Sexism Displayed in Literature (Of Mice and Men)


While the view of Steinbeck himself is not certain, he does show us the sexism mentality most people have whether they are aware of it or not. Curley’s wife who happens to be the only female character present in the main setting of the story does not even have a name. Through the story, nobody asked and she had no reason to tell. She herself was seen as in a way unimportant. The way she was treated by all the men was a clear example of the sexist mentality among the characters in the story. They saw her as a flirt whenever she tried to talk to any of the men, she was even called a “tart” by Candy, one of the ranches older workers and gossip. She was never really acknowledged as her own being but just an extension of her husband Curley, she herself even realizes this and has to make up the excuse the she’s “looking for Curley” just to walk around the ranch freely. Nobody cares to talk to her in fear of getting tangled with Curley and she’s basically isolated to herself and can’t speak to people how she really feels and her story. Curley himself is abusive to her when angry, he assaults her and he even destroyed all her records at one point. All she wanted to do was voice herself and talk to someone, socialize, but the way people saw her put her into a similar boat as some of the other characters who are looked down upon like Candy due to his old age, Crooks due to his race, and Lennie due to his lack on intelligence.


Sexism Today


Sexism while not quite at the same degree seen in history is still a very prominent problem today, even when used jokingly it does not excuse it as being a sexism remark. Common internet meme such as “make me a sandwich” or “that ass” are indeed very sexist remarks that degrade the standing of women. Sexist ideals create molds in which people are constantly being judged in correlation to the expectations held to their gender roles. Males even today still hold a larger presence in the work force, account for more professional. People often say that sexism isn’t as big of a deal as say racism but in truth they both spawn from very much the same roots of discrimination and being looked down upon. Today stereotypes regarding the roles of women are still there and in some cases people actually believe in those stereotypes and perpetuate them. Stereotypes like women are bad drivers still linger around. Even more serious is the way we perceive either gender in accordance to doing the same action. Men who have sex with many women are praised while women who do the same are seen by society as “sluts” and “whores” or are “easy”. Even today sexism is still an issue whether people realizes it or not.

History of Sexism


Historically speaking in ancient times, women were highly respected over men since they were seen as the the givers of life and produced offspring. As time passed men began to assert their roles as hunters since they were more physically fit to perform the tasks while women scavenged for berries. As the ages passed men’s roles began to become ever more important and the role of women had begun to be looked down upon by men. Women’s roles had continued to be specifically aimed toward taking care of children and making meals while the men continued to do other means of work such as hunting, and communing between one another. Build upon that men’s roles have continued to expand into businesses and into many other important roles while women’s roles did not grown at the same speed still retaining primarily to their roots. In some countries such as Korea women have far less rights than that of men having the male family pay for the women and control over their expenses until they were married or in Muslim countries which women have overwhelmingly less rights than men restricting them from driving and restricting them of the clothes they could wear. Even in weddings when brides walk down the aisle, she’s in a way being treated like an object being brought and exchanged over to the the groom. The sexual inequality remained for the longest time to the point where in the United States, blacks, who were a group so controversial among parts of the United States that we went to war based on their role, obtained their right to vote before women had.

What is Sexism?


Sexism is a idea and set of action that discriminate to one gender or the other. Sexism is build upon the foundation of unequal treatment people based on their gender. Sexism is built by the stereotypes build over time regarding the way people should live and act. Sexual discrimination creates a field of unequal treatment that favor one gender or the other. Sexual inequality is founded on the stereotypes that have trickled down from history’s past, despite the growing equality between sexes there is still much unequal treatment on a individual level. People are molded by the idealism they are accustomed to and society has always characterized each gender into certain roles. We have become accustomed to this cookie cutter idealism that shaped what we expect from certain gender roles and we discriminate people based on those gender roles and those who don’t fit into their gender roles. Sexism creates unequal opportunity and treatment in some cases especially in certain countries that are highly pro-male. Even through history females have always been treated as second class citizens and even today despite many changes in the treatment of women, people still hold on to those ideals and men at times still look down on women. Sexism despite how much society has change in certain places, discrimination between the sexes are still a prevalent problem both local and on an international scale.