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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
institutionalized racism/sexism etc
▪ institutionalized corruption within the state
Sexism in advertising is becoming less common thanks to the new complaints commission.
▪ a government report into sexism in the workplace
▪ The armed forces have worked to eliminate racism and sexism in their organizations.
▪ There is still a lot of subtle sexism on television and in magazines.
▪ But there is no general support in biology for sexism about careers.
▪ Is there evidence of sexism or of chivalry?
▪ Jovially swapping innuendos which a year earlier would have been seen as bad taste sexism by the singer.
▪ Much of the folklore about differences is merely convenient sexism.
▪ Some of the reactions by college coaches and administrators to recent instances of racism and sexism have been downright disturbing.
▪ Students do not need to be victims of racism, sexism, religious discrimination, or homophobia to feel like outsiders.
▪ There were unpleasant overtones of sexism here, too.
▪ Usually they criticize its culture-bound sexism.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1968; see sexist + -ism.


n. 1 The belief that people of one sex or gender are inherently superior to people of the other sex or gender. 2 Different treatment or discrimination based on a difference of sex or gender.


n. discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex


Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect any gender, but it is particularly documented as affecting women and girls. There is a clear and broad consensus among academic scholars in multiple fields that sexism refers primarily to discrimination against women, and primarily affects women. See, for example:

  • Defines sexism as "prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex."

  • Defines sexism as "prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls." Notes that "sexism in a society is most commonly applied against women and girls. It functions to maintain patriarchy, or male domination, through ideological and material practices of individuals, collectives, and institutions that oppress women and girls on the basis of sex or gender."

  • Notes that "'Sexism' refers to a historically and globally pervasive form of oppression against women."

  • Notes that "sexism usually refers to prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls." Also states that "sexism is an ideology or practices that maintain patriarchy or male domination."

  • Defines sexism as "thought or practice which may permeate language and which assume's women's inferiority to men."

  • Defines sexism as "any devaluation or denigration of women or men, but particularly women, which is embodied in institutions and social relationships."

  • Notes that "either sex may be the object of sexist attitudes... however, it is commonly held that, in developed societies, women have been the usual victims."

  • "Sexism is any act, attitude, or institutional configuration that systematically subordinates or devalues women. Built upon the belief that men and women are constitutionally different, sexism takes these differences as indications that men are inherently superior to women, which then is used to justify the nearly universal dominance of men in social and familial relationships, as well as politics, religion, language, law, and economics."

  • Notes that "both men and women can experience sexism, but sexism against women is more pervasive."

  • Suggests that "the key test of whether something is sexist... lies in its consequences: if it supports male privilege, then it is by definition sexist. I specify 'male privilege' because in every known society where gender inequality exists, males are privileged over females."

  • Notes that "although we speak of gender inequality, it is usually women who are disadvantaged relative to similarly situated men."

  • "As throughout history, today women are the primary victims of sexism, prejudice directed at one sex, even in the United States."

It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.

Usage examples of "sexism".

She is calling racism, sexism, class ism ageism, homophobia, and colonialism by the name of body hatred, and She is linking the politics of control back to the abuse of Flerself.

Similarly, texts would be read in the context of racism, sexism, elitism, speciesism, jingoism, imperialism, logocentrism, phallocentrism.

It was embarrassing at times and always boring, but her view was that casual racism, sexism and homophobia always had to be confronted.

Shadow is clearly at work in the midst of the horrors of war, racism, sexism, agism, and the technological destruction of the biosphere.

Once we recognize postmodernist discourses as an attack on the dialectical form of modern sovereignty, then we can see more clearly how they contest systems of domination such as racism and sexism by deconstructing the boundaries that maintain the hierarchies between white and black, masculine and feminine, and so forth.

As an extension of this principle, Jeremy sees in dreams the healing magic we so desperately need today to deliver us from racism, sexism and every other form of tyranny and exploitation, including war itself.

I also addressed a college class about story writing, reading an excerpt from my story "Soft Like a Woman," which is a savage antisexism commentary, because I support education and oppose sexism.

It makes impossible all the sins of locality, all the errors that arise from being prisoned in one body and no other--as racism, sexism, classism, and of course and especially nationalism.

No matter what atrocity you commit, you can stake a claim for sympathy, moan about being a victim of racism, reverse racism, sexism, ageism, classism, prejudice against fat people, ugly people, dumb people, smart people.

That's one of the reasons why you quite commonly find the business sector reasonably willing, often happy to support efforts to overcome racism and sexism.

Its plot moves through serial killers, ice-cold revenge, doppelgangers, lingering effects of childhood violence, sexism on the force, fatal attractions, and lethal media feeding frenzies.

For once, Allison had found the constraints of Grayson's quaint, antiquated sexism rather enjoyable, and she occasionally entertained herself with the hope that enough concentrated bile would finish off the miserable, small-souled cretin once and for all.

In ways I do not think Amy Vanderbilt would have approved: first, I blame the faint cavalier tone of adolescent sexism in this story--however innocent and moronically slaphappy it may be--on Huck.