Sexism In Today's Society

Sexism In Today's Society

Because after all this time we are still not all equal
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Men are supposed get a high paying job, work hard, and expect to come home to a wife who cooks and cleans the house while he goes to watch sports. This is the American dream right? This stigma still clings to many (while admittedly may not be as extreme) even though we tend to brush it off and ignore its existence. Throughout my journey as a young adult navigating through life, I have found that sexism is much more of a problem than I ever thought. I continue to learn more about this issue everyday, and it's not going away any time soon.

We come into this world without any knowledge of how gender roles shape our society, as we grow, we quickly learn to conform to social construction of these rules. We say we've moved forward and it's not an issue, but we're not there yet. Modern sexism is more prominent in our culture than ever before, it embodies itself in our society without us even realizing. It exists in every age, gender, and belief. The expectations placed upon men and women today are stronger than ever, and the expectations define much of our culture today.

You're a girl, so act like one.

This stereotype is instilled into us so much that it's hard to see past it. Women face objectification in almost every pursuit they attempt, whether it be in the workplace or in a relationship. We are told to act a certain way and are expected to conform, and if we don't, we face even more criticism. We are taught from a young age to grow up quickly and always watch our backs. We walk the streets conscious of every move we make, phone in one hand and pepper spray hidden away in our bags. We can't even go to our car without the fears of catcalling and the many threats of rape culture that haunt our daily thoughts. Rape culture has made it impossible to go our own way without worrying if the person behind us is following us or just going their own way.

We must dress a certain way and be as modest as possible so we don't look like we're "asking for it". Young women get their freedom of choice taken away by extreme dress codes that do more harm than good. We are told to look pretty and gentle just for the boys, and let the men do the heavy lifting. Because our gender has defined that we are not capable of anything else. We aren't encouraged to continue our education or career goals the same way men are because we are supposed to stay home to take care of the children. Our culture makes it seem almost taboo for the woman to be the bread winner, because women are seen as the ones responsible for raising the children and cleaning the house. But what if that's not what we want?

But boys will be boys right?

Although we may not acknowledge it as much, men face suppression just as much as women do. Men are told to be masculine, to show no fear, to suppress any emotion that may come across as soft or weak. They are told they must act tough and have a love for sports, but a love for literature and education is almost never highlighted. They never learn to take responsibility for their actions because society tells them their gender makes it okay, girls are the ones asking for it. Men will never learn if they are not taught that their actions are not okay. "Boys will be boys" will never be an appropriate excuse. They never have to grow up the way that girls are forced to.

Many think these beliefs are long gone, but I have been amazed by the amount of men (ones I have dated, ones who are my friends) who have been taught their entire lives to strive for this type of dream because they know nothing else. These days, it is difficult for men to pursue their passion in the arts because of the fear of not making enough money to impress a girl. They are told they must be chivalrous and respectful to women without knowing what this actually means. Men are taught once they marry a woman they become property, and for some skewed reason women are supposed to go along with this. Why is everyone expected to fit into this picture perfect stereotype?

Sexism is still a problem in our modern day culture, and every gender is to blame. We all face oppression in one way or another, it's time to stop ignoring this and make a change. Women are strong, men have feelings, every gender has a right at finding equality and breaking these stereotypes, modern day sexism does not need to be a problem if we don't make it one.

Cover Image Credit: The Huffington Post

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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