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Sexism: judgmental women.

IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION AS A YOUNG WOMAN (AND avid feminist), that often inequality and sexism is not so much about men than it is fellow women. It's a concept I have become rather familiar with while living in London and experiencing difficulty in being accepted into certain social circles.

Recently, TV show host, Karl Stefanovic wore the exact same suit for a year to prove a point. The point was not that he was extremely unhygienic, but rather that no one noticed his identical attire day in and day out. They did notice, however, his female co-hosts wardrobe and were happy to comment on what they did and didn't like about it.

Karl claimed that he did the experiment because women are judged "more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear". It was interesting that much of this criticism was coming from women rather than men.

One might argue that women simply pay more attention to fashion and style and as many of my friends point out; women dress for other women--rather than men, but to me it seems to highlight that fact that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy.

Here in London as an outsider and newcomer, I have been experiencing difficulty in having other women speak to me and smile at me--let alone allowing me to join their friendship circles; presumably because there is concern about how an extra person might upset the dynamic, or perhaps, steal a potential guy. As a very inclusive and friendly person myself, I find this incredibly difficult to get my head around.

I have never seen the same thing happen in male circles, whether at home or abroad. Sure, men might have occasional arguments, or even fist fights over women, but as far as I can see things tend to get smoothed over much more quickly then enduring jealousy from women.

It's not to say that sexism is all women's fault--there are many fundamental societal problems that need addressing, but I certainly don't think it's anti-feminist to suggest that we are part of the problem.

In her famous book, Lean In, Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg tells us that we should be taking a "seat at the table" and "leaning in" to be part of the discussion in the workplace. I think it's just as important that, outside of work, we are letting others take a seat at our social tables.

As fellow women we should be able to lean on one another for support and guidance. If women don't support other women how do we expect to be supported by employers, politicians and partners?

Chloe Milne

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Title Annotation:HERS: GEN-Y
Author:Milne, Chloe
Publication:Investigate HERS
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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