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Author Topic: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)  (Read 7120 times)

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Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2011, 08:06:07 PM »
Quote
I actually can't really recall the last time there were any prominent feminists in the media. The last major thing I can think of was the media coverage of Slutwalks across the US, and even those were met with a lot of vitriol from people who are convinced that gender relations are just peachy and believe that women "just don't want to take responsibility". I could be wrong, but I am hard-pressed to find any examples in recent history where we actually had a serious dialogue about what feminists are trying to get across except to say that they're acerbic harpies who want to oppress "the poor men".

Well, the U.S. and Scandinavia are very different here. In Sweden (where I live) feminism has been a strongly influential movement - or a series of movements - for a century, with powerful impact on politics, lawmaking, attitudes and society. There's a much smaller proportion of housewives than in America, and a larger share of women economists, clergy or members of parliament. We were pretty much first in the world with women priests, state-subsidized family allocations for children and (later, in the seventies) state-funded and run children's day care to stimulate mothers working full-time, nearly first with gay/LGBT civil unions and later marriages, and ten years ago outlawed the buying of sexual services from prostitutes (this controversial law, since amended, a law I endorsed, while understanding that it was not meant to in itself "abolish prostitution", landed the offence with the buyer and not the hooker, to indicate that it's about oppression and exploitation of women and not about a marital offence or "lewd women"). I am completely embracing most of this and actually proud of it. What I am less okay with is that in recent years, let's say the last ten to fifteen years, the emphasis on equality through law, social mobility and ditto empowerment has shifted to a climate that's both "me feminism" and, as Will put it, Holier-than-Thou attitudes.

I think this is, in part, because the presence of a long-standing heritage of feminist movements that had achieved a great deal in the past and had really mobilized people, left a new generation of aspiring feminist politicians, writers and researchers with a feeling that they had to push themselves to the fore but also revolt against the gist of what came before them. And they had to do this on the conditions of a much more market-oriented society. Not very odd, it happens in music, literature and science too: making a fuss and revolting is the way to make youyr name known. Unfortunately they opted for sex and popular media, and an obsession with identities through gender and sexual porientation, as the brick and clay of their own take on feminism, and this wasn't really helpful. Sexual orientations do not make a great rock on which to build a political platform, or to profile yourself against earlier waves of feminism (which implies attacking let's say Doris Lessing or Simone de Beauvoir for having been frumpy cowards!). Not when recognition in itself is pretty much a passed stage and almost no serious politicians oppose, let's say, gay marriages. Once society moves past that point, sexual identites and gender grandstanding are more troubling than useful as a base for political ideology and unity. 

But it paid off in terms of media attention (or maybe you could say, "angry young women" was just what the tabloids, radio and media in general wanted, especially their marketing departments). There's been an endless boom for columnists, feuilletonists, freelance lecturers, writers and radio show hosts acting the part of "angry young girlpower chicks" in one variety or the other, with loud voices but generally low on conscientious or solid arguments. Everybody wants a columnist or blogger who writes like Courtney Love and styles herself a feminist. This all coexists with the gender studies departments at universities. And a large portion of this "media feminist" roster, as well as the univeristy gender studies set, are frolicking around with heavily moralizing arguments about "a rape society", idolize Valerie Solanas and her old SCUM manifesto (a pièce de résistance of gender fascism) and cry out that men are generically responsible for every ill that ever hit women, and deserve to be punished lest they repent.

I am not saying they have achieved much, but the amount of media attention, career pursuit and staking out of personal spaces has been impressive.

I'm not really alone in having stopped taking much of that crowd seriously. It's obvious that much of it is just personal or movement publicity, idle media activism and career building. Many of them will give up some of the principles they profess now once they have got a bit higher - or have given up on a media career. But there is little space for any kind of calm and principled discussion. The level of noise and moral investment is so high that very few people want to make any scrutiny. Why would you if the first argument you'll get is "He/she's defending the rapists!" or having some ten-year old incident from your own life hauled out into the open and shown off as of it were evidence that you are not a real feminist. Or indeed, the failsafe "Just envious of how young and smart me and my buddies are, and how much money we're making!" Face it, feminism around here is pretty much a watchword and not a nuanced and transparent set of ideas. The important thing has become to get on the train.

Okay, I realize many here are Americans (not everyone though) so why did I bring up this if I'm writing mainly from experiences of such a strange and different country? The reason is, much of the inspiration of this "2½ wave of feminism" has been American, both in terms of (neo-)feminist concepts and media strategies. And the way notions of a generalized "rape culture" and the kind of blowing-up of a personal story to represent overall female oppression are used, those things seem to be the same on both sides of the Attlantic. I completely recognize that kind of exploitation of a story and the half-stated matrix underlying this kind of agitation.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 08:51:25 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Noelle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2011, 08:52:39 PM »
While I am not versed in Scandanavian feminism to be able to properly address that portion of your post, what I can say is that I find it troubling that you are pointing out "rape culture" in quotation marks and seem especially bitter towards the idea of personal anecdote.

I don't blame you entirely on the last note there; personal anecdote is hardly quantified data, but what you're passing off as anecdote is arguably still important in examining the condition of gender equality as it stands, especially when that personal anecdote is corroborated.

My personal anecdote is that I used to work in a small bar in an arguably redneck town. I was subjected to comments about my body and my appearance. My authority was undermined repeatedly whereas a male figure's was respected. I was harassed, propositioned, and objectified. I was condescended, belittled, and insulted when I tried to stick up for myself. Yes, this is anecdotal, but let's also look at studies that have shown that men are more likely to interrupt women in conversation, that aggressive females do not reap the same rewards as aggressive men (sometimes to the contrary), that objectification arguably harms one's self-esteem, and so forth.

At any rate, the feminism that exists in America is one that has been heavily demonized by a largely unsympathetic public who doesn't care to actually figure out what message it is they're trying to get across except that someone is suggesting that men have some kind of unfair advantage and they shut down the conversation right there because dammit, we have a feminist literature course at this college, how can we possibly be sexist? I think that's what grates me about parts of your posts, is because it reminds me heavily of the type in America who heavily invests themselves in the notion that all feminists are unshaven, bra-burning radicals who want to destroy men (the type you describe in your post). It's a similar issue to what's going on with race relations; people see the new statue of MLK Jr. go up in DC and immediately start asking IS RACISM OVER? as if having the one token black sculpture on the National Mall means that we need to stop looking into why black men have a higher rate of incarceration or a harder time finding gainful employment. They see that women can wear jeans, have a full-time job, and even have their own special literature section and think all is well. That's the part I take the greatest issue with.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2011, 09:32:21 PM »
Quote from: Noelle
I don't blame you entirely on the last note there; personal anecdote is hardly quantified data, but what you're passing off as anecdote is arguably still important in examining the condition of gender equality as it stands, especially when that personal anecdote is corroborated


I am fine with the use of personal stories and anecdotes as long as the elements that are brought along for a further argument can be corroborated, or can in some sense be shown to match what other people have experienced. And it does not count as "matching stories" if people are commenting or tweeting a line and saying "Yeah great!" or "this happened to me too!" - that could very likely just be instances of people wanting to believe the stories or writers they like. But even if a story isn't corroborated as in "documented", it can still be made relevant through the inner logic or likelihood it shows, a curve corresponding to what other people have been through. I do think quantitative data, or support from recognized oral history projects or field research, can be essential in backing that kind of story. That way, we don't land with the writer, media profile, politician ultimately pointing to him/herself and saying "of course it's true! Are you suggesting that I would be a liar??"

Lots of times when politicians, media people or bloggers use a personal anecdote to buttress something, it is
a)vague in terms of how far the story or memory actually proves the stated conclusion,
b)not corroborated in any way, shape or form - and also heavily stylized ("I was a CEO of my own company at age 22 and could have provided hundreds of people with jobs, but the taxmen were always after me"). I don't feel your story is stylized, but many personal anecdotes in the media seem tailored to fit a premeditated conclusion and do it in a striking way.

Gossip is made to stand in for real arguments, and heavy, uncheckable conclusions are pulled out of those stories. Joe the Plumber is a typical example: he was not a licensed working plumber and his economic and professional conditions were nowhere close to motivating the questions he put to Obama, it was just a political prop and the idea was to make people believe many, many millions of small entrepreneurs and their staff would be crippled by Obama's tax policies. To me this is often inadmissible, but obviously the media happily accept it, even researchers sometimes do, and so do many opinion writers and pundits, feminist or not.

When it comes to rape culture or rape society - yes, I think those ideas have been overused and are often utilized to gain the moral high ground for one's own side by trying to give the impression that anyone who doesn't fully agree with you, or all men except your personal buddies, are complicit in a massive wave of rape, silencing and oppression.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 10:22:40 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline rick957

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2011, 12:03:15 AM »
I don't want to derail the thread onto a tangent, but considering the breadth of topics being discussed here, I hope this question will seem relevant and appropriate to the thread.

Several people here have mentioned the objectification of women, and I wonder if anyone out there could help me understand what objectification is and how it is different from healthy feelings of attraction.  I'm not unfamiliar with the popular definition of objectification, and I'm not asking for references to off-site reading material (which I could find myself).  I'm very interested instead on how you personally understand the term and what you think about it.  Any responses will be much appreciated.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2011, 04:01:13 AM »
Objectification of a woman involves reducing her down to an object that can be used and possessed without concern for her emotional well being.  In essence the humanity of her is removed in favor of her being something to stare on and make use of for personal gratification.  A healthy attraction would be taking an interest in her, more than likely physically at first, with the hope of mutual gratification and enjoyment.  This does not mean that a man and a woman cannot be physically attracted to each other and have a one night stand for personal enjoyment.  However, the act is meant for them to both enjoy and benefit rather than for one to feel better about themselves.

Examples of objectification are a man bragging that he left with the “hottest bitch” in the club.  This reduces the woman to a trophy piece that he uses to vault his status.  Or a man slapping a woman on the butt or getting in a pinch to show off that he can.  Men that tug on a woman’s clothing to try and get something to slip out of place, spill drinks on them to highlight areas of interest, shout out rude comments to show off for their friends.  The list really is pretty long.  Objectification has a lot more to do with showing off for social status than an actual interest in the person.  Sex becomes a vehicle to show off one’s masculinity and prowess rather than for gratification. 

An attraction to another person is healthy when the interaction is kept personal.  If the two are attracted to each other and have sex without fanfare then that is an attraction.  There is no bragging about the social status, no need to publically put the act on display or dehumanize another for personal gain.  The two were attracted to each other, decided to have sex, did so and have enjoyment.  I think that is where you will find a lot of women gain interest in a man is when they feel that the man is interested in them, not in what they can do for him.

I guess to boil it down to its most basic substance; objectification is focused more on the self while attraction is focused more on the other person.  Do note that women do objectify men as well, just not to the same extent I believe. 

I hope that helps.

Offline Anjasa

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2011, 05:19:55 AM »
I think I lose my feminism card every time I say this, but I'll say that objectification of a woman is only harmful when a woman is objectified by someone she has a relationship with (boss, friend, family member, husband), and they treat her as lesser than because of her gender/looks.

I don't buy into the idea that it's negative to 'objectify' a woman on the street, or to 'objectify' a model's image or what have you.

Objectification is a huge problem - in relationships - but many feminists have used the word so predominantly to discourage ANY TIME a man looks at a woman sexually without interest or thought to her feelings. For instance, they argue that all porn is objectification of women, or that strippers are being objectified in the clubs - that viewing these women as sexual 'objects' (in that they don't fully consider the entire personality and just focus on the sexual bits) is always negative.

Personally, I just don't buy into that. Viewing me as a sexual object doesn't bother me. Sexual harassment and assaulting me because you feel that's all I am bothers me, but just looking at me appreciatively does not.

I said this in another thread, but I'll say it here as well - it's not the thoughts of objectification, but the actions that people commit because they've dehumanized someone that matters.

Offline Missy

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2011, 05:33:32 AM »
Objectification of a woman involves reducing her down to an object that can be used and possessed without concern for her emotional well being.  In essence the humanity of her is removed in favor of her being something to stare on and make use of for personal gratification.  A healthy attraction would be taking an interest in her, more than likely physically at first, with the hope of mutual gratification and enjoyment.  This does not mean that a man and a woman cannot be physically attracted to each other and have a one night stand for personal enjoyment.  However, the act is meant for them to both enjoy and benefit rather than for one to feel better about themselves.

Examples of objectification are a man bragging that he left with the “hottest bitch” in the club.  This reduces the woman to a trophy piece that he uses to vault his status.  Or a man slapping a woman on the butt or getting in a pinch to show off that he can.  Men that tug on a woman’s clothing to try and get something to slip out of place, spill drinks on them to highlight areas of interest, shout out rude comments to show off for their friends.  The list really is pretty long.  Objectification has a lot more to do with showing off for social status than an actual interest in the person.  Sex becomes a vehicle to show off one’s masculinity and prowess rather than for gratification. 

An attraction to another person is healthy when the interaction is kept personal.  If the two are attracted to each other and have sex without fanfare then that is an attraction.  There is no bragging about the social status, no need to publically put the act on display or dehumanize another for personal gain.  The two were attracted to each other, decided to have sex, did so and have enjoyment.  I think that is where you will find a lot of women gain interest in a man is when they feel that the man is interested in them, not in what they can do for him.

I guess to boil it down to its most basic substance; objectification is focused more on the self while attraction is focused more on the other person.  Do note that women do objectify men as well, just not to the same extent I believe. 

I hope that helps.

Here, have a cookie.

Offline Noelle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2011, 05:16:40 PM »
I think I lose my feminism card every time I say this, but I'll say that objectification of a woman is only harmful when a woman is objectified by someone she has a relationship with (boss, friend, family member, husband), and they treat her as lesser than because of her gender/looks.

I don't buy into the idea that it's negative to 'objectify' a woman on the street, or to 'objectify' a model's image or what have you.

Here is the issue with your stance here -- when we objectify women in advertisement, it is harmful to women as a whole because it creates, perpetuates, and reinforces beliefs that may already be present much in the same way that rape/assault jokes can. It can normalize a belief and show others that it's okay to think this way. Women's body parts have long been a selling point in advertisement and when you reduce a woman to the sum of her parts, it is incredibly degrading and arguably perpetuates a negative body image, impossible or incredibly difficult to maintain standards of beauty, and in turn heavily damages self-esteem. This can be seen for part of the reason that there is a sudden outpouring of demand for 'curvy' models and why the fashion world has slowly started to take steps against women who are pushed to be thinner and thinner. There's a reason that some of the more radical feminists have pushed back against things like shaving, high heels, and wearing makeup.

Beer advertisements are notorious for putting women in skimpy outfits and objectifying them which not only perpetuates the idea that women are just hood ornaments to stand and be stared at, but it also alienates them from the product itself and asserts that this beer is for the men. Interestingly, there has been a new beer that is also about as offensive as the very beer companies it's trying to go against. It's like they tried to think of the most mind-numbingly offensive stereotypes about women ever and rolled it into one package. The package itself is incredibly objectifying and the whole brand revolves around the idea that all women love the color pink, shopping, are concerned about weight gain, and require a light beer for their sensitive tastebuds. In other words: bullshit. :)

Here are some other examples of advertisements that are objectifying: Here, here, and here.

Quote
Objectification is a huge problem - in relationships - but many feminists have used the word so predominantly to discourage ANY TIME a man looks at a woman sexually without interest or thought to her feelings. For instance, they argue that all porn is objectification of women, or that strippers are being objectified in the clubs - that viewing these women as sexual 'objects' (in that they don't fully consider the entire personality and just focus on the sexual bits) is always negative.

This is just patently untrue. There is a whole, wide branch of feminism that is incredibly sex-positive, and, in fact, shows tremendous support for women in the sex industry. It's actually in the best interest for women for those trades to be better protected -- legalizing prostitution, for instance, gives a woman the power to control her body for income and have access to resources to keep herself safe. Porn stars such as Sasha Grey openly talk about how they feel empowered doing porn and that it was their choice. That's the quintessential part of feminism that some people miss -- it's not about being a CEO or the president and it's not about banning women from being housewives or homemakers. It's about women being able to make their own choice and have a say in the matter and being able to control how they present themselves.

To suggest that women don't or shouldn't want to be looked at is ridiculous. Feminists, as a whole, are not man-hating prudes who don't want others to show attraction for them. Many women enjoy flirtation and that's perfectly fine. Many women enjoy things like casual sex and the like and that's perfectly fine. There's a whole issue of context and execution; when I'm at a club and someone tells me they think I'm attractive, I am flattered. When they stand across the room and stare at me all night, I am creeped out and I feel unsafe. When they ask me if I want to dance, I am flattered and I can either accept or politely decline. If they grind up behind me and grab me, I am creeped out and feel unsafe. Major differences here.

Quote
I said this in another thread, but I'll say it here as well - it's not the thoughts of objectification, but the actions that people commit because they've dehumanized someone that matters.

Ah-hah, but I could just as well argue that one leads to the other -- in fact, the terms are practically synonymous at the core.

Quote
objectify:
    Degrade to the status of a mere object

Quote
dehumanize:
    Deprive of positive human qualities

The thing about objectification is that it doesn't always jump out and slap you in the face. It's easy to see a man grab a woman's ass and say "whoa, buddy, that's objectifying!" -- it's not so easy to see a man dismiss a woman, interrupt her in conversations, and generally take her less seriously and identify it as coming from latent objectification.

Edit:




:(
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 05:18:19 PM by Noelle »

Offline Healergirl

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2011, 05:34:29 PM »
Light beer, ugh.  Me, I'm a Guiness Extra Stout fan!  Or any stout.  Porter is good as well.  And hard apple cider, yumyum.

My favorite liguor:  Myer's Dark Rum.  Second favorite:  Captain Morgan's Rum.

These stereotypes are costing brewers and distillers a boatload of money.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2011, 09:58:52 PM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide



:(

Not to weaken or belittle your point, but would you be offended if I reposted that image in the Hilarity thread? It just cracks me up in its absurdity and shameless blatancy.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2011, 07:38:09 AM »
Why do these posts always come up after my attention span is completely shot?  Maybe people just always post to them so quickly that I can't keep up, especially with all the corresponding links.  I've managed to skim a decent amount on here, but rather than just staying quiet, I think I'd like to post anyway.  That way, people can at least tell me how I'm wrong.

So, disclaimer that I haven't read everything, and apologies if you already made a point about something and I missed it.  I've decided that it makes more sense to post than not to post.

I consider myself to be big on equality regardless of race, gender or many other issues, with regard to many factors.  As Anjasa said, though, I think I do, but I may very well be wrong.  That said, I'd love to test it and find out if people consider me a bigot; maybe I do need a calibration of my views.

Now, I'm asthmatic, which makes it pretty impossible for me to do a lot of things.  Sports are right out for more than a couple minutes at a time, people smoking sends me into hacking fits.  I'm well aware that people have better strengths than others and don't expect special treatment.

Somebody put a thing about how "men should stick to math/science/manual labor" would be racist.  Now, I'll agree that it's racist because there are many women for whom such things are natural strengths, and I could easily list them here.  Not everyone follows the stereotypes for gender, race or anything else.

Personally, I believe that our education system is completely messed up.  We don't even try to segregate classes based on relative intelligence except for the extremely intelligent or extremely unintelligent; obviously Albert Einstein and Forrest Gump don't belong in the same class to be learning about math at the same rate, but shouldn't we consider taking this a bit further for each subject, doing something more akin to teaching everyone at their natural speeds?

Dear crap, I'm just scatterbrained today.  My apologies for anyone who's still reading.

Now, if people are doing the same job at the same rate, they should be paid the same, no argument there.  If I'm playing baseball with Sammy Sosa, though, I don't expect to get paid the same amount as he.  I have no idea how exactly that's happening because it's pretty impossible to check into when people aren't allowed to compare paychecks, but I don't see why you wouldn't allow people to compare paychecks either.  That does kinda raise a red flag.


Now, advertisements.  I don't think you can argue that women get objectified on these kinds of things and that men don't.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1RNNN_enUS364US365&q=male+model&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1201&bih=739

We live in an objectifying culture.  That's not sexually discriminating; both men and women get objectified.  I don't understand how this is keeping women down any more than it keeps men down.


Absolutely no argument that rape is wrong, and it doesn't have to be intercourse to be rape.  However, using rape as a point of contention that women are being treated as inferior to men is misleading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_by_gender#Non-statutory_female-on-male_rape


Hopefully I haven't offended anyone.  I know I'm not very good at this.  I invite people to tell me how and why I'm wrong, and what I missed by not reading through everything in detail.

Offline Noelle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2011, 11:41:52 AM »
Not to weaken or belittle your point, but would you be offended if I reposted that image in the Hilarity thread? It just cracks me up in its absurdity and shameless blatancy.

Hahaha, it's not mine, so use as you'd like!

Somebody put a thing about how "men should stick to math/science/manual labor" would be racist.  Now, I'll agree that it's racist because there are many women for whom such things are natural strengths, and I could easily list them here.  Not everyone follows the stereotypes for gender, race or anything else.

Sexist, actually, but that's just a minor point here! The only real nuanced thing I have with this phrase is that 'natural strengths' is a little tenuous a term to be using, as sometimes it can be used as a point to deepen the divide of why men or women should or shouldn't do a certain thing. For example, many people will argue that women are naturally more nurturing, so clearly they should always be nurses and no man could ever be a good nurse. Some have tried to argue that women are naturally more emotional and therefore shouldn't be the president -- and so forth. But you also somewhat touched on this by mentioning stereotypes, so it's not really a big point of contention.

Quote
Now, if people are doing the same job at the same rate, they should be paid the same, no argument there.  If I'm playing baseball with Sammy Sosa, though, I don't expect to get paid the same amount as he.  I have no idea how exactly that's happening because it's pretty impossible to check into when people aren't allowed to compare paychecks, but I don't see why you wouldn't allow people to compare paychecks either.  That does kinda raise a red flag.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here, nor with the beginning paragraph about having asthma. Would you mind elaborating a bit?

Now, advertisements.  I don't think you can argue that women get objectified on these kinds of things and that men don't.

Quote
We live in an objectifying culture.  That's not sexually discriminating; both men and women get objectified.  I don't understand how this is keeping women down any more than it keeps men down.

Here's where things start to get interesting. The argument in the case of feminism isn't necessarily that men don't also have similar issues (I, for one, don't seek to suggest men don't have their own struggles) -- it is the extent to which they are A) prevalent and B) affecting them as an entire group.

This is where the concept of male privilege comes in. I found that this checklist, while having a few points on there that I feel iffy about (the first few in particular), is a fairly decent start. Men do not have the same standard of appearance to maintain, are typically not routinely sexually harassed in the street by total strangers, and do not have to worry that whatever their wearing will make them a target.

The ads I posted in a previous post are common - women's bodies are used to advertise quite a few things, even things that are totally unrelated to the human body. Are men's bodies sometimes used? Of course they are, but is it to the point they're practically fellating a sandwich? And when they're given roles in ads, are they sexualized ones? If a woman is in an ad pertaining to football (usually beer ads), she's often shown in a kind of sexy football uniform showing a lot of skin, but the actual football players are often fully clothed and portrayed seriously. Ads such as the infamous Old Spice Guy were obviously playing directly to the man's appearance, but the man was also playing up his own outstanding, empowered (if not totally hilarious/ridiculous) qualities.

There is incredible objectification in comic books going on towards women, as well. Take this for instance. I think they look ridiculous - I couldn't take them seriously as superheroes posed in the same manner. And why does dressing like a female version of a popular superhero mean apparently always needing a skirt? Comicon and other conventions are full of 'booth babes' - scantily-clad women who are essentially there to sell with their looks and are often baring a considerable amount of skin in the process.

Quote
Absolutely no argument that rape is wrong, and it doesn't have to be intercourse to be rape.  However, using rape as a point of contention that women are being treated as inferior to men is misleading.

Rape on all fronts is wrong, and I think you'll find that there aren't very many sane people who will argue with you on that. It's sad that men are shamed into not reporting the rape they endure and certainly we should be doing more to help them. Statistically speaking, however, the likelihood of men being raped, harassed, and assaulted is lower than the female equivalent. The threat is simply not the same. It doesn't mean we shouldn't take the rape/harassment/assault of males seriously, but the two are not on equal grounds in terms of risk factor and prevalence.

At any rate, this got very long-winded, but I hope it all made sense. :P

Offline rick957

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2011, 12:10:53 PM »
Big thanks to all of you who responded on the topic of objectification.  AndyZ, your comments were a particular pleasure to read, though I felt that way about all the posts, really.  The range of views expressed here is really quite impressive.  Not only was the familiar feminist viewpoint on objectification very well explained, but several of you also articulated some sophisticated criticisms of the familiar feminist viewpoint.  That was especially helpful and got my brain juice a-flowing.  :)  I may post again later with more comments about such things.


EDIT I revised a part of this post that asked for original criticisms of feminist positions (though I'm still interested in hearing them).
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 04:23:35 PM by rick957 »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2011, 01:08:14 PM »
Sexist, actually, but that's just a minor point here!

Dear crap, I'm an idiot.  I know it's supposed to be sexist.  I was thinking prejudiced or bigoted and I guess I missed the word.

The only real nuanced thing I have with this phrase is that 'natural strengths' is a little tenuous a term to be using, as sometimes it can be used as a point to deepen the divide of why men or women should or shouldn't do a certain thing. For example, many people will argue that women are naturally more nurturing, so clearly they should always be nurses and no man could ever be a good nurse. Some have tried to argue that women are naturally more emotional and therefore shouldn't be the president -- and so forth. But you also somewhat touched on this by mentioning stereotypes, so it's not really a big point of contention.

I agree that it's false logic.  You only need one instance to disprove a logical claim in mathematics, so if even one of a particular subject doesn't fit a stereotype, it's not something you can rely upon for serious decision making.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here, nor with the beginning paragraph about having asthma. Would you mind elaborating a bit?

Let's say that I'm at a construction job making widgets.  If we're going to be fair, then the person who can make more widgets should be paid more than the person who can't make as many.  This is how I see it.

For this reason, I wouldn't expect to get paid as much as someone who doesn't have my medical issues for jobs where my asthma and other issues would cause me to be bad at my job.  It's terrible for me, sure, but if I'm constantly hacking, wheezing and can't keep up with other workers, it doesn't make any sense for me to get paid as much.

Now, I'll certainly agree with equal pay for equal work, but it doesn't mean that I want equal pay regardless.  I've seen cases where someone isn't keeping up with the rest and the word "discrimination" gets thrown around even when it's not.  I doubt that you're asking for equal pay regardless, but I've seen it before.

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Men do not have the same standard of appearance to maintain, are typically not routinely sexually harassed in the street by total strangers, and do not have to worry that whatever their wearing will make them a target.

Appearance is just one of those things that I never really got.  I've been told that the main reason women dress up is because other women judge them based on their appearance, so I'm not really sure how that's the fault of men.  I'll agree that sexual harassment is wrong, and rape is wrong regardless of what someone is wearing.

However, I'm seeing a dichotomy here. 

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Comicon and other conventions are full of 'booth babes' - scantily-clad women who are essentially there to sell with their looks and are often baring a considerable amount of skin in the process.

You mention that you should be able to wear whatever you want, and I agree, but you also go after the girls who dress up at conventions.  If they want to dress up that way, I say to let them. 

However, I'll admit that even if I'm not screaming out obscenities, I'm still going to look.  I've been known to stare when a girl flashes, but I think that just makes me attracted to females more than it makes me a bigot.

Backing up on the superheroes, they're always in stupid poses.  They deliberately draw them to appear larger than life, more powerful and heroic.  Look at all the stupid things Tobey Maguire was doing in the Spider Man movies in order to look like the drawings.

Though I'll agree that chainmail bikinis are idiotic, and when I'm looking for a picture to play a female, I refuse to use a faux-armor pic to play an armored character.

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And why does dressing like a female version of a popular superhero mean apparently always needing a skirt?

I'm guessing it's circa 60s fashion, when many of these superhero styles became iconic archetypes.  Thus why Silk Spectre and many of the others never had them.  No idea why fashion industries push for that, but if anyone reading this wants to get in on starting up more fashion styles of non-skirt superheroes for costumes, I think it'd sell pretty well.


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Rape on all fronts is wrong, and I think you'll find that there aren't very many sane people who will argue with you on that. It's sad that men are shamed into not reporting the rape they endure and certainly we should be doing more to help them. Statistically speaking, however, the likelihood of men being raped, harassed, and assaulted is lower than the female equivalent. The threat is simply not the same. It doesn't mean we shouldn't take the rape/harassment/assault of males seriously, but the two are not on equal grounds in terms of risk factor and prevalence.

This gets into stereotyping, though.  Rape on all fronts is wrong, so it's not really fair to blame all men just because more men are rapists, especially when there are women rapists.  Certainly we wouldn't blame a particular race if that race is more apt to commit crimes, right?

However, we don't even know if it is equivalent, because a lot of it goes unreported.  Similar cases with abuse, but some studies show that lesbian relationships have similar levels of violence as heterosexual relationships.  Assuming that lesbians are not more likely than heterosexual women of being abusive (and if you claim that they are, I want to see some data), then it stands to reason that the number of abusive women and men are similar in level.

I have absolutely no idea if this is true in rape, but the matter is academic in any case.  Unless you want to blame the innocent for the crimes of the guilty just on a particular trait that they have like race, gender, religion or the like, I don't believe that men on the whole are responsible if women are being raped.  I would rather say that rape is a problem regardless and we should simply crack down upon it.

I'm probably missing the point for this one, for which I'll apologize.  Most of my bosses during my life have been women, which may put me in a minority or might just put me in a great neighborhood.  I'll certainly agree that some places are much worse than others in discrimination.

Hopefully I haven't come across as too much of a jerk, and I apologize if I have.  I've gotten people very upset from these sorts of Socratic discussions before, which is why I'm holding back on a lot of my thoughts and trying to keep to some specific issues.  I may bring up some others if people haven't gotten sick of me by the time this post is done.

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2011, 01:16:16 PM »
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We live in an objectifying culture.  That's not sexually discriminating; both men and women get objectified.  I don't understand how this is keeping women down any more than it keeps men down.

Who exactly is keeping the male population down?  The rest of the male population?  If you don't understand, you should educate yourself before arguing the point.  But here's the rub: there's more to objectification than "scantily clad photos exist in magazines."  Studies! http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090216-bikinis-women-men-objects.html

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However, using rape as a point of contention that women are being treated as inferior to men is misleading.

"It is not impossible for a woman to rape a man" is not a good argument toward the suggestion that rape and sexual assault are not a problem for women.  In fact, they're not even related ideas.  Rape and sexual assault are pervasive problems; when 16% of women can claim to have experienced rape or attempted rape, you cannot pretend there is not a problem! (That was  Uh, unless you want us to shift our focus to men's problems, and ignore women's problems?  But that's, you know, sexist.

I mean, tl;dr, it's hard not to take these kinds of comments -- "men got it just bad as women!" type of things -- as being inherently sexist themselves.  I mean, you're welcome to your opinion, but when your opinion has to ignore the actual ramifications of the things you're citing, it's really hard to take it seriously.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 01:56:50 PM by meikle »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2011, 01:34:57 PM »
That male privilege checklist is really the epitome of the only thing I actually have against feminism:  it's a bunch of unproven, unsubstantiated statements lacking in empirical backing, taken to be gospel, which men are supposed to accept uncritically largely without evidence.  And if we call it into question, often we're blatantly called things like "sexist" or worse, condescended to.

Feminists condescend men all the time when we're just trying to ask questions.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 01:36:12 PM by Jude »

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »
That list links to discussion of and citation for many of its points ...
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 01:53:46 PM by meikle »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2011, 02:01:54 PM »
That list links to discussion of and citation for many of its points ...
Check out some of the links, the studies posted are often poorly done/dead links.  Also, the percentage of points that actually have sourcing?  Not very big.  While your use of the term "many" is subjective, objectively fewer than half of the points have elaborations.

EDIT:  Furthermore, a lot of the (more) links are, as you said, elaborations.  They may contain a better explanation of the idea in the eyes of the claimant, but not necessarily evidence for it.

EDIT2:  In the name of fairness, I'd like to acknowledge that some of the points were well-substantiated.  Then again, I didn't find the entire checklist to be objectionable.  At least half of it I think is probably true.  But this is the source of my lament:  I could say nice things about 100% of it if it only stated things that could actually be backed up.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 02:17:53 PM by Jude »

Offline rick957

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2011, 02:11:11 PM »
Out of curiosity, I just glanced over the Male Privilege Checklist you folks just mentioned here, and the parts I read seemed incredibly insightful, although I assumed that the checklist was devised as a rhetorical tool, for provoking thought, and not as some kind of judgmental screed or call to arms.  IMO, the only thing that would have made it better would be if the same writer turned around and generated the same kind of checklist for Women.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 04:23:19 PM by rick957 »

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Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2011, 02:19:51 PM »
Sadly, a good deal of contemporary feminism is full of vague ad hoc explanations, circular arguments and appeals to prophetic authority and supposed guilt. It's also low on will, in any particular band of feminists. to discuss their own inconsistencies. I am not okay with a theory that purports to tell us important things about reality and society but often boils down to exhorting: "You gotta agree to this without questions because this is what WE believe in!"

Offline Healergirl

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2011, 02:23:53 PM »
In fairness to the young women of today, there is a good reason why they feel they have no need for feminism:  many of the important battles ahve been on.  case in point:  Qualified women were hideously underrepresented among College students.  Certainly not the case nowl  In fact, women are dominant in most student bodies.  Interms of numbers, that is.  I have noticed an increasing level of attack on the value of higher education.  I am convinced the two are connected.  The declining percentage of men getting advanced degrees is leading to the cultural devaluation of such degrees.  I have heard/read speculation that women are better suited by nature or nurture to Industrial  and post-industrial civilization.  The change in student body complements may be evidence of that.

Offline Noelle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2011, 02:43:40 PM »
Dear crap, I'm an idiot.  I know it's supposed to be sexist.  I was thinking prejudiced or bigoted and I guess I missed the word.

Not an idiot :) I appreciate your attitude on the subject; the big mistake a lot of feminists (and others with strong beliefs) make is that they tend to blast apart people who are well-intentioned, but may not necessarily understand or have all the information, especially when they bring up certain subjects or suggest things that may be offensive. I suppose this is where the 'raging, angry feminist' stereotype comes from.

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Let's say that I'm at a construction job making widgets.  If we're going to be fair, then the person who can make more widgets should be paid more than the person who can't make as many.  This is how I see it.

For this reason, I wouldn't expect to get paid as much as someone who doesn't have my medical issues for jobs where my asthma and other issues would cause me to be bad at my job.  It's terrible for me, sure, but if I'm constantly hacking, wheezing and can't keep up with other workers, it doesn't make any sense for me to get paid as much.

Now, I'll certainly agree with equal pay for equal work, but it doesn't mean that I want equal pay regardless.  I've seen cases where someone isn't keeping up with the rest and the word "discrimination" gets thrown around even when it's not.  I doubt that you're asking for equal pay regardless, but I've seen it before.

I'm guessing what you're getting at here is workplace discrimination between the sexes or is it something else? The issue with equal pay is that it seems there are women who hold positions that are the equivalent of another man's and they are routinely paid less, on average, which I think is worth investigating. There was recently a lawsuit by a group of women against Wal-Mart due to some issues where it seemed to be that there were women who were up for promotion, but were consistently passed over for men. I think they tossed it out because Wal-Mart was deemed to already have sufficient non-discriminatory practices, but I find it hard to believe that if you see a pattern of a certain group being routinely passed over, that it's purely based on merit.

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Appearance is just one of those things that I never really got.  I've been told that the main reason women dress up is because other women judge them based on their appearance, so I'm not really sure how that's the fault of men.  I'll agree that sexual harassment is wrong, and rape is wrong regardless of what someone is wearing.

A lot of expectations are perpetuated by men, and women can also exhibit sexist behavior towards other women, as well. If a woman doesn't shave her legs or armpits (and arguably, there is sometimes an expectation for shaving below the belt), it is considered unhygienic and 'gross'. In the 40's and 50's, there was a lot of literature put out (by men, of course) about a woman's "role". Some of it had to do with keeping herself looking a certain way for her husband. Since then, it's hard to say where it all stemmed from in modern times (I don't know everything there is to know on the subject), but there is a cycle of consumption out there, especially perpetuated by the media who, to nobody's great surprise, has been run predominately by men back in history.

Of course, you also see the message echoed in objectifying ads such as the beer ones - you see thin, white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed models with large breasts, narrow hips, and a flat stomach, and it sends the message that this is what men want to see. And of course men are looking and judging, too! Men aren't immune to visuals, if the prevalence of Maxim and Playboy has anything to say about it. Why do men dress up? To look nice, feel confident/sexy/insert your own adjective here, and/or to potentially attract other people. Who are they typically trying to attract (obviously we're barring homosexuals from this reference)? Women. Who is looking and judging? Women. I would say it's not a whole lot different for women, either.

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However, I'm seeing a dichotomy here. 

You mention that you should be able to wear whatever you want, and I agree, but you also go after the girls who dress up at conventions.  If they want to dress up that way, I say to let them. 

I think you're misplacing my point a bit. I have nothing against women who want to dress provocatively - if they're doing so for the right reasons. This is the premise for female self-objectification. I personally think it's kind of a blurry subject because who am I to say what empowers one female and degrades another -- but at the same time, if they're emulating their favorite superheroes or anime characters or what-have-you, who created THOSE characters, and to what end? Wonder Woman is a strong female lead, but she's wearing bondage cuffs and a bustier, which are hardly practical for fighting crime. Are they dressing up as those characters because it makes them feel good and empowered, or are they doing it because it's expected? The whole joke about Halloween being one of the only times it's acceptable to dress "like a slut" pretty well exemplifies it, I think.

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However, I'll admit that even if I'm not screaming out obscenities, I'm still going to look.  I've been known to stare when a girl flashes, but I think that just makes me attracted to females more than it makes me a bigot.

I'm not condemning men for being attracted to women -- I think this is a point that kind of gets lost in a lot of these kinds of discussions. When you become fixated on a woman for her body, it is objectifying. Initial attraction isn't a bad thing, certainly someone's looks are the most readily noticeable thing about them, but things like staring and occasionally obsessing over body parts (tits and ass, if you will!) is objectifying and it is harmful. It reduces the owner of those things to the sum of their parts.

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Backing up on the superheroes, they're always in stupid poses.  They deliberately draw them to appear larger than life, more powerful and heroic.  Look at all the stupid things Tobey Maguire was doing in the Spider Man movies in order to look like the drawings.

Though I'll agree that chainmail bikinis are idiotic, and when I'm looking for a picture to play a female, I refuse to use a faux-armor pic to play an armored character.

I'll agree with you here that there is a definite problem overall in comicbooks of unrealistic, insane crap (...capes? Why are they wearing capes?! That's not practical!), there is simply no comparison to the sexualization of the women involved. They are not portrayed as being powerful for their physical prowess or cunning -- hell, isn't it Poison Ivy and Catwoman who had powers that involved kissing their enemies? Batman isn't straddling his enemy's lap with his midriff showing while making a seductive face. Their suits don't come with a handy zipper down the front to show off their rippling man-cleavage.

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This gets into stereotyping, though.  Rape on all fronts is wrong, so it's not really fair to blame all men just because more men are rapists, especially when there are women rapists.  Certainly we wouldn't blame a particular race if that race is more apt to commit crimes, right?

You're on the right lines, yes, but when we look into why a certain race has more crimes, we also look at what is surrounding them, what is perpetuating the desire or need to commit crime. For many minorities, it is their socioeconomic status, fueled by a society that is still dealing with issues of non-obvious racism and prejudice that make it harder for those people to get/keep jobs, own property, and even eat healthy foods.

In the case of rape, it's certainly very hard to pin down the exact numbers (and you really can't estimate what isn't reported), especially because some of the numbers are conflated by lumping in sexual assault or simply indiscriminate categorizing (some feminist websites, for example, don't presume innocence until proven guilt, so they lump all reported cases of rape/sexual assault together regardless of the legal verdict), but based on the greater numbers of women who are threatened by sexual harassment, the prevalence of an attitude that is "don't dress like a slut" (SlutWalk aims to counter one particular example), as well as the more powerful position of men in society on the whole, I'd say it's a fairly realistic guess to say that men, on the whole, are not being oppressed by rape in the same way women are and it is a more realistic guess with the given statistics to say that while male rape does happen and should be addressed and the victim-shaming stopped, it is simply not as prevalent as violence towards women.

To relate this back to race again -- if minorities, on the whole, are being shown to have lower employment rates, it is not incorrect or untrue to say "Well, I'm a white male and I can't find a job", it's just not indicative of any greater trend that may be overshadowing it.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2011, 03:39:16 PM »
Who exactly is keeping the male population down?  The rest of the male population?  If you don't understand, you should educate yourself before arguing the point.  But here's the rub: there's more to objectification than "scantily clad photos exist in magazines."  Studies! http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090216-bikinis-women-men-objects.html

Are you saying that men are the only ones capable of keeping people down?  Sounds rather discriminatory to me, but let's read through the article.

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If a similar study were done with women, Fiske told National Geographic News, it would be hard to predict whether a woman shown a scantily clad male body would dehumanize him in the same way.

We do the studies for men but not for women?  The very fact that the scientists only do one particular gender proves a bias on the part of the scientists.

"It is not impossible for a woman to rape a man" is not a good argument toward the suggestion that rape and sexual assault are not a problem for women.  In fact, they're not even related ideas.  Rape and sexual assault are pervasive problems; when 16% of women can claim to have experienced rape or attempted rape, you cannot pretend there is not a problem!

No argument that rape is terrible, regardless of the genders involved.  I already went over this towards the end of my last post; if you like, you can read through it.

(That was  Uh, unless you want us to shift our focus to men's problems, and ignore women's problems?  But that's, you know, sexist.

So is it also sexist to talk about women's problems and ignore men's problems?  Being able to compare and contrast an argument requires actually looking at both sides.  So many of these things talk about the problems that women have but completely ignore the problems that men have.

It's a lot like saying that because women can have multiple orgasms, it's so much better to be a woman, but not mentioning menstruation or childbirth, or any other such things.  When you only give half the argument and call it sexist to bring up anything else, things seem a lot worse.

Anyone got an article where they talk about the entire set and do some actual comparisons?

Feminists condescend men all the time when we're just trying to ask questions.

Condescension is an ancient tool, but in my experience, is generally most commonly used when someone is losing the argument.  When people don't have something intelligent to say, they start slinging insults.

Out of curiosity, I just glanced over the Male Privilege Checklist you folks just mentioned here, and the parts I read seemed incredibly insightful, although I assumed that the checklist was devised as a rhetorical tool, for provoking thought, and not as some kind of judgmental screed or call to arms.  IMO, the only thing that would have made it better would be if the same writer turned around and generated the same kind of checklist for Women.

Good to know that it's not just me.

In fairness to the young women of today, there is a good reason why they feel they have no need for feminism:  many of the important battles ahve been on. 

This may very well be why I don't see it as so much of a problem: I never lived through much of the really bad stuff.  I'll certainly agree that the problems in the past were truly horrendous, and they may still be in some areas, but it so often seems like problems are still brought up which have been solved.

It's sort of like how we still have the NAACP.  By and large, I feel as though the war for equality has been pretty well won.  Are we still at the point where we need a major organization for African-Americans?  I've seen so many people who have been shown to be discriminatory get blasted by everyone, regardless of race/gender/whatever, like that incident with the guy who used to play Kramer.  I don't know if we need these huge organizations when public opinion itself will destroy these people.

The declining percentage of men getting advanced degrees is leading to the cultural devaluation of such degrees.

I've heard that it's because so many people are going out to get degrees nowadays that such things are not as valued as they used to be.  It used to be that having a college degree was distinguished because so few had them, and now that so many do, it doesn't give you an edge in the business world.  Makes sense to me but I don't know if it's true.

It seems likely that your hypothesis is more probable than mine if there are less men in college than there used to be (regardless of how many women are enrolled, and compared to previous decades), and that mine is more probable if the numbers are equal or greater, but I can't find any information on relative numbers of male college-goers over the last few decades.  Even so, it'd only be circumstantial, so who can say?

I have heard/read speculation that women are better suited by nature or nurture to Industrial  and post-industrial civilization.

Sounds like a stereotype to me.  No offense, but I don't see any reason to believe that any more than that one gender is better than another at anything other than childbirth, or that one race is better than another at something.

I've heard these similar arguments, though.  This is where feminism is going: since no one argues with equality, some claim that men are inherently inferior in the same way that people used to claim that women were inherently inferior.  It baffles me, but I've heard that things inherently move in cycles, shifting back and forth until a true equilibrium is found, so maybe it's necessary to disprove things on both sides in order to find a true balance.


I have more, but people keep posting before I can finish, so I'm putting this down.

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2011, 03:47:05 PM »
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Are you saying that men are the only ones capable of keeping people down?  Sounds rather discriminatory to me, but let's read through the article.

Is there a pervasive culture-spanning tendency of women to be in positions of power over men in the US that I've overlooked?

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We do the studies for men but not for women?  The very fact that the scientists only do one particular gender proves a bias on the part of the scientists.

No, it doesn't.  If the hypothesis is, "Men objectify women," testing women to see if they objectify men is not relevant.  You can, of course, run your own study if you're interested in that topic.

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So is it also sexist to talk about women's problems and ignore men's problems?  Being able to compare and contrast an argument requires actually looking at both sides.  So many of these things talk about the problems that women have but completely ignore the problems that men have.

There are not 'two sides'.  These are different problems.  When discussing the problems that women face, problems that men face don't matter.  The problems are not competing with each other.  We are not playing misery poker.  Men crying "what about us!" whenever the topic of problems that women face comes up is really tiresome.

Acknowledging that women have problems does not mean diminishing that other people face problems, as well.  Not until someone decides that there needs to be some kind of competition over it, anyway.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2011, 04:35:01 PM »
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We do the studies for men but not for women?  The very fact that the scientists only do one particular gender proves a bias on the part of the scientists.
There has been research done on it, just not as much.  It's not that we aren't curious how objectification affects both of the sexes, it's just that we have to set priorities.  Objectification seems to be a much bigger problem for women, so the priority is set to explore that component of it first and at greater detail.

You're right though, in that more efforts are being made at examining the struggles that women have as a result of the structure of our culture, but there's a reason for that.  It wasn't even 100 years ago that women couldn't vote.  There used to be gigantic academic gaps between the sexes.  There is still a wage gap.  There are a lot of verifiable inequalities between men and women today.  If we want to live in an egalitarian society, it wouldn't make much sense to start with the sex that is better off than the other, and remove societal roadblocks that exist for them first.  That doesn't mean there aren't problems that men face.

I know it's hard when talking about stuff like this to keep away from an us versus them mentality.  Human beings an innately tribal; we feel a need to defend groups that we belong to from outsiders.  When feminists use a lot of language like "some men do this" or "the patriarchy does that" you just have to remind yourself that if you're not one of those men, and not take it personally (unless you are, then it's time to do some soul searching).  If you've never done a catcall, touched a woman against her will, considered her intellectually inferior just because of her sex, or otherwise abused women, then you're fine and the fact that other men do this in no way reflects negatively on you.

You are not a representative for your sex.  You didn't choose to be born a man, so there's no need for you to defend that group.  There are a lot of men out there who are selfish assholes with disgusting attitudes towards women that they don't even realize they possess.  Take a personal inventory, ask yourself if that's you -- if you can honestly say no, then don't worry about it.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 04:38:53 PM by Jude »