The story has many themes; one of these themes is sexism. Sexism is defined as the discrimination based on gender especially discrimination against women. Sexism was present in a lot of parts in the story especially against the women. During the duration of the story, we can observe that the men played a bigger role in their society compared to that of the women. The women were outshined by the men in many ways though it wasn’t stated directly in the story.
One instance was shown men Tessie came in late, Tessie mentioned that she came in late since she was busy doing household chores. Earlier in the story, before the lottery was conducted, men were busy talking about taxes and their jobs. Therefore we can conclude that during this time, women were still not allowed to work outside the house and were only tasked to do simple household chores while men the only ones earning a living for the family. This shows that the men already saw the women as simple and ordinary people who could not handle big jobs.
Sexism was also shown by the Dunbar family. When the lottery started, only the head of the family was allowed to get the strips of paper from the black box. During the absence of the father or the head of the family, the son of couple who was at least 16 years old was the one tasked to pick the strip of paper from the box, if the couple did not have any son of that age, then that was the only time the wife could draw a piece of paper from the box. In short, the wife was only the “last resort” once the draw started.
Other small details such as only boys picking stones, women going against each other especially when Tessie wanted her daughter to join the second draw and the kids only following their father showed sexism since it gave us an impression that their town favoured the males more than the females. The best worker in their town (Old Man Warner) is a male while their worst worker who was stoned to death in the end of the story was a female. The people leading the town (Mr. Martin, Mr. Graves & Mr. Summers) are also males as well showing us that females were discriminated and mistreated in the story.
Sexism was truly present in the story through the different examples stated above. Even though Shirley Jackson did not frankly state that the town preferred the men over the women, sexism was evident through the different actions and dialogues of the townspeople. Women were discriminated and men were favoured by the townspeople. Though this was tolerated in the early times, it isn’t a habit we should keep until the present times. Women are special individuals who shouldn’t be neglected nor discriminated.