You might have already seen this classic 1975 clip of Helen Mirren shutting down a sexist jerk. Like, he actually asks if she can be a serious actress with big boobs. Like, for real. Like, yeah. (Said sexist jerk, it should be noted, is famed British talk show host Michael Parkinson – who, it should also be noted – is still on TV.) It’s fun to look at a clip like this and chortle at our past stupidity. But the thing about that is while some things have indeed improved, too much also remains the same. Actresses still face inane questions that would never get slung at their male counterparts. And women in general still face real obstacles at home, in work, in government, on the streets – you name it.
Which means 41 years after Helen Mirren had to deal with a sexist jerk belittling her abilities (and ogling her assets), female celebrities are still having to deal with the same sorts of bullshit. And these are women with power, money and fame. Pity the rest of us without.
But, don’t tell men (or Republicans) this. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, that sexism remains a big problem. The majority of men (56 percent to be exact) think “obstacles that made it harder for women to get ahead are largely gone.” Compare that the 34 percent of women who believe the same thing. So the headline here is: Horray, Ladies – Sexism Is Over, Says Men. And when you get political, 68 percent of Democrats believe “significant obstacles still make it harder for women to get ahead than men,” whereas only 35 percent Republicans believe the same thing. Le sign.
Sure, sexism is over. Vote this November, ladies. Because 240 years of non-sexism won’t solve itself.