Sexism refers to the retrogressive acts of discriminating against people based on their gender identity or sex. Typically, both male and female genders can be victimized in different contexts. However, discrimination and prejudice against the girls and women are more common compared to the male gender (Deegan, 2014). Sexism is a global social problem that affects both genders. For instance, most organizations have more male than female leaders. Additionally, discrimination against women has led to men assuming most of the political offices globally. The female population is significantly more than their male counterparts across the globe. However, due to sexism and negative stereotypes against women, most elective posts are held by men. Women have also been demoralized from pursuing technical subjects due to sexism. Currently, most college students pursuing scientific courses such as Engineering, Architecture, Medicine and Computer Programming are predominantly male (Deegan, 2014). Contrarily, women dominate the arts courses such as Sociology and Philosophy. Parents encourage their male children to study scientific courses while neglecting the females. Sexism is, therefore, a global problem that hinders women empowerment and sustainable development.
Gender roles have also contributed to sexism. Most primitive societies believe that women are intrinsically inferior to men (Deegan, 2014). As such, these societies tend to favor men while disregarding women. The primary domestic duties such as washing utensils, cleaning the house, cooking and laundry services are reserved for women. Conversely, the technical and economic activities such as carpentry, masonry, and electrical services are reserved for men. Therefore, men become more economically empowered as a result of the division of labor and gender roles. In extreme cases, sexism and gender discrimination may precipitate domestic violence, rape, and other forms of sexual harassment. The term sexism was predominantly applied during the second wave of women movements in the 1960s (King, 2016). During this period, women campaigned against racial discrimination and gender prejudice.
The philosophy of sexism holds that one gender is superior to the other and thus deserves more recognition in the society. For instance, employers may prefer having men in management positions over women. In this scenario, women are discriminated unfairly. Some organization favor male employees as they are deemed fit for manual jobs. Women are also preoccupied with domestic responsibilities such as raising children. Similarly, women have a high likelihood of requesting for maternity leave ones they become expectant. Therefore, some employers view women as a liability in the organization. The patriarchal societies have bolstered sexism through enhancing men dominion. In this society, men are perceived as the heads of their family (Deegan, 2014). As such, women in the patriarchal societies are economically and socially oppressed. Wage disparity between men and women in the workplace is still prevalent in most organizations. Although some women are more competent than their male counterparts, they are paid lower wages.
Sexism is closely related to feminism. However, the two terms are distinct. Feminism movements were created to advocate for women’s rights and end the social disparity and gender inequity. As such, feminism encompasses the affirmative actions aimed at empowering the female gender. The feminists acknowledge that women are socially marginalized (Deegan, 2014). Therefore, they define sexism with a particular focus on women empowerment. Feminism is the philosophy that encourages equality between the male and female gender by addressing the factors that inhibit women success. However, sexism is the perception or believes that one gender or sex is superior to the other. There are minor cases in which men are marginalized. As such, sexism addresses the gender issues without a specific focus on women. The society discriminates against women by their gender identity. The biological sex is used as the determining factor for the social stereotypes. However, biology does not provide the information regarding one sex being superior to the other (Deegan, 2014). Thus, the gender discrimination against women is a societal perception that cannot be scientifically verified. The constitutions of most states provide for the rights of all citizens regardless of their gender. For instance, the bill of rights guarantees equality for both genders in the United States. Nevertheless, due to employers’ perception as well as social stigma, few women work in construction sites and other strenuous workplaces.
Sexism and discrimination against women is not only prevalent in technical and strenuous workplaces, but also other sectors prefer having more men than women. Female employees endure inappropriate and derogatory comments from their male counterparts. Most supervisors and management staffs in the contemporary organizations are men. The few women in the leadership roles sacrifice other aspects such as raising a family to maintain their positions. Sexism is also evidenced by the wage gap between the male and female employees. Additionally, men are preferred by employers as they are deemed intelligent and reliable compared to the female employees. Women have been considered homemakers for many years (Fine and Asch, 2018). As such, a section of the society believes that their functions are limited to house chores such as cooking and raising a family. Sexism negatively affects single mothers who are unable to find employment due to their gender. These women are unable to cater for their children as the society does not empower them economically. Due to the increased costs of living, there is a need for both men and women to be financially empowered. When both parents are financially empowered, the family income becomes sufficient to meet the basic needs as well as improve their living standards. By empowering women, the society will learn to appreciate their contributions and also end the social stigma that portrays men as the sole economic providers (Deegan, 2014).
Although sexism mostly focuses on the female gender inferiority, studies highlight that in some cases men are also marginalized (King, 2016). For instance, the modeling and fashion industry is mostly dominated by women. As such, there is a need to address the disparity by encouraging more men to venture into the industry. Traditionally, female children get more parental attention and care as compared to their male counterparts (King, 2016). The society expects men to work for long hours to provide for their families. Sexism is also illustrated by the fact that men are required to be physically strong while women are expected to be modest, kind, and obedient.
Sexism affects both male and female genders in different ways. However, the feminist movements have focused on addressing women grievances by advocating for affirmative actions. This social problem can be solved if organizations pay women the same wages as their male counterparts and provide a positive atmosphere for growth to both genders. To end sexism, both genders should be treated equally to ensure a cohesive existence in the society.
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