Womeniya – Sexism
– Anjana Bharatiraja
This month, I want to talk about a very stigmatized topic: sexism.
I'm sure that, in 2020, most of us can agree that sexism exists and that it's a horrible thing. But, let's take a look at, not just the bad, but the dangerous aspects of sexism.
Let's start with a quite simple example. About a month ago, I read a New York Times article from the In Her Words: 7 Issues, 7 Days program. The article explained how we live in a world designed for the man, not the woman. One of the examples the article uses is a car accident. For a very long time, car safety was tested using a crash dummy based on the body of the average man, which was both taller and heavier than the average woman. The issue here is that when a woman is driving a car with safety measures designed to protect a man, she is very likely to get extremely injured. Such mistakes are not people deliberately making them. They are a result of male leaders overlooking women.
After World War II, a lot of women started working, but we never stopped to try to change the workplace. Such problems are bound to occur when the world is changing, but we do need to pay more attention to the women in our world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've come up with several devices, such as ones to check the temperatures of people to make sure they're well. But, these devices most likely don't account for women going through menopause. According to Dr. Costanza-Chock, “Women having hot flashes could trigger these systems. We know that companies aren’t thinking about that.” The problem is when people were making these devices, there weren't women around to remind them that they are a priority as well!
But, people are trying to change this. In 2019, Facebook, for example, pledged to double the number of women working for it in five years. BBC, in 2016, promised that in 2020, half of their workplace will be filled with women. Several more people and companies are trying to change the number of women in their workplaces and reduce sexism to a minimum. While the big names do their parts, let's do ours as well.