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Author Topic: "Feminism": Rage edition  (Read 1432 times)

Ken

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"Feminism": Rage edition
« on: March 22, 2013, 02:04:40 PM »

I was happily avoiding work when a friend nodded me towards this page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotted-Sexism-on-Campus/121332004721623

"Spotted: Sexism on Campus" - a great idea no? Allowing the public to become more aware of sexism appearing in our daily lives at University, and therefore help prevent it.

EXCEPT then examples of "sexism" like these crop up:

"Spotted: A member of staff asking if I was feeling hormonal today - Cardiff University"

Yes, because only women have hormones.

"Spotted: Politics student asking 'why does it even matter' that women MPs make up only 21% of seats - Cardiff University"

What's wrong with someone asking that question? HOW IS THAT SEXIST? A politics student wanting info on arguing a question HOW DARE HE. Not only that but women MPs only making up 21% of the seats in UK parliament is based on a democratic public vote. Women can vote too, believe it or not. Not a problem then. Women and men voting in ANY percentage of women is NOT sexist. You could argue some votes are swayed by sexism, but that doesn't mean you should ever overrule a democratic vote because of someone's genitalia.

"We have a sexist firm alarm.

A women's voice is heard first telling that there is an incident in the building, remain calm, and be prepared to evacuate.

It switches to a male voice when comanding you to leave the building immediately.

When it was installed, we pointed this out, but most of management didn't see what the problem was."

Sexism is often down to intent. Perhaps when creating this it was simply thought "let's make this gender equal and have a male and female doing a different part each." Or perhaps a male demanding voice IS ACTUALLY more commanding than a female voice, psychologically speaking, I think the majority of people would be more inclined to follow a command from a deep resounding voice than a higher one. Sexism is only a bad thing through choice, not statistics.

"This evening at the lse su bar I went in to buy a pint to take elsewhere, a man grabbed my bum and when I went to see security to ask to have him removed, they said that there was nothing they could do as 'I wasn't actually sitting in the establishment'"

While it could be argued that it's not necessarily sexist (meaning, equal rights for both sexes since after all perhaps the man wouldn't have a problem having his bum grabbed?), let's say it is. Your problem with the security is NOT driven by sexism rather than a legal and geographical problem. Even if they were outraged by it, they still morally should have restrained themselves and recommended you call the police, or called the police on your behalf. They should not have interfered as legally it's out-with their jurisdiction.

"Lecturer started a lecture by counting upwards from 20 and asking all the women in the room to put up their hands when they reached the age they planned to have children. Of course all women want to have children, and of course you should only ask the women in the room."

How dare he not explicitly explain to every insecure person in the room that they do not have to have children. Asking just women a question that ONLY WOMEN CAN ANSWER (being the only gender who can birth babies) is sexist? Right.

Thought you folks might find this amusing. Feel free to throw some logic at the page, and update here some of your arguments. DO NOT go and flame this page, but add some structured reasoning.
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Red Dog Dragon

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Re: "Feminism": Rage edition
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 03:08:40 PM »

"Lecturer started a lecture by counting upwards from 20 and asking all the women in the room to put up their hands when they reached the age they planned to have children. Of course all women want to have children, and of course you should only ask the women in the room."

How dare he not explicitly explain to every insecure person in the room that they do not have to have children. Asking just women a question that ONLY WOMEN CAN ANSWER (being the only gender who can birth babies) is sexist? Right.
I'd need better context, but if the intent was to find out if women in the class room were planning to have children and if so when, then I don't see what the problem was.

But the same question can be asked of men, just in terms of "do you want to have children and if so when?"
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Ken

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Re: "Feminism": Rage edition
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 03:26:35 PM »

"Spotted: Male unviersity colleague referring to me as 'the girl', even in a christmas card - Cardiff University"

Sounds like a running joke, more context would be nice. As a student in a computing class with 4 females and ~25 males, jokes about "the girl" often occurs. As it would with men being in the minority (for example, men doing nursing degrees). There's nothing wrong with doing a nursing degree, and there's nothing wrong with gentle teasing. That's not sexism. Every single type of teasing is based on some social stereotype that you don't actually follow. If I was teased about enjoying a drink as a Scotsman, I'm not gonna run out into the street screaming about racism.
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Red Dog Dragon

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Re: "Feminism": Rage edition
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 03:43:01 PM »

If I was teased about enjoying a drink as a Scotsman, I'm not gonna run stumble out into the street screaming about racism.
Fixed.
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fuzzy logic

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Re: "Feminism": Rage edition
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 07:49:59 PM »

"Spotted: A member of staff asking if I was feeling hormonal today - Cardiff University"

Yes, because only women have hormones.

On the one hand, I did not personally witness this occurrence, so I really have no idea. I suppose there's an outside chance this could have been a genuine question with concern behind it. I also don't know why this person was asked this question. But...

I think this one was an example of genuine sexism. Whether it was malicious, snide, a casual poor choice of words or spoken innocently from a slip of the tongue or ignorance, I can't tell from text alone. It's sexist because it demonstrates that the speaker believes, or at the very least perpetuates, the idea that a woman's emotions, or her opinion on a matter can be invalid/trivial/of no concern when "it's her time of the month."

It's specifically dismissive of women. An emotional state caused by chemicals/hormones in the body, where rational thought can't prevail, is a condition ascribed almost always to females. Devaluing a woman's ideas, feelings or concerns by attributing it to their hormone levels, is a platitude or tactic traditionally used against women. I've also never once seen a man have his emotional state assigned to hormones (in a dismissive way). I've never heard of a man's opinion/idea being dismissed because it was accused of being borne from an over-abundance of chemicals in his system.

A man's argument or actions might be dismissed if he were angry. Being angry is much more sex neutral. "Hey, Bob, just calm down, I don't think you're thinking like yourself right now." It was the specific word "hormonal" that I feel made the question sexist. Hormones are not on their own a sex-discriminative word, but it and "PMSing," and "time of the month" are specifically used to brush aside the validity of women's thoughts or feelings almost exclusively (from what I've observed).

Once again, I have no idea in what context, this question was asked, but I'd imagine it was very likely used to chide or dismiss the woman. And it definitely used female-targeted diction.

If the student had been asked if they were upset/distressed, it would not have been explicitly sexist. If that were the case, we'd need much more context; it could have been discriminatory using a weak justification (subtext possibly being: you're only saying that/feel that way because you're a PMSing woman), but no longer sexist taken at face value.

Unfair treatment happens all the time. The person asking the question probably wasn't proudly putting this woman down. It's just a bit of the bias and prejudice they hold. We all have biases and prejudices to some degree, and they leak out. Doesn't make us bad people, we can identify our faults and change if we want to (maybe). This Facebook page is just trying to raise a little awareness of everyday sexism (and obviously, both genuine and false "alarms" are going to be raised on there). Hopefully, it'll help us examine our own behavior, and give us information to change if we so desire. (Note: I've barely looked at the linked Facebook page)

That's just, like, my opinion though.

"Yes, because only woman have hormones." Sure, but women are almost exclusively dismissed for having too much, many, the most, all of the hormones. Men are not. (In my experience and O-PIN-ONION)

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As for the other situations, I don't think they are, but once again, I'd need more context. The wanting children question and "the girl" situations especially are lacking detail.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 08:03:49 PM by fuzzy logic »
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