To what extent, is female competition a significant factor in the problem.

(72 Posts)
anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 00:49:45

I am a man, I have no clue how hard it is to be you. I do however believe in equal rights for women in every sense of the word. My sister is my closest family member, and all that I want is to be a good role model for my feisty little niece.

So thats basically my uneducated views on feminism. What brings me here is that I have been assigned a poster on social issues for my graphic design program. I am thinking about promoting either a 2 tiered health care system for Canada (which in real life I am actually a huge supporter of the ideal), or promoting Camaraderie amongst women which was inspired by this: www.upworthy.com/nailed-it-this-ad-calls-out-5-ridiculous-double-standards-women-face-in-less-than-60-seconds-2?c=ufb1

I noticed that the last two; Neat/Vain, and Smooth/show-off are not compliments or insults any man (ok, maybe a very select few) would EVER throw at either gender. Which tells me that this ad is clearly written by women, about how OTHER women judge them. I have asked the females in my class (Which is predominantly female) if they have ever experienced anything like that and they say that they have not. Granted, most are fresh out of high school, and therefore have very little experience in the actual work place. However I have encountered one particularly vocal feminists in other classes who claim this sort of thing happens every day, primarily because women are taught to compete with EACH OTHER.

So really my three part question is rather simple

1) Is it a reasonable preposition to promote strength of gender through camaraderie? or is that just me being ignorant?
2) In your opinion, is this supposed competition between females a "statistically significant" factor
3) They referenced a Heidi/Howard syndrome study, and I would be very interested to read the breakdown of how many men disliked Heidi vs how man women disliked Heidi as we need articles to support our view point.

Also, I would be very interested to hear your opinions on gender inequality in general, and I am kind of glad to have found this site.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 23-Jan-14 01:02:01

I can't help but feel that you're hoping we'll write your paper for you, because that is not at all a simple question that you're asking. Is your number 3) actually requesting that a group of women whom you don't know find you references and breakdown analysis of a study? Do you not see that as a wee tad cheeky, at all?

I'm not even sure what your 2) means. A statistically significant factor in what? Female oppression?

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 01:24:33

lol well I dont have to write a paper, I have to design a poster. Your opinions will inform how I should do that, since I have never been discriminated against for being a woman. If you would like I will post a picture of the finished product.

1) basically is it worth promoting, or does promoting that cause just come off as being condescending.
2) similar to number one, but more along the lines of: Definitely sometimes women keep other women down. Humans compete regardless of sexism/racism etc. If we were successful in promoting camaraderie amongst women, would it make life better for say... at least 5% of women, or would it make life better for less than 1% of women.

I apologize if I have come off as "Cheeky" I just kind of feel at a loss for capturing the essence of the problem. What I found shocking about that ad, is that those double standards really seem to stem from the perspective of a female generated double standard. If it came from a male generated double standard the smooth/show-off would have been cock-blocker/slut (assuming that both genders are desirable by the opposite gender, with or without visual appearances); and the neat/vain one would have translated to pansy/babe (assuming that both genders are attractive to the opposite gender primarily via grooming their appearances, in the case of the female being reduced to a sexual object)

DollyHouse Thu 23-Jan-14 01:31:25

Feisty. A word only used to describe females.

I think you should stick to the other topic.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 01:39:11

hmmmmm... I can't say that I only use the word feisty for females, though I am disappointed to see that webster's dictionary agrees with you, though not in the definition.

Beachcomber Thu 23-Jan-14 01:43:20

Do the other one.

EBearhug Thu 23-Jan-14 01:49:28

3) They referenced a Heidi/Howard syndrome study, and I would be very interested to read the breakdown of how many men disliked Heidi vs how man women disliked Heidi as we need articles to support our view point.

You've heard of google? You'll get loads of hits if you enter "Howard Heidi Study" as a search term.

I suspect you're going to get better results if you stick to the two-tiered healthcare system. But I do think you should read more about feminism in any case, in particular, Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender (which also features Howard/Heidi.)

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 01:58:55

Oh I can find absolutely TONS of articles on the Heidi/howard study. There doesn't seem to be a breakdown on which gender was inherently more likely to find howard more likeable, or if there is a different correlative factor such as actually HAVING a female boss.

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/are-successful-women-really-less-likable-than-successful-men/273926/

Do you folks feel that the original "upworth" post is an accurate protrayal of how the workforce has treated you, and if so where do the negative connotations tend to come from?

FloraFox Thu 23-Jan-14 02:30:39

I'm with Beach and EBear, do the other one. I'm also not sure what you mean by a "factor" ie a factor in what. This really is an issue for women to talk about with other women. Without knowing anything about you, I feel fairly sure your opinion on how women treat each other expressed in a poster will not add anything of value to any discussion but is likely to piss off a number of people, especially us, if you post it here.

If your interested in feminism (and it sounds like you are), do some reading around it and listen to women. Don't start off with a topic that appears to but blame for women's oppression on women.

FloraFox Thu 23-Jan-14 02:31:36

Argh, you're interested - pedant shame.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 02:55:38

well that right there is the pickle I find myself in. I do listen to the women around me. Most of them say that the Pantene ad is a crock of poop, and that they have never experienced a double standard in the work-force (which I attribute to age, because my grandma fought for the right for women to vote, and told a rather different story on the subject). I can definitively say that I have had almost double the female immediate managers/teachers/authority figures in general (which may be caused by me not being "manly" in the traditional sense - I make things look pretty, and that is my passion, i don't like sports and can't fix a car or a pipe to save my life.) however the one at the top always seems to be male.

The only female voice (which is also the only "active" feminist voice) I have heard that says that this ad IS true, suggested to me that it is predominantly caused by society teaching women to compete against each other. None of these ideas come from my own head, but rather the women I have already listened to. It started out as an idea to promote equality among the genders, but all of the women i listen to, tell me that a man being caddy to them based on their gender hasn't really happened to them, and that they are far more likely to encounter negativity at the hands of female counterparts for whatever reason (which once again I attribute to age). Everything I have written are the words of women, coming out of my finger tips.

The poster is not about a cause or blame for the problem, rather a means to alleviate a great deal of that particular aspect of the problems that commercial brought to light; through camaraderie amongst women. The idea is to stand united.

I've got a deal for you. I am not an academic, and I believe in the human experience. I am not good at research; I make things look pretty, and talk with pictures. If you folks answer those questions, I will post an image before I submit it to my teacher and give you Vito power. If you feel that the message is anything less than something my niece should see, I promise it will never see the light of day. I actually really want to make something worth seeing. Something that will take a divided demographic, and remind them to stand together.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 23-Jan-14 02:57:07

^ Definitely sometimes women keep other women down. Humans compete regardless of sexism/racism etc. If we were successful in promoting camaraderie amongst women, would it make life better for say... at least 5% of women, or would it make life better for less than 1% of women.^

For a start, you can't possibly quantify a proposition like that in terms of percentages.

Secondly, women do not keep women down. Women police the behaviour of other women according to patriarchal standards. If the patriarchy dictates that women should behave in certain ways, then certainly women police that, and compete with one another within those prescribed standards. Try thinking of it in terms of game theory: sure, if all women banded together and formed a separatist lifestyle, potentially we could break free of systemic patriarchy. But in the short term, the best that most women are going to be able to manage from within a system that has no escape, is to ensure that they themselves are succeeding better than their competitors. "We should all stick together" is a pretty meaningless, and extremely narrow view of a very complex topic. And this is even before we bring intersectionality and kyriarchical concepts into the conversation.

Given that this is a graphic design program and not an advanced Gender Studies research project, I would go with your two tiered health care system thing. The issue of female behaviour in a patriarchal system is ridiculously over complex for what you're contemplating.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 23-Jan-14 02:59:59

Cross-posting. I can see that you absolutely mean well. But the whole idea of camaraderie between women being a thing that will stop female oppression is just...wrong, and simplistic. I think you want some sort of inspirational picture about strength in solidarity but backed up by some statistics. But it just ain't that simple.

Am I right that the women you're talking to, who have never experienced a double standard, tend to be young and childless, by the way?

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 03:12:35

"Secondly, women do not keep women down. Women police the behaviour of other women according to patriarchal standards. If the patriarchy dictates that women should behave in certain ways, then certainly women police that, and compete with one another within those prescribed standards." <- Most helpful, and thus far, only on-topic response so far this thread.

If the"United we stand" idea is getting a big poo-poo, what message do you think is most important for little girls to hear in todays world? It is rather hard for me to brainstorm ideas on a subject which I have never experienced, and like I said. Academic research is not my strong point, and my course does not allow for a whole lot of free time to go to a universities library.

"Am I right that the women you're talking to, who have never experienced a double standard, tend to be young and childless, by the way?"

Heh heh, you would absolutely be right to make that assumption, though I don't know if it is an assumption due to me stating it (i believe three times? i didnt go back to count) in my posts that they are "fresh out of highschool", and therefore have little experience in the workplace, and that I attribute their lack of experiencing sexism to their age, since my grandma tells a very different story.

FloraFox Thu 23-Jan-14 03:59:25

Dude, do the other one. You won't do justice to this in a poster.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 23-Jan-14 04:38:02

If you feel ill equipped to capture the essense of the problem, don't want to do any academic research and concede that it's not your strong point, and therefore want our advice, why aren't you taking our advice?

Our advice is: don't do this poster on this subject. Do a poster on something you know something about.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 05:00:14

lol well I must say I am rather disappointed in you ladies. The way this thread went is a little something like this

Male Student: I was going to make a feminism poster, and the ladies I listened to said this was a problem, what do you folks think/can you help me develop this idea as I am fairly ignorant to the problem.

Forum: you sound like you are trying to get a group of strange ladies to do your homework for you

Male student: No, thats not it, I want experiences from people who know more about the subject before I move forward. Can you help this ignorant male learn something?

Forum: you used the word feisty to describe somebody you love, without knowing anything about you or her, I am going to assume you are just sexist.

Male student: I don't use the word like that, but i did some research and it appears that the dictionary agrees with you. Disappointing

Forum: Let's just dismiss him

Forum: Have you ever heard of google? I hear it's all the rage these days. all you have to do, is what you have been doing for the last four hours, and the answer will jump RIGHT at you. I know it's that easy, but i won't bother giving you an answer.

Male student: No i tried that, the specific answer I was looking for isn't there. Is what I have found accurate? tell me some of your experiences

Forum: this topic is specifically for women, no men allowed. shut-up, and give up. if you ever tried listening you would know that.

Male student: actually... this IS a result of me listening. the enitre purpose of me being here is that i have listened to everything that I can, and am now out of rope, so I am seeking more broadened experiences. Experiences i can't get from reading from a book, or listening to the ladies around me, that resource is exhausted.

(after a series of condescending dismissive posts by the members of this forum we FINALLY have)

Forum: Actually a relevant helpful post! and thanks to that post I learned something. Thank you for that by the way tortoiseinahalfshell. I actually plan to read that book, when my broke student behind can afford the 15 bucks to do so.

Male student: Ok Obviously y'all hate this idea, (quite frankly I am not sure at this point if i should have just pretended to be a girl to get help from a group of feminists but what the hell, why not at least try?) Since you guys hate it so much, what do you think is a message of importance to the young ladies of today. If i could take one message to pass on to my niece what should it be?

Forum: Seriously dude, this conversation is for girls only, Shut up and give up.

You lot ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You had the opportunity to educate a young lad who is enthusiastic about equality for women, and seeking advice on the subject, but all you could muster up was to chant "no boys allowed" in a chorus of ignorance. "A man can't make a poster that could possibly promote equality amongst women, he wouldn't understand." And you are half right, there is no way I will ever understand if nobody ever helps me to do it. If you never bring men in to the conversation, how can you possibly hope for them to understand? But I tell you what, a MAN made this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:We_Can_Do_It!.jpg
and so can I.

And despite your condescending bitter attitudes, I will continue to pursue feminism, but I will not do it in such a narrow minded, jaded forum. The message I have taken away from this experience to pass on to my niece is: Never let anyone tell you you can't do something regardless of their age, gender, education (tortoiseinahalfshell appears to be very well educated at face value), or how much they claim that they have been oppressed because all of those factors are about them, and not about you. If you let them define who and what you can be, they have succeeded in keeping you down.

And that is going to be the theme of my poster, so thanks for being a bunch of sexists, you have given me the experience I need to understand the problem.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 05:01:44

I apologise tortoiseinahalfshell, You posted just before i did. You were the only one here who genuinely tried to help, even if you started out a bit dismissive.

And I can do it justice, I promise I can. And I will. But this is obviously not a place to get help.

hazchem Thu 23-Jan-14 05:17:17

I haven't finnished the whole thread yet but I have to respond to this statement
What I found shocking about that ad, is that those double standards really seem to stem from the perspective of a female generated double standard

No, what is shocking is that we as women are meant to feel a sense of empowerment from a shampoo ad. In reality the shampoo ad forms part of the culture that condems women to sexual objects. Other examples are Dove's real beauty campaign while parent company sells lynx and slimfast.
Oh and feminism isn't necessarily about equality. I for one am not a Liberal Feminist.
OK back to reading the threadsmile

hazchem Thu 23-Jan-14 05:27:49

See I was will to help you. But what yo have done is just insulted everyone because they didn't help you in the way you thought we should.

If you want a poster strap line what about this one

"Feminism is the radical idea that women are people too"
If you take that as your starting point for trying to understand how fucked up the world is for women you might understand why you creating a post to help women get along might come off as a tad naive at best and pretty insulting at worst.
I'm studying too buy the way. When I pick a topic it's on something I understand or that interests me enough to do deep research and that take time and google scholar.

FloraFox Thu 23-Jan-14 05:38:08

I have a version for you:

Man: hey Ladies, here's a basic and derivative idea I have about how feminism is all about women tearing each other apart.

Women: Not really. This is a complex topic not best served by a poster presented by a man who doesn't know a great deal about feminism.

Man: OH MY FUCKING GOD. YOU ARE ALL BITTER AND CONDESCENDING. I'M GOING TO DO WHAT I WANT AND YOU WILL ALL CHANGE YOUR MINDS OR FUCK YOU. AND IT WILL BE FEMINISM. I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE ALL WRONG.

Women: Fine. The door to fuck right off is right here --->

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 05:40:06

lol well Hazchem, you have officially come to the forefront of the the Most helpful poster so far. If ANYONE had said anything like that when i posted:

If the"United we stand" idea is getting a big poo-poo, what message do you think is most important for little girls to hear in todays world? (03:12:35)

well, then I would just be a big giant idiot.

But you have been helpful. I agree that it is disgusting that women are expected to be empowered by shampoo. Quite frankly I put in sixteen hour days. I don't see my family, and I don't see my friends, and I don't have time to GO to an Academic library, (I go to trades college, and the library here is sometimes helpful) if i did i would more likely spend that time visiting my sister. In a perfect world I would do that, but I need to come up with over a hundred ideas by wednesday. Reading a full book on the subject will take too much time out of my schedule to get my actual work done, and realistically educate me very little. I can take an important message to feminism and promote it, and you guys can tell me what needs to be said, and I can show you what i come up with, and you can tell me if it helps or doesn't.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 05:44:45

lol @Florafox would you say that if you thought I was a girl? Or would you have proposed something when I asked what is a most important message for young girls. That is why i think you are bitter, not because you didnt like my derivative idea, but because all you proposed was "This really is an issue for women to talk about with other women." now go away, the women are doing business.

FloraFox Thu 23-Jan-14 05:57:24

LOL @ dude. You wouldn't have said all of that shit if you were a "girl".

"I can take an important message to feminism and promote it, and you guys can tell me what needs to be said, and I can show you what i come up with, and you can tell me if it helps or doesn't."

No, you really can't. Just because you are some dude at a trade college doesn't mean we have to kiss your ass to get you to promote feminism for us. If you're not a feminist, fine. You can fuck right off. If you are a male feminist, you would be listening to women instead of throwing this tantrum right here.

Seriously, you're not special. Your poster will not change the world. Get over yourself.

anonymousjoe Thu 23-Jan-14 06:06:54

lol I AM listening to the women around me, what they have told me is that they have experienced more degradation at the hands of women, than at the hands of men. I don't think my poster will change the world, but it might help. I didn't ask you to kiss my ass, but I am noticing a sever lack of PRODUCTIVE criticism coming out of you, which is where I find YOUR attitude (you specifically, not women, just you) to be bitter, and just because I am a man doesn't mean that I can't help promote feminism. And I will promote feminism, not because some coniving woman has tricked me in to it, but because I believe in it. I do find it disappointing, the 5/6 women on this forum will just tell me I can't help, instead of telling me how I can. If you guys are an accurate random sample, the future of feminism bodes ill.

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