Why we all need to address sexism in our lives

Rossa talks about the impact of sexism in our society and why things need to change

Written by Rossa Gilsenan


Sexism is ingrained in our language, our jokes, our actions, everything. It can be remarkably hard to pinpoint at times, with small comments from others that are degrading, but explained as “just a joke” or “I didn’t mean it that way”. That is really the problem. Some people, mainly men, in my opinion, don’t question their actions enough to realise the meaning behind their words and actions, which results in sexism carrying on into today’s world.

Our words have an impact

Small comments or minor actions develop into bigger issues like the gender pay gap, lack of female political representation, domestic violence, rape culture, all problems that are primarily based on misogyny and sexism. I hate the discrimination against women that I notice every day.

The gender pay gap is such a problem, with massive companies refusing to address it when it is so wrong. In the recent Irish general election, it was really hard to stomach that women only gained 22.5% of the TD positions. Men have always dominated the political scene and it has taken hard work and determination from feminists across the country for women to be taken seriously in the political scene. There has been slow progress in women gaining seats at the political table and it is something that we all have to continue to push for.

As a young woman, I can see that it will be challenging at times in my future. I know I will have to fight to be taken seriously in the different industries that I am involved in. I will always stand up for women getting equal opportunities while we don’t have them. Sadly, I don’t know any women in my life that hasn’t experienced some form of casual sexism or haven’t been discriminated against because of their gender, even just on the small scale.

We need to have more conversations about equality

I won’t stop addressing these issues, even if it makes others uncomfortable. It is very obvious that some people hate having these difficult discussions but we all have to push past that. If any conversation feels like you are being pushed out of your comfort zone and you don’t like that feeling, you should question why you feel that way.

There is a spectrum of sexism and bad behaviour. We all should try to do what we can to address it, from the massive widespread issues, right down to the more minor instances of sexism. There are so many reasons to shout loudly and clearly about this issue, and wanting a better situation for future generations is an obvious one, but as well as that we need equal opportunities for women today.

Calling our sexism in our lives

We need equal opportunities for women in today’s world and if there is anything within my power that I can do about it, then I will use that power. Even if all I can do is have conversations with someone that will listen about sexism, then so be it. If all I can do is call out small instances of sexism, I will do that. I will always be the one that won’t let small comments slide and I am happy about that. Everybody has a responsibility.

Feeling overwhelmed and want to talk to someone?

If you are a customer of the 48 or An Post network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.

Our work is supported by