Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Sexism.
Coined in 1968 by Vanauken in a paper called "Freedom for Movement
Girls - Now", it was an illustration of a concept, central to women's
lives, which was wordless for many years.
Do Sexist Men Like Big Boobs? Male
Attitudes May Predict Breast Size Preference, Says
Apology That Doesn't Work
Those Claiming Sexism can only be Perpetrated Against Women
Men Are from Mars (Earth), Women Are from Venus (Earth)
Daily Acts of Sexism Go Unnoticed by Men, Women
Sexism and Gender Inequality
'Benevolent Sexism' Is Not an Oxymoron and Has Insidious Consequences for Women, Experts Argue
Sexism: Cat-Calls Are Detrimental to Everyone
Rethinking Sexism: A Daughter-Father Team Examines How Society Maintains the Status Quo
That Kind of Sexism is Sexist
My Week With 'Michelle'?
10 Concrete Ways to End Sexism as Men
The West Wing on Sexism
UNICEF & Gender Equality
KFC Advertises on College Hotties Buns - Girls Gone Wild is Next Probable Promotional Vehicle
Appalling Examples of Sexism in the Media.Sexism in the Media
13 Perfect Responses To Street Harassment
Rush Limbaugh Advises Men How to Sexually Harass Women
Related Issues: A Real
If Women Ran the
Books: Sexism, Sex Roles
It's Only Sexist When Men Do It
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discusses what inspired her to write her new book, 'Lean In,' and how working women can stop unintentionally holding themselves back both professionally and personally. She recalls a particularly troubling incident in which she spotted alarming phrases on t-shirts that were being sold at a major retailer. The shirts marketed to boys read, 'smart like daddy' while the shirts marketed to girls read, 'pretty like mommy.'
Do Sexist Men Like Big Boobs? Male
Attitudes May Predict Breast Size Preference, Says Study
A recent study from the University of Westminster, published in February in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, showed that men's attitudes toward women influence their attitudes about ideal breast size. The researchers interviewed 361 white, heterosexual men, ranging in age from 18 to 68. (Since ethnicity has been previously shown to impact how individuals perceive breast size, the researchers decided to pull participants from just one self-identified racial category.) Each man was shown five different 3-D models of women, each with a different breast size, and then asked to record which "woman" he found most physically attractive.
Afterward, the participants were given surveys which measured each man's level of hostility toward women, his attitudes about relationships between men and women, benevolent sexism and how much he objectified women.
The researchers found that the largest percentage of participants (32.7 percent) rated medium-sized breasts as "most attractive," followed by large (24.4 percent), very large (19.1 percent), small (15.5 percent) and very small (8.3 percent). However, a preference for large and very large breasts was significantly correlated with overt sexism, benevolent sexism, female objectification and hostile attitudes toward women. This connection was strongest when it came to benevolent sexism. In other words, men who tend to idealize "traditional" femininity and perceive women as meek and weak, are also the most likely to prefer big boobs. "It is arguable that benevolently sexist men perceived larger female breasts as attractive because larger breast size on a woman is associated with perceived femininity," wrote the researchers.
The findings dont mean that all men who find big breasts
attractive are sexist. Also, knowing that some guys may associate
your big boobs with weakness is NOT a reason to have a breast
reduction. But this research is a good reminder that social ideas
about what makes a woman sexually desirable don't just impact the way
women feel about themselves or how they imagine men perceive them.
Those ideas impact the way that men view women -- both how attractive
and how powerful men think they are.
Appalling Examples of Sexism in the Media.Sexism in the Media
Mainstream media often bombards women with sexist images -- from
rail-thin models digitally altered to make them appear skinnier, to
role models such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being
criticized for wearing "too little" makeup. Read on to see eight
shocking examples of sexism in media, as highlighted in the
documentary "Miss Representation."
Those Claiming Sexism can only be Perpetrated Against Women
Linda Phelps, 1975: A social relationship in which males have authority over females.
Susan Sands, 1970: Is an unconscious philosophy based on the premise that men must have first choice in everything.
Dale Spender, 1982: Is no bias which can be eliminated but (is) the foundation stone of learning and education in our male controlled society.
Liz Stanley and Sue Wise, 1983: Is the name of the problem addressed by feminism.
Sonia Johnson, 1984: The polite term for the war on women. It
is the model for racism, classism, ageism.
Men Are from Mars (Earth), Women Are from
From empathy and sexuality to science inclination and extroversion, statistical analysis of 122 different characteristics involving 13,301 individuals shows that men and women, by and large, do not fall into different groups. In other words, no matter how strange and inscrutable your partner may seem, their gender is probably only a small part of the problem.
"People think about the sexes as distinct categories," says Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and a co-author on the study to be published in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "'Boy or girl?' is the first question parents are asked about their newborn, and sex persists through life as the most pervasive characteristic used to distinguish categories among humans."
But the handy dichotomy often falls apart under statistical scrutiny, says lead author Bobbi Carothers, who completed the study as part of her doctoral dissertation at Rochester and is now a senior data analyst for the Center for Public Health System Science at Washington University in St. Louis. For example, it is not at all unusual for men to be empathic and women to be good at math -- characteristics that some research has associated with the other sex, says Carothers. "Sex is not nearly as confining a category as stereotypes and even some academic studies would have us believe," she adds.
The authors reached that conclusion by reanalyzing data from 13 studies that had shown significant, and often large, sex differences. Reis and Carothers also collected their own data on a range of psychological indicators. They revisited surveys on relationship interdependence, intimacy, and sexuality. They reopened studies of the "big five" personality traits: extroversion, openness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and conscientiousness. They even crunched the numbers on such highly charged and seemingly defining gender characteristics as femininity and masculinity. Using three separate statistical procedures, the authors searched for evidence of attributes that could reliably categorize a person as male or female.
The pickings, it turned out, were slim. Statistically, men and women definitely fall into distinct groups, or taxons, based on anthropometric measurements such as height, shoulder breadth, arm circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio. And gender can be a reliable predictor for interest in very stereotypic activities, such as scrapbooking and cosmetics (women) and boxing and watching pornography (men).
But for the vast majority of psychological traits, including the fear of success, mate selection criteria, and empathy, men and women are definitely from the same planet. Instead of scores clustering at either end of the spectrum -- the way they do with, say, height or physical strength -- psychological indicators fall along a linear gradation for both genders. With very few exceptions, variability within each sex and overlap between the sexes is so extensive that the authors conclude it would be inaccurate to use personality types, attitudes, and psychological indicators as a vehicle for sorting men and women.
"Thus, contrary to the assertions of pop psychology titles like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, it is untrue that men and women think about their relationships in qualitatively different ways," the authors write. "Even leading researchers in gender and stereotyping can fall into the same trap."
That men and women approach their social world similarly does not imply that there are no differences in average scores between the sexes. Average differences do exist, write the authors. "The traditional and easiest way to think of gender differences is in terms of a mean difference," Carothers and Reis write. But such differences "are not consistent or big enough to accurately diagnose group membership" and should not be misconstrued as evidence for consistent and inflexible gender categories, they conclude.
"Those who score in a stereotypic way on one measure do not necessarily do so on another," the authors note. A man who ranks high on aggression, may also rank low on math, for example. Caution the authors: "the possession of traits associated with gender is not as simple as 'this or that'."
Although emphasizing inherent differences between the sexes certainly strikes a chord with many couples, such simplistic frameworks can be harmful in the context of relationships, says Reis, a leader in the field of relationship science. "When something goes wrong between partners, people often blame the other partner's gender immediately. Having gender stereotypes hinders people from looking at their partner as an individual. They may also discourage people from pursuing certain kinds of goals. When psychological and intellectual tendencies are seen as defining characteristics, they are more likely to be assumed to be innate and immutable. Why bother to try to change?"
The best evidence we have that the so-called Mars/Venus gender division is not the true source of friction within relationships, says Reis, is that "gay and lesbian couples have much the same problems relating to each other that heterosexual couples do. Clearly, it's not so much sex, but human character that causes difficulties."
The findings support the "gender similarities hypothesis" put forth by University of Wisconsin psychologist Janet Hyde. Using different methods, Hyde has challenged "overinflated claims of gender differences" with meta-analyses of psychology studies, demonstrating that males and females are similar on most, though not all, psychological variables
Those results were not a surprise for Carothers. Raised by two physical education teachers, the self-described tomboy grew up with "all kinds of sporting equipment I did not question stereotypical attitudes, I just knew that they did not necessarily fit me and the folks I hung out with." That experience, she says, fueled a lifelong interest into the biological basis of behavior. When she discovered in graduate school that she could apply her prowess in statistics to exploring sex differences, the project became "a marriage of two interests."
The authors acknowledge that the study is based largely on questionnaires and may not fully capture real life actions. "Methods that more pointedly measure interpersonal behaviors (how many birthday cards have they sent this year, how many times a month do they call a friend just to see how he or she is, etc.) may more readily reveal a gender taxon," they write.
By the same token, however, as gender roles are liberalized, the
authors speculate that new studies may show even less divergence
between men and women in the United States. The opposite may be the
case in cultures that are far more prescriptive of male and female
roles, such as Saudi Arabia, Reis and Carothers predict.
Apology That Doesn't Work
The sign, located outside of a New Jersey mall, according to Jezebel, reads:
We apologize for the whistling construction workers, but man you look good!
So we will soon, please pardon our dust, dirt, and other assorted inconveniences.
Since so many women have experienced street harassment -- an estimated 90 percent of women by age 19 -- it's perhaps no surprise the ad didn't go over well.
A Change.org petition to remove the sign is quickly gathering signatures, and another one has been started on Stopstreetharassment.org
Holly Kearl, the founder of Stop Street Harassment, said in an e-mail message that she contacted the mall about the sign and that a marketing representative responded to say that it would be removed.
The sign joins a long list of marketing materials companies end up apologizing for once they discover that many female consumers don't find them amusing. Often the renounced ads have touched on themes like sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender inequality and menstruation.
In March, a Belvedere vodka campaign featuring a man holding a woman against her will appeared with the tagline "Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly." Outrage was swift enough that, according to Forbes, the company pulled evidence of the ad from social media sites within an hour.
The same month, a Twitter user snapped a picture of the cleaning instructions printed on a tag inside her boyfriend's Madhouse brand pants: "Give it to your woman ... It's her job."
And last summer, there was the milk campaign that implied women
are near-certifiable right before their periods. Taglines on photos
of men apparently terrified of their partners read, "I'm sorry for
the thing -- or things -- I did or didn't do" and "I'm sorry I
listened to what you said and not what you meant."
That Kind of Sexism is Sexist
Sara Delamont, 1980: Is stereotyping people by sex; just as racism is stereotyping people by race.
Nelle Morton: A way of ordering life by gender "that robs people of their humanness and aborts the Spirit moving in the communities of which we are a part."
Angela Davis, 1982: Can never be seen in isolation. It has to
be placed in the context of its interconnections with racism, and
especially with class exploitation. (Ed. Homophobia might be a good
one to add.)
10 Concrete Ways to End Sexism as Men
#2. Understand that these sexist views will persist and cloud both sexes' thinking about both men and women.
#3. Always remember the true nature of ALL women and ALL men: strong, loving, intelligent, zestful, cooperative, assertive, confident and tender. If you can't see everyone that way then it is due to the sexist conditioning (and other hurts) placed upon you. If you had never received this conditioning, then you could easily see everyone's inherent nature all the time. If any person never received any type of conditioning, then they would always act on these inherent qualities all the time.
#4. Educate yourself on the ways that women have been oppressed. Ask the women in your life what the sexism is like in their life. It is important for women to get to talk about it with you and important for you to hear the hardships of being a woman in this society.
#5. Share the work that has traditionally been considered "women's work". This is largely unpaid work and is not considered as important as "men's work".
#6. Challenge the notion to both men and women that boys are by nature aggressive and violent. Stand firm that it is only hard conditioning that makes anyone act this way. Stand firm that boys are just like girls with the whole range of emotions, compassion, and need for tenderness.
#7. Eliminate homophobia (the fear of being close to someone of the same gender as oneself) with the men in your life. Homophobia perpetuates confusion that closeness and sex are the same thing (they are not the same). It prevents men from having close relationships with each other. Taking turns listening to each other about the hardships we've had being men is a great step in starting closer friendships. Go meet lots of men!
#8. Encourage men (including yourself) to feel and express all natural feelings. Men's largest conditioning comes from being forced to act like we have no feelings (e.g. "Big boys don't cry", "You're acting like a girl/sissy"). This conditioning is what eventually makes men take on all of the inhuman roles we are expected to play in society.
#9. Support women's leadership. One crucial area to eliminating sexism is challenging the notion that men are natural leaders and women are natural followers. This can be confusing for men. But considering all the sexist stereotypes we've been taught about women, this is understandable. That is why remembering women's inherent nature (see #3) and taking turns listening with other men about how we've been conditioned is so important in moving forward and supporting women's leadership.
#10. Model non-sexist behavior everywhere. Tell and show men and
women that eliminating sexism is a primary focus in your life. The
presence of sexism in society is hurtful to everyone, not just women.
It's elimination will enhance every human being's life.
Source: Men Against Racism & Sexism, firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.326.9686
KFC Advertises on College Hotties Buns -
Girls Gone Wild is Next Probable Promotional Vehicle
The Double Down was primarily marketed to young men, so there's a warped logic to this latest guerrilla campaign.
The contradiction of a bun-less sandwich being advertised on the buns of college bunnies isn't lost on us. But the ancient "sex sells" adage is just a tad depressing.
The nation's largest women's group doesn't like it, according to USA Today. "It's so obnoxious to once again be using women's bodies to sell fundamentally unhealthy products," Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said in the USA Today story. What's more, she says, KFC has forgotten something important: Women make more than half the decisions about what to eat for dinner.
"It's hard to imagine anyone escaped the buzz of the Double Down earlier this year," John Cywinski, KFC's chief marketing and food innovation officer said in a press release. "But in an effort to reach consumers coast-to-coast, and especially our key target of young men, we've established yet another advertising first - one that's fitting of the Double Down's head-turning history."
My Week With 'Michelle'?
Except, of course, none of them says those things. Not exactly. No major film critic would refer to an actor in a review by her first name -- even if a critic wanted to, he'd have to take it up with an editor: Publications have style guides when it comes to such things, and using someone's surname (sometimes preceded by a title like "Mr." or "Ms.," as in The New York Times) is generally considered the respectful thing to do. Thus, "Williams makes the star come alive" is what David Denby actually wrote. The other two critics were misquoted more aggressively: Travers's actual words were "The luminous Michelle Williams goes bone-deep here," while Maltin said Williams "convinces us that she is that ravishing, impossible, heartbreaking figure we've all read so much about."
Misquoting critics for advertising purposes is nothing new, of course. (For one thing, film critics are not actually addicted to exclamation points.) Movie studios and distributors can be shamed into dropping an egregious misquotation, but the ones I've checked from the Marilyn ad are not fraudulent, really: The critics do think Williams is terrific. The charge I'm tempted to levy at the advertisers in this case is not dishonesty but sexism.
Now, I realize what the film's advertisers are up to here: They want us to conflate Michelle Williams with Marilyn Monroe. Fair enough: That's what the actress tries to do on screen. And Marilyn Monroe is better known by her first name -- hence the title of the movie. (The ad execs must have been giddy that their stars first name also begins with an "M.") But addressing a woman by her first name rather than her last has a long and unfortunate history. And it's not as though the practice has faded into the benighted past, either: During the last presidential campaign, many people noticed that Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were far more likely to receive the first-name treatment than Barack Obama and John McCain. The double standard also pops up regularly on TV. And the Marilyn ads do engage in the double standard: "Michelle is extraordinary. Branagh is hilarious." So says Lou Lumenick, supposedly, in The New York Post. Travers, we're told, says "Branagh is superb."
Using simply "Marilyn" in the movie's title makes sense: Monroe
was one of those rare celebrities on a first-name basis with the
world. She was also often unfairly reduced to a girlish sex object --
and the fact that everyone called her simply "Marilyn" cant be
entirely untangled from that treatment. If the trailer for "My Week
With Marilyn" is any indication, the new movie attempts to examine
the tension between that public identity and Monroe's more private
self. So it seems unfortunate that, in its advertising, those putting
out the film have opted to echo, however inadvertently, the kind of
sexism that the movie itself appears determined to explore.
13 Perfect Responses To
Over the weekend, the Twitter followers of the Everyday Sexism Project shared their most humorous and amusing responses to unwanted attentions. Take a look at our 13 favorites -- hopefully, they'll help you feel a bit more confident in your reaction the next time you encounter street harassment. (So sad. These Neanderthals still exist.)
1. Feign ignorance. A man once pointed out loudly that I have huge boobs. I looked down at them and screamed like I'd never noticed them before
2. Bark Back Last time a man called me a bitch for ignoring his unwelcome advances, I barked at him loudly & repeatedly until he ran away
3. Point out a certain anatomical dilemma. Guy on train after I asked him to move his bag off seat: "Why don't you grab my cock?" Me: "I didn't bring any tweezers."
4. Use what Mother Nature gave you. Man calls out "nice ass" and I just happen to be holding in a fart. Stop, look right at him and let it go.
5. Put your own spin on their advice. "A woman's place is in the kitchen" you know what you're right. Lemme grab a knife.
6. Introduce your harasser to new, like-minded people. A guy kept harrassing me for my phone number so I gave him the number of another sexist, figured they'd have a lot in common
7. Fact-check their statements. Man: "Nice tits." Me: "If you're going to be a sexist pig at least be accurate. I have fantastic breasts." Silence....
8. Direct your harasser to Lost and Found. Maybe they will find what they're looking for there? On train home guy rubs my bum. I grab hand, lift it in the air & say "has anyone lost a hand? I found this one on my arse!"
9. Be honest. "Guy: can't turn a hoe into housewife." "Me: can't turn a misogynist asshole into respectable guy"
10. Attempt to educate. i was riding my bike home + a guy said to his friends "she wants my dick"-about me-so i rode back + lectured them for 10 min
11. Explain how a conversation works. Man glaring at my
boobs. Me: "They don't talk back yknow."
Man: "Excuse me?"
Me: "My breasts. They don't talk back. My face does though"
12. Discuss meal preference. "How do you like you eggs in the morning?" - grim late night pickup attempt. "Unfertilised thanks" (my wittest moment ever)
13. Invoke the late, great Jane Austen. When I get
cat-called I like to go Austen on their ass. "You're fit." "OH SIR!
Finally a man who can take me to the ball!"
(Sorry, I don't get this one.)
Rush Limbaugh Advises
Men How to Sexually Harass Women (Rush is a
pathetic little man for his physical size)
Audio: But there's a way around this, guys. You gotta have fun with this, as you know. So let me offer suggestions. The first suggestion, the first way to deal with this that came into my mind, is you find yourself staring, looking at, casually glancing at a woman, but you know that it's now socially taboo. You shouldn't be doing it, and you think everybody is noticing you doing it and condemning you in their minds. You shouldn't be doing it. So you walk up to the woman and say, "Would you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes?"
Limbaugh suggested that sexual harassment was just part of human nature, saying that the "liberals" behind the study "just despise human nature and try to alter it and change it and create it, because many of them just don't fit in with it in many ways."
It will come as no surprise that Limbaugh doesn't have a problem with sexual harassment. The talk show host has previously claimed that many women who complain about sexual harassment actually wish it would happen to them.
Today's sexual harassment primer was just the latest in Rush Limbaugh's long history of sexist rhetoric about women
Limbaugh on an ongoing rape investigation:
"He's trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team supposedly, you know, raped some hos."
Limbaugh on feminism:
"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."
Limbaugh on sexual harassment:
"Some of these babes, I'm telling you, like the sexual harassment crowd. They're out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes."
Limbaugh on the women's movement:
"I love the women's movement especially when walking behind it."
Limbaugh on longevity:
"Women still live longer than men because their lives are easier."
Limbaugh on breasts and intelligence:
"The larger the bra size, the smaller the IQ."
Limbaugh on chauvinism:
"We're not sexists, we're chauvinists we're male chauvinist pigs, and we're happy to be because we think that's what men were destined to be. We think that's what women want."
Limbaugh on cats and women:
"My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed....She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women than anything my whole life."
Limbaugh on women's clothing:
"I'll tell you, you women. Why don't you just make it official, put on some burkas and I'll guaran-damn-tee you nobody'll touch you. You put on a burka, and everybody'll leave you alone if that's what you want."
Limbaugh on overweight women:
"Female politicians get a pass on every aspect of their appearance. You would never have stories about how some female politican's fat... There are plenty of lard-ass women in politics, and they get a total pass on it."
Limbaugh on contraceptives:
"So Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, heres the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch."
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The dogma of women's complete historical subjection to men must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind. - Mary Ritter Beard