Definition of Sexism
(noun) Discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group based on the idea that one sex or gender is better than the others.
- American English – /sEk-siz-uhm/
- British English – /sEk-si-zuhm/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈsɛkˌsɪz(ə)m/
- British English – /ˈsɛksɪz(ə)m/
- Plural: sexisms
- “Feminism is the exploration of the experiences of different women. And just as feminists speak out against sexism and discrimination against women as a group, feminists speak out against bias and discrimination against particular groups of women” (Kaufman and Kimmel 2011:132).
- “There’s another part to sexism: assumptions about the other sex that are based on stereotypes even if you don’t believe these stereotypes have targeted women, let’s be clear that we’re no fans of stereotypes about men—that we’re naturally violent, that we only want sex, that we’re incompetent when it comes to looking after babies. Of course these sexist stereotypes are just as likely to be pushed by men as women, but all sexism sucks” (Kaufman and Kimmel 2011:144).
- “There is an ordering of versions of femininity and masculinity at the level of the whole society, in some ways analogous to the patterns of face-to-face relations with institution. the possibilities of variation, of course, are vastly greater. The sheer complexity of relationships involving millions of people guarantees that ethnic differences and generational differences as well as class patterns come into play. But in key aspects the organization of gender on the very large scale must be more skeletal and simplified than the human relationships in face-to-face milieux. The forms of femininity and masculinity constituted at this level are stylized and impoverished. Their interrelation is centred on the single structural fact, the global dominance of men over women” (Connell 1987:183).
- “Masculine privilege and its benefits are real, but they’re often hard to see. They go unrecognized because they’re so common. The ideological, structural, and institutional factors of masculine privilege tend to remain invisible. And men tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. Masculine privilege includes individual actions, but it exists on a larger scale as well. So even if a man says, ‘Well I’m not sexist. I’m not like that,’ masculine privilege isn’t so easy to shrug off. In general, men more easily than women walk through the world with a sense of status and cultural legitimacy that isn’t necessarily conscious or articulated. And it’s not necessarily something that men ask for. Men are conferred status and legitimacy by a culture with a long history of doing so. Masculine privilege functions on macro level through the ways our institutional and cultural systems are systematically structured” (Tarrant 2009:90).
- Sex and Gender Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “sexism” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
Connell, R. W. 1987. Gender and Power: Society, the Person, and Sexual Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Kaufman, Michael, and Michael S. Kimmel. 2011. The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.
Tarrant, Shira. 2009. Men and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.
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Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: Dorling Kindersley.
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ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sexism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 23, 2021 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sexism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
sexism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sexism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sexism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 23, 2021. https://sociologydictionary.org/sexism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“sexism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2021. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sexism/>.