Do you agree that there is no such thing as reverse sexism, racism and homophobia?

I was reading this definition about oppression, which are your thoughts?

Oppression is the wide-spread social privileging of some groups over other groups through social structures and institutions. An important thing to understand is that oppression consists of two inter-related phenomena: subjugation and privilege. They live side-by-side. Dismantling oppression means dismantling BOTH of these phenomena.

Something else that is important to understand is that oppression is not discrimination. Oppression is about systems and relations of power, and exists in social structures and institutions. Oppression is wide-spread subjugation of one group while simultaneously privileging another group. This means that those groups who are subjected to oppression are not in a social position to oppress people belonging to the dominant group. There is no such thing as “reverse” sexism, racism, homophobia, (dis)ableism, classism, etc.

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    She said, "Oppression is about systems and relations of power, and exists in social structures and institutions. Oppression is wide-spread subjugation of one group while simultaneously privileging another group"...

    yet everyone is still citing individual cases of discrimination by an individual of a marginalized class. Yes a Black person can discriminate or act racist toward a White person, but the systematic oppression of a marginalized group only works on way. Blacks cannot subjugate Whites. One Black person can discriminate against Whites, but s/he cannot opress White people.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think the definition we are being asked to accept confuses the issue as it asks us to equate oppression at an institutional level with prejudice at a personal level. Clearly the two things are different, so the question re sexism/racism etc does not follow from the definition of oppression.

    youwantmeo made some intelligent points, but went inexplicably awol regarding sexual orientation. According to the American Psychological Association: "There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality"

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  • 1 decade ago

    "This means that those groups who are subjected to oppression are not in a social position to oppress people belonging to the dominant group. There is no such thing as “reverse” sexism, racism, homophobia, (dis)ableism, classism, etc."

    I wish I could agree with it, but I cannot.

    An African American (for example) in the social position to oppress Caucasians. You can go to these links to read about the DA of New Orleans Eddie Jordan and how he lost a law suit, must pay restitution and has now resigned because he was found guilty of racial bias when he fired all the Caucasian employees and hired African Americans in their place. :

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  • Junie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Nonsense. I only agree on one point - "reverse" sexism, etc., is BS. There is no "reverse" about it - discriminating against someone because of which "group" they belong to is wrong. It is equally racist (or sexist, etc.) to make broad assumptions about whites, blacks, women, men, gays, straights, etc.

    Why do people see things in such black and white terms? Just because you are a member of an oppressed group, it does not give you carte blanche to do some oppressing yourself. Only through having dignity and showing class can we advance the image of women, for example, or blacks, or gays, or whatever. That means not being incredibly sexist or racist and then whining that you're oppressed yourself, so it doesn't "count".

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  • 1 decade ago

    No I don't believe that and I will explain why.

    Who oppresses and who is oppressed changes with context, all the time.

    For example, a lone boy in a class of girls may well experience sexist behavior, and in turn be a sexist when after school he plays sports with a group of other boys and a lone girl.

    Sexism can and does happen both ways, just like racism. Straight men can be intimidated at a gay bar. Gay men can be intimidated at a lesbian book reading.

    These things are driven by context.

    Your argument is perhaps valid situation by situation, but we are the sum of our experiences.

    I do agree that one must simultaneously dismantle privilege and subjugation - that sits well with the examples above.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The way I see it, there can be oppression in both directions. The first, and perhaps most familiar, is the oppression that people consider to the the most enduring: The oppression that accompanies white male privilege. As the argument goes, that power paradigm has existed for centuries. Since this is GWS, I will limit the scope of my answer to sexism.

    I would suggest to you that there are in fact different power paradigms which may not have been around for very long; in fact, some might be very temporary in their existence. When a group of people exists in which the traditional "oppressor" (for lack of a better word) is in the minority or his status is otherwise upended because of his perceived privilege, the

    power is in the hands of the formerly oppressed.

    It would be naive to think that the formerly oppressed would be any more magnanimous in their wielding of such power. In fact, if anything, they might use this power as an opportunity to vent, or seek revenge in some way.

    A classic example of this is in matters of family law, where women have more power, than men, and this power is routinely abused by women (with the assistance of the institution of law, I might add). But reverse sexism needn't be that enduring. A class with an angry female teacher and a lopsided female-to-male student ration is a perfect environment for reverse sexism, even if that exists only for a single semester.

    Of course, i could provide similar examples for issues of race. Homophobia is a silly term in itself, as it implies a an irrational fear. The reverse, "heterophobia", just doesn't make any sense.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Do you agree that there is no such thing as reverse sexism, racism and homophobia?

    Yes, I agree there is no such thing. You can't reverse it - this is redundant and the concept makes no sense in the English language. Let's take racism for example. Let's succinctly DEFINE our term:

    rac·ism (rā'sĭz'əm)


    1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

    There appear to be two DIFFERENT kinds of racism:

    1. Person-to-person (self-explanatory)

    2. "Institutional Racism" (below)

    Definition: The term "institutional racism" describes societal patterns that have the net effect of imposing oppressive or otherwise negative conditions against identifiable groups on the basis of race OR ETHNICITY.


    The term was coined by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) at some point during the late 1960s.

    Carmichael felt that it was important to distinguish personal bias, which has specific effects and can be identified and corrected relatively easily, with institutional bias, which is generally long-term and grounded more in inertia than in intent. Carmichael made this distinction because, like Martin Luther King Jr., he had grown tired of white moderates and uncommitted liberals who felt that the primary or sole purpose of the civil rights movement was white personal transformation.

    Carmichael's primary concern, and the primary concern of most civil rights leaders, was and is societal transformation--a much more ambitious goal.

    Contemporary Relevance:

    In the United States, institutional racism results from the social caste system that sustained, and was sustained by, slavery and racial segregation. Although the laws that enforced this caste system are no longer in place, its BASIC STRUCTURE still stands to this day. This structure may gradually fall apart on its own over a period of generations, but activism is necessary to expedite the process and provide for a more equitable society in the interim.

    Also Known As: societal racism, cultural racism

    Racism, at least the kind that matters, is less about whether individual people are "racist" or not and more about whether institutions and economic systems have achieved so much racist inertia over the years that lifespans are shortened and spirits broken."

    Ok, we agree that institutional racism/cultural SYSTEMIC racism is entwined with the political/lega/educational (whatEVER) power structure. The more powerful group can suppress the weaker one. We are NOT talking about small groups of individuals - or individuals themselves.

    Can you objectively measure 'race' anyway? When I lived in the US a census taker came 'round and asked me my race. I was surprised (this q isn't asked on a Canadian Cenus form, instead it's replaced by a q on ethnic origin). Anway, I think my initial answer was "Martian". Then I asked if he had brought with him a 'colour chart' - like the kind used by paint manufacturers. How black is black, and how white is white? He was bemused; but agreed. There IS no way to measure. I asked him had anyone else QUESTIONED THE QUESTION - he answered 'no'. Now, lo and behold, I find this in a social sciences dictionary:


    "A classification of humans beings into different categories on the basis of their biological characteristics. There have been a variety of schemes for race classification based on physical characteristics such as skin colour, head shape, eye colour and shape, nose size and shape etc… The idea of race categories also appears to be unscientific, since humans are able to mate across all “races” and have done so throughout history, creating an enormous variety of human genetic inheritance. In addition the defining characteristics of “race” do not appear in all members of each so-called race, but merely occur with some degree of statistical frequency. If the defining characteristic of each “race” does not appear in all members of each “race” then the whole definition is clearly inadequate.”

    Oh, look: it appears I'm not the only crazy around. Scientists too think "The idea of race categories...appears to be unscientific".

    So here I am, accused of racism - while I, and in very good company - question the validity of the whole concept of 'race' to begin with! This is even more dumbfounding when the attack is levelled by people in a New World country where everybody is an immigrant anyway (and aboriginal peoples have had their genetic materal contaminated by genetic material - from everybody else TOO.

    The answer to your question is you need to prove to me that race even exists. People who believe race exists are far more likely to be racist.

    Racism can be found in any person or group of persons and societal institutions. It's politically-correct MALARKY to suggest otherwise. I remain unconvinced - and suspicious about the lengths to which people don't question the questions or the questioners. It's crap - there is an agenda behind it - and I don't buy it.

    Source(s): to start, anyway...
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  • 1 decade ago

    You're confusing oppression with bigotry. Oppression is a cultural phenomenon. Bigotry is a personal outlook. Can a black person oppress a white person? In our society, its highly unlikely. However, a black person can hate white people because of the color of their skin (racism) or a woman can hate men because of their gender (sexism). And those prejudices are just as wrong as their counterparts.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would argue that if you are black and you hate whites, you are a racist. If you are white and hate blacks, you are a racist. If you are asian, and hate blacks you are a racist.

    There is no reverse racism. If you hate someone based soley on race, you are racist.

    Now, sexism is a little harder. Surely, if you hire a man or a woman based solely on gender its sexism. But, thats not to say all women are cut out for typical mens job. For instance, typically a firefighter is a strong male, that can lift a few hundred pounds over his shoulder and carry someone out of a burning building, out a window, down a ladder in a quick amount of time. Now, thats not to say a woman could not do it - but she would have to be better than the male counterpart during tests.

    Now homophobia is different all together. The general idea here by the liberals is that someone is born gay. Clearly, this is not true, every single study I have seen proves it is taught. Just as we do not accept other sinful activity as murderers or thieves, we should not tolerate this behavior. To argue moreso, if you found out your neighbor had sex with his dogs and cats, would you turn your eye?

    Classism still exists. But lets face it, if you are born good looking, all classes will accept you. And even the poor can take loans, goto a nice university, and change their status. The one thing here is the rest of these fall in discrimination and is illegal. I do not think classism is illegal?

    The handicap are at a disadvatage by definition. I mean how can you hire someone tied to a wheelchair to cut your lawn or paint your second story house. Surely if all he has to do is sit a computer all day it not a big deal, but lets face it, not all handicap individuals play in basketball leagues - those that do are the exception.

    Yes people do judge. Stereotyping started as an ability to SURVIVE. Those that quickly were able to identify were able to SURVIVE.

    The idea that everyone is born equal is a canard. If someone is born from a king and queen, they have a better chance at life then somone born from the poor. Notice I did not mention sex, race, or handicap. But simply being born in a better class will give them a better chance at life. What we need to strive for is FAIRNESS. So that despite what they are born as, they are treated the same.

    I hope you agree.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course. But it is not "reverse" sexism, racism or homophobia. Its still discrimination. There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination.

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