Up Front: Lighting the Dark
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mark taslov, in reply to
gender essentialism and oppositional sexism
Oppositional-sexism makes good copy in our society. Be it ardent devotee Jeremy Corbett’s brain gig, our legislation, Paul Henry’s public ridicule,our advertising, our mythology, our education policies or our parenting, the media’s insistence on often heteronormaltive and cisnormative oppositional-sexism is omnipresent. Even amongst the the educated, essentialism rather than intersectionality still dominates our national discourse.
Tuesday’s Nights’ Pundit was textbook oppositional sexism, the premise contingent on the listener delineating the genders into discreet sets, geared at a punter who may find this type of paring to be bias confirmational; breaking down stereotypes by perpetuating stereotypes as it were.
At one point the host takes the interesting step of redefining the set from the conflated man/male to the more specific “bloke”, this may or may not have aided in strengthening the exclusionary thesis that banter is the domain of men/males/blokes while gossip is the domain of women.
Rather than working on breaking down gender stereotypes in order to focus on equality, the listener is instead encouraged to keep filling up the same two boxes left by our predecessors.
Sexism is by extension a narcissistic ideology, because one maintains their status (even subservient statuses) in society by supporting gender roles, enforcing gender stereotypes, and admonishing gender variance. The process is self-defeating because one must lie to themselves and engage in hypersexuality, (hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine) behaviors which undermines self-esteem by creating a self-concept basis that is not indefinitely maintainable. It’s like an addiction. You act the part, and are rewarded, but you must support or exceed in successive behaviors which increase the stress on you. Eventually the stress becomes to great that you can’t keep up the behavior, and thus experience the withdrawal of the social acceptance from gender stereotypical behavior.
Obviously it’s RNZ so one can expect this form of framing to get a lot of air, and it’s not that any malice is intended, but it does remind me a lot of primary school.
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