Hipster Sexism, it's just a joke, right?

by Bloomer Duckling on October 22, 2014 - 9:28pm

Hanging around male friends, I've heard sexist comments directed towards me as "jokes", and honestly, I've been guilty of laughing along and replying with an equally sexist comment, all in the name of good fun. But was laughing the correct behavior in this situation or should I have felt offended instead? In a culture that glorifies the trait of being funny and having a sense of humour, I defend my behavior by telling myself that I couldn’t have acted in any other way. The reason to all this questioning and introspection is to delve further into the analysis of how our culture chooses to view sexism. Nowadays, modern sexist comments are jokes, ironic remarks, and we even have women ‘empowering and taking control’ of the sexism, by enacting it themselves.. Just to exemplify the latter, one only has to pick up a cover of a Playboy magazine or a sit down at a Hooter’s restaurant and look at the lovely waitresses.  The underlying problem in all this is that as a culture we are viewing sexism as being okay, and that simply is not okay because there is too much of a hazy line of judgment when deciding when a comment is the owner’s authentic opinion or actually just a joke. It's important to look at this phenomenon because it seems that the modern culture is promoting sexism as a joke and forgetting that sexism is still wrong.

A new term, “Hipster Sexism”, clarifies this concept a little more.  Even through all my questions, I’m still a little confused myself. Maybe “hipster sexism” needs to focus more on how we deal with the pressures to conform to the people around us, as well. I must admit, I’m not entirely innocent of using Hipster sexism, but I can now clearly recognize when it’s being used. They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I think I have a slight problem? Or maybe I just need to take a chill pill.


I've never heard the term "Hipster Sexism" but after reading your post and the article you linked, I can definitely say that I have seen it.
It's an interesting concept and made me think. While it can be considered a step up from blatant, 100% negative sexism (Or "classic" sexism, as the article calls it), "Hipster Sexism" is still.... sexist. Not a good thing. I say it's a step up because at least it has good intentions, sort of. The approach just isn't very good because it is still degrading. It's a similar mindset to the way I commonly see people handling bullies. We're taught at a young age that the ideal way to handle being bullied is to laugh it off. Laugh along with the aggressor, maybe they'll think you're not bothered and leave you alone. In doing that nothing is being solved. Sure the harassment comes to an end (maybe), but the attitude has not changed. That bully probably still makes jokes to their friends. Still makes comments in their own head. Sure, you don't know about it but the bad attitude and aggression still exists. Just elsewhere. They've probably moved on to a new victim. I wish people, as a general statement, would take more time to actually fix problems rather than avoiding them. Why not work to change the root of aggression rather than working around it?
I do see this "Hipster Sexism" all the time, and it sort of drives me nuts when I actually think about it. But I usually don't because that's unfortunately how our society is. I'm used to it so it's easy to not even notice it and like you said, I'm absolutely guilty of using it myself. Awareness is the key to cutting back. I'll try to be more conscious and by doing so hope that others may follow suit. It's just so distasteful, you know? It's simple to say "that's just how it is" and "boys will be boys", but that's the biggest issue with sexism, I feel. Everyone's kinda just like.... "Ohhhhh well!" You're right, the first step is admitting there's a problem, and, well.... There's a problem.
This was thought-provoking, I enjoyed your post!

I would say it depends on the type of person you are. If you’re the type that gets offended very easily then obviously you would not be laughing at “hipster sexism” directed toward you. On the other hand if you are not someone who doesn’t get offended easily, then you would probably react the way that you do to it. In my own experiences, I am around men all day long and they make comments here and there that would come off as being sexist to some and just a joke to others. I am the type of person that doesn’t get offended easily and I do the same thing that you do; I just laugh at what they say. I have never noticed it before, but I can see where one would come up with the term “hipster sexism” and now I feel as though I would be able to identify it if were used around me again.

The title of your post really caught my attention. I too have heard many sexist jokes, and just like you I never know if I should just laugh it off, or if I should say something about it. I believe many people also feel this way when someone says a racist joke. They aren't sure if they should just laugh and continue on with the conversation or if they should tell the person that their jokes aren't right. Sexist and racist jokes have become a norm in our society, and I don't think it is right. Both sexism and racism are big issues that our society faces and yet not many people take them seriously. I feel like if people started calling out those who say these jokes and told them that there jokes were not funny, just offensive, then people would be less likely to say them.

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