“Two types of sexism prevail: overt and benevolent. Overt (aka hostile) sexism – like the exclusionary Muirfield policy – is easy to spot, especially in parts of the world where we have seen the most progress towards equality. Reasonable people call it for what it is – the belief that women are not equal to men, and due to their ‘second class’ existence, should not mind being ignored, excluded, violated, you name it.
Benevolent sexism is different – it is seemingly innocuous but is just as damaging and far more enduring.
The belief that women are kinder, more moral, more fair, more nurturing, and generally, more virtuous than men seems positive on the surface.
In reality, these benevolent stereotypes hurt women because they maintain inequality. Whether she’s the “little lady” or the “woman behind the man” or the soothing creature who exists simply to make men nicer, woman’s “natural” goodness becomes a rationale for why she should be protected from activities and occupations that require stereotypically “macho” qualities.
In the workplace, all sexism, both overt and benevolent, thwarts women’s opportunities to contribute …”
“It’s everyone’s job to tackle sexism, like racism, wherever it appears … As Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP commented, “Ultimately, only men can end sexism, and only white people can end racism.” Men must step up”