Back on the Disqus days, we had a discussion about sexism on the Avocado. Highlighted issues at the time included overly aggressive flirting/innuendo, objectification of female celebrities, casual sexism, and playing Devil’s Advocate or denying sexism.
I think it’s time we discussed this topic again. The Avocado is often one of the most supportive and kind places on the Internet, but we still have our faults, and we can still be better. I’d like to open up the floor for female-identified people to discuss their experiences with experiencing or observing sexism here, and also to talk more generally about areas of improvement.
Male-identified people, please read and join in this discussion. However, I will ask you two things:
1. Do not try to deny or minimize a woman’s experiences with sexism here.
2. If you are feeling defensive or feeling the desire to play Devil’s Advocate, stay and read but do not post until that feeling passes. That defensiveness will not help us be better as a site!
Here are some areas we could improve on:
— the casual use of sexist slurs. This isn’t okay even if the person you’re talking about is a truly awful person. We don’t want to see slurs used here, at all. This also applies generally to using sexist terms or language: sexism isn’t okay just because you’re talking about a bad person.
— defensive reactions when called out on sexism or problematic language. We also notice that women calling these things out are more likely to get defensive reactions than men, and this includes mod interventions and warnings. Notice your reactions when someone says “hey, that’s not cool”. Are you reacting more aggressively if the Avocado or mod saying that to you is a woman? If so, it might be a good idea to look at that reaction in yourself.