Two academic non-males have invented, or are at least giving a good work-out, to the neologism structural sexism, maybe because structural racism has been so lucrative to academic careers.
You recall structural racism is defined as the racism that the debased wished existed so that they could claim racism but which isn’t there but they still want to say racism, so they say this. Same thing with structural sexism. Whites bad, white men baddest.
One example of the term is in the peer-reviewed paper “When Religion Hurts: Structural Sexism and Health in Religious Congregations” by Patricia Homan and Amy Burdette in the “journal” American Sociological Review.
These non-males say that because perfect equity does not exist everywhere in all things, structural sexism exists, and that this “persistent gender inequality in large scale social institutions is only one manifestation of a discriminatory gender system.” Which means there are more manifestations than this one, though they don’t say what form these manifestations take. Maybe they just like saying manifestation.
Anyway, just like with structural racism, you cannot find, not even with the most meticulous searching, any large- or even medium-scale institution that does not go out of its way to reward blacks and persons “of color” just for being their race; the same thing is true for giving perks to non-males.
With one big exception: religion. Structural non-equity exists in religion. For instance, the Catholic Church will still not allow men to become nuns. The bigots.
Muslims are even more discriminating. They read Christian scripture, too, but they implement some of it better. Like when St Paul said “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law”, Muslims believe it.
“Gender scholars,” our non-male gender scholars say, “have long explored the contours”—contours!—“and consequences of gender inequality in the United States, but the measurement of structural sexism and its health consequences is a relatively recent development.”
So they set about measuring it. And believe you me it takes a gender scholar to do this measuring, because, as our non-male gender scholars admit, “Individuals may not directly perceive structural sexism”. It takes Experts.
Where to start? With “observable feelings”, naturally enough. Also “cellular aging” and such-like things, all of which caused diligent “scholars” to focus “on the dark side of religion”. Like the nasty health effects of “threatening beliefs about the devil”.
“We therefore ask the following research questions: 1) Is attending a sexist religious institution that excludes women from power and leadership associated with health among women and men? 2) If so, how does the health of attendees at inclusive religious institutions and sexist religious institutions compare to that of individuals who do not regularly participate in organized religion?”
You might laugh at the idiocy of the first question, but consider this scenario. A female Catholic parishioner screams, “I’m going to hold my breath until you make me a priest!” She passes out. She undergoes cellular aging. She has observable feelings. It can happen.
The Church could remove the possibility of these observable feelings by giving in to Equality and letting the woman become a priestess. It came close when it ordained James Martin. Yet the Church retains its adamantine grip on inequality, insisting, as it does, that men are not women, and women not men.
The scenario as I spell it out is at least makes the questions posed measurable: the cause can be tied to the effect. Alas, that can’t be said for the way our two non-male gender scholars attacked the problem.
What they did was look at some surveys done for other reasons, tying questions about religion to questions about health. And then they performed a maneuver scientists call “making shit up”. Pace:
We conceptualize structural sexism as systematic gender inequality in power and resources within religious congregations, and we measure it with three different congregation-level variables based on a series of questions answered by each congregation’s leader. First, we use a dichotomous measure (labeled “board”) indicating whether an “otherwise qualified woman” in the congregation would be permitted to “serve as a full-fledged member of the congregation’s main governing body or coordinating committee” (0 = yes, 1 = no). This
measure of women’s representation in governance is particularly important for assessing the relationship between structural sexism and health given the accumulating evidence showing women’s political representation is vital for population health both in the United States and in the developing world (Homan 2017; Quamruzzaman and Lange 2016).
Whatever, dude. Or dudettes.
One Mad Mom asked me to look at this paper.
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