If I can’t make a negative comment about Madonna’s performance during the Superbowl because it would be considered sexist and ageist, then feminism in this country is kind of f**ed.
I agree with Spanish Prof completely. Time and again, I hear this strange suggestion that being feminist is supposed to preclude one from being critical of women. What I find especially funny is that people don’t realize that when they defend the idea that women are always above reproach just because they are female, they actually buy into the patriarchal mentality that only afforded women the roles of a saint and a whore. Women’s humanity and human fallibility is denied by this approach.
One’s criticisms become sexist when one criticizes women (or men) as women (or men). If you say, “God, Madonna’s performance was so awful”, you are not being sexist. But if you add, “Well, who could have expected anything better from a woman?”, you are sexist.
Being held to a higher standard because one is female is as damaging as being given a free pass because of it. Both of these attitudes are sexist because they are based on treating women as representatives of their gender and not as human beings.