“Sexism is the belief that the members of one sex, usually women, are less intelligent or less capable than those of the other sex and need not be treated equally. It is also the behavior which is the result of this belief.” – Cobuild English Dictionary.
“Sexism is a socially acceptable prejudice and everybody is getting in on the act.” I got this definition from book, Everyday Sexism. From all definitions that I read, this definition is the fit ones for sexism that we had been experienced everyday in our lives with or without we knowing about the sexism itself.
In the past, the sexism that I know is just too shallow and too common. I thought that it is just about boy should play with cars and girls should play with dolls. But the real sexism is too complex and when we look around us, it’s always there and we don’t even know that it’s happening in our daily lives. That thought is scare me. How we always think, “I know about sexism”, but the reality is, we don’t know anything about it and the sexism acts is always happening in our daily lives.
Sexism can happen in everywhere and sexism is an invisible problem. It’s not easy to take something invisible and make people start to talk about it. Even the victim rarely say anything either. In fact, sexism not only happened to women, but there are some sexist that applied to men also. But in a patriarchal society, sexism is discrimination against women specifically. That’s why women always become the silence and minority groups in that kind of society.
And Indonesia is one of the country that for many years have been living in a patriarchal structure of society.
Daily acts of sexism that happen from time to time and how our parents build our mindset with patriarchy mindset make the chance to share, speak up and talk back is getting smaller for the victims, especially women. Because when we grow up, our mind set is wrong. The most common thing about sexism is women should be able to cook and raise their children. That is the same like women should be at home, raise their children, do some chores, cooking, and any other household matters. This sexism make the children will grow up with the same sexism like this and this is a never ending process that will be growing another sexism acts. This sexism that happen inside of the house becomes the core of problem and it will be passed to generation to generation.
Another sexism that happen is about rape-case. “You should dress more properly so that men will not get the wrong ideas about you.” These are the wrong ideas that we get from rape case. People tend to focus for sexual crime happen because of the victim, not the assault. Like the way she dressed or what time she came home. Victim-blaming is always happening in rape cases and that makes another rape victims remain silent about this. Let’s look back from Indian Bus Rape cases, the assault said that the women is a wh*re because she go out with men at night and she dressed like a wh*re. This kind of mindset we know from we child make us what are we today. That’s why when we go out, we tried to dress with so many layers, so that something bad will not happen to us.
Another thing is when women get teased in deserted street at late at night. In Indonesia this problem is so common. There are so many “abang-abang” who do this at night. Women in Indonesia, had experienced this at least once in their lives. The problem is, why the women do not say anything. We just remain silent about this. This is because we scared if we talk back, we can provoke them. And again, we remain silent about this. These are just some part of sexism that we often encounter in our daily lives and there are so many other sexism that we are not aware yet. The problem is not just about make all women aware about sexism but how we can educate women and men about this. So that this will not happen again in the future and make future generation can have the same status, power, rights, privileges, and opportunities between men and women.