On first glance, these quotes may seem unusual choices with which to introduce a review of research on sexism. On closer consideration, however, they emphasize two of the critical processes or features that we think underlie sexism and continued gender inequality in many nations. The first quote, by renowned science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin writing 40 years ago, highlights a key premise underlying contemporary theories of sexism. The premise is: for patriarchy and gender inequality to persist, women need to be provided with subjective benefits that keep them relatively happy and thus make it less likely for them to mobilize as a group and directly challenge the system (Jackman, 1994; Glick & Fiske, 1996). Coercion, in this sense, is the least efficient means of maintaining order because it should only become necessary when those who are disadvantaged are aware of system-wide inequalities, and mobilize to directly challenge it. In other words, if one wants to maintain inequality, far better never to let it get to the point where coercion is needed. Rather, set up a system that offers some subjective benefits, and provides mechanisms for offering appeasement for other inequalities or disadvantages without directly addressing them.