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Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance?
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drivel


Jun 1, 2012, 4:00 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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.


Partner cracklover


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.


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Jun 4, 2012, 5:43 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [Gmburns2000] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [granite_grrl] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [drivel] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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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

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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Re: [drivel] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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


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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.


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Jun 4, 2012, 9:21 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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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Re: [granite_grrl] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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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.

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