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Why is it acceptable to treat women this way? Will it ever change?

(7 Posts)
hellomama Tue 24-May-05 17:45:56

Every day when you pick up a newspaper, or listen to the radio or watch the TV, a woman has been violently attacked, sexually assualted or killed. When I ask female patients if they have ever been abused in a relationship or as a child, a large majoirty say yes, in one form or another. Some women are even quite casual about it, because perhaps they were drunk when it happened, etc, they're akmost resigned to it being acceptable, feeling as though it was their fault.

When I teach SRE in high schools, we ask the girls what they want from a boy they fancy... we always get a long list: commitment, love, protection, but most of all, a relationship. They rarely ever mention sex. When we ask the same girls what a boy wants from a girl he fancies, the answer is always the same: sex. Then they all laugh. This again, is seen as 'the norm', and acceptable. All of the girls mention being 'touched up' at a party or whilst shopping in town by young men their own age. And they don't really see a problem with this. If a girl has sex, she has to deal with most of the sensible stuff in the relationship, the contraception, the emergency contraception, the abortion, the baby. Most young men don't have anything to do with any of it. The recent news thread about the 3 sisters all having babies, underage and alone is an extreme example of this. Don't even get me started on getting the men in for treatment of STI's which they have caught from / given their girlfriends....

I know there will always be fabulous men out there (my DH and DS being two of them!) but this is what I see day in, day out. See BBC News , The Mirror , just as a few examples.

How can we change these attitudes?? What is going wrong in our society? Do i just have a very warped view because of the nature of my local community and the people I meet through work? Does anyone else despair like i do? Discuss!

Gobbledigook Tue 24-May-05 17:53:07

I don't know the answer Hellomama but funnily enough, my brother has just been telling me about a 'job' he dealt with last week where a girl popped out of a bar onto the street to try and find her friend and was attacked by a drunk lad who basically sexually assaulted her ('fingered' her).

Like you know, she's nobody, just a piece of meat to be mauled. Like you can just do that and walk away and she'll just shrug it off, no impact on her life. Makes me sick.

nikkisherri Tue 24-May-05 18:47:59

I despair hellomama! I agree I feel really strongly about what you are saying here and I have had quite a few discussions lately with friends/family about the worsening attitudes in society. Especially between men and women.

There seems to be a big void forming between the sexes.

The media I think very much to blame with the 'sex sells' attitude , boundaries now are always being pushed that little bit further, what once was shocking is now shrugged off considered the norm.

I think it is quite sad that men have such little respect for women now but then I think women dont really help when they just want to be 'sex objects' eg. the female celebs (that girls look upto) who see it as a big honour to appear naked in magazines like loaded etc. Why ?? Not like they dont already know they are desirable, I wonder whay they think they achieve when they do this.

I also think these new breed magazines for men (the porn ones disguised as informative mens mags) dont really help the attitudes. (but thats another story!)

I am no prude but I feel that it is very much a case of to much emphasis on sex being shoved upon us all these days, I'm sure its confusing to younger people who dont seem to have any clear divisions about what is acceptable and what is not as there is no moral code anymore.

Something major is being lost because of it.
Once upon a time it was about boy meets girl and 'falling in love'.

I think the only way forward is to go back.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 24-May-05 19:07:22

I don't think any of this is new - I think this has been going on forever. I think it's something that exists in all societies, unfortunately. (As does murder, as do a lot of other bad things - "everyone does it" does not imply that it's ok.)

What's new is the fact that we don't (all) see it as right or acceptable any more. Which is good!

In the 50s, or whatever imaginary era there was when sex and porn weren't normal (that's a whole other argument), rape and abuse still happened, it just wasn't talked about. And when it happened, it was the woman's fault.

BadgerBadger Tue 24-May-05 22:45:29

Check out this re the male gaze. (It's about the seventh heading down, approx half way down the page)

It makes for really interesting reading IMO! Kind of says it all .

assumedname Tue 24-May-05 23:13:45

Interesting link.

Frizbe Tue 24-May-05 23:32:34

Liked the link, have skimmed quite a lot of it, very interesting reading....bit late for me to add much to the discussion now, but I shall be back tomorrow!

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