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Sois belle et tais-toi -- French sexist saying.

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Sexism is negative discrimination against people based on their assumed or presumed sexual identity.

Sexism as a belief can refer to three subtly different beliefs:

Most dictionaries regard the first two beliefs as sexist, but the third belief as generally not sexist. Some people, particularly masculists, hold that only the first belief is sexist. Most feminists also hold that the third belief is sexist. It has been suggested that some people who hold that all three beliefs are sexist in fact support laws which provide legal discrimination based on sex.

Sexism can also refer to simple hatred of men (misandry) or women (misogyny).

In practice, people's beliefs range along a continuum from the first position, which is the most sexist, to the third position, which is least sexist. For example, some people believe that women should have equal access to all jobs except a few religious positions. Others believe that while women are superior to men in a few aspects, in most aspects men are superior to women.

Sexist beliefs are a species of essentialism, which holds that individuals can be understood (and often judged) based on the characteristics of the group to which they belong, in this case, their sex group (male or female).

Sexism against women is often called chauvinism, though chauvinism is actually a wider term for any extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of a group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards a rival group.

While the view that women are superior to men is also sexism, only in recent years has an awareness of this "reverse sexism" begun developing in public discourse.

Sexual discrimination is illegal in many countries but most countries have laws that give special rights or privileges to one sex.

Language [...]

Language plays a part in sexism, though it is disputed whether certain language causes sexism or sexism causes certain language (see the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis). At the most trivial level, sexist jokes play a part in the acts of many comedians, both male and female. Another example is non-sexist language - the avoidance of gender-specific job titles, non-parallel usage, and other language usages that are felt by some to be sexist. Opponents of such ideas often dismiss them as "political correctness gone mad".--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism [Jun 2004]

Non-sexist Language

Non-sexist language (gender-generic, gender-inclusive, gender-neutral, or sex-neutral language) is language that attempts to refer neither to males nor females when discussing an abstract or hypothetical person whose sex cannot otherwise be determined. The goal is to keep the language as inoffensive as possible, similar to the idea of political correctness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-sexist_language [Jul 2004]

A deeper variant of these arguments involves the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, the suggestion that our language shapes our thought processes and that in order to eliminate sexism we would do well to eliminate "sexist" forms from our language. Some feminists dismiss the effectiveness of such a suggestion, viewing 'non-sexist language' as irrelevant window-dressing which merely hides sexist attitudes rather than changing them.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-sexist_language [Jul 2004]

Political Correctness [...]


  1. Sois belle et tais-toi (1981) - Delphine Seyrig [imdb.com]
    Outline: Famous actresses talk about their role in the movie industry, and the demand to "be beautiful and shut up". --via imdb.com

    Credited cast: Jenny Agutter .... Herself Juliet Berto .... Herself Ellen Burstyn .... Herself Candy Clark .... Herself Patti D'Arbanville .... Herself R. de Gregorio .... Herself Marie Dubois .... Herself Louise Fletcher .... Herself Jane Fonda .... Herself Luce Guilbeault .... Herself Shirley MacLaine .... Herself Mallory Millet-Jones .... Herself Mady Norman .... Herself Millie Perkins .... Herself Rita Renoir .... Herself Telias Salvi .... Herself Maria Schneider .... Herself Barbara Steele .... Herself Susan Tyrrell .... Herself Viva .... Herself Anne Wiazemsky Cindy Williams

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