In thinking about racism, sexism, discrimination in general; there is the view that, if you do not find favor with someone, if you do not think favorably of someone- you are discriminating! I happen to agree with this, but I do not think it is a bad thing and I do think that we ALL do this, all the time, every day! You can say you prefer to select a piece of angel food cake rather than a piece of apple pie, you are making a choice, a judgment about what will satisfy your desire for something sweet or to satisfy your hunger. Is this prejudicial? Perhaps, viewed in a certain context, but, we all do this many times every day.
Do we make the same preference decisions about people? Of course we do! We do it on a huge and constantly changing number of variables about just about everything. Who do you choose to hang out with, play with, have lunch with, talk to, have sex with, fight with, or against; in other words, relate to, perhaps trust. Does this mean you are sexist, racist, feminist, communist, socialist, etc? From a certain perspective- yes. From other perspectives- no. Who gets to make that judgment about WHAT you are and as they make that judgment are they being prejudicial in making that judgment? I would suggest that whoever is calling you out as being “_______ist” is being “_______ist”.
It was pointed out to me that soldiers in an active theater consider everyone as an untrusted “other”. This “other” class of people is everyone not in their immediate unit and includes new personnel not yet vetted under current circumstances. These “others” are all prioritized potential threats. Does this mean that a soldier is “ist”? Maybe, maybe not, it depends on how you want to judge them and how the person judging views the context. The soldier wants to live and he wants his unit buddies to live as well.
Do “ism”s exist? Certainly, but all things currently being called racist or sexist or feminist, are not. Are there injustices and inequalities that we should try to address? Certainly, but, there is and will continue to be values that people hold as important to them for many reasons that make sense for that individual’s circumstances that you will only find out about by listening to them.
Each of us inherently has a value structure that we use by the minute to deal with life. At this minute, I will use that value system to make decisions about what I will do in the next minute, “ist” or not.