Racism is Not Possible without Sexism

Ending Sexism Together Series Introduction

The system of racism could not have been established, institutionalized, and perpetuated without sexism and male domination.

In our approach to ending racism, ending sexism isn’t an add-on or an “intersection,” it’s essential to achieving this goal.

As a global community, we have been confused about what sexism is, how it operates, and what its purpose is in an oppressive society. The persistent confusions about sexism are well organized, purposeful, and institutional. They keep us from uniting as allies to end this oppression and other oppressions that are built on top of it.

In our August 2022 Healing Together Gathering: Understanding Sexism, we asked participants to put a checkmark next to scenarios they believed were examples of sexism. In a telling illustration of our shared confusion, each scenario was heavily marked, though only three of the examples (the ones highlighted in purple) were actual examples of sexism as we define it. Throughout this blog series, we’ll touch on why the other scenarios are not examples of sexism.

Sexism is the systematic and institutionalized mistreatment and dehumanization of females.

It is organized around the false narrative of male superiority (the lie that males think, act, and are better than females) and male preference. The pretext, primary excuse, and justification for sexism is female reproduction, whether or not we can or choose to ever have children.

Sexism is in place to control the (re)production of humans, property, and wealth.

Racial “purity” and the project of White supremacy requires White female wombs to reproduce whiteness. Without Black female wombs, wealth could not have been (re)produced for White owning class males under the chattel slavery system that legislated Black wombs as only being able to (re)produce property, not humans. Land and other natural resources could not have been stolen without the genocide of Indigenous, female wombs. The United States was founded on these policies of sexism and they continue to be embedded in our economy and institutions, and are increasingly exported around the globe through imperialism.

Clearing Up Confusions about Sexism

Through this blog series, we hope clear up three persistent confusions about sexism:

  1. The Conflation of Sex and Gender
  2. The Myth that Sexism has Ended
  3. The Myth of Reverse Sexism

We are at a turning point, a time when coming together as females and allies, renewing our commitment to end this oppression as part of our racial justice work, will make a critical difference for the future of our planet.

Together we can recognize, understand, and heal from the pervasive impacts of sexism and male domination on all of us. And from there, we can end racism together.

In addition to this blog series, check out these opportunities to learn more about our Ending Sexism work: