Essay On Sexism

1130 words - 5 pages

Gender identity is the base that forms individuals' perceptions about their role in society. Australia, as a liberal democratic nation ensures equality of opportunity for all members of the society, regardless of their gender (Study Guide 1007AMC 1999). However, it could be argued that gender based inequalities still exist in the Australian contemporary society. In order to investigate gender discrimination, the terms sexism and feminism will be defined. Secondly, gender inequalities will be discussed according to the Faucauldian feminist Sandra Lee Barkty, Simon French and R.W. Connell. Finally, statistical information will provide further evidence in relation to female discrimination ...view middle of the document...

However, behaviour that resists feminisation is seen as 'unnatural' and women that do not comply with established norms may be excluded from the society and may be unable to establish ways of connecting to others (Study Guide 1007AMC 1999). Gender inequalities according to R.W. Connell will be discussed next.Gender inequalities experienced by women are further discussed by R.W. Connell who states that females continue to be perceived as subordinate to males. Connell's view is supported by Simon French, who discusses gender roles from a social psychological viewpoint. French argues that that gender roles are formed during childhood and children play an important role in constructing their gender identities. The social psychologist contrasts the way males and females accept social norms and states that in comparison to females, who generally conform to accepted gender roles, males seek alternatives replacing behaviours that conform to established stereotypes (Study Guide 1007AMC 1999). French argues that this is due to the masculine desire to maintain its' role of dominance in the society. The writer also expresses concerns relating to the fact that boys' aggressive behaviour is normalised by the media and sports (French 1999). Next, statistics relating to women's' work opportunities will be examined.In addition, Connell's statement that women are perceived as subordinate is proved by statistical information related to female's employment opportunities and equality. According to the statistics, females earn only 65 per cent of male's earnings. Furthermore, it is shown that women are responsible for the majority of unpaid labour in Australia. Statistics also show that in 1994 only 3 per cent of the company directors in Australia were women (Bullbeck 1998).Additional evidence in relation to women's equal work opportunities indicate further gender base inequalities in the sphere of politics and legal practice. Current statistics indicate that in March 2005, only 28.6 per cent of the parliament members in Australia are women (see Appendix B) (Wilson 2005). Further statistics indicate that in 1999, female students constituted 57 per cent of the undergraduate law population and 55 per cent of students enrolled in practical legal training programs in New South Wales. However, in 1998/1999 only 36 per cent of the practicing lawyers In New South Wales were female (The Law Society of New South Wales 2005).Wo...

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