Sunday, February 8, 2009

Feminists and the opposing forces

Well, I am looking at western culture and society and am left wondering. I am left wondering whether the social problems that arose within the western societies will make its way towards us in the future. You might say I'm paranoid, that each society has its own problems, but I am starting to see a pattern. It happened with anti-religion in schools (not as potent as in western countries but still here, and I am quite for the removal of said symbols from classrooms) and to the latest thing, the gay couples rights. Now I am unsure whether or not these will follow a chronological order, but I am worried about feminists and the opposite side making their way here.

There was a time when women were not allowed to do some things, but in my opinions those times have passed. Sure, there will be no utopia concerning sexism. There will be a few men here and there who won't agree with the fact that there are women out there who can do better than a man on a particular man considered job, as well as there are always going to be a few women out there who will believe that there are men out there who can do better than a woman on a particular woman considered job. But those are extreme cases and their frequency will die out with the current generation and the next.

But again, that is not why I am worried. Physics say that with every action there will be a opposite and equally powerful reaction. As we seen, the feminist aftermath has given birth to a man driven group or groups to fight against it. Each have their own views, but for the record, I'm going to lump every pro-man thing in PM and pro-woman thing in PW. These two groups may have elements in common, but that would be just splitting hairs. I'm going for the big picture.

With all these groups fighting for their own goal of supremacy of either one sex or the other, I am beginning to think... when will it be enough? In how much time has passed since feminism and its retaliation group started, have neither of these groups achieved enough of their goals to get to a point where they can say "Hey, we can stop now. It's equilibrium. Let's keep things as they are and start working towards a better goal... like curing AIDS and Cancer". But no, neither of these groups are willing to leave up.

So I will as you dear readers, do you think sexism on either side, still exists? And if so... how frequent do you believe it is? Is it frequent enough to keep both groups working on it, or can they pack up their stuff and go home?

3 comments:

  1. Of course there is sexism, and the extreme cases you mentioned will not disappear in time. Just like in certain ways women will never be equal to men or viceversa. To my mind, that's good, 'coz bottom line we are so different for a reason. And the balance has long been there. Just that those who don't want to see it won't.

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  2. Imi pare rau, dar Romania inca sta prost la capitolul "gender equality"... women get discouraged from certain careers, there are incredibly few women compared to men in positions of top-management, and they consistently get paid worse than men. In addition to that there's a pretty loud and proud current of "femeile sunt proaste" which is very sexist. But ok, let's say that that's not "that bad"... but consider worser areas, like Muslim countries, where women are hardly worth anything... Gender equality isn't really at a good enough balance to say "ok, let's move on" at this point :)

    I do however believe one thing - this whole women-vs-men thing needs to stop. Feminist rhetoric really should shift to a more balanced and free equality speech, rather than the whole "EMPOWER WOMEN" "SHOOT DOWN SEXIST MEN" stuff.

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  3. First of all, I find it quite inexact to place feminism in a homogenous category: it certainly has its internal coherence but there are plenty of sides to it and plenty of opposing views within it. As any civil/social rights movement, it has had its radical side. In the spirit of correctness, I will admit to the utter stupidity of what has been called radical feminism, which, has been more vocal and noticeable and has therefore (unfortunatelly) been viewed as representing feminism as a whole. That's the SIDE of feminism that views women as superior to men. Let me give you an example: American radical feminist Andrea Dworkin famously stated that all sex with men is rape. Stupid, no? Indeed it is. But the main objective of feminism (let's call it moderate) is to "expose what might be called the mechanisms of patriarchy, that is the cultural 'mind-set' in men and women which perpetuate sexual inequality" (Peter Barry). So nobody is talking about superiority here, but of equality. Nobody is pro-woman or pro-man here, but pro-human, no matter the gender. While I do believe that politically, at least in Western societies, women have gained equal rights to men, it is a well-noted fact that it is common for women to be paid less than men for the same job. (take the U.S. example with women earning 77 cents to one dollar). But let's say that as long as people live in a democratic society, these differences are in the process of getting eliminated. Significantly (and less noticeably), the focus in feminism has shifted to exposing the remaining elements of the "mindset" which are subtler than the political ones: look at a rap video and tell me how women are portrayed; explain to me why a tyre commercial requires the voluptuous curbs of a woman... in general, I would like to understand why the media is saturated with images of the female body and much less of the male body. I would like to know why so many women's magazines define femininity in terms of what a woman wears, in terms of the extent to which she makes herself desirable to the opposite sex. Most importantly, I would like to understand why in today's society, women are much more afraid of walking in certain places at certain hours than men are. More publicly, take into consideration the "wonderful" comments made by Mircea Geoana, drawing attention to the level of grooming of some female politicians (???).
    To end this extended comment (for whose length i do apologize), I believe that feminism has accomplished a great deal, but as Alex was saying, we're not there yet in what concerns equality on all levels of society. And yes, let's not talk about a "battle of the sexes" as the ultimate end is a cooperation between the sexes.

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