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Sexism At School Essay

1576 words - 7 pages

If someone was to type “define: sexism” into Google, the first definition that would appear would be “sexism: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex” (Google.ca). However, that definition given is demonstrating sexism itself by stating that it is “typically against women”. Sexism is something that is still common in the world today, and is demonstrated towards both women and men. Many teachers act in ways, not always intentional, that contribute to sexism. It is important for teachers to recognize that sexism is something that still happens to both men and women and that anti-oppressive educational practice should be used in order to benefit all students in the classroom, regardless of their gender.
Throughout my schooling experiences, I was someone who experienced sexism first hand. As a child, it was common for me to be labelled as a “tom boy”, which by definition means “an energetic, sometimes boisterous girl whose behaviour and pursuits, especially in games and sports, are considered more typical of boys than girls” (Dictionary.com). I was not considered a “typical little girl”. My three closest friends were boys. I enjoyed climbing trees, building forts, and playing with Lego and pirate ships. I cut my hair because long hair was a nuisance, I did not wear dresses, I hated the colour pink, and my career choice consisted of wanting to be a “house painter”, rather than a princess. However, who makes these definitions about what a “typical little girl” should look and act like? Why was it made possible for people to tell me that I was not being a “proper girl”? Sexism is a common oppressive behaviour that people demonstrated. I have chosen to research sexism not only because of personal experiences I have had revolving it, but because it is an “ism” that appears in educational settings. I hope to learn about how it affects people of all genders, and to find ways to act that are anti-oppressive that make all individuals feel valued and make all individuals feel that they can demonstrated their identity in any way they choose.
One reason that the oppressive behaviour of “sexism” still exists in the world today is because of the ways that media represents each gender. As researched for the documentary created in 2012 called Mansome, men are impacted by sexism through the media. Media tells men that they should be “manly”. They should have well groomed facial hair, wear plaid, drink beer, and like sports. Men should look well groomed, but not enough to make it look like they spent a lot of effort doing so. If a man looks like a “Greek God”, that is, he is tanned, perfectly sculpted, and has no body hair, he is the perfect man. Women are also impacted by the way in which media portrays how women should look and act. However, unlike men, women’s expected appearance is constantly evolving. Over the last century standards of female beauty have included “the slender and flat-chested flappers of the...

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