Benevolent Sexism

Improved Essays
Heterosexuality comes into play when understand how benevolent sexism and hostile sexism are combined to describe why women are viewed in such ambivalent ways. Men rely on women to achieve desired romantic relationships. In this case, the superior group is depending on the lesser for an intimate experience in life (Fiske and Glick 1996). This makes the women more superior in this situation. Some men may not find this suiting, causing hostile attitudes towards women. Interaction is also involved in benevolent sexism through the specific roles that have been shaped for women to play. Words describing women as compassionate, nurturing, sensitive, etc. have persisted and society has shaped the meaning of what it means to be feminine (Ferree and …show more content…
“Status inequality is a system of inequality that is founded on cultural beliefs about status difference between types of people” (Ridgeway 2011:156). When a woman acts in these ways, others may reciprocate the masculine identities. In interaction, these characteristics of women make them “more dependent on men by virtue of expressing positive characteristics, ultimately positioning women as inferior” (Wade and Feree 2015:148). The traits associated with women need counterparts to be justified, which are qualities associated with masculinity. A woman may be praised for a petite frame, but it also puts her at risk for less physical defense. She’d be considered weak and in need of someone stronger and bigger, characteristics associated with men. Sexism has been shaped by the interactions between men and …show more content…
Society uses benevolent sexism to perceive that gender quality is fair. Words attributed to women consist of passive and supportive terms. Although these stereotypical words are not negative, they reinforce that women are not the dominating force in the gender system, not even at the conscious level (Lindsey 2010). The words used to describe each gender then get attached to certain level of achievement. By limiting men and women to these roles, interactions in daily activities, such as work and family life are already decided.
A final way gender persists is through the gender lag. “Changes in cultural beliefs about gender lag changes in material arrangements based on gender” (Ridgeway 2011:159). Material arrangements include the relationships between men and women. How people perceive gender stereotypes are moving slower than what is actually happening in society. For example, women are obtaining positions in leadership spots and hired in high ranked work positions, but sexism attitudes still prevail. Women still face barriers that keep them in the inferior

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