Why are we blind to sexism hurting men, take 4: Central Park false accusation
Following three previous posts here
- Why are we so blind to sexism that hurts men and boys?
- Philadelphia and Starbucks: How blind are we to sexism hurting men?
- More missing sexism when it hurts men
and countless incidents in life, here is yet another story with blatant sexism largely unremarked on. To be sure, some remark on it, but far from how much they recognize the racism.
The New York Times covered the story in White Woman Is Fired After Calling Police on Black Man in Central Park. Here’s the video:
Note the subtitle:
Video of the incident touched off intense discussions about the history of black people being falsely reported to the police.
Yes, blacks are falsely reported. So are men! The article calls out race or racism five times, sex zero times. Recognizing women’s criminality in no was diminishes anyone else’s, nor anyone’s victimhood. On the contrary, not recognizing it treats men and women differently for their sex.
Many readers will respond, “but women. . .”. Yes, violence against all groups is important, but all discussion about sexism need not cover women. If we don’t address systemic sexism hurting men in cases like this, when do we?
I don’t see the issue, by the way, as this woman or women in general, but a system that rewards behavior like she showed without accountability. This man was lucky for having the video or he could be in prison—in other times potentially lynched and dead.
Can we imagine a man making this call about a woman? Do men expect that tears will get the state to sympathize with them? Her lies combined with a hashtag to believe her, combined with a society and government that imprisons men about ten times more than women, could have put him in prison and worse. Men have been killed for such false accusations.
Men may, on average, have more upper body strength, but that strength pales in comparison to that of the state.
The woman’s public apology said:
I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.
Yes, race is an issue. What about sex? Can society accept that women can perpetrate and victimize men?
As the man is a bird watcher, the Audubon Society said:
â€œBlack Americans often face terrible daily dangers in outdoor spaces, where they are subjected to unwarranted suspicion, confrontation, and violence,â€ said Audubon SVP for State Programs Rebeccah Sanders, who is white.
I laud their pointing out the racial difference. What about the sexual difference?
Her once-employer, in a tweet stating they fired her wrote:
We do not tolerate racism of any kind
but nothing about sexism. I guess they tolerate sexism against men.
EDIT: I found these graphs after posting. Police shooting does differ by race, but not nearly as much as by gender.
EDIT 2: The NY Times followed up with How 2 Lives Collided in Central Park, Rattling the Nation. Again, racism mentioned over and over, sexism not once.
Note, for example,
Alison Faircloth, 37, a neighbor and dog owner, recalled that last winter, she came upon Ms. Cooper on the verge of tears outside the buildingâ€™s lobby. A doorman had cursed at her for no reason, Ms. Cooper told her. Ms. Cooper vowed to get the doorman fired, Ms. Faircloth said.
But when Ms. Faircloth asked the doorman what had happened, he told her that Ms. Cooper had complained about a broken elevator, then cursed at him after she barged into a security booth and had to be removed by a guard.
Men who barge into security booths risk prison. I don’t remember seeing many soliciting support with tears. I remember many being chastised for showing tears.
In an interview, Mr. Priest denied that heâ€™d had a romantic relationship with Ms. Cooper, though he admitted to borrowing the money. He called her a â€œstalkerâ€ who fictionalized their relationship, then erupted when it did not go her way.
A man who stalked risks prison. She clearly shows she’s willing to lie to put an innocent man in prison, which in New York City during this pandemic can mean death.
EDIT 3: Finally the New York Times posted an opinion piece, How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror, by Charles M. Blow. He wrote,
I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted.
This was again evident when a white woman in New Yorkâ€™s Central Park told a black man, a bird-watcher, that she was going to call the police and tell them that he was threatening her life.
This was not innocent nor benign nor divorced from historical context. Throughout history, white women have used the violence of white men and the institutions these men control as their own muscle.
We often like to make white supremacy a testosterone-fueled masculine expression, but it is just as likely to wear heels as a hood.
He still assigns a lot of responsibility for women’s actions to men, but at least he addresses the issue.
EDIT 3, October 14
In today’s article, Amy Cooper Made 2nd 911 Call to Falsely Accuse Black Bird-Watcher, after ignoring sexism in the headline, the article ignores it in the rest of the article.
It starts, “Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a Black bird-watcher in Central Park,” contrasting the skin color but not the sex difference from the start.
The news of the second call was the latest development in the Memorial Day weekend encounter that had resonated across the country and reignited discussions about the potential danger of false accusations made to the police about Black people.
What about false accusations about men?
During the call, she said multiple times that an â€œAfrican-American manâ€ was threatening her, emphasizing his race to the operator as she raised her voice frantically.
Maybe you heard differently, but I heard her emphasize his sex too.
I could quote many other parts of the article but you get the idea. Still, I’ll close this edit with this quote highlighting the everyday nature of the racism to show how everyday the sexism is that the paper of record doesn’t even see it:
Its timing, one day before protests erupted nationwide over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, only furthered its role in sparking outrage over what many viewed as an example of everyday racism.
We become so inured to this sexism that most people just think men are more violent and women more innocent. We cringe when we hear such things about skin color, religion, etc. Someday we will to about sexism. Until then, people just think men deserve it as far as I can tell.
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