I balanced between wry amusement and growing astonishment as I read the Sept. 14 Community Conversations on “Subtle Sexism” regarding UNC student Blake Dodge’s Sept. 5 Point of View.
One after another of the commenters who implied that Dodge knew of sexism only because she’d been taught (“what most sociology departments teach”) were male. Finally came the lucid comment from another commenter encouraging other men to admit they know they have many “subtle, overt and inherent” advantages over women.
Growing up in the 1950s and even into the early 1960s, I heard admonishments to girls: “Don’t let the boys know you have good grades because they won’t ask you out.” The focus was not that girls who were smart weren’t pretty, but that girls who were pretty couldn’t be smart. Boys didn’t want smart girlfriends. “Why” was not explained.
To all those men who continue to think there is no subtle sexism I ask: Would they take my letter more seriously if it were signed by K. Watson Traut?