Sexism and misogyny continue to be major problem in Britain today. It is a problem socially, in the work place, media, and politics.

Socially, sexism is still a huge issue in this country. Many women don’t even think twice about the so called ‘harmless’ misogynistic banter between men because it happens so often. Have you ever experienced a man or a group of men joking about women and making comments such as ‘get back in the kitchen’ or ‘go make me a sandwich’ or – as in the words of David Cameron – ‘calm down dear’?  The interesting thing is a fair amount of men would say that they don’t have sexist attitudes towards women. So what does this show? It shows that sexist banter is now the norm, and that sexism, even if it is behind a joke, is alive and kicking in our society.


Furthermore, attitudes towards feminism still have negative connotations and still feminists are seen in the eyes of many as hysterical and anti-male, which is, of course, not true. It would seem that people are now shying away from the label ‘feminist’ and are reluctant to stand up to sexism because of the negative social connotations. Sadly in Britain today, if you protest against sexist behaviour you’re seen as humourless and a nuisance who is just being picky. This leads to women saying that ever so popular phrase ‘I'm not a feminist, but….’ Instead of looking at the issues, women are focused on not being labelled. Only one in seven women in the UK would call themselves a feminist. Our society still has this outdated idea that feminists don’t shave, hate men and cannot be stay-at-home mums.

Surveys have shown that most sexist incidents go unreported in the workplace and 81% of these women said they would not tell anyone. Men and women in jobs that are stereotyped with the opposite gender are judged more harshly when they make mistakes. Women still earn 14.9% less on average than men for the same job. This is shocking because The Equal Pay Act of 1970 states equal pay for equal work regardless of an individual’s gender. But the statistics don’t end there; when it comes to bonuses women receive less than half of the average 7,496 pounds that men receive. Moreover, women still face a glass ceiling in the workplace, especially in professional occupations.            

Yet another area of British society where sexism exists is in the media. In a typical month, 78% of newspaper articles are written by men, 72% of Question Time contributors are male and 84% of guests and reporters on Radio Four’s Today programme are male. In media reports on women’s issues, such as abortion and birth control, men are quoted approximately 5 times more than women. It is clear that British media lacks gender equality.  Female celebrities are under constant pressure to look sexy and slim. Female celebrities face tabloid newspapers criticising their every move and their bodies. Women in the spotlight are often portrayed in a misogynistic, degrading way. For example, last year when Helen Flanagan was voted off the popular show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,’ tabloid headlines included "Helen's melons out in telly jungle shocker." In addition, the widely read Sun newspaper never fails to display half naked, sexualised woman on page 3. A protestor in 2012 said ‘boobs are not news’ and ‘a woman is worth more than her breast size.’ Page 3 of the Sun is degrading, sexist, offensive and antiquated. Dominic Mohan, senior editor of the sun, tried to defend page 3 by saying ‘if you don’t like it, just don’t buy it.’ However, the issue remains that women are being sexualised and disrespected in a way which men are not. The Sun also has a page on their website dedicated to page 3 videos.

According to a new report, Sex and Power 2013, Britain is well behind other countries which are moving towards equal political representation. Britain has fallen from 33rd in 2001 to 60th in 2012. Iran has more equal representation than Britain. 75% of the House of Commons are males and in the Conservative party the percentage of women is 16 per cent, even if the number of its female MPs more than doubled in 2010. The Liberal Democrats have just 12 per cent.

In a modern Britain, it seems wrong that so much sexism should exist.  It is appalling that so much of this discrimination is just swept under the carpet and not confronted. It is disconcerting that feminism is looked down upon and that there is still a huge pay gap between men and women and that sexism and misogyny has become the norm in Britain.