‘Casual Sexism’ is not okay

*image from Council of Europe

This week, Netflix released a new show called ‘Ginny and Georgia’. I’d seen the trailer and so I had added it to my list but, after recent news breaks, I’m not sure I want to give it another stream. Taylor Swift called out one of the ‘jokes’ in the movie in which a character accused another of ‘go[ing] through men faster than Taylor Swift’. Swift called out the frank sexism and labelled the joke ‘lazy’. As a fan of Swift, I’ve followed the years of trolling she has gotten when it comes to her love life, and am as angered as Swift at how this aspect of her life is treated compared to male figures of equal circumstances. This latest example is just one of the many incidents of unnecessary sexism that occur regularly in today’s society.

This recent incident is obviously part of a much wider issue. Although due to the country I live in, my class, my race and many other factors, I don’t experience the extreme sexism billions of women across the world have to, I still encounter many ‘casual’ and even some serious acts of sexism. Our society is in no way rid of it. People often label the world too ‘snowflakey’, and attempt to insist that because some women now have ‘equal rights’ the problem of sexism is solved. I’m sure all of you can agree this is absurd. As previously mentioned, although as a woman in my country I am lucky enough to have freedom and rights many others would yearn for, I find ‘casual sexism’ is becoming far too accepted. People are getting away with subtle sexism and it needs to be talked about.

On the topic of music, the music industry is a place where sexism is prevalent, both obviously and perhaps more intricately. This year, something that brought to light the different views upon male and female artists, was the release of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’. Although I’m not condoning the rather explicit song, it amazed me how sexist some reactions to it were. People were quick to critique the vulgar lyrics and nature of the song, with some even saying it was more disturbing because it was from a ‘female perspective’. It is understandable that open, modern music can make some uncomfortable, but it is crucial to note that explicit male artists, such as Drake, The Weeknd or Tyga, don’t seem to receive the same reaction to their provocative songs. If we are so quick to bash women for one thing, why do men get away with the same?

On a more relative level, I am increasingly finding subtle sexism in everyday life. Being talked over, men having to insult you when they can’t find a point in an argument, the inability to be taken seriously in the first place, school-uniform policy and the derogatory use of sexual slurs are just some of the incidents I have been noting recently. The problem is many people brand these ‘smaller’ issues as ‘not a big deal’ and therefore it creates this idea that low-level sexism is ‘okay’. As individuals we hold a responsibility to challenge those in the wrong, and the more who do, the more people will learn any form of sexism is not okay. I myself know that I am not wholly innocent. Things such as getting annoyed at myself for being ‘emotional’ and therefore ‘weak’, or hearing someone make a sexist remark and letting it slide illustrate that there are still parts of me subconsciously connected to the patriarchy. Clearly, this is almost impossible to avoid, but it is important we acknowledge this and can therefore learn from it.

So, next time you witness someone being casually sexist, do something about it. Everyone needs to work together to conquer this deeply-rooted issue but if we all do our part we can make a difference. I appreciate I am writing from a privileged position and of course there are many women who are suffering hugely in comparison, so it is important we continue to fight for them too, and create a better world for women everywhere.

2 thoughts on “‘Casual Sexism’ is not okay

  1. Great blog Emily, on a really important topic. We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years (try watching some TV shows from the 1970s for their “hilarious” portrayals of women), but there is plenty more to do, and by calling it out when we see it, we are, one step at a time, getting there.

    Liked by 1 person

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