We recently published a video titled, 48 Things Women Hear In A Lifetime (That Men Just Don't), in order to show how subtly sexist messaging begins at a very young age and then never, ever ends.
Little girls are told not to be bossy; teens and young women are told that no matter their sexual decisions, they're damned if they do, damned if they don't; moms face frustrating expectations that just aren't put upon dads. And at every age, women are reminded that our appearance is of utmost importance.
Many commenters responded, "men are told things, too!" To which we'd say: Of course! Sexism doesn't exist in a vacuum. Our society has a dangerously narrow view of masculinity, which limits what a man is allowed to "be."
But if you consider the messages men hear -- "be a man!" "boys don't cry!" "don't be such a pussy!" -- you'll find that almost all of them translate to "don't be a woman." Because women are the seen as weaker sex; to be "feminine" is to be less than. So when we tell men they're not "real men" unless they're tough, financially successful (specifically more successful than their female partners), strong, authoritative... yes, we're hurting men who don't fit those parameters. But we're also hurting women.
The same attitude informs a culture where young men are taught to feel a sense of ownership over women's bodies and decisions. Phrases like "tap that" and "hit it and quit it" enter our vernacular. It becomes "manly" to treat women as objects, it becomes "funny" to call women sluts.
If little boys are taught to see traditionally "feminine" qualities as "bad," the cycle of sexism never ends. As Gloria Steinem recently wrote, "I'm glad we've begun to raise our daughters more like our sons -- but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters."
Watch the video above to hear what men are taught throughout their lifetimes that is harmful to everyone.
Below, watch 48 Things Women Hear In A Lifetime (That Men Just Don't):