[Ed. – Do these people ever listen to themselves?]
If you’re a man who smiles at women and makes an effort to be kind to them, you’re probably an “insidious” and “treacherous” sexist, according to a study conducted by researchers from Northeastern University in Boston.
After observing 27 people playing Trivial Pursuit, the researchers determined that these kind of behaviors — previously known as “chivalry” — were actually signs of what’s called “benevolent sexism.” In other words: Men who think that women deserve to be treated well often also think that women should be treated particularly well because they’re women. This, they explain, perpetuates gender inequality. Offering your jacket to a shivering women isn’t helping her — it’s hurting her by perpetuating the patriarchal idea that a woman is more likely to be cold than you are just because she’s a woman.
Other warning signs of “benevolent sexism” include being friendly and chatty to women — which head researcher Jin Goh said is in some ways worse than being mean and/or straight up ignoring them:
“Sexism can appear very friendly and very welcoming, so in the paper we said that sexism can act like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Goh said, according to an article in the Washington Post. “We add that sexism can consciously or unconsciously cloak itself in friendliness, so in a way it’s more insidious and treacherous than hostile sexism.”