Objectified Hollywood women


Cis, gender, empowerment: these words are often used in the sexism debate. But what exactly do they mean? An overview of important feminist and gender-theoretical terms:

#MeToo: two words that thousands of women (and men) used to draw attention to their experiences of sexual abuse. Two words that could be read everywhere: on social networks, in the headlines, in the tweets of well-known Hollywood actresses and politicians. They showed the extent of the abuse of power in our society - and sparked a debate about sexism, a debate that is not yet over. As long as there are grievances in terms of equality, there is also a need to speak. Addressing things, giving them a name - that is sometimes the first step, as the #MeToo movement has shown.

Since the feminism and gender discourse is characterized by many neologisms and new English-language terms, especially online, we have created a glossary with important definitions. With this in mind: let's talk about sexism, where and in what forms it occurs and, above all, how we can fight it - men and women together.

Lexicon of Feminism

Bechdel test

The Bechdel test examines the stereotyping of women in films. Only if the following three questions can be answered with yes does the film have independent female characters and thus pass the test:

1. Are there two roles for women?

2. Are they talking to each other?

3. Are you talking about anything other than a man?

In 2014, only four of the nine nominated feature films were able to pass the Bechdel test in the “Best Film” category at the Oscars, while 17 out of 20 films fell through the grid at the Berlinale, as reported by Deutschlandradio Kultur at the time. The European film funding fund Eurimages has already implemented the test in the film funding criteria.

Cat calling

The following behavior is described as cat calling: A man whistles after a woman in public, makes undesirable (often sexual) comments about her body or even touches her. Cat calling is often seen as a form of sexual harassment. On her Instagram account @dearcatcallers, the Dutchwoman Noa Jansma posts selfies with the men who yell suggestive comments on the street. With this she wants to create awareness for the objectification of women in everyday life and to reverse the power relations in the situation of “cat calling”.


The adjective cis describes people whose own gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth. The appropriate noun is cisgender. Trans is the antonym of Cis and means: there is a contradiction between the self-felt gender and the gender assigned at birth.

Consent Culture

A consent culture is a culture in which mutual consent is the basis of sexual acts and generally of all interpersonal interactions. “Consent” is not only defined as the absence of a no, but also as a clear yes that is expressed of one's own volition. In a consent culture there is respect for the absolute necessity of physical autonomy.


Empowerment describes encouraging processes of self-empowerment through which disadvantaged groups become aware of their own strengths, develop their abilities and learn to use them to lead a self-determined lifestyle.

Quota for women

The women's quota is a guideline that defines how many positions or bodies within a company or organization must be filled by women. There are many different types of quotas: quotas with or without qualification, legally or economically binding quotas or quotas that are only used as a guide.


In scientific usage, gender refers to the social sex: Which characteristics are assigned to a person in a culture on the basis of their gender? What roles, norms and expectations are associated with this? It is to be differentiated from the biological sex (the English sex) and can differ from this.

Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap describes the difference between the wage amounts that men and women receive for the same work. In 2016, women's average gross hourly earnings were 21 percent lower than that of men.

Girl power

Girlpower is a movement that promotes a high level of self-confidence in young women. Girls should support one another far from being competitive.


Hepeating describes the phenomenon when a woman's statement is ignored but later suddenly heard when a man repeats it.


Intersectionality is a sociological concept that understands identity as a multi-layered construct. The term was originally coined by black feminists in the USA: They used it to express that black women have specific experiences of discrimination that are different from those of white women. They suffered from multiple oppression, both from sexist and racist structures. Intersectionality is important to understand that there can also be privileged subgroups within a disadvantaged group. White, straight women often have privileges (see privileges) that black, disabled or queer women do not have.


Intersexuality describes people who genetically, anatomically or hormonally cannot be clearly assigned to the female or male biological sex.


Lookism describes the stereotyping or discrimination of a person based on their appearance. It is the assumption that appearance is an indicator of a person's worth.

Paint gauze

The Male Gaze is an active, masculine, controlling gaze. The term originally comes from film theory.


Men explain the world to women, even if the woman knows more about it. In doing so, they assume an authority over women that is not theirs in terms of content. The phenomenon is often associated with ignoring arguments and the habit of interrupting women.


Non-binary is a collective term for many different gender identities. The designation of identity contradicts the assumption that there are only two genders, namely male and female. This also goes hand in hand with the rejection of traditional gender roles and stereotypes. People who describe themselves as non-binary reject a gender dichotomy.


Patriarchy describes a system that is created, controlled and represented by men. In contrast to this, in matriarchy women are given the most important position in the state and in the family.

Post feminism

Post-feminism deconstructs feminism. It states that both social and biological gender are social constructs and should therefore be rejected as classification units. Post-feminism sees feminism as superfluous.


A privilege is an advantage that a particular group receives due to social influences. Men have some privileges that women do not have, but middle-class women are also privileged over poorer women.

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Slut shaming

Slut Shaming describes the phenomenon in which women are attacked or accused for their sexuality, but also for their demeanor or clothing. Slut shaming often goes hand in hand with victim blaming. Here the victim of sexual abuse is accused of the offense himself. The reasons given are, for example, incorrect clothing or behavior.