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2013-06-22 00:58 (UTC)
It's a good theory. I don't have a better one. I'm a man in a computing context, so my first thought is to inspect myself and see what I'm an example of.
As anyone with a conscience would, I like to think I'm not terribly sexist. Let's posit for a moment that I'm right about that. Even so, I'm not sure exactly what I'd attribute it to. For as long as I can remember, back to schoolboy days, I've just always been terribly pleased to discover that someone is smart. (Let's also posit that we don't need to define what "smart" is, for the moment.) Was it how I was raised? My mother is strong and well educated, my father is as reasonable a person as exists in the world, and there was certainly a strong emphasis on the intellect. Was it a side effect of my social struggles as a "smart" kid, such that I learned to accept humane interactions with anyone who would offer them? Maybe. Am I more sexist than I like to think I am? I hope not, but it's possible.
In any case, I think the easiest way for someone like me to not think sexist thoughts or perform sexist actions is to arrive at a sort of pseudo-naivete wherein a person isn't an instantiation of some categories, but rather simply a person. This frame of mind makes it possible to be willing to receive whatever they offer and to wait until
some interaction with someone to modulate one's expectations of them. I say "easiest", but of course it first requires a long slog through some hard work on one's self. At least it did in my case! But I have found it helps me deal humanely with all sorts of people, including the "stupid" ones. Whether I'm as successful in this regard as I imagine, or whether my approach scales, I can't say.
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