Sexism Today

Sexism Today

A key challenge in understanding current manifestations of oppression is that they are often much easier to see in the past than in the present. For example, it is easy for most people to accept that denying women the right to vote, enslaving Blacks, or forcing Indigenous children to attend residential schools are all examples of oppression. Because our attention is directed to isolated events from the past, rather than the overall picture, current patterns of oppression become harder for us to see. We are led to believe that once women got the right to vote (or enslaved people were freed, or residential schools closed), the issue of oppression was over. What is important to understand about oppression is that it can adapt and change over time, while still maintaining inequitable outcomes overall.

Let’s trace a specific example of oppression today: sexism. The following statistics demonstrate the importance of addressing overall outcomes in order to understand current manifestations of sexism.

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