Coming up to International Women’s Day it is worth considering how hard women have fought to improve their rights during the last century, from being given the right to vote, to making it to the top of organisations and becoming world leaders, such as Angela Merkel. However, there are still plenty of cases where women don’t feel like they are treated as man’s equal. Everyday, there are women who are treated differently to how they would be if they were a man. So how common is it for a woman to experience sexist behaviour in her day to day routine? Sadly all too often.
examples of sexism that occur daily:
- An example of an incident comes through a major story which recently hit the headlines in the UK, with the news that Nicola Thorpe, a 28 year-old receptionist, was sent home from her job at PwC for not wearing high heels in the office. I mean, clearly this ruling is not fair, as men don’t have to spend all day in uncomfortable shoes themselves! Thorpe was outraged, so decided to protest this ruling and amazingly she has managed to get British law changed, meaning that companies are no longer allowed to put in place discriminatory policies such as this one. So, women can now only be forced to wear heels if men do too – now, that I would like to see!
- However, it’s not just uncomfortable footwear that some women are forced to put on in the workplace. Whereas men can often wake up, pop some clothes on and be out of the door 5 minutes after getting out of bed, many women often feel under pressure from their bosses to put makeup on and make a real effort for their day at work. By the time that they’ve done this part of their daily routine, in some cases they’ve already lost at least half an hour of the day compared to their male counterparts. That’s 30 minutes of precious sleep that I wouldn’t want to give up myself!
So, how are women trying to combat this discrimination?
In 2012, Laura Bates decided that enough was enough and started a twitter campaign, which quickly escalated, where women would share their experiences every time they felt that they had been discriminated against using the hashtag #everydaysexism. During this campaign there have been more than 100,000 entries from 18 different countries, showing how widespread sexism is during their daily routines. By getting a greater understanding of how other women are being treated, they can understand that they are not alone and can come together to try and change opinions.
- @KaseyA_W provided a clear example of this everyday sexism when she recounted how the mechanic told her that she should get her dad, brother or boyfriend to check the coolant in her car, rather than thinking that she could do it herself.
- Another example comes from @rhaegal, who tweeted about how when she was taking her boyfriend out for dinner the waiter immediately went to the boyfriend with card machine, just assuming that the woman never pays for dinner.
These incidences don’t seem fair, do they? Women are equally capable of fixing cars and paying for meals as men and as part of their daily lives, they shouldn’t have to put up with different treatment.
In their day to day lives women can experience sexism through what they are made to wear, what they receive and how they are treated by society. As part of their daily routine, women should never have to feel inferior. In the coming years lets hope that stereotypes change and the frequency of everyday sexism is greatly reduced.
Have you ever been guilty of underestimating one of the special ladies in your life? Why don’t you send her flowers to make it up to her?