Volume 93, Issue 20

October 1, 1999


OPINIONS

White man not always the enemy

Ignorance, it shines through

Posters a sign of a ripoff

Tanning reinforces stereotype

White man not always the enemy



Re: "Racism or sexism can't be reversed" Sept. 28



To the Editor:

I am disappointed at the thoroughly unpleasant article which was written by Ms. Katrina Rudmin and thoughtlessly published by The Gazette.

I haven't had a chance to read Jeff Sewell's article so I am unable to comment, yet a foolish response like the one by Ms. Rudmin certainly drew my attention and a response to a response is warranted. I agree that there cannot be such a thing as "reverse racism" or "reverse sexism." Racism is simply racism and sexism is simply sexism.

If there were, in fact, reverse racism or reverse sexism it would be more along the lines of tolerance, indifference and neutrality. However, the problem arises in Ms. Rudmin's aberrant definition of racism and sexism which she unquestionably mutilates.

Ms. Rudmin claims that "racism and sexism are the systemic oppression of women and people of colour." First of all, this sentence contains jargon like "systemic oppression."

The word systemic has to do with the physical body and that which affects it. Consequently, Ms. Rudmin is saying that racism and sexism take place when the physical body or whatever affects it is oppressed or burdened in women and people of colour (maybe a word like "systematic" would have made more sense in this context).

Racism is actually the belief that someone's race determines their human characteristics and capabilities and the discrimination based on this belief. Sexism is discrimination based on sex.

Next, Ms. Rudmin explains to us that when a woman internalizes her oppression, the result is a sex-based hatred towards men which is not in any way sexist because the woman is not actually oppressing men as a gender.

Is it not likely then, Ms. Rudmin, that if this cause-effect relationship is true, the woman might in fact discriminate and even oppress a man she does not even know based on previous notions?

If the woman has a singular hatred towards a particular man (or men) who oppressed her, then she is not sexist. However, if she is generalizing her hatred towards all men, like you have suggested, then she is in fact sexist!

A similar argument can be given for the "person of colour lashing out at white people."

An interesting point which has surfaced not only in Katrina Rudmin's letter but in Helen Luu's letter is the idea that the white man cannot be discriminated against because he holds the ultimate position of power, privilege and money in today's society.

This seems to be an extreme misconception and I would venture to say that such beliefs are sexist. But maybe Ms. Luu and Ms. Rudmin are deceived. Maybe they haven't seen the way custody battles usually end up in a court of law, or maybe they haven't seen the outcome of sexual harassment cases where it's the woman's word against the man's word. Maybe these two ladies haven't had to pay a guy's car insurance bills which are higher simply because of his sex.

Denis Grigoras
Psychology II





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Copyright The Gazette 1999