Sexism and Society

April 26, 2010 at 12:31 am (Uncategorized)

“LOLZ GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN AN MAEK ME A SAMMICH”

This is unfortunately the norm for trolls on the internet when it comes to women. And it’s spreading.

Now, let’s get this out there beforehand: most men who disagree with what I am going to talk about call the women who state these opinions unattractive, overweight, and single.

Facts:

1. I am a reasonably attractive woman. Typical blond hair, blue eyes, tits, ass, and all that. No body parts missing. I do wear glasses, but that’s because without them I can’t tell a tree from a telephone pole. I don’t even have cavities.

2. I am not overweight, but I am not a Playboy bunny. I am, however, a REAL woman, without the airbrushing, with skin blemishes, curves, and who enjoys eating more than air and water. You know, the kind you see everyday walking down the street.

3. I am single. I am single by choice–men have asked, and I have politely turned them down, for one reason or another. I would LIKE to have a boyfriend, don’t get me wrong, but for the time being I am happy being single. It’s nice not to have to worry about someone else but yourself.

Ok, do we have the facts? I’m single, reasonably attractive, and have a normal body? That most of the time a guy will call a woman who disagrees with him a fat, ugly, prostitute mostly because he has no other response, and this response will trigger emotional insecurities that will cause a woman to back down because she’s too busy trying not to have an emotional breakdown?

Yeah, now about that emotional breakdown. Women are practically PROGRAMMED from the time they are first exposed to any kind of advertising that we have to look and act a certain way. So when attention is called to how we are defying unrealistic ‘social norms’, particularly from men, things kind of go downhill in our brains. We are practically trained from birth that we ‘need’ a man in life to be happy, and that if we don’t do everything in our power to ‘catch’ a man, we will die horribly alone and bitter. I’m not saying anything against marriage or partnership or whatever you want to call it. I’m just saying that I can be happy with or without a man. It can be lonely without a companion, but that’s life. We’re social creatures. People need people, be in man or woman or those who refuse to be put into gender-boxes. I’m also not saying anything against trying out the interests of a potential mate, because how the heck are you supposed to know if you’re compatible, or that you’ll have anything to talk about if you don’t know what they like? If nothing else, your musical or social activities will be broadened by the experience.

Here in America–I actually can’t think of any matriarchal societies at the moment, thanks to imperialism and colonization–we are a patriarchal society. Men rule all. I know that and begrudgingly accept it. I mean, I can’t change an entire society overnight, so I have to live with it. That’s fine. But, in such a patriarchal society there’s two sides to how women are treated: 1. they are revered for the sexual beings they are ((case in point: male homosexuals are victims of hate crimes and abuse about three times more than female homosexuals. Girl-on-girl is ‘hot’)) 2. they are subservient to men.

1. Sexual Reverence

As I mentioned, lesbians are both loved and feared by males in our society. Lesbian porn is ‘hot’, or even just two women in general making out at a college party because they’re drunk. Most guys will be all over that. This is why many men are all about threesomes, as long as it’s him and two girls. But they’re feared as well, because it shows two women being together, without a man in the picture. This is ‘unacceptable’. This is why the rates of lesbians who are raped are disturbingly high, because many men believe that a lesbian just ‘hasn’t found the right man’s touch’. Right, because raping a woman is TOTALLY ok, and will turn a woman straight. (that’s sarcasm, if you didn’t know) Many STRAIGHT women who are raped cloister themselves away from men, because it’s such a traumatizing experience.

Now, for the beauty industry. There’s this funny thing… Dove has a campaign to love yourself for who you are. Dove is owned by the same company as… Axe. The male body spray/cleanliness/whatever company that uses ‘sexy’ women and insists that as soon as a man wears this, women will attack him because it’s so intoxicating. That sends a bit of a mixed message as well. Not to mention Victoria’s Secret’s new line of Body bras, for ‘every body’. And yet in the commercial, what do we see? The usual Angels, all thin and airbrushed and spray-tanned. That’s not ‘every body’. That’s ‘everyone who looks like me’, which in today’s society is less than half of the population, if you haven’t been keeping up on the news about obesity.

But in ALL beauty advertisements, we see the same women! It sends out a wrong message, that you can only be beautiful by using this product, by looking like this woman! You’ve heard this before, and if you don’t know how annoying and degrading it is by now, me telling you won’t change your opinion. The only change I’ve seen is in Dove’s advertising, and Fruit of the Loom is starting to use average-sized women as well. Oh, and I suppose the commercials with Ellen Degeneres are also a step towards normalcy as well, if they’d stop airbrushing her wrinkles out. Ellen has a lined face, and it should be totally fine if we see that. (not to mention her dialogue in most of it makes fun of the standards in the beauty industry anyway)

It’s hard to believe yourself to be beautiful for how you are with all of this “PLASTIC SURGERY!” “THIS WILL MAKE YOU LOOK TEN YEARS YOUNGER!” mentality going on in society. Trust me. I know. I suffer from self-esteem issues daily because of these kinds of things. In the standards of society, I’m not beautiful. I’m passable, and according to society, if I lost about fifty pounds and had surgery to make my legs longer, I could be a Victoria’s Secret model–for the record, that puts me at under 100 lbs, which is severely unhealthy for the average 20 year old woman. The problem with losing those fifty pounds is that a) I would need to be hospitalized for various illnesses and bones breaking and whatnot, and b) it is not in my genetics to look like that.

YES. GENETICS PLAY A PART IN WEIGHT! Look at your family. Now look at your body type. Notice similarities? It’s not ENTIRELY because of your family diet. Diet plays a part in it–come on, you know eating McDonald’s four or five times a week is not healthy. If your are genetically inclined to be short and plump, that’s how it goes. There isn’t a surgery to change your genes (yet).

2. Women are Subservient

Men bring home the bacon, men are the world leaders, men blahblahblah. (see, I told you I had to live with it, not like it) Look at all the world leaders, and see how many are men. See how many are women. Yeah, I thought so. Look at the women who have been in power, what became of them? Benazir Bhutto wasn’t the most perfect leader, but she was generally well-liked in Pakistan. I mean, they elected her twice, even under accusations of corruption in the government. And then she was assassinated, because she was a woman in a position of power over others, in a world where women aren’t generally wanted to be in a position of power. (while she was returning from exile, she was still a voice that many listened to)

And now, back to the sandwiches. The ‘funny’ joke that’s been running around the internet for the last year or so, is that women should stop doing ‘men things’ (like being opinionated and posting said opinions on the internet), get back into the kitchen, and make them a sandwich. In other words, ‘stupid whore get back in your place before I beat you’ mentality. What, that’s too extreme? You’re already saying that a woman shouldn’t think for herself, and her proper place is somewhere doing something subservient to you, what’s to say you wouldn’t force yourself on her, call her names, and beat her if she continues to defy your social constructs?

Now, not all men are like this, thankfully. Most of them wouldn’t dream of acting like this, many of them do it only jokingly (and retract statements when they’re called on being an ass), and most of them are decent people who treat women well. It still stands that there is a privilege in life to being born a straight, white male. It’s a privilege in our society to be born a male anyway, but you can’t deny that there is disadvantage to being a non-white, and homosexual/trisexual/whateversexuality-that-isn’t-straight. You as a male hold more power, people listen to you more, and you make more money. (go look at the average salary made in a year, male-to-female. Men make more money. The playing field is leveling out, but it’s taking a while)

There’s a funny saying that the best feminist is a man. Because of your privilege as a man, you will be listened to. It’s up to you to defend your ‘manliness’ when your ‘bros’ call you whipped for treating a woman respectfully, or doing something she asks you to. It’s not called being whipped, it’s called respecting your partner, or your friend. It’s about realizing that all relationships, platonic and romantic, are partnerships. There’s give and take. You do something, they do something. When one person takes and takes and takes, well, the other had better stop giving eventually, because they’re only going to get hurt in the long run.

A final note about feminism, there’s still a strong misconception about it. It’s not all bra-burning man-haters–those are the extremists, like your sandwich friends up there. It’s about the freedom to choose. To be a housewife, or to be a working mother, or to be single and working, or whatever. Choice is the demand.

Such as the choice to go on a 1700-word-plus tangent on the internet.

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