People often hear the word sexism and wonder what exactly the speaker refers to. It’s hard to know how to stop something if a person doesn’t know what that something is. For this reason, every person must know the definition of sexism and what it entails. Once they have this information, they can take steps to prevent this type of bias in their lives.
What Is Sexism?
The Council of Europe defines sexism as “any expression (act, word, image, gesture) based on the idea that some persons, most often women, are inferior because of their sex. Replace the word women in the previous sentence with the phrase person of color and sexism quickly becomes racism. The same principles apply when speaking of these two issues. Someone is treated less based on their sex, skin color, or another feature.
However, sexism actually works both ways. For instance, a man who files a sexual assault claim may be made to feel like they are at fault or they someone wanted the act to occur. The assumption is that the male is stronger and could overcome their attacker without difficulty. This isn’t the case.
Furthermore, a man may become the victim of a “he said, she said” scenario and find they are automatically seen as the aggressor. This serves as another form of sexism. However, it has far-reaching consequences and any man in this situation needs to get legal help from a sex crimes attorney immediately.
The Harm of Sexism
Sexism leads to a person feeling worthless. They begin changing their behavior and engage in acts of self-censorship. As a result, their health deteriorates. Women and girls find themselves victims of sexism more frequently.
A Worldwide Issue
Sexism knows no geographical boundaries. Women journalists state this is a major issue, as 66 percent of them have been confronted with verbal abuse at one time or another. Men in Europe make up three-quarters of new sources and subjects, while 66 percent of girls in the United Kingdom have encountered sexist language in their schools.
Almost 60 percent of women in Amsterdam have been harassed on the street, and half of all women in France have been humiliated or treated unjustly because of their sex. Three-quarters of Serbian businesswomen state people don’t take them as seriously as men, even though they are successful in the workplace. This goes to show how widespread the problem truly is today.
Why This is Important?
Women may dismiss an act of sexism, thinking it is harmless and they should just let it go. However, each act contributes to a climate of fear, insecurity, and intimidation. Over time, the problem escalates and violence becomes acceptable when aimed at women and girls. The impacts affect certain women and men more than others because of their age, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or another factor.
Every person today must know sexism and its effects on individuals. Until people talk about this problem, it will continue, and countless individuals will be harmed. They’ll suffer from low self-esteem. This could lead to them being victims of domestic violence, sexual crimes, or other suicide. Some victims develop eating disorders while others suffer from isolation and loneliness. Nevertheless, people need to recognize women aren’t the only ones affected. Men can be subject to sexism also, which is why people must understand what it is, how to recognize it, and what steps they can take to combat it. Until everyone does, the problem will continue.