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“One of the most pervasive and undisputed gender stereotypes is that men are more aggressive than women. However, this stereotype has, until recently, led researchers to conclude that women are nonaggressive and, therefore, to ignore the topic of female aggression as a distinct phenomenon. The basis of the myth, factors supporting its maintenance, and theories of female aggression are examined. A feminist reinterpretation of aggression that views women’s and men’s aggressive behavior within social structural arrangements that create and sustain differential power relations is presented.”
“Here’s the thing. Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.
Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize//trim/shave/push up/hide/show/”flatter”/paint/dye/exfoliate/pierce/surgically alter this or that.
That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?
The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.”
You know what privilege is? It’s not having to expend the mental energy to do certain things or even having to think about doing certain thing. Another fun fact your perceptions and reactions are yours and yours alone and as a general rule of thumb should *not* be generalized other people. Let’s take a look at just one small etymology of one of the most simplest and most common words in the English language. The word “No”.
“Women are socialized to make men feel good. We’re socialized to “let you down easy.” We’re not socialized to say a clear and direct “no.” We’re socialized to speak in hints and boost egos and let people save face. People who don’t respect the social contract (rapists, predators, assholes, pickup artists) are good at taking advantage of this. “No” is something we have to learn. “No” is something we have to earn. In fact, I’d argue that the ability to just say “no” to something, without further comment, apology, explanation, guilt, or thinking about it is one of the great rites of passage in growing up, and when you start saying it and saying it regularly the world often pushes back. And calls you names.”
If there is so much that goes into saying “no” for women, does it not follow that other tasks and routines in society are also significantly different for women as well. Yes Dudes, I’m talking to you – take half a minute and think about what your life might be like if saying “NO” is this much of fucking big deal.
Now dear Equalists and Humanists tell me another frakking story about how we share a “common experience” in society and how your prescriptions are going to fix the patriarchal bullshit that pervades our culture. This idea of a completely similar shared experience needs to die a quick and painful death because it erases the experiences of one gender and invalidates attempts to fix and modify the sexist and patriarchal fabric of our society.
In response to the Steubenville, Ohio teen rape case, West Virginia U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld is launching a program to teach high school athletes not to post evidence of rape online.
It’s called “Project Future,” and his goal is to teach teens how to avoid getting in trouble with the law by using cell phones, cameras, and social media “responsibly.” Instead of teaching teens not to rape, the U.S. Attorney wants to teach them not to get caught.
The rape case “definitely played a role in causing us to think, ‘Who do we need to focus upon?’ ” Ihlenfeld told The Associated Press. “We thought, ‘Let’s start calling athletic directors and coaches to see if they’re interested.’ That investment of time hopefully will pay dividends down the road, not only because you hope the kids are going to stay out of trouble. Social media creates so many distractions off the field for coaches. Maybe we can help them avoid that situation as well.”
The program was unveiled in Wheeling, which is 26 miles south of Steubenville. It comes on the heels of a drug education program started by Ihlenfeld’s office last year called “Project Future.” The latest program, dubbed “Project Future Two-a-Days,” includes 15 minutes focusing on drugs and alcohol and 15 minutes on social media.
“We bring the perspective of ‘OK, if you do this, this is what can happen. We don’t want to see you in court,’ ” Ihlenfeld said.
” We don’t want to see you in court! It’s too bad a young girl’s life was changed forever and she had atrocious, felonious acts performed on her – but “Project Future” definitely won’t be talking about rape. We’ll spend 15 minutes on drugs and alcohol and 15 minutes on social media. If only the Steubenville rape hadn’t been taped and everyone wasn’t so drunk those fine young gentlemen would still be playing football. That’s the real lesson here, isn’t it?” – mommyish.com
“This is rape culture at work: The very people who are in charge of enforcing our laws look at a cruel, brutal attack on a young girl and think, “If only the teens hadn’t posted photographic evidence online.” – the Bewilderness
Patriarchy sucks. :(
An interesting talk about changing the cultural values that are toxic in nature. He didn’t mention patriarchy, but was alluding to the concept throughout his entire talk. I’m not sure if this was a conscious choice or not, but it is interesting that a speaker who is talking explicitly about patriarchy and its effects doesn’t use the term once.
Patriarchy needs to be discussed, debated and dismantled. There is no way around this if we want a to live in recognizable, hopefully advanced, society.
It’s easy to think that the misogyny is just a feature of the those who just don’t know better, or who espouse a certain set of values like the dear followers of the GOP in the US. But no, when you live within a patriarchal system, which we do (and I will repeat this fact forever my MRA friends), the misogyny is everywhere and it touches everybody. Go read the entire article on Rumpus.net, but I excerpt a section here that made me cheer. Thank you KMA Sullivan for writing such a great piece.
“It was exhausting. Exhausting to figure out how to respond to the relentless misogyny from men who are otherwise kind and educated, who would never think of themselves as chauvinist assholes. I have heard more than once from this crew, “Most of my favorite poets are women.” If I were to guess, I’d bet that the lot of them vote pro-choice, support the Violence Against Women Act, and consider women well capable of intelligent, complex thought. I certainly don’t assume that all men under 40 would engage in the kind of language and behavior described above; indeed, I know of many who would never do so. And yet, after the past several weeks, its frequency is far beyond what I thought possible.
What is up with all this dehumanizing language? Honestly, I have no idea. But I do know this. If “good guys” feel perfectly at ease using degrading language that objectifies women when talking not only to one another but also to women they purportedly respect, then the bullshit that came out of the GOP this past election cycle (vaginas that can tell the difference between consensual sex and rape, for example) can be explained. A big pile of reasonably aware and well-intentioned people doing thoughtless shit creates a solid set of stairs for unreasonable, ignorant assholes to say and do what most of us (men and women alike) would deem shockingly destructive.”
The first step to understanding privilege is recognizing the various forms and flavours it comes in. If you happen to be Asian and female, well, the fun(?) doubles as you get to deal with not only the misogyny, but the racism as well. Woo-haa! (Go to the tumblr Creepy White Guys for more examples.)
Just a few snippets of what women have to deal with: