I had a conversation with my dad recently that sparked a thought in me:
Do men genuinely believe that some sexism isn’t even that bad? Or see equality where there isn’t?
Basically, me and my dad were having a debate about abortion, as you do. I was on the side of “I think hat women should possibly have a slightly bigger opinion on whether to abort or not, considering it is their own body that they are risking and possibly even their life.”
My dad had this opinion:
“Although, if the woman decides to keep get baby, the dad has to pay for it for a long time.”
So I said “So you think looking after a child is the same amount of work as paying for it?”
And his answer was basically a yes.
I was shocked.
But it also got me thinking about how he came to have this opinion. And, along with another conversation where he equated the risk of attack and rape to a woman with the risk of a guy being beaten up as ‘almost the same thing’ so I felt like my general fear isn’t as justified, it solidified my opinion.
Guys are taught to deny sexism.
It might not even be a conscious decision, and they might not even realise that what they are saying is actually invalidating our fears as women on a daily basis, but they do seem to come up with those sort of comments on a regular basis. Even the nice ones. (And no, here I don’t mean “nice”.)
So is it our jobs to teach them, slowly and over a long time changing their opinions?
Well, yes. Who else is going to do it?
Here’s some general sexism I’ve come across in the past week.
1. The first time a woman has been a director of a Disney film was in Frozen. (I didn’t fact check this, but if it’s true it’s shocking.)
2. My dad has only been groped once. By a guy. And never cat called in public. I however can’t even count the number of times both things have happened to me.
Yet guys still don’t understand the general background fear I have when going out? Strange.
3. A description of a Mary Sue:
“So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.”
Sounds annoying right?
This tumblr user ladyloveandjustice just described Batman.
And she points out that there isn’t even a widely used term for a male Mary Sue. This is just another inequality that puts the microscope on women and not on men.
Even the term ‘strong female character’ has taken some hits as it’s become a widely used phrase. It’s become almost a stereotype that we’re not allowed to use. Why not write a weak woman? Someone who’s afraid of the dark? Why not huh? Why does a woman have to act like a man to be seen as strong huh? (Hopefully you’re detecting my sarcasm here.)
Basically a woman can be whatever she wants and, surprise surprise, she’s also a human being. Think of how many ‘friend zoned’ male characters there are out there? Why the double standard?
Don’t get me wrong, we have taken huge steps in creating more equality between men and women. And, we’ll probably never quite get there as men and women are actually a bit different, but we’ll hopefully get a lot closer.
What we have to realise though is that we’re still not there. Yet.
So, there you have it, another take on the world by yours truly. Hope you enjoyed my rant of the day. *tips hat*