There are many ways sexism creeps into our day-to-day lives. Sometimes you might not say anything about it or even notice it, or sometimes you do. Sexism can influence us in many ways. It affects everyone and has been occurring for thousands of years. Today, it may happen less than in the past, but in no way is any amount of sexism okay. In work life, discrimination can go to extremes. Another way to be sexist would be being condescending because of someone else’s gender. Other things that affect many people are stereotypes, the pink tax, (partially) limited clothing options, and dress codes.
In some day-to-day work lives, discrimination against people based on gender can go to extremes. Fewer women in high power (no female presidents) and many fewer females in other branches of the United States Government are just one example. Or even getting lower pay while doing the same job as others because of your gender. When asked if there was a difference in the number of women compared to men working at her company (in the finance sector), one woman Insider interviewed stated, “Less than 10% are women.” Some people might treat others differently because of this, like being condescending or treating them like they are not as essential as men. And, of course, there is the pay gap; in research by Pew Research Center in 2020, it was found that women earned 84% of what men earned.
Being condescending is not the best in any form, but when condescension becomes sexist, it can be infuriating and wrong. “Girls cannot fight.” “Why are you here? You don’t know how to (thing)” “Boys will always misbehave.” These are just a few examples of common phrases and stereotypes said in condensation. Every day, these assumptions and more are made. Mansplaining is also, sadly, quite common in our lives. Mansplaining is when a man (usually to a woman) explains something in a condescending way. In your everyday life, try to begin to realize when you may be saying something sexist. Sometimes you might not see it, but it can still hurt the people around you.
One sexist stereotype is that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. There is no reason to think this, yet we almost all do. Another example is (partially) limited clothes. People automatically assume that women do not need basketball shoes and that all women like dresses. If you were to look in the “women’s” section at a clothing store, most of the clothes are of a different theme (AKA, more dresses, a different color palette, and many other differences) than the “men’s” section. The Pink Tax (another article by the Insider about the Pink Tax is here) is another very sexist component in our lives. In the past, pink was considered a “manly” color. That shows how our perceptions are often greatly influenced by society, rather than the truth. These things mentioned would be harder to prevent and remove as they are embedded so deeply into our daily lives.
Everyone should try their best not to be sexist or say anything remotely sexist (and it does not matter what gender you are; sexism is discrimination against any gender, including those you go by he, she, they, or anything.) Work on realizing what you are saying and try to start self-identifying sexism. Try to catch yourself making assumptions based on gender or outer appearances, and try to stop yourself from putting voice to these assumptions. Even if what you’re saying seems harmless, like saying “boys are annoying”, that is still stereotypical because you are saying that all boys are annoying. Everyone has to work together to minimize things (like those mentioned in this article) as we work towards a sexism-free world.