American Men Don't Believe Sexism Still Exists, According To New Study

by John Haltiwanger

A new study from Pew Research Center shows there's a stark difference between women and men when it comes to believing sexism still exists.

The study found about 53 percent of Americans believe there are “still significant obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead than men."

But around 45 percent said “the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.”

When we break it down by gender, the difference of opinion on this issue is much greater.

A majority of women (63 percent) believe there continue to be major obstacles for women to get ahead.

Comparatively, a majority of men (56 percent) believe sexism is largely a thing of the past and don't think women have to overcome big obstacles in order to make it in today's world. Just 41 percent of men said these obstacles still exist.

There's also a big difference of opinion on this matter between Republicans and Democrats. Only around 35 percent of Republicans believe women still face major obstacles, compared to a strong majority of Democrats (68 percent).

Men continue to be the primary perpetrators of sexism. Historically, they are also the biggest oppressors of women.

If you don't believe me, let Louis CK put it into perspective for you.

But it seems a majority of American men feel as if they've gotten their act together.

Perhaps these men aren't aware women gained the right to vote in this country less than 100 years ago, and we still don't have nearly enough female leaders in terms of the proportion of the population women comprise.

Women make up roughly half of all Americans, yet Congress is only about 19 percent women. Even Afghanistan has more females in its legislature than the US -- about 28 percent -- and it's not exactly a country with a reputation for gender equality.

We also can't ignore that the gender pay gap persists, and women in the US continue to earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Not to mention, the US is the only developed country on the planet that doesn't offer paid maternity leave, which has a detrimental impact on the financial well-being of working mothers and families in general.

We also need to recognize how frequently women's reproductive rights are attacked in this country.

And it's particularly important we mention 35 percent of women across the globe have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives, according to UN Women.

So, American men, let me ask you:

Have you ever been cat-called on your way to work, or ever?

Do you consistently feel as if you're being judged by your physical appearance, instead of your intelligence and abilities?

Do you feel safe the majority of the time when you go out at night?

Do you feel as though your gender has frequently presented an obstacle to you in terms of achieving your dreams?

These are questions women in the US, and across the world, are faced with on a daily basis. Men simply do not face the same challenges.

Until more men recognize there is a problem, and that in many ways they are a part of it, nothing will change.