Good Guidelines for Productively Dealing with Online Sexism
I also wrote a primer of do's and don'ts for responding to online sexism http://t.co/kcJdFmKv6L— Leigh Alexander (@leighalexander) July 7, 2014
Leigh Alexander has an excellent starter guide for dealing with sexism online, which we sometimes have to contend with on New World Notes. One particular point stands out to me as strongest, because it illustrates the tension of confronting sexism while not allowing it to define the victim:
Boost the individual and her work, not her victimhood. No woman who experiences sexism in her profession wants to be known primarily for “being a woman who experiences sexism.” It is right to defend and support women, and it is right to condemn sexism, but sometimes the best way to do that is by supporting their work. Hundreds of hair-tearing tweets protesting all the terrible sexist things that are happening to so-and-so can actually have the same ultimate effect as sexism: In both cases, the woman is reduced simply to “victim of sexism”.
Obviously applies not just to Twitter, but any online community. Plus, fellow dudes, read this, take it to heart:
When men condemn sexism the response is universally approving — good man, brave man. When women talk about sexism, we get death threats. Men should use this advantage to the fullest: The essays guys often write about how sexism is wrong or how they came to understand their own sexism may set examples for other men, and that’s not unimportant, but it’s basically just patting their own backs if those men are not also signal-boosting and supporting the work of women colleagues, hiring women, and bringing attention to the accomplishments of the women in their field.