A new study published by the PEW Research Center has deduced that over half of men in America believe that sexism is officially obsolete.
The study, which surveyed 4,602 adults over the space of a month, found that 56% of men believed that the obstacles that face women in workplace and in the rest of life were no longer issues, compared to 41% that said that these difficulties were still in place.
Obviously, these men haven’t heard of the gender pay gap, which still sees women being paid roughly 75 cents for every $1 a man makes.
Obviously, 63% of women stated that discrimination had made their lives harder, with only 34% saying otherwise.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the study found a distinct difference between responses from Republicans and Democrats, and in terms of people’s ages.
Most Republican respondents (both male and female) were more likely to feel that sexism doesn’t stop American women in the work place and three-quarters of Republican men felt that sexism in the work place had disappeared. Democrats were more likely to feel the opposite.
Surprisingly, Democrat men aged under 35 were more likely to feel that discrimination against women had vanished from the place.
Overal, just 53% of all Americans believe that there are “still significant obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead than men,” while 45% claim that “the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.”
However, as The Washington Post notes, it seems that the study may have been slightly skewered by not giving an explicit definition of what constitutes sexism. They say that, perhaps, respondents felt that sexism was derived from a Mad Men-era sense of bottom slapping and overt sexual harassment.
Of course, we know that sexism in the work place and in general life can take shape in more nuanced and subtle manifestations, such as assuming a woman would prefer to have a baby than work, or take the recent sexism rows surrounding the Olympics, or what about these hilarious cartoons that showcase the double standards that women face at work literally everyday?
Speaking to The Washington Post, Peter Glick, a social sciences professor at Lawrence University, said that these men’s opinions about sexism might not be stem from delusion, but come from a place where they see women actually performing well in education and the workplace. However, this could also tap into #masculinitysofragile, too
“There’s this tendency as social change takes place — you see it with whites, too — the privileged group says, ‘We’re the ones being discriminated against,’” Glick said. “Any policies that favor minority groups or women, there’s backlash: ‘They’re getting special breaks, and we’re getting screwed over.'”