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I was just over at We Have Brains, and I came across this entry on internalized sexism. After reading other people’s responses, I felt like I should say something as well, because this is something I see almost daily. I go to University to further my education, I work hard to make ends meet, but no matter where I go, there is someone or something that tries to undermine what I do or am trying to achieve simply because I am female. You’d think that at a university that is full of ‘enlightened people’ as the article terms them, that incidents of sexism would be few and faaar between. I get it from the one and only guy in my poetry glass, who had the nads to tell me that women couldn’t take criticism, so he was limiting his constructive criticism. I was so shocked that I couldn’t think of anything to say in reply. I walked away. I had a boss at my workplace tell me that I should consider wearing make-up. I told him he should try it himself one day. I wish I could be as assertive as that all the time. That leads to the second part of this. Why aren’t women assertive? this woman said it first. “ Assertiveness is defined as having confidence and being forceful. There you go. Most women are not confident or forceful.” We have been taught from early on that we, as women are supposed to be nice, calm, graceful, quiet, and to look good. Nowhere in that formula does it say that we can stand up for ourselves. When we do, we’re labelled. How many times has someone blamed your objections to being treated as a lesser being on PMS? And the big question, how can we fix this? Start at home folks. Children are more open to new ideas, and if they learn first that there is no reason to treat others as inferior, perhaps this viscous cycle has another avenue to end on. Other than that, my ideas are as unoriginal as others are; it comes down to standing up for ourselves and hoping others follow suit. Also, check out this blog. She has a few good points as well.

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