These attitudes about women can be seen played out in the depiction of mental illness in pop culture. A woman who is intent and single minded, who screams and yells, is often meant to be viewed as “crazy” by viewers, even as a male character with the same traits may well be a hero. Women who resist abuse are likewise framed as mentally ill, which reinforces larger social attitudes about mental illness and women, that women who speak up and do not tolerate oppression are simply insane, and thus can be dismissed and ignored.
“We’re All Mad Here: Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in Pop Culture” by s.e.smith at bitch magazine
additionally i think it is important to consider the way women who are actually mentally ill are treated in this culture - their legitimate illness/trauma is often assigned less value or legitimacy because they are women. often mental illness/depression/trauma/PTSD is written off as something women should “get over” and that they haven’t actually experienced anything in their lives that would warrant that level of distress. the fact that women are “overly emotional” can play into their particular mental state as being illegitimate or less serious that it truly is. i’m not saying that there aren’t stigmas attacked to all mental illnesses or that men with mental illness don’t have to put up with terrible assumptions and stereotyping (they do). men need to deal with being perceived as weak in a patriarchal society that doesn’t allow it, however, i feel there are certain tropes that demonstrate how at times the mental illness of men is legitimized over that of women ie the (male)soldier returning from battle whose trauma is often recognized (though perhaps often misunderstood) as deserving and legitimate after going to war as opposed to a (female)rape victim who just needs to get over it or a mother with postpartum depression who is seen as “unnatural” and a “bad mother.” i think the history of society pinning women as “hysterical” can contribute to women’s mental illness being seen as typical or expected versus a man’s illness which could be seen as tragic (i certainly don’t think that any kind of disorder or neurological variance is inherently tragic but i think that is often a word that is associated with some mental illnesses in our culture). i’m no expert on mental illnesses and i realize men are very much subjected to the “suck it up, don’t talk about” treatment when it comes to any kind of variance in mental state or status within our culture and that is extremely unfair, but i’ve just noticed over the years that an individual’s femaleness or perceived femininity can and is often used against them to downplay or dismiss their very legitimate, actual illnesses or disorders. i think often there is a gendered way in which mental illness is addressed and viewed in this culture which certainly needs to challenged as part of the bigger project of dismantling stigmas, societal intolerances, and stereotypes surrounding mental illness.
There is nothing inherently sexist about Sex Work.
What is sexist is how we treat our Sex Workers. Sex work in itself is not the issue, the issue is how we choose to view Sex Work and those who are in the industry with very little respect or civil rights.