Over the last week, I’ve been thinking about sexism, and why on earth it still exists today. It always astounds me that although we’re in ‘modern times’, there is still so much sexism around.
Sexism: Why does it still exist?
Where do I start?
How could the President have got into power when he is so racist and sexist? He has no issue being outwardly sexist. How could people vote for someone who says ‘grab them by the pussy’.
There is really no excuse for that kind of behaviour, and the recent events with Harvey Weinstein, is inexcusable too. I mean, claiming that your behaviour stems from the 1960s and 1970s is ridiculous. As a person, you have the ability to make choices, and you also have the ability to decide whether your behaviour is right or wrong.
When I was at school, there were people who would make jokes about women and how they belong in the kitchen. I believe that that kind of behaviour is really disgusting and should actively be discouraged. I never heard jokes about men and how they all belong on a rugby field. But then, men are told that if they cry they are weak. So, I guess there are expectations for how both men and women should behave.
How is it that we have got no further than votes for women?
In all seriousness, we haven’t really got much further, as there is still so much that we need to work towards in order to get equal rights. Why are men still getting paid more for doing the same job as a female?
Why are women still struggling to get paid the same amount as men? Especially when they are doing the exact same job. This issue has had a lot of media attention, which is fantastic, because hopefully that means that we are all getting one step closer towards equal rights.
Ridiculous beauty ideals:
For women, there are still a lot of ridiculous beauty ideals. Women who are skinny, with long hair, are usually the desired ones. You would not believe the reaction I had when I cut my hair off. I was told I must be really brave to get a pixie cut, I was also told that only men have short hair.
So why then, can men have long hair?
Women are expected to be perfect at all times. We must have shaved legs and armpits and our bikini lines should not be too bushy. Women have been taught that in order to be desirable, they must be constantly in perfect condition.
According to Natasha Devon (see linked post here), it is really important to teach children from an early age to combat beauty ideals. These ideals are damaging and create the idea that if you are a boy you can’t wear pink, and that blue is only for boys. They also cause children to think that only skinny is beautiful, which is why it is vital to see a wide range of figures and body shapes in the media.
Should feminism exist in the western world?
Yes, there may be countries in the world that are very, very behind in terms of women’s rights (being unable to vote, not allowed to drive, and also Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)).
I believe every country in the world has steps to work towards creating equal rights for women. Something I think the western world needs to work on is victim blaming. Victim blaming means that women are told that they are to blame for rape and sexual harassment. Of course, if you are wearing a short skirt and a revealing top, that means that you want to be assaulted.
So, what can we do to combat this sexism?
We could work together, just like the suffragettes did. But how do we choose the most important cause?
Which issue do you think we should combat first?
Now, onto my favourite video at the moment:
What are your thoughts?
Is she right in saying that feminism isn’t about getting your boobs out, that it’s about giving women a choice?
I believe she is right.
Why do you think sexism still exists today?