Updated: Jun 21, 2021
You know what sucks? That people assume that just because it’s called ‘casual’ sexism, it is automatically not as important or simply not a big issue. Well it is an issue and I want to talk about it.
Not long ago, I watched a movie called “I Am Not an Easy Man” (definitely recommend it by the way) about a guy who hit his head on a post while cat-calling a couple of women. He woke up in a parallel universe in which society treated men the same way women are treated now, which is how he realized how normalized this kind of shit is nowadays. The way he was treated, pushed around and sexualized constantly was something of a wake-up call to me.
“Casual sexism” – for those of you who haven’t happened to stumble upon the rare, unsilenced voices of the few who actually speak up instead of being convinced by society that it’s normal – is literally any act of discrimination against someone because of their gender. Now, I’m not saying that all genders are identical and should be treated that way. Men and women, for example, are different. Not too different, but different enough to be, on occasion, treated certain ways. That, however, does not mean that any gender is ‘superior’ to the other and it definitely doesn’t mean that women can continue to be treated in the same incredibly disrespectful way that they are now. I would just like to make it clear that no one is at fault here, there are numerous people who are unconscious that they are being casually sexist on a daily basis and that is not necessarily always their fault. It’s just that specific comments or ‘jokes’ as they are often disguised as are too normalized in our modern society.
How often have you heard someone who is stuck in traffic yell “let’s go girls!” or something to that effect, just assuming that the driver at fault is a woman? Not only that, but ‘jokes’ which revolve around oversexualizing and objectifying women are all too common. The idea that all women want is to get married and have kids is a stereotype that is all too embedded in the minds of people all around the world, especially the more impressionable members of society. However, the means used in convincing children about “gender roles” is another article which I will definitely get to talking about some time soon.
The point is, without really noticing it, many people are diminishing the value of women and treating them as a ‘second class gender’. It’s not only men who are doing this, but a number of women too. It happens at school, in the workplace, at home and raising awareness is the only way to really stop it. So, next time a joke comes up about how ‘hysterical’ or ‘irrational’ women can be, don’t laugh. Next time people make assumptions just because of your gender please explain to them that it doesn’t work that way. Next time you hear: ‘you can’t do it, you’re a girl’ – prove them wrong!
About the author: My name is Louisa Vichou and I’m a 14 year old aspiring writer who loves painting, pretty much all sports, singing and piano. However, (like all the greats) I have an arch-enemy... maths!