a letter to sexists

by - 7/11/2015 04:22:00 pm

Dear the sexists in my life,

I recognise you. I forgive you. Most of all, I pity you.

It's embarrassing to think that, when I tell you what you're doing or saying is sexist, you don't believe me. Of course, if refugees told me that my country's detention centers were in bad shape, I'd usually believe them. Compared to their experience, all arguments that contradict their statement can be attributed to the perpetrators and bystanders, who have a reason to hide.

You see, sexism is a lot like this in that regard. I would have thought that you would believe a female when she called out your sexism. How many of us, really, have reason to 'lie' or 'exaggerate' about circumstances?


There's (forgive my bluntness) slut-shaming. There's rape culture, where the woman is to blame for the actions of the rapist. Cat-calls and telling girls to "calm down" and role of submission. 

There's the fact that even women are pitied against fellow women. Girls judging other girls for what they are wearing, when really we all deserve freedom of expression. Our bodies are our own, after all, and to criticise the way we accessorise is like saying, "Your revealing clothing means you should be ashamed, for it will distract heterosexual men." It sends the message that our bodies are there to appeal to other people.


These I'm familiar with, and that's just in Western society. I can't even imagine what goes on beyond the borders.

To be called a 'sexist' is a very confronting word, and I can see why you'd deny such a title. It's a title you'd want to erase, to fit in the norm. And the way you do this is to mentally create a list for what is considered acceptable to say, and what is not. 

For example, artists like Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj are shamed for being too revealing and 'sexist'. If a women is sexualised by others (in other words, made into an object of sexual appeal), it ticks the box for 'objectification'. But their choice to sexualise themselves isn't sexist at all because they are doing so without the approval of a man or other people. In short, they are deciding how they will present themselves.

all about that bass

This is how modern-day sexism works. Instead of learning detrimental things done to women and figuring out why it's bad and how to stop it, we are told to simply memorise superficial definitions of words (such as 'objectification') that are deep in their meaning, and only call out the sexism that fits those narrow, narrow definitions. Either that, or we get confused by these definitions, and begin to view things that aren't sexist as sexist.

Sexism today is often ruled by those simple definitions that act a guideline for what to say and what not to say in public. Some don't take it seriously enough and see it as what it actually is: the systematic oppression of a group of people.

History is no mystery, which is why 'reverse sexism' doesn't exist in our society today (in short, to explain why, think of it like this. There is a woman on the ground and a man on a pedestal. If the woman is prejudiced towards the man or curses at him, it still wouldn't be sexism. It's not good, but sexism only exists with the pedestal, the fact that they are not both on even ground).

In summary, heed my advice: listen to women, think about the consequences, don't blindly accept narrow definitions and checklists.

Remember: I still have forgiven you.

- jo

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19 comments

  1. this is perfectly worded. also your vocabulary is brilliant!
    the point about where if the artists (like nicki minaj in anaconda) "want" to present themselves like that, then they will and it's only their choice really hit me. i love nicki minaj, really, but that song kind of contradicted what i stood for. until now. you've just helped me realise that people shouldn't be called sluts or anything, really, when they're doing what they want and as a result of their decision. (as long as it's legal lol)
    thanks for that :)

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    1. Thank you so much. :D
      Oh yeah, Anaconda and also Wrecking Ball are sure as heck controversial. I can understand why you first thought that, it's not like I'm not guilty of the same thought myself. :) I'm really happy this helped you better understand that. It must be karma, because a friend of mine also helped me to better understand it as well, and now I'm passing it on. And yeah, as long as it's legal. :')
      No problem!

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  2. love that Meghan Trainor gif haha

    P.S. it's my favorite thing when men who regularly drag women through mud and cow manure verbally get mocked by a woman on one little sensitive thing about him and suddenly he weeps and cries and screams through his tears "you evil feminist how dare you stand for equality and then do this to me you're basically Satan!" like it's seriously one of my favorite things to watch play out on YouTube :)

    O | Life as a Young Lady

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    1. Yeah. :')
      That's actually the most hilarious thing ever! I don't even get ad anymore; it's just so ridiculously funny. YouTube is a gold mine of that stuff.

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  3. You definitely have some interesting thoughts here, most of which I agree with. It's really sad to see some women viewed entirely as objects in our society. I definitely don't think reverse sexism should be considered a real thing, but at the same time it kind of bothers me that guys are viewed as objects, too (rarely, but it happens). People should be people, always, and the thing is that women are viewed as people far less frequently than men in general, and we should work to change that.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! It's terrible to see that, but yes, the same can apply to men and it's terrible that this happens. Reverse sexism isn't real, but reverse prejudice (which would just be called 'prejudice') and discrimination are absolutely real. It bothers me as well when guys are objectified. Another thing that's been bothering me a lot recently is when menimists or anti-feminists use male rape victims as a shield to argue against feminism, like "oh but males get raped, too". It's completely dehumanising to use real victims as a snide remark to prove a point.

      People are definitely people. I'm glad there are people like you in the world who want change. :)

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    2. Now that's something that confuses me. Like, isn't rape rape regardless of who is getting raped? It's... dehumanizing, like you said. People should look at both statistics and be like, "Wow, then I guess that means we need to change in multiple areas instead of just this one place."

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts Jo. Very interesting!

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    3. Definitely.

      No problem, thanks for commenting! :)

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  4. I love all your thoughts here! You're not being blunt at all.
    One thing that I have always despised is how women are treated, even in modern day society. I do NOT say this just because I am a girl. I say this because I notice how unjust women all around the globe are treated to this day, from getting a lower salary than men to being objectified and judged for every action. You were able to express what I could not put into words- so from me, and from all of us, thank you. x There needs to be more people like you.
    ~ Sanjana
    peridotcove.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Sanjana. :)
      I agree, the fight for equality is not over. I've heard of sexism around the globe and it really puts the sexism that I have faced into perspective; sure it's bad, but I'm grateful it's not worse. But yeah, all those things you listed are horrible and need to change. I'm glad you liked the post, and thanks for your kind words. :)

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    2. Aw, Jo, thank you! It was honestly no big deal. This is an issue I really believe in. I wonder if there's some way to help out- maybe a campaign, or some sort of special day for womens' equality.
      ~ Sanjana
      peridotcove.blogspot.com

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    3. :) Me too. There's an international women's day? I think the st way to help is to call out sexism when you see it, and educate the wrongdoer.

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  5. This is PERFECT. I love the GIFs that go with:)
    We've talked about this at school and with my friends and I think that it is still a HUGE problem in society.
    ~Emily

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    1. Thank you! :)
      Yeah, it's a good, filling conversation topic. It's a problem we need to face as a society, absolutely. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  6. your blog is fab! GIfS are aaaaamazing! it is definitely a problem we need to face as a society!

    IM BAAAAACK!


    Galaxy xxxx

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    1. Thank you, and yeah, it definitely is!

      WELCOME BACK. :)

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  7. Thank you for your nice comment over at my blog! I'd originally written a long, thoughtful comment on this post but sadly it didn't publish, so instead I'll just say that I really enjoy the posts on your blog, and as I'm sure you gathered I agree with you 100% re sexism and objectification :)

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    1. No problem! And that's a shame, I'd have loved to read it. Thank you for your kind words. :)

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