Sexist attitudes of all kinds exist in society.
In some cases, these attitudes may not be consciously held. They might be totally casual and indulged in without any real malice or desire to hurt anyone. But even so, such attitudes are sexist. They make implicit presumptions about men, women, and their relationship to one another — presumptions that, in many cases, are just wrong.
Knowing this, a channel called Power To Her recently shared a viral TikTok video that made significant waves among the many women who use the platform. The video discussed some mind-blowing sexist things that are generally considered normal within contemporary society, and it resonated with many people.
Encouraged, people then began mentioning other examples of sexist behavior that appear to have been normalized. Here are some examples that people have shared. Maybe you have seen, heard, or experienced some similar things.
Everyday Sexist Attitudes
Why must a woman adopt her husband’s last name when she marries him? This is a tradition seemingly as old as time, but it suggests that a woman’s identity prior to her marriage is not important and can simply be discarded. Why couldn’t a couple hyphenate their last names and combine them together instead?
A related issue surrounds some of the language that people use about marriage. For instance, a father is said to “give away” his daughter when she marries her husband.
Why? This suggests that a woman somehow “belongs” to her father and then later comes to “belong” to her husband. The sexism in such a sentiment is glaring.
Women are generally put under much heavier pressure to have children than men are, especially by their families. Some of the reasons for this may come down to biology — women lose the ability to have children much sooner than men do — but even so, this is a prejudicial attitude. After all, what if a woman simply doesn’t want to have children at all? What if she has decided that having kids isn’t right for her?
Why is it that men are expected to propose to women but not women to men?
More generally, why are men expected to ask women out on dates, but when a woman happens to ask a man out, it’s considered bizarre or unusual? Special dating apps like Bumble are starting to change this, but it’s still a rather pervasive sexist attitude in society.
- When we want someone to display courage, we tell the person to “grow a pair.” But when someone has behaved in a weak or cowardly manner, we call that person a “little girl” or some even worse female-associated epithet. Just reflect for a moment on what the acceptance of this sort of language says about our society’s attitudes toward men and women.