When Taylor Swift won a grammy, she dedicated it to the person who inspired her song about heartbreak. The internet went crazy, calling her vulgar names and calling her unsavory expletives. When Sam Smith won a grammy, he dedicated to the man who broke his heart and motivated him to write the song. Everybody was calling him brave and such an inspiration. A man makes an accomplishment, he’s praised, but when a woman makes the same accomplishment, she’s criticized.
Sexism is an issue that negatively impacts a society because women are viewed as weak, they are not given equal opportunities, and they are often judged for pursuing male-dominated careers.
In A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, sexism is seen throughout the play. Women are viewed as weak in A Raisin In The Sun because Walter felt like he could control his wife, Ruth, and talked to her any way that he wanted to, even though she explicitly asked him to stop multiple times.
Ruth kept telling her husband to just be quiet and eat his eggs, and he became defensive and talked back to her repeatedly. “That is just what is wrong with the colored woman in this world… Don’t understand about building their men up and making ‘em feel like they somebody” (Hansberry 34). Walter just bashed on his wife because he thought she couldn’t say anything back because she was his wife and a woman with nothing to say.
Walter also said that women shouldn’t be able to have equal opportunities.
His sister, Beneatha, explained that she’d been studying to be a doctor. He laughed at her, and they conversed back and forth, loudly, because he believed that women shouldn’t be able to be doctors. “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ’bout messing ‘round with sick people – then go be a nurse like other women – or just get married and be quiet” (Hansberry 38). Her brother told her to just be a mom and a wife like average women, because that was what girls were supposed to do, get married and be quiet.
Beneatha got a lot of judgement from her brother because she wanted to enter a male- dominated career. While her mom supported her education, putting money away for her to go to college and pursue her career, Walter didn’t support the fact that she wanted to be a doctor and not just a nurse. She told her family to just get over the fact that she didn’t want to get married and just wanted to be a doctor. “Get over it? What are you talking about, Ruth? Listen, I’m going to be a doctor. I’m not worried about who I’m going to marry yet – if I ever get married” (Hansberry 50). It was a shock to everybody because it was not normal for a woman to stay single and just work.
In in book The Help by Kathryn Stockett, sexism is seen throughout the novel. Women are viewed as weak, that’s because most of the women in the book are housewives who did nothing but stay home and keep the help their place. Abilene was talking to her friend, Minny, who was afraid that she was going to get into trouble. “Womens, they ain’t like men. A woman gone beat you with a stick. Miss Hilly wouldn’t pull no pistol on me. Miss Leefolt wouldn’t come burn my house down. No, white womens like to keep they hands clean” (Stockett 87). Which this also means that because they were white and women, they weren’t supposed to do anything because everything was being done for them.
In The Help, women are not given the same opportunities as men. When Skeeter wanted a job at her local newspaper, the Jackson Journal, she wanted the chance to actually write and get herself out there. The boss of the company gave her a cleaning section of the newspaper instead of a legitimate reporting section. Despite his thoughts, Skeeter didn’t have any idea on cleaning or even how to clean. “You do know who Miss Myrna is, don’t you?’ ‘Of course, we… girls read her all the time,’ I say, and again, we stare at each other long enough for a distant telephone to ring three times. ‘What then? Eight’s not enough? Jesus woman go clean your husband’s toilet for free”” (Stockett 86). The boss just assumed that because she was a woman, she would know everything about cleaning, and when she didn’t respond to him about pay, he told her to just go mend to her husband for free like all the women did at the time.
When Skeeter got a job at the Jackson Journal, she was so excited about it and the first person she wanted to tell was her mom. “I got a job today, at the Jackson Journal.’ ‘Great! You can write my obituary. ‘Charlotte Phelan dead! Daughter still single”” (Stockett 106). Skeeter’s Mom cared more that her daughter was single, than her getting a job. It was heartbreaking, because Skeeter loved to write, and not even her mom cared enough.
Sexism is seen throughout the hit movie Pitch Perfect. Women are viewed as weak in the film. When the Bardon Bellas make it to the acapella finals, the commentators make some misogynistic responses upon them walking on the stage, making fun of their body shapes and their clothing, how the skirts “just don’t work for them anymore” (Moore, Pitch Perfect). They were surprised that this wasn’t the traditional look for all-female acapella groups, and they were even more shocked that an all-female group could even make it into the finals without a male member.
Beca isn’t given the same opportunities as her male counterparts. During the Riff-Off, she joins the game while rapping to continue a song. Every single person looked at her like she was crazy, but soon, everybody joined in, the all-female group obviously dominating the Riff-Off. But, the all-male group, the Treblemakers, still won because they imposed an unwritten rule. The Emcee then proceeded to announce, “The word was it, and you sang ‘its.’ The Treblemakers win” (Moore, Pitch Perfect). Nobody wanted the Bellas to win, all because it was an all-female acapella group.
When Beca wants to pursue a male-dominated career, her dad was hesitant to support her, and then refused to support her at all. Her dad told her, “If you think I’m sending you to L.A., you’re wrong” (Moore, Pitch Perfect). Beca wants to be a music producer, a career which is a mainly male-based career, and her dad won’t let her leave college and do what she loved, even though he said that he would after one year.
Sexism is in our movies and our literature, whether it’s subtle or hitting them in the face. It is everywhere and it poisons people’s minds, because it’s hidden in broad daylight. This is important because children will grow up around inequality among genders and think that it’s okay to treat women like garbage because that’s what the TV displayed. Misogyny and sexism are issues that negatively impact our society because it makes women appear to be weak, they are not given the same opportunities as their male-counterparts, and they are often judged for pursuing male-dominated careers.