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Sexism - Essay Example

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The persistence in gender parity in the world has attracted much research. The world has different ways of treating people and various conditions of treatment based on their sex, either male or female. While gender has been defined as the perceived component of human sexuality, sex refers to the genetic or biological component…
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Download file to see previous pages... Gender would be considered as a social construction. The opportunities and treatment that face people would largely be presented in reference to such a person’s sex, hence a form of discrimination referred to as sexism. Benatar defines sexism as economic and cultural structures that create and propagate rigid. and elaborate sex-marking and sex-announcing patterns that cause division of the species based on sex into subordinates and dominators. Sexism would thus be considered as systemic where the system favours those with overall power. It is basically the wrongful discrimination of a person on the basis of such a person’s sex. The wrongfulness of this discrimination could be out of individual beliefs about a particular sex or because such a discrimination would unjustly harm the discriminated persons. The dominance of one sex in any society would imply that there is a sex that is being oppressed. Benatar (12) introduces first sexism in reference to cases where girls have been victimised. These girls and women have been killed due to their female sex in places where there is strong preference for sons, referred to as female infanticide. Widows would also be forced to end their lives in the name of rituals such as the India’s sati. Neglect could also cause deaths of girls and women especially in times of short food supplies in communities where sons would be prioritised as girls would be left to die out of malnutrition. Many millions of girls have been deprived of education as the boys on the other hand would be provided with education. Even in places where girls would be allowed to access primary education, the ladder tilts to favour the boys in higher education. In Saudi Arabia, women have been prohibited from riding motorcycles or bicycles or driving vehicles. Sexism through language Language has perpetuated male dominance through trivialising, ignoring and sexualising women. The use of he in cases of unspecified sex and the generic term mankind in reference to humanity are some example in English that enhance sexism. Additionally, promiscuity would usually be applied to women only. Towards the end of the 20th Century, gender neutral language had been promoted and has been largely attributed to feminism rise. This language avoids gender specific titles and other usage considered to be sexist. Supporters argue that gender specific title and pronouns exhibits systemic bias that excludes people based on their gender. Their proponents however argue that promoting gender neutral language would lead to grammatical distortion of meaning. Other languages around the world, in contrast to the western Indo-European languages had gender specific pronouns arise recently in the early 20th Century. Turkish is one of the examples. Colonialism saw most cultures revolutionise in an attempt to be modernised or westernised through addition of gender specific pronouns. As a result, about a century ago, these gender neutral pronouns became gender specific. Sexism in mass communication media Mass media, including movies, newspapers, television and magazines widely reflect what the society assumes about gender. Movies, particularly pornography objectifies gender by depicting scenes where women would be coerced, humiliated, dominated or even sexually assaulted. It entails psychological, physical or economic coercion of the women folk to perform and model in such movies. But with the modern rise in feminism, magazines have largely been concerned with the achievements of women. Despite this, various magazines still define women in reference to men behind them. Eitzen and Baca-Zinn (268) document studies which have shown that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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