Melanie Tannenbaum in Scientific American‘s PsySociety blog notes that “benevolent sexism” is a real thing that happens when something presented as a positive is still emphasizing the sex of the person, rather than their work.
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If we’re talking up the importance of work-life balance and familial roles for women but we’re not also mentioning those things about men, that’s a problem. If a woman’s accomplishments must be accompanied by a reassurance that she really was “a good Mom,” but a man’s accomplishments are allowed to stand on their own, that’s a problem. And lest you think that I only care about women, let’s not act like this doesn’t have a real and dangerous impact on men, too. If a man spends years of his life as a doting father and caring husband, yet his strong devotion to his family is not considered an important fact for his obituary because he’s male…then yes, that’s also a big problem.
The entire article is well worth reading The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly…