Although women in America do not face many of the terrible fears and injustices many women do in developing countries, we do face sexism everyday. Simply based on the fact that we do not have unequal education dependent on gender, that we have laws against domestic violence and sexual harassment, and we have adequate healthcare for women (among other privileges), many men and women believe sexism does not exist anymore, as shown by the need for these arguments.
The type of sexism women face in America is, in most cases, very subtle. In our society, most people are accustomed to overlooking these instances. After doing some research (finding blogs dedicated to everyday feminism and statistics illustrating dues women have to pay that men do not), I have noticed many things I never have before. I have been, and seen other women, interrupted in class and just in general life by males. I have been asked by one of my guy friends how to iron one of his new work shirts, and been told that I should not study abroad alone because “every girl needs a friend to watch out for her”. As I started noticing these things more and more, I was not offended by any of them, I just realized the differences between how men and women are expected to act.
Along with everyday life, there is sexism in the media as well. I saw this video, by The Representation Project, in 2013 and I viewed the media in a new way. Until I saw this video, I rarely questioned how men and women were presented in the media. After watching this, I began viewing the objectification of both men and women and actually registering it as something that should not be a norm. I believe this is the beginning stage of changing the media industry. If everyone simply looked at the media in a different way, we would have the motivation and the numbers to Demand Better Media (another video by The Representation Project made in 2014).
In politics, many women are focused on for their appearance as opposed to their issues. For example, Hillary Clinton’s fashion sense as well as makeup techniques are highly discussed. I have, not once, heard a comment about Bernie Sanders’ appearance and unless a man looks are as ridiculous as Donald Trump’s, his physical characteristics are not commented on. But, we do not notice this because we are accustomed to hearing about women’s appearances and men’s opinions.
It is also surprising to see the lack of women involved in politics. Elle UK started a campaign dubbed #MoreWomen. They photoshopped all of the men in politics out of photographs. It is an extremely eye opening campaign.
But, for now, men and women are doing what they can to call out the injustices women face as well as their lack of representation in the media. Always launched its campaign, #LikeAGirl. Buzzfeed allows men to experience what being a female entails with their: Makeup Trial, Guys Try Motherhood, Heel Trial, Thong Trial videos, among other experiments. Videos, such as Body Evolution, call out the use of photoshop in our culture today. And, a short film, called Imagine a World, opened the eyes of millions to how the disapproval and mocking of homosexuality in our society should not be a norm. These, among other forms of media attempt to call out the injustices found in everyday life as well as open the eyes of those struggling to understand other perspectives. There is hope for the future, but we, as a society, have a long way to go.