Visual Encyclopedia

Sexism

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls.There is a clear and broad consensus among academic scholars in multiple fields that sexism refers primarily to discrimination against women, and primarily affects women. See, for example:

  • Defines sexism as "prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex".
  • Notes that "sexism usually refers to prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls". Also states that "sexism is an ideology or practices that maintain patriarchy or male domination".
  • Defines sexism as "thought or practice which may permeate language and which assumes women's inferiority to men".
  • Notes that "either sex may be the object of sexist attitudes... however, it is commonly held that, in developed societies, women have been the usual victims".
  • Notes that "both men and women can experience sexism, but sexism against women is more pervasive".
  • Notes that "although we speak of gender inequality, it is usually women who are disadvantaged relative to similarly situated men".
It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Gender discrimination may encompass sexism, and is discrimination toward people based on their gender identity or their gender or sex differences. Gender discrimination is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality.

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As sad as it is, I'm still getting cat calls on the streets and harassed by men for the way I look and because I'm a woman. I'm proud to be a feminist and I believe that we deserve equal rights and a right to feel safe and respected all of the time.

Contributed by Colleen Koval

...and how companies are ripping us off. I've never considered the economic reasoning behind gender-specific products, but it really makes sense. And it's really sad that the potential for monetary gain is reinforcing gender stereotypes.

Contributed by Tori Griffin

"Girls deserve more choices than dolls and princesses. Femininity is strong and girls will build the future — literally".

Contributed by Karen Webb

From childhood and on, girls are implicitly discouraged from pursuing rigorous science/math related careers. Every little thing we say matters. Being a girl interested in engineering myself, I've faced this problem before.

Contributed by Le Hoang

When the typical gender roles we are all accustomed to experiencing are flipped, the harsh reality that women in today's world are still discriminated against, objectified, and mistreated is made apparent. Small everyday injustices are seen for what they are-- a prolonged attack on women as an entire group.

Contributed by Jacob Wyatt Browning

We Women Have Came A Long Way. We Can Do Anything That Males Can Do.

Contributed by Terryontay T Gotti Turnage

Generally we view sexism as discriminatory acts against women, but there is discrimination against men as well. To add an example to the one above, if a woman dresses in mens clothing most people won't care or even notice; however, if a man dresses in womens clothing many people will stare, become uncomfortable, or even harass him.

Contributed by Kersten Schatz

“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.” ~Mark Twain

Contributed by Anika Lindsey

Couldn't decide whether to post this under "comics" "sexism" or "just plain stupid." Being that the latter is not available, we'll settle for sexism. Gail Simone is a celebrated comics writer. There aren't a lot of females in the biz, and she's made her mark, creating award winning series and crafting stories about female characters that aren't cringe-worthy with their stupidity or blatant over-sexed male fantasies. In fact, she coined a term called "Women in Refrigerators", which refers to an issue of a Green Lantern comic book when his girlfriend is brutally murdered and stuffed in a fridge. And she was fired. Very bad move on DC's part, and comics consumers (and heck, anyone who plays a video game, watches a movie or reads a book) needs to be conscious of the content they're consuming and how it affects the world. Women are half of this world, let's not be treated as an afterthought.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

Here's a short video that described the incredible sexism faced by the first female Boston Marathon runner, Katherine Switzer. Her story shows how frighteningly closed-minded people were just 40 years ago, and how one woman strove to make a difference.

Contributed by Bridget LaMonica

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