Day 56 Sexism…

I spoke previously about hidden biases that we may hold. Today is about one bias in particular, sexism. Even today when we are so diverse, there is still a lot of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, based on the sex of a person. The way we believe, speak about and our attitudes towards gender is unbelievable. We are still living in a world where our gender effects how we are treated and expected to act in society. But why is this happening?

As children we are pushed towards the idea that girls are to take care of the home and boys are not. It is acceptable for girls to play with or to buy girls baby dolls and prams, toy kitchens and cleaning equipment, but less accepted for boys to play with them. A few years ago, I overheard a parent saying that their child had asked for a doll, but he would not purchase one because his child was a boy and boys should not play with dolls! What are we teaching our children, that we girls must clean? That the girls will look after the babies? And that boys do not, because that is not what boys should do.

At some point we have all used sexist language, like “shouldn’t you be in the kitchen”, or “stop being a girl”, what does that even mean? Comments like this are used as an insult towards someone else. But what does it mean to act like a girl? Why is it an insult? Why are we horrified to be called a girl?

In the work place, we expect that the man is the CEO and the woman is the receptionist, but not vice versa. We expect that a man should be a builder, a plumber or a mechanic and the woman should be a hairdresser, a receptionist or a nanny. A man should not be a nurse, he should be a doctor. A man can be hot headed, strong and out spoken, and a woman should be delicate, polite and friendly. When these roles are reversed, for example, a woman is strong or a man is a nanny, people often gossip, and frown upon it. We as people allow sexism.

We should not have to restrain who we are based on the sexist opinions of society. The good news is the world is slowly changing. It is becoming more accepted that boys have baby dolls and prams and that a woman is the CEO. People can change these sexist opinions and we must!

Have a nice day!



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