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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!

edam Tue 29-Oct-13 22:39:45

interesting post, Basil, you are very probably right. Sadly.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

kim147 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:24:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.....

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.

SconeRhymesWithGone 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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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