I need feminism because people are still being fooled by the “the doctor is a woman” riddle.
(Q: A man and his son are in a car accident. The man dies at the scene. The boy is taken directly to the hospital and into surgery. The surgeon looks down at him and says, “I can’t operate on this boy, he’s my son.” How is this possible? A: The surgeon is a woman.)
Ask somebody. 3 out of 5 people will be stumped.
Or the variations of that riddle, like, “There were two Indians walking down the road, the big Indian and the little one. The little one was the son of the big one, but the big Indian was not the father of the other. Who was the big one then?”
I never really thought about how much this reflects patriarchal thinking. Male is always the default. :/
Kiddo told me that when it’s bathroom break time in her Kindergarten class that the boys go as a group and the girls go as a group.
“Except for A. She thinks she’s a boy,” said Kiddo.
“Well, maybe A is a boy,” I responded.
“No, she’s a girl!”
“How do you know?”
“Because…she’s a girl.”
“Ok, Kiddo. Let me explain something to you. A person can be born with a vagina, but still be a boy because that’s what they are inside. Also, a person can be born with a penis but still be a girl because that’s what they are inside. Your body doesn’t decide if you are a boy or a girl. It’s just something you know.”
“Yes. So, if A asks you to call them a boy, will you?”
“Because everyone says she’s a girl!”
“Well, there are a lot of people who don’t understand that being a boy or a girl is not something they decide. It’s something each person knows about themself. You know you’re a girl, right?”
“So, don’t you think A knows if they are a boy or a girl?”
“So if A asks you to call them a boy, will you?”
“That’s great, Kiddo. You know why? Because, like I said, there a lot of people who won’t believe A and that’s gonna be something that hurts them a lot. But if A has just one person that believes them and treats them the way they want to be treated, that could help A a lot.”
“Ok. If A asks me, I will.”
OH GEE BUT WAIT! According to most people this is something that kids just can’t understand!!
While Kiddo may not understand everything about sex vs. gender and identity, she understands being nice and helping people.
I don’t doubt that we’ll probably have to revisit this topic again, but I honestly do think this is a topic worth talking to your kids about and it can be done.
HOW DIFFICULT. HOW SCARRING.
Male privilege is not having everything that upsets you written off as irrational feminism or PMS. Because there is no way you could be legitimately upset about something when you’re a silly irrational female.
If a cis man is griping about there not being enough cis-men-only spaces (gyms, clubs, whatever), ask him why he feels there needs to be. Without telling him why we need women-only spaces. See what he comes up with without help.
Then, when he likely comes up with squat, ask if he feels like his gender is underrepresented in government, the media, and what people deem the most “important” or “intelligent” careers and hobbies.
Ask if he can’t name prominent male figures in supposedly female-dominated careers like fashion.
Ask if he feels threatened when going into spaces occupied by women.
Ask if he’s ever been verbally abused during online gaming for no other reason that he’s a man and men shouldn’t or can’t play video games.
Ask if he worries daily about being harassed when doing day-to-day activities in spaces occupied by women.
Ask if he’s been harassed on the street at least weekly since he was in his early teens for no other reason than his gender.
Ask if he was ever attacked or bullied by a girl or group of girls when he was younger, only to be told “girls will be girls” when he tried to seek justice.
Ask if the majority of his male friends have been sexually assaulted* and then blamed for it, because of what they were wearing, who they were with, where they were, or how friendly they were or weren’t to the woman who assaulted them.
Ask if he’s ever been threatened and verbally abused because he didn’t feel like sleeping with, flirting with, or even acknowledging a woman.
Ask if society acts as though it is a woman’s natural state to harm him and that it’s his responsibility to protect himself from women.
When he answers no, then ask again: why does he feel that there needs to be more male-only spaces?
(*NOTE: Male-only spaces for male victims of domestic abuse and/or sexual assault are one thing, but this post is in response to an ask about some dude bitching about not having men-only gyms just because women-only gyms exist and WHAT ABOUT THE MEN???)
“I wanted to buy a pair of roller skates, but they all had really girly names, like Vixen,” said a male friend of mine.
I wryly remarked that this was an everyday occurrence for girls. When he asked for clarification I explained that in many cases the default advertising is male, and then there is a “female version” coloured in pink with offensive advertising. See how “normal” lego is male, and then there’s a feminised version with less functionality.
“Yeah, but all the tomboy girls I knew never let that stop them,” another remarked.
And yes, that is so true. A lot of my favourite toys as a child were for boys. I loved my R/C car in spite, not because of the advertising. I loved video games in spite of poor representation. And after a while, I started to pride myself on not liking girly things and being one of the boys. It’s taken me a long time to unlearn that.
I wish I’d had the presence of mind to say all that. Instead, I merely said, “And there’s nothing stopping you from buying roller skates that are marketed to girls.”
Male privilege is not being expected to wear heels at events. Not practical at all.
There was a discussion a while back on this but I found a book called Random House Webster’s: grammar, usage, and punctuation that has a section titled “Avoiding insensitive and offensive language” and I thought I’d share some of what it has to say on the subject.
Replacing man or men
Man may refer to a male or to a human in general. This ambiguity is often though to be slighting of women.
- human beings, humans, humankind, humanity, people, human race, human species, Homo sapiens, society, men and women
a man who
- someone who, anyone who
- synthetic, artificial
man in the street
- average person, ordinary person
Using gender-neutral terms for occupations, positions, roles, etc
Terms that specify or imply a particular sex can unnecessarily perpetuate certain stereotypes when used generically.
- business executive, manager, business owner, retailer, etc.
cleaning lady, girl, maid
- housecleaner, housekeeper, cleaning person, office cleaner
- member of the clergy, minister, rabbi, priest, pastor, etc.
- the clergy
- representative, member of Congress, legislator
- insurance agent
- layperson, nonspecialist, nonprofessional
- mail carrier, letter carrier
- police officer, law enforcement officer
salesman, saleswoman, saleslady, salesgirl
- sales person, sales representative, sales associate, clerk
- spokesperson, representative
- flight attendant
- weather reporter, weathercaster, meteorologist
I could have made my opinion based on the title and subtitle. In journalism, titles and subtitles are no accident. You pick the most attractive titles and subtitles from a list. That was a premonition for the incoming fail.
MEN today are haunted by the “spectre of a coming gender apocalypse”, Hanna Rosin declares in her new book, “The End of Men”. How worried should they be? It is true that women are contributing more than ever to household income. They dominate university attendance around the world. In South Korea more women than men pass the foreign-service exam, which has sparked the foreign ministry to implement a minimum quota for men. In Brazil nearly a third of women earn more than their husbands, a phenomenon that has caused men to form church support-groupscalling themselves “Men of Tears”.
NEARLY A THIRD
EVERYONE BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE, THE SUPERIOR WOMEN ARE COMING! NEARLY A THIRD! NEARLY A THIRD!
Fuck this article, fuck the Economist for publishing it, fuck the Economist in general, fuck the editor, the fact-checkers, the columnist asshole, the board of directors, and I’m glad magazines and newspapers are sinking because it means in the future this bullshit will cease to exist because nobody cares about it, because they need to stoop to articles that are guaranteed to piss people off just so people will buy newspapers or put the article on their iPad.
Nobody read this article. It’s a piece of shit and can kiss my ass.
I’m really glad someone has commented on this - a similar article on the same book was published in the World section in the New Zealand newspapers. I bet a whole bunch of MRAs are going to lap up this shit. This author actually used the word “matriarchy” in all seriousness.
Male privilege is never having almost everything you do or say or want or wear reduced to being for the benefit of the opposite sex. It’s being able to make your own choices in life without being accused of doing just about everything - however big or small - to attract women or please women or impress women, or else being warned that women won’t find your choices attractive. It’s that society knows that men’s lives don’t revolve around women, while it continues to believe that women’s lives revolve around men.
Take a close look at the man and woman pictured here before reading further.
………. ………. …….. …….. …………. ………. ………… ……….. …………. ………..
You probably noticed a resemblance. But it’s more than that. These two pictures are the same face, unaltered, no make-up, nothing. They’re actually the same picture. The only difference is that different contrast was applied. This demonstrates how just a subtle shading alters our assumption of gender.
To me this depiction of gender is much more accurate, and allows us to label ourselves anywhere on an infinite spectrum. Instead of putting ourselves on fine lines whilst calling anything off the line abnormal, we can be labeled anything therefor allowing any form of gender expression to be considered normal.
The LA Times has dug in and talked to 89% of Academy members and to no one’s surprise the Academy is old, white and male.
Here are the stats:
- The Academy is 94% white
- The Academy is 77% male.
- The median age is 62.
- Only 14% are under 50 years old.
Also we learned that women make up just 9% of the directing branch and 19% of the screenwriting branch.
This is why we need more women (and people of colour!) controlling and contributing to media.
Filed under shit people of colour and many white women already knew. Every couple of years something like this pops up. It never changes and likely will never change.