This Video Lists The Subtle Sexist Messages Women Of All Ages Face On A Daily Basis

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It’s easy to think that discrimination based on age, ethnicity and gender are a thing of the past especially since we have so many laws in many countries around the world that purport to make things equal for everyone. Unfortunately, once we open our eyes to reality, there is discrimination everywhere we look.

Whether it be vitriol toward immigrants and refugees from certain public and political figures, disproportionate violence toward black men and women by the hands of law enforcement, sexual assault and rape on college campuses, or countless other types of discrimination that happen on a daily basis, we are all aware of this happening.

But while it can be easy to spot the outward injustices and be outspoken about it in a way that the majority of people can understand how wrong it is, there are also many subtle types of discrimination that often go unnoticed by certain sections of society. Sexism toward women is something that can be a divisive topic, as not everyone sees the harm in making a misogynistic comment or joke here and there.

Something that we have come across a lot in the topics we cover are the everyday microaggresions that women often have to put up with in a way that men do not. We’re not saying men don’t experience discrimination, they absolutely do. But when it comes to being treated differently because of your gender, all we have to do is look at history and see just how real and prevalent the problem is for women, more than men.

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A study from UCLA’s Diversity and Faculty Development says microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical.
To get a deeper look into how microaggressions affect a variety of people (not just women), take a look at this website call The Microagressions Project which shares stories from online contributors who share their thoughts on power and privilege for topics such as violence, LGBTQ issues, religion, and yes, sexism.

As way to further bring home the point for those who are not necessarily aware of how everyday sexism and microaggressions affect women differently to men, The Huffington Post helpfully put together a video of a series of women of all ages and backgrounds sharing the types of comments and messages they have heard in their life to exhibit how widespread and subtle it can be.

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“Don’t be a slut, but definitely don’t be too prude. Don’t be so emotional, but don’t be a cold-hearted bitch. Prioritize your family over your career, but are you sure you want to be a stay-at-home mom? Throughout our lives, women hear insidious, often-conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman, about how we should act, talk and look,” says a description of the video on the website.

The girls and women make comments that touch on important issues that have become huge talking points in the media over the past few years: girls being told they are too bossy, girls who play video games being treated like they don’t belong in the genre, and discriminatory dress codes for girls at school, for instance. As you hear the comments being repeated by the women of all ages, there is undoubtedly something that any woman who watches could identify with.

“Watch as girls and women deliver messages you’d never say to a boy or a man, one after another. Each individual remark may seem inconsequential, but listening to them in totality shows just how never-ending (and exhausting) subtle sexism really is. Commentary on women’s bodies, minds and decisions — from ‘Stop being an attention whore!’ to ‘Are you planning on working after the baby is born?’ — knows no bounds.”

And let’s be clear, microaggressions are not just a problem unique to women, men have their own set of stereotypical standards placed on them which enables a dangerous version of masculinity to breed from generation to generation. Just as women are interesting, complex and flawed beings who shouldn’t be shoved into one category, the same goes for men and we are pleased to see Huffpost made a male version of this video.

Take a look at “80 years of subtle sexism” that both women and men face in the videos below and use them as a way to challenge your perspective and use of the language toward each other.

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