"You throw like a girl!" taunts a 10-year-old boy as a 10-year-old girl gingerly tosses him a ball that has managed to escape from a playground baseball game. She blushes in shame and shouts back, "Do not!" And that's that.
It seems that for ages, female characteristics have been considered inferior to those of men, so much so that even women are sometimes ashamed of their natural instincts. Even as adults, it is not uncommon to hear men use derogatory terms for women such as "bitch" or "pussy" to insult one another.
This is interesting because, while women will stand by and nonchalantly allow men to talk this way as if it were perfectly justifiable behaviour, this vocabulary is blatant sexism. If anyone referred to another person using an equally degrading racial slur, they would no doubt be corrected immediately and reprimanded.
Consider the following scenario: "You throw like a ____ (insert derogatory racial term here)!" shouts the 10-year-old boy as the 10-year-old girl gingerly tosses him the baseball. Suddenly, there is silence, and every eye is on the boy. Several members of his team exchange shocked glances, and the teacher on duty demands an immediate apology, after which he is promptly whisked off to the principal's office for a severe rebuke. Later, the boy's parents are phoned and his behaviour is reported along with a strict warning of the repercussions should there be any further racist comments.
So why is sexism tolerated to the extent that it is? Is it because we, as women who like to consider ourselves equal with men, actually agree that we are inferior in some way? And if not, then why is sexism tolerated?
Unless it is actually disgraceful to be female, women should really start standing up for themselves or sexism will never be effectively corrected. Sure, laws state that women and men must be treated as equals when it comes to legal matters, but the only ones who can police what occurs in our everyday private lives are people like us who are there when it happens. When racism was a raging societal illness, how was it dealt with? And now that sexual orientation is also becoming a matter of political correctness, how are gender preference comments of a derogatory nature handled? Although these issues admittedly remain unresolved, there is an undeniably growing distaste for political incorrectness; intolerant comments are becoming less and less
Sometimes it seems like sexism has been left in the dust as a cause that is no longer exciting or interesting. Who really cares about political correctness when it comes to women anyway?
After all, we don't even stand up for ourselves.