This is the only issue in the Let’s Talk series that I have all that much experience in, yes, I did talk about my experience with being bullied in my Lets Talk… Bullying post but I have must greater experience when it comes to sexism.
Sexism can be both incredibly serious and it can also be very obscure, where people don’t necessarily even realise it’s happening. I have never been a victim to incredibly serious sexism but I think every female has been victim to some form of sexism whether it be someone staring only at their breasts the entire time they talk to you or whether it be someone driving past honking their horn at you.
I read a book sometime last year called Everyday Sexism | Lauren Bates and it was not only eye-opening and enlightening but it was also inspiring. Everyday Sexism is a book compiled of stories sent in from the public talking about their experience of sexism in all areas of life – family, school, work, socialising etc. and it’s inspiring because although there are all these depressing stories on sexism there are also stories of people who have fought back against sexism and the results they’ve received because of this and that’s what is inspiring, it gives you the courage to stand up for yourself when you’re victim to sexism. The book was published as a result of the success of the website/blog – everydaysexism.com
I think I was about nine when the sexism first started for me, my Mum has always talked to me about this kind of stuff but because I was young I never properly understood the true effects of sexism and what it really meant, I think this is the experience quite a few men have as well – even if they’re not sexist and don’t do the appalling things that some men do they don’t really realise sexism is happening because they don’t experience it. I’ve also noticed that sexism just doesn’t happen if you’re walking along the street with a man beside you. Unfortunately for me I have always looked older than I actually am, very rarely people have thought I’ve been 18 when I’ve actually been 12. Age doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with sexism though as I have talked to a number of young people who have been victim to sexism whilst wearing their school uniform which I think is just absolutely appalling and gross, not even thinking about the fact that it could potentially be classed as a form of pedophilia. I know of stories where women have been physically and unwantedly touched by men on public transport and in other situations.
Leaving aside the more physical forms of sexism I want to talk about sexism in the media. There is sexism in every art form that exists: film, TV, books, magazines, social media, blogs, music, even fashion! Have you ever watched a film or TV show where the female lead slaps her lover in the face in a moment of complete overwhelming emotion? That’s sexism. It is portraying a female as being too emotional to properly control themselves and too weak to actually mean any harm. They were too emotional to control the slap and they were too weak for the slap to actually be taken seriously as an act of violence. There is lots of sexism in books, particularly those romance novels that every teen girl loves at some point in her life (saying every teen girl at some stage in their lives loves romance novels is also sexist if you hadn’t noticed.) because they’re only purpose is a happily-ever-after and they’re lives are not complete and they’re not 100% happy until they find ‘the one’. Sexist. I recently did a post on magazines and how they were poisoning teens also about how sexist they were. I haven’t come across a sexist blog yet but depending on where the blog is and the purpose for it’s existence I’m sure there are some sexist blogs out there. I’m sure everyone says something in their blog from time to time which is actually sexist but because it’s so minor they don’t even notice it even if they are a feminist. Music can be very, very sexist. Not necessarily the song/lyrics themselves but the way music is performed and shown on television. There are some songs with sexist lyrics such s ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ by The Wanted – that is sexist. Some people would say ‘Little Things’ by One Direction is sexist too, and it is in some ways. But when I think of sexism in music I’m usually thinking of how every female performer has to perform concerts in their underwear or see-through tops and tiny shirts – not forgetting the 8-inch heels! Whereas men get to perform in jeans and baggy tops or suits. You can also notice sexism in music videos depending on the video you are watching, for instance Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ music video and her ‘Adore You’ music video are two music videos that are very sexist because you would never ever see a music video of a man doing the things that Miley does in these videos, therefore it is sexist. I mentioned fashion because that is definitely something that is very sexist, men can buy clothes of naked women and women can buy tops that make them look naked – I am referring to a top I once saw in which there was a life-sized picture of a woman wearing an open shirt and no bra and the top was designed in such a way that when the woman was wearing the top it looked like she was wearing an open shirt rather than she was wearing a top with a women on it who was wearing an open shirt. I am also thinking of all the low-cut dresses made for women with men in mind, because clearly women don’t wear low-cut dresses so they can stare at their own cleavage the entire time. Also those dresses with slits all the way up the leg that surely make women feel self-conscious the entire time they’re wearing them. I once saw an article about Selena Gomez at a movie premiere for ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ where she had turned up in a bright red, low-cut, leg-slitted dress and her male co-stars had turned up in baggy dirty t-shirts and falling down holey jogging trousers and the pictures from the premiere looked absolutely terrible, Selena stood out like a sore thumb through no fault of her own and she was clearly self-conscious and really uncomfortable because you could tell from her facial expressions in the photos.
I don’t only want to talk about female sexism though, I want to talk about male sexism too. I don’t know if my idea of male sexism is accurate but I’m going to talk about the things males experience that I consider to be sexist. Quite often I will see a tweet from one of my favourite actors or singers and they’ll be tweeting a picture of their dinner or their pet etc. and all the comments will say things like ‘Fuck me’, ‘Come and sleep in my bed tonight’, ‘you’re so sexy’, ‘You’re so hot’ etc. you’ve probably seen comments like this too. I think that is sexist and I don’t ever see comments like this on women’s tweets. Not only is it just plain wrong to ask someone you’ve never even met to have sex with you but it’s also incredibly embarrassing, so just don’t do it! It’s not pleasing or flattering to have someone say that to you, it’s just weird. Connor Franta did a really great video about this subject once – Let’s Talk About Sex | Connor Franta. I’ve also noticed that people only listen to bands or only watch films because of the attractive men that are in them. Now, I’m guilty of this in the film area as I definitely watch films only based on the cast members – if I hear of a film I think sounds really bad I’ll still watch it if it has an actor I like in it. Deciding things in this way is also an act of sexism in my view.
I really hope you guys liked this post, if there are any areas of sexism you feel I didn’t talk about please let me know in the comments. If you have anything to say on the topic of sexism such as your own experience etc. then please leave a comment!
Other than that, make sure to give this post a like and if you aren’t already follow me!
That’s all for now!
Inspired Teen 🙂