20 Questions Tuesday: 250 - -isms


Recently there has been a kerfluffle… yes, a kerfluffle over some rather racist notions.  I mean seriously a “Southern Themed Wedding” where all of the wait staff happen to be people of African descent for aesthetic purposes? And people are surprised by the backlash?  Really?  But this brought me to a larger question about privilege and how many privileged people are sufferers of some kind of “-ism.”  Isms suck and should be made fun of, so let’s go!

Thanks this week go to Chris Ring, Lord Pithy, Nadolny, and JustinR… let’s get to it

1.  Are all isms bad?

Isms are generated by broad generalizations born from stereotypes.  Broad generalizations which are used to limit people are bad.  Stereotypes, even when considered positive traits, are bad. So, I would hazard to say, by this definition, that all isms are bad. This does not include things like cubism or marxism, etc…

2.  Which ism spurs you to immediate action?

Not much spurs me to “immediate action.”  My wife is much more the immediate action person.

3.  Which is ism makes you say, “lighten up Francis”?

I cannot say that I can think of one that makes me say “lighten up Francis,” but now I am trying to find anything anywhere that could cause me to say to someone “lighten up Francis.”

4.  Which ism is the most misunderstood?

I would say, that in many ways, ageism is the biggest ism that is most misdiagnosed and misunderstood.  Racists typically know that they are racist. Heterosexists pretty much know they are anti-gay (I would not say homophobic because I do not think they fear homosexuals as much as they wish them ill).  Sexists don’t always realize they are sexist.  Rarely do ageists realize they are propogating ageism.

5.  Are there any isms that are seasonal?

I am sure there are.  Probably stuff that is associated with specific holiday or holiday traditions.

6.  On the surface, priapism seems like a great thing (pun!). What are the “cons”?

Un-yielding boner seems to be the con.  Gonna go with that.

7.  As I get older I find myself less tolerant of noise, youth and fads. Am I the victim of ageism?

You may be less a victim and more a practitioner

8.  What ism do you struggle with?


9.  What is your favorite defense a person might use when accused of an ism?

They grew up in a time when this was okay…. Because clearly they are not learning thinking beings who can adapt and change to newer times like a society with cars and computers and flying tubes in the sky that take people across the oceans super fast like.

10.  Is it possible the media/society are too keen to tag some with ism just for the sensation of it all?

That shows a great deal of mediaism on your part.

11.  Ok, so this immediately came to mind. I quote Ferris Beuler, who I believe spouted this philosophy in the shower “A person should not believe in an ism - he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: “I don’t believe in Beatles - I just believe in me.”” That quote from a comedy movie always resonated with me. Thoughts?

To take this in ai believe you would be ascribed as having Beulerism in your heart of hearts and then you would writhe i the delicious irony.

12. What the hell is cake-ism? Is there a web site? Can I join? If there isn’t, can we form a society of cake-ites? Would the Pie-ism society be opposed to us or allied?

Cakeism is a bakery in Austin…  Dr B Dawg!  It is your mission to eat something from there and report! Pieism is a silly idea that should be ignored because it is merely a cheap knock-off of Pastafarianism.  Basically, you can be a cakeist in your heart without any formal organization… just like you don’t have to belong to the KKK to be racist.

13. I tend to tolerate everyone’s opinion in life, except for racism/biogtry (sex-age-race-sexual orientation sort of thing). I come close to hating those people who hate other people (although I guess I still tolerate their ignorant opinion). Does that make me a bigot of sorts? If so, I’m ok with that label. What would the label be for haters of haters (except for people that hate people that hate, I’m ok with those haters.  Does your head hurt yet?)?

Your reasoning is dizzying.  “I am only intolerant of intolerance…”  That is a feedback loop to be sure.  If you are systematically using their bigotry etc… against them in your interactions with them, I think you might be practicing bigotism….  Now, I am trying to determine if there is anything wrong with bigotism.

14. You know, this will be one of the more thought provoking blogs you’ve had, well except for my questions.

I think you are dealing with self-Nadolnism.

15.   What’s the line between chauvinism and chivalry? At what point does being gentlemanly go too far? (It’s a debate I heard going on on the radio the other day - interesting question).

I find that chauvinism and chivalry are very closely related.  In fact, I would hazard to say that they are the sides of the same coin.  Many sexist couch their actions in chivalry, so that is definitely a fine line.  The question you need to determine is if you are holding the door for a woman, would you do that for a man as well.  Remove the gender associated with the action and it just becomes “being polite.”  If the gender is important, it is sexist.

16.  Do most women still want a man that can support them or is the modern relationship more a partnership of equals?

If you are looking on a global scale, I would say that most women do not necessarily want a man that can support them as much as they need a male in their male dominated society.  

17.  Can a women ever be seen to be too provocative? Some men (who I have come across), seem to think that a woman who wears revealing clothing is making herself a target for rape - I disagree and honestly think that a real man should be able to keep it in his pants… anyway, interesting question that is hotly debated.

This is 2 separate questions.  1. Can a woman dress too provocatively?  Yes. People can talk to loud, walk too fast, eat too noisily, etc…  2. Does dressing too provocatively allow someone to be a target for rape? Nope, nothing allows for that. If someone is dressed too provocatively, it allows for you to ignore them as best you can and not give them any attention.  And that is about it.

18.  Are women still undervalued in the workplace due to chauvinistic policies?


19.  What do you see as the next ism that the majority of popular culture will tackle?

The problem with isms that deal with treating others as less is that they are all integrated and feed off of each other.  You cannot really deal with sexism without dealing with heterosexism, but you can’t deal with that without leveling the play-field of racism, but you can’t deal with racism until you deal with equality of the sexes… and you see the conundrum….

20.  Could you get into the kitchen and make me some pie?

Nope, I am no good at the pie baking.  Actually baking in general is not my strength.  Too much chemistry for my tastes.  I don’t follow instructions well enough for that, but I do cook… what’ll you have?

To recap:

Might not be posting next week as I will be on the vacations

I need a vacation

Vacations are good

Maybe I can get some sleep

Sleep is good

mmmmm sleep

Today I did not have a single meeting to go to…

Woo-Hooo no metings!

I actually got some work done

Woo-Hoo…. work!

What the hell did I just write?

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

Have a great weekend everyone