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.