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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

do you 'side with' women instinctively?

46 replies

Ohhmydaze · 18/10/2012 14:08

Have been on a thread about the mother who has abducted her 4 children from their Spanish father. My initial thoughts on reading the reports was that the mother must have been in a desperate situation to do this. I automatically assumed that she had suffered abuse at her XH hands, rather than assume she was some chaotic, deranged liar. What else drives a mother to leave home and leave her 4 children behind?

My gut reaction is always in favour of the woman in domestic situations

I don?t hate men, I have male friends, I know tremendous fathers-mine included

But if you take an equal sample of women and men, I would bet my socks that you will find a larger number of crap husbands/fathers than you will crap wives/mothers

Im not saying men are inferior/worse than women, but they choose to behave badly in a family capacity more often than women

Do you agree at all?

OP posts:
AbigailAdams · 18/10/2012 15:08

Interesting question (and quite brave too). I haven't got time to respond in full at the moment so marking my place. I'll try and respond properly this evening but I tend to try and look past the media portrayed stereotypes of "deranged", "vindictive", "bitter", "lying" woman and think about the reasons behind their actions. Also I look at the male behaviour rather than just focussing on the woman's behaviour.

Frans1980 · 18/10/2012 17:46

Men are more violent

SucksToBeScaryMe · 18/10/2012 17:51

What AbigailAdams said!

When i hear a HIS side of the story i always think

"I wish i could hear HER version!"

WidowWadman · 19/10/2012 07:02

No, I don't agree and don't side automatically with someone just because of their sex, I'm more likely to take sides based on available information.

WofflingOn · 19/10/2012 07:07

No, I try and look at situations dispassionately and logically, with as many facts as possible before I get judgey.
In cases of family breakdown and DV, my sympathies are always, first and foremost with the children.
It is their needs and safety that should always come above and beyond those of adults.

Bluegrass · 19/10/2012 07:21

Just going by MN, OP's almost always present themselves as utterly reasonable, and so in the "men v women" threads you would certainly be forgiven for thinking that the blokes are almost always in the wrong.

Look at the "woman v woman" threads though and often one side will look like some batshit crazy nightmare and most of those batshit crazy nightmares will have a boyfriend or a husband dealing with their behaviour on a daily basis. Can you really assume in every case that their partner must automatically be worse than they are!

The "I wish I could hear the other side of the story" applies to an awful lot of threads started on here too.

exoticfruits · 19/10/2012 07:31

I don't side automatically - in fact I get rather fed up with the double standards on advice. Women are told 'leave the bastard'- a man with the same problem would be told to be more understanding!
In the question of divorce/separation and children the children should always come first- the adults have to deal with their own problems and do what is best for the DCs. I would always want both sides - men and women can be totally unreasonable.

SomersetONeil · 19/10/2012 07:39

If I'm honest, yes, I probably do instinctively side with the woman, but only automatically in the first instance. As the story unfolds, I won't hold to that position unless I continue to feel she's in the right. If I feel he is, I'll switch my position. But my sympathy will instinctively be with the woman until proven incorrect.

I get very when an idiotic man posts and gets jumped on - and you get a handmaiden type coming on to say he'd never get that reaction if he was posting as a women. Have these people never been in AIBU?! Grin Women being slated for being eejits in there on a minute-by-minute basis.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker · 19/10/2012 07:46

I like to think I treat all fuckwits equally.

But yes, on a support site geared up predominantly for women my initial response is going to be in favour of the woman. I see no problem with that at all.

Put it this way. Do we think that many of the women posting, particularly on Relationships and FWR, have an agenda as opposed to many of the men who do that sooner or later show their true colours ?

FamiliesShareGerms · 19/10/2012 07:53

I don't think I do.

If you're talking about MN, the majority of posts are written by women and it is easier to side with the OP, as they tend to present a situation as they see it, which usually presents them in the best possible light and their husband / partner as a complete twat.

I sometimes wish I was braver at posting counter arguments, as it really annoys me how quickly threads can turn into a "leave the bastard" fest, even when the OP has said things like they have a spending addiction, or hate looking after their children, or don't really think they should have to work but their bastard husband has taken control of the family finances and keeps nagging that the OP needs to find work. I think a lot of posters automatically take the (female) OP's side - and this support can be invaluable, and one of the very best things about MN- but sometimes it feels one sided and it doesn't necessarily help the OP, IMHO, to say "there there, he's really horrible, poor you"

ecclesvet · 19/10/2012 09:04

In real life, I don't think I side with either gender particularly. On MN, I've become so sick of the 'leave the bastard' tone that I go into most AIBU/Relationship threads trying to side with the man.

baddancingdad · 19/10/2012 09:08

I think it's human nature to stick with what you know; a basic and understandable reflex. Anyone who suggests that they are always completely fair and balanced (in what they feel) is either a fool or a liar

For example, do I expect (as a sort of uninvited guest to this forum) to be treated as someone with an agenda who will show his true colours eventually? Absolutely I do. And that's absolutely how some people treat me.

It was in the news this week that police used a taser on a blind man; it turns out that they had received reports of a man with a sword. They were expecting to see a man with a sword and so that's what they saw. People see what they expect to see.

FamiliesShareGerms · 19/10/2012 09:25

Interesting point, baddancingdad, about seeing what you expect to see. I think you're generally right on this. It's not impossible to see both sides, though. I think I sometimes do this too much (woolly liberal, you see) and end up making an argument for the "other side" that isn't really there, IYSWIM.

The problem is, whether it's a MN thread or a media report, there's always an underlying agenda ("agree with me!", "working mums are evil!" etc) and I think the trick is to acknowledge that and consider whether it has a bearing on how the story's being told and what are the facts that are not being told.

GetAllTheThings · 19/10/2012 09:38

As the saying goes , there's three sides to every story.

His side, her side and the truth. Objectivity and subjectivity.

I'd assume that nobody would support the idea / reality in RL of men automatically siding with men because they are men. So I don't really see the merit of women doing so.

I think one is a fool if that's how one behaves and perceives life.

Three years on MN and I have to say there is a marked difference between how an identical problem is dealt with depending on the gender of the poster.

baddancingdad · 19/10/2012 09:40

Hi FSG, I know what you mean; I'm in a RL dilemma at the moment where there are regulations offering some guidance, but at the end of the day I have to interpret what I guess I'd call 'the spirit' of that guidance and then apply it to the situation and make a decision. I can make good cases for both sides and can't intially tell whether my instinct (one way over another) is a product of practiced judgement or just a prejudicial feeling that some of the aspects of the matter raise within me...

The underlying agenda for most forms of published media are sales; these are best achieved when they can cause a reaction;this 'MO' can easily be applied to just about every story one reads in the press...

NicknameTaken · 19/10/2012 11:57

In parental abduction cases, I automatically side with the parent who didn't abduct. I'm a firm believer in the Hague Convention and have no patience with anyone who tries to circumvent the correct legal process.

I've read many, many threads on here describing abusive situations, and I think the original posters tend to underplay rather than overstate the abuse. Women certainly aren't saints and men devils, but I think most people still have at template in their heads of women providing domestic services to men. So when a woman says that she is treated as an inferior being in her home, I tend to believe her until the evidence starts suggesting otherwise.

MooncupGoddess · 19/10/2012 13:16

I think I have a bias towards sympathising with women, because they don't benefit from male privilege (which allows many even perfectly nice men to excuse selfish behaviour). There are plenty of times in real life when I end up sympathising with the man, though (or with both of them as I am a shocking fence-sitter in these situations).

Xenia · 19/10/2012 13:52

No, I don't. It would be sexist to do so. I think it's really wrong to do so. It's often useful to reverse the sexes in what you are saying or doing to work out if there is sexism in there. I spend some time advocating for men's rights too.

lisaro · 19/10/2012 14:30

Of course not. As a reasonably intelligent adult I'd like to think that I'm capable of reasoned, logical opinions, not emotional, baseless blindness.

lisaro · 19/10/2012 14:32

I also think its quite offensive and patronising to do so. If I was in a position to be believed or sided with or not, I'd rather people believed or sided with me on facts rather than blind ignorance and bias. It would seem to make the facts Irrelevant.

RumbleGreen · 19/10/2012 15:59

Depends on the information provided, and that information is provided by the post and they will probably see themselves in the right.

It does go to extremes however, there is a thread in here where a woman saw another woman who looked as though she had been beaten up. The poster believed it to be a case of DV even though the partner wasn't even there because she believed that women are not capable of inflicting damage to that degree.

Turns out it was the woman's daughter who beat her up.

It helps to reverse the sexes when your giving advice and see if you would say the same thing for the same situation.

grimbletart · 19/10/2012 16:29

I am a feminist because I believe in equality, fairness and justice. To automatically side with a woman simply because she is a woman would be a denial of everything I believe in.


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PaintbrushJo · 19/10/2012 18:48

No, but then most of the social circles I am in are very women dominated and I tend to side with whomever I think is getting a rough deal. I know the reverse is also true.

SamuraiCindy · 19/10/2012 19:16

I think I am quite balanced when I'm reading media reports about, but I always find myself hoping that the woman isn't the one in the wrong, because I know some people will use this to condemn ALL women and insult us all.

On a lighter note, I do always side with women on programmes like Mastermind, X Factor etc. I always root for them to do well.

catgirl1976 · 20/10/2012 06:18

I don't side with anyone automatically

I look at individual circumstances and make judgements based on that

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