Subtle Sexism?

sex·ism  n.

1. Discrimination based on gender.
2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

Sexism is easy to point out when it’s overt, in-your-face, and/or public. It’s much harder to identify when it’s subtle, implied or routine. While many of the most blatant forms of sexism have been diminished in our culture, we are inundated each day with a different form of sexism. It may subtle but it’s no less insidious. It’s in our schools, on TV, and demonstrated at the highest levels of government – when women and men are boxed into gender roles, hypersexualized, or degraded for their sex. It doesn’t help that this more subtle sexism is seemingly everywhere we turn. It’s overwhelming, but is still often hard to identify. Where do we draw the line between sexy and sexist in advertising? When does appreciation of beauty (female or male) become objectification? How do the images and stereotypes of the super-thin female model, and super-buff male action star shape our perception of gender?

Posted on July 8, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I don’t disrespect your beliefs however your complaining about a billboard and said billboard falls under the first amendment act. Advertising is considered freedom of the press. So what one person see as selling fitness and attaching a positive word to it “DEXTARITY” another person obviously sees it as “a woman in a degrading sexual position ” and that it degrades women and shouldn’t be used to advertise a fitness facility. And that’s their opinion. I don’t blue cars but I’m not telling auto maker it’s offensive and stop painting them blue. What I find so wrong in so many ways is you being quoted saying” Our daughters and sons walk by the billboard outside Equinox Gym every day. They see a woman in a degrading sexual position, being “celebrated” for her hypersexualized and supposed dexterity, with a pool cue and balls.”
    Those same daughters and sons on any given day in another area can turn a corner and see a hooker in a degrading sexual position “celebrated” for her dexterity whit some guy’s cue and balls. And they ain’t playing pool! Ironic isn’t it ..Freedom of speech of those who differ from ours should be respected not changed or redirected to suit the needs of others.

  2. This is a terrific blog. I can honestly say that I have not felt inspired in the past to comment on any blog, but this one is different. I went to an all women’s college back in the 80’s. It was there that I began to understand how sexism infiltrates our lives. Frequent class discussions brought up issues as to why and how women were being treated differently. I had never considered this as a problem. With that as a common dialogue throughout my college career at Wellesley I began to wake up and view our societal constructs differently. I too had seen the billboard in Bethesda and my husband and I had taken offense to it and had mentioned it to our daughter as an example of offensive and abusive advertising. Yet I took no action other than to share my thoughts with family members. Now having seen the petition I have signed it and I love the idea of making this a social movement in the blogosphere. Keep up the good work! I will be sharing with my friends who are equally impassioned. I agree together we can make a difference!

  3. BTW….I am not in favor of the billboard, it was just an unfortunate observation.

  4. “I too had seen the billboard in Bethesda and my husband and I had taken offense to it and had mentioned it to our daughter as an example of offensive and abusive advertising.”

    There are people who say the second billboard above depicts rape. This indeed is abusive and should offend anybody who is not a psychopath, and I am only slightly exaggerating about that in my opinion, because some people are just a bit insensitive to anything that has not personally happened to them..

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