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to totally fail to understand why Sexism is never seen as bad as racism??

(306 Posts)
chemicalsister Sun 27-Oct-13 01:18:16

Following on from the Saudi Olympics thread, I keep getting upset about Sexism thriving in the modern world when racism is quite correctly - seen by the fast majority as clearly wrong and abhorent.
Even educated professionals have wound me up recently asserting we sholud adapt schools, especially first few years of infants , to better suit boys and their poorer attention span,
AND poor boys now do less well at exams at 16 so we must reduce course work etc..
I am old and remember when boys did better than girls at 16-- There was no outrage and plans to change exams then! It was just seen as inevitable ..... Fume!

It's not a competition though. Except in very special circumstances (like Mike Tyson's rape trial). What we should be doing is striving for an end to all discrimination based on the fact that it hurts everyone.

chemicalsister Sun 27-Oct-13 01:32:04

No course not a competition but why do so many people continue being sexist when they - righly -wouldn't ever be racist?
Sexism is as serious and am amazed so many still don't recogise it, or behave insexist ways.

Failing to recognise sexism isn't the same as saying it's less serious.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Sun 27-Oct-13 01:41:29

Chemicalsister - Quick question, are you white?

If the answer is yes, it is possible that you greatly underestimate how much racism is out there, just as many men underestimate how much sexism is out there.

Also, I think you have chosen some pretty controversial examples (leaving the Saudis aside) to make your point.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 01:36:28

I agree with you that this is the case amongst the left/liberal types. Many white men will be overtly sexist when they would never be overtly racist.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sun 27-Oct-13 01:41:51

Speaking as a woman who is not white, I think sexism and racism intersect. At one point in my life, I'll find that sexism is holding me back more, and at another point i'll find that racism is holding me back more. Often, though, it's a toxic mixture of the two that's tough to analyze and say, "this bit is worse than the other." They're both bad.

There's plenty of unrecognised racism amongst white left/liberal types in my experience.

mynewpassion Sun 27-Oct-13 02:19:07

I don't see it as being sexist when discussing changing some learning techniques to better help increase boys' education/learning. Stats do show that many boys aren't doing as well as girls in schools.

Just as I don't see it as being sexist when schools have programs to encourage girls to go into the science and math fields and they don't offer the same with boys.

These two things are trying to help each gender achieve their best and in the girls' program, also trying to level the playing field.

You might have seen it as they aren't caring but policies have been changing, not as rapidly but still changing.

squoosh Sun 27-Oct-13 02:34:25

I don't really understand this divide and conquer attitude. Discrimination is discrimination whether it's based on the colour of your skin or the shape of your genitals.

A person's sex can present specific obstacles and also a person's race can present a different set of obstacles.

It's worth keeping in mind also that sexism and racism are often intertwined.

VikingLady Sun 27-Oct-13 03:25:13

Possibly because you very seldom hear anyone saying their own race is lesser than another, but a lot of women still seem to believe men are better.

harticus Sun 27-Oct-13 07:04:30

Don't understand the thing about not wanting boys to maximise their potential - never have done.
If boys are lagging behind it must be addressed.
How does having underachieving boys help the feminist cause?

Poverty and class prejudice still underpin underachievement - poor white boys and poor black boys are being failed by our education system.
And when those poor black boys leave school they become the most demonised and harassed section of our society ... the young black male.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 07:26:39

In your example, boys are being helped. With racism, no one is helped.

<waves to Grennie>

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 07:32:54

If you were poor, and you yourself had a son at an underacheiving school who did indeed have a low attention span, you would want help for him wouldnt you.

ApocalypseThen Sun 27-Oct-13 07:36:02

Don't understand the thing about not wanting boys to maximise their potential - never have done.

That's not the point at all. The point is that society consciously rigs educational attainment in favour of boys - initially denying girls an education for various stupid reasons and girls had to get on with things and just fight for the right to be educated and then adapt to whatever system existed. And girls - contrary to expectations - have excelled. Now that girls are doing better, the natural order has been upset so girls must adapt again.

What are they going to do when education is changed to advantage boys again? It'll have to be to keep the sexists happy. At no point will society ever deal with the actual problems and sort out the toxic behaviour associated with many males, and the poverty of expectation around what is acceptable behaviour from them.

sashh Sun 27-Oct-13 07:46:36

AND poor boys now do less well at exams at 16 so we must reduce course work etc..I am old and remember when boys did better than girls at 16-- There was no outrage and plans to change exams then! It was just seen as inevitable ..... Fume!

That just proves your point, even you have accepted sexism. Boys have NEVER out performed girls in exams. In the days of 'boys did better' it was actually that girls were not allowed to take certain subjects.

And why should boys work harder at school, they will find it easier to get work and be paid more than the girls?

chemicalsister Sun 27-Oct-13 07:46:38

Course I don't mind boys or any child being helped when needed but I was shocked that I heard of a school that had a summer born boys reading catch-up group. It was actually called that. One of my dauughters was welll behibd at reading at one point at a difderenr school, but just got me thinking how sexist some attitudes were. what did that school do if they had a summed born girl who needed help? Or that never happened?
Also many people in education still seem to expect less better behavior from boys
eg if a boy is dirruptivr or hits someone there is so less reavtion than if a girl does it.
Maybe it just my area, where boys Will be boys you know !?

ApocalypseThen Sun 27-Oct-13 07:50:10

Also many people in education still seem to expect less better behavior from boys

It's not just in education. Girls are expected to be quiet, diligent, careful and compliant. It may not be any more natural for girls either, but who cares? Society does not accept antisocial behaviour from girls but indulges boys.

chemicalsister Sun 27-Oct-13 07:55:36

Apocolypsethen Exactly! I am toally against racism of course and I beleive it is much worse and goes deeper than many suspect, but by the year 2013 I am very shocked that people openly say blatantly sexist attitudes without even the awareness they are discriminating.
Media attitude to a man being a nanny or cleaner, lots of concern IME of schools saying oh dear a book or drama lesson must be appealing to poor left out boys while every playtime they take over 80 of the playground playing football but no one addresses what if girls want to join in or fed up with no space!
Problems that affect boys seen as more serious.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 27-Oct-13 08:14:39

Racism is worse because there is obviously no difference between people whether they are black or white.
Sexism does indeed exist in adults, I agree.
But....males and females ARE different. Just watch any group of 2 year olds playing and it is immediately obvious. Accept this.

chibi Sun 27-Oct-13 08:19:13

many many women are negatively affected by both sexism and racism, it is not possible to unpick if one is 'as bad' as the other since it is not possible to choose to be oppressed just by one.

ApocalypseThen Sun 27-Oct-13 08:21:39

* Just watch any group of 2 year olds playing and it is immediately obvious. Accept this.*

The socialisation process has kicked in with two year olds. They even talk and all kinds of things.

meddie Sun 27-Oct-13 08:23:18

It is something that bothers me also. you only have to look at the consequences in the media of both a racist and a sexist 'event'

presenter/politician says something racist . immediate outrage and calls for resignation.

I very rarely see the same level of response to a sexist comment. maybe a token wrist slap, but they very rarely resign over it.

BIWI Cote D'Ivoire Sun 27-Oct-13 08:24:49

They may be different arethereanyleftatall, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be treated equally

chibi Sun 27-Oct-13 08:25:38

i want to live in this world where racism is seriously addressed and is rare and most people would be horrified/would never dream of etc etc

someone pm me the location of this place I'm packing my bags now

hackmum Sun 27-Oct-13 08:26:16

Have been thinking this myself recently. Imagine if Saudi Arabia had a law that said black people weren't allowed to drive. Can you imagine the outrage?

The Observer (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/rape-kenya-women-crime-campaign) today carried a story about a young woman in Kenya who was gang-raped and then thrown by the rapists into a deep latrine (she managed to escape). Her injuries were so bad that she was left doubly incontinent and in a wheelchair. Her attackers were reported to the local police who "punished" them by making them cut the grass for a morning. They haven't been prosecuted. Initially the doctors didn't notice how severely she was injured and suggested physiotherapy. She is only now beginning to get the treatment she needs because £4,000 has been raised to pay for it.

Why is it that all over the world women's lives are held in such little value that these things can still happen?

Thatballwasin Sun 27-Oct-13 08:28:48

I know what you mean OP. My company used to have a Saudi arm and yet we have to do regular training that includes equality in the work place etc. We turn a blind eye to some things which affect women when we want to do business. However, I do agree that that racism and sexism tend to go hand in hand and often the same places/people are not exclusive as to who they discriminate against!

I've had the same thoughts about education and the debate about boys' results which stands out as in the UK it isn't that long ago that education girls wasn't seen as a priority. However, I think now if girls' results were considerably poorer then it would be picked up on. Perhaps used as an argument to stay "why educate girls" in some circles but it would be picked up on!

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 08:30:51

Racism is possibly seen as more abhorrent as it is linked to hatred.

In the main racists hate

Sexists do not hate women.

Both should be unacceptable but that perhaps explains a little?

LessMissAbs Sun 27-Oct-13 08:31:04

There is still a massive pay gap between men and women which isn't explained by women having babies.

Its the jobs for the boys culture. Traditionally, a lot of men just haven't had to be that good to get paid what they do, and men have also been good at creating whole swathes of industry that is overpaid that are male dominated.

Look at the recent Ineous petrochemical plant dispute in Scotland. It came out that the average employee in the male dominated workforce is paid £55k per year.

I'm a lecturer at pg level mainly, and I find that a lot of male students can be very arrogant. Some will question their mark and actually cone out with the "dont you know who I am/what I do/ who my father is". Instead of realising their low mark is due to lack of knowledge,skill and hard work on their part.

Medical and dental degrees are now female dominated, and the UK Cat and practical admissions interviews should still favour men as in the past, when there was less competition from women for places.

I think its cultural. Its in lens interests to keep women in lower paid jobs so they can attract a mate, and they can get an unpaid housekeeper to run their lives.

ithaka Sun 27-Oct-13 08:34:14

Sexists do not hate women.

Oh yes they do (said pantomime stylee).

Sexist me may say they love women, but they really fear and loathe them. Otherwise, why would they be sexist, if they saw women as equal people?

Thatballwasin Sun 27-Oct-13 08:34:55

I've never seen a male personal assistant. They are all women where I work. I don't know whether this is because men don't apply or they don't get the job.

Thatballwasin Sun 27-Oct-13 08:36:19

The PA thing stands out because I work in a male dominated department yet every PA is a woman

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 08:39:20

ithaka I disagree I think a fuckload of men are sexist, they still see woman as the homemakers, they do the driving etc etc the small little gentle touches of everyday sexism and I'm sure they love their wives mothers and daughters.

creighton Sun 27-Oct-13 08:39:48

What's the betting that every pa is a white woman?

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 08:39:59

I think I know what you mean, OP. And that's while acknowledging that I'm of the "my feminism will be intersectional or my feminism will be bullshit" school of thought. grin

I certainly don't deny that there is an absolute fuckton of (casual and deeply abhorrent) racism out there. But I think perhaps some people who abhor racism and think of themselves as good, decent people often find that they have internalised the structures of sexism in a way they haven't internalised the structures of racism, and it has become invisible to them, IYSWIM? Whereas racism can be to do with the 'visibly othered' (also problematic - if anyone has ever seen a white liberal middle-class person almost visibly 'prep' themselves when they realise they're going to talk to a PoC: "must make sure I behave appropriately") sexism is rendered invisible. It's not 'taboo' to white middle-class liberal behaviour.

This is why I have often used the "OK, replace 'women' with 'black people' in that sentence and see what you make of it" strategy with white middle-class liberals who make sexist statements. They have internalised sexism in a way they have not racism (because racism's structures tend to be less familiar to them). You'd be surprised how dramatic the results can be sometimes.

LessMissAbs Sun 27-Oct-13 08:40:18

I was watching a local tuning race yesterday. The leading women were coming in. The man next to me shouted to his friend 'dont let a woman beat you'. Imagine if he had shouted 'dont let (insert racist term) beat you'.

Ironically, its the same problem with men under achieving in sport now too. In that race yesterday, the top two women finished third and sixth overall in the mens field. This is the norm now, and it never used to be. The times the winning men do now would barely have got into the top ten twenty years ago. Championship medals, with a few exceptions, are now mainly won by women. Its the problem in British athletics everyone is too scared to address.

This is despite women being on the whole physically weaker than men and having faced stigma and discouragment to train and be good at sport.

LessMissAbs Sun 27-Oct-13 08:42:32

Local running race

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 08:44:28

LessMissAbs - YY - funny, I was thinking about this recently myself, the arguments about women in sport. Often the argument for the invisibility of women's sport is that we are just 'not as good' or compete in events that are 'not spectacular' enough to draw attention. However, events where women outperform men are curiously invisibilised.

As a single example, in endurance racing (50 miles plus - often up to 100 miles) women routinely outperform men at the highest levels, and the routes run are often ridiculously impressive (deserts, mountains, etc.) and beautiful. If the Tour de France is basically just an endurance race + telly tourism + bikes, it seems interesting that endurance racing is not seen as 'tv fodder'.

LadyBigtoes Sun 27-Oct-13 08:45:33

I have thought about this a lot and I think it's partly that sexism is so ingrained and deeply reflected in society. Racism is too, but different "ethnicities" haven't always lived alongside each other to a great extent. Each ethnicity has its own history and pride that can be called on to fight inequality in any given historical context. All ethnicities can call on the fact that we basically, legally and morally accept that all "men" are created equal.

With women it's different because there are differences in ability that are biologically ingrained - and on the basis of those differences almost every society ever has developed an unfair set-up that actually props up society and the way it works. Challenging it is much harder because you have to upset the whole applecart.

Also I do think many men - and some women - do hate women. I think one reason (straight) men often do is sex. Because women hold something that they desperately want, and they don't like the power that gives women over them. This is just a theory and I'm not saying its a conscious thought on men's part, or that it's all men. But a lot of the hatred of women is focused around women's sexuality and appearance.

LadyBigtoes Sun 27-Oct-13 08:52:34

I also agree that loads of people, men and women, have no idea how sexist they are. The racism test (what if you replaced "woman" with "black person") is very revealing as is simply swapping the genders. If you think burqas are fine, then shouldn't men wear them? If you think changing your name on marriage is fine, why don't you expect your husband to do it? If you habitually say "policeman" or "spaceman", you need to say policewoman and spacewomen instead 50% of the time - if not, why not?

feelingvunerable Sun 27-Oct-13 08:52:46

I agree with you op.

Lots of hatred for women, sometimes cleverly disguised and sometimes blatent.

chibi Sun 27-Oct-13 08:54:05

i sure hope we end sexism just like we have ended racism
hmm

CecilyP Sun 27-Oct-13 08:58:30

^AND poor boys now do less well at exams at 16 so we must reduce course work etc..
I am old and remember when boys did better than girls at 16^

You must be pretty old then, because girls have outperformed boys at 16 since 1970! Before that boys outperformed girls slightly and between 1970 and 1988 girls outperformed boys, but again so slightly as not to be a problem. It was only after GCSE's were introduced, that a noticable and widening gap in attainment appeared. I can't really see it as sexism to regard this as a something to be addressed.

Maybe another school had a summer born boys reading catch-up group because that was the only group that needed to catch up at that particular school. Perhaps their summer born girls were doing just fine!

Thatballwasin Sun 27-Oct-13 09:09:37

PAs all white, yes though the receptionists who replaced the lovely older women who'd been in the job for donkeys when it was outsourced aren't. Now all the receptionists are young, female and glamorous. And one of the old receptionist does the photocopying.

My DH does at least as much of the childcare as I do (we both work full time). All the women I know has at some point either explicitly told me I'm "lucky" or suggested that men generally just won't help out as much and that's just the way men are. Apparently DH is some sort of aberration.

bigkidsdidit Sun 27-Oct-13 09:12:56

I know what you mean OP. this year the Open was played at a golf club which doesn't admit women. Can you IMAGINE the outrage if it didn't admit black people? The tournament would never have been played there.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 09:19:01

"the small little gentle touches of everyday sexism"
confused
What on earth is gentle about discrimination?

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Oct-13 09:19:52

Tackling sexism is less of a priority for society than tackling racism, OP, because men can suffer racism. It is really that simple.

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 09:25:59

chibi grin

It is vital to recognise though that WoC experience sexism in different ways to white women. I have no doubt that a lot of WoC are put off classical feminism by its domination by white concerns, in the same way that a lot of working class women are put off it by its apparent domination by middle class concerns. I cannot speak to or for the experience of WoC, and nor should I try. Intersectionality is the key, to me.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 09:26:44

Giveit the fact it's insidious and you can't even see it makes them "gentle" , I'll carry that for you, pop the tea on long day at work, I'll drive.

Drip drip drip.

As oppose to the brash and obvious "well women can't do that can they? "

NotYoMomma Sun 27-Oct-13 09:48:15

I agree

and this poor boys at school argument hmm what does it matter when they will still get the better jobs and better wages because they have a penis?

I have had many an argument about driving the car with dh. I pick him up from theoffice and often hewants me to get out thecar and switch places so hecan drive.

er why?! whyyy?!?! fook off.

I think sexism is a HUGE problem (as is racism but it is more and more addressed) whereas men and women have sexism so ingraned theydont notice that they themselves are contributing to the problem every time they utter 'boys will be boys'

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 10:05:11

The idea there is a classical feminism Rabbit is rubbish. There are plenty of black female feminist fighting against female oppression and calling themselves feminists. The only difference is the media highlight a certain kind of feminism i.e. the kind that appeals to white men e.g. slut walks, femen, etc.

Female oppression has a much longer history than white supremacy. And as another poster said, racism affects men too, so some men will fight against it.

Also all men benefit from sexism and female oppression. Only white men benefit from racism and white supremacy.

BringBackBod Sun 27-Oct-13 10:24:41

NotYoMamma. Of course it matters. No-one should leave school struggling to read and write.

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 10:27:44

Grennie, actually I do agree with you, I have phrased myself clumsily.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 10:30:07

No worries Rabbit.

I just get frustrated sometimes when people think the feminism the media highlight, is the only feminism happening. Then yes, you would think the feminist movement is made up of and concerned only with white middle class women's issues.

The exception of course being the Hijab.

harticus Sun 27-Oct-13 10:34:55

and this poor boys at school argument hmm what does it matter when they will still get the better jobs and better wages because they have a penis?

FFS. Where on earth do some of you people live?

Unemployment amongst young males in this area tops 47%.
They are on the shitheap - along with the young women too. The young women are actually slightly better off in the shitheap of life because of the crappily paid care and cleaning jobs around here that young men are unable to access.

The notion that we can just fuck over the most disenfranchised of society because they happened to be born male and poor is repellent.
Poverty is the enemy of everyone.
Whether they have a penis or a vagina.

Quangle Sun 27-Oct-13 10:35:19

I know where you are coming from OP. The Saudi issue is very pertinant I think. We would have sanctions against countries treating other races in the way the Saudis and others treat women. They would rightly be pariah states. My work involves some interaction with the ME and I'm expected to be pretty cool about, let's say, the Yemen. Likewise it's totally fine for us to talk about negotiating with the Taliban. If this was an apartheid issue, it would not be ok and it would be socially damaging for businesses to be interacting with these regimes.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 10:35:39

Thanks, dontpanic I see what you mean now.

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 10:49:03

I just get frustrated sometimes when people think the feminism the media highlight, is the only feminism happening. Then yes, you would think the feminist movement is made up of and concerned only with white middle class women's issues.

Yes! Thanks Grennie, this is what I meant by being 'put off', which is 'put off' by the discursive representation of feminism rather than the actuality.

Harticus: poverty is everyone's enemy, which is why intersectionality is so important and seeing how these things interact. Like, at a group/class level middle class women have privilege that working class women do not. In practice at individual case levels, that has to be complicated; as a single example a middle-class woman with no access to an income due to financial abuse may have fewer options in leaving an abusive relationship than a working-class woman with an independent income.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 10:50:55

DontPanicMrMannering

I disagree I think a fuckload of men are sexist, ... they do the driving etc

I often offer to drive because I like driving (I drive for fun, nevermind getting from A to B, I'll drive 200 miles from A to A if the roads are interesting) and I don't drink; now I'm sexist because of that?!

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 10:55:33

Depends whether the person in the passenger seat also loves driving but can't get a turn.

I'm afraid I regard the subject of this thread as nothing more as destructive and divisive. We should combat racism and sexism wherever and whenever we see it.

I recently read this article about Oscar Pistorius in the Guardian. Now, the Guardian's Africa coverage is crap. However, I found this article particularly poignant as I have close connections with South Africa, a country that continues to struggle with racism and sexism - the legacy of apartheid and the fact that 50% of all South African women will be raped at least once during the course of their lives.

Oscar Pistorius: The end of the rainbow

and a quote

"These quiet observations are far more telling than the fast cars and the guns. Oscar is no miracle. It is not magic that propels his speed. More likely it is rage; more likely it is memories of humiliation. So, too, with South Africa. We are no miracle. We, too, have had to grind our stumps raw. We, too, have had to bury our shame. And so, when we heard what Oscar had done, we felt something like deja vu. As if we always knew that his story was not quite right."

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:02:17

Of course we should combat both female oppression/sexism and racism/white supremacy. Nobody is saying anything different. But the OP is simply recognising that overt racism among certain groups is a no no, but overt sexism is fine.

I see awful sexist remarks made routinely on TV. I don't see the same with racist remarks. Of course there is still racism on TV, but there is an acceptance that racism is a bad thing, and so generally the racism is more subtle, I accept there are unfortunately exceptions.

I think there are so many exceptions that it is a really silly comparison to make.

As for the OP itself, all it said was that in the modern world sexism was accepted more than racism and gave a couple of silly examples.

It was, in short, a Really Silly OP.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 11:13:05

GiveItYourBestFucker

Depends whether the person in the passenger seat also loves driving but can't get a turn.

Well they can drive their own car then. What's the issue?

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 11:13:09

I think investigating our own existing prejudices and testing our hypotheses about how these things stack up is part of intersectional feminism. So I don't think it's a silly OP, I think it's an investigative one.

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Sun 27-Oct-13 11:15:02

Well they can drive their own car then. What's the issue?

That has to be the most Marie Antoinette-like post I have seen in quite some time. grin

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 11:16:54

I just don't understand what low level sexism is.

I know that sound naive, but where do you draw a line with a man acting like a gentleman and being sexist.

My DH will open doors for me, carry heavy shopping, always drives, does all the DIY, takes the car for MOT and jobs that traditionally male done.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:17:31

Look at couples when you are in the car. Usually, if it is a woman and man sitting in the front seats, the man will be driving. There is a lot of subtle sexism that most people don't even notice.

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 27-Oct-13 11:18:23

I agree that her examples weren't the best, but it's absolutely true that otherwise reasonable people can be very sexist, without any social fear. Racism does still exist, but unless it's overt racists in the company of other racists, they have to censure themselves in society - no-one would stand for it. I saw it a lot in college, women will jump on any possible racist comment, but sit passively and smile when men are sexist, because they know if they objected they would be seen as the sour faced humourless feminist in the corner. Feminism is more offensive in our culture than sexism.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:18:38

Forty -Does your DH open doors for men? Is he pleased if a man holds a door open for him?

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 11:20:05

Fortydoors, IMo this depends on whether you would like to do the DIY or be responsible for the car, but defer to a man to do these things for you. When I was married he cooked, I did the car maintenance. It worked for us.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 11:20:32

If he sees a man struggling for example if he has a walking aid or in wheel chair.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:21:59

Forty - So a man has to be disabled, but not a woman? It is sexist if he is treating women as more in need than men.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 11:22:08

Oh dear! So a woman is in the same category as a physically disabled man. Here, have a hard hat....

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 27-Oct-13 11:22:19

FortyDoors If he believes you would be incapable of doing the DIY, that's sexist. If he's doing it because he likes to and knows you don't like to, that's fine!

And taking the car for an MOT - is that because you both suspect the garage would try to charge you for more? Interestingly, a male friend of mine became more of a sexist when he became a mechanic. All of a sudden he was full of tales about how so many women are incompetent drivers, and how he has to explain everything more slowly to women.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 11:22:50

I would love to take the car for an MOT but DH have said that the car would fail.

Holding doors? Driving responsibilities?

This is a thread about whether sexism is taken as seriously as racism. Are these being given as serious examples, or is this a pisstake?

There is racism and sexism all over the world, you know. This is not a problem to be determined purely by reference to attitudes held in UK suburbs.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 11:26:49

I have never done DIY, DH is happy to do it and I don't wish to learn.

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 27-Oct-13 11:28:44

The door holding issue I just don't get! It's something I hear men reference frequently, along with giving up seats for women/pregnant women.

I hold doors open for people all the time. When I walk through a door I look to see if anyone else is coming, and I hold the door for them. At work I noticed more women do this.

It used to be a grand chivalrous gesture way back when, men would literally run across the street to get a door for a woman. Women were wearing restrictive clothing making them quite weak, and doors could be very heavy. I live in Oxford and still see huge wooden doors everywhere, so I understand why it was a big chivalrous deal then, but it's endured! Holding shop doors and office doors is just plain good manners. Men are the only ones who make a big deal out of it, and say they shouldn't have to do it...

claraschu Sun 27-Oct-13 11:30:04

To return to the original question, I think it is because the sexist people have the excuse that there is a fundamental difference between men and women, whereas there is no actual biological difference between white and black people.

Unfortunately, even people with good intentions exaggerate this difference, and unconsciously use it to slant their attitudes, their approach to parenting, and all sorts of other things.

Most people seem to think that men and women often have different strengths, tastes, habits, and learning styles; no one can seriously say this about people of different skin colour.

I think this is one reason that sexism is more complex and difficult to eradicate than racism.

Lililly Sun 27-Oct-13 11:33:41

This thread caught my eye because last night on the news, Prince William was speaking out against racism at an FA dinner, and it struck me that I cannot even imagine him making the same statements about stamping out sexism.
I also though, couldn't think of a comparible example that could be likened to the Russian football situation with the crowd shouting abuse? Treatment of women in SA perhaps.

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 27-Oct-13 11:34:31

Toadinthehole They are examples of how sexism is an everyday thing. (The everyday sexism site is HUGE now, though to be fair nearly all of the entries are major things.)

Like Forty said, if she took the car in for its MOT, it would be more likely to fail, because mechanics assume a driver who has a vagina will know nothing about the workings of a car and they can fail her on whatever they like.

SanctimoniousArse Sun 27-Oct-13 11:35:38

'Tackling sexism is less of a priority for society than tackling racism, OP, because men can suffer racism. It is really that simple'

One 'ism' where men are equally disadvantaged is probably disablism. Probably because disabled people are often seen as 'sexless'. So we get equality in discrimination.
Result!

I think they are examples that trivialise the question being discussed in this thread.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:48:03

Other examples - girls and women being taken abroad for forced marriages, female genital mutilation, rape of women, sexual harassment. Are they serious enough examples?

Yes, they are - as are examples of slavery, murder, political disempowerent and other examples of racial harassment.

That should really be enough to dispose of the OP - but I suspect it won't.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 11:51:38

With most problems I believe you have to start small.

Tackling low level sexism is easier to do.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:52:09

Nobody is saying there isn't racism/white supremacy. But liberal types condemn black slavery, racial harassment, etc. Look at the outcry on the left over racist murders? They don't decry FGM and forced marriages in the same way. In fact you hear the bullshit about cultural relativism.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 11:54:07

Toad because the little things that slide every day enable completely the larger issues of eg wage disparity.

forty really disabled men only really?

mittens if your OH would also have fun driving but you get to decide due to your status based on sex then yes. If however they hate driving then no.

But even then as it is so ingrained at which point did they "decide" of their own free will to defer the driving?

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 11:54:18

I don't they are trivial, toad. We can be outraged by women in Saudi not being allowed to drive by their laws, but in the UK many women are prevented from driving by their husbands/partners. Aren't these just different experiences of the same problem? I claim the right to be just as outraged on behalf of women in my own country who are told they can't drive, who are told they can't take the car for its MoT because an (assumed male) mechanic will discriminate against them.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:55:44

When I look at couples in a car together and women or men are driving 50% of the time each (roughly), then I will know there is no sexism at work in the decision of who drives.

It sounds as if this debate is being framed in terms of a very specific group of people. This is a mistake, as racism and sexism are worldwide problems that need to be addressed by everyone, not just white liberals in suburban Britain. In any event, I find it somewhat surprising to be told that FGM and forced marriages are tolerated. I understand that the law has been changed to specifically prohibit such practices, notwithstanding the fact they were illegal anyway.

Please don't make this a parochial debate.

meddie Sun 27-Oct-13 11:59:35

gatorademeBitch exactly. Women will tolerate sexism as the fear of being labelled a feminist is greater.

Racist comments are usually immediately challenged nowadays. People even if they are racist know to censure themselves due to society's disapproval. They feel no such compunction to censure their sexist comments.

my boss once during a debate told me to 'shut up and get back in the kitchen and make him a sandwich' (because he was losibng the argument).
I was fucking furious and immediately challenged him on it. His biggest supporters were other women who told me I needed to lighten up, that he was just joking etc etc.

When your own gender wont defend you against sexist remarks, what hope do we have.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 12:00:23

The question was would he open doors for men ( as in go out of his way)

If he was exiting and anybody was waiting to go in it good manors to keep the door open.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:00:23

Yes they are prohibited. When were the last prosecutions for them? Nobody actually does anything about it Toad. Even though FGM and forced marriages are still happening to UK girls and women.

Parochial? What about infanticide in India? The large number of infant girls killed because they are girls. So called honour killings. Bride burnings, etc. Women all over the world are treated much worse than men. This is not something that just affects white middle class women in the UK.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 12:00:28

Toad the problem of only considering the "large" issues is that it only exposes the out and out sexists. Most men I know would objevt to FGM, women being prevented from accessing some jobs etc.

But they still go home and pat themselves on the back as a believer in equality and put on their nice shirt ironed by a wife who "chose" to stop her career because, well her wage barely covered the childcare didit? And women aare so much better at that stuff....

As a pp said replace all those "women" with "asians" and you have a whole different ballgame.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:01:46

Meddie - Women won't defend you because most women don't take sexism seriously. They don't see the enormous impact this has on women's day-to-day lives.]

Who made the shirt?

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:03:19

Women and children

meddie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:04:46

How do we change that though grennie. I have happily identified as a feminst since i was a young child. To me its a no brainer. I want to be treated equally, have equal access, equal pay etc. Why shouldnt i be just because I have a Vag.
Why is feminism so scary to so many women,

Probably Indian women and children.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:10:04

Meddie - I think anything that challenges the status quo is scary to many. And once you start to be aware of sexism, it does affect your life and relationships with others. I think all we can do with other women, is to talk about issues when they come up. You don't even have to use the word feminism. But you can still make other women aware of sexism and that it is not okay.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 12:10:40

Not entirely sure of your point?

You mean we shouldn't care about "parochial" hmm sexism as sexism and racism is worse elsewhere?

The fact they are Indian is more an economic issue with taxation of business in this country than race.

By calling everyday sexism here out as "trivial" you are blocking most of Joe public from giving a shit I'm afraid, everyone can relate to sexism on their home not everyone can/will relate to a more global view.

Start at the roots and create a generation who can start to lift their eyes higher.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:12:23

And that includes challenging black men's sexism too. They don't get a free pass because they experience racism.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 12:12:59

As a mother of boys boys and girls I want all of them to be taught in ways that maximize their potential - I don't see that as sexists.

Unfortunate previous generations perhaps didn't understand female potential as they viewed it through low expectation patriarchal lenses.

Plus there are ongoing problems of losing females in certain professions - and instead of addressing these reasons with creative thinking some folk just think having more men to start with in them would 'solve' the problems.

Racism - well I expect I don't see it as frequently as people who experience it. I didn't see the huge access issues till I had to get around with a pushchair and a pushchair is way easier to maneuverer than a wheel chair.

I have also had a boss who complained about his wife being held back at her workplace while doing exactly that to me because I was female so would probably move on soon - which I did to a company that didn't hold me being female against me. My boss couldn't see the correlation between the situations.

The driving thing is an odd one though - as my Mum has had years of fight Dad to drive but other females like MIL, GM expected their men or other males of the family to drop everything and drive them round rather than do it themselves or learn to drive in few cases. DH wants me to drive him round.

The fact they are Indians (or perhaps Bangladeshis) reflects that the rich male or female consumer does not care so much about low pay and poor safety standards in those countries, which is a form of racism. This is nothing at all to do with taxation of business. By excluding factors such as this in favour of who gets to drive on the A3, this debate isn't being made parochial so much as infantile.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 12:17:48

Can't people be concerned about both, toad? For a different example, would I be wrong to ask for equal pay in the UK while there are women and children working in sweatshops in developing countries?

That is precisely my point.

And I am now going to say goodnight, and best wishes to all.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:21:42

It is a form of racism and sexism. Like every country, it is woman and children who are treated worse in the worplace and doing the lowest paid jobs. As a feminist, I focus on all women, here and abroad.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 12:22:21

A women legally has to take 2 weeks off after given birth, where a man doesn't have to have anytime off.

Of course this isn't equal rights, but it isn't sexism and that just confuses me.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 12:23:02

Totally disagree, of you ask a man on the street if they care if a bengali child is missing education to work in a sweatshop they would say they cared.

But they don't Think, they don't on a day to day basis think about the consequences of their financial choices. And absolutely we should be fighting that.

But

Your argumentative stance about cases of everyday sexism that people can relate to, that we can talk to "them" about that we can have every woman argue for even if she isn't educated about global issues is niave and damaging

Your attitude is exactly what turns average Joe against Feminism and the fight against racism. It blocks people out of the debate.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:24:33

Forty - I don't think feminism is about fighting for equality, it is about fighting for fairness. Women need time physically to recover from giving birth. Men obviously don't need this.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 12:27:12

Surely safety issue are not racisms as white poor countries can have poor safety standards or white minorities in poor non white countries suffer them the same - it's what there government enforces and what the multinational companies can get away with.

There are also many factory owners in India and Bangladeshis who are getting rich off their own ethic groups - much like the Victorian factory owners did off the poor white Uk citizens at one point in time.

Plus there is a whole debate to be had as are poor people better off working in factories with poor conditions to not working at all and starving as the work goes elsewhere or no longer exits. I don't think I understand enough about all the issues to know where I stand on that one.

It does nark me in this country many issue are pigeon holed as 'women's issues' - such as childcare and equal pay. Most women have DC with men and even if they do the bulk of the childcare it impact on the men and half the DC are going to be male. Plus equal pay women contribute to family finances but being paid less is just the womens problem?

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Sun 27-Oct-13 12:28:09

Racism is far more than overt discrimination and name calling.

Racism can be extremely subtle and below the radar too.

I'm a bit stunned that in the year that saw the vile racism around the Trayvon Martin case, people are still so comfortable saying racism isn't a big problem.

And the default when an accusation of racism is made is still often one of denial and minimisaton, regardless of what is actually said, that's why on any thread about racism on here, you'll see a tranche of white people denying that any racism occurred.

The fact that we've had at least two WoC post on this thread saying that no, racism definitely isn't over and impacts their life ad much as sexism, and they have basically been ignored speaks volumes. They aren't allowed the final say, as others apparently know best.

Think if you would be happy about a man declaring that sexism wasn't a big problem, so why on earth should it be ok for white people to do the same about racism?

LadyBigtoes Sun 27-Oct-13 12:28:21

Why do many women find feminism scary? Because to ask for/require/demand equality, and keep doing it, day after day, means upsetting the status quo and to do that you have to tread on some toes, and I think part of the problem is that women are taught very well that it's their role to be nice, to smooth over problems, to pick up the slack.

People (men and women) will use this fact to react against feminist efforts too. For example with name changing. I know women who have not reeeallly wanted to change their name, but have done it because it made the husband happy, then there were the expectations of the husband's parents, their own parents, the message that if you decide not to do it, you'll stand out like a sore thumb, "oh but you'll have a different name from your children!" (assuming they'll have his name, naturally) – as if that's a shocking and terrible thing – "Oh your one of these feminists, are you?" (on a sneering tone). None of these things are forcing the women not to insist on equality. But they are chipping away at her self-worth via reminding her that she's supposed to be compliant, non-disruptive, put the children first etc.

Standing up for equality, equal pay, equal treatment socially, equal treatment in law, and so on should put you in a position of standing on an equal level. It should be about taking your place as in equal, fully respected individual. In fact the forces at play put you, as a feminist, in a position where you are labelled as and/or feel "uppity" or difficult or demanding.

You have to not give two shits about that. I don't. But I do get tired of meeting those brickbats every day. Because I'm not married to DP and don't have his name, because I'm "Ms", because I say "no, my income does not cover the childcare –me and DP both work and both pay for childcare to allow us both to work" – the raised eyebrow from the HT, the sigh from the person filling in a form, the bafflement from the caller who thinks I must be Mrs DP, the slightly sneery "Oh you're such a feminist so I know you won't approve" from the friend who is changing her name. It's hard work. It's a place many women don't want to be in. Women are so often brought up to seek approbation and to get it for looking nice, being caring and not rocking the boat.

Obviously I think the fact that it's like this is part of what needs to change. Also, I do think it is changing, has been for a long time and continues to – but it's slow and there are continual setbacks. However what I am sure about is those little everyday things/"gentle" sexism (a great description) ARE important. They are a huge part of the issue. They are not trivial in their effects and mocking and sneering at feminists for bringing them up is part of the problem I'm afraid.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 12:31:14

Racism can be extremely subtle and below the radar too.

Oh yes - I have 'ethic minority' friends with better grades and more experience than white in same field yet find it harder to progress onto further courses of up their careers. Nothing overtly said - but it can be very noticeable over time.

LadyBigtoes Sun 27-Oct-13 12:31:32

Also, I don't think racism has disappeared, far from it! But the big difference is that there is now generally a stigma attached, at least in our society, to racist remarks or behaviour, however slight. So with football for example, any hint of racism is taken very seriously, as it should be. It doesn't solve the problem at a stroke, it just gives it a different status.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 12:32:24

DontPanicMrMannering

mittens if your OH would also have fun driving but you get to decide due to your status based on sex then yes

What status?

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:36:35

GoshAnne - NOBODY has said racism isn't a big problem. But the Travoyyn Martin case says it all. Big outcry about a black man treated badly by the police, little outcry about Marissa Alexander a black woman treated terrible by the police and courts.

edam Sun 27-Oct-13 12:39:03

Racism clearly is a problem but I think there is a hierarchy of discrimination, where racism is treated as a serious problem that must be stamped out, while more often misogyny is barely recognised, let alone treated as a serious problem.

Look at schools having to report racist abuse, but not misognyistic.

Mind you, disablism is even less well recognised. Definitely at the bottom of the pile.

IMO and IME the heirarchy is this:

1. Racism. Almost universally recognised as A Bad Thing. Even if some people disagree, they realise people will disapprove and generally keep their racist remarks carefully within the hearing of other people they think will agree.

2. Homophobia. Still more prevalent/tolerated but recognised as A Bad Thing by officialdom, in schools and health services and parliament and so on.

3. Misogyny. Barely recognised even by officialdom. And people who object are often labelled as trouble-makers or over-sensitive.

4. Disablism. Even less well recognised and still practised merrily by people in healthcare, in social services, in schools... people don't realise they are doing it, and think it's OK because of course they aren't the sort of people who are prejudiced. Even when they are turning some with heart disease at high risk of having a heart attack away from A&E because it's too much hard work to try to communicate (happened to a patient of my sister's).

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:40:00

Edam, I nearly agree. But I think homophobia against gay men is taken much more seriously than the same against lesbians.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 12:41:59

RabbitFuckerFromAHat

^ Well they can drive their own car then. What's the issue? ^

That has to be the most Marie Antoinette-like post I have seen in quite some time.

Not really, it's not like a whole social class are dying because they don't have cars (or maybe more in keeping with the supposed-Marie Antoinette quote, because they don't have bicycles) due to the elite keeping all the cars (and bicycles) to themselves.

If they don't have their own car then they certainly aren't insured to drive any of my cars; if I let them drive my car, both them and I are committing an offence - you're suggesting I break the law to appear non-sexist?

If they don't drive regularly then I wouldn't trust them to drive one of my cars (quite an instant clutch bite and "goes off like a scalded cat" comes to mind).

It's worth pointing out that I haven't aimed any comment I've made on this thread towards women: my same thoughts and actions apply equally to men, and I would expect the same treatment towards me from women or men.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 12:42:35

Racism and sexism aren't similar at all. For example, you wouldn't say that racist abuse towards Indians or Pakistanis is very wrong, but racist abuse towards Chinese and Polish doesn't matter. Which is sexism really, not ok when directed at women, brushed under the carpet or mocked when directed at men. If you want to eradicate sexism, it has to be extended towards men and women, and it just isn't.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:45:06

Sigmund - Reverse sexism doesn't exist, just like reverse racism doesn't exist.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 12:48:05

So are you saying that you can't be sexist towards men?

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 12:52:27

edam

3. Misogyny. Barely recognised even by officialdom. And people who object are often labelled as trouble-makers or over-sensitive.

I can tell you don't work in HR or employment law haha.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 12:54:17

Yes Sigmund

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 12:55:26

In which casemittens you have deliberate misconstrued, you know for a fact we are talking about couples nut some randomer from the office.

What a pointless comment.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 12:58:03

So are you saying that you can't be sexist towards men?

What about men who want to work with young DC - as nannies or in nurseries childcare or even MW/HV ?

It's often seen as odd or suspicious choice even on here.

Aren't they facing discrimination because they are men?

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 13:03:24

Grennie - Right. Well I 100% disagree. I absolutely do not find any kind of logic in that statement.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 13:05:08

Hexu - I don't believe that men are immune to sexism. It's a feminist tenet.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 13:10:38

DontPanicMrMannering

you know for a fact we are talking about couples

No, you said:

I think a fuckload of men are sexist, they still see woman as the homemakers, they do the driving

If you were talking about couples you would have stated "husbands/boyfriends/male life partners" or whatever.

A massive part of the problem with sexism, racism, any sort of prejudice is the careless use of all-encompassing terms: "men" "women" "Blacks" "Asians" - it's instantly applied what you say next to an entire gender or race (or whatever group) killing any potential for diversity.

What is usually meant is, "some men", "some women", "some Muslims" - some idiot comes out with a remark such as "Muslims are terrorists!" What, all 1.6billion? Shut the fuck up. Qualify your statements properly.

"Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity."

It might sound a bit hippyish, but if you want to end sexism, start with your own attitudes, and really consider if "a fuckload of men are sexist", or if you've just judged a vast portion of society based on their gender.

(I have to admit, I love the irony of the statement, thank you smile)

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 13:20:50

But they are wmittens in a small way as are a fuckload of women as are a fuckload of people racist and disablist.

It's a fact not a judgement.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 13:26:18

SigmundFraude - that makes more sense. I'm sure it rarer but it still must happen.

It's like racism - I'm white in a white country but have experience it once - Asian work force in factory pretty much all bar few white students. One Asian guy was verbally very abusive to any white workers plus blame them for all issues some he caused. It was an unpleasant experience few occasions he was put in charge of me. I didn't complain ones who did where told it was just his way and to ignore it. Mind you he was rude to fellow student whose parents where from Vietnam - as she wasn't respecting her heritage as she only spoke English. Every one else was fine.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 14:20:30

DontPanicMrMannering

But they are wmittens in a small way as are a fuckload of women as are a fuckload of people racist and disablist.

It's a fact not a judgement.

Define 'fuckload' - is it somewhere between kilo and mega in orders of magnitude?

If it's a fact, then you can produce results from one or more empirically-designed and conducted studies that support that.

Otherwise, it's nothing more than your perception and conjecture, and you're foolish to state it is fact.

I have no problem you calling it what it is, but don't say it is when it's only what you think it is. The world is bigger than you, although it's dwarfed by your ego.

LadyBigtoes Sun 27-Oct-13 14:23:36

Actually I think sexism towards men is tolerated in the same way that racism towards Americans, Germans or English is tolerated. (As an English person in Scotland I have experienced it and I know complaining would not get me very far...) Because they are historically the oppressor it becomes OK to attack them.

But as a feminist and anti-racist I think we should watch out for those forms of prejudice too and avoid taking part/condoning them. The aim is equality, and if that aim were achieved, those attacks would not be OK - so they should not be OK now.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 14:26:16

LadyBigtoes

But as a feminist and anti-racist I think we should watch out for those forms of prejudice too and avoid taking part/condoning them. The aim is equality,

Very well said.

mynewpassion Sun 27-Oct-13 14:29:25

There was a case of sexism in football. It got Richard keys and as Andy gray fired.

ithaka Sun 27-Oct-13 14:34:55

I think an excellent example was giving earlier in the thread about Muirfield hosting the golf open. To give Salmond his due, he refused to attend as Muirfield doesn't admit women as members. But would a club that didn't admit black people be allowed, let alone permitted to host a prestigious, international tournament?

There was a massive movement to boycott South Africa during apartheid. Where is the movement to boycott Saudi?

These are not trivial 'door opening' examples, but I do think the way some posters on the thread have accused examples of being 'trivial' or 'white suburban' is itself a great example of the everyday sexism that continues to be normalised and condoned.

JockTamsonsBairns Sun 27-Oct-13 14:37:26

We live in a patriarchy, and it just isn't in men's best interests to address sexism. Women who do take up a stance, either as feminist groups or as individuals, are generally sneered at - or labelled as that dirty word, a feminist.

Interesting that posters raise the question of men being on the receiving end of sexism - I'm a bit uncomfortable about this, it almost feels a bit sexist in itself. Why can't we discuss sexism against women without it being turned round to be about whether the men are alright?

mynewpassion Sun 27-Oct-13 14:37:59

South Africa didn't have oil which many many countries need.

mynewpassion Sun 27-Oct-13 14:41:34

South Africa is not a country we need to help hold the stick to try to keep the other Arabic countries in line.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 14:55:26

'We live in a patriarchy'

No we don't.

'Interesting that posters raise the question of men being on the receiving end of sexism - I'm a bit uncomfortable about this, it almost feels a bit sexist in itself.'

It isn't.

'Why can't we discuss sexism against women without it being turned round to be about whether the men are alright?'

Because it's pertinent to the OP..'Is sexism as bad as racism'. Sexism is not just aimed at women (if you don't subscribe to the notion that only men can be sexist).

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 14:58:53

Sexism is not just aimed at women but women are far far more likely to be on the receiving end of sexism.

So maybe this discussion should focus on those attitudes and why are they are far less likely to be taken seriously than racism - which I have no doubt still exists.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 15:18:32

I have noticed that racism and disabilsm on mumsnet will be jumped on very quickly in places like mumsnet... but sexism won't be at all. Or actively encouraged.

I think it's because (ironically) it's mostly women who are sufferin and women are told to shut up unless it is affectin someone else.

Outside of mumsnet in the RL world racism and disableism and homophobia and sexism seem to rear that ugly head equally I think. But it is all (publicly I think) mostly low level so unless it affects you, you might not notice it as much

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 15:23:13

Damn right we live in a patriarchy.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 15:47:41

Sorry mittens but unless you can actually stretch into debate on the subject, rather than the semantics of language use I'm not interested in engaging.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 15:53:09

DontPanicMrMannering

Nice sidestep. Any luck with those figures yet?

TBH I'll settle for a link to the study.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 15:53:56

Sexism and racism are oppressions that need structural power behind them to exist. So white people can be racist to black people because laws, media, culture, history reinforce and back that up in a global way.

A black person can be insulting to white people in terms of their ethnicity. But it is not backed up in the same way by structural power.

It is the same with the oppression of women. And yes, whenever women talk about how women are treated by men, we get - what about how some women treat some men. It is a silencing tactic.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 16:02:19

There's lots of "isms" out there that is really hard for people to appreciate unless they are a member of that group who is being oppressed and discriminated against.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 16:13:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:13:54

I think that is true Kim, but I do think different isms are more likely to be challenged than others. 40 years ago in mainstream media, racist jokes were accepted by many, they are not now. Sexist and disabled jokes are still seen as fine by many.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:15:10

Mittens, you don't understand the political meaning of these terms then. There is a difference from 1 person being mean to you, and society being structured in such a way that it discriminates you on the basis of something you have no control over.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 16:16:01

DontPanicMrMannering

Interestingly, I was involved (in a minor fashion) in a discussion in Feminist Chat, and the subject of people presenting their limited experience as universal fact cropped up; it might be worth having a read.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:19:01

No they are not. They simply understand political analysis.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 16:22:17

grennie

Totally agree. Sexism and sexist humour is very often dismissed as banter and a part of the life between men and women. If you complain, you are seen as po faced.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:23:16

Yes exactly Kim. And while someone who is an anti racist is seen as a good person, feminist is often used as an insult.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 16:24:05

Grennie

Mittens, you don't understand the political meaning of these terms then.

I think you should define the term as you use it, because words often have many meanings. Human communication is only 7% words, so in a text-only medium such as an Internet forum it is very easy to misunderstand if you're not clear enough.

Racism (in a core definition) is beliefs about superiority or inferiority of races; that is independent of state or power structure.

There is a difference from 1 person being mean to you, and society being structured in such a way...

Yes, I'm well aware, and I know that racism isn't "just being mean to someone of a different race," it's about the motivations behind prejudicial, discriminatory or violent behaviour. Every aspect can occur at individual, social group or national level, so a 'power structure' is not mandatory for every racist event; it facilitates one (or some) levels of racial discrimination or prejudice.

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 16:24:25

The worst exam results are white working class boys

www.theguardian.com/education/2008/mar/27/schools.uk4

www.suttontrust.com/news/blog/the-trouble-with-boys/

I'm not sure why this should be ignored just because they are men and white.

Historically yes less was expected of girls and women and that wasn't right but I'm not sure if benefits anyone to have large white young male population whose historical industries are gone left feeling disfranchise - that group is more likely to commit suicide or end up in prison system anyway.

Yes if methods to address this adversely affected female students or ethic minorities - I'd be worried but adapting schools to fit more energetic boys might well help many girls.

As a mother of a primary school aged DC - I'm more annoyed that a lot of problems are put down to him being a boy yet when we offer extra help at home he massively improves. IME your also more likely to encounter primary teachers who seem anti-boys - or massively seem to favor the girls than otherwise.

I don't see why that should be tolerate just because it isn't politically correct to focus on white men/boys or because once they hit adulthood society is arranged more in their favor.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:29:12

Of course white working class boys should get help to improve their exam results. As should any child who is underperforming.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 16:31:01

There's a massive effort to improve those who underperform at primary school.

White working class boys are not ignored at primary school. It's an incredibly complex issue about attitiudes to education, support at home and appropriate teaching methods.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 16:32:57

Boycotting Saudi would bring religion into the mix. I dont think religion was involved in S. Africa?

And do the women of Saudi want "rescuing"? Or some and not all?

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:33:52

There are plenty of Saudi feminists fighting the driving ban.

<waves> at Trish

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 16:40:47

The OP seems to be saying they shouldn't :

Even educated professionals have wound me up recently asserting we sholud adapt schools, especially first few years of infants , to better suit boys and their poorer attention span,
AND poor boys now do less well at exams at 16 so we must reduce course work etc..

Yes it would have been nice if historically females had been helped and more expect from them but society has moved on (though not as much as you'd hope ) and now we face under achieving white males.

White working class boys are not ignored at primary school.

I'm not saying it is just the schools - but there are problems and I'd disagree that all white working males are being helped or that the help is the correct kind - I don't think stifling debate there helps anything.

I don't see why racism still existing and sexism - and how that affects individuals varies widely - should be used as an excuse for ignoring disadvantaged group in this case white working class boys.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 16:42:37

Adapting schools to suit boys, at the expense of girls, would be wrong. Helping boys to achieve more, is fine.

PresidentServalan Sun 27-Oct-13 16:44:32

I must be very lucky then - I have never encountered sexism personally. But then I think it is sometimes down to personal sensitivity.

PresidentServalan Sun 27-Oct-13 16:45:30

I should say that I know it isn't ALWAYS down to that but it can be perception.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 16:50:58

I didnt see the Saudi Olympics thread, and there wasnt a link. Off to read the thread.

MrsJackAubrey Sun 27-Oct-13 16:54:05

I think the "oh men get treated in a sexist way too" argument simply illuminates sexism. Structurally powerless people do mock and humiliate powerful people but they do not have the structural political and social power for those comments or actions to make a blind bit of difference.

Yes I despise adverts that invite us to laugh at how 'crap men are' at housework. But these are also sexist about women. They are saying oh you girls, youre so good at this cleaning lark! Well fuck me, i dont eant to be credited with being good at cleaning, or childcare, or any domestic field. Until I see an advert that laughs at how 'crap men are at running the country' or that invites us to mock how pants men are at creating a wold free demo war, I'm afraid I see "sexism against men" as a load of ovaries.

bigkidsdidit Sun 27-Oct-13 17:10:18

Exactly, mrs. It's like David Cameron moaning about reverse snobbishness of someone takes the piss out of his accent. I mean, really. And yet another thread about sexism has been turned into a discussion on how hard men have it...

HexU Sun 27-Oct-13 17:25:23

discussion on how hard men have it.

I have a DH, father, FIl and a DS. I do not live in a bubble that means my only concerns are female.

I also don't think I or my sex is structural powerless.

We've had a female prime minster, minsters, MP, judges, reporters, police office most industries have female workers and managers.

Yes there are fewer in number than ideal and yes they often face more hurdles than many men. I have the right to vote and the right to have property and money in my name so I have economic power - something that historically women in this country didn't always have.

NotYoMomma Sun 27-Oct-13 17:33:13

oooo one female prime minister and a handful of mps.

despite girls out performing boys in education. aren't we lucky confused

bigkidsdidit Sun 27-Oct-13 17:38:42

Hex - do you think we should be grateful, then, and stop fighting?

I have two sons by the way - I am concerned about how boys do in education! I just don't think it is equivalent to he massive disadvantages being female gives you.

UptheChimney Sun 27-Oct-13 17:53:40

This is why I have often used the "OK, replace 'women' with 'black people' in that sentence and see what you make of it" strategy with white middle-class liberals who make sexist statements. They have internalised sexism in a way they have not racism

Yes, try the "Two women a week are murdered by their domestic partner or ex-partner" with "Two black men..."

The racial equivalent of this gendercide of women being murdered through abusive partners or ex-partners would (and has) cause riots. But if it's just women ...

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 17:56:50

I'm sorry, I really don't give a toss what anyone says or what argument they put forward. If you are Mother Teresa, and your focus is on only one half of society, and you vehemently refuse to even consider the problems of the other half, then you display a serious lack of humanity, really you do.

I don't care about the reasoning behind it. I don't care if more women suffer sexism than men. Men suffer from sexism, regardless of what feminist theory (theory, not fact) says about it. I fail to understand how it is right to sneer 'oh, more whattaboutthemenz', and dismiss the experience of another human being purely because they have a dick.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 17:57:59

Nobody is denying men suffer problems too. Feminism though is about women.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 18:22:46

'Feminism though is about women.'

Which is why I can't support it, or agree with it. I just can't block out half of society. That half including my sons, my husband etc. It's simply unthinkable and just does not compute AFAIC. I know so many men who have had such shit lives.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 18:25:47

It is simply the same as those campaigning for disabled people, concentrating on disabled people. Or those who spend their life fighting for the rights of children, focussing on children. It is not saying no one else matters or has a hard time.

Feminism seems to be the only political movement that gets criticised for focussing on the group it is there to help - girls and women.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 18:26:13

What alternative do you propose?

There's so much discrimination going on and you can't fight everything. So where do you focus?

Or do you accept the status quo?

SconeRhymesWithGone United States Sun 27-Oct-13 19:15:47

In connection with the mention of Marissa Alexander earlier in the thread, she has been granted a new trial by the appellate court.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 20:01:49

I found this article interesting and it explains the gentle/benevolent sexism issue far better than I ever could.

And as a matter of fact I think that for some men who try to cross the boundaries women can be very sexist sadly just think about every male nursery nurse and the reaction to them.

Perhaps though if we open women's minds to what subtle sexism is then we may fix the opposite problem?

Back to the op I think they should be reviled equally yes but your examples do you no credit.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 20:12:54

'Feminism seems to be the only political movement that gets criticised for focussing on the group it is there to help - girls and women.'

It focuses on helping women by demonising men and maintaining that ALL women are helpless victims of men. I think that this might go some way to explaining why it faces the criticism it does.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 20:37:48

sigmund you can't believe that? Not all feminists demonise men!

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 20:51:03

Feminist theory does. Patriarchy is the theory that ALL men conspire to oppress women, that ALL men work together to keep women from having equal status. Doesn't sound too pro-men does it?

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 20:51:37

DontPanicMrMannering

sigmund you can't believe that? Not all feminists demonise men!

I imagine this is half the problem (in terms of it being a political movement) - there is no consistency or agreed agenda, there are as many definitions of Feminism as there are Feminists.

The Feminists who get most of the attention (and thus influence the perceptions of those who know a minimal amount about feminism) and the ones shouting the hate rhetoric the loudest - it makes for better headlines. It undermines some of the positive potential.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 20:57:20

That's not what I understand patriarchy to be.

I think of it more of a system that benefits some men whilst limiting others - including men by how they are supposed to behave and fit in. It's a system of expectations keeping people in their place.

edam Sun 27-Oct-13 21:02:08

wmittens ha ha ha right back at you - perhaps you'd care to explain that to my three former colleauges, who were sexually assaulted by the same man at a company function, yet were threatened and bullied when one of them was brave enough to make an official complaint, and eventually pushed out of the company? He left too, but with a fat pay-off and lucrative freelance contract. And this in an apparently reputable right-on organisation with national standing - a recognisable household name. Not some small company that doesn't understand its legal obligations.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:07:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 21:09:02

I understand patriarchy in a similar way to kim. It 's an acknowledgent that our society is set up in ways that benefit men. To get on on this society women mostly have to adopt the behaviours of men.

It is not thhe active conspiracy which sigmund describes, but it is no less harmful to women by being insidious

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:12:09

Well that's just it Kim. It's whatever you want it to be really. There are so many different versions. The version I gave is the gist of the general radfem version. Whichever version is used, men are the oppressors, which is not pro-men, at all.

Am I kept in my place? No. Do I feel compelled to conform? No.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 21:13:45

Careful, Partridge. wouldn't want to see you banned...

I'm not a feminist because I hate men. I'm a feminist because I believe that the fact I live in my own house, which I have the right to own, and that I can work in an interesting and reasonably well paid job, that I didn't have to get up when I got married, are rights that were won for me by previous generations of women. Men didn't hand these rights over.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:17:47

Reported you Partridge. Fed up with the poor treatment of me due to not toeing your feminist party line. If someone disagrees with your ideology, it does not make them a troll or male. Saying so reveals far more about you than it does me.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 27-Oct-13 21:19:18

I have a daughter and a son. I want them both to have the same opportunities in life.

I am bringing my daughter up to be a strong interdependent women, I have never had this.

I don't know how to parent her, She is 4 and he bedroom is a feminist worse nightmare. Pink her toys are pink and everything is the 3 P's Pink, Ponies and princesses. Her favourite films are about princes coming to the rescue ect.

I worry that by getting her things that she loves it is sending her the wrong message.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:22:31

Incidentally Partridge, there are a good many female MRAs, you know, real women that disagree with feminist theory. I wouldn't expect you to be aware of that, living in your apparent bubble.

WMittens Sun 27-Oct-13 21:22:32

GiveItYourBestFucker

are rights that were won for me by previous generations of women.

We're not speaking German because of the sacrifice of millions of men and women and I'm very grateful to them, it didn't make me want to join the Forces though.


(I know it's flippant, couldn't resist, sorry.)

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:22:40

To be fair sigmunde, you do only seem to crop up on feminist threads and want to talk about men / boys issues.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:26:11

Come on MNHQ, I was soo careful. Still let me try again

sgmund appears on threads about feminism spouting made up stuff about feminism and feminist. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to understand that MN is a website mostly frequented by intelligent women who don't live in a cave and have at least a basic knowledge of feminism and politics. .

she has similar views to the average MRA.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:28:14

You've got to admit MNHQ are pretty quick at deleting posts.

Except on FWR today.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 21:28:52

forty don't worry just keep plugging away at the message and the absolutely best way is to lead by example.

Sigmund I am a feminist. I live my life in a way that forces equality both ways as much as possible. I have never read any feminist theory and therefore cannot be defined or dictated by it.

To say all those who define themselves as feminist are the same is as ludicrous as saying all catholics hate homosexuals as it is in the doctrine.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:29:01

Is that not allowed then Kim? MN stipulated that FWR was for everyone to debate, it's not a closed feminist forum. This has been done to death. Maybe I am keen to put forward an alternative view that is important to me? I don't see feminists holding back on none FWR boards when something crops up that they disagree with.

Explain to me why I should? I have tried very hard just lately to employ PARD. It is usually me who is attacked, the post above is a perfect example.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:30:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:31:09

It's just interesting that you only post on feminist stuff. Even some hardcore feminists post on other stuff. Like making cupcakes.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:31:42

'To say all those who define themselves as feminist are the same is as ludicrous as saying all catholics hate homosexuals as it is in the doctrine.'

But it creates utter confusion. It also means that people decide to lump you in with the feminists who bulldoze their way into public consciousness..think Greer/Julie Bindel et al...it's an unfortunate consequence of not having a cohesive movement.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:32:16

It is usually me who is attacked, the post above is a perfect example.

You'll live mate

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:32:39

I fucking love me a cupcake KIM.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:32:54

Check out my posting history Kim, your statement is untrue. That's about all I have to say on that matter.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:33:52

I checked out your history. It's fascinating.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:34:18

I want women to have equal access to recouses as men and to be seen as equal in the work place which means men would be seen as equal in the home and in other areas of their lives.

It's called "feminism" but unlike "men's rights activism" it actually helps men.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:36:53

'You'll live mate'

Oh, that's OK then confused

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:37:56

'I checked out your history. It's fascinating.'

Not as fascinating as your history.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:38:45

Well that's true.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:40:53

But you can't deny it's varied.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:42:02

Well that's true.

But you can't deny it's varied

grin

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:42:18

'but manage to get scared of randoms on the interwebs enough to report them'

Re-reported.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:43:03

No, I can't deny that Kim!

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:43:17

You already said you reported me on thread, is it a secret now? confused

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 21:44:59

Blimey! I was making a joke, not recommending a course of action.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:45:42

No, I reported your most recent post, the one stating that my posts are bollocks. In my view, that's a personal attack.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:47:21

MNHQ were very specific that while I can not call you bollocks, I can call your posts bollocks.

And you posts are super bollocks.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:48:01

Thing is Partridge, you keep attacking me. My posts are bollocks, I'm thick & I live in a cave etc...you have asserted this three times. I have been civil towards you. Attacking me is not necessary, you can make your point without it.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:49:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:51:16

NO you are talking bollocks by saying "feminism says x y z"

where xy and z are, you know, not true.

That isn't attacking you it's stating a fact. MNHQ presumably haven't got the time to read every thread so they delete as necessary. but It's pretty obvious you are being goady.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 21:52:16

Oh and I never said you were thick and live in a cave, I said you assume women reading your posts are and that they will believe you.

Please do read my posts before reporting them hmm

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:52:53

Is there anything feminists would like to achieve that you agree with?

Any culture you think could be improved?
Societal norms and expectations?

That would improve life for women and men?

Or are things just fine?

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:55:08

'where xy and z are, you know, not true.'

Do you want to prove that then? I can pull up a fair few quotes stating all of the stuff I have asserted above, and I'm pretty sure you know that.

Btw, the onus of proof is on you.

Being 'goady' is a very ubiquitous term for 'I don't like what you're saying/you're winding me up'. In which case, I feel you are being goady.

BIWI Cote D'Ivoire Sun 27-Oct-13 21:57:05

Oh give it a rest, Sigmund. What you're doing is derailing the thread. You're not dealing with the OP, you're just banging your (very tedious) drum, yet again.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 21:58:18

'Is there anything feminists would like to achieve that you agree with?'

Yes. Mainly to do with the assumptions of shitwork. Taking the boys to the DR/dentist/appointments/after school activities/parties etc inevitably falls to me. Removal of that expectation is a good thing.

There's other stuff, I'm sure.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:00:42

I don't derail it by myself BIWI. I put forward my view on the topic, and instead of say 'Oh that's interesting, lets explore that thought whilst keeping to the topic as well'...it's 'Shut the fuck up Sig, you troll' and off it goes. Do you really expect me to shrug and say 'fair enough, I'll be off then'!!

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 22:00:42

<<ignores sidelines>>

Give me 1 example of an entirely cohesive "movement"? There are always divergences.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 22:00:59

Do you want to prove that then? I can pull up a fair few quotes stating all of the stuff I have asserted above, and I'm pretty sure you know that.

you can prove it..but the onus is on me to do so? No it isn't. Because everyone on this thread will have a basic idea of feminism, which you don't seem to understand.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:02:08

Mormons? Are they a movement? Scientologists?

skylerwhite Sun 27-Oct-13 22:02:47

They're religions, Sigmund. But nice try.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:03:22

Those psycho mega christians that tell everyone they're going to Hell?

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:04:43

They might be religions, but it's all the same thing. It's all belief, ideologies.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sun 27-Oct-13 22:06:34

Even so they still aren't cohesive movement. Ask the mormon with 6 wives.

Even a few MRAs probably think they are joining up to help men....

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:11:00

You say I know nothing about feminism, which isn't true, I probably know more than 50 of women who claim to be feminists ('it's abaht equality innit')...but your knowledge of the MRA movement is painfully woeful. It consists of 'MRAs..dunno what they do but I hate them anyway'.

They don't eat female kittens you know.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:11:27

*50 percent

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 22:11:37

Erm still dissentions? Some Mormons believe in polygamy some don't.

Scientology even in its infancy now has "alternative scientology" sub group.

No group of humans even when called a homogenous name is ever ever in total agreement.

HexU

I will quote you in italics below, as the thread has moved on a bit:

Surely safety issue are not racisms as white poor countries can have poor safety standards or white minorities in poor non white countries suffer them the same - it's what there government enforces and what the multinational companies can get away with.

I strongly disagree. The reason why so many third world countries have lax safety standards, a cheap, poorly-educated labour force, and poor health and living standards for their populations is precisely because of historical reasons. Just about every part of the world was ruled by Western powers, whose empires by today's standards were explicitly racist. And I very much include the British Empire in that assessment, notwithstanding that its standard of administration was comparatively good. These countries are still very much ripe for exploitation by developed countries and still are.

When you buy a skirt from Primark or most other high street stores, you are engaging in that continuing exploitation, whether you like it or not.

There has been an attempt in this thread to frame sexism and racism purely with reference to how these things are experienced in middle England suburbs. This, of course, conveniently shoves the exploited third world out of sight and mind, and allows people who with to claim they are the victim of some "ism" to forget how extremely privileged they are in international terms.

And I really do disagree that what I've posted on this thread shuts people out of the debate. All I've said, right from the very first, is that it is silly to compare sexism to racism and conclude that the former is treated as "less" of a problem. Naturally, I think both are problems.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:19:37

'No group of humans even when called a homogenous name is ever ever in total agreement.'

Maybe they should be very clear on which subset of feminism they belong to in that case. It would make things a lot clearer.

kim147 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:23:19

What do the MRA movement want? Being a bloke is far easier than being female but there are of course still issues that affect men that aren't being talked about.

The only MRAs I come across are those who come on FWR and talk mainly about false rape accusations.

There are plenty of issues that affect men. But it's a hell of a lot easier in life being male than female. Especially if you are white, middle class and well educated.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:30:29

'The only MRAs I come across are those who come on FWR and talk mainly about false rape accusations.'

How do you know that they are MRAs Kim? The only person I've ever seen admit to being an MRA on FWR or be pro-MRA is me.

And I know that I don't hate women or wish foul things to happen to them, as seems to be the general consensus here.

'But it's a hell of a lot easier in life being male than female.'

I would dispute that, based on my own experience as a woman, and seeing others experience as men.

skylerwhite Sun 27-Oct-13 22:32:43

And I know that I don't hate women or wish foul things to happen to them, as seems to be the general consensus here.

Are you implying that the general consensus on MN is to hate men or wish foul things to happen to them? Come off it.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:36:53

'Are you implying that the general consensus on MN is to hate men or wish foul things to happen to them? Come off it.'

I'm quite sure that I could find threads that would back up this ^^ statement!

But in the main no, only a hardcore feminist element (mostly gone now) would say that really, but not the general consensus.

skylerwhite Sun 27-Oct-13 22:38:08

So why did you post that?

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 22:44:17

I was insinuating that feminists seem to be so appalled by MRAs that they must think MRAs hate women (well, actually, not only do they think it, they say it) and wish foul things to happen to them.

Certainly, the latest hoohaa over AF demonstrated that. Many feminists stated over and over again that MRAs had gotten AF banned. Along with various fallacies of MRA misdemeanor. It was really bizarre. I even pointed out that it was poor form to use what was happening as an opportunity to savage the MRA movement.

But anyway. MNHQ's statement put paid by and large to that kind of speculation.

BasilFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 22:47:03

" Patriarchy is the theory that ALL men conspire to oppress women, that ALL men work together to keep women from having equal status. Doesn't sound too pro-men does it?"

No, that is not what patriarchy is. And it's not what radical feminists believe patriarchy is. Just in case anyone reading thinks that. hmm

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 22:53:19

No Sigmund To my mind feminism is about wanting total equality. I don't want to dedicate my life to the academia of that, I want to live it. Therefore I can't be a feminist because I won't research and settle for some subset or another? Total bollocks.

Toad this is that it is silly to compare sexism to racism and conclude that the former is treated as "less" of a problem. Naturally, I think both are problems. makes sense and is what we have all agreed on.

But then you add this There has been an attempt in this thread to frame sexism and racism purely with reference to how these things are experienced in middle England suburbs. This, of course, conveniently shoves the exploited third world out of sight and mind, and allows people who with to claim they are the victim of some "ism" to forget how extremely privileged they are in international terms.

Which is bollocks, you seem to have a massive chip on your shoulder about the suburbs, it is possible to feel that tackling everyday sexism (which by the way isn't just held to the middle income, it was you blathering on about flipping Audis) is important and still give a shit about Bangladesh.

Having Bangladeshi in laws I manage both quite nicely thank you.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:54:56

kim. I do think your post saying that Sigmund only posts on feminism is way off. As only a cursory glance of her history can see that that is blatantly untrue. I looked at about 1 weeks worth,from recently, and there were 5 threads from feminism and 5 from other boards. So 50% not 100% as you claimed.
Then I thought I would look at 2 months worth. And the stats were[of which I think you are rather fond of if I remember correctly], 5 threads on feminism and 16 on other threads.
So not sure quite what you looked at and thought you saw. Perhaps you owe Sigmund an apology.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:57:56

You do say feminist stuff I suppose, rather than on the feminism board. I will have another look. But from what I can remember you are still wrong.

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 23:02:32

"Patriarchy – Literally means the rule of the father and is generally understood within feminist discourses in a dualistic sense as asserting the domination of all men over all women in equal terms. "

Too tired to look for more right now, but I can do if required, there's loads out there..

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 23:07:30

Thanks trish smile Though I'm a little perturbed that one of my latest posts suggesting that I'd 'do' Lord Tumble came up!

SigmundFraude Sun 27-Oct-13 23:11:22

DontPanic - plenty of feminists would suggest you weren't a feminist without the necessary theoretical knowledge. I had a spat with a feminist on disqus (or however you spell it), because she reckoned you couldn't be a feminist without major theoretical knowledge. I told her she was an arse, and I wasn't wrong.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 23:13:46

I don't understand why if MRA's really care about men, they aren't out setting up projects to help men in need e.g. homeless men, men in prison, etc. Instead MRA's seem to spend most of their time criticising feminists. I am not sure how this helps men hmm

Technotropic Sun 27-Oct-13 23:14:19

Patriarchy is the term used to describe the society in which we live today, characterised by current and historic unequal power relations between women and men whereby women are systematically disadvantaged and oppressed. This takes place across almost every sphere of life but is particularly noticeable in women’s under-representation in key state institutions, in decision-making positions and in employment and industry. Male violence against women is also a key feature of patriarchy. Women in minority groups face multiple oppressions in this society, as race, class and sexuality intersect with sexism for example.

It took me 2 mins on google to find this description from the London feminist network but is typical of almost every description on the web. I think the key word is 'systematic' which is, I believe what sigmund seems to be saying.

I have to say that I have noticed sigmund being called upon a fair bit for simply expressing her pov. I would tend to agree that men are often demonised and is why I have no time for it. I have 100% commitment to equality but no interest in feminism.

The trouble is, feminism is what you make of it and I've read umpteen variations on the theme. It is unsurprising that many feminists disagree about many aspects. Comment about a view you've read and you are told that you're talking bollocks and that you don't know what you're talking about. A classic response.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 27-Oct-13 23:15:11

Then they would be wrong. I can disagree with her due to all feminists not having to toe a party line wink

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 23:17:03

grin

I had a look at my own posting history while I was there. Thought I would see what others would see. Had no idea I posted so much in chat.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 23:19:22

Sorry chemicalsister. I am wandering off topic.

Grennie Sun 27-Oct-13 23:19:24

Men are often demonised? I wonder how you can possibly think that? Posters talk about their real negative issues with DP's. This is not demonising men.

Technotropic Sun 27-Oct-13 23:29:27

Greenie

The word 'systematic' is one such example where a feminist network is attempting to educate people. I'd have thought that was a pretty solid example of demonising men right there.

Reading examples of posters on here is not the issue here. It's the message that the feminist movement puts out.

Pan Sun 27-Oct-13 23:42:17

I'd need to question that Tech - that use of systematic doesn't mean men are demonised per se - the operation of patriarchy indicates there are advantages that men generally receive, quite passively sometimes, just because of who they are. And yes often without the sense that the patriarchal system is harming them too. So for example their female loved ones receive lesser treatment, which adversely affects them too.

Pan Sun 27-Oct-13 23:44:36

and also lots of women contribute to ensuring other women are continually disadvantaged, so the 'culprits' as it were are certainly not to be solely identified as men.

Technotropic Sun 27-Oct-13 23:49:11

Pan

Perhaps I'm reading the first paragraph of my cut/paste differently to you.

You only need google to find that men are often demonised.

DontPanicMrMannering

So which part of what I said is "bollocks", and why?

Pan Sun 27-Oct-13 23:59:03

Tech, I'd think the 'demonising' bit is knocking us of course a tad too. Something nearer 'failing to intervene/act when differential treatment is occuring' catches more of what I mean. And indeed why would they? I'd probably demonise men, generally, for doing little.
And also the implication that feminists would demonise all men is wildly off beam.

Technotropic Mon 28-Oct-13 00:11:56

Pan

Again that depends on what you read and by whom. There is much out there and many strands of feminism. Thus to say that it is off beam is as off as you believe my comments to be. Ok I'll be more specific. I've read many articles from feminists that cast 'men' as the problem. This may not be a feminist wide view but one that is held by many feminists.

It is not possible to have an oppressed without an oppressor and often 'men' are made out to be the problem. That is, men as a class.

It wasn't long ago that an article stated that even those men that chose not to speak out against sexism were part of the problem, irrespective of whether they treated everyone equally. Now men really can't win but I guess the response is typically 'what about the menz'

LadyBigtoes Mon 28-Oct-13 00:19:02

"50 of women who claim to be feminists ('it's abaht equality innit')"

Sigmund... feminism is about equality. That is the gist of its general dictionary definition (while of course it is a broad church). I don't know what you're trying to achieve with the above – to suggest people who think this have an accent and are therefore a bit dim? – or what?

Equality is what I bring to issues that affect me in everyday life – am I / women in general being treated in an unfair, unequal way? What would I need to do / ask for to make it equal (for me or other women)? Whether that means not changing my name (because the traditional expectations are unequal and unfair), insisting DP does his share of housework and childcare, or supporting charity campaigns abroad financially to do things like support women's education and freedoms in other places.

But because I see equality as the central issue, I don't support sexism against men – for example I would defend any man's right to be a nursery nurse, midwife and so on and try hard to avoid imposing the kind of subtle pressures of disapproval etc. that might make that harder for him. I would support any man who was suffering DV and encourage him to report it just as I would a woman.

Living in a patriarchy does not mean all men conspire to oppress; it means that the existing structures and social norm support and perpetuate gender inequality – the p means it relates to fatherhood, in other words that power imbalance being passed down. As with things like caste in India, you can legally abolish something (like unequal pay or various forms of discrimination) but it will persist as it's transmitted through socialisation, deeply held traditional beliefs and the millions of little social forces we experience every day – from raised eyebrows, to who parents choose to educate better, to a little girls' t-shirt that says "gorgeous" – while the boys' one says "space explorer". And so on.

A very, very significant proportion of the forces that keep women down come from women. It is often well-meaning and intended to protect women from being disapproved of or coming to grief. An example would be the message that women need to dress modestly and not get drunk on a night out because of the risk of rape, without a) requiring the same modesty or soberness of men or b) blaming men for rape. Plenty of women think this and some will even proclaim it in the Daily Mail.

A more extreme example would be FGM – often forced upon girls by women, who are worried and scared about the disapproval they or their daughter will face if they don't continue the tradition.

Yet when I think of FGM, I also worry about male circumcision and feel quite strongly that it is not something that it is OK to do to a small child who has no choice, for reasons of religion or tradition. In the interests of equality, I believe everyone should only, other than for a pressing medical reason, be circumcised when they are of an age to make that decision for themselves.

Your "man-hating" version of feminism makes no sense to me at all. I try to bring an ideal of equality to everything and that means equality with men, not against them.

Also, I think you have riled people on this thread because your posts have a tone that is both aggressive and defensive. They make you sound quite scared and angry, in the same way that many MRA seem to fear and hate women. It is one thing to discuss what feminism means to different people and on MN we do do that, a lot. It is another to belittle and sneer as in the quote above.

Pan Mon 28-Oct-13 00:20:35

Tech,"It wasn't long ago that an article stated that even those men that chose not to speak out against sexism were part of the problem, irrespective of whether they treated everyone equally."

which is quite the point I was making - I take that as utterly obvious, but you take it as an extreme position to hold.
Yes, men can 'really win' if we look beyond our noses.

Pan Mon 28-Oct-13 00:25:07

Sorry Tech - I missed the 'treated everyone equally' bit. We don't do that because we are different, so having a one-approach-fits-all framework means some people will be treated in an unequal way. Equality is not about treating people the same, quite the opposite.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 00:28:36

When feminists talk about men, they mean the class of men. This is different from each individual men. Feminism is a political theory, and like all theories, it uses it's own jargon to explain things. You need to understand what is actually being said first before you can make any critique that might make sense.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 00:30:03

It is about justice or fairness. So a heavily pregnant women who is a passenger on a bus, should not be treated the same as a young fit man. She needs a seat, he doesnt. That is about fairness.

garlicvampire Mon 28-Oct-13 00:41:13

Resisting the temptation to read all 11 pages of what looks like a very interesting thread, at least until tomorrow ... There are a couple of good posts on the first page about the fact that racism is far from dead, and intersects with sexism to the detriment of black women. I'll add to that with ageism and disableism (is a word?), both of which have begun affecting me in recent years. The less like a fit, white, man you are, the less privileged you are. For each 'non' you score, you become more invisible & inaudible where you want to be seen & heard, while simultaneously sticking out like a giraffe in a flock of sheep where folks are looking for someone to have a go at. Fact.

garlicvampire Mon 28-Oct-13 00:44:40

YY, Pan & Grennie!

<must read thread TOMORROW, not now ...>

futureforward Mon 28-Oct-13 06:33:34

I 'like' so many of these posts! I find as I'm getting older and reading more, I'm becoming more of a feminist! It's a great thing but also has a drawback as I've started to notice more and more of these little everyday sexism things, and they really annoy me.

One of them is whenever a female friend posts on Facebook in praise of her DH, "I went out for the night and he looked after the kids AND washed the dishes, I'm a lucky woman!" and all her friends are "liking" the post. Really??

I'd pay a tenner to anyone who could find a man's post, "I went out with the lads and when I came home DW had put the kids to bed AND done two loads of washing, I am so blessed!!"

futureforward Mon 28-Oct-13 06:34:43

I appreciate I have gone off topic a bit there, sorry, just getting carried away with how it feels to have my eyes opened!!

UptheChimney Mon 28-Oct-13 08:59:01

When feminists talk about men, they mean the class of men. This is different from each individual men

That's why it's useful to talk about "patriarchy" -- as a term to indicate the fundamental & underlying ideological/political structure of our society, and "masculinity" rather than men.

Individual men can also be damaged by patriarchy, but women suffer as a class -- even educated, middle class white women.

For example, it was easier in the US to elect a black man than a white woman as president. Had a racist equivalent of the sign so shamefully displayed at a Rodham Clinton rally telling her to "Iron My Shirt" appeared, it would have read "Shine My Shoes" and would have caused huge outrage. Telling Hilary Clinton to get back into the kitchen seemed to caused barely a ripple. Because we are so used to sexism: it has been naturalised.

kim147 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:19:37

trish5000
I won't apologise. Sigmund seems to mainly post on feminist subjects (not just in feminism) and from a pro-men perspective. Rarely does she seem to post on other stuff. That's her choice but whenever you see her posts, you can pretty much guarantee the perspective and "but what about the menz" .

sigmund Men do have it a lot easier in life. Having lived in a male world for many years, my life seems to have been so much easier and far fewer barriers and pressures than many of the stories I've read on here. Being a white, educated middle class male makes life pretty easy.

kim147 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:26:47

And if men have it so bad, where's the male equivalent of Mumsnet with men talking about childcare, work issues, balancing work and children, sexism, relationships etc?

trish5000 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:44:32

You put only in bold font. I dont like things being posted very wrongly and misleading.
I had a look myself as I thought you may have been right [not that any poster cannot do that if they so wish], but you were quite off the mark. It is not wise to go round doing that in rl or on here.

SigmundFraude Mon 28-Oct-13 09:54:31

'and from a pro-men perspective.'

Do you want to point out to me exactly what the problem is in being 'pro male'? Is being 'pro male' wrong? Should we simply not give a toss about men? This, here, is the problem with feminism.

And yet, feminists claim to help men. What? by denigrating their issues? Great plan. 'What about the menz'? Such a Godawful, sneering phrase.

And Kim, UK society is made up of far, far more individual women than post on here. A minority will have utterly hideous stories, and many will have very ordinary, reasonably contented lives and no stories at all. If your basing your views on MN, which is trolled regularly, then you aren't getting a rounded picture of women's lives at all.

'Men do have it a lot easier in life'..try telling that to a handful of my male friends. Everything is clouded by our own unique experience.

SigmundFraude Mon 28-Oct-13 09:57:53

'And if men have it so bad, where's the male equivalent of Mumsnet with men talking about childcare, work issues, balancing work and children, sexism, relationships etc?'

There isn't a male equivalent of Mumsnet (although, for parents by parents?) It would be a good thing is the MN demographic changed to include many more men. It would at least be balanced.

And men do discuss this stuff, but not on this forum.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 10:01:20

Why Sigmunde do MRAs like you not spen their time helping men who are struggling, instead of spending it telling feminists we have got it wrong?

HexU Mon 28-Oct-13 10:05:37

bigkidsdidit
Hex - do you think we should be grateful, then, and stop fighting?

God no - but having read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood I don't think we should ignore what females in this country have achieved. Denying and minimizing the rights and power we do have doesn't protect them or stop them slowly being eroded.

Playing the poor powerless me and my sex card ignores how far we have come and the power we currently have ie to vote for a female MP - though under current system not get her through party political selection though subtle pressure for parties to have more female MP does play a part.

Plus I don't think many 'gender issues' are gender issues as their impact is much wider.

Yes there are lots of thing that will only impact my DDs - being able to walk down the street without being leered or stay in a career they have chosen post DC is more likely to affect them but the OP talks like airing issues with boys education is a bad thing.

I living in a working class area - when the boy struggle at schools it's usually the mother who end up fighting and worrying - you can question why it's more the mother but practically it impact the mother. As my DC go to mixed Primary even my DD are affected by the boys behavior and the attention their behavior diverts from them in school.

yes it partly that political parties are courting 'female' votes that childcare has been coming up lately but it's also being put under 'hard working families ' banner too so it's seen as a wider issue.

HexU Mon 28-Oct-13 10:09:17

despite girls out performing boys in education. aren't we lucky

That is a fairly recent phenomenon - and hopefully it will mean changes over time in all professions as those girls/women on on.

Well it will if powers that be focus on working out why in many professions women drop out further up you go - rather than trying to get more men to enter at the start - the more women in medicinal schools debate in media seemed to go more down the we need more men rather than how do we keep the women.

SigmundFraude Mon 28-Oct-13 10:11:08

I do support mens groups, financially. I do spend time trying to help. I'm not on here 14 hours a day am I? And I'm putting forward my view, just like you do.

You are suggesting that MRAs spend their time arguing with feminists. Well I know a fair few, and in the main they don't, they find it pointless and frustrating, which is why I can never understand the 'it's an MRA' rally cry to every troll on FWR. Firstly, you're assuming that the trolls are male (which is probably sexist, as many trolls have been exposed as female on the net), and secondly, you are assuming that all men who disagree with feminism are MRAs, and that all women agree with feminism, which they don't.

kim147 Mon 28-Oct-13 10:11:31

So sigmund what do you think the issues are facing men in today's society?

Where are the injustices and what changes would you like to see?

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 10:16:26

I know you are female Sigmund, I am not assuming that. And yes, individuals who belong to MRA groups like a Voice for Men, do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time arguing with feminists and creating websites to ridicule feminists.

SconeRhymesWithGone United States Mon 28-Oct-13 15:07:07

I agree wholeheartedly with garlic's post at 00:41:13.

Ageism directed at women rears its ugly head everywhere, including Mumsnet.

edam Mon 28-Oct-13 15:24:43

Sigmund, can you not see that misogyny harms men as well as women? Feminism can help to make the world better for both women and men - by getting rid of assumptions that hold both genders back, e.g. what subjects boys or girls are 'good at' at school or 'should' be interested in. Some boys like Eng Lit and cooking, just as some girls like physics and woodwork. Misogyny denigrates boys who don't fit stereotypes as well as girls.

grimbletart Mon 28-Oct-13 15:32:33

Hexu That is a fairly recent phenomenon - and hopefully it will mean changes over time in all professions as those girls/women on on.

Actually that phenomenon is not as recent as many think. As a girl who sat the 11+ in the early 1950s I can tell you that girls had to achieve a higher mark to go to grammar school than boys did. Why? Because they wanted a roughly 50/50 male/female intake and the only way they could achieve that was to allow boys in at a lower pass rate than girls. A higher percentage of girls passed the 11+. I don't know when, or even if, that system changed before the 11+ was axed but I can assure you it was in place even at the time I took the 11+. A source is probably still available via google.....

grimbletart Mon 28-Oct-13 15:33:53

Should have added that the 11+ was of course a sudden death exam, at which we are told boys excel compared to girls who we are told prefer course work.

UptheChimney Mon 28-Oct-13 16:12:19

As a girl who sat the 11+ in the early 1950s I can tell you that girls had to achieve a higher mark to go to grammar school than boys did. Why? Because they wanted a roughly 50/50 male/female intake and the only way they could achieve that was to allow boys in at a lower pass rate than girls

Ditto for SATS for US young people to gain entry to the Ivy League colleges/universities. Young women were outstripping young men in gaining entry to elite universities for most of the 20th century. This could not be tolerated, so the playing field was tilted to advantage men. There's never been a 'level playing field' for women. We might want to think about this before we get ourselves into too much of a lather about current education 'disadvantaging' boys --

I think it's interesting to think, not of female disadvantage, but of male advantage. It's what the patriarchy runs on.

HexU Mon 28-Oct-13 16:13:10

grimbletart well that is interesting.

However is only more recently that there are more female graduates than male - which will probably impact certain 'professional' careers more - (hopefully).

Women now out number and out perform men at all universities, study finds

Though there are obviously other reasons why there were less women till recently in higher education or even A-levels not just prior grades- my own mother education post 16 was made impossible by her parents as they wanted her working mainly cause she was female - though they approved of the female GC going to uni.

I'm not sure where I stand on the whole course work vs exams.

I don't know how good the research is that apparently demonstrated boys do better in exams than course work - I know of exceptions in fact I would say I was one in that I'm female but have history of doing better in exams.

Even if you could prove boys were disadvantaged by course work in modern world course work and projects are part of daily working life - exams aren't so wouldn't improving all students skills in theses areas be more productive.

edam Mon 28-Oct-13 16:16:01

YY Grimble, my Mum took the 11+ in the 50s and says it was quite overt that there was a higher pass rate for girls - in her LA area because they funded fewer grammar school places for girls than for boys.

kim147 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:24:42

That's shocking. When did that change?

Do girls still outperform boys on 11+?

edam Mon 28-Oct-13 16:33:02

Don't know Kim, maybe not until the 11+ was abolished (in most places) and comprehensives brought in? Need some MNers who live in Kent, Berks, Bucks and any other counties with 11+ to tell us what the situation is now.

UptheChimney Mon 28-Oct-13 17:37:55

One if the "excuses" given for a higher standard required for girls than boys for the 11+ was that there were fewer grammar school places for girls.

Still sexist.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 17:47:58

When I took my exams, I am in my 40's, I was told that only a certain % nationally would achieve a A, B, etc. And that this was broken down into girls and boys. Girls had to achieve a higher grade than boys in most subjects to get an A, etc.

I don't think girls are suddenly outperforming boys. I think they always did. But now exam boards are no longer allowed to adjust pass marks to the benefit of boys.

grimbletart Mon 28-Oct-13 18:40:17

That's really interesting Grennie. I thought the 11+ example - well known at the time - was the only one and a typical 1950s' example. But it seems it is across time. Surely can't still be going on...can it?

edam Mon 28-Oct-13 19:11:55

Grennie, you are right that in the 1980s only a certain proportion of examinees were 'allowed' to get an A grade, or a B grade or so on. This changed some years ago so now, if you get the marks, you'll get an A. I think the old system was called norm referencing, IIRC.

Have never heard that they distinguished between boys and girls, though. The 11+ thing is definitely true but I'd be surprised if they were overtly discriminating in the 80s - not impossible, I guess, but surprising.

Grennie Mon 28-Oct-13 19:12:58

That is what I was told Edam. I don't know if it is true or not though.

BasilBabyEater Tue 29-Oct-13 20:00:09

Another reason sexism is not seen as bad as racism, is because sexism is a much older, much deeper seated hatred than racism is. Racism's really only half a millenia old while sexism has existed for at least 4 and possibly as many as 8. Hell of a difference. It's going to take much, much longer to root it out.

Also on a purely practical note, the bald, essentialist racism that used to be the norm in the west, is no longer needed as an ideology. It was invented to justify what was possibly the cruellest and most vicious form of slavery the planet has ever seen, but that slave trade no longer exists so we don't need the ideology that underpinned it. We've developed other racist ideologies instead to justify the worldwide exploitation of the developing world by the developed world and the systemic disadvantage black people have in terms of jobs, housing, health etc. in Europe and America (and to avoid paying reparations of course) but it's not essentialist racism IYSWIM. It is simply no longer acceptable among educated people to opine that black people are inherently more stupid/ less moral/ more criminal/ less godly/ insert racist stereotype here than white people. The establishment doesn't need racism any more so it's happy to pretend to be against it.

But men's unfair advantage vis a vis women - well, that's still needed. Our subordinate place, economically, socially, psychologically, is still needed; our unpaid labour is still needed. If all the free labour women do stopped tomorrow, capitalism would collapse; maybe not tomorrow, but very soon. If women stopped doing all the social networking, all the emotional work of relationships... well, I'm not sure what would happen, but it would be the end of relationships as we know them. Men would have to behave differently - and frankly, on the whole they don't want to. Who would? It's nice having an unfair advantage, you have to be a really nice person to voluntarily give that up and most of us aren't that nice, we're just ordinary.

edam Tue 29-Oct-13 22:39:45

interesting post, Basil, you are very probably right. Sadly.

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