Sexism vs. Racism: DuBois, Baldwin, and De Beauvoir

Both sexism and racism are heinous concepts that poison relationships between people belonging to different ethnic and racial backgrounds. However, their existence cannot be ignored; otherwise, the problem is aggravated to an even greater extent. DuBois, Baldwin, and De Beauvoir provide all-embracive scrutiny of the identified concepts and detail a significant difference between them. One could argue that the specified observation is obvious; however, studying the phenomena in question closer, one will have to admit that both are based on a relatively similar idea of intolerance and superiority. However, according to DuBois, Baldwin, and De Beauvoir, conflating the specified notions under the umbrella of hatred and intolerance would be wrong for a number of reasons.

In her studies, De Beauvoir claims that sexism has a much more significant negative effect than racism. The philosopher states that the institutionalization of gender-based discrimination affects a significantly larger group of people than racism and transcends ethnicities. Herein lies the reason for De Beauvoir to view sexism as the phenomenon that leads to vastly more detrimental outcomes than racism. In his turn, DuBois tends to distance himself from seeing racial and ethnic differences and focus on the concept of unity between races. However, DuBois adds an essential dimension to the argument by pointing out the connection between biology and culture that racism implies.

Therefore, based on the authors’ works, the difference between racism and sexism can be represented from the perspective based on which the identified notions were created. Also, it also defines the difference between them. To be more specific, while sexism may exist within a particular oppressed group in a racist society, the opposite is not typically observed, as Baldwin claims. The phenomena of racism and sexism are truly outrageous and must be eradicated from modern society. For this purpose, the notions have to be scrutinized. As soon as the differences in nature thereof are located, opportunities for addressing social inequalities will emerge.

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