Sexism is dead. We can all go home now.
And now for something serious.
And also: usually I don’t divulge personal information. However. Today I am. Consider yourself lucky.
I am currently working on my PhD. As such, I am on the President’s [of my university, not the US – in case you were wondering] Commission on the Status of Women. We had a meeting today.
The first thing we discussed was the report from the Bias Response Protocol Team meeting.
Background: On campus, there is a hotline you can call to report any “biased interactions.” While this sounds a little lame (to me anyway), this is serious shit. According to their official protocol, it involves the following:
Bias incident: Any conduct, speech or expression that demeans, degrades or harasses an individual or group based upon their membership in a protected category as recognized by law or [this university’s] policy. Examples: anonymous acts of vandalism to public posters, targeted vandalism on a student’s door directed at his/her protected status, directing slurs at a group or individual (whether in person or electronically), harassment that interferes with a person’s educational experience or employment.
Hate Crime: A crime in which the defendant’s conduct was motivated by hatred, bias, or prejudice, based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability of another individual or group of individuals.
The Bias Incident Team is responsible for responding to calls made to the hotline to report such bias incidents and hate crimes.
The report we discussed was quite informative.
I learned that 41% (or was it 47%?) of all reports made to the Team involved incidents or crimes against women.
(LGBTQ+ is 14% – just in case you were wondering. Fucking homophobes I hates you.)
I also learned that rape is not considered a hate crime.
Finally, I learned that the Bias Response Protocol Team does not have a woman’s advocate involved. E.g. someone from the Committee on the Status of Women (or any of the associated groups) or the on-campus program for [the prevention of rape and sexual harassment – which has a very distinct name so I am not using it].
Not because they haven’t been asked if they’d like a woman’s advocate on the Bias Team. They have been. For the past three years. Not because they don’t have the money for another member. The position would be voluntary. Not because there aren’t volunteers. There are.
The official way in which this was discussed in the meeting is that there is “strong resistance” to having such a member.
Um. What? Maybe 41% isn’t as important as I thought it was. Let me check.
Yep. 41% is still a pretty big piece of the pie
Therefore, I repeat: Um. What?
Ok, first of all, yeah I get it that rape is not always a hate crime. But, you know what? Sometimes it FUCKING IS.
But, alright, fine – that’s ok if you don’t want to include it, Bias Response Team. Why? Because really rape should be reported through other channels that are more specifically designed to deal with it.
But…. no women’s advocates?
Want to know why? Because sexism is dead. Because women’s lib was victorious and we don’t need it anymore. Yay for all that bra-burning and thank goodness we don’t have to do that anymore.
Because women aren’t discriminated against anymore. Because women don’t need advocates anymore.
Kind of like racism. That’s dead too. I mean, we have a black president, duh.
Are. You. Fucking. Serious.
One of the reasons I am on the Committee on the Status of Women is shit like this.
Sexism is not dead. Sexism is underground. Out of sight. Where once was blatant, now is hidden.
Even if you can’t see it like you once could, it is still alive and well, my friends. Don’t believe me? Ask 41% (or maybe 47%) of the callers to the Biased Response hotline. I am sure they would beg to differ.
Oh, furthermore? Those statistics from the Biased Team only include calls to that hotline. They DO NOT include any of the statistics from [the university program to prevent rape and sexual harassment].
Glad to see the edjamakated douchesicles at my fucking university are helping out the cause.
[That’s me pounding on my keyboard. There would be more capital letters to show how angry I am, but you can’t hit the shift key and pound at the same time.]
This is what I fight for, people – and yet, even the advocacy groups, who have gender as one of the reasons for hate crimes, don’t fucking get this???
Fuck this bullshit.
For more on how I feel about it, and what I mean when I say sexism is hidden not dead, please read this post.