Sexism on the Internet?

Every time I turn around someone is crying discrimination or sexism on the internet, even in situations where it’s blatantly obvious that the original writer’s intent was something else entirely.

People nowadays can’t seem to distinguish between what true sexism is and what’s meant to be taken lightly or meant to be used as an example. At the merest hint of something that seems not completely “Politically Correct” people are up in arms and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, as though the world will end.

Get over yourselves. Not everything is sexism and not everything is about you! Sometimes it’s just illustrating a point.

What’s got me going is that a recent article on Mashable was talking about Internet Explorer 6 and the need for people to stop using a legacy browser, as it’s slowing down advances in internet technology.

Here’s a quote from the article with the supposedly offensive text colored in red:

“While it’s great to see companies taking a stand against the broken browser, we can’t help but wonder whether this type of campaign will make any impact, given that many users of IE6 are only using because of work/IT restrictions or are in underdeveloped countries. David, co-founder of Weebly, gave us his thoughts on the matter:

“We think we can have a huge impact: For those users that are just unaware they are using an old browser (mothers, grandmothers), we’d like to encourage them to upgrade and have a better experience using our sites. For those users in corporate environments, we’d like to start putting pressure on the IT department to upgrade — the more users who complain about seeing the prompts (especially if coming from the top), the more pressure the IT department will have to either upgrade IE 6 or install FirefoxFirefox side-by-side with IE 6 for compatibility reasons.””

The real kicker in this case is that actual statistics shows that this particular demographic, as well as corporate users, are in fact the highest demographic of people still using IE6.

Right away though, someone jumped in with this comment:

“It’s pretty dumb and sexist to label “mothers [and] grandmothers” as the people who are ignorant of technology, and to separate mothers and grandmothers from the corporate world. Mothers and grandmothers don’t work? Males don’t use IE6?”

Are you serious? In the same way that IE6 is holding back the internet, this mode of thinking in which everything has to be politically correct is holding back the entire world in terms of self-expression.

Should we go ahead and ban all of our classic literature, because it contains mentions of things that aren’t politically correct?

Get real, and if you’re so damn sensitive that something as innocent as what was mentioned in that article offends you, then maybe the internet isn’t for you!

Here are some amusing images to put this all in perspective:

I’d just like to emphasize one more time that this mode of thinking is ass backwards. I’ve even seen people complain that a person is being sexist just because of their personal preference in women. What? Is a person not allowed to have a preference for what he considers attractive anymore?

This insanity has got to stop.

7 thoughts on “Sexism on the Internet?”

  1. TC: I'm not entirelysure what you meant about the 8 years, but … and this is a bit off topic… I noticed that previously I'd said that there would never be gender equality unless everyone in the world became a hermaphrodite and recently there was that thing in the news about “Lady” Gaga.By the way, why is it that when women make sexist remarks it's cute, or funny, or a woman pushing back against the system, but a guy gets fired and labeled a sexist? O_o


  2. Once again, its PO-litical :PSame goes for reverse discrimination, the whole Gates affair and the whitehouse beer summit, the media casts things in stone, and then they perpetuate the image ad nauseum, punishing the transgressors and rewarding the “suffering”. Of course, once you're labelled as whatever, the stigma hangs on while vindications are forgotten, and for the regular white guy, there's a shitload of no-can-dos, for women less, and for minorities, well even less…Welcome to the 21st century! 😛


  3. Well, another reason why I am so careful with saying stuff these days, but as a non-white male who's seen more than enough crap everywhere during my time, I still welcome this new era of political/racial/gender sensitivity, even if it means cutting down on the “f” and “d” (even in private!) words when it comes to accomodating our friends with gender preferences that differ from ours. Its gonna be 8 more years of that anyway, and its kinda gratifying to see how some I knew stateside are trying to live with that these days. Next, declared gays in the military-Yah! Just kidding!! 😛


  4. @Singapore Fountain Pen: Very well written comment! I agree. The whole thing is stifling. At least writing anonymously I don't have to worry about that so much, because even if someone has a fit about something I write, there's no backlash to worry about.


  5. I'd have to agree. There's just too much sensitivity. And it's so difficult to express things when you have to worry about being politically correct all the time. It makes writing difficult too, when you have to be careful of the pronouns to use.


  6. I have to admit, it sounded sexist when I read it first. At least to the one who does not know that mothers and grandmothers are the demographic that is likely to use IE6. So I guess I can understand the one who comments and the one who said that. These days people are sloppy readers or some expect too much knowledge in advance.But I agree with you, the sexist and racist cards are thrown up so easily these days. And the label sticks, while nobody reads the rebuttal. People should just relax sometimes. And most of these cases are biased. Men could complain too, because some women are even worse. It's funny, when women blog about men in a sexist (even derogatory) way, they are labeled as 'funny, amusing, admirable…' but when men write about women that way, they are 'assholes, losers, sexists'. And they want equality?


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