Sweeping Sexist Statements

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are taller than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are taller than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are physically stronger than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are physically stronger than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are more intelligent than women? I think most people would say it is, but why? Whether it is factually wrong or not is irrelevant to whether it's sexist, as I tried to illustrate above.

So what makes that sexist, whereas the statements above it are not?
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are taller than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are taller than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are physically stronger than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are physically stronger than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are more intelligent than women? I think most people would say it is, but why? Whether it is factually wrong or not is irrelevant to whether it's sexist, as I tried to illustrate above.

So what makes that sexist, whereas the statements above it are not?
The statement "women are less intelligent on average than men", is insulting but fairly harmless in a domestic setting. Have a politician say it in public and it becomes a weapon that those who really are sexist can use to demean women. It isn't demeaning to be short or less physically strong, but to attack someone's intelligence is to attack their ability to earn, to gain respect, their worth as a person. The statement can be weaponised against women, which is why it is sexist.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
The statement "women are less intelligent on average than men", is insulting but fairly harmless in a domestic setting. Have a politician say it in public and it becomes a weapon that those who really are sexist can use to demean women. It isn't demeaning to be short or less physically strong, but to attack someone's intelligence is to attack their ability to earn, to gain respect, their worth as a person. The statement can be weaponised against women, which is why it is sexist.
Okay, so the capacity of the statement to harm women is what makes it sexist...that makes sense. Not an answer I would have thought of, but it makes sense.

Now...does it make a difference if the statement is actually true?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are taller than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are taller than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are physically stronger than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are physically stronger than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are more intelligent than women? I think most people would say it is, but why? Whether it is factually wrong or not is irrelevant to whether it's sexist, as I tried to illustrate above.

So what makes that sexist, whereas the statements above it are not?
Sexism comes in when the statement is both disparaging, and little more than an opinion.

Assuming men are smarter than women on average is disparaging. If you were to support it with actual data, or other evidence that justifies (but does not prove) the claim, then that's not sexist.

If you were to make a disparaging statement than cannot be supported, that's clearly sexist. For example, "men are smarter than women" is sexist. "Men on average are smarter than women" is sexist, but not as much, and definitely not-at-all if accompanied with data supporting the claim.

"Women are more nurturing than men".

Is this sexist? Well, I'm pretty sure some men would agree with it, so maybe not. If it was said to insult men (and wasn't accompanied by credible evidence), then maybe it IS sexist, yes.

TLDR: intent largely decides whether a statement is sexist, racist, nationalist, etc. Evidence can be used to differentiate between bad intent and a claim supported by fact, though.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Sexism comes in when the statement is both disparaging, and little more than an opinion.

Assuming men are smarter than women on average is disparaging. If you were to support it with actual data, or other evidence that justifies (but does not prove) the claim, then that's not sexist.

If you were to make a disparaging statement than cannot be supported, that's clearly sexist. For example, "men are smarter than women" is sexist. "Men on average are smarter than women" is sexist, but not as much, and definitely not-at-all if accompanied with data supporting the claim.

"Women are more nurturing than men".

Is this sexist? Well, I'm pretty sure some men would agree with it, so maybe not. If it was said to insult men (and wasn't accompanied by credible evidence), then maybe it IS sexist, yes.

TLDR: intent largely decides whether a statement is sexist, racist, nationalist, etc. Evidence can be used to differentiate between bad intent and a claim supported by fact, though.
Okay, so you seem to be saying that truth is a defense, in that it makes the statement not sexist.

So if I can demonstrate that men are smarter than women, it's not sexist to say so? Or have I misunderstood?
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Okay, so the capacity of the statement to harm women is what makes it sexist...that makes sense. Not an answer I would have thought of, but it makes sense.

Now...does it make a difference if the statement is actually true?
I cannot think of a statement that is sexist, or racist for that matter, that is also true. There are some that are believed to be true, like women cannot park or white men can't jump, but these are not actually true. There are differences between men and women obviously, but they are less than people think. Any statement used to enhance difference is likely to be false as well as sexist.

In my opinion, which as I am male, obviously carries more weight.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are taller than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are taller than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are physically stronger than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are physically stronger than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are more intelligent than women? I think most people would say it is, but why? Whether it is factually wrong or not is irrelevant to whether it's sexist, as I tried to illustrate above.

So what makes that sexist, whereas the statements above it are not?
I think it would depend on how you are measuring intelligence, as it doesn't seem as quantifiable as physical height and strength. There are also strong social implications to impugning someone's intelligence that you don't have with strength and height that can (understandably) rile people up.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I think it would depend on how you are measuring intelligence, as it doesn't seem as quantifiable as physical height and strength. There are also strong social implications to impugning someone's intelligence that you don't have with strength and height that can (understandably) rile people up.
Understood. I'll ask the question I've asked others - would it still be sexist/wrong to state that (for example) men are smarter than women if it were true, and I could demonstrate it?
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Understood. I'll ask the question I've asked others - would it still be sexist/wrong to state that (for example) men are smarter than women if it were true, and I could demonstrate it?
If there was an agreed objective measurement, I wouldn't think so.

Sexism is a matter of prejudicial judgement not objective facts. Of course, I could imagine someone using such facts with a sexist attitude.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I cannot think of a statement that is sexist, or racist for that matter, that is also true. There are some that are believed to be true, like women cannot park or white men can't jump, but these are not actually true. There are differences between men and women obviously, but they are less than people think. Any statement used to enhance difference is likely to be false as well as sexist.

In my opinion, which as I am male, obviously carries more weight.
But are statements made not sexist/racist by virtue of their truth? For example, I think a lot of people would say that the statement "Black people are better at sports than white people" is racist. Nevertheless, I believe it to be true and think it's defensible. Is it racist? Is it less (or not) racist if it is true, and I can demonstrate it?
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Sexism comes in when the statement is both disparaging, and little more than an opinion.

Assuming men are smarter than women on average is disparaging. If you were to support it with actual data, or other evidence that justifies (but does not prove) the claim, then that's not sexist.

If you were to make a disparaging statement than cannot be supported, that's clearly sexist. For example, "men are smarter than women" is sexist. "Men on average are smarter than women" is sexist, but not as much, and definitely not-at-all if accompanied with data supporting the claim.

"Women are more nurturing than men".

Is this sexist? Well, I'm pretty sure some men would agree with it, so maybe not. If it was said to insult men (and wasn't accompanied by credible evidence), then maybe it IS sexist, yes.

TLDR: intent largely decides whether a statement is sexist, racist, nationalist, etc. Evidence can be used to differentiate between bad intent and a claim supported by fact, though.
I would say that women are more nurturing than men in our society]. We need to be careful of saying that a statement is true, or even supported, without looking at the variables. Are black men more criminally minded than white men? There is evidence to support that, but there are other more likely explanations for that evidence. In a society which to a certain extent has sexism woven into the very fabric. It is fairly easy to find statements describing the status quo and use them to support maintaining the status quo. "Women are more nurturing" being one of them.[/I]
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
If there was an agreed objective measurement, I wouldn't think so.

Sexism is a matter of prejudicial judgement not objective facts. Of course, I could imagine someone using such facts with a sexist attitude.
Okay, understood. How would someone use a fact with a sexist attitude? For example, to use the previous example (which, if there were any doubt, I emphatically do not believe to be true), what if it were true that men are smarter than women - how could I use such a fact with a sexist attitude?
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I would say that women are more nurturing than men in our society]. We need to be careful of saying that a statement is true, or even supported, without looking at the variables. Are black men more criminally minded than white men? There is evidence to support that, but there are other more likely explanations for that evidence. In a society which to a certain extent has sexism woven into the very fabric. It is fairly easy to find statements describing the status quo and use them to support maintaining the status quo. "Women are more nurturing" being one of them.
Very true. I think the 'black men are more criminally minded than white men' is a good example. I think it's defensible as true, but I think the causes are sociological rather than genetic. Black men are responsible for more crime because overwhelmingly black men are poorer than white men, and crime has always been associated with poverty.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
But are statements made not sexist/racist by virtue of their truth? For example, I think a lot of people would say that the statement "Black people are better at sports than white people" is racist. Nevertheless, I believe it to be true and think it's defensible. Is it racist? Is it less (or not) racist if it is true, and I can demonstrate it?
I would say that the truth behind "black men are better at sport" is that black men have other avenues to excel in blocked off by ingrained racism. They are good at sport because there is nothing else. Just as in the Welsh valleys where I live, young men become boxers or join the army. That's all there is. There have been many fine Welsh boxers, in low weight divisions because of poor diet. It is a function of reduced opportunity not enhanced ability.
 

Furion

Active member
Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are taller than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are taller than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are physically stronger than women? I think most people would say it's not.

Is it sexist of me to say that women on average are physically stronger than men? I think most people would say it's not; it's just factually wrong.

Is it sexist of me to say that men on average are more intelligent than women? I think most people would say it is, but why? Whether it is factually wrong or not is irrelevant to whether it's sexist, as I tried to illustrate above.

So what makes that sexist, whereas the statements above it are not?
It sounds like a typical machismo atheist attitude, man being the great ape 'n all. It's only wrong to say it if you beat your chest while saying it skillet, your cool, trust me, keep repeating your mostest intelligent thing.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Okay, understood. How would someone use a fact with a sexist attitude? For example, to use the previous example (which, if there were any doubt, I emphatically do not believe to be true), what if it were true that men are smarter than women - how could I use such a fact with a sexist attitude?
E.g. saying something like, "You're so typical of a woman and bad at X, no wonder men are smarter than you..." or a sexist boss who is prejudiced against women simply because of the averages on the intelligence case.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Very true. I think the 'black men are more criminally minded than white men' is a good example. I think it's defensible as true, but I think the causes are sociological rather than genetic. Black men are responsible for more crime because overwhelmingly black men are poorer than white men, and crime has always been associated with poverty.
And because every section of the criminal justice system is, just a little, biased against them.
 
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