This is a cross post to the "ah-ha moment regarding sexism in tech" discussion on groups.drupal.org.
I have never been devalued because of my gender, that's why I was long blind to sexism and feminism. I thought this topic has been solved since 1920 when women were allowed to vote in Austria.
Then I went to the university (computer science, TU Vienna) and came to the students' union. Some sexist incident happened (a professor told a sexist joke or something) and we discussed it. I was pretty new in the group and expected an exchange of opinions how the professor could have really meant it or explanations why this was not sexist at all. Instead, the whole group (men+ and women+) fully acknowledged that this was a sexist incident and merely discussed how it was sexist and what could be done about it. I was stumped - this was so different that I actually had to listen to their well-worded points. I refrained from adding my usual "mansplaining" (applying flawed logic that makes the victim or the victim's reaction invisible) which happens in most other groups when discussing sexism, because I felt the peer pressure of a group that will not accept such derailment. Many people of that group became friends and I explored structural sexism, the patriarchy and feminist resources with their help.
So I realized a couple of things:
- Sexism today is real and I take part in sexist behaviour, although I don't want to and might not be aware of it.
- If I'm called out on sexism I immediately acknowledge that and apologize, even if I don't understand it. Then I try to think and reflect about it. Most of the time there is nothing meaningful left to say, so I resist the urge to defend myself with mansplaining.
- I want women+ to be treated equally, so I'm a feminist. Just saying that out loud helps to identify oneself with the cause. It changed my point of view and my "objectivity", you realize that when you suddenly agree with women+ more often in discussions about gender or sexism.
I wondered whether sexism that devalues men exists on the internet, so there is the Sexismus soup to collect sexism-related stuff. Surprise, surprise: sexism against men virtually does not not exist on the internet.
A recent example of fine mansplaining is codinghorror's "What can men do?" which seems to be plagiarized from Shanley's "What can men do?", which is far superior.
P.S.: + => hi there transgender people, the "+" is for you! P.P.S: There is still a lot to do to combat sexism at TU Vienna.