There are a myriad of ways women face sexism, and the victims of this prejudice aren’t limited to 20-somethings and older. Young girls — your daughter, your cousin, your sister — deal with sexism daily, whether it comes in the form of a cat call or being told she can’t do something. These blatant forms of bigotry are obviously harmful, but there are also some subtle ways girls face sexism that are just as damaging. In fact, they may be more harmful, as they seep into the psyche over time and tear you apart.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forget about the obvious ways girls face sexism — cat calls, being told what they can't do, pressure to meet the unrealistic and limiting images of what our culture considers to be beautiful — these are dangerous and damaging realities that women young and old battle on the regular. But beware the underhanded warfare that is taking place in schools, marketing, and social groups and perpetuating sexist mentality. The messages and language that come in this form can be very powerful and effective because of the indirect way in which it starts to take up residence in the subconscious.
Many parents with girls are already aware of the struggles they face when it comes to battling sexism in school, sports, and the workplace. But there are also subtle ways your daughter is facing sexism on a regular basis. These seven examples show how we might not realize just how much exposure to sexism out girls are dealing with.