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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Why, when we are equal in number, worth and ability, are women discriminated against?

90 replies

YunoYurbubson · 31/12/2010 09:39

This is probably a bit of a silly thing to ask, but the question has been forming in my mind for the last couple of months.

What I want to know is this...

If it is understood that we start out with a level playing field; ie there are as many women as men in the world, men and women have equal worth, and men and women are equally capable of achieving, how have we ended up with one gender on top and the other underneath?

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Ormirian · 31/12/2010 09:50

Erm.....good question.

Think it's to do with babies. Having babies made women economically and socially valuable so therefore were had to be treated as property. Bit like a brood mare. As soon as that happened we couldn't be allowed autonomy (you wouldn't give a mare autonomy after all) so had to be kept in our place - in the domestic sphere and nowhere else. Many rules, laws and apologia were given for women's place in society. Layer after layer of progaganda has been plastered over the simple fact that male society valued women as baby makers only - women are weaker, women's brains aren't strong enough for work, God made women to be man's helpmeet, it isn't feminine to be strong and capable, after all don't all women long to be mothers, most women don't want to work after they have children etc etc until women beleive it as much as men and it's seen as a given that all women are naturally feminine, weak, broody, less interested in the non-domestic sphere, less ambitious etc. Men did quite a number on us really.

Bonsoir · 31/12/2010 09:52

Women aren't discriminated against - certainly not in the UK. If anything, women in the UK have the upper hand by quite a wide margin.

sarah293 · 31/12/2010 09:53

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Bonsoir · 31/12/2010 09:55

The fact that women have babies, and that their experience of life is different to that of men because of that, is not "discrimination". Biological differences and societal differences are not synonymous.

Ormirian · 31/12/2010 10:20

"Biological differences and societal differences are not synonymous."

Precisely Bonsoir. They shouldn't be. But they have been made so over the centuries. Because women have babies, that is all they can do, ergo they can't/shouldn't do anything else.

dittany · 31/12/2010 10:23

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YunoYurbubson · 31/12/2010 10:31

But being the ones who have babies could equally have made us the ones who call the shots.

"so, you want to pass on your genes do you mr? Well dance to my tune and we'll see what we can do"

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YunoYurbubson · 31/12/2010 10:35

Perhaps "discriminated against" wasn't quite the right way of putting it. I was referring to the depressing way that women portrayed in everyday life, media, films, the things people say. Is that discrimination?

Objectified. Sexual objects. Less worth than men. Weak. There to look pretty and not think too hard.

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dittany · 31/12/2010 10:38

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Bonsoir · 31/12/2010 10:47

Ormirian - I just cannot agree. Women have many more options than men these days. The problems they encounter are too much choice, and the necessary sacrifice of some options that choice entails, not lack of opportunity!

YunoYurbubson · 31/12/2010 10:51

But that gets me straight back to my question dittany. Why did we let men do that? Why weren't we powerful enough to stop them?

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donnie · 31/12/2010 10:53

I disagree Bonsoir. The illusion of equality and freedom may exist in western culture but women are more and more subject to the pressures and enslavement of sexual stereotyping/pornification and so on of women. Why are more and more women obsessed with their looks and being skinny, getting boob jobs etc? that doesn't indicate any kind of freedom to me, it indicates enslavement to concepts created by men and imposed on women.

dittany · 31/12/2010 10:54

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ISNT · 31/12/2010 10:55

It's a good question yuno. It obviously started somewhere and took hold, and now is just "how it is".

Sorry that's not much help!

The thing I find baffling is the way that these days, most people would agree that women are equal etc etc and yet there is still rampant sexism. People say they disagree with sexism/discrimination but can't see it when it's right under their noses / shrug it off etc. That is very odd to me.

Ormirian · 31/12/2010 10:56

What dittany said.

bonsoir - yes things have changed a little. Yuno was asking how the situation came about though. I would still argue that whilst women might ostensibly have more choices now, we are still influenced by attitudes that tend to keep us in neat little boxes.

ISNT · 31/12/2010 10:57

Going out now will be back later, interesting thread Smile

donnie · 31/12/2010 11:00

I think a lot of it stems from the fact that men are physically bigger and stronger than women and that , through history, translated to the battle field. Battles, conquests and wars were won by men and not women. And thus the patriarchy was born.

Dunoon · 31/12/2010 11:04

Many women and men seem to be confused about how women can be sexual beings and have fun and be independent and yet be attractive, 'sexy' and enjoy clothes and make up.

There is also a confusion and a tension in both sexes on how a woman can be a mother and then fulfill whatever role she chooses whether sahm or working full time outside of he home or part time.

dittany · 31/12/2010 11:11

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sarah293 · 31/12/2010 11:19

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huddspur · 31/12/2010 11:50

I agree with bonsoir I think that women are free to do what they want

ElfPantsAtMidnightMass · 31/12/2010 12:57

Good question. You know how people nowadays say men are "confused" about what their purpose is etc? Well maybe that has always been the case. Women had the babies, yes. And men by some fluke are often bigger/stronger than women, so they found something they were good at - fighting other men. And because that was what they could contribute to best, that became THE valued property to have: A good warrior/fighter/king etc is the essence of all the old heroes.

The importance/desirability of being able to fight well is at the bottom off most human culture really. And when you think that the human population was pretty small most of the time, all this "competition for resources" thing doesn't quite stack up when you think about it. There has been plenty to go round.

ISNT · 31/12/2010 13:13

I think that looking around the world it is hard to agree that women are free to do what they want.

In the UK I think looking at the levels of harrassment females face when they go about their daily business indicates that there is something amiss with the "place" of women in society.

YunoYurbubson · 31/12/2010 14:19

Some privileged women are free to do what they want within limits.

Women are still objectified and degraded in every form of modern media every day though, in a way that simply doesn't happen to men.

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dittany · 31/12/2010 14:22

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