What battles are there still to be won?

(22 Posts)
kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:31:35

On another thread - some people seem to think the major wars in equality in the UK have been won. It's a commonly held view and they see feminism as irrelevant.

What battles do you still think need to be won?

rosabud Sat 24-Aug-13 19:16:07

Well, on the local radio today I heard that due to a horrible sexual attack on a young woman in our area this week, police are advising women not to go out in the evening alone and not to walk but to make sure they have some sort of transport arranged.

I would like it if this was considered outrageous and very sexist on the part of the police. A bit like if there was a horrible racist attack and police advised all black people to stay indoors, or if there was a horrible homophobic attack, for all gay people to make sure they paid for taxis for a while. In such scenarios, I think people would consider that the police themselves were being a bit racist or homophobic to suggest that the only real protection these groups could hope for was to stay out of harm's way for a bit.

When there is a horrible sexual attack comitted in my area, I would like the police to advise all innocent men to stay at home in the evenings, or to arrange transport to and from activities, so as to make it easier for police to catch the sexual attacker.

That's the battle I would like to see won.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 24-Aug-13 19:23:04

I think we still need to fight for women manual workers.
For making sure that every woman understands what rights she has in the workforce.
But I think there is much work to be done outside the uk,and it's vitally important that this is taken on board.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 20:27:22

Do you mean equality for all the different groups Kim, or just between men and women?

I think that poverty is one of the main indicators of inequality, and most poor adults are women. That is an increasing problem in the UK and in many other countries. The fact that there are housing estates in the UK where the average life expectancy is lower than that of countries like Somalia would seem to be an indicator that there is huge inequality in the UK.

I also think that the treatment of carers is a major issue, and they are mostly women. There is also inequality for people with disabilities in general, and disabled women are more likely to be excluded as a consequence of their disability than disabled men.

The treatment of black men by the police is a massive human rights abuse, and should make everyone worry about corruption and the power of the state to be a threat to its own citizens.

And also, we have had a reduction in social mobility. That's surely a sign that society is becoming less equal?

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 20:32:05

It was a thread about feminism - in response to an OP talking about "men, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem".

Which has led to a very heated discussion and some men (note the word "some") wondering what feminism still had to achieve.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 20:48:12

I haven't read it all so I might just have listed points already covered.

I would also add sexual and sexist bullying of girls in school, and homophobic bullying of pupils who are either gay or who do not conform closely enough to gender stereotypes.

I think there is now quite an urgent need for notions of masculinity to be changed. They are damaging to girls, women and any males who don't conform to them due to the way all three get treated, and contribute to issues like school underperformance, health problems and prison sentences for those who are put under pressure to conform to masculinity.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 24-Aug-13 20:57:13

When the sdl first marched in Edinburgh the police did indeed advice all "foreign" shop keepers to shut up shop for the day shockangry

HerrenaHarridan Sat 24-Aug-13 21:04:12

Sorry and in response to the op

Gender pay gap (improved but not won)

Glass ceiling (improved but not won)

Employers attitude to women of reproductive age

Women as unpaid carers

The whole house work issue

Genderising of clothes/ toys

Domestic violence

Women as public property, inc rape, how you dress, what hair you remove,

Judicial system, only last week a 13 yo who was sexually abused was publicly described as gagging for it.

Might it be easier to ask what we have won?

The vote

Access to contraception

Massive improvement in a lot of men's attitudes towards their partners

A sparse few women in top jobs

Paid maternity leave

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:07:01

Think that all came up in the discussion. But it did feel like banging your head against a wall.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 21:11:04

I suppose you could say that there are certain elements of sexism that have an equal impact on men and women. But I don't think that being equally unhappy is much of a situation to boast about.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:15:27

What was interesting is that some of the men blamed women for being involved in their own "oppression".

Such as why aren't women who buy / feature in all those diet magazines etc, who judge women in the media and who do modelling etc also blamed by feminists?

kotinka Sat 24-Aug-13 21:20:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicholasTeakozy Sat 24-Aug-13 21:26:04

All of the battles are still there to be won. I'd love this police response posted by rosabud:-

When there is a horrible sexual attack comitted in my area, I would like the police to advise all innocent men to stay at home in the evenings, or to arrange transport to and from activities, so as to make it easier for police to catch the sexual attacker.

Stop victim blaming, for a start. It isn't helpful in any way. It isn't the victim's fault, it's the attacker, every time.

We need equality, society is fairer when equality is better and we are all better off for it.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:26:50

From what I noticed on the thread - it seemed hard to discuss with people such things when they'd never been in that situation (such as kotinka described) so they never saw it.

People who don't step in someone's shoes find it hard to believe there are still battles to be won.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 21:38:26

Maybe two different issues there of stepping into somebody else's shoes.

You don't require any empathy to understand a set of statistics showing inequality. So I'm not sure why people dismiss those statistics, although I can understand if they question the analysis of them.

With empathy more generally, when people don't experience empathy towards a group, it doesn't interfere with their ability to understand a rational argument. So it isn't that they don't understand the events that are being told to them. They just don't care because they don't perceive people who they feel no or little empathy for as people.

Stop treating women as public property - I am so pissed off with comments being made about my appearance. (Yes I have large breasts, so did the bloke who felt the need to yell 'big tits' at me. I was just to polite to point his out.)

Pay gap, lack of respect for SAHP's, 'slut shaming', victim blaming, gender stereotyping ...

It's quite depressing how long the list is

HerrenaHarridan Sun 25-Aug-13 15:31:55

Some things are easier to fix than others, the whole employing women if reproductive age thing could be minimised by making maternity/paternity leave parental leave and open to both parent to use as they see fit

The issues a surrounding public toilets (inc transgender and taking opposite sex children in with you) could be solved by creating unisex toilets with better cubicles and a screen around urinals

Victim blaming / slut shaming is so deeply ingrained in our culture on all levels I don't pretend to know the answer.

I think women who are seen to 'let down the side' are in the firing line in some people's minds although personally I don't think that's helpful or constructive.

Women are in fact notorious for being their own worst enemies, IMO more pressure is applied on women by women wrt appearance than is placed their by your average man.

Salbertina Sun 25-Aug-13 20:09:36

The biggies persist!

Domestic violence - 2 women a week in uk still die from this

Growing pay gap

Objectification of women in media, societally

expectation that our natural ageing is unacceptable and must be battled against

Unpaid carers

Division of household chores

ILoveSpaniels Sun 25-Aug-13 20:42:56

I think the OP said a lot....that many people in the West (most) believe that there is no need for feminism. I think that in itself is a major battle. How do we show that actually, there IS a major need for feminism and it is not a dirty word!!!

rosabud Mon 26-Aug-13 19:12:01

Another important battle to win would be enabling people to realise that women are not to blame for their own oppression. Lots of people now do get the concept that a woman should not be blamed for being raped because she is wearing a short skirt or out socialising in the evening. However, many still seem to think that if a woman judges another woman for what she is wearing then this is "women being their own worst enemies" rather than understanding that the pre-occupations of women with apearances in the first place is because that is largely the value placed on women by society (as can be seen by reading/watching almost any section of the media) and that to call women "their own worst enemies" is an extension of victim blaming in the same way that saying a woman is to blame for her own rape is victim blaming.

So, to sum up, the battle of helping society to look slightly deeper at the whole issue.

tribpot Mon 26-Aug-13 19:21:16

It seems like the biggest battle yet to be won is men's recognition that it will be us who decide when the battles are won, not them. That's surely more indicative than anything else of how far we have to go for our voices to be heard. It's plain bloody rude to tell an oppressed group that they're no longer oppressed. I don't nip into my local mosque and say 'you have no problems in this country, stop bloody moaning'.

scallopsrgreat Wed 28-Aug-13 09:54:38

Male violence against girls and women or male violence in general tbh.

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