04/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Which "Ism" Is More Entrenched In America: Sexism Or Racism?

Emmanuel Levinas argues that much of Western thought "suffers from an allergy to the other." All over the world this is demonstrated through the unlimited lists of isms; sexism, ageism, racism, classism, etc. There is no monopoly on hatred of the other.

This reality is manifest in the ill-treatment and prejudice against people because they belong to a certain demographic which is different from our own. The histories of genocides, slaveries, concentration camp internments, and holocaust against groups like Armenians, Jews, Native Americans, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, are all examples of the sin of racisms and xenophobia. In addition, the history of patriarchy and kyriarchy has left too many women ill-compensated, marginalized, exploited, abused, raped, and murdered at the hands of a society that sees woman as less-than man.

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