Thursday, March 10, 2016

Is blatant online sexism ever surprising?

CN: ableism, sexism

My coworker was just telling me about how she commented on an online article from The Observer about poor voter turnout. She commented to describe how she and four other coworkers, very intelligent, college-educated adults who work with computers and the Internet daily, struggled to find their polling places, coming up short after dedicated googling efforts until one person found a direct link to share around the office. She said how surprised she is at how difficult it is to vote in Texas since she moved from New York, where they mail out detailed voting packets with sample ballots including the items you will be voting on and directly listing your polling place. About a dozen other people responded with similar stories and anecdotes about obstacles to voting in Texas.

One commenter singled her out and tagged her to say 'Voting is literally the easiest thing you can do. If you're too stupid to vote, how do you even pay your taxes?' She couldn't understand why that person singled her out among so many similar commenters. I asked her if any of the other commenters were men.

Can you guess the answer?

She paused a moment in contemplation before saying, "Yeah, actually. They were ALL men!" That's why you were singled out, I told her. "Oh my gosh! I hadn't even thought of that!" she exclaimed.

It's as if this nonsense is so normalized as to go unnoticed by most.

Positive: She has no desire to get into a debate with that jerk, isn't especially bothered by the interaction, and received several private messages of vague support telling her to just ignore him.

No public responses to that effect, though. We really need male allies to call out this shit publicly.

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