Modern society is injected with daily doses of sexism on an unprecedented level, the trouble is, many of us don’t see it that way anymore

 

Sexism. If you look up the dictionary definition, it refers to: ‘discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex or gender, as in restricted job opportunities, especially such discrimination directed against women’.

What scares me the most from this is that, despite sexism being a gender-neutral concern, it is evident that it mainly affects women. I know this isn’t a ‘new’ revelation, since sexism towards women has been going on for many years, but isn’t that the issue? Why, in this day and age, do we still follow perceived stereotypical gender roles?

Sexism is a serious issue to address, and one often overlooked because the world and the people around us live in a deluded state, where they think we have overcome the barriers of gender stereotypes. Now you may be thinking, why does a 17-year-old who quite possibly knows nothing of the true hardship of facing sexism rant on about this issue? Debatably, I haven’t faced sexism in the extreme, but I still know what it feels like. My parents’ ideals are confined to a tiny box which revolves around the idea of gender roles — ‘girls should be this’, ‘boys can do that’, ‘girls can’t do that’. I am grateful for everything my parents have provided for me, but their sexist views are like a stake through the heart.

But maybe it’s not their fault? We are bombarded with sexist views in our daily lives, from product advertisements to simple comments made by strangers. Through the years, women have been objectified and portrayed as inferior, in adverts promoting the sale of cars, cigarettes and even vitamin pills! As an evolving society, exposed to many media and technology platforms, we have become influenced and almost hypnotised by the projected screens and moving images — we seem to lose sense of what is right and what is sexist.

To put someone in a cage surrounded with ideas on who they have to be and how they have to act, to fit in with society’s norms, should not be dismissed as nothing. Gender roles should be a thing of the past, an ancient artefact. Husbands should be able to care for their children at home, whilst their wives have 9-to-5 day jobs, without society deeming it as ‘unusual’, ‘poor parenting’ or ‘weird’. The idea of one gender being superior to another is absurd, there is no greater gender, we are all equal.

In a general poll with one critical question: ‘Is sexism still present in today’s society?’ Seven per cent said no. Society should wake up and begin to see the issues laid in front of us — sexism does still exist. No matter what sex an individual is, they have most likely faced gender stereotypes sometime in their life. By talking about sexism, we can spread awareness which is vital for those who are oblivious; only then can we make a difference.