Gender and Sexist Tendencies

Topics: Gender, Discrimination, Sexism Pages: 6 (2103 words) Published: October 8, 1999

Brian S. Slevin

Sexism by definition is discrimination by members of one sex against the other, especially by men against women, based on the assumption that one sex is superior. It regards women as inherently inferior intellectually, psychologically, and physically to man. This view, is shared by both men and women, and has historically shaped institutions of world society. It has been continued through the cultural modification of groups of people through prolonged and continuous interaction involving intercultural exchange of generations of children with resulting differences between the sexes. On-job sexual discrimination such as low-level work experience caused by traditional sexist viewpoints has hindered allot of female job promotion. Women with the same qualifications as a man that applied for a job would be turned down based on the simple fact that they are a woman. Prior to the Women's movement women were constantly discriminated against in this manner. Sexual discrimination still exists but its occurrence has drastically reduced, subtle discrimination is however, still quite prevalent in our society. Salary is one aspect of this still present discrimination, a vast majority of women employed in the work force today receive less of a paycheck for the same amount of hours worked on the same jobs as men. This is reinforced by the low number of women who have a high paying, high powered job. There are a significannot ly higher

number of women who have little or no power in decision making and earn a low salary. The women that do get promoted are often the subjects of rumor and remarks made in poor taste. Men just can't stand to see they're egos shattered and so they lash out against the woman with authority. They demean her position and make it seem less important or trivial. All of this does hurt female self- esteem and is just one of the ways sexism hurts women.

Women are not just harassed verbally but physically. "As in the movie Flashdance, the male employer comes on to the female employee. In lawsuits, such "coming on" is considered sexual harassment; by definition it is considered a misuse of his power. When she resists and he persists, as in both the movie and the Harlequin formula, it is an even clearer form of sexual harassment." In many cases if a woman does not give in to a man's sexual advances she stands the chance of losing her job! This was the tendency and in many instances still is the tendency of many men who have authority over women. Sexism runs rampant in every facet of our society. It even reached the Presidency a number of times and the Supreme Court. Two prominent examples are Bill Clinton and the accusations made by Jennifer Flowers and Judge Thomas's alleged sexual remarks to Anita Hill. Granted these were never a hundred percent proven cases of sexual harassment but they are sufficient enough to show that sexism reaches everywhere in our society.

Women in many instances have to be very cautious as to what they wear to work. If they're employer finds them attractive it could mean a sexist advance or two. Any woman has to be on her guard against traditional sexist men. "If femininity got lost in the pursuit of independence, a woman would lose power (because real power means having control over one's life), which is having the option to work and not to lose one's gentler side." Sexist tendencies don't just abuse women in the work place but also at home. The traditional sexist view of a head of any household is the man. When this idea is threatened, it is as if their masculinity were being stripped away.

Physical violence is sometimes caused by a sexist man who feels as though he has to reclaim his home. This is the type of man that feels women should be kept underfoot. There are plenty of other reasons men batter their wives, but this ranks highly among them. Contrary to popular beliefs (both of men and women)...

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