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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

A little help with something?

9 replies

lubeybooby · 28/02/2011 09:52


I have been watching the excellent response to the 'most frightening group' stuff with masses of interest. Feminist theory is something that's new to me but I really like a lot of what I have been reading here and will be ordering a few of the recommended books for my kindle.

I mentioned this to my bf, and while he is pleased and supportive and interested in my new enthusiasm for feminism, I don't really know where to start arguing against one or two of his views.

We were talking about it yesterday and he said something like this:

"The gender revolution has been the single greatest change in our society in the last century, and has created a world of work and education where barriers have gone, and sexist attitudes and behaviour are as popular as smoking.
Strangely, the result has been an explosion of overtly sexual advertising and media programming...ever greater display of nudity and promiscuous behaviour...a naked or almost naked girl to advertise every product.

And this when the editors of magazines and TV programmes are overwhelmingly female.
Does this mean that there is actually an innate female desire to show off sexually, to titillate and "look gorgeous"? A feminine counterpoint to rugby playing and football chanting and macho cars? Does this mean that the gender stereotypes were accurate? That once the ceiling was smashed, women could go back to being sexy?"

It doesn't really sit right with me but I lack the knowledge to argue.

I think my thinking is along the lines of these editors etc may well be female but they are reacting to a certain amount of conditioning?

Also I feel like he gets the impression feminism is something to do with women trying to be men, which as far as I'm concerned it isn't.

Does that make sense? How can I explain myself here?

OP posts:
Prolesworth · 28/02/2011 09:56

This reply has been deleted

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AyeRobot · 28/02/2011 10:05

Also, magazines only exist because of advertising by corporates. Corporates call the shots and they are overwhelming run by old, white males.

AliceWorld · 28/02/2011 19:36

Yes the magazine editors etc aren't working in a vacuum so they reflect patriarchy. And they have to do what seems 'normal' and will progress their careers. Are most of the people in power really women? - that surprises me but I don't know. Maybe the people lower down.

Also I wouldn't say that men or women would all behave on way or another. Some men might like to watch sport and some women might like to look sexy, but not all and the other way round too.

Female chauvinist pigs. And I also reminded of Faludi's Backlash. Bit tangential, but related to why there might be more sexy advertising after women have made progress.

lubeybooby · 02/03/2011 22:17

Thanks I will definitely read that.

I said to him about the advertising etc but he insists it's all run by women. I said maybe so in his experience but that his experience isn't a true study!

OP posts:
TeiTetua · 02/03/2011 22:35

It may well all be run by women, but the objective is to make money! If readers responded to images of people running around with Spam on their heads and cucumbers up their noses, that's what we'd be seeing.

But as far as patriarchy goes, most people are comfortable with it. That's part of what gets us in a buying mood, images that match our expectations of the world.

The belief is that this is what gets us to buy stuff. Maybe not you or me, but--someone. Lots of someones.

HerBeX · 02/03/2011 23:20

Advertising isn't all run by women, most of the people in power, ie on the boards, are men.

My explanation would be a simple backlash one.

Your DP's assumption is that now we have equality, women are showing off their sexuality.

The big fly in that ointment, is that we don't have equality.

We still have a pay gap.

We still have women being forced out of the job market because having babies isn't compatible with smashing the glass ceiling. Your boyf will say that's because women are choosing to drop out, but they don't make that choice in circumstances of their own choosing - many make the choice becuase there isn't an alternative. Most of us would like to function fully both as mothers and as workers and the workplace doesn't allow us to do that because it is structured for the needs of men in the 1950s - ie it is not fit for men and women in the 21st century.

We still have rape. 1 in 4 women are raped or sexually abused, 90% of us don't report it and of the 10% who do, only 6% get justice.

We are still on average poorer than men with lower pensions.

Most people who run blue chip companies, are men. Most MP's are men. Most directors of public services such as hospitals, education authorities, highways agencies, water companies, public transport, broadcasters, etc. are men.

On average, men get 15 hours more leisure time per week than women, because women are doing housework while men relax.

Most men have an orgasm every single time they have sex. It's questionalbe as to whether most women do.

We are a very long way from equality. And that's why your boyf's starting point is wrong. With the delightful unawareness of male privilege, he hasn't noticed that we haven't acheived equality. And why should he, the media keep telling him we have.

If we had already reached equality, his argumentm might hold water. But we haven't.

Heroine · 02/03/2011 23:37

It is a bit weird that when we had hardcore patriarchy and clear gender roles, we had less hardcore pornography and fewer trannies....

HerBeX · 03/03/2011 17:53

It's not wierd at all.

As soon as women make a few steps forward, the patriarchy counter attacks.

Surrounding us with hard core pornography so that we can never escape the knowledge that fucking is what we are for, is an unconscious (or in some cases conscious) way of putting us back in our place.

You may be on your way to spend your 2 million pounds advertising budget Lady, but don't ever forget that underneath all that power, you're just there to be fucked.

As for the tranny thing, do we know that there are more transvestites now? I don't think so, I suspect that there is just more openness about it now.

Heroine · 06/03/2011 16:02

Hmm why pick on porn? Why not 'you may be on your way.. etc but don't ever forget that underneath all that power you might go to specsavers'

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