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The concept of sexism has, in spite of my being a woman in todays society, has always

been unfamiliar to me. As a young child I never experienced the harsh throes of sexism and was
too inexperienced to realize the cruelty of the inherently sexist comments of my male peers. As a
young girl being told that I threw like a girl, ran like a girl, hit like a girl, etc, seemed reasonable
I was a girl. Through the years my exposure to sexism grew but I still struggled with
understanding the depth of the issue. Reading the excerpt from Allan Johnsons book prompted
me to dig deeper and try to discover the heart of the plague on our society that is sexism,
especially that towards women. The following is a summary of information that I accumulated
and was previously unaware of.
Sexism is, by definition, prejudice or discrimination based on sex, especially against
women (Merriam-Webster). It was exceedingly disheartening to see that the discrimination
against women has been of such a noteworthy nature that the definition specifies women as those
especially victimized. Since the 1960s feminist groups have been standing up for the rights of
women. Because of the most radical, an unpleasant stereotype has accompanied the term
feminist. However, many changes also accompanied the progressive actions of feminists. For
example, the usage of generic male terms has decreased in regularity, ensuring the inclusion of
females. Many words were adjusted to ensure neutrality, for instance: chairperson, or
spokesperson. Even though the changes were small and often the source of ridicule, the increase
in female rights still became undeniably present (McArthur, 1998). The objectification of women
is deeply seeded in our society, primarily by the influence of the media. Dennis Hunt, on the
subject of a new rap album, stated that some women [would not be] able to see the humor for
the sexism. The implications that sexism is an issue to be laughed at and that women take
offense to sexist remarks unreasonably is just an example of how poorly the seriousness of the
issue is understood in our media-centric society (Meltzer, 1989).
The common misconception of females as inferior is, to some extent, accepted by the
women of society. Women are led to believe that being objectified is not a bad thing. In fact,
some believe that objectification is desirable. Women allow themselves to be viewed as objects
and their sense of self-worth is damaged because of it. And if women are incapable of seeing
themselves as worth respect, there is no reason for men to see them as such (Breines, 2012). We,
as women, have become a barrier in our own quest for equality.
I always saw the quest for equality as futile and a rather unreasonable thing for women to
ask for. In my eyes, men and women couldnt possibly be equal. After all, a man can carry a 200
pound box and I just dont have the physical strength for that. However, in the reaserch I
performed because of this assignment it became apparent to me that women werent asking to be
seen exactly the same as men. They simply desired the same the level of respect, esteem, and
opportunities that men have been receiving for thousands of years. Throughout my reading my
perception of the feminists struggle was vastly altered. I had never been able to appreciate all
that they were trying to accomplish for my own gender. I am now able to see that, though it is a
difficult task, acquiring equality would be a wonderful thing and would actually strengthen the
ever weakening ties between the genders.

Breines, J. (2012, November 28). Do women want to be objectified? Psychology Today.
McArthur, T. (1998). Sexism facts. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language.
Meltzer, L. B. (1989, December 6). Humor and Sexism. Los Angeles Times.
Sexism [Def. 2]. Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam Webster.