[Noisebridge-discuss] Benevolent Sexism

Alcides Gutierrez alcides888 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 6 19:56:57 UTC 2013

Maybe not exactly related but, Im "Latino." I work at a supermarket and
talk to people all the time (duh). When Im approached by other Latinos im
often spoken to in Spanish. When I tell them I dont speak Spanish Im often
shown signs of surprise and/or disgust. I think thats a hostile ism? I dont
know what kinda ism? Racism?

Similarly, or maybe not so, when I hear Chinese (Mandarin) being spoken, I
introduce a couple of comments in Mandarin. I usually get "Wow! Thats
good." And a couple of laughs. As I continue, I rarely get into any
significant dialogue and feel more like a circus show. Benevolent ism?

If I were to speak Spanish I suppose it wouldnt be a surprise since so many
Latinos speak it. I am "Latino" after all. And if I were not to speak
Chinese I suppose it wouldnt be any big deal since perhaps not such a
majority of Latinos speak it. I am "Latino" after all.

In the beginning I would be angry. Especially when people insisted on
speaking to me in Spanish after I told them I dont speak it. Instead now I
just respond in Chinese. And when Chinese speakers treat me like a circus
show, I tell them, "Wow! You speak English! Good job!" Im not so angry
about it anymore, but I do feel obligated to return the favor of one's
behavior toward me.

I do reflect on my opinions of things throughout the day. I think its
important to pay attention to what sparks certain emotions. Actions
(speech)? Or my past experiences (which are also limited)? Anyway, im

Alcides Gutierrez
On Apr 6, 2013 12:12 PM, "Snail" <snailtsunami at gmail.com> wrote:

> You misspelled my name :P
> People -constantly- try to help me with my bike on the rack at Noisebridge
> when I don't manage to hike it up in one swoop. They -always- try to
> explain to me how I'm doing it wrong. They -always- think I don't
> understand the problem or that I can't do it myself. It's always a man who
> does this.
> It would be annoying even if I were a man, to be doing a simple task and
> have someone male or female --jump in my way and literally try to take it
> out of my hands while I'm working on it--.
> On Sat, Apr 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM, LinkReincarnate <
> linkreincarnate at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Benevolent Sexism exists.  I am not here to argue that is does not.  I
>> will point out that there is a lot of behavior that overlaps with
>> Benevolent Sexist behaviors.  For example I was in the space and  snell was
>> trying to get her bike off of the rack.  From my angle I could see that the
>> tire was still stuck on the hook so I tried to lift the tire off of the
>> hook.  Snell didn't like this and told me to stop. I did.  The only reason
>> I could see for her not wanting my help was because I was a man, she was a
>> woman, and heavy lifting was involved.   The problem is that I was not
>> helping her out of a sense that "she's just a frail woman"  I was helping
>> her because I saw what was causing her problems.  (And she appeared to be
>> at an angle that obscured the problem) Had she been a man I would have
>> still helped remove the bike from the rack.    So while benevolent sexism
>> exists lets not go overboard in reacting to perceived benevolent sexism.
>> There a lots and lots of prosocial behaviors that overlap with benevolent
>> sexism and without knowing the other persons thoughts and motivation for
>> initiating an act you cannot tell one from the other.  In other words give
>> people the benefit of the doubt.  If you see some behavior that you think
>> is benevolently sexist rather than scowl at the person for it, check
>> yourself.  Is there a possibility that this person's actions were not in
>> fact motivated by my sex?  Is there a possibility that by being so
>> hypervigilant for sexism that I am finding false positives?
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> --
> -Snailssnailssnailssnailssnailssnailssnails
> ............. _ at y
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