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How much have you 'withdrawn' from society because of your feminism/femaleness?

(19 Posts)
LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 03-Oct-12 10:38:50

I've gradually over the years withdrawn from a lot of areas where I might meet conflict, sexual stereotyping, harassment.

I work for myself as I hated working in the MOD/Police/IT companies - constant harassment, constant difficulty in being a female in those professions.

I never go out to places I might be harassed - no nightclubs, boisterous pubs etc. I don't tend to walk round on my own much, even during the day I've met the occasional arsehole leering/shouting/being intimidating

I online shop, spend a lot of time on my own.

It isn't that I'm 'afraid' to go out and I have a 'fuck off' face wink when some twat says anything - I just think I've largely withdrawn as I can't be bothered with it.

What do others think?

SigmundFraude Wed 03-Oct-12 10:45:43

I think it's a good idea.

solidgoldbrass Wed 03-Oct-12 11:11:05

TBH I don't think it sounds very healthy, unless you have an active involvement in female-only spaces ie you do get some social interaction. Withdrawal is quite often a sign of depression - do you have any history of depression?

slug Wed 03-Oct-12 11:25:32

I think SGB has a point....Though I do agree with you about working in IT.

PeggyCarter Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iolairegirl Wed 03-Oct-12 11:38:03

A few years back, I had a 'scales falling from my eyes' episode regarding how sexist, racist, class-ist, money-ist and unfair our 'normal' society is. It felt depressing and I made big changes to my work, hobbies etc and downsized to create a life that avoided this unpleasantness as much as possible. I am now living in a way that confuses normal society (and thus get many comments), but am much happier, and have a great social life and network of friends and colleagues.

But, I am now feeling that it isn't OK just to avoid the unpleasantness, but that I want to do more to challenge it, particuarly in light of all the scandals over the last few months to do with the media, police, government, etc.

PeggyCarter Wed 03-Oct-12 11:56:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EldritchCleavage Wed 03-Oct-12 11:57:39

When I found myself doing this, it was because I was depressed. I have much stronger boundaries now-things happen, but don't get to me to the same extent, if you see what I mean.

Though I do completely understand that feeling of somethings thinking 'I can't be bothered, it is all too much' and withdrawing from some function or activity. Hard to say how often that's specifically a gendered issue, because my DH would often say the same, and usually in reaction to twatty men, too.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 03-Oct-12 12:10:49

Not depressed, work as a therapist in a women's centre and actively involved in female only spaces. I have lots of social interaction too.

I was definitely not just 'unlucky' - nearly every woman I know who is aware has suffered in the misogynistic culture of those workplaces.

I just notice that there is a lot of society which I don't take an active part in. Wondered if others found it the same.

solidgoldbrass Wed 03-Oct-12 13:47:46

There's a lot of society that everyone doesn't take an active part in, because there are only so many hours in the day. I, for instance, have no interest at all in competitive sport, so I avoid (for instance) pubs and bars with big screens when major sporting events are on, as I don't want to be surrounded by yelling, jostling idiots and I really don't give a toss which side is winning. Nor do I attend any kind of religious services (another form of social interaction).

I don't think it's a bad thing to pick and choose the ways in which you spend time with other people - it wasn't clear from your OP that you have friends that you socialise with.

I still think it could be a bit unhealthy to consider yourself excluded from most public spaces because there are men there. It could even feed into the profoundly unfeminist idea that women shouldn't go into public spaces, that they are too 'fragile' to go out, and that the public sphere belongs to men.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 14:50:35

I don't withdraw, but I tend to be more discerning about folks I associate with than I probably did when I was younger. I'm also more likely to challenge examples of bigotry where I encounter these and am less worried about the "impression" that might make than I probably once would have done.

Getting rid of the TV helped as well. I highly recommend it. smile

PeggyCarter Wed 03-Oct-12 15:13:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Oct-12 17:59:48

I think that it is quite normal to pick and choose which parts of society and the world at large you engage with.

I don't find women-only spaces all that helpful. Decent human beings come in both male and female forms, and decent men enjoy decent female company just as much as decent women enjoy decent male company.

TheLightPassenger Wed 03-Oct-12 18:06:01

I agree with SGB. I wouldn't want to be so withdrawn that I felt uncomfortable walking around on my own, whereas avoiding pubs/clubs etc sounds eminently sensible.

iolairegirl Wed 03-Oct-12 21:46:33

The changes I made were to try and remove myself from situations where others had 'negative' power over me, ie that was sexist etc. I downsized and am lucky enough to live mortgage-free in the cheapest property in a very cheap area of the UK (am aware of the irony that this was only do-able due to the rising house prices under the system I was removing myself from...). I work supporting somebody with disabilities in the creative sector.

I live as cheaply as possible (have ducked out of consumer and 'appearance' culture, but still have many pleasures), and do hobbies and voluntary work. I still do some of the hobbies that have sexist power structures but focus on the activity and, for example, avoid meetings and committees and other parts where the games are played out. I'm not anti-men as a blanket thing either.

This all sounds a bit heavy, I actually feel much more relaxed and have more energy than when I was participating in 'the system.' I agree with the comments about most people picking which parts of society and world they engage with, and feel that I made more conscious choices than before, when I did more what people expected.

Also, I have always walked around on my own, even late at night (safely, on well lit busy streets), after looking at crime stats (appreciating that not all get reported). The risk seems low, and I've always thought that it was a form of control of women that society sent them messages that they shouldn't do this.

solidgoldbrass Thu 04-Oct-12 00:44:32

Most people sort out a 'space' for themselves that feels comfortable, and mostly it is actually fine. Though I don't home-ed, I used to worry (only vaguely, it not being any of my business) that home-ed kids might be deprived of peer interaction; some good friends of mine home-ed and there is a whole (sub)culture of groups and associations that they take their DC along to, they just don't engage with the mainstream state education system.

I suppose it's only a cause for concern if someone either has no RL interaction with others, or very restricted (no one but the meter reader and immediate family) or feels unable to access general public space such as the library, the train station or the park.

Narked Thu 04-Oct-12 00:57:45

I'm glad that I never realised quite how women were viewed when I was younger. I don't think I would have been as confident if I'd known quite how much society judges women on their appearance and how lots of the changes made in terms of equality had a largely cosmetic effect. The language and behaviour towards women in public changed, but for many men women are still objects rather than equal human beings.

I'm lucky that I can work for myself on my own terms.

Narked Thu 04-Oct-12 00:59:38

I'm a strong believer in single sex schools for girls.

SPsFanjoLovesItGangnamStyle Thu 04-Oct-12 01:29:45

I don't avoid anywhere. I also don't care about men shouting random shit at me or have fear about been sexually assaulted while out.

I was raped at 15 by someone I knew in my own house. So in my thinking if someone is going to do something they will no matter what you do or where you go.

I do not how ever take any shit from men. If they shout random shit I will tell them to fuck off. If someone dare touch me with out permission I will hit them or warn them.

I refuse to change my life because of some dirty and small minded cunts.

Just because he took my innocence doesn't mean I will let anyone else or let anyone treat me like I'm worthless.

I'm proud to be a woman and I have the right to walk alone on a night, wear what I want, go where I please and have my own mind.

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