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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Two voices on sexism in today’s society

James DrewreySexism is not an issue of how men treat women, or how women treat men. Sexism is what we as individuals make it out to be.
According to WolframAlpha, the definition of sexism is “discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex.”
I understand this is not everyone’s definition of sexism. We create our own definitions from previous experiences, teachers and society.
I believe sexism is not an issue of how men treat women or how women treat men. Sexism is what we as individuals make it out to be.
As a white male with a military, hunting, fishing and conservative Christian upbringing, I appreciate and respect women who are independent, think for themselves and appreciate who they are. It is frustrating when women look at men with a conservative background as mine and assume I am a man who wishes she would stay in the kitchen to cook and clean.
I am here to say that not all men think this way and we should accept the fact that there are men who encourage progression of women’s rights. Feminists should understand that not all men are against them.
If a person is sitting in a classroom and a professor distributes a handout referring to statistics on women in the workplace, but does not mention men, that in itself is sexism.  Examples such as this show feminists should check their rhetoric. Their words could be misunderstood by a man who does want equality for all.
It doesn’t take an individual with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pyrotechnics to understand it is unwise to fight fire with fire. To put out fire, you have to kill it with water. To fight sexism, you have to kill it with equality.
In order to overcome sexism or the attack of feminism we must stand up for ourselves at school, home and in the workplace.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), women make 83 cents to every dollar that men make in the workplace. This is unfortunate, and should not be tolerated by anyone. However, this issue isn’t completely due to sexism. According to the American Association of University Women, the issue is that women typically do not negotiate their salaries. This is coming from a statistic; I am not inferring women do not negotiate. I am encouraging men and women to become more confident in themselves and become better negotiators.
The world may never become an equal playing ground for everyone.  Sexism will always be sexism and inequality may never be overcome. But, we can fight against sexism in our own lives, if we choose to do so. In order for us to find equality, we all have to fight for it.
Kara TsukashimaI take pleasure in presenting the following letter and responding to it in due course:
“DEAR WRITER:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say that sexism is dead in this so-modern world of ours. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SIGNAL it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is sexism dead?
–VIRGINIA 115 WEST GEER.”
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They do not believe except they see, and they do not see very well.
Yes, Virginia, sexism is real. It exists as certainly as springtime. It exists in every sideways look given to one doing something that one “oughtn’t” do. It exists in every condescending explanation given to an expert on her own subject. Everywhere that high school girls are publicly raped and a town’s sympathy lies with the rapists, sexism exists in people’s hearts, my dear Virginia.
Not believe in sexism! Why, you might as well not believe in our foxes! Certainly foxes may slip your sight if you do not look, but how strange to decide they are corpses!
Alas! How dreary the world would be if we did not believe that sexism existed. We would think that women who received less pay than men for the same work were all to blame themselves, and that the boys denigrated for enjoying princess movies were so for reasons other than it being unmanly!
We would think that the under-representation of women in higher business positions and political offices was entirely due to women being either inherently unwilling or unable, in this world where we did not believe sexism existed.
How odd, to think such things and believe sexism dead! It does not sound a very kind world, Virginia.
You see, one may talk of equality, Virginia, and one may talk of it very intensely and sincerely and with fire in one’s eyes, but if the equality one talks of is an equality of denying an unlevel playing field (for we are all equal, you see), if the equality one talks of is an equality of extending the same hand to the bleeding and the well, if the equality one talks of is an equality that just so happens to mean keeping one group on top, well!
Perhaps it might be better to find a different way of saying what one is speaking of!
Certainly you may look through a cardboard tube at the world and, in seeing happiness in one corner of creation, decide that all was well.
But what an odd world you would see, and how many tears you would ignore! You cannot heal tears, good Virginia, if you do not see them.
And the world cannot be fixed if you will not see what is broken.

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Two voices on sexism in today’s society