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McGill University
PHIL 242
Zoli Filotas

PHIL 242 - “Sexism” The Problem - sexism is globally clear, overall there is a big problem - in every day lives, it is not as clear - this leads to various problems - (1) identifying and understanding sexism (metaphysical, epistemetical problem) - (2) persuading others that it’s a problem (political, rhetorical problem) - the big picture is that women live lesser lives than men - Bodily considerations: not getting enough food, getting sick - Others: ** - an argument that sexism exists - 1. Women live lesser lives than men - 2. This must be one of two reasons: - Either it is natural result of the way they are - Or are systematically disadvantaged by society - 3. It’s not a natural result of the way they are - It must be because they are systematically disadvantaged - What kind of causes could have this effect? - “Sexism can be seen as a force responding **” Three Levels of Sexism - institutional sexism: built into both the explicit rules and implicit norms of large communities (e.g. Catholic Church, family, language, etc.) - interpersonal: in casual interactions in small groups of people (who talks more? how are disagreements settled? who gets what kind of attention?) - unconscious: in the minds of individuals clearly exist when people make decisions that aren’t justified by reasonable assessment of available evidence - conscious sexism is not mentioned in the article but it does exist - a lot of sexism but not a lot of people who think of themselves as sexist - the issue is that with religion, cultural norms, etc. we pass down sexist actions - intrinsic sexism: “I don’t like women and I don’t want any to work here.” - extrinsic sexism: “I love women, I just don’t think they’re suited for the job.” - extrinsic individuated sexism: “I love women, and I think that women are suited to this job. But this female candidate isn’t right for the job (and neither is that one, or that one...).” - the three levels of discrimination are both causes and effects of sexism - sexism is systematic - definition important to explain the wide range of effects and the difficulty in identifying the cause Objections - essentialism says that there are real biological differences - reply: - the scientific evidence differences in abilities is not solid and it belongs to a very nasty and unreliable tradition - scientific
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