word wrote:Perhaps it is impossible for you have considered this, but is it not possible that I am a man of a new generation, that has been brought up to identify and reject this patriarchal tendency that you claim exists? That I feel that women shouldn't be made to feel self-conscious of their skin conditions, and that I see beyond such conditions to the person beneath? That I was, in fact, encouraging the OP to be herself, be unapologetic, and find a sense of self-confidence that she seems to lack at the moment?
Interestingly enough, your argument is rather outdated. In America, the average pay for women is higher than the average pay for men (for women under 35). More women are enrolling in and completing university/post-secondary education programs than men. Within another decade or two, it seems quite probably that America will be a decidedly matriarchal society.
I actually did consider that you were a man of a new generation, which is why I specifically stated that I believed you did not mean the original quote in any discriminatory way. I also specifically said that I did not believe you were a mysoginist. But now that you have outwardly stated that you believe that calling out gender discrimination is outdated and that a matriarchy is right on the way, I can only think that you are either just going off of bravado or you are actually ignorant of the state of gender issues in many areas of the world (I will speak specifically of America, as that is where I am from) and yet you still think you have some authority on the issue by virtue of having the anecdotal evidence of not experiencing much discrimination yourself. Your citing that women now make more than men in the under 35 age is taken out of some pretty important context. That is only for specifically studied large urban centers to where college graduates naturally move to to find work. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers for the entire US population cites that women in the 20 - 25 range make 92% of men. It's strides ahead of where women were even ten years ago (shown clearly in the fact that women in the 35 - 44 year age range make roughly 75% of men) but it's still not equality. But hey, that's a moving process, and I actually agree with the idea that that wage gap will continue to become smaller. But the fact of the matter is that in America, women's median weekly earnings are 80% of men's. To suggest that just because things are in the process of changing concerning this one small area within the entire field of social gender issues that confronting gender discrimination in society is outdated is wildly ignorant.
But let's just say that women DID make equal to or even more than men. You are correct in saying that more American graduates from university are women. However, what jobs are these women going into? Unfortunately, statistics show that even with all these educated women out in the world, they are still egregiously underrepresented in administrative positions. In a study done by UC Davis on 400 corporations in California, they found that (and I will directly quote here) "women hold only 10.4% of the board seats and highest-paid executive officer positions. That’s one woman for every nine men in the top leadership roles at these 400 high-profile public companies." Only 13 of the 400 companies studied had a female CEO, and nearly half of them had no women at all in their boardrooms. So women certainly do not hold NEARLY as much power as men in companies.
Okay, what about the media? The media affects nearly all aspects of society and actually does relate to the original discussion about women's beauty standards. Women own just six percent of the commercial broadcast TV stations in the US, and six percent of all commercial broadcast radio stations. Only one in four communications/media jobs created between 1990 and 2005 were filled by women, and only 15 percent of top executives and 12 percent of boardmembers at the top communication companies listed by Forbes are women. And I'm quoting this directly from a study done by San Diego University, "women comprised just 15 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films in 2007." Furthermore, over 21 percent of films released in 2007 did not employ any women in those positions at all. Women are told how to act and dress and to be beautiful and flawless and everything that you also agreed is a problem, but they have almost NO control over those standards being shoved on them.
Alright, but now let's just PRETEND that women were more equally represented in these positions for a moment. Even then it wouldn't suddenly be a wonderful world of matriarchy as the fact of the matter remains that America is a largely conservative society that allows for the normalization of violence and actively discourages women from coming forward with issues related to their gender, something that your views on "its up to the woman not to be insulted, otherwise she herself is a sexist" display beautifully. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 18% of women in America have experienced a successful or attempted rape. The FBI estimates that only 30% or so of rapes are actually reported. According to the 2010 National Crime Victimization Survey, 169,370 sexual assaults occurred against females, and 15,020 against males. The US Bureau of Justice also did a study in 1994, where they found that half of all rapes occur in the third lowest income bracket, meaning that even if you DO allow for privileged women greater positions of power, you are not empowering women who do not have the means to get into university or find corporate jobs.
So yeah, dude, there's a patriarchy, and although I know all your neurons are firing right now about how these statistics are biased or how things will change in ten years so it's really not that much of a problem, completely separate from any of our original discussion of whether women overreact or not, it is stupidly irresponsible for you to be going around saying things that you clearly aren't educated about. If you want to say you don't care about women's rights, then cool. If you want to say you think the answer is for women to suck it up and not let discrimination get to them, then that's cool too, I guess. It is one way to look at it. But don't cite "women under 35 make more than men" and arguments about patriarchical norms being outdated as facts because people on this forum seem to look up to you as some cool forum big brother or whatever and they'll actually believe you.
Hmm? It seems to me that referring to my advice as "mansplaining" is a form of dismissal. I have no problem with discriminatory language; the English language is spoken all over the world and comes in a variety of forms and dialects, each unique and valid. The words used are less important than the underlying meaning, and the underlying meaning of my post was clearly a positive one. In my eyes, in fact, it was empowering. A gender stereotype? It would only, COULD only appear that way to someone who believed in those stereotypes. I personally do not think women are overemotional. You do, apparently. Truth be known, I actually think men have a tendency to react more emotionally than women in certain situations. I stand by my original statement, though, and was surprised to find that you obviously agree with me:
mcfly wrote:You're right, women DO care more about their looks. But they're told they have to. So when they worry about it, they're not really blowing it out of proportion are they? It seems to me that they worry just as much as they are taught to. It just rang familiar with my own experiences to be told by society to be beautiful and then told "like a lot of girls, you could be blowing a (whatever physical attribute) problem way out of proportion" when affected by it. That was my take on the negative response to your post.
Oh, I see. So, you agree with the first part of what I said. You just think that because women are taught to care about their looks, they should do so? So if a person is taught to be racially prejudiced, he or she is justified in being racially prejudiced, even after he or she has reached an adult age and is capable of making intelligent decisions in regards to such behavior? See what's happening here? I was trying to buck this horrible social norm that you're railing about, and yet, YOU ended up reinforcing it with this argument. Nice job. Are you sure YOU aren't actually a misogynist?
I DIDN'T refer to your advice as mansplaining. I even SAID I don't think it was mansplaining. All I did was clarify what mansplaining means and say that it's a word that exists only in the context of privileged classes in a gender-biased society. You say that the words used are less important than their meaning but you seem to completely reject the idea that words have far-reaching meaning. They have powerful meaning that can normalize discriminatory and hateful views. People internalize this stuff. I get that you're really cool and self-aware and you would never let anything anyone said get to you, and maybe you are the one example ever of someone not being indoctrinated by their culture and society (you're not). But we are, to some extent, products of our environments. If it's totally cool and fine to call weak or incompetent men feminine terms to compare them to a woman, then yeah, little kids are going to grow up assuming that women are weak. If in casual conversation women are referred to as being overemotional and if women are CONSTANTLY portrayed as being overemotional and oversensitive in TV, movies, and video games, then yeah people are going to assume that this is how the world works and women are overemotional. Your response to this seems to be that it's up to the woman to just get over this and not internalize it. But by doing that you take responsibility away from anyone who could actually say something inappropriate and sexist and put all of the responsibility on the person who I guess you think is weak enough to be hurt. Is it not a joint thing? Where women, like you rightly said, realize that they DON'T have to live by society's expectations and can be their own people, but also EVERYONE makes a concentrated effort not to perpetuate harmful stereotypes? That's what I support, and it's why I think discussions like this are important, because they make EVERYONE think critically about where they stand on these issues and how they want to change to make a society that they think is best.
I imagine that there are a lot of women in your life that are important to you, family members, friends, lovers, whatever. Do you not think that if they read what you just said, that it discourages them from being open and honest with you about how something or someone makes them feel as a woman? If they felt discriminated against in the work place, or felt that they were being undervalued because of their sex, would you want them to be open and honest about that or would you expect them to keep a stiff upper lip and get over it? I mean, not ONLY are you saying that recognizing something as a stereotype is the fault of the receiver, you're also saying that THAT MAKES THAT PERSON A SEXIST. Recognizing discrimination doesn't make someone a mysoginist, dude. And bringing up that it's a problem isn't reinforcing the problem, it's recognizing negative patterns in our lives and society. I know it's easier to just hope it really isn't that bad and LOL and AMIRITE GIRLSPLAINING but some people are trying to make a change and that's admirable. Again, I don't think that the one thing you said was ill-intended or some egregious example of SEXISM (!!!!!). But it's all on a spectrum of normalized stereotyping, so when does it become okay to bring up discrimination? Only when it becomes physical? Or never, because there is no patriarchy and all women's problems are directly comparable to if the same thing happened to a man?
Then don't people also have a right to say "you are being a ridiculously PC carebear and need to get off your high horse; it's obvious to anyone with a lick of sense that I didn't mean anything but the best, and you're just showing your true colors when you choose to see it in an offensive manner?"
Yeah, you do have the right to say that. Of course you do. You were criticized, not censored. I know it sucks to be questioned or accused of saying something sexist, but man, it's not about you. It's about real problems that continue to exist even outside of social justice forums and political rallies. If all you said was only concerning that one comment you made that I have consistently said I don't find much of a problem with, then I wouldn't bring it to this whole THE STATE OF SOCIETY and STATISTICS ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN level either, but you actually seem to believe that there isn't really a problem, and you deserve to know that there IS a problem. I know you don't care about this really and I'm not really typing it for you, although I would be happy if you would be willing to at least look it over. Having said that, if you think a matriarchy is a few decades down the line, then lord knows I am not going to be the one to change your mind. Just, if you're going to post a statistic, at least give it some context. If you don't know much about women's rights and the exact definition of certain feminist vocabulary, that's fine, but don't pretend that you do. Because people see this stuff, especially from someone who does normally give really great and solid advice about all sorts of stuff about JET, and they assume that "hey, I guess there really isn't so much of a problem, let's just give it ten years."
So don't change your views on these issues and keep on doing the bootstrapping thing and in general being a great resource for incoming JETs, as much as I know you could care less I support that. Be proud and strong in your dislike of PC wording and catering to other people. Just don't be ignorant.