What is gender discrimination?
Gender discrimination is when someone is treated unequally or disadvantageously based on their gender but not necessarily in a sexual nature. This includes harassment/discrimination based on sex, gender identity, or gender expression. Gender discrimination is often rooted in preconceived, false societal and personal notions about what gender is, how gender "should" look, or how gender is performed. For example, many people inaccurately believe that someone's biological sex always determines their gender and therefore their attitudes and behaviors. However, it is never okay to act unfavorably towards someone else based on their gender or what you perceive their gender to be.
Gender discrimination is harmful by limiting the ways people express and identify themselves. It also isolates or marginalizes members of our community who do not conform to historical, limited, and traditional views of gender, especially those who have 2 or more minoritized identities such as Asian American women, American Indian and Alaska Native trans & non-binary people, women with disabilities, and Black trans women. Transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people are particularly subject to this form of discrimination due to cissexism which is the hate, fear, misunderstanding, and/or erasure of trans people. Women, including trans women, also frequently experience gender discrimination due to sexism, the prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination on the basis of sex or gender which leads to experiences of inequality or restrictions.
Examples of gender discrimination include but are not limited to:
- Misgendering or mispronouning (purposefully using the wrong gender identity or pronouns to address someone)
- Having limited access to all-gender restrooms
- Disfavoring someone based on gender
- Using crude and harmful language based on their gender or gender expression
- Intimidating someone based on their gender
Resources to report gender discrimination or build community
Gender discrimination that is severe or pervasive creating a hostile environment is against several federal and state laws and Stanford's policies: California state laws for housing/employment and education, Stanford's Acts of Intolerance, and Stanford's Nondiscrimination Policy. You can learn more about filing a report by contacting the SHARE Title IX Office or another respective office.
See more about the policies and reporting processes here: Student Options for Addressing Misgendering, Transphobia, Gender Identity Discrimination.
You can also seek support from campus resources such as SHARE, Queer Student Resources (QSR), Weiland Health Initiative, or the Women's Community Center (WCC) if you have questions about processes, want support, or are seeking community. Find even more communities here: https://queer.stanford.edu/communities.
Gender Expansive Support at Stanford website: transgendersupport.stanford.edu
- Bay Area Community Resources
- National Resources
- Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology*
- Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination*
- This Bridge Called My Back, Fourth Edition: Writings by Radical Women of Color
- Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community*
- Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement*
*Books that you can borrow from SHARE