because they aren’t at a disadvantage in society. Even if a man is constantly discriminated against, it could be because of other factors such as race, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, etc.

The bottom line is that men can face discrimination, but discrimination is not the same as sexism. Why would men even want to face sexism anyway? It would be much more productive for them to accept that they don’t experience it and help work against a society that is against women.

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