Reverse-sexism isn’t a thing, people. Neither is reverse-racism. Reverse-sexism would be gender-equality. Reverse-racism would be racial-equality. I get the point people are trying to make, but to me it seems to downplay the fact that if someone from a “minority” prejudges someone based on the colour of their skin or the particular plumbing they were born with, that it somehow isn’t racism or sexism.
Keep in mind, this isn’t a typical white male who feels put-upon when criticized. It truly bothers me that reverse-racism and -sexism (maybe we should call them “revenge-racism and revenge-sexism”, or more appropriately, “racism” and “sexism”) are given a pass in society. “It’s okay. They’ve been the subject of prejudice all their lives. They’re allowed to do exactly the same thing that was done to them.”
How can anyone heal from the damage of oppression if, after the oppression is largely lifted (note, I said “largely lifted”; there are certainly still changes to be made) they are given the green-light to retaliate against their oppressors in exactly the same way (i.e., by making prejudgments based on nothing more than physical characteristics)?
Revenge is never a solution to a problem, especially if after the revenge you still have to live in a society with the target.
Have white males behaved badly throughout history? Absolutely. I think most people would agree that they have. Does it help when the victim does the exact same thing? No. Eventually, someone has to forgive or we get nowhere.
I agree. The problem with “revenge” racism or “revenge” sexism is that it targets those who may have had little or nothing to do with your oppression. It’s like keeping the entire class after school because one kid was an ass. As a gay man, it would certainly be understandable for me to trash every heterosexual I ever saw, but it would be counterproductive.
That being said, allow me to share a few thoughts.
First, ask yourself if perhaps the person mistreating you is having a bad day. It’s not always about racism or sexism, unless of course epithets are being tossed your way.
Second, when a woman or a person of color directs their anger in my direction, especially online, I don’t take it personally. If I know deep in my heart that I have done nothing to deserve such treatment, I ignore it. They don’t know me. There’s no amount of arguing that will change their mind. Besides, arguing may in fact make it worse. When it happens in person, the only thing you can do is try not to overreact. — We all live in our own realities. When people doubt the intelligence of a Latino who speaks little English, you can hardly blame him for his resentment.
It’s not right to lash out at white males just because they’re white and male, but there is a little thing called “White Male Privilege”. White males can walk down a street in the middle of the night without fear of rape. White males are less likely to be carded at a bar. White males can walk through a department store without being followed or shot by security. I can’t change the fact that I am a white male, but I can be aware of how I affect the world around me. Perhaps if more of us were a little more aware, there might be less distrust of white men.
And yes, if you treat a white person badly simply because (s)he is white, are you any better than any other bigot?
…but what do I know?