Differences in Modern Day Sexism

5057 words (20 pages) Essay in Sociology

23/09/19 Sociology Reference this

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Does Sexism Exist Today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1 – Introduction  3

Chapter 2 – Methodology 4

Chapter 3 – The battle of women pree 21st century 5

Chapter 4 – Objectification/Characterisation of women 6

Chapter 5 – Gender pay gap 7

Chapter 6 – Conclusion 9

Chapter 7 – Evaluation  10

Appendix/Glossary 14

Bibliography 16

 

Chapter One – Introduction:

Sexism is prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, based on sex. Traditional sexism is based on the ideology that women are inferior to men. As women entered workplaces, they were confronted with sexism. The society has made sexism politically incorrect and it is no longer tolerated. This does not mean that sexism still doesn’t exist. Modern sexism today is expressed in implicit ways which are ongoing affairs. Sexism promotes the belief that women are best suited at home and men should be providers for the household. This sexism is relevant to the belief that women are delicate, subservient and incapable of handling a man’s job. Taking this into consideration, sexism has had an impressive leap and fewer women face sexism daily. It can be argued that the sexism women face today is majorly from women themselves. This idea is tremendously fascinating as men have become more accepting of the idea of equality between genders, but women aren’t as self-confident. The aim of my dissertation is to address whether sexism is an issue which is faced today which continues to support the oppression of women and gender inequality. Additionally, I will address several theorists who support my argument and report the struggle endured by females as well as the political, social and religious impacts which are affected by gender inequality. This dissertation will also study how sexism has enhanced expressively and scarcely exists as it has become a taboo subject for society and employers dare not to breach laws and an individual’s right.

The chapters will continue to address the argument of this dissertation. The first chapter will include an introduction and overview into the topic I will research. The next chapter will follow with the methodology which will reflect on how I conducted my primary research and the data from my survey. I will then continue to address each argument followed by crucial examples supporting the development of sexism as well as the attitudes which continue to stay the same. Chapter six will look at my conclusion I have drawn from analysing both arguments. The last chapter will offer an evaluation on my dissertation and presentation.

 

Chapter Two – Methodology:

I collected my data using a social media platform. Instagram has created a new “poll” sticker which allows you to place it anywhere on the screen with the question of your choice. The individual can customize two answer options and can view the results at any time once people start voting. I chose to use Instagram as it is widely used by numerous people with different opinions and so the results would be diverse. The online survey allowed people to deliver their honest opinion without having their privacy invaded. Social media is mostly used by the younger generation and majority of my followers’ range between ages 16 to 25 and everyone who participated in the survey were from multi ethic groups. It was interesting to receive results of teenagers from the modern generation as some argue sexism exists but has become more discrete and harder to recognise, therefore it is interesting to view the opinion on those who may suffer from sexism. My questions were appointed to both males and females and ask for opinions on whether they believed sexism stills exists today, whether they have faced sexism themselves or witness it daily.

The results from my research are valid and reliable. Everyone can vote, and their answers won’t be shared with anyone apart from myself. The sense of secrecy allows individuals to give their honest opinion. Additionally, each question is very specific and clear therefore the voters are clearly answering the questions. To ensure no one felt offended during the survey, I avoid publishing the results nor did I disclose anyone’s identity to keep it fair and private. Also, I was satisfied conducting a survey amongst the younger generation, it would have been more diverse and open if the survey was targeted to all age group and a representative cross section of the population to field more informative results. including those who grew up facing the more extreme difficulties so they could vote according to how they think sexism has changed. However, as the main purpose of the survey was to evaluate whether people still think sexism exists today, regardless of the age group of those surveyed, it is still relevant and those who participated in the survey are those who are likely and more subject to sexism today. The results of my survey are listed in the table below as well as the format of my survey and how it appeared to the public.

70% of people taking part in my survey were female with 30% being male. This should not affect my results as the questions were directed by to both genders and although women are most commonly under attack by sexism, this does not mean men do not experience it or witness it.

The survey I conducted was extremely beneficial for my research which addressed the question whether sexism exists today. The questions were clearly illustrated to avoid confusion. 92% of the people agreed that sexism exists. Amongst the 92%, 42 were female and 14 were men. This is explicit to the fact that women are more commonly known to face sexism therefore are aware of the issues surrounding  the inequality today as they may have witnessed it personally or a close friend to themselves has. Additionally, it suggested that women have been subjected to sexism for many decades and this still has not changed. For example, 63% of individuals have been criticised for their clothing’s, of which 27 out of 29 were female. This highlights the discrimination against women clearly. My dissertation will later analyse whether sexism occurs most commonly in the workplace, my results show that 67% of women have felt degraded by men at their workplace/university.

It has been argued by men that sexism is relevant in the era today and that men are just as subject to it as women. When asked, “Have you ever been criticised for not behaving like a man should?” 67% men voted yes. When asked to elaborate, the individual said that men were just as vulnerable to sexism and the society today does not allow men to express their opinions  and they are expected to ‘bottle it up.’ Lastly, a question which caused a shocking reaction whilst being asked to those who took part was, “Do men believe women are inferior to them?” Only 4 out of 11 men agreed. Surprisingly, the majority of the men believed that women were equals and just as superior. My results indicate that maybe society is becoming more accepting towards women as they have shown their superiority and strength over the past decades and are a threat to men and society. This may be a reason why women face discrimination daily, as men are afraid of their strengths. 

 

Yes

Females who agree

Males who agree

No

 

Females who disagree

Males who disagree

Do you think sexism exists today?

92%

42

14

8%

1

4

Have you personally experienced sexist or crude remarks in your workplace?

31%

14

4

69%

25

15

Has anyone ever implied that you are not capable of performing part of your work because of your gender?

50 %

24

2

50%

11

15

Have you been told your clothes were inappropriate or too revealing?

63%

27

2

37%

10

7

Have you been asked to watch your weight/ advised to start a diet?

60%

23

6

40%

13

6

Women, have you ever been labelled “too emotional”?

76%

28

4

24%

9

1

Women, have you ever felt as if a man has interrupted or spoken over you at work/university?

49%

17

2

51%

19

1

Women, do you feel as if you have been excluded from important tasks or decision making because of your gender?

67%

24

3

37%

12

4

Men, have you ever been criticised for not behaving like a man should?

26%

0

5

74%

5

9

Men do you believed women are inferior to you?

33%

2

4

67%

1

11

 

 

Chapter Three – The battle of women pre the 21st century

Women’s suffrage was a pivotal movement in the battle for equality.  Women have gradually won their rights and society today is much more accepting and loving towards women and their abilities. Pre the 21st century, women faced prejudice throughout society, in every aspect of life due to laws and social attitudes. In 1918, women could not inherit property like men. In 1922, the Law of Property Act declared that a husband and wife could inherit each other’s property. 4 years later, women could finally hold and dispose of property. Many aspects in life which no longer exist outlawed women. Furthermore, the progression of women’s rights has been quick and effective. Arguably, society no longer faces discrimination for their gender and matters such as applying for a loan or credit card on their own name, working in a legal profession and civil service or claiming equal pay for doing the same work as men are no longer troubles faced by the women in this era.

In 1919, the Sex Disqualification Act was passed which meant that women could now serve on a jury. Although this law was passed, this does not mean any significant change was made. In fact, the process of women sitting on the jury was significantly slower and for the next 40 years, the jury was predominantly male-dominated.  Women being given the right to serve as juror was crucial as it promoted equality between the sexes and women were able to trial their peers and give their verdict on the outcome of cases. This was a huge development for women as their voices were being heard for the first time. However, women were appointed specific cases to sit jury on, yet there was a gradual change. The inequality of the genders decreased and now sexism ceases to exist.

The end of sexism was not achieved overnight. Many independent women fought for the position we are in today. Without these famous and historic figures who implemented significant changes, the discrimination of women would still be evident today. The suffragettes were a fundamental factor for why the women’s movement made a significant change and society changed their view on women’s rights. World War One provided many opportunities for women to take on traditional male roles. Although the war allowed women to demonstrate their abilities and potential, women had been campaigning for decades to be given basic rights. The Suffragists were a union of women who fought peacefully for the vote of women. The organisation won support from parliament, but this was not enough. In 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst emerged the Suffragettes who used violence to win the vote for women. Between 1867 and 1913, roughly 40 bills were put forward in favour of women’s suffrage. All bills introduced were private members bills imposed by local MP’s. Therefore, as the bills were from created by the government, the government blocked all the bills. The suffragettes did not have all the required steps to become law due to lack of parliamentary time. To convince the government, they helped petitions, marches and law-abiding campaigns to convince them that women wanted the vote and that they were deserving of it. The suffragettes demanded this through political action and a form of militancy. The violence included breaking windows, hunger strikes, members chained themselves to railings and attacked policemen. They argued that women are equal before God. Some historians argue that the obstruction and violence caused by the suffragettes led to the voting of women.

In October 1905, the women interrupted a liberal party rally in Manchester demanding the rights of women. They directly broke the law to highlight the inequality and became more prominent with their military tactics. Furthermore, the suffragettes attempted to use arson and stage public demonstrations as the more frustrated they became with the failure of the bill. They even began taking extreme measures such as planting bombs on trains and various buildings including the failed detonation of St Pauls Cathedral. It is evident that without these key examples of violence, parliament would have not felt threatened to change the laws. The power and determination of these women was extraordinary and unnoticeably, without them, women may have never been given the right to vote and sexism would have still existed in the society today.

Chapter Four – Objectification/characterisation of women

Though up until now we have been evaluating the positive changes in the law and attitudes towards women recognising that sexism scarcely exists. Other can put forward an argument supporting that it does in fact but is not easily recognised today. Occasionally, women are being treated as the inferior sex but do not realise it. On a regular basis woman are objectified and complimented on their looks hence why it has become the norm, and many are becoming blind to the atrocities. Modern sexism continues to make women feel threatened; often unable to express themselves. However, there are still women who fight and believe in the equality of sexes. Many women today mirror the life changing historic groups who originally fought for their freedom i.e. the suffragettes.  An example of this is seen in key figures such as Malala Yousafzai.

Malala, as young as 21 years of age, has fought extremely passionately and courageously for female education and advocacy. She wrote about her lifestyle under the control of the Taliban at the age of 11. She lived in Pakistan where education was prevented through violence by the Taliban. The young girl aged 15 was shot in the head targeted by an assassination attempt by a Taliban member however survived this life-threatening event. Her story became global and she has since raised in important as a feminist and founded a non-profit education organisation called the Malala Fund. Aged 17, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest person to win the award. She continues to speak out on gender equality and female education and studies at Oxford.

Sexism continues in the most infrequent ways which society would not label as sexist. Women are being projected as weak and vulnerable. This concept alone is sexist and undermines the strength and courage of women globally. Granting that walking alone at night can be a daunting thing for both men and women, women are cautioned more than men as they are perceived as the fragile and more vulnerable sex. Additionally, women are more likely to be raped and fear being murdered or attacked by gangs at night. It was reported that one in five men and one in seventy-one men will be raped in some point of their lives. A further 91% of the victims of rape or sexual assault are female with only 9% male. Society has made it unacceptable for women to be unaccompanied without the protection of a man late at night. Many women feel safe only when carrying a defensive weapon on themselves i.e. pepper spray or rape alarm. In the society today, women constantly fear for their safety. The constant fear and remainder that they are unsafe has made them feel as if they would be unable to defend themselves during an attack as men would tend to target defenceless women more frequently. Some may argue that there is nothing invalid with proposing women should be accompanied by someone for protection. However, without realising it once again, these remarks can be considered sexist. Women should be just as capable to defend themselves as men. In more recent years, the number of women police officers has increased. However, as reported in the table below, the difference of male and female police officers is large. The population of females remains significantly less. If sexism had been completely removed from the society, surely the number of female and male officers would be similar. Although some argue that it is not sexism if females are not choosing to go down the career path of becoming a police officer, women cannot be blamed completely. Only recently has it become more normal to have heard that a female police officer was reported in comparison to when sexism was extreme. Though females are considering this occupation, this does not mean they do not face sexism whilst at work. There have been incidents reported when members of the public complained when female officers had been dispatched to attend a ‘999’ matter. They argued that the female officers were unable to offer the same amount of protective as a male officer regardless of them having the same qualifications and training. This is an imminent example of the sexism which exists today.

Another factor which makes women feel objectified is during ‘catcalling.’  During the 17th century, catcalling was originally the act of denoting a kind of whistle or squeaking instrument used to express disapproval at a theatre. However, in the 21st century it is commonly known and used by men for calling women in a derogative manner. This action is not perceived or meant as a compliment instead it is a rude, aggressive and an inappropriate method of making a female feel uncomfortable. Catcalling is often used by men to assert his power and mark his territory. Boys tend to do this to amuse others i.e. their friends and to appear as the alpha male who can attract any female. It can also be very intimidating when a female is alone and may not feel safe as this is verbal and a form of sexual harassment.

Furthermore, women are also being ‘sexually’ objectified for their body. They are being used in advertising and marketing to attract entertainment and business. For example, a lady wearing a bikini is more likely to sell a product compared to someone who has not been sexualised. “Sex sells.” This term is used in the advertising industry and dehumanizes women. The concept of sexualising women has been one which has been around pre the 21st century. Originally, when women were best encouraged for cooking and maintaining the house hold, they were expected to look ‘pretty’ for their husbands. Women have always worn makeup to express their beauty and to attract the males. Additionally, many television networks are being used to create sexualised shows like “Love Island” and “Sex on the beach.” Although, both men and women are both being sexualised on these shows, women are always wearing bikinis, and this adds to the objectification of women. Double standards have been so embedded in our culture that people no longer see when they are reinforcing them. For example, women are easily judged for not retaining their youthful looks or keeping a good figure rather than men.

Chapter Five – Gender pay gap

The most crucial environment in which sexism occurs daily is at a person’s workplace. It is often reflected through everyday behaviour as well as the inequality of salaries. The gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between men and women’s average earnings in an organisation or specific industry. It is expressed as a percentage to calculate one’s earnings. It is a fundamental factor which reflects the inequality towards women which supports the ideology that women are the inferior sex as seen in the differences of pay. Fewer than 1 in 7 companies claim that women are paid more than men. 8 out of 10 companies acknowledged paying men more whilst the remaining 2 claimed to have paid the genders equally.

The Equal pay act 2010 declared that companies must provide equal pay to equal jobs. The purpose of this act was to ensure that individuals in the same employment are treated equivalently. As this act urges companies to remain discreet, an implicit reference can still be made on the inequality by the number of part-time jobs predominantly filled by women, the lack of senior roles for women and the different types of occupations best suited for ‘women’.  An example of this is publicised in the aviation industry where pilots are primarily men and much of the cabin crew are women. Ryanair, the largest airline industry, revealed a 71.8% pay gap. 8 out of 554 highly paid pilots are women and more than two-thirds of the cabin crew are female as reported in the airline. As well as the aviation industry, similarly the NHS health trusts declared large gaps, like the Sheffield teaching hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s 94.3% gap.

The highest paid sectors are disproportionately dominated by male employees. There is a common stereotype which thinks women would not accept promotions or are not suitable to accept one due to their caring responsibilities. Additionally, when men have kids, stereotypically it seems as if the man is more dedicated to providing for his child whereas when women become mothers, they become fragile and unable to commit to work. 47% of women make up the workforce but only 35% are senior officials or those in a high role. The graph below reflects a negative correlation suggesting that the higher paid jobs, the less women in employment and vice versa.

There are many indicators which suggest that sexism still exists today. When working their way to the high position, women are expected to work a lot harder whereas men are automatically rewarded and supported. Women are often promoted on performance and really need to show that they are worthy of the promotion because of their hard work whereas men are promoted on their potential and how they can succeed. Additionally, one study at the University of Yale showed that despite having identical resumes, a female scientist was offered a lower starting salary, $26,507.94 compared to a man who was offered $30,238.10. There is also no certainty that women do not face discrimination at a workplace. One in three women are discriminated against at work and the figures increase the higher a women’s position in her job. The graph below suggests that 78% of the companies pay men more. The difference between the salaries of men and women is significantly large and continues to highlight the sexism faced through the gender pay gap.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Six – Conclusion

The disparity between females and males reinforces the idea that society needs to restructure its hierarchy and power amongst the genders. For many decades, heroic women have fought to achieve the equal privileges men have. However, society has yet to resolve the gender hierarchies that navigate men at a greater status. The work those has not been complete and sexism ultimately should cease to exist.  The law and other public policies are aiming to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment against women which is one of the most important areas of work. Economic and financial industries yet need to stop the discrimination of women. A mutual respect needs to be learnt and adopted to ensure the future has no bias of gender roles.  When the society acknowledges that the impacts of gender inequality are great and have an enormous impact on people who suffer, huge organisations and those at higher levels must ensure to stop sexism altogether.

 

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