Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
It has been called the world's oldest oppression: sexism. Sexism is the name given to the systematic oppression of women. In its most obvious forms, sexism includes conscious, deliberate, and overt discrimination against women, such as denying women the right to vote or own property, as was the practice in the United States in the early 19th century and is still seen in other parts of the world. At the other end of the continuum, it also includes subtle behaviors and attitudes that might go unnoticed in everyday life; sexism is operating anytime a woman is expected (or expects herself) to diet to extreme thinness, maintain a youthful appearance in perpetuity, downplay her own competence, accept verbal or physical mistreatment, or otherwise “know her place.” Although the conceptual isolation of sexism is useful for the purposes of discussion, it is important to note that sexism is just one part of ...