The Sexism Continuum

The following is a progressive (because they build on each other) list of the many forms of sexism and violence against women and how they create a “web” of oppression.  The many forms “non-violent” sexism work to create circumstances that severely restrict and reduce women’s lives.  I will cover each of these in more detail in their own posts later.

Institutionalized Sexism– Women’s status among the institutions like government, religion, home, society, marriage, corporations, etc…

Psychological Wounding and Gender Socialization– The result of growing up in a culture that hates and devalues girls and women.  Consider the “like a girl messages”…Don’t act like a girl because girls are weak, of less value, stupid, crazy, bad athletes, etc… Anything that is considered to be feminine is devalued.  Men and women are socialized in VERY different ways. Women are socialized to be “feminine” and men to be masculine, but then women are devalued for all of their feminine qualities.

Gendered Language/Communication– The usage of androcentric (male-centered) language in religious texts, text books, everyday language, etc…

Controlling Women’s Bodies– Medical bias towards women; controlling women’s access to birth control and reproductive services.

Economic Assault– Pay inequity; “feminine professions” are devalued and paid significantly less, the glass ceiling; women’s unpaid labor; women’s “role” to care for children and stay home with them; social security; the feminization of poverty; women in old age.

Sexual Harassment – Educational bias towards women; sexual harassment in the workforce

Pornography, Prostitution, and Human Trafficking– The harm done to women by certain kinds of pornography; the harm done to women who appear in pornography; Prostitution as a “legitimate” profession; most women are “forced” into prostitution as a result of all of the other forms of sexism and violence against women.

Sexual Assault; Rape – Self-explanatory….but stats about sexual assault against girls and women;

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) – The use of coercive control, usually by a male intimate partner, to threaten, control, intimidate, etc…their female intimate partner.  IPV exists in heterosexual and homosexual relationships and can also be used by women to control men, but there are some very important distinguishing factors that must be considered.

Global Violence Against Women – Femicide, female genital mutilation,


About freethinkingfeminist

College Professor, Feminist, Atheist. Bachelor's and Master's in Social Work, and PhD in Social Welfare. Expert on the topics of sexism, violence again women, intimate partner violence, family violence, social and economic justice View all posts by freethinkingfeminist

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