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Sexism 2


Berkowitz, Bob, What Men Won't Tell You But Women Need to Know,

New York: William Morrow and Company, 1990

Carison, Dale Bick, Boys have feelings to: growing up male for

boys, New York: Htheneum, 1980

Farrell, Warren, Why Men are the way they are: the Male-Female

dynamic, New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 1986

French, Marilyn, The War Against Women, New York: Summit Books,


Friedman, Sonya, Men are just desserts, New York: Warner Books,


Halas, Cella, I've Done So Well--Why do I feel So Bad?, New York:

Macmillan, 1978

Lerner, Gerda, The Creation of Patriarchy, New York: Oxford

University Press, 1986

Steinmetz, Suzanne, Victimology, vol. 2, 1977-1978, Numbers 3-4,

Unknown Author, The Bible, Genesis 2,3, New York: American Bible

Society, 1976


1) Edie Lanzano 2) Emilia LoSciuto 3) Mary Fabio

Brian S. Slevin


Sexism by definition is discrimination by members of one sex

against the other, especially by men against women, based on the

assumption that one sex is superior. It regards women as

inherently inferior intellectually, psychologically, and

physically to man. This view, is shared by both men and women,

and has historically shaped institutions of world society. It

has been continued through the cultural modification of groups of

people through prolonged and continuous interaction involving

intercultural exchange of generations of children with resulting

differences between the sexes.

On-job sexual discrimination such as low-level work

experience caused by traditional sexist viewpoints has hindered

allot of female job promotion. Women with the same

qualifications as a man that applied for a job would be turned

down based on the simple fact that they are a woman. Prior to

the Women's movement women were constantly discriminated against

in this manner. Sexual discrimination still exists but its

occurrence has drastically reduced, subtle discrimination is

however, still quite prevalent in our society. Salary is one

aspect of this still present discrimination, a vast majority of

women employed in the work force today receive less of a paycheck

for the same amount of hours worked on the same jobs as men.

This is reinforced by the low number of women who have a high

Brian S. Slevin

paying, high powered job. There are a significantly higher

number of women who have little or no power in decision making

and earn a low salary. The women that do get promoted are often

the subjects of rumor and remarks made in poor taste. Men just

can't stand to see they're egos shattered and so they lash out

against the woman with authority. They demean her position and

make it seem less important or trivial. All of this does hurt

female self-esteem and is just one of the ways sexism hurts


Women are not just harassed verbally but physically.

"As in the movie Flashdance, the male employer comes on to the

female employee. In lawsuits, such "coming on" is considered

sexual harassment; by definition it is considered a misuse of his

power. When she resists and he persists, as in both the movie

and the Harlequin formula, it is an even clearer form of sexual

harassment." In many cases if a woman does not give in to a

man's sexual advances she stands the chance of losing her job!

This was the tendency and in many instances still is the tendency

of many men who have authority over women. Sexism runs rampant

in every facet of our society. It even reached the Presidency a

number of times and the Supreme Court. Two prominent examples

Brian S. Slevin

are Bill Clinton and the accusations made by Jennifer Flowers

and Judge Thomas's alleged sexual remarks to Anita Hill.

Granted these were never a hundred percent proven cases of sexual

harassment but they are sufficient enough to show that sexism

reaches everywhere in our society.

Women in many instances have to be very cautious as to what

they wear to work. If they're employer finds them attractive it

could mean a sexist advance or two. Any woman has to be on her

guard against traditional sexist men. "If femininity got lost in

the pursuit of independence, a woman would lose power (because

real power means having control over one's life), which is having

the option to work and not to lose one's gentler side." Sexist

tendencies don't just abuse women in the work place but also at

home. The traditional sexist view of a head of any household is

the man. When this idea is threatened, it is as if their

masculinity were being stripped away.

Physical violence is sometimes caused by a sexist man who

feels as though he has to reclaim his home. This is the type of

man that feels women should be kept underfoot. There are plenty

of other reasons men batter their wives, but this ranks highly

among them. Contrary to popular beliefs (both of men and women)

the incidents of men who are physically violated in comparison

Brian S. Slevin

with women is relatively equal.

"Comparison of Physical Violence Used by Husbands and Wives

Violence Husbands Wives

Threw Things 3 5

Pushed or shoved 11 8

Hit or slapped 5 5

Kicked or hit with fist 2 3

Hit with something 2 3

Threatened with knife or gun 0.4 0.6

Used knife or gun 0.3 0.1

Used any Violence 12 12

* This study was conducted with 2,143.

Sexist men are influenced by many sources in society, one

very basic source is that of the father. He would often,

inadvertently and sometimes purposely plant the seed of sexism in

an impressionable young mind. The media, which is also sexist

tends to portray a woman at home cooking, cleaning, and taking

care of her children. Now with the accusations of sexism running

rampant in the media they have toned down on female portrayal as

being weak. They now have more opposition then they used to have

from feminist organizations (National Organization for Women) and

Brian S. Slevin

discrimination laws.

Today's sexist man is a careful and disheartened individual.

Long gone are the days when sexist viewpoints can run free in

society. This is allowing women to finally gain momentum in

their overall goal for equality. There is somewhat of a balance

between traditional sexist tendencies and the new sexist man.

This balance is maintained by, subtle differences between the

two. The traditional sexist man believed that being a devious

man was a good plan in life, and that devious women were merely

plotting against them. But the new sexist man might say that

women use power deviously when they marry for money.

Stubbornness and weakness are still looked at as female traits

among many new sexist men. This balance is a complicated one and

traditional sexist beliefs both influence and reinforce new

sexist tendencies.

Some sexist ideology is actually sometimes good for women.

Most sexist men still think women shouldn't work or pay for

things. To a woman with low self-esteem this could be a plus,

because she could stay at home and only have to shop and

basically live life as a maid. The new sexist man may split some

of the money making and spending responsibility, but he is

eventually the one that makes the final decision in where and how

the money will be spent or saved.

Confusion is often the grave result of this uncertain

Brian S. Slevin

balance in decision and responsibility. "A woman often finds she

has difficulty fully sharing responsibility for the income. He

finds, often, he has difficulty fully sharing responsibility for

the child care and housework." For women who are not already

married, simply dating can be a powerful dilemma. Many single

men share a sexist ideology and a great deal of women are finding

that they have to compromise on their aggression and power in

order to find a mate. Almost all sexist beliefs hold pride as

one of the highest traits of a man. A sexist man would find the

idea of having a successful and aggressive wife to be a threat to

their pride. These sexist tendencies in men lead to allot of

disappointment from women.

Advertising is also a reinforcing characteristic for sexism.

Women see a man sitting behind a big desk giving orders and see

women receiving the orders. Almost all forms of advertising done

in the past was sexist. It is still a sexist industry, but now

women can dispute how they are represented in an advertisement.

I interviewed Miss Edie Lanzano of Jackson Hgts. (age 23). When

asked,"How do you feel about the way women are portrayed in

advertising?" She replied,"I think it is very degrading to see a

woman always on the bottom of everything. Also it makes women

Brian S. Slevin

look like mindless idiots and makes men look very smart." To

get a better feel of how women felt about women's portrayal in

advertising I interviewed two other females. The first was Mrs.

Emilia LoSciuto of Woodside (age 45). When asked the same

question she replied,"I feel that they are being exploited,

especially in the way they dress. They seem to be so ignorant

that it makes men look like the greater sex." In my final

interview with Mrs. Mary Fabio of Woodside (age 70) I asked the

same question but also added,"How do you feel about advertising's

past portrayal of women?" She replied,"Some are very bad and

most have hardly any clothe on, they are literally disgusting to

see. In the past they were much better then what you see now.

They were much more dignified and respectable looking."

Speaking as a man who has discussed this issue with other men, I

can honestly say that most men sexist or not do not care how

women are portrayed either way. I have discussed women's

portrayal in advertising because, next to your parents, many

images of how you should act come about from what you see

advertised. These impressions can cause men and women to become

what they are as members in our society.

Brian S. Slevin

In the Christian bible (the old testament) women have

traditionally been thought of as lower or powerless unless they

were "specially" selected by God. Women were given the arduous

task of bearing children freeing men up to go about and attain a

job or a powerful status. Until Mary gave birth to the "Messiah"

a boy, no woman had really exuded any power. Of course without

God's ordaining that Mary give birth to Jesus this would never

have happened. Jesus went around and in all the parables and

stories told in the bible, women would flock to his feet and he

would always protect and help them. Meanwhile men in the stories

would often attain Sainthood and become heroes. To quote the

bible,"God, made man in his own image." In other words if God is

the supreme being then we at least look like him and women were

only created to bear our children. Also when God created Adam

and Eve he took a rib from Adam to make Eve. "Then the Lord God

took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he

breathed lifegiving breath into his nostrils and the man began to


"Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to

cultivate and grow it. Then the Lord God said,"It is not good

for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to

help him. So he took some soil from the ground and formed all

Brian S. Slevin

the animals and all the birds. Then he brought them to the man

to see what he would name them; and that is how they all got

their names. So the man named all the birds and all the animals;

but not one of them was a suitable companion to help him. Then

the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he

was sleeping, he took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the

flesh. He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to


It is also true that according to the bible "woman" not

"man" was the one that was fooled by the devil and was also the

one that forced the fruit onto the "man." This in and of itself

is a sexist idea and teaching of the bible. But these are only

two stories taught by the Catholic church, there are a great many

more. It is precisely because of these blatant sexist ideas that

some Catholic men and women are the way they are. Sexism is

found everywhere in our society and to discuss everywhere that it

is found would take forever but I feel I have covered the most

important realms of sexism and there effects on men and women.

Sexism however, remains a major influence on both conscious and

unconscious assumptions in American mass culture.


I could not find the particular paper I was looking for (A Modest Proposal by J. Swift) but

would like access to the rest of your site, however if you know of where I may locate this

particular paper, I'd appreciate the help.

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