Are You an ‘Equal Opportunity Jerk’ – Who Believes That Makes It OK?

Woman in nightclub throwing beverage in man's face
Study:   Many People Think If They’re An ‘Equal-Opportunity Jerk’ They Can’t Also Be Sexist

If you’re just mean to everyone, does it mean you’re not sexist?

University of Virginia researchers have found that many people actually think so.

The researchers write that when a man is a jerk to other men, it creates “an illusion of impartiality, giving sexist perpetrators plausible deniability.”

Researcher Peter Blemi adds, “This is problematic because sexism and rudeness are not mutually exclusive. Men who are sexist can be—and often are—rude toward other men.”

The scientists defined sexism as attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors that reflect, foster, or promote negative or pejorative stereotypes about women.

The take-home message:  Rudeness across genders creates a barrier to addressing sexism.

Researchers suggest future studies should look at whether rudeness can conceal other types of discrimination.
(EurekAlert!)

  • A study finds that many men think if they are an “equal-opportunity jerk” to both men and women it proves that they are not sexist
  • But, the scientists note that sexism and rudeness are not mutually exclusive, and that when men are jerks to other men it creates “an illusion of impartiality, giving sexist perpetrators plausible deniability”


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