Sexism Is Inconspicuous And Everywhere
By: Beren Sabuncu
Sexism is everywhere– this goes for both women and men. However, women experience sexism in a more public, common, and extensive scale.
As a society, we tend to penalize the feminine, and all that is associated with femininity.
Homophobia focused on non-binary and\or gay individuals stems from the penalization of the feminine.
Men are not “allowed” to be comfortable with their emotions because it’s not masculine enough.
Women are subjected to occupational sexist behavior because they are suspected of acting “irrationally emotional” in an environment that requires them to be professional.
Little girls are sent home every day because their shoulders are showing.
Women are sexualised, demeaned and belittled.
We are on billboards to sell burgers, cars and clothes. All you can do is refuse to play into the system, and be aware of the circumstances.
Every woman has this awareness in their soul, and every woman has seen countless incidents of sexism, whether they realized it or not.
They have seen their friends harassed, have been overlooked by their boss because of their gender, or have been disrespected because they had the “audacity” to be comfortable in their skin.
Being a woman is not easy.
In the New York Times article “I’m Done With Not Being Believed”, Ambry Tamblyn said, “Every day, women across the country consider the risks. That is our day job and our night shift. We have a diploma in risk consideration. Consider that skirt. Consider that dark alley. Consider questioning your boss.”
What a clever way to put it.
Sexism mildly correlates with one’s education level. Usually, the more a person perceives the world, reads and is a critical thinker, the less sexist they tend to be.
I learned it the hard way that it’s not necessarily always so.
Loving my field and giddy about the work I set out to do, I asked a professor of mine if there are any jobs or internships they’re aware of.
It was a hot day, and I was wearing athletic shorts and a regular t-shirt. After telling me they do not know, under their breath, they said “That might work on sexual predators, but not me.”
They were implying I was using my “feminine charm” to get a job– my blood boiled.
I did not confront them. Why? Because they are good at their job. Why? Because it is not uncommon for this to happen.
Never did I ever need to use my charm to get a job, or to keep one.
Being a woman, and having the audacity to wear shorts on a hot day branded me with the scarlet letter in their eyes.
And there is a rather disturbing reason as to why I don’t discuss this openly in public.
I wouldn’t be believed.
It is a student’s word against someone of a higher stature. It is upsetting and I thought about what they said for a week, but it does not matter.
I realized my voice is just one in a sea of many women who have not been heard or believed.
Women are exhausted. Women are tired of being seen as pieces of meat with mouths.
Women are different; they are humans who matter; they are not there for pleasure, and they are not ornaments.
My experience may be just one tiny story and I am sure it is certainly not even close to being the worst.
Not speaking up against my perpetrator perhaps makes me a part of the problem.
If so, this article is my repentance.
Dear Professor, if you are reading this, know that I expected more of you. Your words are sitting heavy on my heart, still.
Sexism really is everywhere, and other people should be more aware. It’s in shows, on billboards and in magazines.
It is, however, also where you wouldn’t expect it to be. It comes from those you least expect to be uncouth.
While it would be very easy for women if the perpetrator was always devil incarnate, it is not always so.
What is the next step then?
Create a conversation, or add-on to the one that already exists.
Keep on being you, unapologetically. Bare those shoulders. Laugh even louder. Love even harder. Live even better.
Lastly and certainly, promise yourself that not only will you speak up next time, but you’re going to make them regret every word.