Is it just me or has there been a recent increase in the amount of sexism and gender inequality lately?
I feel like every day I wake up and there’s another news story about a professional athlete who has assaulted a woman, or an advertising agency has been accused of grotesque photo-shopping, or another young girl goes missing. Whether the article is about a new nail polish developed that helps identify if there’s a date rape drug in your drink, or toddler’s clothing that clearly splits gender roles by showcasing boys as heroes and girls as the girlfriends of said hero’s, I simply can’t keep up.
By now, anyone who reads my posts probably knows I’m that person that doesn’t keep their mouth shut in any sort of discriminatory situation. I’m always going to be the one to speak up because in my mind, if I say nothing, then I’m just as guilty as the person who said it. I’ve even been known to challenge my own family members, sometimes my passion runs a little too deep and I need to learn when to let things go.
I know I can’t change people’s minds or make them see the world through my lens. But if I can say something that they end up thinking about later, then I think my argument is successful. I don’t understand how people don’t see the basic “isms” like I do. Blame my Sociology degree for that.
What really bothers me about sexism is that it’s so incredibly obvious yet people don’t take it seriously. At all. Many people who I’ve spoken with think we do have gender equality, that men and women are equal and there’s no reason to cause such a fuss. But it’s so not and we so don’t.
Everytime there’s a new story about sexism, I try to compare it to racism. After all, inequality is inequality. If news stories suddenly replaced women with a visible minority as the victim of discrimination, would people be so quickly to dismiss it? Why is it, that people, and most importantly women, undermine and ignore discrimination against their own sex? Against their fellow sister?
I think about the Civil Rights movement and all of the brave people who stood up and said, “no, I’m not okay with this”, or “no, this is wrong”. It was because of those people who momentum built, laws were passed, and people started to pay attention. Though racism was not completely abolished, the rights of African-Americans have greatly increased over the past 100 years. This is exactly what I would love to see happen for women’s rights. Unfortunately, after the first and second waves of feminism passed, we’ve had nothing but small white caps appear and quickly disappear in recent history. People seem to fhave forgot how important and crucial women’s rights are.
There was a lot of attention to a group of women who rejected feminism, the “I don’t need feminism because…” campaign. My heart went out to all of those women who are so incredibly brainwashed by society. Feminism gets a lot of shit. It takes a beating. It’s so widely misunderstood. So many people think it’s about man-hating or placing women above men when it’s not at all. Feminism strives for equality between the sexes – in case you didn’t know. It wants women to be paid equally to men, for women to hold just as many high level positions in government, corporations, media, and business as men, it wants the beauty industry to stop creating unrealistic and unattainable measurements – literally.
I think about the future and becoming a mother. I want my son or daughter to know that assuming anyone can’t do something based on their gender is not okay. I want them to believe in everyone, equally. I want them to see their friends as equal. I don’t want them to think, even for a second, that they can’t or shouldn’t do something because that’s not historically within their gender role.
So yes, I’m going to continue to think it’s a big deal when there are clothes for boys saying they are superheros while the girl version says they only date superheros because I don’t want my daughter or anyone else’s daughter growing up thinking that she can’t be a hero herself. That the only way she will get high status is by being the wife or girlfriend to a hero. I’m going to think it’s a big deal when only white women are in cleaning commercials. In fact, here’s a list of things that I’ve found are incredibly sexist recently:
– delivery services for Viagra to spare men the embarrassment of having to fill their prescription. Ummm, hello? You don’t think filling a birth control prescription is embarrassing for an 18 year-old girl? You men are SO lucky you don’t have to buy tampons or soft cups either.
– a Just for Men commercial that shows a product to give you just a *little bit of colour to your greys so you can achieve that, “I’m wise but I still know how to party” look while the next commercial for women’s hair colour shows her panicking about a few greys sprouting before a busy day at the office. Now she can do a root touch up in only 5 minutes so people don’t think she’s some old hag.
– cleaning product commercials…enough said
– clothing commercials…enough said
– female leaked nudes vs male leake….wait, where are the male leaked nude pics?!
– the NFL
– the CFL telling me that I can join a ladies only class to learn about football while at a football game
I really wish people viewed sexism as serious of an issue as racism. I wish that people would realize it’s even the little things that reinforce stereotypes and change will start with the little things. Like really, a nail polish had to be invented so women could test their drinks for the date rape drug. As in, the date rape drug is prevalent and thriving and it’s yet again up to us women to protect ourselves instead of punishing the men who use the drug as a tool for rape. At Carleton University in Ottawa, male student’s were seen wearing shirts that said, “fuck safe space”. Ugh, why do I really even need to be arguing my point?