Women's Center

Sexism and Feminism

Sexism is the discrimination of a person based upon sex or gender through a lens of power and privilege in our culture. In comparison to the obvious forms of sexism observed in the past, contemporary sexism is often subtle and appears casual. Sometimes called second generation sexism, today’s gendered micro-aggressions manifest in ways such as: the pay gap that exists along social locations such as gender, race, ability, and others; sexual harassment (including street harassment and cat-calling); the dominance of men in leadership positions and women as household administrators; the objectification of women and their bodies; and gendered expectations of career, dress and lifestyle choices. Gender inequality is accepted as the norm, so it appears natural despite its detrimental and oppressive nature.

Feminism describes global movements to raise consciousness of and to eliminate sexism, sex exploitation and oppression to ensure equal social, economic, and political rights of people across the gender spectrum. Feminism takes many forms and movements are often referred to as “feminisms” to differentiate the goals of different geographic and cultural groups in regards to gender equity/justice.

The Women’s Center is a feminist-oriented department. Our programs, events and work reflect our dedication to feminist movements to end sexist oppression, which advances and supports women and moves us toward true gender equity. We firmly believe that feminisms and movements for gender equity and justice are for everyone.