Racism and Sexism: Are Both Still Problems?
I recently heard some of my classmates talking about how sexism really isn't as big a problem today as racism is. They said that racism is on a different level and that all the feminists need to shut their mouths and just get over it. On Women’s Day, one student stated that the day shouldn't be a big deal because women’s struggles are not the same, or as serious, as racial ones. I didn’t say anything, but I was upset by what he said. I do not agree with this, and it hurts me that people feel that way.
I feel that sexism and racism are both equally horrible in their own right, and to separate or rank them doesn't do anybody any good. I really do believe that we have a long way to go before women and men are considered equals, and by saying racism is worse and deserves more attention, we are putting women’s rights on the side burner. For example, the statistics for violence against women are insane:
Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim. 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger. 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance. 28% are an intimate. 7% are a relative.
Not to mention that people still blame women for getting raped. How is that fair and equal? How is our work done?
Women are more likely to be passed over for certain positions, such as police officers and firefighters all because they are dainty little women. Women fought hard to get equal rights, and we are still fighting hard to get them. Women have fought for the right to vote, some were beaten by cops others institutionalized just because they wanted equality. Women fought for reproductive rights, the right to choose her own birth control without her husband’s permission (something some women are still fighting for, especially in bible belt south). I could go on and on and on about other things but I’m sure you already know those by now.
Clearly, sexism is still a big problem, and the next time somebody says it's not maybe you should stand up and correct them. But really, the bottom line is that sexism and racism both still exist and are both still problems. Rather than trying to say one problem is "worse" than the other, we need to join forces to stop prejudice of all kinds, not just race and gender inequality. That's the only way the world will ever be fair and equal.
More articles by Category: Feminism, Health, Misogyny, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Sexism, Rape, Sexualized violence, Reproductive rights, Racism, Equality, Domestic violence, Women's history, Discrimination