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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

Sexism becomes the new joking norm

Photo reprinted with permission from Sara Lawrence Imagery
Photography Editor-in-Chief Ava Biedermans’s senior photo.

Sexism has been going on for more than 3000 years. It started way back when the first two man and women were created in the Jewish lore. There was Adam and Lilith, this was his first wife. While it was never directly mentioned within the Bible it is believed her and Adam were both made up from dust and Earth. This made the two individuals equal. When Lilith refused to be unequal and continue her “wifely duties”, Adam become enraged. She ran away from their home (the garden) and refused to come back. She became labeled as a terrible person. To many women however, she was the first women to stand up for her rights and against sexism.

Simply taking a glance at society, everyone can agree that sexism and women’s rights have improved greatly since the creation of the Jewish lore. However, many women still deal with sexism in places like school. Now it just is better covered up behind “jokes” and acceptance within the world.

As young women start to grow up, these sexist comments start to mean something. It makes a girl think or change who they are just to pleasure the social norms around her. Phrases like “throwing like a girl” or “running like a girl” usually mean someone is not amazing at that certain activity. These terms along with others, start to create self doubts inside a young teen’s mind. Sexism can truly change a young woman.

“Experiences with sexism has made me both self aware and self conscious. Growing up as a girl you become aware of the fact you’re a girl very quickly, you learn to stop ‘throwing like a girl’ or ‘running like a girl’ even though those things mean absolutely nothing,” senior Jordan Fauks said.

Many times within the classroom female students struggle with sexist comments. Many times these comments go without notice by the students or teachers around. They are just “jokes” to many and the sexism behind them is never dealt with. The comments simply rarely stop, no one even realizes it is happening. Teachers will work hard to have discussions in class, but sometimes nothing can be done in a group setting.

“I think it’s in my best interest to make sure that its a reiterated conversation, though,” history teacher Jason Caballero said, “It’s not always enforced.” Young women must deal with sexism within a school environment and even after discussions, there is a struggle for change.

Experiences with sexism has made me both self aware and self conscious.

— Jordan Fauks

The struggle for change makes it difficult for young women to stand up for themselves. When a girl tries to stand up and speak out, the conversation takes a turn. The whole conversation becomes just a joke and she gets pegged as too emotional and unable to take a joke. If they are lucky they may receive a semi-real apology along with the male classmates excuses.

Senior Hope Hiemke has heard many sexist things throughout high school, but in the lunchroom is when she hears the worst of it. Hiemke was enjoying lunch with her friends, when she over heard a conversation next to her. The group of boys made upsetting, gross and sexist comments about a fellow female classmate. When she finally reached the courage to say something all she received was a fake apology and the excuse of it is just a joke. She become so frustrated with this that she had to move to the other side of the table.

The term “boys will be boys” creates an excuse for sexism in a male mind before it even is said. They get a built-in excuse for their “jokes” and derogatory comments. The old term is still in use to this day and many young girls are affected by it.

The term “boys will be boys” is an “idiotic phrase” that takes away from any girls experience Fauks explained. It allows the blame to be put on the girl who have an experience with a boy.

“By saying ‘boys will be boys’ there is a deeper message saying any girl with an experince with a boy are the ones in the wrong,” Fauks said.

While women have gained the right to vote and come to school, there is still much work to be done. Sexism is heard and experienced by almost every women at school, with a rare occasion of apology. The comments in the halls, within classrooms or at lunch are brushed off and excused by claiming to be a joke. Women of generations have had the same struggle with different scenarios, it is time for an end.

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About the Contributor
Ava Biederman
Ava Biederman, Photography Editor-in-Chief
Ava Biederman is a senior and a Photography EIC. She has done gymnastics for the high school team since junior year. Ava also works at a gymnastics gym and coaches kids of all ages. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and going shopping. She looks forward to teaching students about photography and helping others.

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