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To think sexism in the UK is not as bad as the UN rep says it is?

(141 Posts)
AICM Thu 17-Apr-14 13:29:05

Yes I know you don’t have to look far to find many examples of sexism in the UK and yes the reaction of some men to this report has been awful but as I live my daily life I don’t feel as though I’m being oppressed and kept in my place by a patriarchy. I live the life I want, my OH does half (if I’m honest more than half of all domestic chores) my boss (a male) treats me with respect and my co-workers (who are nearly all male) treat me as an equal and don’t make any sexist comments.

Am I lucky or is my experience fairly common?

slug Thu 17-Apr-14 13:47:00

If the fact that there are more people who went to Eaton in the cabinet than women, making decisions about your daily life doesn't bother you, or the fact that 26 of the seats on the House of Lords are explicitly denies to women, the fact that women are paid less than men for the same job irrespective of whether or not the have taken maternity leave, or the fact that a daily newspaper prints a picture of women with their boobs out to be judged by men every day bothers you not then possibly YANBU.

For the rest of us, those who have live in a world where it's hard to go about our daily business without being reminded that our primary purpose in life is to provide decoration for men, the fact that the UK is hideously sexist comes as no great surprise. I suggest you go and have a read of the everyday sexism project

AICM Thu 17-Apr-14 14:09:38

I'm not disagreeing with any of that I know there is sexism in the UK. But as I go about my daily life it's impact on me is not as great as the UN rep says it is.

meddie Thu 17-Apr-14 14:11:05

Your first sentence said it all. "You dont have to look far to find so many examples" sexism is absolutely ingrained in the UK.
Legally we may have equal rights but the current sexism isnt overt. Its insidious and ingrained.
Its so much a part of our culture that it barely registers with most people, they consider it normal.

caruthers Thu 17-Apr-14 14:14:43

The statement I believe was that sexism in the UK was the worst in the world.

And that i'm afraid is absolute nonsense.

sashh Thu 17-Apr-14 14:26:35


Do you shave/wax/remove any body hair? Why do you think that is?

Have you ever attempted to watch sport featuring women outside the Olympics on a TV channel that is publicly funded?

Do you know that the England women won the ashes? Or that the women's football team won the world cup in the 1980s? Twice?

On that same TV channel have you noticed how few women over 40 there are? And how many shows are presented by an older man and a younger woman?

What about the fact you feel the need to type that your boss and cow orkers treat you with respect. If there truly was no sexism it wouldn't occur to you to write that.

How about, "my boss who is 6 inches taller than me treats me with respect"? Sounds daft doesn't it? A male treating you as an equal should sound just as daft.

WooWooOwl Thu 17-Apr-14 14:27:42

My experience is like yours.

I appreciate there is sexism when it comes to things like politics, but then there sexism the other way round when it comes to parenting.

I don't think women have a bad deal at all in this country. Not when the government pays women to stay at home looking after their own children.

I think a lot of what is seen as sexism is just a result of biology.

ZuluinJozi Thu 17-Apr-14 14:33:48

So OP do you think that the sexism you face in your daily life is better than you would experience say for example in South Africa?

MadamBatShit Thu 17-Apr-14 14:35:14

I think you might just be conditioned into thinking a whole lot of sexist stuff is normal. Or biology, or equal..

Maybe if you take a step back and question your assumptions you might see that there is in fact a shitload of sexism all around, at home, in the media, in schools and universities, at work, in the justice system and the police.. everywhere.

neiljames77 Thu 17-Apr-14 14:35:36

Who said sexism in the UK is the worst in the world?
That's a ridiculous statement to make.

WilsonFrickett Thu 17-Apr-14 14:38:58

Not when the government pays women to stay at home looking after their own children.

The government pays parents to stay home and look after their children, not women. (If you consider benefits 'pay')

Sexism is everywhere you care to look in the UK, although I completely agree it's not the worst in the world by any manner of means.

BackforGood Thu 17-Apr-14 14:40:29

Is there a link to this report / comment by UN rep, as it's a bit difficult to discuss if we don't know what's been said.

However, I agree with you AICM I don't encounter it in my daily life, and, tbh, don't remember a time when I have.

UnMasterChef Thu 17-Apr-14 14:41:52

YABU - have you actually read what she said or just the Daily Mail version of it? She talked about the boys club culture and perceptions of men and women in British culture. Woowoo, you said "I appreciate there is sexism when it comes to things like politics" why do you think it is acceptable that there is sexism there? Are women any less capable?

Is it a result of biology that the England women's cricket team is so much more succesful than the men's yet it is barely reported upon?

Is it a result of biology that the media seems to think it is normal for Kristen Scott Thomas to play Ralph Fiennes' lover in the English patient, but almost 20 years later, she's only the right age to play his mother in their latest film.

Is it a result of biology that it is ok for men to shout abuse, from moving vehicles at women just because they are women?

ErrolTheDragonsEgg Thu 17-Apr-14 14:41:58

>The statement I believe was that sexism in the UK was the worst in the world

She said it was more visible than in other countries she'd visited. Which isn't quite the same thing.

I personally don't feel particularly oppressed by the patriarchy - but that doesn't stop me seeing how sexism affects other women and girls. An 'I'm all right, Jill' attitude which accepts the status quo as being good enough is a cop out.

WooWooOwl Thu 17-Apr-14 14:42:28

Yes Wilson, but it's usually women that get that luxury isn't it?

I think there's almost as much sexism against men as there is against women, it just works in different ways. I know I'd rather choose to be the sex that enables me to SAH or work part time more easily than be the sex that has the most chance of getting a place in the cabinet.

BackforGood Thu 17-Apr-14 14:46:10

Absolutely WooWoo

MadamBatShit Thu 17-Apr-14 14:46:35

link to brief version of report
It it very readable and not long.

AlpacaYourThings Thu 17-Apr-14 14:46:46


NewtRipley Thu 17-Apr-14 14:47:40

You are mistaking your personal experience for statistical wide-ranging and large-sample evidence.

I've never been sexually abused, but I believe it happens

ErrolTheDragonsEgg Thu 17-Apr-14 14:47:55

I would suggest that anyone who suggests that SAH to look after small children is a 'luxury' probably hasn't tried it. (and yes, men most certainly can do this if they actually want to ... not many seem to want to). hmm

WilsonFrickett Thu 17-Apr-14 14:49:14

Woo I don't really see raising children as a luxury. It's pretty much a necessity of life and there's no reason for it to be woman's work. More men staying home would contribute hugely to the changes I want to see in society - like more women not only staying in the workforce, but reaching their potential. Like divorce not leading so many women into poverty because they are the main carer, therefore they get residency, therefore they are financially penalised.

More men working flexibly would mean more flexible working opportunities. It would be great for DCs too.

I think what's often forgotten is that sexism hurts men and boys as well as girls and women.

WaitingForMe Thu 17-Apr-14 14:51:02

I think the problem in the UK is that it's so insidious. I'm a business owner and men (never women) often assume I work for the business rather than own it. Today at a networking event I joined three other women and a passing man joked that we'd formed a clique yet earlier when I was talking to three men (in what was actually a bit of a cliquey way) it passed unnoticed. Tiny stuff all the time.

DH works for me and does 50% childcare. For some reason this makes him something nearing a saint while women who work for their husbands don't have real jobs. Drives me mad!

WooWooOwl Thu 17-Apr-14 14:51:03

Errol, I tried it, did it for a few years, it was most definitely a luxury. If I'd continued to be a SAHM after my children started school, I'd have felt it was better than luxury!

Women can enter male dominated roles too, but again, not that many want to.

maggiemight Thu 17-Apr-14 14:51:04

I think the statement was about sexism in the media not general sexism and in that case I suspect the UN person was right.

WooWooOwl Thu 17-Apr-14 14:53:15

Wilson, I completely agree that sexism hurts men and boys too, and I actually think it's come full circle and it's more damaging to them nowadays than it is to women.

I also agree that raising children isn't a luxury. But not having to work outside of the home at the same time as raising children is very much a luxury, because many people have to do both.

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