Every Day Sexism and Where it can Happen
Sexism is such a constant and important topic in our society, and while university settings are striving to be more equal on the gender scale there is still every day sexism to watch out for. It is important to note that this can be the case for either gender. More women are attending university and graduating now than men, so the schooling system holds plenty of potential for equal gender issues.
The double standards based on gender in today’s society are astronomical. Perhaps a common one is ‘she’s promiscuous’ and ‘he’s a stud’ aspect of social interaction. It is no secret that schools often thrive on gossip and these settings include a certain level of party and dating culture. Women will be put down for being flirty or open about their experiences whereas men will be applauded for it. A good way to fight this stigma is to address that it’s a double standard as soon as it is brought up. Create a dialogue about it and approach the gossipers.
Derogatory terms to describe women have become so common in our every day language that both men and women say them often and freely without much thought. This is language that promotes the double standards talked about above, and oddly even though they are often feminine pronouns people often use the same words to negatively speak about certain men as well. Thinking before you say anything out loud is important- don’t follow the rest of the crowd by using language that puts down either gender.
Assumptions about people based solely on their gender such as sloppiness, integrity and domestic ability are committed by both genders constantly. It is so easy to be prejudiced based on years of media and society perpetuated sexism. If you catch yourself assuming something about someone based on his or her appearance acknowledge that you are being prejudiced in that moment and make an effort to find the truth about that person. You will find that slowly but surely you will be able to condition yourself to disregard appearance and even gender to a certain degree.
For years female historical figures were not taught about in schools as much as male ones and dress codes have forced genders into a specific bubble that they may not feel comfortable with. A lot of this is simply based on tradition, but school is meant to be a place of open dialogue so address this sexism head on. Tradition does not always have a place in contemporary education.