n. Modern attitudes and behaviors that mimic or glorify sexist aspects of the past, often in an ironic way.
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The most interesting thing about the surge of retro-sexism is how unprepared feminists and other enlightened thinkers are to deal with it. The ironic tone of the material defeats them.
—David Brooks, “The Return of the Pig,” The Atlantic Monthly, April 01, 2003
Imelda Whelehan, a lecturer in English and women's studies at De Montfort University, puts on her 'old' feminist boots to give 'new' feminists who trivialise women's inequality a kick up the arse. In her book, she advises people to stop pretending that 'retro-sexism' naked images of women and laughing at sexist jokes in a 'I know it's offensive but I'm not sexist' way don't undermine women's equality.
—Tessa Mayes, “If feminism really is up the creek, don't blame the Messenger,” The Observer, March 12, 2000
1991 (earliest)
Henry Allen misses the true reason for the so-called "girl" rule in co-ed volleyball ["The Art of Courting Women Correctly," Style, May 19].

When I was first introduced to the rule requiring that at least one female player hit the ball whenever there are two or three hits on your side of the net, I also suspected some kind of retro-sexism. After all, why should gender rather than ability determine who had to hit the ball?
—Greg Davidson, “Machoball” (letter), The Washington Post, May 25, 1991
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