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Systemic Sexism in Our Everyday Lives
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Systemic racism, systemic sexism, and systemic classism are intertwining systems of oppression built into the foundations of the United States to keep elite white men in power and thus, are subsystems of the elite-white-male-dominance system (Feagin and Ducey 2017). However, systemic sexism has structural differences compared to the other subsystems. First, our society is highly integrated forcing the oppressed to constantly interact with the oppressors; Second, misogyny is arguably the oldest system of oppression permeating in most cultures and among all races; and lastly, perhaps as a result of gender integration and the extensive history of sexism, women equally participate in their own oppression. The theoretical differences were apparent in the findings of each article. The most notable distinction was that men did not filter their sexist behavior in front of women whether they were strangers or friends and family. Men did not filter their sexist behavior in front of women. For example, catcalling is typically a maleto-female interaction in a public space. Catcallers will use vulgar comments, threats, whistles, kissing noises and/or engage in “silent catcalling” such as intonations, leering, and winking to objectify women. Men use catcalling as a male-bonding experience or masculinity performance to assert their dominance over women. On the other hand, women genuinely fear sexual violence from these encounters and utilize various strategies to survive. I utilize systemic sexism theory, specifically the male-sexist frame, to analyze data I have collected from two major universities. Participants submitted journal entries over the course of six weeks noting anything they perceived to be sexist. The theoretical differences of systemic sexism lead to the acceptance of men engaging in sexist behavior towards women through commentary, catcalling, or in everyday conversation. Results indicate that men and women live very different realities.
Ochoa, Melissa Kumari (2019). Systemic Sexism in Our Everyday Lives. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from