Sexism 2 Essay, Research Paper
The Webster s Dictionary defines the term sexism as Discrimination by members of one sex against the other, especially by men against women based on the assumption that on sex is superior . This definition implies that people can discriminate against one another by saying or doing something that is not fair to the opposite sex.
Most of us agree that sexism is a form of discrimination, and we should not have such negative trait in our society. We also believe that everyone should have the same equal rights, whether male or female. Thus, people should not be discriminated against because of their sexes. By understanding clearly the meaning of sexism, we can help to avoid wrongly accusing other people of being sexist
There are several examples of how manners as compared to sexism have caused some people to misconceive or misinterpret the term sexism . First, when a man opens the door for woman, people sometime call him sexist. The misconception of this everyday gesture causes people to believe that the man views the woman as weak and not strong enough to open the door for herself. However this is not true. Opening the door for a woman is a gesture of being nice and well mannered. A similar example of misinterpreted sexism may occur on the bus, when a man offers his seat to a woman. This does not mean that he is being sexist, but rather, he is just being a gentleman.
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Second, when a man helps the woman to carry a heavy thing, people might interpret this to be that the man thinks the woman is useless, and they may feel that he is being sexist. Actually he is just being polite.
Third, when a man tells a woman that her dress is pretty, people may label the man as being sexist, thinking that he sees the woman as a sex object. Actually, he really intends to compliment her on her wardrobe.
Finally, on the Miss America Pageant, there are phone-in votes to determine whether the swimsuit competition will be broadcast. Some people think that the swimsuit competition is sexist, but I think it is a way to gauge physical fitness. Just as it is in similar contest for men.
Aside from the sexist misconceptions, there are still areas of real sexism in our society today. We can see this in family, work place and other places. For instance, in one of the Honolulu Advertiser article, it talks about divorced parents. Several years ago, most fathers could not get custody of their children, but now the fathers can even get a higher percent of custody than the mothers. The court thinks that the working mother can not spend time with her as much as the children s father. The court also thinks that women are more likely to get emotionally upset than men, and it can lead to more child abuse. They feel that it is okay for the divorced fathers to date women and get married again, and they think that it is a good start in forming another family for the children but not okay for the divorced mother to do so.
Additionally, most of the people think that it is okay for divorced men to go out with a lot of women, but it is not proper for divorced women to go out with a lot of men. They often view such women are bad. This is definitely sexism
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Sexism is also displayed when society says that it is okay for the males to take off their shirts in public, but it is not okay for females to do so. In the newspaper there was an article stating that while a woman is breast-feeding her baby in the mall, the security guard came over to her and stopped her from doing so, telling the mother that it was improper for her to show her breasts in public
Finally, and article in Time magazine talked about the salary in the United States. It stated that there are still some occupations that pay higher rates to the male workers than the female doing the same job.
As the previous examples show, there is still much sexism in our society. Most of the times sexism displayed against women. And yet, there are also a lot of people who accuse persons of the opposite sex of being sexist when this may not be the case at all. Such accusation is merely misconceptions.
Sexism of any kind is wrong because all sexes, male and female, should have the same equal rights.
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Lawrence J. Magid. Salary in The United States. Time Magazine Sep. 1996.
The Webster s New World Dictionary, 1990 ed., by Kenneth Kister.