The Year in Sexism: Notes from Sexism Inc’s 2015 AGM

This year Sexism Inc held their AGM at a top secret location in the south of England. With the help of my undercover contacts I was able to get hold of the transcript of their CEO’s closing speech, which has been reproduced below.

Well, what a year it’s been! An exhausting one but, as I’m sure you’ll agree, one of our most successful.

The market has seen some tough times lately, what with the resurgence of interest in feminism since its early noughties slump. There was a time, two or three years ago, when some of you expressed concerns that we might not get through it. Certainly there was a need for some restructuring but, while we were all sad to see Mr Clarkson and Mr Buchanan go, I know that they, too, saw the need for sexism to move with the times.

It’s important for any organisation, even one that doesn’t prioritise the subjugation of half the human race, to stay nimble and flexible. That’s why in May this year I was absolutely delighted to announce the acquisition of Libfem Corp and its subsidiaries, Everyday Feminism, Amnesty and NUS Women. While these will now operate as part of Sexism Inc family, they will retain their unique brand identities, finding new ways to market objectification and sexual exploitation to women without recourse to the more “traditional” messaging favoured by our more established brands. Continue reading

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Playing the victim

Back in the olden days, sexism was so straightforward, even a person with a uterus could understand it. It was the belief that men were superior to women — more intelligent, more important, more human — and while it affected different groups of women in different ways, feminists were in a position to identify who benefited from it and who was harmed. Of course, nowadays we can see that this was a very simplistic way of understanding gender-based oppression. It was simplistic not least because it had been thought up by people who don’t have penises (such people are generally known to be less intelligent, less important, less human than everybody else). These days sexism is different. It isn’t about the appropriation of female sexual, domestic and reproductive labour or anything so crude. These days we’ve realised that the people who do this unpaid work are privileged enough to want to do it, freeing us up to focus on the more important task of validating everyone else’s sense of self.

Unfortunately this means that some women — particularly those who didn’t get the memo and remain on the wrong side of history — still think some things are sexist when they’re not (tell them this and they’ll accuse you of gaslighting, but that’s only because they don’t understand what gaslighting is). Porn is one area where they make this mistake, stupidly assuming that men getting off on women being abused could be in some way related to men getting off on women being abused. Drag is another. There are proper, long, thinky explanations as to why porn and drag subvert the very systems that those with an old-style understanding of sexism think they reinforce. Haven’t read said explanations? Then simply take your gut reaction and assume the direct opposite. Continue reading