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Problem of Sexism Towards Women in America

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Problem of Sexism towards Women in America

Marisa Sousa

Union County College

Soc 206-002

Whether diverse or not, in any society in the contemporary world, their has to exist a system that treats both men and women as persons with equal human rights. Nevertheless, this is not always the case as instances of gender discrimination; especially, against women have been reported in both the developed and developing nations. In the United States, for example, women have fought for their rights to education and voting through feminists’ movements but still face challenges although not as in the 20th century. Such discriminations against women yield sexism.  In particular, sexism refers to the discrimination or prejudices against women simply because of their sex. Interestingly, sexism against women in America does not only originate from men but also from a section of fellow women who feel females should not hold certain positions on society. Regardless of it origin, sexism has adverse effects on the lives of women and compromises the United Nations mission on the realization of equal human rights for all gender.

According to Brodie (2010), sexism began during the time European settlers first came to the Americas. Notably, this occurred in the 15th and 16th centuries whereby the settlers envisioned a harsh awakening on the original habitants. The early settlers propagated the belief that women must always be dependent on men due to their deceiving ethical capacities. Amazingly, sexism traces its roots in the biblical story of Adam and Eve in which women were considered untrustworthy. But in America, the history of inequality of the sexes is what translates into gender discrimination. It can also be argued that such cases of gender discrimination in America are the foundation for feminism movements that have been common in the country (Levitt, 2015, 76). Historically, the female gender has always been underrepresented or prejudiced in work environments, academics, sports, and political arena. A lot has changed over time with American women now having the right to vote and equal rights to education and employment. Nevertheless, the extent of favoritism towards men results in extreme residual effects on the lives of women in society.

While there are several effects of sexism against women in the United States, the most outstanding one is perhaps in the employment arena. In a highly globalized and industrialized world, women are significant contributors to the labor force and their effects should never be ignored. Studies indicate that gender inequality in work settings is the biggest contributor to the ever-escalating employee turnover. Eventually, this practice leads to unstable and hostile working environments compromising the ability of a nation to maximize of her labor force (Levitt, 2015, 104). Worse still, sexism initiates instances of potential workplace violence and harassment of women employees by their employers. Even though, women now have the right pursue a case they consider detrimental to their rights, the damages incurred are often extreme leading mental depression and even physical harm. Therefore, women need to be treated equally as men in employment sectors because they offer similar skills and are arguably resilient to duty.

Second, sexism against women manifests itself in the numerous cases of violence against women encompassing domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual slavery to mention but a few. While many think that the United States being a highly developed economy observes women rights, the contrast is that women in America are still subjects to men. In fact, there are reported cases of domestic violence in American courts than in some developing countries. For instance, there is a high likelihood of a woman from El Paso County Colorado becoming a victim of domestic violence than in many other nations around the world (Brodie, 2010, 36). Unfortunately, all these are attributed to the extent of sexism in America and partly due to the high rates of poverty in certain States. In cases of political or social unrests, women are always the biggest victims of rape and violence due to their susceptibility to war and violence.

Moreover, sexism has contributed to the objectification of women evident in stereotyping of the dressings and improper use in producing sexually explicit content. It is not uncommon to find billboards, magazines, and online platforms advertising using women that are indecently dressed. Indeed, this only shows that women have been modeled to belong to a particular moral class whereby revealing parts of the body is not illegitimate. As such, women have become vital to the advertising both on mainstream and online platforms due to their perceived beautiful nature. On the contrary, Wilson, Gutiérrez & Chao (2012) believe such actions only continue to propagate the sexism agenda and portray women as less valuable in society. Moreover, communities in the United States who dictate the kind of dressing women should wear are also contributing the objectification effect rendering women subjects of their husbands even though they can make their independent decisions. There is no doubt that such perceptions about what women should do or wear contribute to the escalation of sexism in contemporary American society.

Due to sexism, American women are less likely to engage in political endeavors that would see them form a part of elected officials. However, this may also be attributed to individual decisions or cultural confines, but sexism still plays a significant role. For instance, women only make up less than one-quarter of the congressional seats, which is just 18 percent of Congress’ 535 seats (Wilson, Gutiérrez & Chao, 2012, 113). The paradox is that the girl child in America has been having educational advantages over the boy child from the late 20th century. Apart from coming out with better grades, there are also more girl child graduates from American universities every day. But while running for political offices, discriminations often emerge compromising their political ambitions. A good example is the recent 2016 elections which pitted a woman against a man as presidential aspirants. It was evident from the voting patterns that some voters failed to choose Hillary simply because she was a woman at the expense of whether she was best suited to be Commander in Chief.



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