First, though sexism has always been there, I think there has been some loss in what is considered accepted civility. In other words, sexism could be at least restrained by some sense of propriety.
Second, our media culture’s increasingly sensationalistic approach has encouraged sensationalist behavior. This exacerbates existing problems, and normalizes uncivil behavior.
Third, there’s a Sense Of Enemy in sexism that makes me feel like we’re reading “The Screwfly Solution”. Our political discourse, polluted by decades of racial resentment politics has internalized the concept of the enemy - in an age of feminist games, women are now made into enemies with all the viciousness that’s the habit of other divisive political approaches.
Fourth, I think the commercialized approach we have to life has been diminishing. People are taught to want the big house, the sexy wife (sexy within certain parameters), the title, etc. What they’re not taught is to look for things that matter - we’re racking up things in life like video game achievements with no grounding.
It’s a weirdly toxic confluence. Manners and civility are gone, sexism is jacked up by pathological politics and a sensationalist media. Worst of all it’s hard for people to climb down - the talkers can’t shut up as it pays the bills, the average poseur can’t stop being sexist or he’ll be mocked, etc.
— This thought-provoking (if a bit flawed here and there) Washington Monthly post on the rise in virulent misogyny has attracted quite a few thoughtful comments. This one is my favorite—especially part four, because I really do think that the “everyone’s a celebrity” ideal that manifests itself in things like step-and-repeats at birthday parties and reality shows and etc. has had a very corrosive effect as far as determining What Matters.