For IRIO students in 2022, identifying discrimination in politics should be easy, right? Well, maybe that is not the case. Social psychologists have found a type of sexism that is impactful, common, and hard to identify: benevolent sexism (BS). 

Like all types of sexism, BS harms people by emphasizing gender inequality. Benevolent sexism is a subtle form of sexism and often comes across as positive, chivalrous behavior. It is expressed by putting women on a pedestal, which emphasizes the role of men to protect and provide for women. However, this form of love and protection is only granted if women comply to traditional gender roles. 

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