Critics of sexism are sometimes accused of launching a witch hunt or demonizing a man, or similar.
There seem to be a couple of inputs into this:
- a (generally false) perception that a man described as having done something sexist is at serious risk of losing his career, family or community standing
- a perception that accusations of sexism should be reserved for very serious incidents only
- the tendency of both critics and defenders of sexism to see the other side as having spilled more words in an individual debate, thus leading to an exponential growth in responses and counter-responses. Defenders who perceive this as entirely due to the critics will tend to then accuse them of having responded disproportionately to the original incident, even when the response is due to both an incident and to defenses of it.
See also Damaging my reputation for when the offender himself uses a similar tactic.
- In 2013, Adria Richards was accused of going on a witch hunt by tweeting a photo of two men who made inappropriate remarks during a professional conference.