Social Question

Unbroken's avatar

How does sexism in our culture affect you?

Asked by Unbroken (10274 points ) November 15th, 2012

This was inspired by @RandomMrdan.
I feel like sexism is still huge in our world today. Do you agree? How can we solve this problem?

It is hard to escape the pull and roles that are ingrained in us. Often we embrace them or rebel. Or the topic just becomes subject to humor. Where do draw the line between gender differences and inequality issues?

Is there a more effective way to approach sexism?

Here http://www.jeankilbourne.com/videos/ is a pretty good documentary of the source to sexism, I am talking about, this leans toward the female bias, I tried to find a male video similar in depth and scope, I have seen one in the past so it’s out there men, maybe someone else can find it.

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60 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Females get mad when I don’t try and get into their pants.

YARNLADY's avatar

I find it rather sad. Children are categorized from birth, and told what they can like and can’t like based on false assumptions.

Mariah's avatar

I’m happy to say that even though I go to a college with a 3:1 male:female ratio, I don’t experience sexism in my day-to-day life. I feel I am taken seriously in my chosen field. I guess when you go to a tech school it is kind of assumed you can do math, so the “girls can’t do math” stereotype fizzles and dies.

But there are some small things. In group work, which we do a lot of, it is often the case that a male team member will “take charge.” I see more confidence from men with hands-on work in the lab. The women are often more timid and more likely to defer to others on their ideas. I doubt this is by nature; I feel this happens more because we feel others might perceive us as being out of our element (which is either totally untrue, or true but only because we were raised doing more typically feminine hobbies) which hurts our confidence. I perceive that men get more ashamed when a robot built by ladies beats up their robot than if that robot had been built by guys.

The data regarding the different majors here is positively intriguing. There are actually more female biology majors than there are male bio majors, in a school with three times as many guys than ladies. Why is bio the one science that is female dominated? I can’t help but wonder if it’s because it’s so light on math. It makes me really sad, I think women may be getting intimidated by math solely because of that stupid stereotype that women can’t do math. I tutor differential equations and have about an equal number of ladies and guys coming to me for help, maybe slightly more women actually, again, at a school with three times as many guys as girls.

My major in particular is the second most skewed after robotics engineering. The RBE major is 11:1 M:F. Mine is 7:1. I had an interview recently with a software engineering company and got a tour of the building. I was disheartened to find that literally the only woman I saw the entire time was their receptionist.

I go to the campus gym and lift weights and every single other person lifting weights is a dude. The girls are all running on the treadmills. That’s not a big deal or anything, but it kind of shows how girls feel they need to lose weight while guys feel they need to bulk up. I find that a little sexist for both sexes, these expectations about our bodies.

It’s way better here than in high school though! In high school I was the only girl in the technology club, and when I had the gall to try and participate in activities where I was apparently unwelcome, like junkyard wars (an engineering competition) I got told by my teammate to go make him a sandwich. Ouch. Fuck that guy.

Aside from my personal experience, the political opinions regarding birth control, abortion, and rape coming from the far right these days scare the shit out of me.

Bellatrix's avatar

Our Prime Minister recently gave a speech in Parliament about sexism and mysogyny and the double standards women in political or management positions still face from some (not all) quarters. I find it offensive when I see women in leading or prominent roles being criticised because of their hairstyle, their clothing and similar trivialities. I regularly see news stories criticising Gillard for her fashion sense or see discussions of Hilary Clinton’s hair style choices. These are both talented politicians. Whether we agree with their politics or not, they should be judged for their achievements not their looks.

I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as their brother or any other man. I remember as a young woman being offered very limited options in terms of a potential career. The assumption being I would just be in a job until I found a man to marry and have children to. I hope my daughters have the ability to make choices about their future. Whether they want to work at home or out of it. And if they work outside the home, I hope they will have the same opportunities as their male peers. This still doesn’t happen in many workplaces. I’m now lucky enough to work for an organisation that is regularly cited as an employer with a high percentage of women employees, many of whom are in leading roles. I have female superiors in mentoring roles and I am thankful for this.

Coloma's avatar

I don’t feel effected by sexism, but…I am starting to feel a bit of a concern for agism and being less ” marketable” as a 50 something year old now, employment wise, not sexually. lol
I think there are plenty of “isms” to choose from and one doesn’t trump another in it’s potential impact.

JLeslie's avatar

The only time I feel very effected by sexism is what a man comes to fix my cable and tells me some bullshit theory to why something is not working. Either he thinks because I am a women he can lie, or he really is that stupid that he believes what he says.

Growing up I felt I could do anything I wanted, not limited by my sex. My parents raised me that way and in school there did not appear to be a male bias. I was advanced in math and science growing up and I never felt like a teacher treated me differently in those classes. In fact some of the time some of the teachers were female.

JenniferP's avatar

I don’t have a problem if the guy wears the pants in the family as long as he treats me with respect. I believe in the headship principle in the Bible.

jonsblond's avatar

It really doesn’t effect me and I don’t think it’s as bad as it used to be (but then I’m not climbing the corporate ladder, so I don’t have that experience to base my opinion). I do think it is getting better. We have more girls playing sports that only boys were allowed to play. Women can be whatever they want to be, even if they have to fight for it, they don’t need to fight as hard as they did decades ago. Most men don’t expect their wife to stay home all day. In fact, many men find it odd to do so these days. More women are in politics. Go Hillary 2016!

What can we do to stop it? Be good examples for our children. Let them try whatever it is their heart desires and don’t take no for an answer if anyone tries to stop you.

JLeslie's avatar

@JenniferP Funny, it did not even occur to me to consider my marriage when I read the question.

wundayatta's avatar

I have a daughter. She thinks she doesn’t like math or science, even though she does very well in those classes when she has a good teacher. Sometimes I don’t know what to think. Why can’t my wife dispose of dead mice we have trapped? My daughter liked seeing the mice when she was a kid, but now she doesn’t want to go anywhere near them.

What happens when you grow boobs? Do your mothers teach you to be afraid of men after that? Is that really the best thing to do? My wife won’t go out alone at night. Neither will my daughter. My son probably will. Is this just being sensible? Or is it sexism designed to keep women trapped in the home? Is the world men’s place, and home women’s?

And all this business about women waiting for men to ask them out, and men having to do the asking. It makes me feel like we’re just sex machines. The game is built into us. Women love to be coy and desired and not have to anything or take risks or pay. They can expect men to do all the imaginative stuff, and if men are too stupid, the women can hint them into doing the right thing.

But in the end, women accept what men give them. Men are the breadwinners, still. Women like that, in general. Women like confident men, and don’t like unconfident men. They expect men to take charge. But you can’t do that and yet still expect to be allowed to take charge at work. It doesn’t work that way. Either you are equal all the way around, or you aren’t equal. You can’t pick and choose. You can try, but it won’t work.

And yet I know women feel like they have to take on different roles at different times. They can be boss at work, and then mother, and then coquette in the bedroom. Blech! Why would you want to go crazy like that?

I want women to be equal, in principle, all the time. Obviously people have different strengths, and male or female, that seems a perfectly reasonable way to differentiate. But with brains, while individuals have different abilities, men and women don’t, on average. So lets pick the best person for the job. With dating, it seems like both sexes should take equal responsibility for making thing happen. With sex, it is stupid to expect different behaviors from different sexes. We should judge based on how experienced a person is.

Oh I could go on and on, but I think sexism is alive and well, and I despair that it will ever go away. It seems like women like certain perks they get, and are willing to put up with a little condescension since that’s what happens when you accept the perks. I’ll stop here.

gailcalled's avatar

I have either been lucky or oblivious. In the world that I have inhabited, I have not run across sexism.

The guy who pumps my septic system didn’t listen to me and and thus sank his heavy truck in my wet fields. But that was a one-off.

gailcalled's avatar

At the beginning of my senior year in high school, 30 of us entered the Intro to Calculus advanced math class. We were an equal number of boys and girls; no one questioned that. It all seemed very reasonable.

And then I attended a women’s college where the sky was the limit.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled A friend of mine was just telling me at dinner that when she went to her school principal to see about graduating early so she could start college sooner he told her only pregnant girls and 17 year old boys already accepted to college could fast track and graduate early. This was in Alabama 40 years ago. She has a PhD in a science field. Thank goodness her idiotic secondary school didn’t stifle her pursuit of education.

rojo's avatar

As a guy, sexism has not been a big issue in my life except with the women in my life.
With my daughter we pounded in our perception that females were just a capable as males in anything they did.
The sad thing is that, a generation later, I still have to do the same thing with my granddaughter. Fortunately, I am just backing up my daughter who is doing the same thing with her daughter.

Haleth's avatar

@wundayatta My wife won’t go out alone at night. Neither will my daughter. My son probably will. Is this just being sensible? Or is it sexism designed to keep women trapped in the home? Is the world men’s place, and home women’s?

Going out alone at night is a very real hazard if you’re a woman. It’s a by-product of sexism that society tells us is a sensible safety precaution. If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to be targeted.

Women are taught how to take safety precautions from an early age, but there’s very little focus on changing mens’ thoughts and behaviors to keep them from raping. Most of the talk about rape prevention focuses on things women can do- walking in groups, wearing conservative clothing, not drinking or not leaving your drink unattended.

Rape isn’t some random force of nature. It’s an intentional act done by a person. We treat it like being stuck by lightening, when it’s really like being hit by a car. Some people might think we can’t change male behaviors, and that there will always be rapists out there. But how will we know if we never even try?

The way this affects me personally is that I never feel totally safe or comfortable when I’m alone at night. In familiar places, I might feel safer or more comfortable, but it’s a relative thing. I plan trips ahead of time to avoid being alone in dark, empty places.

Examples are parking in a well-lit spot that’s near my destination; calling a friend to check in; traveling in groups when possible; sticking to crowded, well-lit places; getting gas during the day; always keeping my cell phone with me; watching passerby for strange behavior; and planning routes ahead of time so I can travel quickly.

The sad thing is, if you fail to do any of these things and you get raped, you will probably be blamed for it in some way.

I also have friends who were raped. One was in sixth grade when she skipped school with a boy in our class, who forced her to perform oral sex on him. Another was raped by her brother when she was a teenager. The third was roofied at a party and raped while she was unconscious. There were plenty of people there, but the guy was their friend. In most cases, it’s not a stranger in a dark alley; it’s someone you know. We’re taught to fear the dark alley, and that if someone you know rapes you, you should have acted differently.

The precautions I take aren’t behaviors I picked up on my own; they are things that were taught to me by parents, teachers, and other women. So far, being cautious has kept me safe. But it makes me angry that this fear has been ingrained in me from an early age, while men aren’t being taught the opposite side of the equation. If we’re going to teach women to be careful and afraid, we need to teach men about empathy and respect.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It cuts both ways. Try being a guy and stop to help a woman in trouble. I’ve felt the fear of me coming off in waves. It happens about half of the times I’ve helped someone out. The last time a woman was trying to change a flat tire. If you’ve tried it you know what a bitch it is with that little lug wrench. I have a tough time with it. I changed her tire and she couldn’t wait to get away from me. It doesn’t feel great.

Coloma's avatar

@Haleth I don’t like driving at night myself, but, it has nothing to do with fear of crime or assault where I live. It does have to do with all the scary demon deer that want to kill you by leaping across the road in your headlights and the drunk redneck bubbas on these roads. lol
Parking garages in the city with potential rapists lurking have nothing on the killer deer and the 100 pak of Coors Lite a night types in their monster trucks up here.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe You do realize women are just afraid right? It isn’t some sort of sexism thing where the woman doesn’t want to be treated like she can’t do it herself.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie You just made my point. She couldn’t do it herself. I walked a ways up the sidewalk watching her try. But a guy offering to help scared her. Can you change a tire with that wrench?
Here’s a little tip too. Put the wrench on and stomp on it with your foot. It works.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe So, what exactly is the point? That men are prejudged as dangerous?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie No. The point is don’t judge us as dangerous because we’re male. Oh, I’m rethinking my point. We’re bigger, stronger (usually). let me chew on that one for a bit.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, think about. Bigger, stronger, and statistically more likely to be dangerous. The statistic matters also, because the bigger stronger part is what makes you all great to change a tire or lift my carry-on into the overhead compartment. I am one of those women who think men should offer to help carry, lift, push in a chair, etc.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie You have a point. I go into those things thinking she’s not going to hurt me. So what would be a good way to handle it when I sense someone is scared of me?

josie's avatar

I am a white male. Like racism, sexism can not be directed at me. It can only be committed by me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I think women can hurt me too actually. Now that you make me think about my answer more. If it is a situation along the side of a road I’m nervous it is a trap.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie I’m careful. I won’t stop with my g/f in the car. I’ve taken her home and gone back to help someone. It’s worked out ok so far.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Just to clarify, I think the majority of people are not trying to hurt anyone.

Unbroken's avatar

Hmm. This is actually not going where I thought it would go with preceptions of media, need to be skinny and poreless and sex objects.

I mean the rape issue is important yes. @Adirondackwannabe We are told that since men haven’t been taught self control themselves it is better to be precautious and take measures to make sure women minimize risk. Always considering it. I don’t have the stats on me right now but I think between 70 to 80% of women in my state have been subjected to physical sexual abuse of some nature.

And I know how to change a tire myself, though I can appreciate any one who offers.

Looking back at the reason this conversation got directed this way is because I posted the wrong link. I will have to fix that later.

I enjoyed the link posted by @Bellatrix.

JLeslie's avatar

@rosehips I was not taught men cannot control themselves. I was taught there are some bad men.

deni's avatar

Even though I am level headed, grew up with older brothers and as a tomboy, I have still struggled to not be affected by the disgustingly false way the media portrays women. I feel it is only getting worse. It’s gotten to the point where I look at an ad and can see all the photoshop that went into it. That is horrible to me. Thankfully at this point, I am really comfortable with myself, I think I’m awesome which is half the battle but I also find myself attractive. I no longer want to look like these fake skinny bitches in all the ads you see. I think the fashion industry is laughable. But, it is very understandable how women are so easily made to feel inadequate, not skinny enough, like their skin isn’t perfect enough, their hair isn’t shiny enough, whatever. Fuck that! I don’t know why it’s even legal! I’m glad I’m over it.

I guess all in all I haven’t experienced much sexism, though I’m not sure what you’d call the above matters that I mentioned. If that’s sexism, then yes, it’s everywhere, I just don’t let it affect me anymore.

Unbroken's avatar

I want to recall my earlier statement. It was ill thought out.
@Adirondackwannabe I think it’s great that you help women that need it or anyone for that matter. It is too bad you find your good deed so ill thought of. If a women is going to have that type of behavior she needs to learn for herself or needs a self defense class as well as road side insurance. I have been grateful to men in the past for changing my tire when it was 40 below outside. However if some one needs a ride or something of that nature especially if it’s bad weather conditions I do try to help out.

@Mariah very thankful for you to share your experience. I remember a couple years ago going through some transcripts of elementary grades and my math scores were not only the highest but had the brightest commentary. At some point that changed I thought I was terrible at math and did my best to avoid it.

To all the women who have not been affected directly or grown up in environment and empowered, I am very glad to hear that. What do you believe contributes to that?

At the conservative happy in their “traditional roles” I am certainly glad you are happy. But I wonder what would happen if your husband left you or had an accident or was died? What would happen to your family? Would you have to consider remarrying for practicality sake? I know that was done a lot in the past. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that but at the same time with child molestor’s complex dynamics and just finding a person you mesh well with, I would prefer to have a choice in the matter, personally.

@Coloma there certainly is a lot ism’s. I am young still but I have faced some of the issues and understand a lot of worries about ageism. Boomsday is a good satire on the subject, but I found my older friends unwilling to read it. I might not have read in their shoes too. Medicare has definitely changed in the past couple years, and that is just some of the health issues. I am not saying the other isms aren’t important, I am just saying this is probably the one I have been facing the longest and I still feel it a worthy cause even though there are many other good causes.

@wundayatta it is sad that we women are equally as guilty about weakening women. I think there is a solution. One possibilty is awareness.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe After reading @rosehips I feel like I should add the women are very thankful, they are just nervous and unsure the whole time. I have writeen a few times about how a man helped me one day when my car battery died. I came out of a very bad doctor’s appointment in a part of Miami I was unfamiliar with and my car would not start. He tried to jump it, then took the battery out, drove me to a nearby sears, we tested the battery, then bought a new one, he drove me back to my car and put it in. He would not take any money, I wish he would have. I was pretty damn nervous getting into his van with him, rule number one, never get into a vehicle with a stranger, risk getting shot before getting into the vehicle. But, there I was doing it, because the windows were wide open and the van half broken down, and it was a really really shitty day. It was a pay it forward moment, he was incredibly generous and I will never forget it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie I’ll take that into account. I never get that reaction with men when I stop. Would it help if I showed them some ID?

ucme's avatar

If I stare at a nice pair of tits on a woman when the wife is around, I get a swift kick in the nuts!!
The random stranger just smiles & nods :¬(

Bellatrix's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe unfortunately the good guys don’t come with a tattoo stamped on their foreheads that say ‘Not Dangerous’ and the bad guys look just the same as the good guys.

In the last three months, a woman was abducted, raped and murdered while walking a kilometer between the bar she went to with mates after work and her home. She was apparently a warm, friendly and trusting woman. Last week I read a news story about a woman who was raped after she stopped to help a man who was holding a baby in a blanket and had broken down. Unfortunately he didn’t have a baby. The blanket was a ruse to make her think he was carrying a child. He left her bleeding and lying a cross a green ant nest. She is still undergoing surgery to repair the damage he caused to her internally. She told her story to the newspaper to remind women that they can’t stop and be good samaritans because it really isn’t safe. This week two women have gone missing in Melbourne. No trace yet. As to trusting men, the reality is the majority of assaults women will experience will be carried out by men they know and think they can trust.

It really isn’t about you being a nice guy and being judged. It’s about the potential for even the guy who looks nice to be a complete and utter arsehole. We can’t tell who he is. So we have to be cautious of all males until they prove themselves safe. If that’s sexism – I’m sorry about that. I would say it’s sexist that we have to even consider men might treat us so badly. It really doesn’t cut both ways and until you can tell us how we can determine whether you are there to help us fix our car or to hit us over the head with the wrench… let’s get our priorities straight. I should also say that I don’t walk around looking at all men as potential attackers, but I am cautious about where I walk and who I talk to. It’s called a survival mechanism.

Shippy's avatar

I’m going to give this answer today, I might change my mind tomorrow. Simply because I never let sexism get in my way. So it’s never pissed me off. Here in my country, you need to be a certain age and color and sex to get anywhere. But it never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do.

But, and here is the ‘cat amongst the pigeons statement’. I think men have been so stripped of any identity by Feminism that I actually wonder if there are any men left at all.

The only men I know come from the ‘old days’. They just seemed more capable, had jobs, worked for a living and were stronger than they are today. Today I can’t tell the difference between men and women. And of course gender bashers would love that. But to me, ugh! I want a man. A real man.

hearkat's avatar

I am fairly sure that I would be higher paid if I were a male. I am also confident that the attitudes in the workplace would be different if I were male.

Unbroken's avatar

@Shippy

So what is a real man to you? I desire a person who has their shit together, I like men who also feel free to express their emotions other then anger under the appropriate circumstances. I like my door being opened, I also like opening a door. I like being treated to a meal but it is fun to treat a male to meal as well. It’s a gift.

I am wondering if you equate manliness with some one who knows how to balance a budget to make responisble decisions and know how to problem solve or is there some other criteria like stature or someone in the ads buff and handsome, tough, invincible?

I mean I don’t disagree with you and I certainly wasn’t trying to gender bash, I think our sexual orientation has been played up and exaggerated fashion in media, ads and movies. I don’t think either gender is capable of healthily achieving this role, I am more focused on the feminine, because I am more aware of those problems. Image issues, gender profiling the mixed messages of empowerment/objectification. In ads where we are so butchered “Cindy Crawford wishes she looked like Cindy Crawford” or we become cars and beer bottles.

jonsblond's avatar

@rosehips At the conservative happy in their “traditional roles” My husband and I don’t think of our roles as conservative at all. We believe one of us should be home to care for our children. They are our children and our responsibility. We also don’t have family or friends in the area that can take care of our daughter during the summer, school holidays and breaks or when she is ill. If we were both working, one of us would have to miss work and it would most likely be an unpaid day. Any extra money I would make working is just not worth it to us right now. Our daughter’s well being is more important. This is a smart choice for our family. Is this conservative?

But I wonder what would happen if your husband left you or had an accident or was died? What would happen to your family? I would go back to work. I’ve done it before. I do have a college degree and experience as a travel agent and work in hotels. It would be difficult though. As I said before, I don’t have family or friends in the area to watch my daughter when she is not in school. I just might have to find myself a man to stay home to look after my daughter when I need it. I’m joking :)

Would you have to consider remarrying for practicality sake? No. I didn’t and wouldn’t marry for money or for the chance to be home to take care of my family. Staying home for the time being was a choice we made together as a couple. I wouldn’t want a replacement husband if I found myself alone.

To all the women who have not been affected directly or grown up in environment and empowered, I am very glad to hear that. What do you believe contributes to that? I wonder this myself, especially after @wundayatta answered. I have no problem taking care of mice in our home and my daughter enjoys math and science. She can also hook a worm without being squeamish. Why do my daughter and I differ from his wife and daughter? Good question.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Bellatrix Thanks. I’ll factor that in next time. I don’t consider myself at all threatening, but I guess I’m big enough to make someone nervous. Oh and I’m a big pussycat. :)

Shippy's avatar

@rosehips I know I sound like a retard in today’s ‘progressive?’ society. But men that held down jobs, took responsibility for their kids, their families. Knew how to wire a kettle and fix the washing machine. Were strong, both emotionally and physically. Most of my female friends could take down a guy with one punch. So many ‘men’ today, live at home, I don’t mean to sound patronizing or degrading because I get told society is different now. But life was also expensive when I was young. Call me an ass if you will, but I feel happier with gender roles. I have also studied Sociology by the way up to Majors. So I realize how my answer sounds. But when you think about it, without all the old fashioned qualities a man used to have (and got ripped away from him) what do we need men for now?

Unbroken's avatar

GA @Bellatrix,
Lol @Adirondackwannabe
@jonsblond Sounds like it works for you, I am glad to hear that, is sounds as if you have a healthy balance. And while you have an idea of where to start without blondsjon, I am by no means wishing you that lifestyle. I was referring to a codependancy where one member of the team is not functional without the other, which sadly does exist.

As to @wundayatta wife and daughter, I am guessing it’s a matter of rearing. Of societal influences. Schools, friends and family are key.

@josie and rojo. Too funny, so coincidence that your avatar looks like marlboro man, josie?

@Shippy I am not criticisizing you at all. And today’s progressive society needs tons of work. I am not trying to imply that we should move toward unisexness. I guess I am trying to figure out where drawing the line is ok. Especially when it comes to outside influences. I think it is great when a man can provide for his family, also great when a woman can help. I think we all like confident people. Strong emotionally and physically doesn’t always mean never capable of showing emotion, just the ability to be rational when shit is going down, which is not blowing up or getting overly angry. Being physically strong looks different on diferent body types and the line of work they are in.

But I think women need to be able to do these things too. And want to.

As a woman who has played the role of a sugar momma in the past, taught men how to run a washing machine, how to pay bills, etc there is nothing more irritating then an adult who can’t take of himself. There is little or no excuse. But neither am I really crazy about the women living at home when they are 30. Some one mentioned confidence in males, well really men like confident females too.

So if I want there to be a difference in the sexes and gender roles how come all the things you mentioned I think a woman has just as much responsibility to perform? I guess I am trying to figure that out myself. I would begin to say because those traits aren’t gender oriented, but what other criteria should we use?

@Haleth I didn’t mean to offend you, I think you brought up a very valid point on the rape issue. I was by no means belittling that experience. It is life changing and removes trust, but I also think that it is a learning experience, that women have the ability to be stronger after the fact. So here’s to all the strong women who didn’t break under stress, who got stripped of power only to reclaim it and then some.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@rosehips Thanks for asking this. I got an education. I am a pussycat. I’d never hurt anyone unless they tried to hurt me or my loved ones. But I’ve also noticed some women get out of my way in a hurry. I’ll try to be easier on them in the future. I kind of learned some reverse sexism from your question.

Unbroken's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe There is no reverse sexism, like there is no reverse racism. Reverse implies a 180. It is all sexism. Yes women and men can be sexist towards men.

Please share your insight, I was hoping to hear from the men on this topic as well.

I do apologize at everyone. This was a poorly thought out question, I did not properly narrow down or define the question. There are so many avenues this topic can go down. I think I had couldn’t narrow it down for myself.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I understand your question was more about the media now and how women are portrayed. But I am using it as reverse sexism. I’ll be much more gentle and easy going in the future. I know I can be intimidating so I’ll tone it down.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sexism is rampant, especially in Australia. I love this country but it seems to me to be years behind in the area of equality for women. There is lots of talk, but the bottom line is not good.
But the problem does not lie with the men alone. How can one woman be taken seriously when another is taking her clothes off in a bar and doing the shimmy with a pole and others are offering themselves (for a price) as receptacles for males who apparently have a physical need that is greater than the mental one of knowing they may be creating a child. Therefore I as a petite female do often feel ill at ease in this world. I don’t like when I am walking down the street and a group of males approach. I won’t cross the street but I am very aware. I often think carrying a gun might not be a bad idea. And if I had a female child I would make sure she knows self defense.

I don’t know, I look at the world and wonder wtf. Females in bikinis that leave very little to the imagination and guys in board shorts to their knees, why is this? Why do women want to parade around like that. But then guys are the ones who can’t wait to drop their drawers at a party or streak at a game.

But I am with @jonsblond the world is changing albeit slowly, thanks to birth control and tampons women can be equal, they just don’t always want to work for it, and that is the point I guess, women do still have to work for it.

Shippy's avatar

@rosehips I know you are not criticizing me no worries! It’s a great question. You have some great ones coming through and loving them. They make me think. As I said, I change my mind each day regards certain issues. I have looked after myself my entire adult life, maybe I am seeking paradise? A man that does it all! My ex husband is a bit like that, he continues to be a very ‘strong type of husband’ to his current wives!!

I am certainly aware of sexism of course. But I was too strong myself to let it get in the way. For example here in South Africa if you are a white male, over 35 finding a job is harder than walking to the moon via mars. The same for a white female. But currently a white female has more chance of getting that job than him. I can remember the days it was the complete reverse. Here job placement in order of favor goes, black man, black woman, disabled then colored, then white female lastly white male. So its not always a female issue interestingly.

GracieT's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe, I’ve had a flat tire and been on the side of the road twice. Both times a wonderful man came by and helped me put on the spare tire. I didn’t feel afraid. But, again, both times I was lectured about stopping, the first time by my father, the second by my husband. I don’t know why I felt ok with them, except that both times were on highways in broad daylight. I do feel uncomfortable with getting gas late or walking alone at night. I guess it might be the daylight.

wundayatta's avatar

I knew my wife had this phobia about mice long before my daughter was born. But I believed that with me as her father, she wouldn’t “catch” that phobia. But “catch” it, she did, and now I have to wonder why. If @jonsblond had been her mother, would she be different? Is it the role model that caused the behavior? Or is it genetics? Or is it somehow the larger culture?

I chose to believe that my wife modeled the behavior and that’s what my daughter picked up on. For whatever reasons, she chose to follow her mother instead of her father. It kills me, but she’s my daughter and I love her. Her talents lie in other areas.

I know so many couples of my era who insisted they would raise their children without gender roles, as SimonedeBeauvoir wants to do. Despite their efforts. the boys were into boy things and girls into girl things. Is this culture? Genes? Role models? One would think that if it is role models, they the kids would be like the parents. If it was genes, it wouldn’t matter what we do.

So I think it likely that culture is pervasive and we pick it up no matter what. You can’t be sheltered from culture these days. Even if you aren’t allowed to watch TV or movies or even go to public school, you pick up enough culture that you know the gender roles, no matter what.

I don’t mind being “a man.” I certainly have enough opinions to be very clear about how I want things to be. However, I want women to be free to do what they want, too. I don’t want them to be told they can’t do something because it’s not a woman’s place. I also don’t want men to be told the same. If a man is kind of effeminate, that should be fine and respectable. People should be free to live, let live, respect and be respected, whether or not they conform to any particular gender-associated role.

I happen to enjoy emotions. I like to fall in love. I like thinking about relationships.

But I also enjoy so many other things, including cooking and football and playing trumpet and dancing and arguing and thinking and analyzing. I am interested in many things, some associated with maleness and some with femaleness. So the fuck what? Pardon my defensiveness. But this is who I am.

Fortunately, there are enough people around who like me, male and female, that it’s ok. Maybe the larger society thinks it’s weird, but I’ll just tell them I’m crazy. That’s why. Not my fault.

But the way I am isn’t my fault, exactly. I don’t know where my preferences come from, but I chose to follow them, instead of trying to change myself to look like a traditional man. Maybe everyone is all over the place like I am, but they are reluctant to show it. What I want for the world is for us to be free to be who we are without getting scolded or even shunned for it.

rooeytoo's avatar

@wundayatta – well said and heaps of lurve for that opinion.

cookieman's avatar

As a big white guy, it doesn’t really effect me so much as annoy me by its existence.

The whole “boy toys” and “girl toys” or “boy colors” and “girl colors” drives me nuts. I am constantly counter-programming my daughter about this. “Does blue have a penis?!” I once said in frustration. Thankfully, she gets this and has rejected this silliness.

On the flip side, I’ve lost track of how many women (usually at work) have said to me something along the lines of, “Gonna watch the big game with the boys this weekend, huh?” – and then are stunned when I say, “Um, no. I’ll be washing clothes and swiffering my floor”.

josie's avatar

@rosehips Whatever the avatar looks like, it’s me. For better or for worse.

Unbroken's avatar

@josie lol. I was afraid I was gonna step in shit if I said something, you just sounded so flip and that aggravated me.

@shippy reevaluation is what I frequently do as well. And part of me wishes I had the opportunity to let a man be all cliched manily. When offered the opportunity however I find myself recoiling, Various reasons for that, some is autonomy and respect and distrust as well as I realize some fantasies are placed in the mind for whatever reason, External influences, cultural norms and what have you, but in reality utopia often turns into distopia. And I would much rather escape to my dreams when I have a rough day then have unrealistic dreams shattered for me.

@cookieman glad you are so willing to work on those issues with your daughter, do you do the same with your son, as in pink doesn’t have a vagina, if you have a son.

Interestingly enough I was looking up colors when i was picking out colors for my apartment, and blue used to be associated with female babies and pink with boys. It was just a random factoid and I didn’t follow up on it, I think they said this was common in England, possibly pre America. Interesting nonetheless if it is true.

wundayatta's avatar

@rosehips it is true that blue used to be the girl color and pink for boys. There’s a thread about that on here from several years ago. Dunno how to find it. I remember seeing a picture of a man in a pink dress-like thing, like the dandies used to wear back in the 16 and 1700s.

JLeslie's avatar

@rosehips I think it was blue for girls and red for boys. Red being a very British masculine color, think redcoats. Both colors being flag colors of the country.

cookieman's avatar

@rosehips: I don’t have a son, but absolutely. I don’t like preconceived gender roles at all. Toys, colors, even clothes. Why can’t a little boy wear a Mulan or Brave tee shirt if he likes those characters?

YARNLADY's avatar

@cookieman I completely agree. My youngest grandson wanted to buy a pretty barrette that he saw in the store, but I had to tell him only girls wear those.

Unbroken's avatar

@wundayatta and @JLeslie thanks for the confirmation as well as the additional info. Red does make more sense.

@cookieman I was kinda taken aback by this comment. But truthfully females have been borrowing or wearing masculine clothes sense they were shoved in skirts and petticoats at least. The question is why would males want to wear our clothes, they are often skimpy sexualized and or uncomfortable. But in the instance of a favorite character I have no qualms.

@YARNLADY ah, the shiny, pretty age.. How adorable.

cookieman's avatar

The question is why would males want to wear our (women’s) clothes…

Because some simply want to. Good enough for me. I’m not here to judge.

Take children’s clothing stores for example (a la Children’s Place). Divided down the middle. “Boys” clothes on one side, “Girls” on the other. I agree with you that girls wearing masculine clothes is common, so we’ll skip that. But why is a purple tee-shirt with a doggie on it in the girls section only. How about a lime green sweater with a butterfly on it? Or yellow flip flops?

The way they lay out the store implies (almost demands) that only girls should like such things while dump trucks, footballs, and bull dogs are reserved for the boys side of the store.

“Billy you can’t like butterflies. They’re on the girls side of the store so clearly only girls like those.”

I find it all presumptuous and manipulative.

Unbroken's avatar

@cookieman Sure I will buy that. It definately is that females and males are steered in compeltely opposite directions from an early age. Is that consumer following retailer trends or retailers supplying what is demanded? It gets different when you get to preteen or junoir clothes, with busts and extra room for hippier people etc. I mean sure there are crossdressers huh… and all crossdressers seem largely male, or most of them are more easily noticed because it is so different. So weird. I have never thought about that before.

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