sexism

Written by Elena

sexism (seksiz’əm)n.
Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

This is something that every female will experience at some point. It can happen in the workplace or at school, at home, on television. It’s not fair, but it is a reality.

As defined above, sexism is a form of discrimination. When faced with this, feelings of anger, distrust, and anxiety may surface. Justifiably so. No one wants to feel inferior; a lesser-than. But so many females deal with this, and sometimes on a daily basis.

Think of the woman at work, holding down the secretarial job that she’s had for the past few years, while her boss takes the inexperienced “new guy” under his wing. Or the girl at school, who can’t play on her school’s football team because of the unwritten “no girls allowed” rule.

Think of the wife that has to cook, clean, look after the kids, balance the checkbook, not because she and her husband agreed on this arrangement, but because he told her that it was her job to do so simply because she was a woman, and that’s what women are supposed to do.

Think of a television show or movie you’ve seen, where a woman was in a position of the highest power. Smart, decisive, knows what she wants, yet her authority was undermined constantly, her orders not followed. She isn’t taken seriously. Sure, its just a show, but it strikes a nerve. Or a game show, where the models, usually women are exhibiting not only a prize, but themselves. They don’t say much, but smile brightly, wearing the skimpy outfits, laughing extra loud at the host’s lame jokes. Because that’s all women are good for: stand still, look pretty, but be quiet unless you’re laughing, right?

Wrong.

There’s so much more to women than just being the “little helper”. We can take the lead. We can be the executives, not just the secretaries. We can be the best player on a team full of boys. We can be the bread winners in the family. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a secretary, or a housewife. But just be sure that its what YOU decide to be, not what someone decided for you based on your gender.

Ladies, its time to stand up for ourselves! If you feel like your being discriminated against because you’re a female, speak up! Show that you will not stand for it. Even if it’s not happening to you personally, you can still speak up for someone else. Sure, some things are easier said than done, but with a little encouragement from our fellow ladies, we can do it.

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Written by kellysisterhood
Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org
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