Zita, your point about macro observations is very important. It’s impossible to talk about many important matters without talking about things that are generally true.
Certainly, micro perspective matters, and keeping things in balance is important, but if we can’t acknowledge trends of behavior among groups of people, we render ourselves powerless to investigate problems and work toward solutions.
For example, and to remove the emotional element of sexism from the topic, I often write about HIV prevention.
In the United States, it is a fact that gay men and transgender women are more at risk of HIV transmission than other populations. By several orders of magnitude.
So when designing HIV prevention campaigns, it’s critical to focus on at-risk groups. That’s the macro perspective, or as we say, the public health perspective.
It doesn’t do a lot of good to focus limited prevention resources on straight women in the Northeast when gay men in the Southeast are more at risk by several zeros.
On a micro level, of course, or from a personal health perspective, all good HIV education should be at least applicable to a broader audience.
And yet, when HIV educators target actual at-risk populations, somebody always wants to jump out of the woodwork and complain about “stereotyping.”
Well, stereotypes are often true in a broad sense. Just as gay men are far more at risk for HIV than straight women, women are far more likely to be victims of narcissistic abuse than men are.
That’s just true. And if we can’t talk about things that are true, we can’t work together to fix real problems.