Where did sexism originate from and why has it remained in the present day? Why has it not gone away sooner?

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Where did sexism originate from and why has it remained in the present day? Why has it not gone away sooner?

In: Culture

Well, it originated with biology. Men and women are specifically better at different things. For instance, child bearing had to be women and men with the extra size and muscle we’re better hunters.

Why it still exists in a modern society, couldn’t tell you.

A very long time ago, it was common for men to be the people who went out and hunted for food, while women stayed at home to take care of babies. This is because women (or, more specifically, people with the parts babies grown in) are typically the people who have to carry the babies and feed them. But women are also people, with goals and things they want to do that don’t have anything to do with babies! So in some cultures, when women tried to say “I want to work and do things I want to do that don’t have to do with babies,” men got upset because they didn’t like sharing their power. It felt good to them that they could make important decisions without women questioning them. So, they created ideas that women are “supposed” to act a certain way and do certain jobs. Women have been fighting this for thousands of years, but sexism still exists because many powerful men are afraid of losing their power. But women know that they need to have power if they are going to have their needs met, so they keep fighting.

Sexism, like all the other -isms, is derived from people observing the world and extrapolating from what they observe.

Consider the following question: “if you had a question about Shakespeare, would you ask a dentist or a plumber?”

Now, neither dentists nor plumbers are experts on Shakespeare. But most people would ask a dentist first because they view dentists as more educated – and thus more likely to have knowledge of Shakespeare.

This might be termed “occupation-ism” – making an assumption about someone based on their occupation.

Sexism is much the same way. It’s fairly easy to note differences between men and women, then assume that tendencies of the group dictate the preferences of the individual. For example, men tend to prefer bitter while women prefer sweet. However, that doesn’t mean there are no women who like black coffee or no men who drink caramel mocchiatos.

This is the general basis for all of those “-isms” – making judgments about an individual based on their group identity (and the proclivities of that group) rather than on their individual characteristics.