Sexism Essay Examples and Topics

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview
Main Ideas

Sexism is a form of discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s gender or sex. It can affect anyone but based on statistics, it mostly affects the female population. Sexism is closely linked to gender roles and stereotypes. It includes the belief that one gender or sex is superior to another, and can be the cause of sexual harassment, verbal harassment, workplace inequality, etc.


The term ‘sexism’ in its current sense is said to originate from the Student-Faculty Forum at Franklin and Marshall College on November 18, 1965. This term was coined by Pauline M. Leet in her forum contribution named “Women and the Undergraduate”. In print, the term first appeared in Caroline Bird’s speech named “On Being Born Female” published on November 15 of 1968.


Sexism manifests on both an individual and institutional level. For many years, women has been seen as the weaker gender or sex, which prompted all sorts of discrimination in terms of education, work, voting, etc. Sexism in its general sense is prejudice that encompasses negative attitudes about a certain group, not necessarily women. Even so, most movements against this type of prejudice are linked to feminism.


The world has changed a lot compared to a time when women were not defined as persons, could not vote, didn’t have basic human rights, etc. Until the 20th century, English and US laws observed the coverture system, which indicates that the legal existence of females is suspended during a marriage. Today, women have more rights than ever, so it’s safe to say that all those efforts against sexism show some results.

Key Quotes
  • “All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman ... What else is a woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colors!” – in Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer, the book that played the biggest role in the witch hunts and trials.
  • "Woman is not born: she is made. In the making, her humanity is destroyed. She becomes symbol of this, symbol of that: mother of the earth, slut of the universe; but she never becomes herself because it is forbidden for her to do so.”- Andrea Dworkin
Interesting Facts

It is believed that sexism is one of the reasons for the witch trials between the 15th and 18th centuries. Claims were made at the time that witches were a threat to Christendom. The hunts and trials included mostly women, which only shows to prove the level of sexism present at the time. In some parts of the world, women still lose their legal rights in marriage. Take for example, Yemeni marriage regulations. If a woman becomes a wife, the regulations state that she must not leave her home without her husband’s permission. In Iraq, men are allowed to legally punish their wives.

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