Everday sexism and discrimination are very common nowadays. So many years later after women received the right to vote and became full members of the society, women still encounter discrimination and sexism in the 21st century.
There are many examples of everyday sexism, many of which are less obvious than others.
One would imagine that sexism is greatly decreasing, due to the fact that more women today graduate college than men, women have many of the same employment opportunities as men do, and because of all the advancements in women’s rights. But not so.
Research shows that sexism still occurs regularly and that many people cannot identify sexism, even when it is right in front of them. Here are some of the most common examples of sexism that many women face in their everyday lives.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 1) Being feminine or girllike is seen as a weakness
Have you ever seen a little boy cry or want to help his mother in the kitchen, only to be told, “Don’t do that, that’s for girls?” How about boys who have an interest in fashion, or cooking, or who aren’t good at sports?
If a man has a slightly high-pitched voice, is a little skinnier than average, or does not necessarily participate in many typically male activities, then he is ostracized for being seen as feminine.
Women, too, are considered to be weaker because of their femininity and are often referred to as ‘the weaker sex.’
There are so many phrases, such as “you throw (a ball) like a girl,” “you look like a girl,” “you scream like a girl,” “that’s too girly,” etc. that children begin hearing and telling one another from a young age, which perpetuates the stereotype that being female or feminine is somehow inferior and weak, and that being perfectly and typically masculine is what everyone should aspire to.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 2) The assumption that men know more than women do
This is especially true for women who work in typically male-dominated professions. There are many stories of women who work in construction, plumbing, even in high positions in office environments, only to be asked, “is there a man around here who can help me out?”
Even in schools, it is typical for teachers to rely more on their male students than female students. It is assumed that in subjects such as math or science, women will definitely not perform as well as men, even though this stereotype has been debunked.
Despite the fact that there have been many female geniuses and inventors throughout history, there are many people who claim that there is no such thing as a female genius and that men have completely shaped the world we live in.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 3) Women are judged more for their looks than their performance or merit
It has been a proven fact in many studies that a young, attractive woman is more likely to be employed than a woman who may not be as young or attractive.
There are many talented female athletes, actresses, models, and singers who are constantly being scrutinized for how much they weigh, whether they have lost or gained weight, or if they are caught outside without makeup.
There are women who are highly intelligent, but people are shocked at the fact that they can be both intelligent and attractive. Women are especially judged for how large their breasts or buttocks are, and breasts especially are used to sell products- but God forbid a woman is found breastfeeding her baby in public.
Women tend to face a lot of discrimination for their looks, and especially if they do not fit a certain standard of beauty.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 4) Women fear for their lives if they reject a man
There are so, so many stories of women who have been found dead after they had rejected a man’s advancements on them. There are so many women who have been pursued by a man they were not romantically interested in, but had no idea what to do, because they were afraid of what he would do to them if they rejected him.
If a woman simply sees a man as a friend and she has no romantic interest in him whatsoever, the man complains of being in the ‘friendzone.’ There are many cases of women refusing to have any sort of relationship with a man, but he cannot take no for an answer.
And usually, men will only take no for an answer if the woman then specifies that she has a boyfriend.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 5) Women are taught that they can’t do certain things “because you’re a girl”
The field of STEM has a severe lack of female employees, probably due to the fact that they were told from a young age that math, science, and other such subjects are ‘for boys.’
Women are dramatically underrepresented in politics because of the fact that politics is still seen as a ‘man’s job.’ And even things that aren’t as serious, such as cussing or having several sexual partners or going out late at night, are seen as being male-only activities.
If a woman wants to have a discussion on politics or something that is typically seen as ‘manly,’ her opinion is shut down. There are many men who do not allow their wives, sisters, daughters, and other female family members to do certain things, such as wear certain clothes, go certain places, date, etc., but have no such rules regarding their male family members.
There are many double standards that women face which greatly hinders their success.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 6) Cat-calling
How many women do you know who have been stopped on the street by a man and were called inappropriate names by him? And when she did not respond, or when she responded negatively, he started calling her names such as ‘bitch’ and ‘slut?’ Women are expected to enjoy the uncomfortable comments made by men.
Unfortunately, when men are confronted with perpetuating this type of discrimination, they don’t want to accept responsibility and make excuses.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 7) Women pregnant and/or with children don’t get hired as often
Jobs are not as accommodating towards women who have children or who are pregnant. Women with children tend to face a lot of discrimination in the workplace.
Some employers believe that a woman who has children will not work as hard as other employees. They will hesitate to hire a woman who is pregnant or who has children because they will assume that those women will require more time off.
Some women feel as though they need to choose between having a career and having a family. And when a woman does choose to have both, she is often criticized for not watching her children, and if her husband is the one who takes care of the kids while she is working, he is made fun of for not being ‘manly enough.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 8) If a woman is in a bad mood, she’s targeted for her menstrual cycle
How many times have you been in a really bad mood, only to be asked, “Are you on your period?” This is easily one of the most annoying things women deal with. Women are allowed to have emotions and to be in a bad mood.
While periods often do come with mood swings, it is never ok to inquire about such a personal part of a woman’s life and body. Periods themselves are considered to be gross, and when a woman is on her period, people think of her in a disgusting way.
While periods may smell weird and thinking about how the blood is actually the lining of your uterus may gross you out, periods are nothing to be ashamed of because they are a natural part of being a woman. People need to stop making fun of women for having menstrual cycles and implying that women are not allowed to be angry.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 9) Being a woman is more expensive
When you go to a drugstore or supermarket to buy everyday cosmetics, you’ll often come across products which are labeled ‘for women’ and ‘for men’- even if there is no need for it.
For example, you will find deodorant, razors, toothpaste, face wash, mouthwash, lotion, and other products that don’t need to be targeted towards a specific gender which are labeled either for men or for women.
And the catch is, the products that are supposedly designated for women tend to be more expensive, and of lower quality as well. Go figure. This leads to many women buying the versions of these products which are designated for men. It not only saves women money, but they also end up with a better quality product.
Examples of Everyday Sexism 10) To be a successful woman is shocking and a rarity
People are intimidated by women who are successful and especially those women who make lots of money. How does her husband let her? Doesn’t she have a family to take care of, why does she have such a successful career? Were there no men to be in that position that a woman ended up being the successful one?
To be an intelligent and successful woman is seen to be shocking and a rarity, despite the fact that we teach our children to aim for success. Women face a lot more obstacles than men do when they have to advance their careers, and often say that they have to work twice as hard to even get half of the attention that a man would get in the same position.
Unfortunately, these problems will not go away overnight, but identifying them is the first step towards improvement.
Check Out Other Posts Related to Examples of Everyday Sexism & Discrimination
- Discrimination At Work: When Job Market Stereotypes Require Good Looks Instead Of Skills
- Anti-Women Laws | Find Top 8 Ridiculous Laws That Promote Discrimination & Violence Against Women
- Gender Discrimination In Sports: Statistics & Examples