Racism and Sexism are Confusing

Many people are overly sensitive on the topics of racism and sexism. Chill out dogs!

I remember a clickbait article that I read long ago. In it, the author quoted some American study done about which races of women men found most attractive. Surprise, surprise! they were not equal. The author then went on to moan about how they were disappointed in humanity because they (somehow) believed that racism was a finished deal but this survey they quoted showed otherwise. How dare men have different sexual tastes? Unsurprisingly I disagree, at least to some extent.

With the whole gay debate in recent years there has been a considerable number of studies on how sexual preferences form, specifically if people are born gay or if they learn to be gay. These studies have concluded that overall direction of sexual attraction, straight or gay, is mostly innate. Nonetheless these studies do not deny that society plays a role in teaching children sexual attraction.

There are many unique African tribes out there. I remember reading about one in particular where the women practice adding metal rings around their neck with the goal of having as many as they possible can. This ultimately leads to their necks stretching to unnatural lengths over the years. Personally, as a male, I do not find this an attractive concept but within their society it is an attractive concept.

Between these two examples though I am inclined to conclude that men finding different races of women unequally attractive might very well be a result of society’s gentle education. However, even if it is racism that drives this unequal attraction, I do not believe we can blame anyone for such. We do not have conscious control over who we are sexually attracted too. It is not some deliberately harmful move nor can we train ourselves to be more drawn to everyone.

I recall a feminist twitter account which continually cried about men honking their (car) horns when passing some attractive females. Likewise with the last situation I found this silly. Tiyuri, a game developer,  replied to one of their posts roughly stating that just because some action is more prevalent among one gender than the other does not mean that action is sexist. I found this to be a powerfully true statement.

Humorously around the time I read this tweet a man driving by me (I was working maintenance for my school during the summer months) honked his horn at me. Perhaps I should give the women some credit because I also found an unknown man honking at me to be peculiar. Unfortunately the man did not stop with just a honk but slowed down to a stop and watched me as I sweated profusely chopping down saplings in the baking sun. He sat there laughing to be exact.

Again, perhaps some sexism is fundamentally responsible for the discrepancy of behaviors. Society does encourage men to actively check women out probably more than it does opposite. Still though this behavior does not classify as some terribly sexist action to me.

What even is racism and sexism then? I don’t believe it is merely treating different races and sexes differently (though this is easily misunderstood because it is far too broad a statement) but instead treating them unfairly.

A few months back police inequality became the hotly discussed topic. The concern was that (white) police were too quick at shooting black men (all the shootings were fatal). I don’t truly desire to go into those events for I did not read all the available information on the topics and thus my opinion would be rather uninformed. The events do bring up a few concepts that I would like to discuss however.

If it was true that black men tended to break the law more commonly than white men, then shouldn’t black men be pulled over more regularly? Unfortunately more than just that, due to statistics shouldn’t black folk be policed more intensely for there is a greater chance of crime? Yet if black men are policed more than white men this will just emphasize the point and create even more disparity between black and white men.

I have listened to some relatively intelligent speakers debate that race should simply be ignored. But race and the culture typically reflected by our race speak volumes of our character. Ignoring race, ignoring gender, would be leaving a large amount of information still upon the table. Perhaps some would say that all this information is based upon assumptions so it would be ignored rightly so. Yet assumptions and stereotypes are not (most of the time) based upon the air but based upon statistics and probability. If turquoise rats more commonly carry disease than albino rats then people should be more cautious of the turquoise rats because that is a reasonable concern. If jumping out aircrafts without some mechanism for safe landing more commonly leads to death than jumping out with a parachute then shouldn’t we encourage jumping with parachutes? But no, some good people survive tumbles out of aircrafts thus they should not be discriminated against.

Racism and sexism are not so simple of topics that the only solution necessary is ignoring their existence and treating everyone the same. People are different and they should be thus treated differently. Yet men and women, blacks and whites (and whatever other races) are not of some unequal value just because of differences between them. Differences do exist between people. That should not be shunned. If you are walking down some dark alleyway with a man bearing an axe and covered in human blood coming at you be judging and run from him. Well running is based on an assumption, perhaps that man was attacked by another man and merely needs you to call an ambulance. That very well might be the case but one’s own safety comes before that off ball chance.

Expecting these differences can become harmful though when those interacting keep a closed mind in regards to each other. Our view of others should be more organic when we are personally coming into contact with others for when people are face to face it is not statistics it is personal interaction.

People should be treated rightly for their actions. Unfortunately there are simply too many people in this world for everyone to know each other personally so statistics do come into play at some point. We must not be locked into our thinking but willing to adapt our view of others as we learn about them.

This isn’t some perfect solution. I acknowledge that fully. Unfortunately this is a big and complex world that we live in and it is not perfect nor can we be.

I wish that some day society could focus on solutions rather than problems but it is far more difficult and unsatisfying work. Hopefully someday racism and sexism isn’t a problem, but I do not foresee that day coming any time soon.