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Everyday Sexism

By Laura Bates
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Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
Synopsis

Everyday Sexism (2014), explores why sexism is so deeply entrenched in society, from sexual assaults against women to the stark differences in the ways boys and girls are raised. These blinks show how sexism is harmful not only for women but also for men; and you’ll learn how to combat sexism to create a more peaceful, equitable world.

Key idea 1 of 7

Sexist behavior exists everywhere in society, but it remains a largely unreported, invisible problem.

It’s rare that a day will pass without another headline about sexual violence against women or statistics that show the vast income gap between men and women.

Yet some people still argue that sexism is a thing of the past, despite plenty of indications that sexism is not only still present but ubiquitous.

Sexism comes in many forms. Millions of women are sexually assaulted, raped or killed yearly because of their gender. Sexism can also be a statement about a woman’s unsuitability for a certain job, or derogatory comments made about a woman’s body.

To collect stories of both major and minor sexual aggression, the author created a website named EverydaySexism.com. Here people can anonymously share their experiences of sexism.

Within one month after launching the site, the author had already collected hundreds of entries.

One shocking story was of a young woman who witnessed a man masturbating while looking at her on the subway. Worse, the woman explained that the other subway riders simply turned a blind eye, choosing to ignore the situation rather than assist in any way.

This is an extreme case of sexism in society. Other times, sexism can be hard to detect.

Why is this the case? Our society is inherently sexist, and as we’ve grown up, many of our thought patterns based on sexist ideas have become normalized. Many men often don’t realize or even care if their behavior is sexist; women often fail to recognize sexist behavior for what it is.

Consider this: when a woman is attacked, people often say, “She was asking for it, wearing a skirt like that.” Blaming the victim, instead of critically examining a perpetrator’s actions, is typical sexist behavior.

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