18 December 2016

Written by Mike Douglas
for Daily Focal
In recent weeks I have started to notice a few things in my workplace and in the wider community. I am around people of all ages, including a large number of young people. This is part of my concern. I am not talking today about the views of an older generation raised in a different time, or a different culture. I am talking about a mixture of people, backgrounds and cultures that are part of today's society, with many raised in ‘todays world’.

I am obviously writing from my own perspective as a male and maybe others see this trend in a different way. But too often I see males staring at females, talking about them in a derogatory way, using words like “slut” and “bitch”. From my view this is completely inappropriate. I do not believe that I am ‘out of touch’ with today's language or youth culture (well not too far), but even if I am, I still do not believe that a majority of young or adult males believe this is OK or acceptable.
There is nothing ‘casual' about sexism.
I do believe that this years votes, the UK’s leaving of the EU and the United States Trump vote do come into play slightly. These campaigns were build so much on hatred of others and non acceptable of others. Particularly in USA (not America! Don’t tar all of North and South America with there Trump brush) this also included women and talking in a very disrespectful way about them. Has this in some way told people that talking about women in this way is acceptable? That talking about people that are different to ‘me’ is acceptable? 

"If you see or hear sexism, report it! There is nothing ‘casual' about sexism."
I don’t know, but I have my own view.
Today I watched this video on sexism.

I feel like it has really made me question the whole world we live in. Over time have we continued to say its OK to sexualise females, when WE want?
In today's world are we telling them as a society this is OK? 
I believe a message has been lost. It doesn’t seem to be about female empowerment anymore, its no longer making sure women feel comfortable with their bodies (in this instant) and confident. Its about satisfying the male culture of dominance over women. Reinforcing, that women are here for our pleasure and nothing more. 
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a hot woman, hot women even better. But the attractive thing is their confidence, their intelligence, their spirit. Just as much as their physical appearance. I have so much admiration and respect for so many women that have achieved so many things that I do take it personally when I think that someone would look down on them, or be derogatory just because of their gender. That just seems so 1950’s to me. 
We live in a world, where many Universities, Businesses and Governments are led by women!
I know and am aware of a few young lesbian women, this approach is not something I see them do. So I do believe that this is an issue within the male ‘lad’ culture. This is something that is affecting town communities and mainstream media, as shown in the video link. 
I have chatted with girls online that have said they don’t feel safe walking on the streets, I have seen ’safety notices’ telling worried females to try not walking alone in the dark! Its dark at 3.30pm! Personally (again) this stinks of placing the action on the victims rather than the perpetrators. More needs to be done to change the way young and adult males interact and see women.
I say do not be a bystander, this is not OK. My friends, colleagues, sister, nieces and all women are not “sluts” or “bitches”.
Wolf whistling is not OK, harassing someone is not OK, grabbing at someone is not OK, intimidating someone is not OK, following someone is not OK, sounding someone is not OK, sexualising someone is not OK. Making someone feel threatened, scared or intimidated is not OK!
I write this article knowing its likely not everyone will agree, but I believe that sexism is in danger of becoming ’socially acceptable’ and it should not be! Making a causal comment about someones bum, boobs, face, walk, attire, whatever is likely not ‘casual’ to them. It is very often harmful and can lead to serious problems with mental and physical health.
So next time you think about stabbing someone with your words, think twice, think three times, don’t say it.
If you see or hear sexism, report it!
There is nothing ‘casual' about sexism.
We'd love to know...
Your thoughts on casual sexism?
Let us know in the comments.
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