The word sexism, describes the idea that one gender is superior to another. In other words, it is a structure of conscious and unconscious ideas that people hold onto due to socialization from family and friends, their culture, or institutional settings. Sexism includes the mind-set, beliefs, values, stereotypes, and other types of bias that maintain the idea that women are of lesser value and importance than men; this ultimately guides human interaction and behaviour towards individuals of the opposite gender.
Sexist stereotypes or gender stereotyping is the generalization of characteristics of a group of people based on gender. Gender stereotypes create a set of judgments and bias that supposedly apply to each gender however, this is highly unacceptable because it causes people to make unfair and unjust statements and assumptions about a person on the basis of his/her gender. Even if these individuals do not fit in with the category they are still discriminated against because they don’t conform to societies’ norms. The most familiar stereotypes made about women are about their personality, behaviour, occupation, and physical appearance. For example, women are supposedly shy and submissive, are supposed to do household chores and play the role of a stay-at-home mom or work as teachers, secretaries, etc, and are expected to be thin and delicate. These stereotypes play an important role in shaping the way many individuals choose to see women which are ultimately reflected through the commercials, music videos, and ads we see. Women are continuously being poorly treated, sexually objectified, controlled and misused by men portraying a highly negative image to the large audiences viewing these forms of media as seen in the American Apparel ad, “Hey Mama”, and “Summer” music videos.
The idea of sexism has become a trend in music videos, advertisements and commercials, so much so, that it has even become part of politics and elections, occupations, and even sports such as the Olympics. For example, we can see this in the US presidential elections when people became hesitant to the idea that the United States could have its first female president, Hillary Clinton. Because people stuck to their prejudices and bias against a woman leading an entire nation, it became one of the reasons she lost a few of her votes. In the Olympics we see this when female athletes are constantly being compared to their male counterparts or when they referred to as being married or unmarried when asked about their relationship status.
The concept of sexism creates the idea that everyday social interactions, sexist or not, are connected to larger issues such as sexual harassment or discrimination in society. Ultimately, sexism is more than just the things we do and say; that no matter what one does to stop sexist thoughts, speech, and actions, thry will always exist and remain in society.