Sexism, From the Day We Are Born

It is no shadowed secret that women have still not achieved gender equality in our male-dominated world.  Women started off being viewed as nothing; just a waste of space.  And yes, we have made great strides in obtaining more rights, being seen as maybe more than just a house wife, or a trophy girlfriend.  But it is impossible to make any more strides in this sexism fight if we do not stop the problem where it begins.

It begins from the day that we are born. Our room decorated all in pink with a big balloon stating, “It’s a girl!”  Then we grow up with the phrases “boys will be boys” or “if a boy is mean to you it’s because he likes you.”  This is absolutely ridiculous.  We are taught that if a boy pushes you down and makes you cry, it’s because he “cares about you.”  This always gives men the upper hand.  And although many mothers are doing it to comfort their crying girls after scraping their knees on the school playground, they are actually brain washing them.

By telling young girls this they begin to go through their life compromising themselves and the worth they place on others.  They get involved with the wrong guys, bad people, and begin making excuses for abusive relationships, or bad situations they find themselves in.  They begin to develop co-dependent personalities, which only makes women appear weaker: physically weaker, emotionally weaker and mentally weaker.

The value and shame that goes along with women’s bodies also makes us lesser.  Girls are told from a young age they need to cover up their body, that it’s not appropriate to show a little skin.  They begin to feel self-conscious.   They begin feeling that it is their responsibility and their problem that some lonely perverted guys will get distracted from a few inches of bare skin.  So, just because I have ovaries I need to feel ashamed for the body I was born in?  I don’t think so.

It’s in movies, books, media newspapers, everywhere!  It’s impossible to escape these sexist stereotypes portraying girls as the weaker sex.  Waiting for love, waiting for a guy to rescue us!  Well, news flash! This isn’t the 1920’s people; you won’t be condemned for not having a man at 17!  And we don’t need to flash our bodies like the media makes it seem in order to get some attention.  Not every girl looks like a super model, and that is OK.

A study done in the UK showed that 87% of girls between ages 11-21 felt they were judged more on their appearance rather than their personalities and abilities.  A lot of these issues feed into low self-confidence, self-loathing and eating disorders.  71% of girls claim they want to lose weight in order to be seen as “acceptable” in the distorted views of this judgmental society.

There are many ways to solve this on-going problem.  First off stop thinking boys who are mean are the ones who care.  Do not make excuses for other’s insecurities, take charge and do not let people walk all over you.  Understand that being a woman should make you feel empowered, not weak.  And finally be proud of who you are, be comfortable in your own skin and help future generations of girls fix our degrading and sexist society.