Intersection of Racism Sexism and Homophobia
A Speech on the intersection of Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia
Sexism is an important issue in both the world in general and America more specifically today. Sexism is closely connected to racism, classism, and homophobia. But sexism is perpetuated against the largest population, a little over 50 percent of people on the earth, it’s main target, the “fairer” sex. Every man in here today should care about sexism. Just like every man, white, black and everything in-between should care about racism, and every man, gay, straight, or bisexual should care about heterosexism, because these effect everyone. Sexism effects your wives, your sisters, your mothers, your grandmothers every women friend you’ve ever knew and every woman you see on the street. It also effects how you as men treat the women in your lives.
In Pogrebin’s “The Secret Fear that keeps us from Raising Free Children” she states it is less the fear of homosexuality that defines homophobia but more the maintaining of sex roles and sexism in our society. Every man needs rigid boundaries that define his sex roles in order to keep him within the highly prized category of masculinity. Men are the ones worried about whether their actions or their behaviors are masculine enough. Men hate the thought of any boy/ man who deviates from masculinity regardless of his sexuality. This is seen through the taunts directed toward men exhibiting atypical behavior such as “sissy” or “girly”, which refer to being a “non-boy/man”, simultaneously raising the status of being a boy while degrading the status of being a “girl”. Homophobia is the contempt of anything female and it is this attitude that keeps sexism alive today.
Another example of the reinforcement of sexism in society today is from Espiritu’s “All Men are Not Created Equal”. This articles follows the “feminization” of Asian immigrants into the united States at the beginning of the nineteenth century. First it was Chinese immigrants who were forced to live in “womanless” communities and established themselves in the laundrymen business, typically “women’s” work. This fed into the stereotype of being “feminine” or even “homosexual” denying them the same rights of other men under a patriarchal system. They were further denied masculine power in being forced into the domestic service, serving others. The Japanese Issei men suffered the most of all being forced into the internment camps of World War II. They, along with their families, were taken out of their homes and placed in camps. The head of the household, the father, was no longer the “breadwinner”, stripped of that title he watched his family lose their dependence on him. This resulted in the physical abuse of their wives to try and claim of the patriarchal power they had lost.
In conclusion, sexism intersects with both racism and homophobia. With the end of sexism other oppressive forms of discrimination will subsequently follow. No one should be judged on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, how much money they make or their biological sex. With the destruction of sexism comes the redefining of the terms of masculinity and femininity. Definitions that allow for difference not degree and more flexibility between the two are what we need. If such redefinitions were to happen both men and women could be what they wanted without fear of being not masculine enough or too feminine. Asian men would not be seen as feminine because of their work in the laundry profession and men would be freer to express more “feminine” traits. All categories that are the basis for discrimination and prejudice would crumble and everyone will realize that we are just people, we are humanity and we are more alike than different.