Sexism is defined as the systematic oppression and exploitation of human beings based on their gender. When talking about sexism, it is usually associated with the abuse and oppression of the female gender. It can also be understood based on the cultural definition of masculinity and femininity of a particular group of people which prevents members of the group from attaining their full human potential. It is therefore imperative to note that sexism is either an attitude or an institutional structure that hinders or undermines the abilities of an individual on the basis of their gender (Andrzejewski 56). Just like any other form of social oppression, a society that practices sexism is doomed to fail due to the limits that it places on various individual impeding their contribution to the society.
Patriarchy: Exploiting Women for Male Dominance
Patriarchy is a form of society structure and organization that recognizes the male gender as the governing head of the society. Simply put, a patriarchal society emphasizes on the need to have male as the leaders of the society in every aspect (Andrzejewski 56). The patriarchy form of society organization is a form of social oppression as it exploits the women in the society for the benefit of the men who are considered leaders. In this kind of organization, the knowledge and experience that the male individual has about a specific duty are not regarded as the male person will be automatically considered the head in a setting where there are women (Andrzejewski 56). Therefore, patriarchy society practices sexism through the exploitation of the women in the society.
The Power Imbalance of Pornography: Fueling Violence Against Women
Pornography can easily be understood as power imbalance between genders with sexual overtones (Andrzejewski 56). Male sexuality mostly dominates the power imbalance resulting from pornography. This impact negatively on women by promoting violence against women due to the consideration of sex as a weapon by men and the implied overt violence promoted in pornography. Consequently, the word prostitute is derived to mean female captive associated with monetary transactions. The common relation between pornography and prostitute makes the male gender to consider females as captive hence they exploit them sexually resulting in violence against women (Andrzejewski 56). Therefore, the power imbalance resulting from pornography promotes violence against the female gender in society.
Misogyny: Cultivating Hatred and Contempt Towards Women
Misogyny is a form of social oppression which refers specifically to the hatred, contempt or prejudice against women and the female gender in general. Although is it different from, sexism misogyny is an important part of the sexist prejudice which individual may be having against women in the society (Andrzejewski 55). There are several ways in which misogyny can manifest in the society ranging from violence against women to pornography to sexism or even the contempt that women are taught to feel towards themselves (Andrzejewski 55). Therefore, misogyny can be simply explained as the cultural attitude of hatred present in the society towards females.
Women-Hating Culture: The Presence of Violence Against Women in Society
A woman hating culture is a culture that promotes injustice against women in the society. For several decades violence against women has been prevalent in the society with no one speaking about. The lack of voices speaking against these violence exposes the world as women hating culture. The violence that women are exposed to ranges from sexual molestation, rape, and battering of the female. However, in the recent past feminist have begun speaking against violence against women in the society (Kuhn 335). The feminist has moved from just speaking about the problem to find possible services for the victims such as help lines and rehabilitation programs. Unfortunately, the feminist has only been able to raise awareness about the problems but have been unable to eliminate the problem of violence (Kuhn 337). Therefore, the presence of violence in the society exposes the society as women hating the cultural world.
Femicide: The Terrifying Continuation of Violence Resulting in Women's Deaths
Femicide is a continuation of activities that terrorizes women resulting in their death. The terror activities include rape, sexual slavery, extra-familial child abuse and physical and emotional battery and any other kind of violence against women that can result in their death (Caputi and Russell 347). Like most other actions of violence against women, femicide is mostly perpetuated by a male individual who is related to the victim. Statistics and survey carried out by independent researchers show a shattering revelation on female victimization in the society. For instance, a survey of 930 women in San Francisco reveals that 44 percent of the women had been raped with 38 percent suffering child sexual abuse (Caputi and Russell 347). The continuation of these terrorizing activities can result in the death of the women hence becoming femicide. Therefore, femicide is the death of women resulting from violence and victimization against them in the society.
Feminism: Unraveling the Perception of Liberation and Equality
Feminism and feminist have always been praised for liberating and rallying for the rights of women and ensuring that there is equality among people in the society. However, in the recent past, the majority of the situations suffered by women are blamed on feminism (Faludi 355). The blame put on feminism is mainly due to the notion that it has created in the society. Currently, people tend to believe that the barricades that women used to face have fallen and that women have largely won the equality fight. However, the notion hides the fact that many women believe that they are more miserable now that they are considered free than before. As a result, the society has deviated from female concerns and focused on development insisting on the need for women to participate in the process (Faludi 353). Therefore, the victory that feminism is considered to have achieved has deviated the concerns of the society from female issues and rights hence they tend to be more miserable now making them blame it on feminism.
Male Bashing: Unfair Criticism or Legitimate Concerns?
Male bashing in the society is an attitude that is mostly developed among feminist that discriminates and criticizes men unfairly. According to these feminist, any violence or injustice committed against women is perpetuated by men. However, male bashing lacks credibility for their arguments because men tend to be concerned with the issues affecting women. According to Derry (361), the general silence which men show towards issues of violence against women is only a disguise. This disguise comes off when there is a hint of female resistance, and one realizes that men care about the violence women face in a way that they would rather not talk about (Derry, 363). Therefore, male bashing by a feminist is an unfair element since not all men participate in violence against women and men care about women in the society.
Oppression and Alienation: Men in a Changing Society
Oppression is a form injustice where there is systematic dehumanization of a certain identifiable target population. Men in the current society are not oppressed although there are some who argue that they are being oppressed. The proponents who claim that men are oppressed base their arguments on the studies of male stress in the society and the socialization process of males. However, according to Clatterbaugh (367), men claiming that men are oppressed in the society are ones who are struggling with the nature and the role of masculinity in the society. Additionally, in an oppressive society, there are rules and laws that are meant to support oppression (Clatterbaugh 368). These laws are lacking in the society hence it can be said that men are not oppressed in the society. However, even thou men are not oppressed there are certainly alienated in the society due to their masculinity.
Stoppers in a White Male System: Overcoming Negative Connotations
In social justice, a stopper is anything that keeps people where the system of the society want them to be. There are several forms of stoppers available in the society system with most of them blatantly physical such as battering and sexual abuse. Other stoppers are tender and play on the emotions of a person to be effective. In a White Male System, the greatest stopper is the connotation that a woman is stupid, crazy, ugly or incompetent (Hooks 374). These stoppers make an individual be terrified and start to believe that they are what the stopper intend them to be.
Pursuing Social Justice: Understanding Oppression and Moving Towards Equality
Gaining knowledge on the various aspects of social justice and oppression is important to me as it will enable me to understand the society well. Understanding how different concepts of oppression in the society are developed and maintained will allow me to find ways of dealing with the social injustice and making the society a better place for every individual. Therefore, the future of eradication of these social injustices and oppression in the society depends on the knowledge that I will have about them.
Andrzejewski, Julie. Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks. Needham Heights, MA: Ginn Press, 1993. Print.
Caputi, Jane, and Russell, Diana, E. H. "Femicide: Speaking the Unspeakable" Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 347-353.
Clatterbaugh, Kenneth. Are Men Oppressed? Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 367-370.
Derry, Charles. Male Bashing Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 361-367.
Faludi, Susan. "Blame it on Feminism." Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 353-361.
Hooks, Bell. "Seduced by Violence No More." Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 373-378.
Kuhn, Laura. "Exposing a Woman-Hating Culture." Oppression and Social Justice: Critical Frameworks, edited by Julie Andrzejewski, Needham Heights, 1993, pp. 335-347.
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