Debate and Discussion

Sexism
seventy2 at 10:27AM, Aug. 30, 2010
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ozoneocean
the end ofthe 40's and the rest of the 1950's gave us the cold war and a conservative resurgence mirroring the 1930's and the babyboom!

you just said something that el cid is trying to point out. Women had less jobs in the fifties. women were making more babies. if there is any blindness, it's the fact that you're saying babies don't take time away from women's jobs.
—————

While the article said
Any given raw wage gap can be decomposed into an explained part due to differences in characteristics such as education, hours worked, work experience, and occupation, and an unexplained part which is typically attributed to discrimination
the key part being the research can't explain it. people then take that information, and say it's because of discrimination. the research doesn't show or prove that.

it'd be like me saying the two fastest male runners in the world, are black. it's because white people are discriminated against.
facara
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:30PM
ozoneocean at 10:59AM, Aug. 30, 2010
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seventy2
ozoneocean
the end ofthe 40's and the rest of the 1950's gave us the cold war and a conservative resurgence mirroring the 1930's and the babyboom!
you just said something that el cid is trying to point out. Women had less jobs in the fifties. women were making more babies. if there is any blindness, it's the fact that you're saying babies don't take time away from women's jobs.
No Seventy, that is only in your own personal interpretation.
And to reach that interpretation you ignore that society was becoming extremely conservative and forcing women NOT to work and to have many babies.

It wasn't that babies which took women away from work. Women didn't all suddenly decide to start hyper replicating, dropping everything, spreading their legs wide and firing out babies by the dozen. It was the culture OF THE TIME that created the situation:
The extreme conservatism of the late 40's and the 50's meant that people were temporarily returning to old roles they'd had back in the late 1800's. I'm saying that it is societal pressure that creates these conditions.

The very existence of the baby-boom indicates its abnormality- especially when contrasted with the preceding and following decades.

seventy2
the key part being the research can't explain it.
No Seventy, you're misunderstanding what it was saying.
It was saying that all those other factors like education and such were clearly indicated by the data, but that other portion was not and could most likely be attributed to discrimination- because such a thing would NOT be directly indicated but would indicate why there is that discrepancy- that skewing.

It's like the way you detect black holes- you cannot see them directly, but you are able to prove their existence by the effect they have on objects around them and the fact that they are the most likely and logical reason FOR that effect.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
isukun at 11:20AM, Aug. 30, 2010
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And the more women you have in a profession, the more attractive it becomes to other women, and the less attractive it becomes to males.

Actually, the lack of men in positions that involve caring for children goes beyond just a social stygma of it being a “woman's job”. Men are commonly viewed as potential rapists these days and most people looking for services or individuals to care for their children simply won't hire a man for the job. The media tends to promote caution when allowing men to care for children and I've seen numerous articles in magazines and online which tell you not to hire male babysitters or housekeepers. Women tend to get those jobs not so much because those are the only skills they have, but because nobody wants to hire men for those jobs.
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Freegurt at 12:11PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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First, I'd like to just link this, it's for everyone in the thread because it's quite applicable: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/05/10/faq-but-men-and-women-are-born-different-isnt-that-obvious/. Please read it, it's quite enlightening. The whole website is.

isukun
No offense, but it's because you're a guy. It's hard to see what's wrong when you're not the one being the brunt of the joke or the objectification, etc.

Objectification and sexism goes both ways in modern society, you just don't see as many people crying foul about how men are represented or objectified. The problem is that male and female oriented sexism reinforce each other. One stereotype reinforces the other, so simply focusing on the mistreatmet of women isn't going to solve the problem. More people need to notice sexism on both sides.

Did you not read the rest of what I wrote? I was specifying that it's harder to notice the problems of others when you're not the one that's having the problems (especially when they're not as extensive). I never said anything that it's okay for men to be objectified (because that's just as wrong) or that sexism against men doesn't exist. That's why I used that example of me and racism. I know it's bad, but I don't fully understand all the underlying problems is has because I haven't experienced it my whole life.

Hawk
I agree with this A LOT. It's true that women have to compete with plenty of unfair imagery and expectations, but when was the last time you heard a guy crying over how he must be compared to Calvin Klein models or the latest infestation of vampire heart-throbs. It's the same thing. And yet we're getting the perpetual guilt-trip over how the women look in our comic books, video games, and movies.

Oh HELL NO. You did not just use an ad hominem to completely disregard a whole history of women being treated unequally. OH. HELL. NO. Just because men don't complain, doesn't mean women should shut their traps and let it go.

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE READ IT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
El Cid at 12:32PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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ozoneocean
It wasn't that babies which took women away from work. Women didn't all suddenly decide to start hyper replicating, dropping everything, spreading their legs wide and firing out babies by the dozen. It was the culture OF THE TIME that created the situation:
The extreme conservatism of the late 40's and the 50's meant that people were temporarily returning to old roles they'd had back in the late 1800's. I'm saying that it is societal pressure that creates these conditions.
You seem to be ignoring the obvious fact that women are a part of society as well, so it's hard to argue that they were somehow coerced out of the workforce. Just as American women now seem to be reevaluating the importance of career over family, similar evaluations would have taken place back then. And nothing happens spontaneously, so of course there were social pressures at work. But the pertinent point of the historical examples was to demonstrate that women's reproductive habits are directly correlated with their upward mobility. You cannot deny that having and raising children has a severely detrimental effect on women's career prospects. It's too well documented and for that matter, plainly obvious to anyone who cares to see it.

ozoneocean
No Seventy, you're misunderstanding what it was saying.
It was saying that all those other factors like education and such were clearly indicated by the data, but that other portion was not and could most likely be attributed to discrimination- because such a thing would NOT be directly indicated but would indicate why there is that discrepancy- that skewing.

It's like the way you detect black holes- you cannot see them directly, but you are able to prove their existence by the effect they have on objects around them and the fact that they are the most likely and logical reason FOR that effect.
That's some very specious reasoning there, Ozone. So you can't explain the gap and therefore it's automatically gender discrimination by default? Taking into account the innate behavioral and motivational differences between men and women, some discrepancy is to be automatically assumed. As I pointed out earlier, assuming equality of outcomes is unrealistic when the subjects vary significantly, as men and women do. You can fill that gap with literally anything and your conclusion would be equally valid.

The comparable performance of women without children versus women who have children already demonstrates that childbirth alone is enough to explain any net average pay discrepancies, so inserting the elusive bogeyman of discrimination is as superfluous as inserting a Creator into the Big Bang. It's an unnecessary detail, and one you cannot prove. So why do it?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 1:50PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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I was specifying that it's harder to notice the problems of others when you're not the one that's having the problems (especially when they're not as extensive).

Yes, and that's precisely why I said what I did. It's not that one side gets hit harder than the other, it's that one side makes a bigger deal out of it than the other. Men are just as objectified as women in modern society, we just have a tendency to focus more on the sexism directed towards women because of guilt over cultural differences in the past. It's not the 60's anymore, though, and focusing on one side over the other doesn't help fix the underlying problem, it just reinforces negative stereotypes on both sides.

As for the childbearing issue, it isn't childbearing that holds women back, it's childrearing and that isn't a biological imperative. Men are just as capable of raising children as women. That we still expect women to take sole responsibility over caring for the children in a family is a sexist view. We have institutions in place to protect women from the setbacks of childbirth, what we don't have is a sense of shared responsibility after that point. That is an entirely social issue, not biological, and it is something we should strive to correct.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
blindsk at 2:00PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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Hawk
Things like this need to be looked at differently. Rather than comparing the number of current male employees to female employees, compare the people applying to fields. Or undergoing education to enter these fields. I'm willing to bet that a lot of the industries that seem to lack women are simply less interesting to women in general, and thus garnering fewer female applicants. It goes both ways. Want to compare the number of male nurses to female nurses? Start by comparing the number of men entering the nursing program in Universities.

ozoneocean
And the more women you have in a profession, the more attractive it becomes to other women, and the less attractive it becomes to males.
-hence the greater percentage of female teachers etc.

These two points juxtaposed with one another reminded me of a new thought going around that I heard not too long ago. I use the word “new” loosely - I think in recent times it's been examined more closely than before.

It is true that from profession to profession it can lean one way or the other (male-dominated or female dominated). There are certain ones that have a fair mix - but hey, there's exceptions to everything. What if the reason for one sex having a stronger presence than the other is due to the nature of the institution itself?

Take for instance, science research or even corporations. You generally have all of the underlings, followed by the people that get their names on the paper, but who is the one that gets the credit globally and is recognized for the achievement the most? The guy at the top - the alpha male. It's very patriarchal.

On the reverse side, I like ozone's example of teaching. Especially lower grades, the teacher isn't just instructing them academically. It should be no surprise that they attempt to be their mentor and instill good values for the children. They look after them (again, this is in classrooms with much younger kids). It's as far from misogynous attitudes as you can get. I heard one man describe why he wouldn't teach and claim, “I just don't see myself being able to babysit kids.” This reinforces the fact that a lot of people view this institution as matriarchal. It could be why more woman are attracted to such a career.

Now, this perspective isn't something that I fully understand. In fact, I'm not sure if I completely believe it just yet. But still, it's development interests me quite a lot, especially since you can start pointing out common links to the argument beyond the workplace (government, for one). In any case, I thought this was a point worth throwing out there.
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El Cid at 2:47PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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isukun
As for the childbearing issue, it isn't childbearing that holds women back, it's childrearing and that isn't a biological imperative. Men are just as capable of raising children as women. That we still expect women to take sole responsibility over caring for the children in a family is a sexist view. We have institutions in place to protect women from the setbacks of childbirth, what we don't have is a sense of shared responsibility after that point.
I agree, this is true, at least in theory. Of course in practice there are more women who will choose to be stay-at-home-moms than men who will choose to be stay-at-home-dads. I don’t believe this is entirely a manufactured societal preference either, but that is arguable.

isukun
That is an entirely social issue, not biological, and it is something we should strive to correct.
That last part is a point of contention. I see no imperative that we need to “correct” anything whatsoever. Why? If more women than men choose to stay home and take care of children, this is not something that society has any need or valid interest in tinkering with. This is free choice, to be decided within individual households. There are instances, rare but more common today, where the man does choose to stay at home with the kids (usually because Mommy’s bringing home the bacon). However, trying to meddle with the naturally occurring order of things in order to achieve equality of outcomes in a naturally lopsided system is folly. The only responsibility we may have is to provide for equality of opportunity, as achieved through making it as level a playing field as reasonably possible. In order to achieve equality of outcomes you would need to make the playing field more level for some than others, which is why equality is generally antithetical to fairness.
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Faliat at 3:26PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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Something my mum blames a lot for the current inequalities in wage is, here's a shocker, FEMINISM!

Back before that, the man did the work and came home to his wife and children. And the wages would usually be enough to at least provide for them all by itself following the war. Then feminism came along.

And instead of doing the RIGHT thing and making the choice of working to provide for the family “Which one of us two will stay at home and which one will work?”, they reduced the wages of men which made it “If we both don't get jobs we'll be homeless and our kids will be taken away!”

I tend to behave the same towards people regardless of gender. I hold doors open for blokes, if somebody's done something stupid I'll rant at them about it the exact same way. If somebody is better than be at something it's because they're better, not because of some mental predisposition.

Sexism is a large part of my life since I come from a family in which most of the members are female and are therefore usually the ones in charge.

I see it everywhere aimed at everyone. It's like my spidey sense. I already posted some examples from British TV in the sexism in comics discussion and strangely enough there is a discussion JUST LIKE THIS on SJ that I've also posted in. It's a popular topic that I always have to contribute my opinion towards.

Despite this, I don't think gender matters. Sure, men and women are different. But it's like saying that black people and white people are different. They are but it doesn't matter. They should be treated the same anyway and should be expected to behave the same way.

Something that really DOES piss me off though is when people boast about the number of female politicians their country/state/city has. Because it's usually being done the wrong way. They're putting numbers before competence. I'd rather have a good male politician get a seat instead of a passable female one.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
ayesinback at 3:49PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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If by responsibility you mean legislation, then I agree with
El Cid
The only responsibility we may have is to provide for equality of opportunity, as achieved through making it as level a playing field as reasonably possible.

But this:
El Cid
I see no imperative that we need to “correct” anything whatsoever. Why? If more women than men choose stay home and take care of children, this is not something that society has any need or valid interest in tinkering with. This is free choice, to be decided within individual households. There are instances, rare but more common today, where the man does choose to stay at home with the kids (usually because Mommy’s bringing home the bacon). However, trying to meddle with the naturally occurring order of things in order to achieve equality of outcomes in a naturally lopsided system is folly.
So biology and law are the only shapers culture has? Are you asserting that there are not ingrained expectations? Every couple (that would be man and mommy, wouldn't it) who finds they're expecting a baby can without emotional baggage not be concerned about how their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers will assess their decision, even if both of them have an equality of open-mindedness?
I have yet to meet intelligent parents-to-be who consummately disregard the attitudes of all their entire support system.

You, sir, are one genetically-programmed sexist. You can't help it. Be proud of what you are.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
El Cid at 7:19PM, Aug. 30, 2010
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ayesinback
So biology and law are the only shapers culture has? Are you asserting that there are not ingrained expectations? Every couple (that would be man and mommy, wouldn't it) who finds they're expecting a baby can without emotional baggage not be concerned about how their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers will assess their decision, even if both of them have an equality of open-mindedness?
I have yet to meet intelligent parents-to-be who consummately disregard the attitudes of all their entire support system.
Actually I already pointed that there are external social factors which shape people's reproductive decisions and attitudes, not that this should need pointing out. It also should not be necessary for me to exhaustively list every factor which may affect women's career choices and earning potential; I'm just highlighting what I believe to be by far the most important.

ayesinback
You, sir, are one genetically-programmed sexist. You can't help it. Be proud of what you are.
:) So this is what you resort to when you run out of anything intelligent to say, non sequiturs and insults? How sad.

If by “sexist,” you mean I recognize that there are differences between men and women, yes I am a sexist, and proudly so. If you mean I believe that one gender is somehow inferior to the other or not due equal opportunities and protection under the law, then that is obviously not the case and I've said nothing here to even suggest as much. I'm sorry that people actually speaking sensibly offends you so, but if you can't handle a civil discussion with any more decorum than that, then maybe you shouldn't be participating?
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isukun at 12:55AM, Aug. 31, 2010
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I don’t believe this is entirely a manufactured societal preference either, but that is arguable.

Very. Especially considering we have a tendency to train women from an early age to be stay-at-home mothers. The toys designed for girls tend to focus on two major themes, motherhood and appearance. Girls are expected to act a certain way and tend to be more sheltered. Toys for young boys, however, focus more on agression and competitiveness. Both genders are trained through social means to take those roles. Women often find that they are forced to make a choice when it comes to careers or childrearing, while men are not, they are free to strive for their independent goals. That is social inequality.

If more women than men choose to stay home and take care of children, this is not something that society has any need or valid interest in tinkering with.

The way I see it, it isn't really a choice. Society still sees it as the woman's responsibility and due to upbringing, many women simply accept that. It's not really a choice if you can't recognize the alternatives.

However, trying to meddle with the naturally occurring order of things in order to achieve equality of outcomes in a naturally lopsided system is folly.

The problem, however, is that this isn't how things work in nature. There is evidence of prehistorical societies where gender roles were not set (as well as modern primitive societies). Both genders would raise children and both genders would hunt and gather food. It probably helped that neither gender was conditioned for particular roles during childhood. Male or female, once kids hit a certain age they all learned the same survival techniques to help the tribe.

That isn't how we typically raise kids in the modern era, though. Still you will see some exceptions every now and then, where a girl is raised the way we typically raise a boy and more often than not, they tend to be agressive, competitive, and driven. They will strive for loftier goals because they don't have the social stereotypes hammered into their brains.
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mlai at 1:20AM, Aug. 31, 2010
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Tribal culture with its fluidity of roles may not be compared to modern single-family culture, though. Tribes support each other within its closely-knit society, compared to the single discrete family units of modern society, where relatives possibly live very far apart. Pressures aren't distributed. It may not be as easy for roles to be fluid in modern family units.

At any rate, the funny thing is sexism seems to be sexy. Guys, don't hold open doors or pull out chairs for your dates, and let me know how well that goes for you. Make sure you ask them to pay for half or all of the tab. :thumbup:

In the meantime, I'll be grabbing subway/metro/train seats from ladies making a beeline for the vacancy. Their dirty looks assure me that I'm striking a blow for equal opportunity worldwide.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
El Cid at 7:22AM, Aug. 31, 2010
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isukun
I don’t believe this is entirely a manufactured societal preference either, but that is arguable.

Very. Especially considering we have a tendency to train women from an early age to be stay-at-home mothers. The toys designed for girls tend to focus on two major themes, motherhood and appearance. Girls are expected to act a certain way and tend to be more sheltered. Toys for young boys, however, focus more on agression and competitiveness. Both genders are trained through social means to take those roles.
To give my glibbest response (sorry!), I think nature gave women two very big hints as to who was meant to do the nurturing. Men can be trained to take care of children, and do it as well as women (minus the breastfeeding), but I don't see it as our primary naturally-designated role. As far as women being conditioned from birth to be nurturing, there's a chicken-or-the-egg problem inherent in that analysis. Do women tend to be nurturing because they play with dolls, or do they like to play with dolls because they're naturally more nurturing than boys?

isukun
Women often find that they are forced to make a choice when it comes to careers or childrearing, while men are not, they are free to strive for their independent goals. That is social inequality.
It isn't social inequality when it's a personal choice. The woman has a choice whether to have the child, and with whom, and to accept the inherent responsibilities. If her man is unwilling to share in the sacrifice, she either needs to find a new man, not have the child, or accept the burden. My suspicion is that, while most women wouldn't mind their men helping more with taking care of their infants, few of them would be happy with him taking most or all of those responsibilities away from them. I believe most women in modern Western society have children for the joy of raising them.

isukun
The way I see it, it isn't really a choice. Society still sees it as the woman's responsibility and due to upbringing, many women simply accept that. It's not really a choice if you can't recognize the alternatives.
That doesn't even come close to passing muster. There are countless examples of things people do every day which are out of sync with “society's” expectations of them. You cannot ignore freedom of choice here, and frankly it seems more than a little condescending for you to suggest that women aren't able to make their own decisions.

isukun
The problem, however, is that this isn't how things work in nature. There is evidence of prehistorical societies where gender roles were not set (as well as modern primitive societies). Both genders would raise children and both genders would hunt and gather food. It probably helped that neither gender was conditioned for particular roles during childhood. Male or female, once kids hit a certain age they all learned the same survival techniques to help the tribe.
First of all, primitive societies aren't “nature” in any unique way which distinguishes them from modern societies. It was just an earlier social construct, and social groups will adopt whatever reproductive strategy best suits them. There are examples of birds for instance in which the male actually takes on the role of what we traditionally consider “motherhood.” There's even a South American bird in which the female will build a “harem” of males to hatch her numerous clutches of eggs.

In the example you've given, we're talking about primitive tribal groups eking out a subsistence-level existence in a hostile environment, I'm guessing some time before crop cultivation gave women a safer domestic role to play back at the village. In such a scenario, it would not be surprising that women needed to hunt, or that men would need to raise children. These were desperate times, and people would have done whatever was necessary to survive. This does not erase the fact that in most mammal groups and in pretty much all other primate species I'm aware of, parenting is almost entirely a female occupation. What you've described is humans' remarkable ability to adapt to nature's adversity.


isukun
That isn't how we typically raise kids in the modern era, though. Still you will see some exceptions every now and then, where a girl is raised the way we typically raise a boy and more often than not, they tend to be agressive, competitive, and driven. They will strive for loftier goals because they don't have the social stereotypes hammered into their brains.
Such a girl will face the same challenges as any other woman when it comes to juggling children and a career. You're absolutely correct, we can raise girls to take on “male” roles and even raise boys to take on “female” roles, but we cannot nullify biology. I do believe it's worth asking whether it's healthy to raise a child to aspire for things outside what they're best suited for, and whether as adults they will find achieving such goals satisfying. And for that matter, would you not be doing them a disservice as well? If nurturing behavior is not encouraged in girls when they are young, then they may find themselves ill-equipped to be mothers in their adulthood.

The crux of your argument seems to be that society is somehow a perversion of our natural endowments rather than an expression of them. I tend to take the latter view. While circumstance will dictate some aspects of how societies handle gender roles, there are some constants. You'll be hard-pressed to find a civilized society in which men stayed at home raising the children while the women worked and hunted and fought the wars. Across the continents and across history, these gender roles do not change. This is not a matter of mere chance that every one of these societies chose to “brainwash” their children to behave in certain ways.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Freegurt at 11:36AM, Aug. 31, 2010
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isukun
I was specifying that it's harder to notice the problems of others when you're not the one that's having the problems (especially when they're not as extensive).

Yes, and that's precisely why I said what I did. It's not that one side gets hit harder than the other, it's that one side makes a bigger deal out of it than the other. Men are just as objectified as women in modern society, we just have a tendency to focus more on the sexism directed towards women because of guilt over cultural differences in the past. It's not the 60's anymore, though, and focusing on one side over the other doesn't help fix the underlying problem, it just reinforces negative stereotypes on both sides.

I just want to ask how it affects men just as much as women, because I honestly don't follow you. And I just wanna know where you hail from since sexism is higher or lower in different countries (or if you're in the US, it also differs state to state). I'm not trying to prove anything to you, I just wanna know to clear things up.



last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
ayesinback at 12:16PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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El Cid
If by “sexist,” you mean I recognize that there are differences between men and women, yes I am a sexist, and proudly so. If you mean I believe that one gender is somehow inferior to the other or not due equal opportunities and protection under the law, then that is obviously not the case and I've said nothing here to even suggest as much. I'm sorry that people actually speaking sensibly offends you so, but if you can't handle a civil discussion with any more decorum than that, then maybe you shouldn't be participating?
By sexist, I mean that you acknowledge that the social position women are in might be considered inferior, but you insist that this is due to biology and personal choice and so it should be acceptable. You seem unable to understand that what you call personal choice is in many situations, if not most, a non-reality. Perhaps what really intrigued me was your choice of words when describing a couple of parents. He was man and she was Mommy.

So I borrowed this perspective, and used it to claim that you are a biological product and there wasn't much to do about it but accept it. Doesn't seem like it sat well with you.

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
isukun at 12:55PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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Do women tend to be nurturing because they play with dolls, or do they like to play with dolls because they're naturally more nurturing than boys?

From everything I've seen, it is more related to what they are given than any natural instinct. Girls who aren't given dolls, generally don't like to play with dolls. In my family, for instance, my mother was a tomboy and never really liked the kinds of toys aimed at girls (and she was also a career woman), so when my sister was growing up, she never bought those kinds of dolls and kept the toys more gender neutral. As my sister moved into gradeschool, she started to prefer male-oriented toys like the Power Rangers and Mighty Max. She even refused to wear a skirt until high school, and even then only on special occasions. She got into sports, is very stubborn and competitive, hangs out mostly with guys, and is now working her way through med school. She is still interested in men, but currently prioritizes her career over anything else. I have a cousin who is the complete opposite, however. She was raised with all the girly stuff because her mother believed that's how a girl should be raised. She lacked ambition her entire life and is now going through the motions at a small time college, but mostly just looking to “settle down”. She is far more submissive and tends to hang out mostly with other girls.

Besides, there is pretty strong evidence that no human being has a natural instinct to nurture. Without close contact from an early age with parents or a central figure, humans will not develop any ability to connect with other human beings and women who did not have a strong bond with their parents typically are not nurturing with their own children. This is social conditioning, not a biological process.

It isn't social inequality when it's a personal choice.

Do most Christians choose to be Christians? Do most racists choose to be racist? Are these personal choices or the product of years of social conditioning?

The woman has a choice whether to have the child, and with whom, and to accept the inherent responsibilities.

The first two yes, the third point, no. Women don't have that choice, the responsibility is forced upon them by society. You can't simply say she needs to find a better man because men simply aren't raised to take that responsibility, so the ones who are willing are few and far between. Having a family is not solely the woman's choice and should not be solely her responsibility.

You cannot ignore freedom of choice here, and frankly it seems more than a little condescending for you to suggest that women aren't able to make their own decisions.

It is only condescending if it isn't true. Women are typically not given a choice. While the feminist movement will applaud career minded women, society still places a heavy emphasis on the housewife stereotype. Women are forced to choose between family and career, men are not.

First of all, primitive societies aren't “nature” in any unique way which distinguishes them from modern societies.

No, but it does support the idea that women are not biologically wired to be the sole caretakers of their children. It is a product of society.

What you've described is humans' remarkable ability to adapt to nature's adversity.

The problem with your argument here is that advances in technology gave EVERYONE safer roles to play. There was no need to shelter women with that change (and quite frankly, many early civilizations did in fact have women help in the fields). Today, there is definitely no need to shelter women in this way. Jobs don't carry the risks they did in prehistoric times, most women don't have to worry about stampeding mastadons or saber tooth tigers at the office. It is a relic passed down from centuries of mysogyny and serves no practical purpose in modern society.

You're absolutely correct, we can raise girls to take on “male” roles and even raise boys to take on “female” roles, but we cannot nullify biology.

If you can raise men and women to take on opposing roles to what society considers the norm, then the determining factor is not biology. If we had a biological reason for taking on certain roles, that would overpower any social conditioning, but that simply doesn't happen. There are women who still strive for lofty career goals and there are men who lack ambition and prefer to just stay at home with their kids. Why is biology not kicking in for them?

If nurturing behavior is not encouraged in girls when they are young, then they may find themselves ill-equipped to be mothers in their adulthood.

Only if nurturing behavior is a purely social construct and not a biological trait. We don't have to encourage people to eat, drink, or breath. They will do it naturally on their own because they are hard wired to understand when they are hungry, thirsty or out of breath.

For further evidence that this is not a biological trait, Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey performed a wide study on gay, lesbian, and bi families that also looked at straight and single parent families. They found no evidence of gender based parenting abilities with the exception of lactation. They also presented pretty strong evidence that children adopt roles in society based on how they are raised and not their gender. For instance, girls raised by lesbian couples are far more likely to set career goals in fields and positions more commonly thought of as “male-oriented” since their parents don't shoe-horn them into a particular gender stereotype.

I just want to ask how it affects men just as much as women, because I honestly don't follow you.

For men it is mostly behavioral. We are expected to act and think a certain way. Men are sometimes judged on appearance as well, but for the most part, it's about attitude. If you don't meet particular social standards in how you act, then your odds of connecting with a woman are greatly reduced and even outside of romantic endeavors, you may be looked down upon. Women, on the other hand, have a much wider range of accepted personality traits.

As for the follow up question, I currently live in Los Angeles, but was raised mostly in the Washington, DC area. I also spent most of my college career in the Southern states (Georgia, mostly).
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Freegurt at 3:56PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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isukun
For men it is mostly behavioral. We are expected to act and think a certain way.

Dude, that's how it is everywhere, for everyone. It doesn't matter if you're male or female. There's always going to be a social stigma for people on how to act in public. Men aren't the only ones who are suffering here, dude.


Men are sometimes judged on appearance as well, but for the most part, it's about attitude. If you don't meet particular social standards in how you act, then your odds of connecting with a woman are greatly reduced and even outside of romantic endeavors, you may be looked down upon.

Really? These are the reasons? Because again, that happens with everyone. If a guy isn't the perfect form of a gentlemen like in the books, then girls shove him aside, or if he isn't the epitome of manliness by sacking a hundred women while eating beef and punching someone means he's a pussy . If a girl isn't supermodel hot and doesn't act like a weak little creature that needs to be saved, guys see her as intimidating. The bar is set ridiculously high today so any normal human being (male or female) who doesn't chalk up to those standards will always fall short and be the abject example of failure.


Women, on the other hand, have a much wider range of accepted personality traits.

Those being?


I'm sorry, but your examples cover an entire social status that hurts everyone, not just the poor mens.
Do you have any examples of men watching every little thing they wear for fear that someone of the opposite sex will determine it as ‘asking for it’? Or fearing to go outside just to grab some groceries because they will be relentlessly cat-called because just walking down the street minding their own business means that they're ‘asking for it’? Or fearing to go out by themselves for fear that they might be raped? Or is on constant alert when at a party just in case someone might take advantage of their tipsy state? Or any examples of men being constantly annoyed by the media because the only men that are in movies, or television or music videos or advertisements are either there to be T&A or are shoved to the side for the more important role of the straight white woman to take the spotlight? Or even them being annoyed because the only men that are in video games are grotesque over-the top sex objects put there either to be useless or to be fap fodder for the opposite sex. Or maybe men being constantly annoyed because their complaints about being alienated from things they enjoy like video games or comics or movies are always ignored because they're deemed not important enough? Or maybe being completely ignored in a meeting because their opinions and ideas are not good enough because they came from a man, only to have a woman take their idea and immediately have that woman be praised for her greatness? Or any examples of men getting pissed off that any time they want to talk with a woman, the woman will always stare at their chest and ultimately ignore what he was trying to say and when they try to confront said woman they're told that they're being whiny? Or men having problems about the fact that they can't take their shirts off because their bodies are so over sexualized even though it's over a hundred degrees? Or men being told that they're not good at video games because their small man minds can't comprehend them? Or them being told that they will never be good leaders because they're naturally weak and unable to lead a country due to their frail emotions and minds? Or examples of boys being told that the only things they will ever live up to is getting married and having children and not to bother getting a job because they weren't born to have a successful career?
If you have any examples of men being subject to all of this on a daily basis from childhood until the day they die, please share them with me and I will end my argument and apologize for wasting your time and not contribute to this thread again. Because I've experienced almost all of these on a daily basis (okay, give or take a few days every now and then) my entire life. And I'm not the only woman who has. I make an argument about it, because it happens to me every day and I'm sick of it and I want it to stop both for women and men.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
isukun at 5:42PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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Men aren't the only ones who are suffering here, dude.

I never said they were. My point was always that both sides suffer from prejudice. My point was that BOTH sides are objectified, not just women.

Those being?

Women are not limited to a specific personality type. They can be introverted or extraverted. They can be shy or forward. They can be childish or mature. You will find some stereotypes on the female mentality, but for the most part, there is a lot more room for variance. It also doesn't help that society tends to push the idea that men look for the woman that is right for them, while women look for the perfect man.

Or fearing to go outside just to grab some groceries because they will be relentlessly cat-called because just walking down the street minding their own business means that they're ‘asking for it’?

And you don't think some of this might be caused by the way we expect men to act? What do you expect when men are SUPPOSED to be aggressive, shameless jerks?

Or any examples of men being constantly annoyed by the media because the only men that are in movies, or television or music videos or advertisements are either there to be T&A or are shoved to the side for the more important role of the straight white woman to take the spotlight?

Men don't typically complain about it the same way women do because they don't recognize the problem behind it. Just because there is less outrage over it, that doesn't mean it doesn't still happen. This pretty much applies to everything in the rest of your post, too. More capable actors get passed up for pretty boys all the time. Male sex objects appear in all forms of media, even video games. Men are expected to change to suit their partners, just like women. Men's opinions are frequently shot down when they are in a predominantly female setting, and yes, they do get annoyed by it. Women still check out men, just like men check out women. Men are frequently stereotyped as lacking common sense and morality.

Or examples of boys being told that the only things they will ever live up to is getting married and having children and not to bother getting a job because they weren't born to have a successful career?

Men have other expectations forced upon them. That was kind of the whole point of the rest of my previous post. Men and women have particular gender roles they are expected to fulfill that are forced on them by society.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
El Cid at 10:39PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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isukun
It isn't social inequality when it's a personal choice.

Do most Christians choose to be Christians? Do most racists choose to be racist? Are these personal choices or the product of years of social conditioning?
Not gonna touch that analogy. Not with a ten foot pole! The point is that you can't claim women are being discriminated against in the workplace when they're being given the same opportunities and being paid equally for their work. The pay gap is a result of women choosing lower-paying fields of work and interruptions due to parental responsibilities. You can cry all you want about life not being fair and yada yada, but you can't call that a form of discrimination. It is a direct result of independent behavior, and unless someone's holding a gun to these women's heads and forcing them to make these decisions, you have no grounds for complaint. Can the numbers look bad, when casually analyzed by an uninformed observer, or one looking to prove injustice? Sure they can. Is there an injustice actually taking place? Of course not. What we are talking about is the aggregate results of individuals making rational decisions based on their own personal circumstances.

isukun
The woman has a choice whether to have the child, and with whom, and to accept the inherent responsibilities.

The first two yes, the third point, no. Women don't have that choice, the responsibility is forced upon them by society. You can't simply say she needs to find a better man because men simply aren't raised to take that responsibility, so the ones who are willing are few and far between. Having a family is not solely the woman's choice and should not be solely her responsibility.
I'm not following you at all. You're criticizing people's own personal decisions of how they choose to raise their families. Whether you're happy with their decisions or not, it's still a choice. How many housewives will tell you they were coerced into raising children? I take it they're all “brainwashed?” They couldn't possibly be doing what they want to be doing with their own lives!

isukun
It is only condescending if it isn't true. Women are typically not given a choice. While the feminist movement will applaud career minded women, society still places a heavy emphasis on the housewife stereotype. Women are forced to choose between family and career, men are not.
Truth has nothing to do with tone. Women are in control of their own lives, and I don't follow from what you wrote where it is that women are forced to do anything. Yes, parenting responsibilities do tend to fall disproportionately on mothers, but that doesn't need to be the case. That's a management decision, to be decided within the family (assuming that it is a two-parent household). A woman can choose to take off a year or two from work to raise her infant, but she doesn't have to. Many women have children and still lead stellar careers, but others reevaluate their priorities after they've had children. None of this has anything to do with sexism or with coercion.

isukun
First of all, primitive societies aren't “nature” in any unique way which distinguishes them from modern societies.

No, but it does support the idea that women are not biologically wired to be the sole caretakers of their children. It is a product of society.
Actually, it doesn't support that conclusion at all. It is an example of adaptation within a social group. This has nothing to do with “nature,” but “nature” needs to be in quotes, because humans are by nature social animals. Society for humans is not unnatural (or for other primates for that matter), and you can't cherry-pick one weakly-agreeable example while ignoring all the others which plainly disagree with you. Look at all the other primates, and all of the civilizations which originated independently of each other, and all ended up with the same gender roles.

isukun
The problem with your argument here is that advances in technology gave EVERYONE safer roles to play.
That isn't the problem with my argument; it's the whole point of it. You described the way humans behave in an extreme and uncommon circumstance and attempted to extrapolate that as being indicative of human nature in general. I pointed out that, while humans will do whatever is necessary to survive in extreme circumstances, once they've established an actual civilization (their habitat), they fall into the same patterns of gender roles. While I'm sure there's an exception to this pattern out there somewhere, for the most part it's been universally true throughout a myriad of different civilizations.

isukun
There was no need to shelter women with that change (and quite frankly, many early civilizations did in fact have women help in the fields).
Actually, I specifically alluded to the fact that as soon as crop cultivation became available, the women would be put to work in the fields. I don't even know why you pointed this out, as it does nothing to help your argument, but it wasn't even a point of disagreement to begin with. Women have always worked in one way or another to help support the household.

isukun
Today, there is definitely no need to shelter women in this way. Jobs don't carry the risks they did in prehistoric times, most women don't have to worry about stampeding mastadons or saber tooth tigers at the office. It is a relic passed down from centuries of mysogyny and serves no practical purpose in modern society.
Who's sheltering? Where do you get this stuff? Women are encouraged to go out there and get their educations, and get good jobs. They've achieved near-parity with males in the workforce and outnumber men in colleges by 40 percent. What jobs are women being dissuaded from pursuing? Society applauds women who work dangerous or demanding jobs. Where do you get this notion that women are being sheltered?

isukun
If you can raise men and women to take on opposing roles to what society considers the norm, then the determining factor is not biology. If we had a biological reason for taking on certain roles, that would overpower any social conditioning, but that simply doesn't happen. There are women who still strive for lofty career goals and there are men who lack ambition and prefer to just stay at home with their kids. Why is biology not kicking in for them?
Like that racism analogy from earlier, this isn't even an argument; it's just you cynically poking barbs. Of course people, like all other animals, can be conditioned to do things the wouldn't normally do, and of course some exceptional people will behave in unusual ways. This proves nothing, and you already knew that. At least I hope you did.

isukun
Only if nurturing behavior is a purely social construct and not a biological trait. We don't have to encourage people to eat, drink, or breath. They will do it naturally on their own because they are hard wired to understand when they are hungry, thirsty or out of breath.
Another very poor analogy. Obviously maternal instincts are not as automatic as eating and breathing, and no one here or anywhere else has said as much. You CAN condition people to assume roles they were not predisposed to. You CAN redirect a person's natural biological inclinations toward something else. This is not proof the biological trait does not exist; only proof that it can been suppressed.

isukun
For further evidence that this is not a biological trait, Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey performed a wide study on gay, lesbian, and bi families that also looked at straight and single parent families. They found no evidence of gender based parenting abilities with the exception of lactation. They also presented pretty strong evidence that children adopt roles in society based on how they are raised and not their gender. For instance, girls raised by lesbian couples are far more likely to set career goals in fields and positions more commonly thought of as “male-oriented” since their parents don't shoe-horn them into a particular gender stereotype.
When did I ever say that men can't be good parents? In fact, I'm pretty sure I specifically said men CAN be just as good as women at raising children (I even mentioned the lactating thing). Why are you repeating my own statements back to me as if you're saying something new? This has nothing to do with anything. And again, showing that children can be raised to accept non-traditional gender roles is neither something I deny (and in fact, again, it's something I've already said), nor is it relevant to whether women are socially discriminated against, nor is it evidence that gender roles are not inherent, as I've already pointed out. On the other hand, the evidence both from the example of human history and the rest of the animal kingdom all points very strongly in the other direction. It's not even a contest.

You've pointed out numerous times that we humans are not beholden to our naturally-occurring parental roles. That's true, we can change them. But the fact that these are naturally-occurring patterns tells you that they are not an artificial barrier created by human society. You say this is something society needs to address. I disagree, this isn't a problem for society. Society's doing just fine. It only appears to be a problem on paper, and is in fact the aggregate outcome of free people making rational decisions. This is what's wrong with social crusades: they don't know how to die gracefully. There was a time when women's rights actually were being trampled, and there were noble battles to be fought. But this nonsense we're seeing today, people looking for “black holes” in income statistics and crying about society promoting domestic stereotypes, it's a farce. It's an attempt to leech off the credibility of an honorable cause in order to push social engineering. I'm not impressed, and I'm not fooled. You’re no Sue B. Anthony. None of your righteous indignation gives you the right to criticize—- or worse, meddle with— the way other people choose to live their lives and manage their families.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 12:14PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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You can cry all you want about life not being fair and yada yada, but you can't call that a form of discrimination.

Socially reinforced discrimination is still discrimination. The analogy I gave is a perfect example of that. Nobody holds a gun up to the racist's or religious person's head and forces them to think the way they do, either.

You're criticizing people's own personal decisions of how they choose to raise their families.

No, I'm criticizing the fact that there is no personal decision involved. Women are expected to fill a certain role and trained from infancy that not filling that role is irresponsible.

Women are in control of their own lives, and I don't follow from what you wrote where it is that women are forced to do anything.

Once again, look at the analogy of socially reinforced religious belief or prejudice. These are not things people CHOSE to believe in. The only way this would be a choice is if it were something women didn't think was mandatory.

None of this has anything to do with sexism or with coercion.

It has everything to do with sexism and coercion.

Look at all the other primates, and all of the civilizations which originated independently of each other, and all ended up with the same gender roles.

You might want to read up a bit more. There are actually a number of primate species where the father is the primary caretaker for the young. Among species which exhibit monogamous family structures, the fathers are almost always more active in raising the children. Also, in most past societies, children have typically been taught and raised by parents of their respective gender with the mother only caring for young boys through the early years. This was a product of necessity in early human societies (men cannot breast feed and we didn't have alternatives) which really isn't an issue in modern society.

That isn't the problem with my argument

It is the problem with your argument since your whole argument relies on the notion that women NEED to be protected. You criticize my example of presenting an extreme circumstance, but do the exact same thing, yourself. The whole point is that women DON'T need protection, anymore. This is an outdated and sexist train of thought that continues to be reinforced due to hundreds of years of mysogyny.

I don't even know why you pointed this out, as it does nothing to help your argument, but it wasn't even a point of disagreement to begin with.

I mentioned it because the advent of crop cultivation has nothing to do with why women took a domestic role in society. Men retreated to the fields, as well. Women didn't choose to be restricted to the household raising the kids in ancient societies, those societies were strictly patriarchal and women were seen more as property than viable people. You had societies where women were locked in houses or mutilated so they could not work (or in many cases killed if they weren't faithful). Women were bartered and traded like livestock and expected to be 100% faithful to whoever they ended up with. They were essentially slaves in those societies. If you're trying to prove that women have a natural tendency to be nurturing housewives, showing extreme examples where women have no choice in the matter really isn't going to cut it. Forced inequality isn't nature.

There is very little evidence to suggest that the roles we accept today are in any way related to any biological disposition. Looking at historical accounts of society is a flawed approach since history was highly mysogynistic and women had no choice in the role they played. Examples from nature involving monogamous family units also don't support your claims. You can't just look at nature as a whole since the majority of nature doesn't reflect human social constructs or behavior. Look at the parts that do, however, and you get a totally different picture from the one you're painting about “nature”.

You CAN condition people to assume roles they were not predisposed to.

Predisposition would mean they have a natural instinct towards a particular role. You seem to have ignored the bit about how people who aren't conditioned also do not adopt the roles you claim people have a predisposition for. The problem here is that if people really had a predisposition towards particular roles, then people who were given no input from outside society should show those traits. In reality, they don't. They are instead distant, anti-social, and have a tendency to abandon or ignore their own children if they have any and these traits are consistant in both genders.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
El Cid at 2:08PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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I think we can end the anthropology debate there. There are plenty of anecdotes to go around on either side, more than enough that a person in denial can spend his entire life believing that the exceptions disprove the rule. It's ultimately irrelevant to the discussion what the mechanism is for gender role proclivities, be it nature, nurture, or a combination of both, unless you don't believe in free will and personal responsibility. You obviously do not, and there's nothing I can say or do about that. Perhaps too conveniently, your concept of this sort of subliminal sexist programming is too nebulous to ever be properly measured or acted upon in any economical manner. It's just an inventive way to make people seem like victims.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 7:42PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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I'm sorry you see it that way. As long as people ignore the problems in society the way you do, they will only continue. If everyone subscribed to your methods of interpreting history, then we would still be owning slaves and wiping out whole races and civilizations simply because they looked different or believed in a different god. That would be the “natural” thing to do.

For the record, I do believe in free will, I am just also able to recognize that free will actually requires people to understand what their choices really are and not have those choices weighed down by societal pressures or years of social conditioning.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
imshard at 7:50PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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Hmmm, to me the answer is very simple. Sexism is only a problem if you let it be. Why? Well namely because in Western society, sexual discrimination is illegal and that law is enforceable.

After that, it is the individual's choice as to whether they choose to continue the practice, cooperate with it, or ignore it when encountered. As with anything else in this world YOU, and only you are ultimately accountable for your choices. Otherwise it wasn't really a choice now was it? If you have had your choices taken away from you then you're not living in a normal situation you're smack dab in the middle of an abnormal situation and therefore an exception under the rules of “western society” and its ceases to be a problem with western society because you are no longer operating within the bounds of its social norms.

So short answer? No, sexism is not a problem in western society itself.
Sexism is a problem with a clearly defined sub-group that exists inside all societies. We call them chauvinists.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
isukun at 8:55PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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Well namely because in Western society, sexual discrimination is illegal and that law is enforceable.

Actually, it really isn't. There is no law which outright bars sexual discrimination. The law is limited to only certain forms of discrimination and there are actually a lot of situations where people can discriminate without any legal consequences.

Also, social norms are defined by society, not the law, and there are still a lot of situations where discrimination (including but not limited to sexual discrimination) is considered the norm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
mlai at 9:05PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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http://lifeinc.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/01/5024412-gen-y-women-outearning-their-peers

In summary, societies of the world are more complex than “Women oppressed by Men.” I agree with El Cid: the good fight has largely been fought and done decades ago. Women in 1st-world countries suffer no true widespread discrimination nowadays, individual exceptions notwithstanding. Any woman with the right economic and social background can get any education and any job. Very often they will be preferred over similar young men.

And yes, it's true that both nature and nurture play a role in social gender roles. I mean c'mon, the woman gives birth and breastfeeds. To deny that would be like supporting artificial insemination for everyone because hey, why have sex it isn't necessary anymore. All male babies should be neutered at birth; the world will be a much more equal place.

Nevermind breastfeeding is 50x healthier for the baby than bottle-feeding, and that pregnancy/birth itself is a bonding experience for the woman. Women should ignore eons of evolution for the sake of equality.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
isukun at 1:15AM, Sept. 2, 2010
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Any woman with the right economic and social background can get any education and any job.

Just because the opportunity exists doesn't mean society welcomes women to these roles. Women are still forced to choose between a career or being a mother. Men don't have to choose, they can have their cake and eat it too. That's not equality.

I mean c'mon, the woman gives birth and breastfeeds.

So for birth they get a couple weeks off of work. Babies are usually weened off of breast milk after the first six months and women can still provide breast milk without actually breast feeding (in fact, many women prefer this method). The bonding can happen with either gender and whether the baby gets their food out of a breast or a bottle makes no difference in the bonding process. It is also better for the baby's development to bond with both parents, as opposed to just the mother.

And once you get past this stage, what biological advantages to women have over men in raising kids? Women are just expected to give up the next 8-17 years based on what? Their ability to breast feed or give birth doesn't help them get the kids to soccer practice or cook dinner and a man's ability to pee while standing up doesn't bar him from doing the same.

To deny that would be like supporting artificial insemination for everyone because hey, why have sex it isn't necessary anymore. All male babies should be neutered at birth; the world will be a much more equal place.

You're talking apples and oranges here. Those are physical changes and do not in any way reflect the intention of that technology. I CAN shove a pencil through my eye and still lead a normal life with just one eye, that doesn't mean the pencil was created with that in mind or that I even should do such a thing. What I'm talking about is changing social structures, not the physical nature of human beings. Besides, your claim doesn't even make sense. Removing men from the child bearing process doesn't level the playing field, it just pushes all the responsibility onto women.

Women should ignore eons of evolution for the sake of equality.

No, we should just stop ignoring eons of evolution for the sake of inequality.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
El Cid at 6:52AM, Sept. 2, 2010
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isukun
I'm sorry you see it that way. As long as people ignore the problems in society the way you do, they will only continue.
I'm not ignoring anything. As I stated before, there was a time when women's liberation was a noble and necessary cause. Today it is an anachronism. You cannot demonstrate that there is a real or even an addressable problem, and yet you speak as if we're dealing with some sort of crisis. This just isn't the case. You're living in a dream world where women are sheep unable to choose how to live their own lives. That might have been believable in the 1970s but I don't see it being a real problem today.

You've done a good job however of exemplifying why utopianisms are so toxic to society. They're a tough stain to remove. They always revolve around some ill-defined wrong which must be rooted out of every nook and cranny of society at any cost. In your case, that wrong is sexist attitudes. You assume a self-proclaimed moral superiority and then try to use that as a trump card to override the usual conventions of good decision-making. This is a necessity, because by any rational process, there is a point at which a cause, even a just one, has run its course and will become subject to diminishing returns. You can always do more. You can always give more to the poor, you can always do more for the environment, you can always find new ways to root out ever more minuscule expressions of any societal ill. But every decision has consequences and every policy has costs. While there surely are expressions of sexist attitudes lurking in some dark corners, I believe the cost of the witch hunts people like you launch against them do more harm than good, in poisoning people's attitudes and painting well-meaning people as agents of evil or automatons to be “reprogrammed.” This kind of “us against them” scenario is unhealthy and nonconstructive. It's the realm of the utopian and the zealot.


isukun
If everyone subscribed to your methods of interpreting history, then we would still be owning slaves and wiping out whole races and civilizations simply because they looked different or believed in a different god. That would be the “natural” thing to do.
Major straw man alert there, and not even close to the truth. So now I'm pro-slavery and pro-eugenics, just because I'm not marching in step with your social engineering agenda? Ha! What a sad, self-deluded ideologue you are! Again, you're selectively ignoring things I've said about the necessity of liberation movements and you are intentionally misrepresenting my position. In an interesting side note, the method used to “prove” gender inequalities is the exact same method which was once used to prove genetic inferiority in the pursuit of eugenics, and is procedurally flawed for the same reasons.

isukun
For the record, I do believe in free will, I am just also able to recognize that free will actually requires people to understand what their choices really are and not have those choices weighed down by societal pressures or years of social conditioning.
No, you clearly don't believe in it, and again it's condescending for you to state that women don't understand what their choices are. Do any women reading this drivel actually believe that? You know what, I take back what I said earlier, about your position being an inventive way of making people look like victims. There's nothing inventive about blaming society at all. The whole “it's society's fault” game is the easiest (and laziest) cop-out there is. You can blame pretty much anything on society if you go through enough enough regressions, even things which have completely opposite implications. You can blame society for women being encouraged to be sexually promiscuous and at the same time blame society for women being sexually repressed. It's a one-size-fits-all scapegoat. So yes, Isukun, everything is society's fault and you've proven that gender differences in childrearing are part of everything. Congratulations!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 6:56AM, Sept. 2, 2010
(online)
posts: 971
joined: 5-4-2009
imshard
Hmmm, to me the answer is very simple. Sexism is only a problem if you let it be. Why? Well namely because in Western society, sexual discrimination is illegal and that law is enforceable.
Amen! Finally, somebody here who makes sense!

isukun
Actually, it really isn't. There is no law which outright bars sexual discrimination. The law is limited to only certain forms of discrimination and there are actually a lot of situations where people can discriminate without any legal consequences.
It's very hard to get away with even the appearance of sexual discrimination today. I worked with the EEOC for a while, and trust me we didn't just take the obvious cases. If it's real discrimination, and the proper authorities are contacted, it will be dealt with.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ayesinback at 7:40AM, Sept. 2, 2010
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posts: 2,003
joined: 8-23-2010
If the question is whether women’s liberation has run its course or not: I think it has. Is sexism gone? No. Is it a problem? Yes, but, in my opinion, not as big a problem as it was and it’s miniscule compared to the many other problems. So how is it a problem?

First, it’s not a one-gender problem. Because of attitudes and expectations, certain doors are closed more tightly for one gender in one situation, and vice versa in others. For example, it’s comical in MEET THE FOCKERS how De Niro’s character reacts to the fact that Ben Stiller’s character’s profession is a nurse. No, that’s incomplete: not a nurse, but a “male nurse”. It begs the question of how a male nurse is different than a female nurse. Did this character choose to have this profession? Yes. Did he choose to have the associated ridicule? No. So he had freedom to choose, but his personal choice would actually be to have the job without grief. What he did was compromise.

And much of what happens today is compromise rather than choice. Both men and women are affected—so an argument could be made that there is some equality after all. I don’t think so. Just because both at times are treated unfairly doesn’t mean that it is ultimately fair. The pursuit for equality is not about balancing an equation; it’s about trying to reach a uniform justice for everyone.

So is legislation required? No, laws basically serve to protect property rights and not create, eradicate or revise modes of thought. What I think is needed, and here it can only be about personal choice (which by definition cannot be mandated), is for us all to pause at times and realize that there are scenarios where the culture / society has established a tradition of conduct that is so ingrained that it is barely visible, but still significant enough to affect how people believe they can choose.

Yes, there are individuals who rise above the established mores. Initially they are perceived as sociopaths, then revolutionaries, and perhaps later as trendsetters. But it takes time for that evolution to play out, and it progresses more slowly when a population within the group refuses to acknowledge that such mores exist, or if this population can acknowledge their existence, then these naysayers seem blind to the obstacles that the traditions present.

I appreciate the timeliness of this discussion. In a capsule shot of “today”, the awareness of sexism and efforts to be fair are probably better than they’ve ever been, in the western world. But as a rough economy ages into a rocky economy, and people find themselves entering survival mode, fairness is one of the first sacrifices. So the movement is not finished. How can it be? Humanity’s evolution is not finished.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM

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