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Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance?
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SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance?
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I am putting this thread in Ladies' Room simply because I think greater moderation wouldn't be a bad thing, but feel free to move it.

bearbreeder wrote:
its commonly accepted that men are more predisposed towards risk taking overall

kiwiprincess wrote:
My husband just tld me he saw a documentary about risk that said there is a difference in endorphines produced between the genders.

What data do we have to support (or refute) the thesis that men are more comfortable with risk or have a different physiological response?


lena_chita
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May 23, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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Not climbing-related, but it does discuss gender differences in risk tolerance.

http://www.cer.ethz.ch/research/wp_00_17.pdf

http://www.iza.org/...ntreRes2012/7735.pdf

And this one touches on societal influence on risk tolerance disparity between genders:

http://richardronay.com/...licit%20Risk%20A.pdf

Another interesting one: risk tolerance and decision-making under stress.

http://www.plosone.org/...journal.pone.0006002


SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Fascinating. I'm going to have to print these and give them a read-through!


granite_grrl


May 24, 2012, 5:46 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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I wonder how the risk tolerance between men and women would differ as you break it up by age too. It seems that yound fellas with a bit more testosterone pumping don't think things through, or at least don't think it could happen to them.

How can we even say that someone has a high risk tolerance if they're not fulling accepting that there is risk?


lena_chita
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May 24, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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I am pretty sure that risky behaviours of adolescents in either gender are well documented.

I totally agree that there is age component to risk tolerance and that both sexes trend towards more cautious with age.

granite_grrl wrote:
How can we even say that someone has a high risk tolerance if they're not fulling accepting that there is risk?

Taking calculated risk vs. doing something that you don't believe is risky at all is tricky to define. It isn't as if you know, before engaging in any activity, that this activity carries X% risk of death per hour of participation per person, or Y% lifetime risk, or whatever. A lot of it is just perception.

Ask a non-climber, and many of them will have a perception of climbing as very risky behavior, at any age, and for any gender.

Climbers would have a much more fine-tuned view of it, depending on the type of climbing, the experience of the person engaging in it, the location, etc. But still, it is not an exact thing. You don't tell yourself, O.K., the chances of this bolt failing if I fall are 0.000...something%, so I am taking a small risk, I draw a line at 0.0001%, I won't take a risk if the chances of me getting hurt are grater than Z. Tongue


kiwiprincess


May 24, 2012, 5:36 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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It seems that Risk Perception is greater in women but there is not as much difference in risk taking according to a 2011 Swedish survey.

That surveys show changes in time and racial groups it seems to be influenced by Social things more than biology even though there are some biological differences which may affect it.

One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

These studies though are on college students and That's very much a time where you are forming your identity and less confident, so more succeptable to conforming.

What to do?
Visualise you're with the girls and kick ass until it becomes programmed you can do it?

Self confidence is one of the most Important Precursors to success. Encourage others, Keep your internal dialogue positive.


Partner cracklover


May 25, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: [kiwiprincess] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO


Khoi


May 26, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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If we are talking about physical risks then males tend to engage in that specific type of risky behaviour more often than females, and to a greater degree than females. Reasons of nurture (upbringing, social views, etc.) and nature (genetics, amount of testosterone, etc.) are involved.


drivel


May 29, 2012, 7:29 AM
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cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.


wonderwoman


May 29, 2012, 8:07 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

When I was little, I told my mom that I wished that I was a boy. She was mortified and asked why. I remember telling her that it was because they got to do all the things that I got in trouble for doing.


Partner cracklover


May 29, 2012, 8:31 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

I wasn't trying to suggest that these fears are irrational. Without a doubt, they are at least as rational as the risks and rewards involved in climbing.

In reply to:
This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

It stands to reason that it can't be inborn, otherwise where would the sudden ability to participate come from when the boys aren't there?

The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is the fact that this policing into assigned gender roles can potentially break down when boys are removed completely from the equation.

GO


drivel


May 29, 2012, 9:22 AM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

I wasn't trying to suggest that these fears are irrational. Without a doubt, they are at least as rational as the risks and rewards involved in climbing.

In reply to:
This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

It stands to reason that it can't be inborn, otherwise where would the sudden ability to participate come from when the boys aren't there?

The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is the fact that this policing into assigned gender roles can potentially break down when boys are removed completely from the equation.

GO

I didn't think you were trying to say it was irrational. I thought it was more likely that you just assumed we were all working off the same paradigm and it went without saying, but I thought it bore saying.


To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men. You don't mention if the studies were of elementary school-aged girls or adolescent and older girls and women, but I suspect it was older, like high school girls, because the information I've read says that in elementary school girls and boys are about equally interested in science and maths.

If girls believe their social status and acceptance is contingent upon desire from the boys in their class, it doesn't surprise me at all that removing the boys and their censure and sexual harassment improves participation in math and science classes. But that doesn't mean that girls and women don't gender-police each other. Slut-shaming and calling smart or assertive girls and women bossy or bitches or "attention whores" or "drama queens" is behavior that girls and women engage in all too often.


SylviaSmile


May 29, 2012, 11:14 AM
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kiwiprincess wrote:
It seems that Risk Perception is greater in women but there is not as much difference in risk taking according to a 2011 Swedish survey.

That surveys show changes in time and racial groups it seems to be influenced by Social things more than biology even though there are some biological differences which may affect it.

One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

These studies though are on college students and That's very much a time where you are forming your identity and less confident, so more succeptable to conforming.

What to do?
Visualise you're with the girls and kick ass until it becomes programmed you can do it?

Self confidence is one of the most Important Precursors to success. Encourage others, Keep your internal dialogue positive.

Where is this survey's findings?


kiwiprincess


May 30, 2012, 3:53 PM
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Away from my computer. I'll Look the links up when I get home


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 9:47 AM
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I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on May 31, 2012, 9:49 AM)


lena_chita
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May 31, 2012, 10:09 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.


drivel


May 31, 2012, 10:50 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.


drivel


May 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.


yikes. I missed that episode. But that makes me cringe, too.


rmsusa


May 31, 2012, 1:20 PM
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In reply to:
And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

In the human species, females attract, males approach and females decide. That's the way it works.

Attracting males is a fundamental part of being a human female. It wouldn't be surprising to me that there's a heavy biological component to the way that females measure their self worth. In some sense, social attitudes mirror biology (IMHO, at least).


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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.

Just to be clear, we all have the same understanding of the phrase "contingent upon", right? It means that you are a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless you are willing to strut your stuff, and can demonstrate that men find you worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can you have any additional value in society.

So, for example, you feel that no-one would be impressed if you could climb 5.14 if you're not "hot" too? That no-one would recognize your accomplishments in art, literature, science, or business, if you don't have a perky rack, and aren't willing to show it off?

I call BS.

Of course being attractive is a benefit in social standing. For both men and women - but sure - more so for women. But it is not the only determinant to your value as a person in society. Plenty of women who weren't head-turners have had major roles in society, have changed history. And they will continue to do so. To deny it, or to claim that society does not recognize them, is repugnant.

GO


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 3:06 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO


drivel


May 31, 2012, 4:27 PM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.

Just to be clear, we all have the same understanding of the phrase "contingent upon", right? It means that you are a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless you are willing to strut your stuff, and can demonstrate that men find you worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can you have any additional value in society.

So, for example, you feel that no-one would be impressed if you could climb 5.14 if you're not "hot" too? That no-one would recognize your accomplishments in art, literature, science, or business, if you don't have a perky rack, and aren't willing to show it off?

I call BS.

Of course being attractive is a benefit in social standing. For both men and women - but sure - more so for women. But it is not the only determinant to your value as a person in society. Plenty of women who weren't head-turners have had major roles in society, have changed history. And they will continue to do so. To deny it, or to claim that society does not recognize them, is repugnant.

GO

I have neither the time nor the energy to fully deconstruct this for you.

Yes, we have the same value of understanding for the words "contingent upon." But note I said "socialized to believe" not "this is absolutely literally true and women are all slaves."

In a lot of ways, it IS true. For your climbing example, name one single pro climbing woman who isn't super conventionally attractive. For 5.14 climbers, who doesn't Josune get more press? Why did Lauren Lee get so much?

In science, on Wednesday, I attended/spoke at a symposium for cancer research. There were three scientists invited from outside of our institution as key speakers, two men and one woman. The woman's husband and marriage was noted in her introduction among her career highlights.

I watched my sister in HS be socially worthless and constantly be called a butch dyke lesbian because she refused to dress in a conventional way- she always wore ratty shirts and baggy pants. Not sexy. Not that it matters, but she's straight.

Do you want me to go on? Honestly, G, I know you're a good guy, but you seem pretty fucking clueless about the still-extant depths of sexism and cultural indoctrination about how women are supposed to be available to men.


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 9:02 PM
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You can call me fucking clueless, you can say I live in fairytale land, but it none of that backs up your argument. Just admit it, your statement was hyperbole.

In reply to:
For your climbing example, name one single pro climbing woman who isn't super conventionally attractive. For 5.14 climbers, who doesn't Josune get more press? Why did Lauren Lee get so much?

Sorry, I don't follow pro climbers, so I can't really name more than a couple. Of course a pretty and outgoing one would sell more videos than the opposite, but I think that's true of both genders.

But lets leave the corporeal behind (no pun intended) for a minute. How about literature.

You claim that women are being indoctrinated from a young age to think that you must be sexy first and foremost, otherwise you are nothing and no-one.

So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

The point I'm making is that all girls understand that people have value for what they *do*. And children understand and value the character and personality of adults. Looks factor in, but I doubt it's to near the degree that Drivel is driveling on about.

And Lena, you may not be comfortable with it, but *all* kids are socialized to get the most from being cute. I mean, babies are such a tremendous amount of trouble, if we weren't so incredibly adorable as babies, most of us would have been bludgeoned to death by our parents before our third birthday! Cuteness and love is all kids have got keeping them alive!

GLaugh


Khoi


May 31, 2012, 11:05 PM
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?


granite_grrl


Jun 1, 2012, 4:48 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO

I have a 7 year old niece. she lives out in Nova Scotia and I don't get to see her much, but I hear all about her from my mother.

Oh, she LOVEs dresses, and doing herself all up and making her self pretty. She gets tons of praise for it too, puts on fasions shows for her Grandma (my mother).

This makes me mad. At 7 she is strongly building her self worth on how she looks. And this is pretty typical behaviour of little girls because of the VERY typical dehaviour of the adults around them.

This is not how "*any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl" would be treated. When was the last time you heard a little boy be praised because they were pretty?


rmsusa


Jun 1, 2012, 6:34 AM
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In reply to:
"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I think it's true. All males believe it in some way. It's deep, it's internalized and (IMHO) it's biological due to the way sexual selection happens in the human species.


SylviaSmile


Jun 1, 2012, 7:18 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO

I have a 7 year old niece. she lives out in Nova Scotia and I don't get to see her much, but I hear all about her from my mother.

Oh, she LOVEs dresses, and doing herself all up and making her self pretty. She gets tons of praise for it too, puts on fasions shows for her Grandma (my mother).

This makes me mad. At 7 she is strongly building her self worth on how she looks. And this is pretty typical behaviour of little girls because of the VERY typical dehaviour of the adults around them.

This is not how "*any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl" would be treated. When was the last time you heard a little boy be praised because they were pretty?

This just makes me wonder...what's so wrong with playing dress up? Is it fair to conclude that because a little girl likes to play dress up, she is necessarily "building her self worth on how she looks"?

I'm with cracklover on this one--little kids know they are cute and behave accordingly. Boys and girls generally gravitate towards different sorts of games (not always), but the general strategy to ham it up for adults is employed by both.

On the other hand, I think the quote in bold above is key: how adults, role models, and peers react to an adolescent becomes crucial in determining whether she realizes that looks (the notion of which is now morphing into sex appeal rather than general "cuteness" or "prettiness") is not the ultimate location of her value. I hate hate those ridiculous teen magazines that encourage girls who are old enough to be somewhat reasonable to waste their focus and energy on makeup, clothes, and other superficial things like "how to get a guy to like you."


lena_chita
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Jun 1, 2012, 7:39 AM
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cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

How about this, go to a bookstore and look at fiction section. How many of the illustrations are displaying a female in some sort of sexy costume or in some stage of undress? How many of those females are NOT good-looking?

Or a more real-life example:

Teenage kids are doing a carwash as a fundraiser. Who is standing there waving the signs? The answer is, girls in short shorts and bikinis. Why not boys in board shorts and ratty old t-shirts?



cracklover wrote:
The point I'm making is that all girls understand that people have value for what they *do*. And children understand and value the character and personality of adults. Looks factor in, but I doubt it's to near the degree that Drivel is driveling on about.

The point I am making is that looks factor in for girls way more than they do for boys, and both girls and boys know it from the young age.

cracklover wrote:
And Lena, you may not be comfortable with it, but *all* kids are socialized to get the most from being cute. I mean, babies are such a tremendous amount of trouble, if we weren't so incredibly adorable as babies, most of us would have been bludgeoned to death by our parents before our third birthday! Cuteness and love is all kids have got keeping them alive!

Yes, all kids will use whatever they have at their disposal to wheedle their way into something they want. But "cute", while a gender-neutral word in itself, means different things for boys and girls, even at the early age.

AND a phrase "you are so cute" ("you are so pretty", etc.) is hardly ever used as a PRAISE phrase for boys, but it is used quite frequently for girls, and usually the user of the phrase is not praising the girl's smarts, but rather her looks and "cute" girly behaviors.


blueeyedclimber


Jun 1, 2012, 8:00 AM
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I believe I have a unique perspective on this, as I am a guy that has raised (is raising) a daughter. She has a mom, a stepmom, and a stepdad, but the majority of her influence (good and bad) has been from me. Being the father of a girl, I believe am more acutely sensitive than most guys to the pressures placed on women.

For example, when she started being more interested in choosing her own clothes (I guess I wasn't picking out very good ones), she wanted to go shopping at the mall more. Some of these "so-called" children's stores were selling clothes to 7 years olds that would be risque for a 27 year-old.

But, as a parent, I am confident that we are more influential in a child's life than ANY societal pressures put on them. It shouldn't surprise us that children want to be more grown up, or pick up things that make us cringe, or want to dress like their favorite movie star. We are there to bring them back down to earth. That is our job.

When my daughter is all grown up, I believe she will understand that she is worth a lot more than her looks. Yes, she is very cute and there is nothing wrong with that either, But she has much more to offer the world than that.

Josh


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 8:50 AM
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cracklover wrote:
You claim that women are being indoctrinated from a young age to think that you must be sexy first and foremost, otherwise you are nothing and no-one.

My personal experience of attempted indoctrination may be on the extreme end of things, but I can relate to what drivel, lena, and others have said.

First off, my name is TIFFANY. I was destined to be a cheer leader rather than the girl skipping gym class and smoking butts underneath the bleachers.

Here are some of the messages that I heard growing up:

You don't need to go to college. You can just get married.

Boys don't want to be with girls who are smarter than them. (In other words, keep your mouth shut and play dumb.)

You'd be pretty if you just put some make up on.

Like I said, my experience may be extreme. I turned out to be pretty resilient. I love and have no resentment toward the family members who delivered those messages. It was ingrained in them and I will not pass that message off to my daughter. The misogyny stops here.


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Jun 1, 2012, 9:05 AM
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Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO


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Jun 1, 2012, 9:37 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO

I have a 7 year old niece. she lives out in Nova Scotia and I don't get to see her much, but I hear all about her from my mother.

Oh, she LOVEs dresses, and doing herself all up and making her self pretty. She gets tons of praise for it too, puts on fasions shows for her Grandma (my mother).

This makes me mad. At 7 she is strongly building her self worth on how she looks. And this is pretty typical behaviour of little girls because of the VERY typical dehaviour of the adults around them.

This is not how "*any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl" would be treated. When was the last time you heard a little boy be praised because they were pretty?

Good point. It's still a looong stretch to go from society sending the message "take pride in how you look, and you will be appreciated for it" to "Being a sex object is your primary purpose in life. If you fail at that, you are nothing."

Look, y'all seem to think I'm claiming that women and girls aren't told by society that being pretty and attracting boys is important. Not only have I never said that, but the thought is ludicrous.

All of you are giving examples of the above. Examples that do not prove Drivel's point. What is at issue is the matter of degree. Drivel would have us believe that the message sent by society is that if you're not a successful sex object, (which presumably you must prove both by both looking the part and by getting boys to have sex with you) you are nothing.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Society tells boys that they should be good at sports, and handy. I could give hundreds of examples. But would any of them prove that men are socialized to believe that their value in society is first and foremost based on how well they can throw a ball or fix a burst pipe? Just because little boys collect baseball cards doesn't mean they don't *also* get the message that Barack Obama or Steve Jobs aren't great men. Society is nuanced, and children work hard to pick up on what it's telling them. And mostly, they get it just fine. I doubt many little boys are asking their daddies if the fact that Obama isn't the best basketball player means he's a bad president.

Anyway, I needed a reality check, since everyone seems to be agreeing with Drivel, so I asked my wife last night. She agreed with me. So at least if I'm in fantasy land, I'm in good company!

GO


notapplicable


Jun 1, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Gabe, if you have surrounded yourself with good people, and you seem like the type of person who has, it can be easy to forget how the "other half lives".

A large percentage of the male population do infact view the female as adjunct to the male. The wife is viewed as something akin to property and while women are acknowledged to have additional, valuable attributes, they are viewed as sexual objects first and foremost.

I've spent the majority of my adult life working blue collar jobs and when you get a group of those men together, talking candidly in the security of a male only group, you will hear some disconcerting views being expressed. Sure, some of it is shit talking and bravado but some of it is sincere.

We may be humans but we're still animals and it can often take a conscious act of will not to laps into what feel like, and to some degree are, very natural gender roles. Many people don't see the value in such introspection and conscious action. They see no need to go against what is natural to them. They might not be in the majority, anymore, but they are certainly not an insignificant fraction of the population.

On a personal note: I'm not ashamed to acknowledge that I am, to some degree, guilty of it as well. I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males. I am conscious of it and don't let it affect my interactions with the women because I feel it would be condescending to do so, but it's there, in the back of my mind, hardwired. All in spite of the fact that I am a bisexual male who has slept with more men that women to date, so I don't exactly fall within "normal" gender roles myself.

Biology, it can be a real PITA sometimes.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Jun 1, 2012, 11:07 AM)


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 11:07 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males.

That is funny. My husband usually packs our climbing gear because I work later than him and we'll leave for a climbing trip as soon as I can get out of work. I will often put on my pack the next morning and say 'Why is my pack so light? How am I supposed to get in shape if I'm not carrying any weight?' We will then proceed to take things out of his pack and put them into mine.

He is very thoughtful, but I am a climber, a climbing partner, and should shoulder an equal load. I am not in this sport for the sake of being comforted. I get scraped up and dirty, and my body enjoys the hard work.


lena_chita
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Jun 1, 2012, 11:22 AM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO

I have a 7 year old niece. she lives out in Nova Scotia and I don't get to see her much, but I hear all about her from my mother.

Oh, she LOVEs dresses, and doing herself all up and making her self pretty. She gets tons of praise for it too, puts on fasions shows for her Grandma (my mother).

This makes me mad. At 7 she is strongly building her self worth on how she looks. And this is pretty typical behaviour of little girls because of the VERY typical dehaviour of the adults around them.

This is not how "*any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl" would be treated. When was the last time you heard a little boy be praised because they were pretty?

Good point. It's still a looong stretch to go from society sending the message "take pride in how you look, and you will be appreciated for it" to "Being a sex object is your primary purpose in life. If you fail at that, you are nothing."

Look, y'all seem to think I'm claiming that women and girls aren't told by society that being pretty and attracting boys is important. Not only have I never said that, but the thought is ludicrous.

All of you are giving examples of the above. Examples that do not prove Drivel's point. What is at issue is the matter of degree. Drivel would have us believe that the message sent by society is that if you're not a successful sex object, (which presumably you must prove both by both looking the part and by getting boys to have sex with you) you are nothing.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Society tells boys that they should be good at sports, and handy. I could give hundreds of examples. But would any of them prove that men are socialized to believe that their value in society is first and foremost based on how well they can throw a ball or fix a burst pipe? Just because little boys collect baseball cards doesn't mean they don't *also* get the message that Barack Obama or Steve Jobs aren't great men. Society is nuanced, and children work hard to pick up on what it's telling them. And mostly, they get it just fine. I doubt many little boys are asking their daddies if the fact that Obama isn't the best basketball player means he's a bad president.

Anyway, I needed a reality check, since everyone seems to be agreeing with Drivel, so I asked my wife last night. She agreed with me. So at least if I'm in fantasy land, I'm in good company!

GO

I don't think Drivel's initial statement was meant to be read as an absolute, e.i. this is what the women are told, and every one of women who hears it automatically believes THAT, and only that, all the way and with no exceptions.

Of course not!

It is indeed a matter of degree. I don't think anyone here disputes that.

And it is, indeed, as blueeyedclimber pointed out, a very important part of a parent's job to make sure the little girls and boys hear more than just the superficial nonsense and grow up with good role models, etc. etc.

But the societal pressure, the difference in attitudes towards girls and boys, and the different expectations for behavior, are absolutely there, and they affect kids.

I think you have misread that initial post and read more into it than was there.


notapplicable


Jun 1, 2012, 11:30 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males.

That is funny. My husband usually packs our climbing gear because I work later than him and we'll leave for a climbing trip as soon as I can get out of work. I will often put on my pack the next morning and say 'Why is my pack so light? How am I supposed to get in shape if I'm not carrying any weight?' We will then proceed to take things out of his pack and put them into mine.

He is very thoughtful, but I am a climber, a climbing partner, and should shoulder an equal load. I am not in this sport for the sake of being comforted. I get scraped up and dirty, and my body enjoys the hard work.

I respect that and thats as it should be. To be frank, I won't climb regularly with anyone who doesn't have that view, male or female.

The annoying thing is, and what I was trying to express, is thats not how I consciously think or view things. Thats just what my brain does when I'm not keeping an eye on it. I don't know how much of it's nature vs. nurture but it's there, regardless. And I think thats ok, as long as we are aware of it and moderate it appropriately.


lena_chita
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Jun 1, 2012, 11:46 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
Gabe, if you have surrounded yourself with good people, and you seem like the type of person who has, it can be easy to forget how the "other half lives".

A large percentage of the male population do infact view the female as adjunct to the male. The wife is viewed as something akin to property and while women are acknowledged to have additional, valuable attributes, they are viewed as sexual objects first and foremost.

I've spent the majority of my adult life working blue collar jobs and when you get a group of those men together, talking candidly in the security of a male only group, you will hear some disconcerting views being expressed. Sure, some of it is shit talking and bravado but some of it is sincere.

While I have worked in a white-collar environment for my entire adult life, it is also a male-dominated environment. And there are definitely things I have overheard, in situations where guys thought nobody else was listening, that would agree with you.

For the most part, I have not had any of them behave that way when I was around and they were aware of it. Nor were any of the things I had overheard directed at me specifically. I am talking more about how the guys have described their wives/girlfriends, the tone, the jokes, that have sometimes communicated a very much ingrained feeling of male superiority.


notapplicable wrote:
On a personal note: I'm not ashamed to acknowledge that I am, to some degree, guilty of it as well. I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males. I am conscious of it and don't let it affect my interactions with the women because I feel it would be condescending to do so, but it's there, in the back of my mind, hardwired. All in spite of the fact that I am a bisexual male who has slept with more men that women to date, so I don't exactly fall within "normal" gender roles myself.

Biology, it can be a real PITA sometimes.

And I can say that I am guilty of the female version of the same.

The expectation that a guy would carry a heavier pack, for example. Sure, I don't usually think of it is as so much gender-related, more weight/size related, b/c a 100lb woman carrying 20 pound backpack is carrying 20% of her body weight, while a 150lb guy could be carrying 25-28 pound pack and still not get to 20% of his body weight.

BUT-- two guys wouldn't divvy up the weight based on the fact that one of them is 130 lb, and the other one is 190lb. And two women climbing together don't step on the weight scales to decide who is carrying the rope, so it does show gender bias in my attitude. But it is so very tempting, when a guy says, "here, let me carry the rope bag" to say sure, thanks!


And on a flip side of it, several of my male climbing partners routinely assume that I will have extra food packed for them. that I will have toilet paper, and wipes, and trash bags, and sunscreen, and band-aids, and all those other things that they never really thought to pack, but are in need of, NOW. I don't mind it, not at all. But the expectations are there, and it begs to question, why they are there?



I did want to add, partly in response to cracklover, that just because we are pointing to the examples of gender bias that conform to traditional gender roles, it doesn't mean that things are all bleak and bad.


Several of my male partners are very good cooks, for example, and do an excellent job of meal planning and packing everything for a trip, as well as cooking, cleaning, etc. etc. I definitely like the fact that my regular partners don't automatically assume that I would be in charge of meals, just because I am a female. I am happy to cook, and usually do, too, but not having that as a tacit expectation is really great.


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 11:55 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males.

That is funny. My husband usually packs our climbing gear because I work later than him and we'll leave for a climbing trip as soon as I can get out of work. I will often put on my pack the next morning and say 'Why is my pack so light? How am I supposed to get in shape if I'm not carrying any weight?' We will then proceed to take things out of his pack and put them into mine.

He is very thoughtful, but I am a climber, a climbing partner, and should shoulder an equal load. I am not in this sport for the sake of being comforted. I get scraped up and dirty, and my body enjoys the hard work.

I respect that and thats as it should be. To be frank, I won't climb regularly with anyone who doesn't have that view, male or female.

The annoying thing is, and what I was trying to express, is thats not how I consciously think or view things. Thats just what my brain does when I'm not keeping an eye on it. I don't know how much of it's nature vs. nurture but it's there, regardless. And I think thats ok, as long as we are aware of it and moderate it appropriately.

What I was trying to say is that the man who I married - who I consider to be a feminist - falls victim to that, too. He is forgiven for it. I am sure it is not a conscious thing, but it happens.


Partner cracklover


Jun 1, 2012, 12:41 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO


Partner cracklover


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Yes, there are gender biases in society. That's not really much of a point of disagreement. Where this argument came from is the claim about one such bias. The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what was meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jun 4, 2012, 7:57 AM)


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 1:02 PM
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cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

I plan on seeing this film pretty soon. Maybe you should check it out, too:

http://www.missrepresentation.org/the-film/

Sometimes we are blind to things when they don't directly impact us. You aren't in it, so you don't see it. No one has pushed this stuff on you.


Partner cracklover


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notapplicable wrote:
Gabe, if you have surrounded yourself with good people, and you seem like the type of person who has, it can be easy to forget how the "other half lives".

True dat. But neither am I entirely cut off from society. And as you point out, a lot of this seems to be hardwired. I've seen plenty of smart and wonderful people send different messages to girls and to boys. And, frankly, I don't think that's 100% inappropriate.

In reply to:
A large percentage of the male population do infact view the female as adjunct to the male. The wife is viewed as something akin to property and while women are acknowledged to have additional, valuable attributes, they are viewed as sexual objects first and foremost.

OK, maybe so. But do you think this message is something these men would try to impress upon their young daughters, or is it more the kind of private secret that some men "know", but would not consider appropriate to share in mixed company?

In reply to:
I've spent the majority of my adult life working blue collar jobs and when you get a group of those men together, talking candidly in the security of a male only group, you will hear some disconcerting views being expressed. Sure, some of it is shit talking and bravado but some of it is sincere.

Yeah, that's what I figured. I've known these kinds of guys, too. And it seems to me very similar to the role that racism holds in modern society. Plenty of people hold such beliefs, most are pretty mild, while some are extreme. Mostly it comes out in subtle ways, and rarely is it spoken of or acted upon directly, except when the person feels safely surrounded by like-minded bigots. Of course that doesn't mean that these beliefs have no effect, or are invisible. It just means that we've reached a stage in society where such beliefs are considered fairly taboo, and so they have a less in-your-face influence on society.

In reply to:
On a personal note: I'm not ashamed to acknowledge that I am, to some degree, guilty of it as well. I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males. I am conscious of it and don't let it affect my interactions with the women because I feel it would be condescending to do so, but it's there, in the back of my mind, hardwired. All in spite of the fact that I am a bisexual male who has slept with more men that women to date, so I don't exactly fall within "normal" gender roles myself.

Biology, it can be a real PITA sometimes.

Ha! I guess my poor wife really got the shit end of the stick marrying me. She usually has to carry the rope, since her bag has a wider aperture! If I'm packing, I'll give her the rope every time. Angelic

To be honest, though, when the loads get really heavy (trips to IC for example), I'll gladly shoulder the heavier load. It's simply practical, as I'm bigger and stronger than she is.

GO


wonderwoman


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cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

Here is a recent Hollywood example that comes to mind:

http://jezebel.com/...ed-have-her-own-show


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Jun 1, 2012, 1:33 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

In reply to:
I plan on seeing this film pretty soon. Maybe you should check it out, too:

http://www.missrepresentation.org/the-film/

Sometimes we are blind to things when they don't directly impact us. You aren't in it, so you don't see it. No one has pushed this stuff on you.

Fair enough.

GO


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Jun 1, 2012, 1:43 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

Here is a recent Hollywood example that comes to mind:

http://jezebel.com/...ed-have-her-own-show

It's a damn shame. But... thank god we don't get all our messages from Hollywood and the fashion industry! If it's about selling a product, you can be sure they don't have your best interests, or the best interests of society to heart.

Edited to add - an even better example would be the messages we get from the likes of Chris Brown and Rihanna.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jun 1, 2012, 1:47 PM)


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 1:57 PM
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cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

Maybe, partially, you had that different and more liberating experience because you are a male. It's worth thinking about.

I lived under that roof for 18+ years and felt pretty awful about myself at times during my life. It wasn't just a message, but sometimes deliberate road blocks placed in my path. I can't tell you exactly why things turned out the way that they did, but I don't think I snapped out of it and woke up until I was 25 or so and made a conscious choice to only surround myself with people who made me feel good. I think that a lot of people just don't ever snap out of it because they are engulfed in it and have accepted oppression as the norm.

Also, I would not change a thing about my life. Even crappy stuff that I could not control made me into the person who I am. I am happy with my life.


clee03m


Jun 1, 2012, 2:09 PM
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For whatever it is worth, my mon has said these things to me.
"How would you meet an ivy league husband if you don't attend an ivy league college?"
"Unless you get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, or MIT, don't bother thinking about leaving the state for college. You are a girl."
"Now that you got into medical school, just get a doctor husband. You don't need to bother finishing."
"Why do you suffer through calls and long hours. You could have married well."

To be fair my mom is 1st generation American from Korea.


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Jun 1, 2012, 2:33 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

Maybe, partially, you had that different and more liberating experience because you are a male. It's worth thinking about.

Yes, it is worth thinking about.

I'd suggest it's also worth thinking about the messages all you strong empowered women got somewhere along the way telling you that it was possible to think differently than the views you're expressing here in this thread. How about giving a little credit where credit is due? I'm betting you didn't all happen upon your sense of self by inventing it all by yourself. There are those who came before you and created a culture that says that women have meaning as individuals, and their contributions to society matter. And whether you are willing to acknowledge those people and the way they shaped society or not, the fact of their existence is real, and the world we all grew up in was changed in part by them.

Let me ask you - how many of you know who Rosa Parks is? OK, how many of you know what she looks like? Pretty or plain? Honestly, I don't know the answer to that last question, and it makes no difference to me.

In reply to:
I can't tell you exactly why things turned out the way that they did...

Well, it's up to you, but maybe that's worth some thought, too.

GO


wonderwoman


Jun 1, 2012, 3:01 PM
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cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

Maybe, partially, you had that different and more liberating experience because you are a male. It's worth thinking about.

Yes, it is worth thinking about.

I'd suggest it's also worth thinking about the messages all you strong empowered women got somewhere along the way telling you that it was possible to think differently than the views you're expressing here in this thread. How about giving a little credit where credit is due? I'm betting you didn't all happen upon your sense of self by inventing it all by yourself. There are those who came before you and created a culture that says that women have meaning as individuals, and their contributions to society matter. And whether you are willing to acknowledge those people and the way they shaped society or not, the fact of their existence is real, and the world we all grew up in was changed in part by them.

Let me ask you - how many of you know who Rosa Parks is? OK, how many of you know what she looks like? Pretty or plain? Honestly, I don't know the answer to that last question, and it makes no difference to me.

In reply to:
I can't tell you exactly why things turned out the way that they did...

Well, it's up to you, but maybe that's worth some thought, too.

GO

Sorry, Gabe. I can't relate to the environment that you think I grew up in. I don't think I met a feminist until I eventually made it to college & I was a late bloomer. If you want to know what else I was surrounded by, I challenge you to watch some YouTube videos of Warrant, Poison, Van Halen or Lita Ford. When you're done with that, you can go listen to 18 years of Catholic sermons. Have fun!Tongue


drivel


Jun 1, 2012, 3:42 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO

because men in our society are not treated as objects.


drivel


Jun 1, 2012, 4:00 PM
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cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

Maybe, partially, you had that different and more liberating experience because you are a male. It's worth thinking about.

Yes, it is worth thinking about.

I'd suggest it's also worth thinking about the messages all you strong empowered women got somewhere along the way telling you that it was possible to think differently than the views you're expressing here in this thread. How about giving a little credit where credit is due? I'm betting you didn't all happen upon your sense of self by inventing it all by yourself. There are those who came before you and created a culture that says that women have meaning as individuals, and their contributions to society matter. And whether you are willing to acknowledge those people and the way they shaped society or not, the fact of their existence is real, and the world we all grew up in was changed in part by them.

Let me ask you - how many of you know who Rosa Parks is? OK, how many of you know what she looks like? Pretty or plain? Honestly, I don't know the answer to that last question, and it makes no difference to me.

In reply to:
I can't tell you exactly why things turned out the way that they did...

Well, it's up to you, but maybe that's worth some thought, too.

GO
Rosa Parks was deliberately picked as a test case and figurehead of the movement because she was "well-behaved," and stably married. There was an earlier unwed pregnant 15 year old girl named Claudette Colvin who the NAACP would not get behind because of the whole unwed pregnant thing. Her value as a civil rights fighter was, in fact, deemed secondary to her not being properly chaste. Chastity being the idea that a woman's virginity is the property of her father and then her husband, of course.

Strong women are held up as role models because they are NOT THE NORM and they pay a social cost. And they're seen to pay it.

In other news, I give up. For realsies, G, if you sincerely care about this, go read some feminist blogs or something. Life is not equal. Sexism is not over in this country.


(This post was edited by drivel on Jun 1, 2012, 4:04 PM)


blueeyedclimber


Jun 1, 2012, 4:20 PM
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cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point. The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

In reply to:
I plan on seeing this film pretty soon. Maybe you should check it out, too:

http://www.missrepresentation.org/the-film/

Sometimes we are blind to things when they don't directly impact us. You aren't in it, so you don't see it. No one has pushed this stuff on you.

Fair enough.

GO

I think the truth is a little more subtle than drivel put it, but it is hard to ignore that for certain groups life is easier. Being a decent-looking white male, there is so much I have never had to endure.

There are a lot of good messages we get from society both from our own families and our surrounding environment. But that doesn't negate the negative pressures put on women. And as NA said, there is still a significant population that that believes that women have lesser value. Thankfully as adults, however, we have choices about who to surround ourselves with.

Josh


SylviaSmile


Jun 1, 2012, 8:37 PM
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Kind of like the other thread which shall not be named, it looks like a lot of this is coming down to personal experience writ large. For what it's worth, I've never received the message that my value was inextricably linked from being a sex object. Maybe that is unusual, but there it is. Also, perhaps partially through being oblivious, I haven't noticed any cases where I was being discriminated against for being female. I feel like I got the same opportunities as young men with similar abilities. I don't know how I've managed to live in such a weird, merit-based world for so long . . .


SylviaSmile


Jun 1, 2012, 9:11 PM
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cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
I've spent the majority of my adult life working blue collar jobs and when you get a group of those men together, talking candidly in the security of a male only group, you will hear some disconcerting views being expressed. Sure, some of it is shit talking and bravado but some of it is sincere.

Yeah, that's what I figured. I've known these kinds of guys, too. And it seems to me very similar to the role that racism holds in modern society. Plenty of people hold such beliefs, most are pretty mild, while some are extreme. Mostly it comes out in subtle ways, and rarely is it spoken of or acted upon directly, except when the person feels safely surrounded by like-minded bigots. Of course that doesn't mean that these beliefs have no effect, or are invisible. It just means that we've reached a stage in society where such beliefs are considered fairly taboo, and so they have a less in-your-face influence on society.

The analogy with racism came to mind for me as well, because it's another instance where I don't look out into the world and see things in terms of white, black, hispanic, etc. I do have a hispanic background (though it's not really visibly apparent) and I have bristled on several occasions at some people's thoughtlessly racist comments about Mexicans, but I also think that since it is largely taboo to be overtly racist, it's almost better to move past the discrimination and fast forward into the positive vision. Racism is passe!

Likewise, we could go back and forth on the different ways women experience or have experienced discrimination (which, btw, I don't count having a door opened or having something heavy carried for me as discrimination, but that's just me), OR we could subscribe to the newer vision which gives women the same opportunities and equal dignity with men. I find it much more valuable to focus on the positive and to say that, while in the past women may have received damaging messages, it need no longer be so in the present and certainly not in the future.


SylviaSmile


Jun 1, 2012, 9:28 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
I am much more inclined to worry that the females on a climbing trip are running out of water, or carrying too much weight, or generally not having a good time, whereas I will delight in the suffering of the other males.

That is funny. My husband usually packs our climbing gear because I work later than him and we'll leave for a climbing trip as soon as I can get out of work. I will often put on my pack the next morning and say 'Why is my pack so light? How am I supposed to get in shape if I'm not carrying any weight?' We will then proceed to take things out of his pack and put them into mine.

He is very thoughtful, but I am a climber, a climbing partner, and should shoulder an equal load. I am not in this sport for the sake of being comforted. I get scraped up and dirty, and my body enjoys the hard work.

I respect that and thats as it should be. To be frank, I won't climb regularly with anyone who doesn't have that view, male or female.

The annoying thing is, and what I was trying to express, is thats not how I consciously think or view things. Thats just what my brain does when I'm not keeping an eye on it. I don't know how much of it's nature vs. nurture but it's there, regardless. And I think thats ok, as long as we are aware of it and moderate it appropriately.

I think there's a way to think of gender roles that doesn't make them a straightjacket that rigidly enforces "typical" behavior but rather acknowledges and respects differences between the sexes. Also, there's a huge difference between asking, "May I do this for you?" and saying, "You can't do this." Too often, I have seen (in others) the odd dynamic where a man won't offer help because he doesn't want to make a woman feel "less equal" yet the woman, even if she really does need help, is reluctant to ask for it because she feels she needs to be doing her part to "be equal." Much easier if the guy just goes ahead and offers and the woman says, politely, yes please or no thank you.


guangzhou


Jun 1, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Gmburns2000


Jun 2, 2012, 9:10 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.


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Jun 2, 2012, 8:27 PM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO

because men in our society are not treated as objects.

Oh don't be so melodramatic. I have a pretty good imagination, and I have no difficulty envisioning hypotheticals. I just can't parse his sentence.

GO


drivel


Jun 2, 2012, 8:40 PM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO

because men in our society are not treated as objects.

Oh don't be so melodramatic. I have a pretty good imagination, and I have no difficulty envisioning hypotheticals. I just can't parse his sentence.

GO

because it's an oxymoronical sentence.

I do definitely agree that men in our society have their own struggles with the definition and performance of masculinity- supposed to always be up for/chasing sex, certain pressures about, yes being successful and "alpha," being policed against nonconforming behavior with the ever-present "sissy" "pussy" and "fag" denigrations.

but in all of that, men are regarded as actors and not objects.


drivel


Jun 2, 2012, 8:41 PM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO

because men in our society are not treated as objects.

Oh don't be so melodramatic. I have a pretty good imagination, and I have no difficulty envisioning hypotheticals. I just can't parse his sentence.

GO

because it's an oxymoronical sentence.

I do definitely agree that men in our society have their own struggles with the definition and performance of masculinity- supposed to always be up for/chasing sex, certain pressures about, yes being successful and "alpha," being policed against nonconforming behavior with the ever-present "sissy" "pussy" and "fag" denigrations.

but in all of that, men are regarded as actors and not objects.

plus, melodramatic is sort of my thing. i thought you gnu/ try to keep up.


wonderwoman


Jun 3, 2012, 7:02 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.


clee03m


Jun 3, 2012, 9:24 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.

What she said.


Gmburns2000


Jun 3, 2012, 10:07 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.

Tiff, I'm not saying you should feel lucky compared to men in the US, but yes, you have it much better than than women in other countries, much better. And I'm not saying you should stop fighting. In fact, I was more speaking about Drivel's initial comment. I never said pay or treatment was fair there.

But back to the point of what Drivel was trying to say, here, in Brasil, the ingrained culture is that women exist to make the home a happy place and men exist to provide. Women who speak out against it are often banished from society, not allowed to have friends or visitors, and men are judged by their "trophies," thus giving the men perfectly good reason to keep their women in line (because trophies don't talk, have opinions, work (and no, work in the home isn't considered work here), drive with men in the passenger seat, pass other cars that men are driving if the woman is driving, etc., etc., etc.).

Trophies look sexy; trophies have sex when the man wants to have sex; trophies clean the house and cook dinner; trophies deal with the crying children; trophies wash the dishes and do the laundry; trophies load the groceries onto the belt, bag the groceries after they've passed the scanner, and pay the bill all the while the man stands and the end waiting for the trophy to finish everything; trophies have to ask permission to have male friends (or even to continue long-standing friendships with men that began before the marriage); trophies are only allowed to go out with other men if those men are friends with the husband...I could go on.

I saw this in the U.S. maybe once every few months, if that, and when I did it certainly wasn't to the extreme level that it is here. Here, I see it every single day multiple times per day. The US (and in North America in general) does not have a macho culture. In fact, it's not even close. In the U.S., if a man at work hits on a girl then that man can get fired. Here, the woman gets fired. In the U.S., domestic violence is a problem, but it's also frowned upon. Here, the woman deserved it. In the U.S., rape is a very serious crime. Here, rapists get raped in prison more than other criminals because why would a man need to rape a woman when that's what the woman's role is? I'm not making this shit up.

I'm lucky to have a girlfriend with similar attitudes that you have (in a feminist bull-in-a-china-shop sort of way, as well. In fact, if we ever make it back to Boston I kind of figured you'd be someone she'd latch right on to due to your similarities), but the difference is that I don't really see people shunning you (maybe I don't know you well enough) for being a strong woman. Here, I see this sort of thing all the time. Most of the strong women who I know here can't maintain any kind of long-term relationship as a result of the societal pressures they face to shut the hell up and look pretty. That's their role here. That's how women are valued here. I'm not exaggerating. It's part of the reason why Brasil has an eating disorder epidemic (too many girls want to be like Gisele).

Of all the non-American men I know here, I'm the only one who knows how to use a washing machine. And of the ones who cook on a regular basis, only a few aren't gay.

A good friend of mine, and one of my former students, has been on crutches for the past three years due to a life-long degenerative condition she has. She is co-owner of a company that my gf founded (co-owned with one of my gf's strong-women friends who hasn't had a good, long-term relationship since her divorce ten years ago) and makes good money. Her husband is a music teacher and doesn't make good money. Nothing wrong with that except he doesn't have many friends anymore because they laugh at him for making less money. (again, I'm not exaggerating).

They own a nice apartment paid mostly by her (in all honesty, she can afford it and he can't). That's great for her, right? Who do you think cleans the house? How about cooks dinner? Remember, she's on crutches and can only stand on one leg for a few minutes at a time. So, they hire a cleaner to help her out a couple of times per month. Who pays? Who do you think? And they order out a few times per week because it's hard for her to use her hands while she cooks (because she needs them to stand upright with the crutches). Who pays? Ah, so maybe they'll go to a restaurant every now and again instead of take-out all the time, right? Nope! Because he doesn't want to get his driver's license. Why is this a problem? They can only go to restaurants where there is parking really close to the restaurant due to her not being able to walk very far (i.e. - he won't get his license so that he can drop her off and drive to a parking lot and return to meet her at the restaurant).

It gets better! She has been saving for three years to have surgery so that she can get a new knee. Then her mom has to have an emergency surgery, thus delaying my friends surgery. The mom is in the ICU for about a week and an in-patient for another 10 days or so. Who spends all her time with the mom in the hospital? The son? NO! Because the son "has a job and needs to work." (<-- That's a direct quote.) Remember, my friend co-owns a business (she's the graphic designer in a communications company). The husband complains that my friend is at the hospital with her mother because doesn't want to call the restaurant to order out food because they don't know him as well as they know her.

And now, it's time for her surgery that will finally allow her to start walking again (and doing something she's only dreamed of the past few years, such as travelling where one needs to walk a lot, for example). But does the husband support her? No! He doesn't want her to get the surgery because "she might die!" OK, with all of her health problems, it was a valid concern, but really, that's not why everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery. Everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery because it will mean she'll have more freedom and will "need him less" (<-- another direct quote from the brother).

OK, she has the surgery (and she's doing great, btw). But the doctor forbids her from driving for a month to let her new knee heal. Does the husband drive her to work? No, of course not silly. Remember, he doesn't have a driver's license and doesn't need it because she has one. So, her aunt comes to stay with them for a few weeks to help out. The aunt cooks, the aunt cleans, the aunt drives my friend to PT and sometimes to work and back...and drives the husband to his music lessons now because, well, there's someone who can drive him now. And then, when it comes time for the aunt to go back and take care of her family, the husband complains because it means he'll have to take care of some things while my friend continues to recover.

Fast-forward. She's not my student anymore because, unfortunately, the surgery, PT, and all the other expenses of her (and him) having to pay for things they should have been doing on their own the past few years (i.e. - eating out instead of him cooking, etc) have left them financially strapped. They've cut out a lot of things, but the two things he's complaining about? No cleaner and no cable...both of which she paid for.

This is not an exaggerated story. It's NORMAL. Men here are children, and they treat women like servants, and the better looking the servant, the higher the man's standing. And since here it's a man's world, well, why would anyone care about a woman's standing? The answer is that they don't. So since women aren't important, they might as well look pretty.

Again, I'm not making this up. This is how it is here, and I can't tell you how many times I've pleaded with my gf to make her 20 year-old son do the dishes, cook, or do the laundry to help her out around the house (I don't live with them, btw, and can't tell him myself because, well, he has a dad and that's a sensitive subject - a father who, btw, hardly acknowledges the son outside of work because all that lovey-dovey stuff is for the mom, but I digress). She says she's tried her best and she's harder than the vast majority of moms. At some point, he needs to stand up and do things himself. Will he? Who knows? Societal pressures are pretty strong and guess what? He now has a trophy gf he's madly in love with.

So yeah, in some contexts, Drivel's point is spot on.


granite_grrl


Jun 3, 2012, 10:21 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.


lena_chita
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Jun 4, 2012, 5:43 AM
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cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point.

I didn't add personal examples earlier, but if you think that WW's examples are closest to proving Drivel's point, then how about this:

-- I was told (by a teacher in sex ed class, who was looking straight at me when she said that): Men do not like women who are smarter than them.

-- I was told (by a teacher in elementary school!!): Nobody will want to marry you if you write with your left hand.

-- I was told, as a kid, by variety of people: you need to wear skirts more, you look like a boy when you wear shorts; Why do you always climb trees? Men don't like girls with scraped knees; If you keep doing that, your nails will never grow pretty; You would look so much better if you put on some make up;

The examples are too numerous to even recall them all. So much of it was along the lines of "behave like a lady, you want to grow up to be a proper lady, so you will find a good husband".




cracklover wrote:
The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

I think this is where you misunderstood Drivel's point. No, of course not ALL of the society is sending the same message. No society is ever that homogenous. And clearly, the women responding to this thread have been able to overcome these sorts of messages.

But the point is that these messages are pervasive enough, and wide-spread enough that EVERY WOMAN is exposed to them to some extent.

If she is lucky, she is also exposed to other messages that counter the above-mentioned ones. I also heard, growing up, that I could be anything I wanted to be. That I was smart and could accomplish anything I set my mind to. That anything a man could do, I could do, too, and maybe even do it better. Etc. Etc.


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:05 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
The claim was made that society tells girls that they are merely a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless they are willing to strut their stuff, and can demonstrate that men find them worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can a woman have any additional value in society.

I think I gave some pretty clear examples within my personal experience. My worth was dependent on my looks and finding a husband. Solely.

Yes, you gave the most powerful argument in favor of Drivel's point.

I didn't add personal examples earlier, but if you think that WW's examples are closest to proving Drivel's point, then how about this:

-- I was told (by a teacher in sex ed class, who was looking straight at me when she said that): Men do not like women who are smarter than them.

-- I was told (by a teacher in elementary school!!): Nobody will want to marry you if you write with your left hand.

-- I was told, as a kid, by variety of people: you need to wear skirts more, you look like a boy when you wear shorts; Why do you always climb trees? Men don't like girls with scraped knees; If you keep doing that, your nails will never grow pretty; You would look so much better if you put on some make up;

The examples are too numerous to even recall them all. So much of it was along the lines of "behave like a lady, you want to grow up to be a proper lady, so you will find a good husband".




cracklover wrote:
The one thing I'd like to clarify, though, is Drivel's phrase "women are socialized to believe". Do you feel like all of society was sending you the same message? Because you and I both grew up in the 70s, and I know that the culture I found myself in at the time was a very wild and diverse mix of Sixties empowerment\counter-culturalism, 50s leave-it-to-Beaver, 70s fun, and the nascent "it's-all-about-me" 80s stuff. If the only thing you heard all around you was the 50s stuff from your parents' generation, then how did you figure out that there was something more to your life?

I think this is where you misunderstood Drivel's point. No, of course not ALL of the society is sending the same message. No society is ever that homogenous. And clearly, the women responding to this thread have been able to overcome these sorts of messages.

But the point is that these messages are pervasive enough, and wide-spread enough that EVERY WOMAN is exposed to them to some extent.

If she is lucky, she is also exposed to other messages that counter the above-mentioned ones. I also heard, growing up, that I could be anything I wanted to be. That I was smart and could accomplish anything I set my mind to. That anything a man could do, I could do, too, and maybe even do it better. Etc. Etc.

Well I'm pleased to hear that. Apparently, aside from Sylvia, you're the only one in this thread who did get such messages.

And, no, I didn't misunderstand Drivel's point. I clarified it and Drivel agreed with my clarification.

The phrase "Women are socialized to believe..." means "the overwhelming message sent to women by society is..." It means that aside from certain counter-cultural pockets, it is a universally held belief in society that is passed on to the next generation as a certainty.

For example, you could say "People in the US are socialized to believe that hard work, smarts, and perseverance, will result in raising their place in society, and the sky's the limit". This is a near-universal myth. You could not, however, say "People in the US are socialized to believe that Jesus is their personal savior". Because while everyone is likely to be exposed to this idea at some point, only some fraction of society will grow up in a community in which it is accepted as an absolute truth.

GO


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:08 AM
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GMBurns, don't bother - most here are totally convinced that they're living in a beer commercial, despite the evidence all around them every day showing otherwise.

GO


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:16 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:28 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Khoi wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?

I don't even know what it means.

GO

because men in our society are not treated as objects.

Um... gay men... sex objects. You gotta be kidding!

GLaugh


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:32 AM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

I find this conversation incredibly frustrating, but since you're so determined to go with the book author photo, here is an example:

The author of the incredibly popular Twilight books, looks like this:



her author photo on her books looks like this:




why do you think that is?


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Jun 4, 2012, 8:50 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

I find this conversation incredibly frustrating, but since you're so determined to go with the book author photo, here is an example:

The author of the incredibly popular Twilight books, looks like this:



her author photo on her books looks like this:




why do you think that is?

I'm sorry you're frustrated. That can happen when you stand behind hyperbole as fact.

Ha! Those photos are awesome! Um... because the books are written for a shallow audience?

GO


granite_grrl


Jun 4, 2012, 8:54 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

Sexy doesn't have to mean that you're advertising for sex. For me, sexy on a man is flat stomach with a great set of abs, nice lats and generally well defined muscle. For the ladies we should be trim, a nice set of tits and well shapped ass.

I'm just saying you take a sample of 30 year olds in the work place and you'll find that men don't care if they look sexy, women are still very concerned with this (regardless if they're looking for a mate or not). So why do women care more than men? Because we're supossed to and we're judged if we're not.




I think they point that you're missing Gabe, is that the differences in how men and women are precived and the things that we're told are valuable about our sex from society is not blatant. It's a subtle attitude and change can only happen if we pay attention to it and we make effort to change it.

I feel that BEC is aware of it, and he is doing his best to send positive messages to his daughter to combat it. I think the reason why so many people keep jumping on you is that it seems you keep telling us that the problem isn't as bad as we think it is.


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 9:21 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.

Tiff, I'm not saying you should feel lucky compared to men in the US, but yes, you have it much better than than women in other countries, much better. And I'm not saying you should stop fighting. In fact, I was more speaking about Drivel's initial comment. I never said pay or treatment was fair there.

But back to the point of what Drivel was trying to say, here, in Brasil, the ingrained culture is that women exist to make the home a happy place and men exist to provide. Women who speak out against it are often banished from society, not allowed to have friends or visitors, and men are judged by their "trophies," thus giving the men perfectly good reason to keep their women in line (because trophies don't talk, have opinions, work (and no, work in the home isn't considered work here), drive with men in the passenger seat, pass other cars that men are driving if the woman is driving, etc., etc., etc.).

Trophies look sexy; trophies have sex when the man wants to have sex; trophies clean the house and cook dinner; trophies deal with the crying children; trophies wash the dishes and do the laundry; trophies load the groceries onto the belt, bag the groceries after they've passed the scanner, and pay the bill all the while the man stands and the end waiting for the trophy to finish everything; trophies have to ask permission to have male friends (or even to continue long-standing friendships with men that began before the marriage); trophies are only allowed to go out with other men if those men are friends with the husband...I could go on.

I saw this in the U.S. maybe once every few months, if that, and when I did it certainly wasn't to the extreme level that it is here. Here, I see it every single day multiple times per day. The US (and in North America in general) does not have a macho culture. In fact, it's not even close. In the U.S., if a man at work hits on a girl then that man can get fired. Here, the woman gets fired. In the U.S., domestic violence is a problem, but it's also frowned upon. Here, the woman deserved it. In the U.S., rape is a very serious crime. Here, rapists get raped in prison more than other criminals because why would a man need to rape a woman when that's what the woman's role is? I'm not making this shit up.

I'm lucky to have a girlfriend with similar attitudes that you have (in a feminist bull-in-a-china-shop sort of way, as well. In fact, if we ever make it back to Boston I kind of figured you'd be someone she'd latch right on to due to your similarities), but the difference is that I don't really see people shunning you (maybe I don't know you well enough) for being a strong woman. Here, I see this sort of thing all the time. Most of the strong women who I know here can't maintain any kind of long-term relationship as a result of the societal pressures they face to shut the hell up and look pretty. That's their role here. That's how women are valued here. I'm not exaggerating. It's part of the reason why Brasil has an eating disorder epidemic (too many girls want to be like Gisele).

Of all the non-American men I know here, I'm the only one who knows how to use a washing machine. And of the ones who cook on a regular basis, only a few aren't gay.

A good friend of mine, and one of my former students, has been on crutches for the past three years due to a life-long degenerative condition she has. She is co-owner of a company that my gf founded (co-owned with one of my gf's strong-women friends who hasn't had a good, long-term relationship since her divorce ten years ago) and makes good money. Her husband is a music teacher and doesn't make good money. Nothing wrong with that except he doesn't have many friends anymore because they laugh at him for making less money. (again, I'm not exaggerating).

They own a nice apartment paid mostly by her (in all honesty, she can afford it and he can't). That's great for her, right? Who do you think cleans the house? How about cooks dinner? Remember, she's on crutches and can only stand on one leg for a few minutes at a time. So, they hire a cleaner to help her out a couple of times per month. Who pays? Who do you think? And they order out a few times per week because it's hard for her to use her hands while she cooks (because she needs them to stand upright with the crutches). Who pays? Ah, so maybe they'll go to a restaurant every now and again instead of take-out all the time, right? Nope! Because he doesn't want to get his driver's license. Why is this a problem? They can only go to restaurants where there is parking really close to the restaurant due to her not being able to walk very far (i.e. - he won't get his license so that he can drop her off and drive to a parking lot and return to meet her at the restaurant).

It gets better! She has been saving for three years to have surgery so that she can get a new knee. Then her mom has to have an emergency surgery, thus delaying my friends surgery. The mom is in the ICU for about a week and an in-patient for another 10 days or so. Who spends all her time with the mom in the hospital? The son? NO! Because the son "has a job and needs to work." (<-- That's a direct quote.) Remember, my friend co-owns a business (she's the graphic designer in a communications company). The husband complains that my friend is at the hospital with her mother because doesn't want to call the restaurant to order out food because they don't know him as well as they know her.

And now, it's time for her surgery that will finally allow her to start walking again (and doing something she's only dreamed of the past few years, such as travelling where one needs to walk a lot, for example). But does the husband support her? No! He doesn't want her to get the surgery because "she might die!" OK, with all of her health problems, it was a valid concern, but really, that's not why everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery. Everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery because it will mean she'll have more freedom and will "need him less" (<-- another direct quote from the brother).

OK, she has the surgery (and she's doing great, btw). But the doctor forbids her from driving for a month to let her new knee heal. Does the husband drive her to work? No, of course not silly. Remember, he doesn't have a driver's license and doesn't need it because she has one. So, her aunt comes to stay with them for a few weeks to help out. The aunt cooks, the aunt cleans, the aunt drives my friend to PT and sometimes to work and back...and drives the husband to his music lessons now because, well, there's someone who can drive him now. And then, when it comes time for the aunt to go back and take care of her family, the husband complains because it means he'll have to take care of some things while my friend continues to recover.

Fast-forward. She's not my student anymore because, unfortunately, the surgery, PT, and all the other expenses of her (and him) having to pay for things they should have been doing on their own the past few years (i.e. - eating out instead of him cooking, etc) have left them financially strapped. They've cut out a lot of things, but the two things he's complaining about? No cleaner and no cable...both of which she paid for.

This is not an exaggerated story. It's NORMAL. Men here are children, and they treat women like servants, and the better looking the servant, the higher the man's standing. And since here it's a man's world, well, why would anyone care about a woman's standing? The answer is that they don't. So since women aren't important, they might as well look pretty.

Again, I'm not making this up. This is how it is here, and I can't tell you how many times I've pleaded with my gf to make her 20 year-old son do the dishes, cook, or do the laundry to help her out around the house (I don't live with them, btw, and can't tell him myself because, well, he has a dad and that's a sensitive subject - a father who, btw, hardly acknowledges the son outside of work because all that lovey-dovey stuff is for the mom, but I digress). She says she's tried her best and she's harder than the vast majority of moms. At some point, he needs to stand up and do things himself. Will he? Who knows? Societal pressures are pretty strong and guess what? He now has a trophy gf he's madly in love with.

So yeah, in some contexts, Drivel's point is spot on.

What you describe is absolutely horrible and I believe every word of it. However, you would probably agree that there are even worse atrocities imposed upon females in other parts of the world (genital mutilation / widow burning). I would never say that Brazilian women are 'incredibly lucky' for not living in those areas. Anyone who is oppressed is not lucky, and you can always find someone who has it worse.

As far as being described as a bull in a China shop feminist, I tend to think of myself as someone who just wants to be treated as a human being. What's so radical about that?


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 9:27 AM
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cracklover wrote:
GMBurns, don't bother - most here are totally convinced that they're living in a beer commercial, despite the evidence all around them every day showing otherwise.

GO

Thank you for categorizing some of us as delusional simply because we disagree with you. That always makes it easier to dismiss differing opinions.

You don't have to take my word for it, but here is the perspective of sexualization from a 17 year old blogger from Waterville, ME:

http://www.sparksummit.com/...the-power-of-a-word/

I thought it was interesting and timely that it showed up in my FB newsfeed this morning.


lena_chita
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Jun 4, 2012, 9:27 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

Sexy doesn't have to mean that you're advertising for sex. For me, sexy on a man is flat stomach with a great set of abs, nice lats and generally well defined muscle. For the ladies we should be trim, a nice set of tits and well shapped ass.

I'm just saying you take a sample of 30 year olds in the work place and you'll find that men don't care if they look sexy, women are still very concerned with this (regardless if they're looking for a mate or not). So why do women care more than men? Because we're supossed to and we're judged if we're not.




I think they point that you're missing Gabe, is that the differences in how men and women are precived and the things that we're told are valuable about our sex from society is not blatant. It's a subtle attitude and change can only happen if we pay attention to it and we make effort to change it.

I feel that BEC is aware of it, and he is doing his best to send positive messages to his daughter to combat it. I think the reason why so many people keep jumping on you is that it seems you keep telling us that the problem isn't as bad as we think it is.


I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 9:45 AM
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Not to mention that toys are getting sexier. Check these out:

http://www.adiosbarbie.com/...re-bears-and-barbie/

http://thesocietypages.org/...-cabbage-patch-kids/

http://msmagazine.com/...rite-and-candy-land/

Check out CandyLand!
Then:


Now:


And Barbie continues to evolve:



Partner cracklover


Jun 4, 2012, 9:47 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
GMBurns, don't bother - most here are totally convinced that they're living in a beer commercial, despite the evidence all around them every day showing otherwise.

GO

Thank you for categorizing some of us as delusional simply because we disagree with you. That always makes it easier to dismiss differing opinions.

You don't have to take my word for it, but here is the perspective of sexualization from a 17 year old blogger from Waterville, ME:

http://www.sparksummit.com/...the-power-of-a-word/

I thought it was interesting and timely that it showed up in my FB newsfeed this morning.

Oh dear. I seem to be failing to make myself clear. Why do people have to paint this as black or white?

I am not calling you delusional.

I am not questioning your story.

What I am saying is that what I see in society is that girls raised in the circumstances you describe as your upbringing, or even the more extreme ones like GMB describe, *do* happen here in the US, but are far from ubiquitous. And that in general, women (like men) get very mixed messages about what they're supposed to be. They get the messages you are highlighting, as well as many others that are contradictory in a whole variety of ways.

Trying to discuss this seems to be making people feel marginalized for their experiences, which is not my intent at all. I recognize that it's a sensitive subject, so please, try not to take my perceptions as invalidating yours.

I started by asking others for their experiences, and that's mostly what I'm looking for. If I'm pushing a little, it's simply to try to see the rest of the picture.

GO


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 9:49 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.

Tiff, I'm not saying you should feel lucky compared to men in the US, but yes, you have it much better than than women in other countries, much better. And I'm not saying you should stop fighting. In fact, I was more speaking about Drivel's initial comment. I never said pay or treatment was fair there.

But back to the point of what Drivel was trying to say, here, in Brasil, the ingrained culture is that women exist to make the home a happy place and men exist to provide. Women who speak out against it are often banished from society, not allowed to have friends or visitors, and men are judged by their "trophies," thus giving the men perfectly good reason to keep their women in line (because trophies don't talk, have opinions, work (and no, work in the home isn't considered work here), drive with men in the passenger seat, pass other cars that men are driving if the woman is driving, etc., etc., etc.).

Trophies look sexy; trophies have sex when the man wants to have sex; trophies clean the house and cook dinner; trophies deal with the crying children; trophies wash the dishes and do the laundry; trophies load the groceries onto the belt, bag the groceries after they've passed the scanner, and pay the bill all the while the man stands and the end waiting for the trophy to finish everything; trophies have to ask permission to have male friends (or even to continue long-standing friendships with men that began before the marriage); trophies are only allowed to go out with other men if those men are friends with the husband...I could go on.

I saw this in the U.S. maybe once every few months, if that, and when I did it certainly wasn't to the extreme level that it is here. Here, I see it every single day multiple times per day. The US (and in North America in general) does not have a macho culture. In fact, it's not even close. In the U.S., if a man at work hits on a girl then that man can get fired. Here, the woman gets fired. In the U.S., domestic violence is a problem, but it's also frowned upon. Here, the woman deserved it. In the U.S., rape is a very serious crime. Here, rapists get raped in prison more than other criminals because why would a man need to rape a woman when that's what the woman's role is? I'm not making this shit up.

I'm lucky to have a girlfriend with similar attitudes that you have (in a feminist bull-in-a-china-shop sort of way, as well. In fact, if we ever make it back to Boston I kind of figured you'd be someone she'd latch right on to due to your similarities), but the difference is that I don't really see people shunning you (maybe I don't know you well enough) for being a strong woman. Here, I see this sort of thing all the time. Most of the strong women who I know here can't maintain any kind of long-term relationship as a result of the societal pressures they face to shut the hell up and look pretty. That's their role here. That's how women are valued here. I'm not exaggerating. It's part of the reason why Brasil has an eating disorder epidemic (too many girls want to be like Gisele).

Of all the non-American men I know here, I'm the only one who knows how to use a washing machine. And of the ones who cook on a regular basis, only a few aren't gay.

A good friend of mine, and one of my former students, has been on crutches for the past three years due to a life-long degenerative condition she has. She is co-owner of a company that my gf founded (co-owned with one of my gf's strong-women friends who hasn't had a good, long-term relationship since her divorce ten years ago) and makes good money. Her husband is a music teacher and doesn't make good money. Nothing wrong with that except he doesn't have many friends anymore because they laugh at him for making less money. (again, I'm not exaggerating).

They own a nice apartment paid mostly by her (in all honesty, she can afford it and he can't). That's great for her, right? Who do you think cleans the house? How about cooks dinner? Remember, she's on crutches and can only stand on one leg for a few minutes at a time. So, they hire a cleaner to help her out a couple of times per month. Who pays? Who do you think? And they order out a few times per week because it's hard for her to use her hands while she cooks (because she needs them to stand upright with the crutches). Who pays? Ah, so maybe they'll go to a restaurant every now and again instead of take-out all the time, right? Nope! Because he doesn't want to get his driver's license. Why is this a problem? They can only go to restaurants where there is parking really close to the restaurant due to her not being able to walk very far (i.e. - he won't get his license so that he can drop her off and drive to a parking lot and return to meet her at the restaurant).

It gets better! She has been saving for three years to have surgery so that she can get a new knee. Then her mom has to have an emergency surgery, thus delaying my friends surgery. The mom is in the ICU for about a week and an in-patient for another 10 days or so. Who spends all her time with the mom in the hospital? The son? NO! Because the son "has a job and needs to work." (<-- That's a direct quote.) Remember, my friend co-owns a business (she's the graphic designer in a communications company). The husband complains that my friend is at the hospital with her mother because doesn't want to call the restaurant to order out food because they don't know him as well as they know her.

And now, it's time for her surgery that will finally allow her to start walking again (and doing something she's only dreamed of the past few years, such as travelling where one needs to walk a lot, for example). But does the husband support her? No! He doesn't want her to get the surgery because "she might die!" OK, with all of her health problems, it was a valid concern, but really, that's not why everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery. Everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery because it will mean she'll have more freedom and will "need him less" (<-- another direct quote from the brother).

OK, she has the surgery (and she's doing great, btw). But the doctor forbids her from driving for a month to let her new knee heal. Does the husband drive her to work? No, of course not silly. Remember, he doesn't have a driver's license and doesn't need it because she has one. So, her aunt comes to stay with them for a few weeks to help out. The aunt cooks, the aunt cleans, the aunt drives my friend to PT and sometimes to work and back...and drives the husband to his music lessons now because, well, there's someone who can drive him now. And then, when it comes time for the aunt to go back and take care of her family, the husband complains because it means he'll have to take care of some things while my friend continues to recover.

Fast-forward. She's not my student anymore because, unfortunately, the surgery, PT, and all the other expenses of her (and him) having to pay for things they should have been doing on their own the past few years (i.e. - eating out instead of him cooking, etc) have left them financially strapped. They've cut out a lot of things, but the two things he's complaining about? No cleaner and no cable...both of which she paid for.

This is not an exaggerated story. It's NORMAL. Men here are children, and they treat women like servants, and the better looking the servant, the higher the man's standing. And since here it's a man's world, well, why would anyone care about a woman's standing? The answer is that they don't. So since women aren't important, they might as well look pretty.

Again, I'm not making this up. This is how it is here, and I can't tell you how many times I've pleaded with my gf to make her 20 year-old son do the dishes, cook, or do the laundry to help her out around the house (I don't live with them, btw, and can't tell him myself because, well, he has a dad and that's a sensitive subject - a father who, btw, hardly acknowledges the son outside of work because all that lovey-dovey stuff is for the mom, but I digress). She says she's tried her best and she's harder than the vast majority of moms. At some point, he needs to stand up and do things himself. Will he? Who knows? Societal pressures are pretty strong and guess what? He now has a trophy gf he's madly in love with.

So yeah, in some contexts, Drivel's point is spot on.

What you describe is absolutely horrible and I believe every word of it. However, you would probably agree that there are even worse atrocities imposed upon females in other parts of the world (genital mutilation / widow burning). I would never say that Brazilian women are 'incredibly lucky' for not living in those areas. Anyone who is oppressed is not lucky, and you can always find someone who has it worse.

As far as being described as a bull in a China shop feminist, I tend to think of myself as someone who just wants to be treated as a human being. What's so radical about that?

I just wanted to repeat that, because you've said something more clearly that I have apparently been able to.

I would also like to point out that while it's nice that Gmburns thinks rape is treated as a very serious crime in the US, the fact is that it's grossly underreported and has a frighteningly low conviction rate when it is. And when it is, the victim is put on trial, because any display of sexuality under her own agency (look what she was wearing, she's into BDSM and is a freak, she made out with a girl at that party!) it is treated as license for men to do whatever they want. And if they can make the vicim look like a slut, no conviction. So yes, we have a long way to go there as well.

my sister, the one who got called a dyke all through high school for wearing loose/boys clothes? she's a tough chick. she is told, laughing, by a frightening number of people that they're sure she could kick somebody's ass and they're not worried about her walking alone at night because she'd never be raped. Which is cruel every time, because her first penis-in-vagina experience was, in fact, rape. Which she never reported because what was the point? She was underage drinking at the guys house late at night.


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 9:53 AM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

I find this conversation incredibly frustrating, but since you're so determined to go with the book author photo, here is an example:

The author of the incredibly popular Twilight books, looks like this:

[image]http://www-hollywoodlife-com.vimg.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/062811_stephenie_meyer_the_host_600110628125419.jpg[/image]

her author photo on her books looks like this:

[image]http://www.4tnz.com/files/stephenie-meyer.jpg[/image]


why do you think that is?

I'm sorry you're frustrated. That can happen when you stand behind hyperbole as fact.

Ha! Those photos are awesome! Um... because the books are written for a shallow audience?

GO


the books are written for girls, who don't want to fuck stephanie meyers. try again.


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 9:58 AM
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drivel wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I spelled it out, and Drivel agreed that's what she meant. So far no-one else has actually touched it. All of you have merely said that yes, there are gender biases in modern society, and yes, women's looks and attractiveness is deemed important, and that this is *one* of the messages society sends girls. None of that lends a whit of credence to Drivel's claim.

GO

I can't get to the far end of the extreme that you want to take Drivel's comment, but if you spend a good amount of time in a place like Brasil then you'd see very clearly what he means.

North American women are incredibly lucky.

We are lucky that women in other countries are more oppressed than those of us in the states? I guess I should be thankful that I earn as much as 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Thanks for enlightening me as to how liberated we are.

Tiff, I'm not saying you should feel lucky compared to men in the US, but yes, you have it much better than than women in other countries, much better. And I'm not saying you should stop fighting. In fact, I was more speaking about Drivel's initial comment. I never said pay or treatment was fair there.

But back to the point of what Drivel was trying to say, here, in Brasil, the ingrained culture is that women exist to make the home a happy place and men exist to provide. Women who speak out against it are often banished from society, not allowed to have friends or visitors, and men are judged by their "trophies," thus giving the men perfectly good reason to keep their women in line (because trophies don't talk, have opinions, work (and no, work in the home isn't considered work here), drive with men in the passenger seat, pass other cars that men are driving if the woman is driving, etc., etc., etc.).

Trophies look sexy; trophies have sex when the man wants to have sex; trophies clean the house and cook dinner; trophies deal with the crying children; trophies wash the dishes and do the laundry; trophies load the groceries onto the belt, bag the groceries after they've passed the scanner, and pay the bill all the while the man stands and the end waiting for the trophy to finish everything; trophies have to ask permission to have male friends (or even to continue long-standing friendships with men that began before the marriage); trophies are only allowed to go out with other men if those men are friends with the husband...I could go on.

I saw this in the U.S. maybe once every few months, if that, and when I did it certainly wasn't to the extreme level that it is here. Here, I see it every single day multiple times per day. The US (and in North America in general) does not have a macho culture. In fact, it's not even close. In the U.S., if a man at work hits on a girl then that man can get fired. Here, the woman gets fired. In the U.S., domestic violence is a problem, but it's also frowned upon. Here, the woman deserved it. In the U.S., rape is a very serious crime. Here, rapists get raped in prison more than other criminals because why would a man need to rape a woman when that's what the woman's role is? I'm not making this shit up.

I'm lucky to have a girlfriend with similar attitudes that you have (in a feminist bull-in-a-china-shop sort of way, as well. In fact, if we ever make it back to Boston I kind of figured you'd be someone she'd latch right on to due to your similarities), but the difference is that I don't really see people shunning you (maybe I don't know you well enough) for being a strong woman. Here, I see this sort of thing all the time. Most of the strong women who I know here can't maintain any kind of long-term relationship as a result of the societal pressures they face to shut the hell up and look pretty. That's their role here. That's how women are valued here. I'm not exaggerating. It's part of the reason why Brasil has an eating disorder epidemic (too many girls want to be like Gisele).

Of all the non-American men I know here, I'm the only one who knows how to use a washing machine. And of the ones who cook on a regular basis, only a few aren't gay.

A good friend of mine, and one of my former students, has been on crutches for the past three years due to a life-long degenerative condition she has. She is co-owner of a company that my gf founded (co-owned with one of my gf's strong-women friends who hasn't had a good, long-term relationship since her divorce ten years ago) and makes good money. Her husband is a music teacher and doesn't make good money. Nothing wrong with that except he doesn't have many friends anymore because they laugh at him for making less money. (again, I'm not exaggerating).

They own a nice apartment paid mostly by her (in all honesty, she can afford it and he can't). That's great for her, right? Who do you think cleans the house? How about cooks dinner? Remember, she's on crutches and can only stand on one leg for a few minutes at a time. So, they hire a cleaner to help her out a couple of times per month. Who pays? Who do you think? And they order out a few times per week because it's hard for her to use her hands while she cooks (because she needs them to stand upright with the crutches). Who pays? Ah, so maybe they'll go to a restaurant every now and again instead of take-out all the time, right? Nope! Because he doesn't want to get his driver's license. Why is this a problem? They can only go to restaurants where there is parking really close to the restaurant due to her not being able to walk very far (i.e. - he won't get his license so that he can drop her off and drive to a parking lot and return to meet her at the restaurant).

It gets better! She has been saving for three years to have surgery so that she can get a new knee. Then her mom has to have an emergency surgery, thus delaying my friends surgery. The mom is in the ICU for about a week and an in-patient for another 10 days or so. Who spends all her time with the mom in the hospital? The son? NO! Because the son "has a job and needs to work." (<-- That's a direct quote.) Remember, my friend co-owns a business (she's the graphic designer in a communications company). The husband complains that my friend is at the hospital with her mother because doesn't want to call the restaurant to order out food because they don't know him as well as they know her.

And now, it's time for her surgery that will finally allow her to start walking again (and doing something she's only dreamed of the past few years, such as travelling where one needs to walk a lot, for example). But does the husband support her? No! He doesn't want her to get the surgery because "she might die!" OK, with all of her health problems, it was a valid concern, but really, that's not why everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery. Everyone thinks he doesn't want her to get the surgery because it will mean she'll have more freedom and will "need him less" (<-- another direct quote from the brother).

OK, she has the surgery (and she's doing great, btw). But the doctor forbids her from driving for a month to let her new knee heal. Does the husband drive her to work? No, of course not silly. Remember, he doesn't have a driver's license and doesn't need it because she has one. So, her aunt comes to stay with them for a few weeks to help out. The aunt cooks, the aunt cleans, the aunt drives my friend to PT and sometimes to work and back...and drives the husband to his music lessons now because, well, there's someone who can drive him now. And then, when it comes time for the aunt to go back and take care of her family, the husband complains because it means he'll have to take care of some things while my friend continues to recover.

Fast-forward. She's not my student anymore because, unfortunately, the surgery, PT, and all the other expenses of her (and him) having to pay for things they should have been doing on their own the past few years (i.e. - eating out instead of him cooking, etc) have left them financially strapped. They've cut out a lot of things, but the two things he's complaining about? No cleaner and no cable...both of which she paid for.

This is not an exaggerated story. It's NORMAL. Men here are children, and they treat women like servants, and the better looking the servant, the higher the man's standing. And since here it's a man's world, well, why would anyone care about a woman's standing? The answer is that they don't. So since women aren't important, they might as well look pretty.

Again, I'm not making this up. This is how it is here, and I can't tell you how many times I've pleaded with my gf to make her 20 year-old son do the dishes, cook, or do the laundry to help her out around the house (I don't live with them, btw, and can't tell him myself because, well, he has a dad and that's a sensitive subject - a father who, btw, hardly acknowledges the son outside of work because all that lovey-dovey stuff is for the mom, but I digress). She says she's tried her best and she's harder than the vast majority of moms. At some point, he needs to stand up and do things himself. Will he? Who knows? Societal pressures are pretty strong and guess what? He now has a trophy gf he's madly in love with.

So yeah, in some contexts, Drivel's point is spot on.

What you describe is absolutely horrible and I believe every word of it. However, you would probably agree that there are even worse atrocities imposed upon females in other parts of the world (genital mutilation / widow burning). I would never say that Brazilian women are 'incredibly lucky' for not living in those areas. Anyone who is oppressed is not lucky, and you can always find someone who has it worse.

As far as being described as a bull in a China shop feminist, I tend to think of myself as someone who just wants to be treated as a human being. What's so radical about that?

I just wanted to repeat that, because you've said something more clearly that I have apparently been able to.

I would also like to point out that while it's nice that Gmburns thinks rape is treated as a very serious crime in the US, the fact is that it's grossly underreported and has a frighteningly low conviction rate when it is. And when it is, the victim is put on trial, because any display of sexuality under her own agency (look what she was wearing, she's into BDSM and is a freak, she made out with a girl at that party!) it is treated as license for men to do whatever they want. And if they can make the vicim look like a slut, no conviction. So yes, we have a long way to go there as well.

my sister, the one who got called a dyke all through high school for wearing loose/boys clothes? she's a tough chick. she is told, laughing, by a frightening number of people that they're sure she could kick somebody's ass and they're not worried about her walking alone at night because she'd never be raped. Which is cruel every time, because her first penis-in-vagina experience was, in fact, rape. Which she never reported because what was the point? She was underage drinking at the guys house late at night.


sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


Partner cracklover


Jun 4, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

Sexy doesn't have to mean that you're advertising for sex. For me, sexy on a man is flat stomach with a great set of abs, nice lats and generally well defined muscle. For the ladies we should be trim, a nice set of tits and well shapped ass.

I'm just saying you take a sample of 30 year olds in the work place and you'll find that men don't care if they look sexy, women are still very concerned with this (regardless if they're looking for a mate or not). So why do women care more than men? Because we're supossed to and we're judged if we're not.




I think they point that you're missing Gabe, is that the differences in how men and women are precived and the things that we're told are valuable about our sex from society is not blatant. It's a subtle attitude and change can only happen if we pay attention to it and we make effort to change it.

I feel that BEC is aware of it, and he is doing his best to send positive messages to his daughter to combat it. I think the reason why so many people keep jumping on you is that it seems you keep telling us that the problem isn't as bad as we think it is.


I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

@ GG - I'm sure you're right (that the reason I'm getting flack is that folks here think I'm saying there is no discrimination based on gender in our society). The funny thing is, I've said quite the opposite numerous times. I think there is pervasive gender inequality and a wide variety of biases based on gender.

What I don't think is that Drivel's statement of blunt fact is the whole story in our culture. I see many different threads in modern American society telling girls and women a wide variety of things they're supposed to be (including the always helpful "be yourself"). And what I see is that not all of the messages say that you need to be sexy before society will allow you any other place of importance.

@ Lena - that sucks, plain and simple. And yes, that's a great example of the gender bias I keep saying I agree is prevalent in our society.

GO


carabiner96


Jun 4, 2012, 10:10 AM
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

NO, of course she wouldn't base her decision to get a book based on the picture of the author on the dust cover. And neither would most people. But there is a REASON why the photo of the author is on the inside of the back flap of the book, not on the front.

Yes, and the reason is clear: society agrees that for both men and women, the way you look is *not* a prerequisite for the way your work will be judged. Otherwise we *would* see the author-as-model on the front cover.

GO

Everyone gets judged on how they look, whether you think it gets done or not.

An interesting difference I find is that women spend more time on their looks then men do, and not just with things like hair and makeup. Once guys hit around 30 (or a little earlier) they start to "let themselves go". Get little beer bellies (or big ones), etc. Women at this age are still stressing and striving to diet and keep the weight off.

In society it's far more acceptable for a man to let himself go than for a woman.

Of course, everyone is judged on his/her looks, and women more than men. How's that got anything to do with what you just quoted me (above) saying? Do you agree that if a woman doesn't have a sexy photo of herself prominently placed on a book she'd authored, that no-one would ever bother to read the book, because the woman couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say if she wasn't a sex-object?

GO

Sexy doesn't have to mean that you're advertising for sex. For me, sexy on a man is flat stomach with a great set of abs, nice lats and generally well defined muscle. For the ladies we should be trim, a nice set of tits and well shapped ass.

I'm just saying you take a sample of 30 year olds in the work place and you'll find that men don't care if they look sexy, women are still very concerned with this (regardless if they're looking for a mate or not). So why do women care more than men? Because we're supossed to and we're judged if we're not.




I think they point that you're missing Gabe, is that the differences in how men and women are precived and the things that we're told are valuable about our sex from society is not blatant. It's a subtle attitude and change can only happen if we pay attention to it and we make effort to change it.

I feel that BEC is aware of it, and he is doing his best to send positive messages to his daughter to combat it. I think the reason why so many people keep jumping on you is that it seems you keep telling us that the problem isn't as bad as we think it is.


I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

@ GG - I'm sure you're right (that the reason I'm getting flack is that folks here think I'm saying there is no discrimination based on gender in our society). The funny thing is, I've said quite the opposite numerous times. I think there is pervasive gender inequality and a wide variety of biases based on gender.

What I don't think is that Drivel's statement of blunt fact is the whole story in our culture. I see many different threads in modern American society telling girls and women a wide variety of things they're supposed to be (including the always helpful "be yourself"). And what I see is that not all of the messages say that you need to be sexy before society will allow you any other place of importance.

@ Lena - that sucks, plain and simple. And yes, that's a great example of the gender bias I keep saying I agree is prevalent in our society.

GO
Perhaps this is a part of the discrepancy. Boys don't need to be told to be themselves. Girls need to be given permission.


carabiner96


Jun 4, 2012, 10:11 AM
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^^That was heinously oversimplified on my part, I'm just too hopped up on benadryl to put much more effort into anything.


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 10:13 AM
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carabiner96 wrote:
^^That was heinously oversimplified on my part, I'm just too hopped up on benadryl to put much more effort into anything.

I thought is was simply stated and eloquent. Hope you feel better.


clee03m


Jun 4, 2012, 10:37 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
What you describe is absolutely horrible and I believe every word of it. However, you would probably agree that there are even worse atrocities imposed upon females in other parts of the world (genital mutilation / widow burning). I would never say that Brazilian women are 'incredibly lucky' for not living in those areas. Anyone who is oppressed is not lucky, and you can always find someone who has it worse.

As far as being described as a bull in a China shop feminist, I tend to think of myself as someone who just wants to be treated as a human being. What's so radical about that?

Once again, she said it better than I could've. Gm, I don't think you meant to be offensive, but what you said about how we should feel 'incredibly lucky' was pretty bad.


Partner cracklover


Jun 4, 2012, 10:40 AM
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If I can be reasonably accused of one thing in this thread, it's of being overly optimistic.

In my defense, Howard Zinn said this better than I can:

"An optimist isnít necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something." --Howard Zinn

It's precisely that "seeing both the best and the worst", and "our capacity to do something" that I have been trying to emphasize throughout this thread. That's where my reference to women-only climbing clinics came from. There's clearly a risk tolerance issue that some women struggle with, and it's fascinating *and actionable* that such clinics are a way to help break through such barriers for some women.

Cheers,

GO


clee03m


Jun 4, 2012, 10:45 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her. I am almost glad I don't have daughters to have to try to undo what is being done. I have noticed that in our efforts to be gender neutral and minimize heterosexual bias, my husband and I are having some difficulty finding books and toys that we feel are completely appropriate.


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
If I can be reasonably accused of one thing in this thread, it's of being overly optimistic.

In my defense, Howard Zinn said this better than I can:

"An optimist isnít necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something." --Howard Zinn

It's precisely that "seeing both the best and the worst", and "our capacity to do something" that I have been trying to emphasize throughout this thread. That's where my reference to women-only climbing clinics came from. There's clearly a risk tolerance issue that some women struggle with, and it's fascinating *and actionable* that such clinics are a way to help break through such barriers for some women.

Cheers,

GO


I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.


clee03m


Jun 4, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Re: [drivel] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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drivel wrote:
I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.

I agree also that in case, this kind of optimism may not pay off. I personally know 4 different girls who were raped, two were their first time ever having sex, and none even bothered reporting. One guy even bragged at school that he had sex with her. Unfortunately, this is our reality. No amount of optimism makes this go away. But it may, as drivel said, silence those who need to speak out.


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Jun 4, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: [drivel] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
If I can be reasonably accused of one thing in this thread, it's of being overly optimistic.

In my defense, Howard Zinn said this better than I can:

"An optimist isnít necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something." --Howard Zinn

It's precisely that "seeing both the best and the worst", and "our capacity to do something" that I have been trying to emphasize throughout this thread. That's where my reference to women-only climbing clinics came from. There's clearly a risk tolerance issue that some women struggle with, and it's fascinating *and actionable* that such clinics are a way to help break through such barriers for some women.

Cheers,

GO


I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.

Oh, there's no doubt that this is happening. What I hope, actually, what I *know* to be true, is that women and girls are *also* getting messages that that tell them about the value that women have had, and do have, and will have, and that they themselves may have, that is not as a sexual object, but as a valuable part of society *irrelevant* to what they look like, or who finds them attractive.

That is the part that is actively denied by your statement "To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men."

GO


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Jun 4, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Re: [clee03m] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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clee03m wrote:
drivel wrote:
I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.

I agree also that in case, this kind of optimism may not pay off. I personally know 4 different girls who were raped, two were their first time ever having sex, and none even bothered reporting. One guy even bragged at school that he had sex with her. Unfortunately, this is our reality. No amount of optimism makes this go away. But it may, as drivel said, silence those who need to speak out.

You either didn't understand my quote, or are choosing to misrepresent it.

GO


lena_chita
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Jun 4, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: [clee03m] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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clee03m wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her.

NO, there isn't really any way to stop people making those comments. The comments are meant to be nice, and usually people don't even realize that they are using different language for boys and girls.

This goes back to the question of how pervasive this attitude is...

The strongly negative attitudes ("you belong in the kitchen woman! Go bring me my beer and shut up!") have clearly diminished/bacame unacceptable to be expressed widely in society.

But the same message is communicated in seemingly positive ways (really, what parent would do anything other than smile and say thank you, when a good-intentioned stranger comments on how pretty her daughter is?). It is not the message that the little girl is pretty that is wrong, in itself. It is what other messages are not being communicated to the little girls. Because absence of praise can speak quite as loudly as the praise...


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
clee03m wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her.

NO, there isn't really any way to stop people making those comments. The comments are meant to be nice, and usually people don't even realize that they are using different language for boys and girls.

This goes back to the question of how pervasive this attitude is...

The strongly negative attitudes ("you belong in the kitchen woman! Go bring me my beer and shut up!") have clearly diminished/bacame unacceptable to be expressed widely in society.

But the same message is communicated in seemingly positive ways (really, what parent would do anything other than smile and say thank you, when a good-intentioned stranger comments on how pretty her daughter is?). It is not the message that the little girl is pretty that is wrong, in itself. It is what other messages are not being communicated to the little girls. Because absence of praise can speak quite as loudly as the praise...

I remember someone once commenting that our daughter was smart when she was little. She said, 'No, I'm not.' She wanted to be pretty rather than smart. You apparently can't be pretty and smart at the same time.


granite_grrl


Jun 4, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
If I can be reasonably accused of one thing in this thread, it's of being overly optimistic.

In my defense, Howard Zinn said this better than I can:

"An optimist isnít necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something." --Howard Zinn

It's precisely that "seeing both the best and the worst", and "our capacity to do something" that I have been trying to emphasize throughout this thread. That's where my reference to women-only climbing clinics came from. There's clearly a risk tolerance issue that some women struggle with, and it's fascinating *and actionable* that such clinics are a way to help break through such barriers for some women.

Cheers,

GO


I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.

Oh, there's no doubt that this is happening. What I hope, actually, what I *know* to be true, is that women and girls are *also* getting messages that that tell them about the value that women have had, and do have, and will have, and that they themselves may have, that is not as a sexual object, but as a valuable part of society *irrelevant* to what they look like, or who finds them attractive.

That is the part that is actively denied by your statement "To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men."

GO

A lot of girls get both messages, but what about the girls who don't? And even when we do get both positive and negaticve messages the signal to noise ratio is pretty high.

I'm an optimist too, my mother had to take drafting in college because it's one of the few trades they'd allow a woman to enter if she didn't want to be a secratery or a nurse. Both me and my older sister are engineers. We were talking recently how we've come a long way in just a generation, but still have a long way to go (it was ~10% female in EE in my graduating class).

When I look at the link of childern's toys it scares the crap out of me. There are so many of us thinking that things are moving forward, but looking at what the generation behind me is being exposed to we might be wrong. Unsure


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Jun 4, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
clee03m wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her.

NO, there isn't really any way to stop people making those comments. The comments are meant to be nice, and usually people don't even realize that they are using different language for boys and girls.

This goes back to the question of how pervasive this attitude is...

The strongly negative attitudes ("you belong in the kitchen woman! Go bring me my beer and shut up!") have clearly diminished/bacame unacceptable to be expressed widely in society.

But the same message is communicated in seemingly positive ways (really, what parent would do anything other than smile and say thank you, when a good-intentioned stranger comments on how pretty her daughter is?). It is not the message that the little girl is pretty that is wrong, in itself. It is what other messages are not being communicated to the little girls. Because absence of praise can speak quite as loudly as the praise...

IRT the part I bolded: I couldn't agree more!

The argument I am trying to make is that the same is true on the societal level as on the personal. By failing to acknowledge and celebrate the positive female role models, the successful and accomplished women in every strata of society, the positive messages being sent every day, we are cursing society. We are denigrating and devaluing the good by failing to acknowledge it alongside the bad.

GO


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Jun 4, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
If I can be reasonably accused of one thing in this thread, it's of being overly optimistic.

In my defense, Howard Zinn said this better than I can:

"An optimist isnít necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something." --Howard Zinn

It's precisely that "seeing both the best and the worst", and "our capacity to do something" that I have been trying to emphasize throughout this thread. That's where my reference to women-only climbing clinics came from. There's clearly a risk tolerance issue that some women struggle with, and it's fascinating *and actionable* that such clinics are a way to help break through such barriers for some women.

Cheers,

GO


I have thought this whole time that you don't want to accept the premise [that women are socialized to be sex objects of men] because you dearly hope that it's not true. Because you want the world or at least our country to be better than that. That doesn't help anything though, and it has the side effect of silencing people who experience the problem.

Oh, there's no doubt that this is happening. What I hope, actually, what I *know* to be true, is that women and girls are *also* getting messages that that tell them about the value that women have had, and do have, and will have, and that they themselves may have, that is not as a sexual object, but as a valuable part of society *irrelevant* to what they look like, or who finds them attractive.

That is the part that is actively denied by your statement "To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men."

GO

A lot of girls get both messages, but what about the girls who don't? And even when we do get both positive and negaticve messages the signal to noise ratio is pretty high.

I'm an optimist too, my mother had to take drafting in college because it's one of the few trades they'd allow a woman to enter if she didn't want to be a secratery or a nurse. Both me and my older sister are engineers. We were talking recently how we've come a long way in just a generation, but still have a long way to go (it was ~10% female in EE in my graduating class).

When I look at the link of childern's toys it scares the crap out of me. There are so many of us thinking that things are moving forward, but looking at what the generation behind me is being exposed to we might be wrong. Unsure

I think the last 15 years has seen what I would call a "post-feminist" trend among women in society. Part of this is the rejection of some of the feminist ideals of the 60s and 70s, and the desire to retake the "sexy" as a tool of power. I feel like that's fine, to a degree. The trouble is - who's defining "sexy"?

Oh, and worse than those toys are the little girls JonBenet Ramsey style fashion shows. They make me want to puke.

GO


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 12:08 PM
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drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.


SylviaSmile


Jun 4, 2012, 12:59 PM
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drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)


drivel


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SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)

and this is where we wildly disagree on "nature vs nuture"

The fact that women tend to put others desires above their own men do not is part of male privilege. Men are taught that they have the right to have desires, and women are taught that they have the right to be grateful if they are desired.


(This post was edited by drivel on Jun 4, 2012, 1:15 PM)


Gmburns2000


Jun 4, 2012, 1:19 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:


What you describe is absolutely horrible and I believe every word of it. However, you would probably agree that there are even worse atrocities imposed upon females in other parts of the world (genital mutilation / widow burning). I would never say that Brazilian women are 'incredibly lucky' for not living in those areas. Anyone who is oppressed is not lucky, and you can always find someone who has it worse.

Don't disagree with that point at all, and there's always work to be done, but really, it's also OK to acknowledge advances and to be happy with one's situation. Of course, this wasn't my point to begin with, but I guess it did come across that way.

In reply to:
As far as being described as a bull in a China shop feminist, I tend to think of myself as someone who just wants to be treated as a human being. What's so radical about that?

Actually, I used those words to describe you because you once used them to describe yourself one day. Laugh

Don't remember when it was. Might have been at the gym.


SylviaSmile


Jun 4, 2012, 1:22 PM
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drivel wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)

and this is where we wildly disagree on "nature vs nuture"

The fact that women tend to put others desires above their own men do not is part of male privilege. Men are taught that they have the right to have desires, and women are taught that they have the right to be grateful if they are desired.

That's just as general as my statements, and also I don't think it holds true. At least, I don't think it explains all the phenomena. Little boys are given the same rules as little girls for "playing nice" yet even at the youngest ages they get in different sorts of fights. My brother was raised in an environment with four sisters and given no preferential/different treatment because he was a boy, yet he is still a mysterious alien to me. I guess a lot of it could be in schools, but I just think there is a lot that socialization alone does not explain. Maybe the larger issue is that I don't necessarily see that it would be beneficial completely to eradicate ALL gender-based behavioral differences, even if it were possible to do so.


wonderwoman


Jun 4, 2012, 1:24 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Actually, I used those words to describe you because you once used them to describe yourself one day. Laugh

Don't remember when it was. Might have been at the gym.

I am a bull in a China shop about a lot of things. I just never thought of civil rights as being one of those things.


granite_grrl


Jun 4, 2012, 1:29 PM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)

and this is where we wildly disagree on "nature vs nuture"

The fact that women tend to put others desires above their own men do not is part of male privilege. Men are taught that they have the right to have desires, and women are taught that they have the right to be grateful if they are desired.

That's just as general as my statements, and also I don't think it holds true. At least, I don't think it explains all the phenomena. Little boys are given the same rules as little girls for "playing nice" yet even at the youngest ages they get in different sorts of fights. My brother was raised in an environment with four sisters and given no preferential/different treatment because he was a boy, yet he is still a mysterious alien to me. I guess a lot of it could be in schools, but I just think there is a lot that socialization alone does not explain. Maybe the larger issue is that I don't necessarily see that it would be beneficial completely to eradicate ALL gender-based behavioral differences, even if it were possible to do so.

If you asked my brother and sister in-law if they had treated their little boy or little girl differenly as toddlers they would adamently tell you "No". Yet my brother plays with his sone a lot rougher than he ever played with his daughter.


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 1:37 PM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)

and this is where we wildly disagree on "nature vs nuture"

The fact that women tend to put others desires above their own men do not is part of male privilege. Men are taught that they have the right to have desires, and women are taught that they have the right to be grateful if they are desired.

That's just as general as my statements, and also I don't think it holds true. At least, I don't think it explains all the phenomena. Little boys are given the same rules as little girls for "playing nice" yet even at the youngest ages they get in different sorts of fights. My brother was raised in an environment with four sisters and given no preferential/different treatment because he was a boy, yet he is still a mysterious alien to me. I guess a lot of it could be in schools, but I just think there is a lot that socialization alone does not explain. Maybe the larger issue is that I don't necessarily see that it would be beneficial completely to eradicate ALL gender-based behavioral differences, even if it were possible to do so.

i dont think you could even close to say that's true.


Partner cracklover


Jun 4, 2012, 1:38 PM
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drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

As far as requiring affirmative consent, I think most people who care about each other have no problem reading each others' signals.

I didn't really have much of value to add. But if you want my thoughts: I've always taken the phrase "no means no" to mean that if at any point the woman says "no", then no matter whether she said yes a hundred times, to everything leading up to that, no means exactly that, and all those other "signals" are irrelevant, at that given point in time.

In reply to:
also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

Okay, well do you also see how in your original statement, by your omission of those "alternative" messages (if you must call them that), you denied their existence? Your statement was really quite absolute.

GO


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 1:39 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

I'm going to be controversial here and say that the issue with rape/not reporting rape goes a bit deeper than just women being trained to think of themselves as sex objects, though of course that is extremely pertinent. I think another part of it also has to do with the fact that women have a peculiar ability to internalize intuitively others' needs and desires and give them preference to their own needs and desires, often more so than men. Obviously that's a very general statement, but it's probably linked to a maternal instinct so that mothers can sense what their children need without having to be told. When this tendency is wrapped up with the complicating factors of sexual desire and a man's unique ability NOT to internalize another's feelings (or easily to ignore them), it can get very dangerous. I agree that "we should have a culture of requiring affirmative consent," yet I can also see how this is still a work in progress when I don't see that guys even from a young age have a tendency to ask permission for things...nature vs. nurture, I don't know, but it does sort of connect back to the risk tolerance issue in just seeing different approaches to doing something that might be considered unacceptable, scary, daring, etc.

I'm still aghast whenever I think of the statistics that show that rape, the most awful of violent crimes, is most often perpetrated by someone who actually KNOWS the victim. In fact, this also happened to one of my friends (a "date rape" scenario, which I think is an awful, stupid, and oxymoronic phrase), but she did end up reporting it. I recall her saying that the police in our southern town told her that probably they wouldn't do much to prosecute the guy. Mad Why aren't MEN more up in arms about rape, anyway?? When you think about it, the problem of rape is at the core a MEN'S issue, not a woman's issue--no matter how self-confident a woman is or sure of herself or NOT seeing herself as a sex object, it can still happen to her, simply by the fact of a man being violent and evil. (And yes, I know that women do commit rape, but those scenarios are by far more rare.)

and this is where we wildly disagree on "nature vs nuture"

The fact that women tend to put others desires above their own men do not is part of male privilege. Men are taught that they have the right to have desires, and women are taught that they have the right to be grateful if they are desired.

That's just as general as my statements, and also I don't think it holds true. At least, I don't think it explains all the phenomena. Little boys are given the same rules as little girls for "playing nice" yet even at the youngest ages they get in different sorts of fights. My brother was raised in an environment with four sisters and given no preferential/different treatment because he was a boy, yet he is still a mysterious alien to me. I guess a lot of it could be in schools, but I just think there is a lot that socialization alone does not explain. Maybe the larger issue is that I don't necessarily see that it would be beneficial completely to eradicate ALL gender-based behavioral differences, even if it were possible to do so.

If you asked my brother and sister in-law if they had treated their little boy or little girl differenly as toddlers they would adamently tell you "No". Yet my brother plays with his sone a lot rougher than he ever played with his daughter.


yeah, I don't think my parents would even make any pretense about treating the sons and the daughters differently in my family.

example- my brother and I were allowed to go camping with our friends in high school overnight, including in mixed-sex groups. my sisters were never allowed to, because it wasn't seemly or proper. they couldn't go in an all girls group because who would take care of them/what if the car got stuck/ they were incompetent to camp without a man. and if they went in a group that included boys, well, somebody might rape them.


drivel


Jun 4, 2012, 1:49 PM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
drivel wrote:

sorry, gonna elaborate on this one. every girl who's ever wondered if it was really "rape rape" despite the fact that she never said he could put his dick in her, that maybe it was her own fault for being at that party/flirting with him/taking her shirt off, that maybe he could not be expected to stop? that is the result of teaching girls and women that they are the sex objects of men. consent is ASSUMED. their bodies are assumed to be available. that's is what is implied in "no means no." because it's yes until she screams no amirite?

[it should be "yes means yes," and we *should* have a culture of requiring affirmative consent, but we don't.]


you gonna respond to this one, GO?

As far as requiring affirmative consent, I think most people who care about each other have no problem reading each others' signals.

I didn't really have much of value to add. But if you want my thoughts: I've always taken the phrase "no means no" to mean that if at any point the woman says "no", then no matter whether she said yes a hundred times, to everything leading up to that, no means exactly that, and all those other "signals" are irrelevant, at that given point in time.

but she has to SAY no. which means you get to assume yes.

and I think "I think most people who care about each other have no problem reading each others' signals. " is ridiculously optimistic in both parts, plus the implications. that all people who are having sex consist of two partners who care about each other, and that they'll have "no trouble" reading each other's signals.... and that those "signals" will be respected. That last bit is exactly what's omitted in a "no means no" model. It forces women to SAY "no" when they've been trained their whole lives to say yes to men and to doubt their own right to decide.


edited to add: I think that's double ridiculously optimistic when talking about teenagers or young adults who are just starting to be sexual. They're supposed to magically read each other perfectly?

cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
also, I see what you're trying to get at with saying there are alternative messages. But the fact remains that every girl DOES get the negative messages, even among the ones that also manage to get some positive ones as "alternatives," the positioning of which is itself problematic, as 'biner pointed out.

Okay, well do you also see how in your original statement, by your omission of those "alternative" messages (if you must call them that), you denied their existence? Your statement was really quite absolute.

GO

I meant exactly what I said.


(This post was edited by drivel on Jun 4, 2012, 1:51 PM)


kiwiprincess


Jun 4, 2012, 2:20 PM
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I was raised equal to my Brothers. My mum was not a feminist but at a school where the rules were girls had to wear skirts I wore trousers and when she said they were more practical and That's how it was going to be no one challenged her further.

Society can be a boys club, and The sexualisation, and objectification of women can be horrifying...I can't watch MTV without wondering why such talented girls are selling them selves like that (I would never let a kid watch Music video's unsupervised ever!)
If a girl knows her value by being valued and encouraged for all her attributes in the Family, she will speak her mind on her personal safety, on her rights, and know what she wants rather than conforming to these stereo types.

Confidence in yourself as a person, is the best tool to have


rmsusa


Jun 4, 2012, 3:10 PM
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In reply to:
NO, there isn't really any way to stop people making those comments. The comments are meant to be nice, and usually people don't even realize that they are using different language for boys and girls.

You're exactly right that people do this quite unconsciously. It's basically the way the species behaves. Society will continue sending this message (IMHO) till there aren't humans any more. Individuals will always have to struggle to "be themselves" despite the message and struggle they should. It's hard for a male to be a stay at home dad and it's hard for a female to be a senator.

If there's one thing that's hardwired into human beings, it's gender differences. There are about 3 million years of primate evolution tied up in females being pretty and males being bold. Cultural behavior is changing rapidly since reproduction and sex were widely decoupled with the pill. In the US, title 9 was a social game changer for females. For the first time in history, large numbers of females started in athletics, which is incredibly empowering. I've seen big changes over the course of my own adult life.

But ...does anybody seriously think females will stop wearing make-up or dressing up to look good? Does anybody seriously think that males will stop going to the gym to be strong?

So now I'll shut up and go away. The interesting thing to me is not the message, but how genes are expressed in individual and collective behavior and how much of that is really amenable to change.


dr_feelgood


Jun 4, 2012, 4:22 PM
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clee03m wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her. I am almost glad I don't have daughters to have to try to undo what is being done. I have noticed that in our efforts to be gender neutral and minimize heterosexual bias, my husband and I are having some difficulty finding books and toys that we feel are completely appropriate.


Good for you. I just can't help but think of this onion article(because all of my humor is secondhand onion jokes).

theonion wrote:
BERKELEY, CAóCiting a refusal to impose limiting social constructs on their offspring, parents Lucas Cady and Kat Loesel reported Monday they will not tell their 4-year-old, Quynn, whether the child is biologically male or female. "Who are Kat and I to say what sexual organs our kid possesses?" asked Loesel, who has dressed Quynn in dull gray smocks since birth and only allows the child to play with toy figures that have been neutered of any conventionally feminine or masculine characteristics. "We think it's important our child's frequent questions about girls and boys go unanswered so that Quynn can discover its true sex for itself." The couple also said that parents should be supportive of children who decide they do not have human genitalia at all.


http://www.theonion.com/...child-its-sex,18395/


dr_feelgood


Jun 4, 2012, 4:28 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Actually, I used those words to describe you because you once used them to describe yourself one day. Laugh

Don't remember when it was. Might have been at the gym.

I am a bull in a China shop about a lot of things. I just never thought of civil rights as being one of those things.
If there weren't bulls in china shops, we would still have a system of racial apartheid dominating this country. There is a strong backlash to repeal any progress on eliminating gender based apartheid from the right. I say smash.


clumsy


Jun 5, 2012, 8:14 PM
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lena_chita wrote:

I didn't add personal examples earlier, but if you think that WW's examples are closest to proving Drivel's point, then how about this:

-- I was told (by a teacher in sex ed class, who was looking straight at me when she said that): Men do not like women who are smarter than them.

-- I was told (by a teacher in elementary school!!): Nobody will want to marry you if you write with your left hand.

-- I was told, as a kid, by variety of people: you need to wear skirts more, you look like a boy when you wear shorts; Why do you always climb trees? Men don't like girls with scraped knees; If you keep doing that, your nails will never grow pretty; You would look so much better if you put on some make up;

The examples are too numerous to even recall them all. So much of it was along the lines of "behave like a lady, you want to grow up to be a proper lady, so you will find a good husband".

.
'
Lena, where did you go to school? Here or in Georgia? Full blown feminism did not really exist in Soviet Union at that time, and definitely not at schools. Girls were taught to cook and sew, boys made chairs... Good times!


SylviaSmile


Jun 6, 2012, 6:45 AM
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dr_feelgood wrote:
clee03m wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
I keep coming back to one simple and yet very telling difference: girls are praised for their looks, from early age. Boys are usually praised for their actions.

I have one of each, boy and girl. They are reasonably good-looking, they looked very much like each other when they were little, and they both were absolutely adorable toddlers/young preschoolers.

It is really quite ridiculous.

I remember a woman gushing over how smart my 3yo SON was when he counted some apples in the cart out loud in the grocery store.

Several years later, my daughter got complimented by another random stranger for the exact same thing. Except this person didn't say, oh, look how smart you are. She said: oh, how CUTE you are, so precious!!!



I've heard time and time again, directed at my daughter: You are so pretty. You are so cute. Aren't you a precious little princess? What a pretty outfit you have! Look at that cute face!

I've heard time and time again, directed at my son: wow, you are so smart. Wow, you read a lot. Wow, that is an impressive vocabulary.

The thing is, they both have the same IQ. They both qualify for gifted programs. And they are both reasonably good looking. So why the difference in treatment from complete strangers and random people? If this is not representation of "societal attitude", I don't know what is.

While I am not surprised, I am really sorry this is happening. Good thing she has got a great mom who is going to teach her. I would be so angry, but I am not sure how I would be able to prevent this from happening to her. I am almost glad I don't have daughters to have to try to undo what is being done. I have noticed that in our efforts to be gender neutral and minimize heterosexual bias, my husband and I are having some difficulty finding books and toys that we feel are completely appropriate.


Good for you. I just can't help but think of this onion article(because all of my humor is secondhand onion jokes).

theonion wrote:
BERKELEY, CAóCiting a refusal to impose limiting social constructs on their offspring, parents Lucas Cady and Kat Loesel reported Monday they will not tell their 4-year-old, Quynn, whether the child is biologically male or female. "Who are Kat and I to say what sexual organs our kid possesses?" asked Loesel, who has dressed Quynn in dull gray smocks since birth and only allows the child to play with toy figures that have been neutered of any conventionally feminine or masculine characteristics. "We think it's important our child's frequent questions about girls and boys go unanswered so that Quynn can discover its true sex for itself." The couple also said that parents should be supportive of children who decide they do not have human genitalia at all.


http://www.theonion.com/...child-its-sex,18395/

Ha! I remember seeing that one . . . a classic Onion piece that cuts both ways.

Anyway, increasingly I am seeing how weird my family was/is--I remember being praised for my reading level and swimming performance as a child way more than for any physical traits. Sadly, my sister below me had dyslexia that wasn't caught till somewhat late in childhood, so a good deal of her insecurity had/has to do with not being as intelligent as her older sister (which isn't true, but just perceived that way) and nothing to do with not being "sexy." I picked up the message not to obsess about appearance so well that in my early adulthood, my mom started nagging me to wear makeup because it seemed I hadn't internalized the societal expectation that women should wear makeup daily in order to be "ready to go out." :)

All that said, thinking about these issues so much lately has caused me to scrutinize the things around me more from a feminist perspective. For instance, I just finished the book A Game of Thrones and I was struck by its rank misogyny. Most recently, in ads for outdoor clothes, I'm wondering why the men's clothing featured is actually functional, whereas a lot of the women's selections are things like Prana dresses or Patagonia bikinis, which to me are not extremely practical outdoor wear.


lena_chita
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Jun 6, 2012, 8:14 AM
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clumsy wrote:
lena_chita wrote:

I didn't add personal examples earlier, but if you think that WW's examples are closest to proving Drivel's point, then how about this:

-- I was told (by a teacher in sex ed class, who was looking straight at me when she said that): Men do not like women who are smarter than them.

-- I was told (by a teacher in elementary school!!): Nobody will want to marry you if you write with your left hand.

-- I was told, as a kid, by variety of people: you need to wear skirts more, you look like a boy when you wear shorts; Why do you always climb trees? Men don't like girls with scraped knees; If you keep doing that, your nails will never grow pretty; You would look so much better if you put on some make up;

The examples are too numerous to even recall them all. So much of it was along the lines of "behave like a lady, you want to grow up to be a proper lady, so you will find a good husband".

.
'
Lena, where did you go to school? Here or in Georgia? Full blown feminism did not really exist in Soviet Union at that time, and definitely not at schools. Girls were taught to cook and sew, boys made chairs... Good times!

And just out of curiosity, how do you know that Georgia was a possible location of my school?


Partner cracklover


Jun 6, 2012, 9:44 AM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
All that said, thinking about these issues so much lately has caused me to scrutinize the things around me more from a feminist perspective. For instance, I just finished the book A Game of Thrones and I was struck by its rank misogyny.

I haven't read that, but I just finished reading The Hunger Games a couple weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it in relation to this thread, too.

It's an interesting book on a lot of levels, but one of them is how the main character is clearly attractive for who she is and what she does, far more than for how she looks or flirtations. Her looks are barely mentioned, and as for flirtations, she clearly isn't even on the spectrum. Certainly interesting from the perspective of this thread.

And it's a real coming-of-age story, in the same vein that typically is used for books written for boys: overcoming nearly overwhelming adversity as a means to discover who you are and how the world works in a more mature way. Meanwhile, it the struggle is gently tied into the beginnings of an interaction with the opposite sex in a new way.

I'm not familiar with much modern children's/teen literature written from the girl's perspective. Are those elements of this book wholly new?

GO


lena_chita
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Jun 6, 2012, 10:19 AM
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rmsusa wrote:
In reply to:
NO, there isn't really any way to stop people making those comments. The comments are meant to be nice, and usually people don't even realize that they are using different language for boys and girls.

You're exactly right that people do this quite unconsciously. It's basically the way the species behaves. Society will continue sending this message (IMHO) till there aren't humans any more. Individuals will always have to struggle to "be themselves" despite the message and struggle they should. It's hard for a male to be a stay at home dad and it's hard for a female to be a senator.

If there's one thing that's hardwired into human beings, it's gender differences. There are about 3 million years of primate evolution tied up in females being pretty and males being bold.

I think this is where you are not quite right.

Gender differences are hardwired into human beings, as well as any animals, but the females being pretty and males being bold idea has a lot more to do with a switch to patriarchy and the whole inheritable private property and wealth concept (e.i. ultimately the advent of agriculture, only a few thousands of years ago) than it has to do with biology.


rmsusa wrote:
Cultural behavior is changing rapidly since reproduction and sex were widely decoupled with the pill. In the US, title 9 was a social game changer for females. For the first time in history, large numbers of females started in athletics, which is incredibly empowering. I've seen big changes over the course of my own adult life.

And that is good.

rmsusa wrote:
But ...does anybody seriously think females will stop wearing make-up or dressing up to look good?

This is where we start to really diverge. In my version of the future equality both males and females wear makeup and dress up -- if they so choose, of course!

rmsusa wrote:
Does anybody seriously think that males will stop going to the gym to be strong?

Hmmm, last time I checked, the majority of males in the US do NOT go to the gym regularly, whether it is to get strong or to look hot.


rmsusa wrote:
So now I'll shut up and go away. The interesting thing to me is not the message, but how genes are expressed in individual and collective behavior and how much of that is really amenable to change.

Yes, it is indeed interesting. But the problem is, nobody, including geneticists, can tell you exactly what behaviors are determined by genes, and which ones are not. You seem to believe that more things are determined by genes than I do, for example.

A funny story:

In my attempt to raise kids in a gender-neutral way, I introduced my son to dolls. My Mom got him a BOY doll (do you know how hard it is to even find one?-- we are not talking about Barbie's "Ken" accessory, we are talking about just a doll looking like a little boy).

Anyway, it was a little toddler boy doll, complete with shorts and checkered shirt outfit, and a backpack full of camping accessories. My son didn't want ANYTHING to do with that doll. Or any other doll, for that matter, ever. He was about 2yo at the time, and had not been exposed to ANY TV, or really any significant "cultural" influence. he didn't even speak English, and he was in a home daycare situation. Dolls just weren't his thing.

Whenever he played with his cars and trucks and LEGOs, the games usually involved collisions, loud noises, bangs, lights flashing, dinosaurs devouring fire trucks, etc. etc.

His younger sister, growing up amid a collection of cars and garbage trucks and LEGOs and no dolls attempted to swaddle and nurse a fire truck at some point. Her cars always talked to each other very politely, and invited each other for tea. Eventually she got dolls, and was oh-so-happy about it.


SylviaSmile


Jun 6, 2012, 10:29 AM
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cracklover wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
All that said, thinking about these issues so much lately has caused me to scrutinize the things around me more from a feminist perspective. For instance, I just finished the book A Game of Thrones and I was struck by its rank misogyny.

I haven't read that, but I just finished reading The Hunger Games a couple weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it in relation to this thread, too.

It's an interesting book on a lot of levels, but one of them is how the main character is clearly attractive for who she is and what she does, far more than for how she looks or flirtations. Her looks are barely mentioned, and as for flirtations, she clearly isn't even on the spectrum. Certainly interesting from the perspective of this thread.

And it's a real coming-of-age story, in the same vein that typically is used for books written for boys: overcoming nearly overwhelming adversity as a means to discover who you are and how the world works in a more mature way. Meanwhile, it the struggle is gently tied into the beginnings of an interaction with the opposite sex in a new way.

I'm not familiar with much modern children's/teen literature written from the girl's perspective. Are those elements of this book wholly new?

GO

I don't think the coming-of-age/overcoming adversity elements are new, and a lot of the young adult fiction I read as a kid/teen had them, whether the main character happened to be a boy or a girl. After reading the three Hunger Games books, I was actually disappointed at the lack of personal growth Katniss displays in the series (and, incidentally, at the continued references to her beauty and unconscious attractiveness, which I found irksome). I liked the first book, but even there I found her willingness to trade on another character's romantic attraction to her more than a little distasteful. Trying not to give spoilers, obviously, so I'll just say that my overall take is that the trilogy could safely be retitled "Crap That Happens to Katniss"--and I wouldn't recommend it as reading for impressionable young girls.


clee03m


Jun 6, 2012, 1:04 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
A funny story:

In my attempt to raise kids in a gender-neutral way, I introduced my son to dolls. My Mom got him a BOY doll (do you know how hard it is to even find one?-- we are not talking about Barbie's "Ken" accessory, we are talking about just a doll looking like a little boy).

Anyway, it was a little toddler boy doll, complete with shorts and checkered shirt outfit, and a backpack full of camping accessories. My son didn't want ANYTHING to do with that doll. Or any other doll, for that matter, ever. He was about 2yo at the time, and had not been exposed to ANY TV, or really any significant "cultural" influence. he didn't even speak English, and he was in a home daycare situation. Dolls just weren't his thing.

Whenever he played with his cars and trucks and LEGOs, the games usually involved collisions, loud noises, bangs, lights flashing, dinosaurs devouring fire trucks, etc. etc.

His younger sister, growing up amid a collection of cars and garbage trucks and LEGOs and no dolls attempted to swaddle and nurse a fire truck at some point. Her cars always talked to each other very politely, and invited each other for tea. Eventually she got dolls, and was oh-so-happy about it.

Haha, I can totally relate. My son is obsessed with trucks. All on his own. He loves trains, cars, legos. Not that crazy about that pink baby doll except to put her in her pink baby strollar and take off running, crash into the wall to see her fly off.

He does like pretending to cook and eat. And his favorite color is pink at this moment. And he likes stuffed animals as long as we play truck with it.

Oh well, can't say we didn't try, huh?


granite_grrl


Jun 6, 2012, 1:11 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
A funny story:

In my attempt to raise kids in a gender-neutral way, I introduced my son to dolls. My Mom got him a BOY doll (do you know how hard it is to even find one?-- we are not talking about Barbie's "Ken" accessory, we are talking about just a doll looking like a little boy).

Anyway, it was a little toddler boy doll, complete with shorts and checkered shirt outfit, and a backpack full of camping accessories. My son didn't want ANYTHING to do with that doll. Or any other doll, for that matter, ever. He was about 2yo at the time, and had not been exposed to ANY TV, or really any significant "cultural" influence. he didn't even speak English, and he was in a home daycare situation. Dolls just weren't his thing.

Whenever he played with his cars and trucks and LEGOs, the games usually involved collisions, loud noises, bangs, lights flashing, dinosaurs devouring fire trucks, etc. etc.

His younger sister, growing up amid a collection of cars and garbage trucks and LEGOs and no dolls attempted to swaddle and nurse a fire truck at some point. Her cars always talked to each other very politely, and invited each other for tea. Eventually she got dolls, and was oh-so-happy about it.

That is kinda funny.

BUT....my little brother did have a doll, it was this big doll and it was called "My Buddy". I don't know how long it lasted, but I remember a period of time he took that thing around everywhere with him.

On the flip side I used to love playing legos and toy cars with him too. He never really played dolls with me (and I never forced him...I still had an older and younger sister for that), but I do remember him playing with his GI-Joes and me playing with my Shera dolls together.

Sad thing is that in elementry school even though I played with his toys all the time at home I never felt comfortable playing with at school with the boys. I remember feeling like I would be made fun of if I tried.


wonderwoman


Jun 6, 2012, 1:38 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
A funny story:

In my attempt to raise kids in a gender-neutral way, I introduced my son to dolls. My Mom got him a BOY doll (do you know how hard it is to even find one?-- we are not talking about Barbie's "Ken" accessory, we are talking about just a doll looking like a little boy).

Anyway, it was a little toddler boy doll, complete with shorts and checkered shirt outfit, and a backpack full of camping accessories. My son didn't want ANYTHING to do with that doll. Or any other doll, for that matter, ever. He was about 2yo at the time, and had not been exposed to ANY TV, or really any significant "cultural" influence. he didn't even speak English, and he was in a home daycare situation. Dolls just weren't his thing.

Whenever he played with his cars and trucks and LEGOs, the games usually involved collisions, loud noises, bangs, lights flashing, dinosaurs devouring fire trucks, etc. etc.

His younger sister, growing up amid a collection of cars and garbage trucks and LEGOs and no dolls attempted to swaddle and nurse a fire truck at some point. Her cars always talked to each other very politely, and invited each other for tea. Eventually she got dolls, and was oh-so-happy about it.

That is kinda funny.

BUT....my little brother did have a doll, it was this big doll and it was called "My Buddy". I don't know how long it lasted, but I remember a period of time he took that thing around everywhere with him.

On the flip side I used to love playing legos and toy cars with him too. He never really played dolls with me (and I never forced him...I still had an older and younger sister for that), but I do remember him playing with his GI-Joes and me playing with my Shera dolls together.

Sad thing is that in elementry school even though I played with his toys all the time at home I never felt comfortable playing with at school with the boys. I remember feeling like I would be made fun of if I tried.

I remember crying when getting a playset that consisted of a dust pan, broom, iron and ironing board for my birthday.

I used to have dolls, starwars action figures, and stuffed animals. I had a treehouse where I moved my play oven to. I played rough. I still do.

Edited to say that, yes, I did have many barbies. Many of them got haircuts and became punk rockers.


(This post was edited by wonderwoman on Jun 6, 2012, 1:44 PM)


lena_chita
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granite_grrl wrote:

BUT....my little brother did have a doll, it was this big doll and it was called "My Buddy". I don't know how long it lasted, but I remember a period of time he took that thing around everywhere with him.

I do think that many boys will play with dolls, if they can, and there is no stigma associated with it. Just didn't work that way with my two, but that is not saying anything about boys and girls as groups.

granite_grrl wrote:
On the flip side I used to love playing legos and toy cars with him too. He never really played dolls with me (and I never forced him...I still had an older and younger sister for that), but I do remember him playing with his GI-Joes and me playing with my Shera dolls together.

I used to love LeGOs and all sorts of construction toys, and I used to love making wind-up cars and cars with engines. But I loved my dolls, too and especially once I started sewing and knitting and making outfits for them, that was fun.

granite_grrl wrote:
Sad thing is that in elementry school even though I played with his toys all the time at home I never felt comfortable playing with at school with the boys. I remember feeling like I would be made fun of if I tried.

I used to play with boys more than with girls in elementary school. It really changed around 10yo or so, that's when girls and boys really stopped mingling for several years-- until they started mingling again as teenagers, and then it was wit ha decides sexual interest in mind.


clumsy


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I'm sorry if that's wrong - something you said earlier here on RC made me think that you are from there.


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