Monthly Archives: August 2014

Why I Haven’t Lost “Faith” With Humanity


I keep reading about how bad everything is. And how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Part of me is inclined to agree, but most of me wonders what they’re seeing that I’m missing. To me, the world looks pretty good. So I’ve decided to write a post about why I haven’t lost “faith” with humanity.

Before I go on, I should address the quotations around the word “faith.” This version of the word faith is not the same as the word used in religious contexts. This is merely an easier way of saying “I believe that humans are mostly good.” And I am now going to provide my evidence to support my belief.

A lot has been happening lately that is absolutely terrible. Watching the news paints a terrifying picture of the world. First there is the issues in Ukraine. Many people have suggested that this conflict is the beginning of the third world war, or a new cold war. And now Russia has actually began invading Ukraine. But in World War 2 Hitler’s army wasn’t met with immediate resistance. The allies tried to appease the Germans, letting them take territory and imprison people, before they threatened military action. Russia had barely started agressing before the protests started. People and governments a like are angry at Russia now. The US would be stupid to actually start a war with Russia, but many countries have started boycotting Russia. This will hurt Russia a lot more than I think many people realize, because Russia depends quite a bit on trading. Their economy would be hurt greatly if they lost trading partners. People are looking for peaceful solutions to the Ukraine problem and I think they will be successful. The Russian invasion is half-hearted at best, and they don’t seem to actually know what they are doing.

The US is another interesting case. Earlier this year, a number of states legalized same-sex marriage. This is great news. The US is far behind many other industrialized nations when it comes to this issue, but they are starting to catch up. It is becoming less okay to discriminate against the LGBT community. More people are willing to stand up and say enough is enough. For example, a video recently went viral of a young adult being disowned for being gay. His parents verbally and physically attacked him. Horrible things like this are, unfortunately, not uncommon. But they are becoming less common. And people are coming together more and more to support the victims of such abuse. The young man mentioned earlier has had $50,000 raised in his name so that he could survive during his first year. He will, hopefully, be able to keep his life from completely falling apart, which is what happens in most cases. He won’t have to live on the street. These actions make it easy to see the good in people, even when others make it so easy to see the bad.

Like Ferguson. There is so much wrong with what happened there. It seems as though the US is becoming a police state. Those things: police beating and killing unarmed people, police suppressing even peaceful rallies with undue force, has become increasingly common in the US. Part of me screams “why aren’t you people doing anything?” at the American populous. It seems so odd that there aren’t more people fighting back against the brutality. But, at the same time, people are crying out. There are more and more videos out there showing police brutality. The people of Ferguson did stand up in protest. And people all over the world are starting to pay attention. Not just to the police brutality, but to the racism that it stems from. People are speaking out against it. Sure, it’s not perfect. But it’s a start. And if people keep pushing, eventually those in charge will start to realize that they won’t get away with such abuse anymore. Changes will start to occur.

Of course the world is not perfect. It never will be. There will always be people who discriminate against others for one reason or another. But I look at history and compare it to how things are now and I see improvement. People are coming together more and more to support people they will never even meet. People care less about whether or not the person is family, and they care more and more that the person is human. We really are becoming a global community. I think this is wonderful. I’m glad that it is becoming less okay to discriminate. And I’m glad that people will stand up against abuses happening half a world away. Because 50 years ago that wouldn’t have happened. People may never even have heard of the abuse. Or they may have and simply ignored it because the people weren’t their people. So no, I haven’t lost my “faith” in humanity.


Of Large Families and Religion


As a culture, we have a fascination with what we see as odd. We can see this fascination with a lot of the shows on TV. One channel, TLC, likes to focus on families. The Duggar family has had a show on TLC for years, and the Bates family had a show on their for a short time. Those are the largest families featured on the network, but there have been many similar shows with 8 or more children per family.

There are many different opinions held about these families. Most people worry about whether or not the family is on welfare and whether the children are properly cared for. Some care about the issue of over-population and pollution. However, many also praise these families for their religious convictions and good parenting.

For the last few months, I have been quite fascinated with these families myself. I grew up with one brother, so the idea of having many brothers and sisters is odd to me. But I’m more interested in the religious convictions. I can’t say whether or not the Duggars are good parents, but some of their religious convictions bother me. For one, I don’t think it’s healthy to teach a girl to rely on her father when it comes to picking a future spouse. Her father will not be marrying him. He will not have to spend the rest of his life with this man. The daughters should be given the information necessary to decide without parental guidance who  they wish to spend the rest of their lives with. I also don’t like the idea of courting. In the case of the two Duggar girls, one only courted her now husband before getting engaged. They got married in under a year and are now expecting a child. The other Duggar girl courted for 5 months before getting engaged. She will be getting married in three months. While courting they weren’t allowed to be alone, they can’t kiss or hug (Christian side hugs only), and they were expected to keep their thoughts pure. I can’t help but wonder, with all that pressure to remain pure, and with no privacy, how well either girl really knows her partner.

Of course, those aren’t my only concerns, but they are some of my biggest concerns. I’m also concerned with how the children are always surrounded by like-minded people. I get that the parents want their children to stay pure and be good Christians, but is it healthy to keep them away from other world views? In the book written by the oldest 4 girls, they say that they were encouraged to avoid unGodly people and to turn conversations with strangers into missionary work. So they were basically taught to only value people who are Christians, and particularly those who are their type of Christian. How will they handle the diversity in the world?  How will they deal with the fact that the entire world isn’t Christian, and never will be, and they will have to work with non-Christians?

The last big concern that I’d like to bring up pertains to the quiverfull lifestyle and the mother. She had 19 kids. The human body is not built well for child birth. What kind of damage has she done to her body to have so many children? How much damage has this lifestyle caused? What is the purpose of having so many children when it does so much damage? And what damage has this lifestyle done to her views of her self? Does she view herself solely through her children? These are all scary thoughts.

Personally, I don’t really care how many children a person has. It’s their choice. But I do worry about the effects that religion has on families. Everything from the shame focused on sexuality to the way religion encourages parents to raise their children effects society. So long as the children aren’t abused, then the family can parent however they like. But nobody should be ashamed of their sexuality. Nobody should be shut away from diversity in the name of religion. And nobody should feel that they are solely responsible for repopulating our already full world.


What Does “Happy Holiday” Mean?


I was watching the preview for yet another Kirk Cameron “documentary,” and in it he made some comment about people saying “happy holiday” instead of “merry Christmas.” He then said “whatever that means.” Does he really not know what “holiday” means?

It doesn’t seem as though very many people do know what it means, because this debate happens every September through to December. People complain that Christ is being taken out of Christmas, and you should say “merry Christmas” instead of “happy holiday” or vice versa. It seems to me that people are just looking for an excuse to be mad. But it’s silly.

So let’s look at what “happy holiday” means. What is a holiday? That’s easy: it’s a holy day. So how, exactly, is saying “happy holiday” secular? Sure, it’s not merely recognizing one religion, but so what? We’re talking about western countries with a lot of different religions. Many of which celebrate holy days in December. So if someone says “happy holiday” to you, they are in fact recognizing the day as holy. They are just not assuming you celebrate one holiday over another.

“Merry Christmas,” however, ignores all but one of the many holidays. So, for those of you demanding that everybody say “merry Christmas,” are you really so selfish that you demand that everybody should pay deference to your holy day while ignoring the millions who do not celebrate your it? Why can’t you be happy with the acknowledgement that your day is in fact recognized as holy?

Personally, I grew tired of this issue long ago. None of the holidays are holy to me, and I certainly don’t recognize Christ in Christmas. I don’t need people demanding that I pay them any special heed. That’s why, when I was still working retail, I stopped saying anything about the season. Nobody complains if you just say “have a good day,” even on December 24. I did that for about 4 years and never got so much as a funny look. So if “have a good day” is acceptable, what’s wrong with “happy holiday”? And what exactly is all the fuss about?


A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Five.


Click to go back to Part 1

I’d now like to explain what I think was meant by a quote Godless Cranium pulled from: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-05-08/news/1993128032_1_potential-rapists-campus-feminist-art

the selected text chosen by Godless was this:

Are nearly all male students at the University of Maryland “potential rapists”?

Women in a feminist art class here apparently believe so. About 10 of them plastered the campus with fliers last week listing the names of virtually every male student under the heading, “NOTICE: THESE MEN ARE POTENTIAL RAPISTS.”

While stating things in that manner is fairly tactless I should remind you all of the fallowing statistic from my original post. That depending on the country 6%-15% of men will admit to having raped a women. The citation can be found here: http://www.wcsap.org/sites/www.wcsap.org/files/uploads/webinars/SV%20on%20Campus/Repeat%20Rape.pdf The Research paper itself found 6.4% of men admit to raping a woman, but study cites the number between 6%-15% based on other studies.

So on average something like 10% of men are willing to rape a women, so I feel the following analogy is almost perfect:

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Obviously “MONSTERS” is harsher language then I might like to use in the desire to be civil, but this the reality women live in. Men are dangerous, and to a level which is very significant to the lives of women. To the woman who doesn’t know me, there’s something like a 10% chance I’d be willing to rape her given the chance. Sure, I know I’m in the 90% that wouldn’t, but she can’t know that. So yes, to a person who doesn’t know me I am a potential rapist for all they know.

Plus, like I mentioned already, statistics back this horrifying number. Even at 6.4%, this means that 1 in 16 men are rapists. So yes, the average man isn’t a rapist, but the percent is high enough to warrant worry from every woman towards every man, given the sort of violence that could happen. And since most rapes are done by acquaintances, it doesn’t help to just know the guy: you really need to understand if he’s trustworthy and has a good track record relating to treatment of women if you want to be sure. Does the above infographic really lose much power if you change 10% to 6-15%?

 

Now to Godless Cranium’s last three points:

I also see a lack of viable solutions by modern feminism. I see a lot of people talking about the patriarchy or how women get paid less etc, but no solutions. If these issues are so problematic, then what are the solutions? That’s what I’m interested in.

I hope I’ve given you a few viable solutions feminists are applying to problems in the form of consent education, challenging social norms, and education (advertisement) of the sexism what still exists. Feminists need to change minds and that isn’t an easy task, particular when you’re running in opposition to the establishment. Though I think there are plenty of people pushing the goals of feminism, I’ve linked to many video’s on people speaking of their successes and difficulties. Feminism, like all movements, is made of many thousands of people each doing their small part, some bigger then others, and those people doing the more noticeable work are easier to point toward, but each person speaking for women, and men, pushing back against those social constructs which do harm, they are the feminists we always need to remember and encourage as they are the ones changing society. It’s a movement of the masses, not just a handful of key players.

 

And I personally think the very term ‘feminism’ should get thrown out. Why not use a term that is sex/gender neutral, such as:

  • gender egalitarian

  • equal rights movement

  • humanism (although the argument is usually that humanism already covers something else)

This common reply is pulled up all the time on feminists, but it ends up ignoring the problem that there is no guarantee you can make up for the loss of social capital, and I think this video by AngryFilmProduction on this topic is done well and in an amusing manner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBSK7oFZYes&list=UUHEe9OGJqObD02AzTrvp2wg

Here are 4 more serious posts about this topic. They are more thorough than I can be dealt with here:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/05/why-not-say-everyday-humanism-instead-of-everyday-feminism/

http://thetokenfeminist.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/should-feminism-be-renamed-equalism/

http://thefeministwire.com/2013/08/op-ed-feminism-versus-humanism-susan-sarandon-and-the-vanishing-politics-of-gender/

http://www.harpyness.com/2009/09/01/humanist-is-not-a-sufficient-replacement-for-feminist/

And finally, the infamous “The Talk” episode where they laughed at a man having his genitals mutilated. Yep that’s sexism, and is tasteless and awful and just plain sick. It saddens me this happens at all, as it saddened other feminists. Sadly we live in a world where we still joke and threaten such things. Indeed in many parts of the world surgical genital mutilation is common (Though I will mention that only male genital mutilation tends to occur in North America, and that female genital mutilation is far, far worse overall then male circumcision. In North America it’s male circumcision, which has been show to do basically nothing beneficial in comparison to its harms. And feminists do talk about this and fight against it, also none of my male offspring shall have said surgery force onto them as babies as it was on me.

And so now ends my 5 part reply, thanks to those who took the time and got all the way through this beast. Now allow me to leave you with this humorous video on the history of circumcision in North America:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised#!bGFvjN

Withteeth

Part 4

Go back to Part 1


A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Four.


image_zpsbc482711

Click to go back to Part 1

Now back to the portrayal of men and women in media, particularly games and cartoons.

I’d like to reply to Godless Cranium’s Pictures with a few of my own and ask the fallowing question.

Does anyone honestly think that this…

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…Is directly equivalent to this?

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And a few pictures of women and men side by side.

Obviously both are unrealistic in the extreme, but let’s look at the Hawkeye initiative memes, where Hawkeye is put in the place of female superheroes. Remember the picture at the beginning of this post? Now that is what men would look like if they were treated and sexualized in the same way women are. As it stands, men tend to be given impossibly strong bodies and crazy good features, however, this is more characterizable as a power fantasy for the player/viewer. Where women are generally showed more as a prize or show piece. This is a underlying problem and is very implicit in our society.

Here is the Hawkeye Initiative:

This is what male superheroes would look like if they were portrayed the same way female superheroes are. Warning: many are very satirical, and, sadly, sometimes some homophobia works its way in, which annoys me greatly. So I’ll be including some of the better pictures below the link:

http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

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tumblr_inline_mmtpm3cmVJ1qz4rgp

tumblr_mnfjcgsqB81rmx3kqo1_12802

 

tumblr_mu4kutf7c71rr5ii2o1_500

 

As I’m sure you can see, the men portrayed in the Hawkeye Initiative are more equivalent to those pictures of the women found above.

 

I think modern feminism is a movement that at its core is something to aspire to. I think historically, it has done a lot of good and should be applauded for that. I also think it’s currently rudderless. It doesn’t seem to have clear goals. People who identify as feminists can’t seem to make up their minds about what should be done.

For example, you have some feminists saying the patriarchy objectifies women and strip clubs and pornography personify this. On the other side, you have feminists who say women should be allowed to strip and take part in pornography if they choose.

Which is it?

Godless Cranium

 

I object to this as a false dichotomy, and that this example properly represents a common problem in feminism. I’ve said it before: feminism has never been and shouldn’t be a hive-mind with 100% consensus at all times in the movement. In all large movements you need different people trying different things and reporting back what happens to the community at large.

Addressing the issue of pornography is not one I do lightly. Pornography is a complex issue in feminism and not all pornography is the same. There is well regulated pornography which has actors with contracts who are protected, as is there pornography where women are taken advantage off, and even raped (for example they might have in there contract that they won’t be performing oral sex, and will be orally raped anyway) for the film.

Further, who are you thinking of on the anti-porn side of feminism? I hope we are not talking about Andrea Dworkin: we’ve long since moved past the point where she and those of her ideologies are really relevant to the movement. Those harm based arguments of porn are not accurate from my understanding. With porn, like many other kinds of media, how and exactly what you consume has more of an impact than the media itself. And in regards to exploitation, if porn is properly regulated, you can avoid those very real problems of exploitation.

As well Sex-positive feminists do not think all sex and porn are great and good to go. What I hope is obvious is that sex-positive feminist don’t think exploitation of porn actors is a good thing. Also sex-positive feminists have a more complex ideology that I’ve outlined:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_feminism

However I won’t say more since this is not a realm I’m very knowledgeable about.

Now, is feminism really rudderless? I think feminism is pretty clear on many issues, such as teaching consent, sex education in general, access to birth control and family planning services, access to abortion, and challenging gender norms (all gender norms). The issues there seems to be in consensus, and all worthy things to tackle. Do feminists really need to agree on everything all time to effect change? I don’t think so. And do feminists ignore men’s issues? Perhaps to some degree, but I don’t think so, and definitely not all together. Why am I comfortable saying this? Because men are more and more joining the conversation, and less and less as opposition.

And we cannot forget the overwhelming numbers that women are exposed to in violence and harassment compared to men. We are talking numbers like 60-90% of all women experience harassment or violence, where men experience it at level closer to 25-40%. And we cannot forget, particularly as men, since women don’t forget this basically ever, that men compose the vast majority of the perpetrators of violence. Further, a lot of these issues revolve around the very gender issues and issues of consent. That women and the feminine are weak, and men are strong, macho, never showing weakness. These problem are impossible to tackle without tackling both sides. For consent doesn’t work unless everyone understand what it means. And that making the feminine good and normal, and not substandard or problematic, makes it so men don’t need to fear being feminine. They don’t need to avoid being “girly.”

That feminism comes from the perspective of women in most cases is not a weakness as many people seems to say. Women and their opinions are sorely under represented (as this Ted talks about https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_kamerick_women_should_represent_women_in_media#t-299037). If a woman says something, a lot less people will take her word for it than if a man, of the exact same station says the exact same thing.

I also can’t seem to say this enough: Yes, some feminist hate men. Yes, they exists, they are a minority, they don’t speak for me, and they don’t represent the movement at large, they are strawmen (strawwomen 😉 ) and arguing against those sudo-feminists (many don’t actually believe in true equality and so therefore are not truly feminists) is not the same as arguing against feminists. It’s like saying the Gnostic Atheist represent the whole atheist movement.

Here’s a great video of AronRa talking about these very topics and I think it’s an excellent second voice to what I’m trying to say here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ByZkQPjWo

Part 3

Part 5


A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Three.


Click to go back to Part 1

Next I will discuss the one part of Godless Cranium’s reply where I felt misrepresented.

Here is the section from his reply where he quoted me saying the following.

Moreover, women are considered public objects in our society, we are allowed to freely and openly critique every physical portion of a women and are often expected to. From their body to their clothing to the way they move and present themselves, even the way they talk. One might say men get this to, but anyone who is honestly looking into the issue will admit that it occurs far more regularly to women. For example; how often do men get cat called, or whistled at? Both women and men judge women largely by their physical traits, which is largely not the case for men. As well, this is not an inequality born of nature, but of culture. There are cultures where the above examples are not the case, yet we are mostly blind to this since we were raised with this often overt sexism all around us and deem it normal and expected.

Withteeth (myself)

He then followed my quote with:

Emphasis is again mine, to show where one sex is minimized in favor of the other.

So because men don’t get cat-called or whistled at as often as women, they’re never critiqued for their physical proportions. Really? …

… Are you saying that popular culture (movies, TV, video games, cartoons, comics, websites etc) are not flooded by good looking men?

Are you saying that sex sells, no matter the gender or sex being portrayed?

In a perfect world, should men or women be valued more if they’re attractive to the opposite sex?

Of course not. But we’re sexual beings and we like to look at the opposite sex. Women do it just like men do. There are also jerks from either sex/gender.

Godless Cranium

I feel this misrepresents what I said, and misrepresents the reality.

I never said objectification of men never happens when asking if men are treated as object to be yelled at and judged purely by their looks, aka catcalling. In fact I implied it occurred to men as well, but not as often. I also didn’t make a statement about how men are not critiqued for their physical proportions, nor did I say anything about media in that section of the post, but allow me to do so now.

Now, I won’t argue your point about people in media in general being full of beautiful people, but I will argue that women and men are still not equal in that regard. Men get much more diversity of representation in the looks department then do women. You don’t need to be super attractive to succeed in media if you’re a man. There are unattractive men in media, and main character of sitcoms are often unattractive men, particularly cartoons (The Simpsons, Family Guy), but the women in these shows are generally very attractive and are often in the position of being far more attractive then the main male character. The reverse is basically never the case, have you ever seen an unattractive women in a TV show in a relationship with an very attractive man? It’s exceedingly rare.

Unattractive men are not that uncommon from the small and large screen, or even games, but unattractive women? You don’t see them in media nearly as often, and you basically never see them as fleshed out characters. And you hardly even see any women as fleshed out characters let alone unattractive women.

There are attractive people in media and, while not all people like looking at attractive people of a different sexes (let’s not be hetero-normative, the media might be, but we don’t need to be), most people like to look at other attractive humans. This is pretty obvious. Though I don’t think that we should judge women (or men, but I’d argue men don’t have this problem) primarily on whether or not we think they are attractive. This Ted talk by Megan Kamerick discusses the representation of women in the media (this one’s good for making you think):

https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_kamerick_women_should_represent_women_in_media#t-299037

And in regards to not caring about physical appearances, I honestly don’t know how the world would be different if it was the case we didn’t care about physical appearances. It could be better, or it could end up not changing anything in the end. I can’t know, but it also isn’t the world we live in, so it is irrelevant to the question of what we should do.

There are jerks everywhere, and I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public.

Godless Cranium

I agree with Godless in principle, but I don’t necessarily like framing the issue as both men and women are harassed (equally) in the street. It ignores that women take most of the brunt, and it also isn’t saying who’s doing the harassment. I suspect it’s largely men. I personally haven’t experienced sexual harassment of men in public, but I have experienced multiple times where women have been harassed publicly. Mostly this was when I was younger and I didn’t know I could do anything about it, but I make up for that lack as best as I’m able now.

Feel free to keep saying “I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public,” but don’t forget that women are harassed more than men see following links for the proof:

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/statistics-academic-studies/

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/2013/10/31/spookystats-heres-why-street-harassment-is-a-big-deal/

According to these stats, women once again are subjected to the brunt of street harassment as 65%-99% of women reporting having been harassed, and, while 25% of men in the study reported having been harassed, with a higher rate of LGBT men being harassed, there are several study and links to the full report on the Stop Street Harassment site, I’ve included two links for ease of access.

Alright so I need to be very careful and I probable haven’t been as careful as I could be. I definitely don’t mean to ignore men’s issues, and really I’m not. I point them out when I see them, and I understand they are problems. But the point is that anti-feminist sentiment tries to label feminists as man-hating and ignoring men’s right all together. This is what I’m fighting against, and the reality is that women take the brunt of the societal ills I’ve been discussing. While child custody issues, and legal issue surrounding courts giving favorable sentencing to women for no other reason by their gender, is a real issues, why do those two examples occur? I think it’s largely because society view’s women as harmless, kind, caring, and nurturing. While men are ambitious, aggressive, dangerous, and strong. Of course, this sort of sexism will cause misconceptions, and are probably in the vast majority of cases benevolent sexism.

Here’s a video about why violence against women is a men’s issue. This video is useful to tie thing together as we go along through these posts, and points out how both men and women are victim of violence perpetrated by men: something I’ve been glossing over, but that needs to be said. Though over all he hit all the points. Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

If we are really going to talk about men’s issues we need to talk about the US justice system, and how men and boys are unfairly locked away, especially those who are economically disadvantaged and who are not white. Talk about how we raise boys to put sex (with women) higher than almost anything, along with being respected and being ever stoic no matter what’s happening.

Here are some resent posts dealing with issue primarily effecting men:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/michael-brown-and-ferguson/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/us-prison-system/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/male-rape-no-laughing-matter/

We need to tackle the problem largely by going after the roots of sexism in society. The shit we learn even as small children. And most of that work is in education, and it’s very hard to educate when there are big powers and other movement’s pushing back hard against this education. We need to teach and encourage men to speak out about all these issues, especially violence against women, which is so often normalized and ignored. I suspect a large reason the movement has been as successful as it has been is due to the fact that feminism is the just thing. Most people understand that equality is the only real just option we have available.

Withteeth

Part 2

Part 4


A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Two.


Click to go back to Part 1

Here’s part 2 of my reply to Godless Cranium’s post found here.

Hessian then goes on to discuss the wage gap, male privilege (a nebulous term at best), jobs and educational opportunities. I saw no statistics to back this up, but if there is a problem in these areas, then we should be combating them – not from the perspective of one gender or sex only, but from a human perspective.

Godless Cranium

I take an issues with this, though you’re right: I didn’t link to stats, and I shall link to stats now. But first my issues:

Gender and Sex are human issues. How do you think we are going to tackle this human issue if we don’t look at the cultural, economic, social, gender, and sex (as well as others) issues involved? Feminism, when it comes to these economic issues, isn’t just about sex and gender, it’s about at least the 5 factors I mentioned and their interplay in the dynamics of the systematic oppression caused by the patriarchal white and rich favoring system we live within (these oppressions are not limited to women). We shouldn’t ignore sex and gender as just a human issue, just like we should not be minimizing race, and, while this is not what you said, I feel that saying things in that manner can lead to us ignoring that sex and gender do play very real roles in how much money you make and what opportunities you have.

Now Stats:

Wage Gap:

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110216_data.htm

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2009.pdf

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics#Main_statistical_findings

Check the citations on Wikipedia if you really want to do some digging, but the number are clear: women on average do not get paid as much as men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States#References

Differences in Opportunity (this is far less clear cut then the wage gap):

This one’s a chapter of a textbook, so if you’re in for a read… Thought it is thorough and has lots of diagrams, and does say where inequality effects both men and women in many place around the world:

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDAQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsiteresources.worldbank.org%2FINTWDR2012%2FResources%2F7778105-1299699968583%2F7786210-1315936222006%2Fchapter-5.pdf&ei=XVPxU7HFAo_ZoATk1oGQAQ&usg=AFQjCNHHsOviw0DHdWaTyXddvaZHw8nY9g&sig2=vtz4eQW0nRtHwY0HPnpDpg&bvm=bv.73231344,d.cGU&cad=rja

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK23781/

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2009/09/BG0909019I.htm

Perceptions around job opportunity equality:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/17614/gender-differences-views-job-opportunity.aspx

http://www.pewglobal.org/2010/07/01/gender-equality/

Satisfaction of work seems to show little difference between the two gender discussed, though this study still finds fewer women in supervisor positions:

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2009/09/BG0909019I.htm

 

Another point Godless Cranium makes is that Male privilege is a nebulous term. Well, what does male privilege refer to?

From Wikipedia: Male privilege refers to men having unearned social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are granted to them solely on the basis of their sex, and which are usually denied to women.

The notation of privilege can be expanded so that it deals with other issue, like white privilege and cis (vs trans) privilege.

I don’t find this term truly nebulous, based on the above, but it is a broad reaching term. It can also probably be accurately summarized in that men are generally treated better overall than women for no good reason. They are shown more respect, get paid more (see the references I link to above), and are over all safer than women (they are assaulted over all less than women, and often by a ridiculous amount).

What privilege does not mean is that men are more privileged in every way than women, but are privilege in ways women are not. However, in the case of male privilege vs. female privilege, men get the better half of the deal, and have gotten this throughout history. Further, what is deemed normal female privilege is better classified as “benevolent sexism,” like “women can’t be front line soldiers” or “can’t work in dangerous industries.” Or that women don’t need to work in the work force but can say at home (what they forget to mention is that house work is unpaid labor and is not necessarily easier or less useful than paid work). These “privileges” are a large basis of the concept that women are the “weaker” sex and need defending and safekeeping. I don’t know which came first in this case: the benign sexism or the sexist popular opinions directed towards women, but they are definitely cyclical now and feed on one another.

Here are two Blog posts by Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog which go into the issue deeper:

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/faq-female-privilege/

I’m not claiming to agree 100% with Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog, but it’s a good take on the matter and worth mulling over.

Part 3

Part 1


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