Have you ever called your daughter “princess” or, if you are a daughter, have you been called “princess” by anyone? If so, you are sexist scum.
Franzoi and Oswald reported their findings in an article called “Experiencing Sexism and Young Women’s Body Esteem.” The obscure 2012 article and underlying research are finally seeing the light of day thanks to a website called Medium.
For their study, the two professors surveyed 86 female freshmen and their parents. They asked the research subjects to evaluate their own views concerning various female attributes and roles. Additionally, they asked the students assess their own personal appearance — weight, physical fitness, sexual attractiveness and the like.
The professors became deeply concerned, according to Medium, when they discovered that the women who held themselves in higher esteem tended to have fathers who practiced “benevolent sexism.”
What is benevolent sexism? It’s hard to define, Franzoi and Oswald say, but they swear they know it when they see it. One example, the professors said, is when a father provides economic support for his daughter “because she is his ‘special little princess.’”
Other problems the professors identify include encouraging daughters to wear cosmetics, chivalrously holding doors open or making little girls feel “special” in any way.
The problem with such treatment, they claim, is that it somehow suggests to females that they cannot provide full financial support for themselves. Females also can’t have high esteem in the absence of such treatment.
“This pattern of sexist behavior restricts what the woman can and cannot do by setting up rewards and punishments when they engage in gender non-conforming behaviors,” Oswald said, according to Medium. “Truly loving behavior toward a partner does not have this contingency.”
It’s not clear if Oswald believes that daughters — or sons — are equal partners in the conventional father-child relationship.
“It is important that women look at the broader patterns of their experiences and if they realize the behaviors, while seemingly nice, put them in restricted roles then they need to work to challenge the perpetrators,” Oswald said, according to the website.
“The way you can separate benevolent sexism from polite behavior is if the person doesn’t single out only women as the recipients of their polite actions, but does it equally for both sexes,” the professor also declared.
“Sexism has evolved into a system where women are rewarded for engaging in the traditional feminine role and punished women who engage in nontraditional roles that may challenge the traditional gender relations and power balance.”