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at least one thing has got to give

One popular way of telling if something belongs to the worst category of things - "structural oppressions" - is the following rule:
A thing is x-ist if it disproportionately harms group x.
Well enough. However:

  1. "An act is homophobic if it disproportionately harms queer people."
  2. Unilateral nuclear disarmament by e.g. the US would transfer huge amounts of power to the Russian and Chinese governments.
  3. The Russian and Chinese governments systematically harm queer people (more than the US government does).
  4. Therefore unilateral nuclear disarmament is homophobic.

  1. "An institution is racist if it disproportionately harms nonwhite people."
  2. The Black Panther Party plausibly killed more black people than white people.
  3. Therefore the Black Panther Party may have been racist against black people.

  1. "A process is sexist if it disproportionately harms women."
  2. The law of gravity caused the Earth to form.
  3. Because the Earth formed, thousands of years of patriarchy happened and are happening.
  4. Therefore the law of gravity is sexist.

Pure logic cannot tell us how the world is, nor how it should be. But it can show what cannot be the case.


  1. Bonus round:

    1. "A person is sexist if they ever do anything sexist."
    2. Gloria Steinem made a sexist gaffe.
    3. Therefore Gloria Steinem is sexist.


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