The Real Causes of Gender Discrimination: Gender discrimination has been an unfortunate part of life for women throughout the entire history of our species, but it’s becoming more and more unacceptable in modern society and as each day goes by, there are fewer and fewer places where gender discrimination continues to exist. But why does it still exist? Why can’t we just put this old-fashioned way of thinking behind us?
Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal, and should have equal rights and opportunities. Feminists advocate for these rights, as well as the rights of all those who suffer discrimination or oppression because of their sex, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality or other identity markers. Feminists also aim to end all forms of violence against women.
Women are still underrepresented in many industries, including STEM and politics. The underrepresentation of women can lead to many disadvantages in their lives such as lower salaries, less representation in leadership positions, and less access to education. One major cause is the lack of female role models in industries that are male-dominated; the lack of female role models makes it difficult for girls to envision themselves excelling in these fields.
Women are held to a higher standard than men, and are more scrutinized for their appearance. This is the result of the double standard that has existed for centuries. Women are expected to be perfect in every way and if they don’t meet these high expectations, they will be punished. In contrast, when men make mistakes or have shortcomings, it is more easily forgiven because society doesn’t expect as much from them.
A huge factor in this discrimination against women is the media. Media outlets spend so much time covering up female celebrities’ imperfections and flaws with filters and editing programs, making people believe that this kind of perfection should be their goal as well.
One consequence of this objectification is the low value and worthlessness that society assigns to women’s opinions. This can be seen in the workplace with comments like we don’t care what she thinks and she’s just a secretary. The media further contributes to this dehumanization by portraying men as rational, strong, and independent while women are ditzy or weak. These viewpoints have been internalized by both men and women. For example, when men see an attractive woman on TV or a billboard, they may immediately assign her less credibility than if she was not attractive. It follows that when they meet an unattractive woman, they will hold even more negative views of her.
Sexual harassment and assault
An other The Real Causes of Gender Discrimination that many people do not know what sexual harassment is, or think that it only means unwanted sexual attention from a man to a woman. But this can happen between two women, or between a man and a woman; it doesn’t have to be heterosexual. Sexual harassment can also be verbal: one person may keep making comments about the other’s body or asking for intimate details about their sex life. Sexual assault (or rape) usually involves physical contact in some way, but it can include any type of unwanted touching. For example, someone might grab another person’s buttocks in public without permission and continue to touch them despite being told to stop.
Contraception/sexual health/reproductive rights
This is the one of The Real Causes of Gender Discrimination because contraception, sexual health, and reproductive rights are still so controversial in our country, birth control is often stigmatized as something only for promiscuous people. But the reality is that these services are necessary for anyone who has sex–and that includes a lot of people who aren’t having any kind of sex at all. Birth control should be available to everyone on their own terms. Condoms, diaphragms, IUDs, implant–it doesn’t matter what type you’re looking for. It’s just not fair that someone with money can walk into a store and buy what they need without batting an eye but someone without might have trouble accessing it in the first place.
Body image issues
Body image is a major factor in the way we perceive ourselves and others. The media, especially social media, has caused an increase in the pressure to have a certain body type. This pressure can lead to eating disorders and low self-esteem. If you’re aware of any girls who are showing signs that they might be struggling with these issues, it’s important to reach out to them and provide support. It might be tempting for some people to say that boys don’t experience these pressures too but that’s not true at all.
- A large number of girls are married off before 18, which prevents them from completing their education.
- If a girl is not married by the time she reaches puberty, she risks being seen as unclean or a potential source of bad luck.
- Girls are often denied a say in who they marry because parents believe they will bring shame to the family if they reject suitors. -Sexually transmitted diseases: Girls and young women are more likely than boys and young men to contract sexually transmitted infections due to lack of knowledge and access to contraception.
- Early pregnancy: Girls aged 15 or younger account for one quarter of all pregnancies worldwide, with many becoming mothers while still children themselves.
Violence against women in general (violence not just limited to sexual violence)
Violence against women is defined by the World Health Organization as: any act of violence, whether physical or psychological, carried out by a male individual or group against a female individual that results in or may result in physical, sexual or reproductive harm or suffering to females. This violence can be in many forms. Violence against women can be in the form of sexual violence (rape) which is one form. Sexual violence also includes other forms such as harassment and forced intercourse. Other types of physical violence include assault and battery.
Women are more likely than men to experience stalking, including cyber talking, following, receiving unwanted letters or phone calls, and being threatened. When it comes to domestic violence there are statistics saying that 1 in 3 women will suffer abuse at some point during their life time in comparison with 1 in 4 men. However this type of violence doesn’t only happen within intimate relationships; it also takes place within families where parents might strike their children who are less able to defend themselves.
While it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact causes behind gender discrimination, we can take steps to improve the situation. A few solutions are discussed below.
- Speak up when you see cases of sexism in your workplace, school or community. This can be as simple as saying that’s not cool.
- Educate yourself and others by reading books, blogs or articles on the topic.
- Be an ally by supporting those who are members of marginalized groups. For example, if a woman is being bullied at work for her clothing choices do not laugh or ignore her plight. Instead confront the bully about their behavior.
- Advocate for change by taking a stand with friends and family members when they express sexist views.