I listened to a keynote address this morning. The presenter made a few jokes about the ways that partners manage decisions about family finances. On the way to his punchlines, he’d say things like, “Now, I know what all the ladies in the room are thinking…” I don’t remember how the jokes end. All I remember is thinking to myself, Sexism must be, among other things, presuming to know what another human is thinking based on the gender role you’ve assigned to them.
Whose rights, bodies, and property are legally protected by the chivalrous class toting ’ladies first’ as a slogan? What hides subjugation as well as moralistic self-confidence? When do you decide to ignore the language and look at the structure instead?
If you don’t approve of society renegotiating gender roles, is it a fair assumption that you presently benefit from the status quo in some way?
On Monday evening I had the privilege of hosting a discussion about the intersection of identity and politics with some great local thinkers: Wael Haddara (@waelhaddara), Saleha Kahn (@khansalehak), and Jeff Preston (@jeffpreston).