“Girl power” has been a popular phrase for Americans to describe the success of women, but could the reality be that women are faced with gender inequalities behind make-believe fabrications of the media? In the article “Everyday Sexism In A ‘Post-Feminist’ World”, written by Hayley Krischer, it seems that the media supports the idea of women empowerment, yet there are indications that the beautiful, perfectly crafted sound bites in popular culture are not actually what women in the real world amount to. Women are under the illusion that they are powerful and even excelling above men but through experiences researched by professors from Brock University, influences from day-to-day media, and world politics, there shows that sexism still continues to persist.
Research done by “Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby, professors in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada” (Krischer 16), in a six year study, helped at dissecting the prevailing phenomenon of sexism and gender stereotypes. Pomeranz and Raby documented interviews with 57 girls ages 12 to 18 in schools all over Southern Ontario. A number of girls from different middle schools and high schools reported experiences of hearing sexist jokes such as “Oh get back in the kitchen!” and “Go make me a sandwich”. In fact, a girl named Rory explains her experience by saying, “I was trying out for basketball and I got up to sign the sheet and everyone was like, ‘Oh get back in the kitchen!’”(Krischer 26).
All across the globe the media had been able to find numerous ways of distributing discriminatory and gender stereotypical symbols in a way that comes across as the “norm” for advertising and entertainment. Pomeranz and Raby continued their studies by examining the perception that women are unaware to the portrayal of sexism. This idea is that to have evolved not from real life, but through the media and pop culture. Girls have been exposed to many sexist symbols and indications in video games and mainstream TV but it isn’t always as noticeable compared to the straight forward, in-your-face remarks experienced in the real world. Even things such as the news, radio, and television have been able to, in some way, contribute to the deception women have of themselves and how they are perceived in society. As a result of these twisted ideas portrayed by the media and pop culture, it can be hard for women to distinguish the sexist indications illustrated throughout mainstream video games and television.
Sexism has also become evident in politics which, in terms, has lead women into being highly underrepresented in government offices and elections. People settle in with this idea that men have created a more ruling and empowering government and as a result, women are degraded or just stereotyped as not possessing the same qualities that a man, as an elected official. In response to this, there has been an intensification of feminist politics as women are increasingly breaking free of the stereotypes that impede they’re equal. According to the article, “over three million women marched in protest against Trump the day of his inauguration”(Krischer 155) due to his evident sexist implications and remarks. “Since the inauguration, there sparked a movement that influenced around 13,000 women an interest in running for office, be it the presidential position or administration” (Krischer 157).
Although many girls seemed to be ingrained in the whirlpool anomaly of cultural expectations and messages, there are still many outliers that are working to improve the disastrous sexist annotations that keep promoting in the public.“Pomerantz and Raby, for their part, found that peer groups (as well as families) played an influential role in helping girls cope with stress, pressure, doubts, or anxieties” (Krischer 144). In the Declaration of Independence it states that “all men are created equal” and hopefully, someday girls will spark a revolution that changes the Declaration from men to “men and women”!