Unrequited sexism.

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by Drifterwood, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    I am not looking for a two wrongs do or don't make a right argument.

    I would be interested to know though if the women here feel that men face inequalities in life and relationships? From the mundane attitude that the home is still the wife's domain to an expectation that partners should acquiesce to a woman's child agenda.

    To explain the latter, I mean a situation where a woman wants to start a family at say twenty four and the partner of a similar age would rather wait. It may be the other way around of course.

    You may also have experience of being with a divorced man whose prior settlement has affected your ability to live your lives as you wish.
     
  2. ManlyBanisters

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    12,807
    Likes Received:
    8
    In the ways you have described? Inequalities? No.

    I think those things happen. But I see them happening to women too. They are not exclusively something that happens to men. I've seen women acquiesce to men's child agenda (whether that is waiting when she doesn't want to, having them maybe earlier than she had hoped to or even not having them at all). I've seen women take on more of the 'home chores' because their men assume that that is the way it will be. Or indeed be dictated to by the man what is their domain and what isn't - which is a better parallel. I've seen women and their new partners unable to live as they would like due to settlements from previous legal relationships.

    What you describe are partner issues - they happen to men in straight and gay relationships and they happen to women in straight and gay relationships. Bad shit happening to women is not necessarily sexism, likewise bad shit happening to men isn't either.
     
  3. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Do you not think that there are any cultural expectations on men, Manly, that could be described as sexist?
     
  4. ManlyBanisters

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    12,807
    Likes Received:
    8
    Yes, but not the ones you used as examples in the OP.

    Men are expected to be more OK with separating from their kids when a partnership dissolves. That's sexist.

    Men are often considered more inept within caregiving roles - the people who hold those views are being sexist.

    And of course there is the example of physical abuse in the other thread you posted to. A man will be more often ridiclued instead of helped if he is the victim of domestic abuse.

    That's by no means a definitive list.
     
  5. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Thanks.

    I was in a situation in my twenties where I felt that I was under cultural obligation to get married to a long term GF and acquiesce to her desire to breed. Whilst it was a situation within a relationship, I still felt that there were expectations being loaded onto to me as a man who should be doing the right thing. I feel that is sexist.
     
  6. got_lost

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,022
    Likes Received:
    3
    Do you not think there were cultural obligations being put upon the girl to get married and breed too, that were just as sexist?
     
  7. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    I could be wrong, but I don't think so. In a post feminist environment, this choice for a woman is just as valid as wanting to become Chairman of ICI. She wanted a large family and wanted to start in her twenties.
     
  8. got_lost

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,022
    Likes Received:
    3
    But that long ago :)lmao: sorry... assuming that was a while ago) depite it being a 'post-feminist' environment, upbringing, parents and even peers were still not all that progressive in many areas.

    Certainly in my 20's there was still an assumption that girls would marry and have a family pretty quickly, even if they did have a 'choice' to have a career.
     
  9. invisibleman

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    9,976
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I think that parents fail to realize that their children grow up to have their own dreams and aspirations. And gender roles and "societal" norms are neither. Two of my sisters are really like that. They want their kids to get married and some of their kids did marry. I don't think out of love but out of pressure. And some of them, were contemptuous--like having a lot of kids out of wedlock by two different women. (THAT caused some holiday friction I tell ya.) AND that was weird.

    One of my sisters was a very promiscuous person in her early adulthood...and now that she is older is now VERY religious and a born again Christian with a habit of judging people in church. (Very hypocritical. And her marriage is faltering. Like her kids' marriages.)

    It is sad that people don't leave each other alone to walk whatever paths they desire.
     
  10. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    If you want your bottom spanking, you only have to ask. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Doesn't this also presume that the boys would tow the line and become dutiful hubbies and dads?

    This is my point, everyone forgets about the expectations put upon men.
     
  12. ManlyBanisters

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    12,807
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ah, but that isn't / wasn't the expectation put on ALL men, was it.

    That's the key here, Drifter. Obvioulsy women cannot be expected to be husbands and dads because those are intrinsicly male role - likewise men cannot be expected to be wives and mothers. So you are not saying that is sexist. (At least I hope not. :rolleyes:) The difference is that women (in general, as a group) were looked down on by the majority of society for choosing career over family. Men were (and are) not. Generally speaking, if a man chooses not to marry and have kids that's seen as OK - and if he choose to marry and have kids that's seen as OK too. The same was true back when you and I were in our 20s.

    Maybe you were in a situation where the parties involved thought you should have acted differently - but I think you'll find at the time there was a much more wider acceptence that a man would want to have less committed, less family oriented relationships in his 20s and save marriage and kids for his 30s (or perhaps never). I don't believe the majority view in society was that a man should marry and reproduce with any woman who wanted him to, do you?

    So I don't believe you experienced sexism - I believe you experience people expecting something of you that you weren't willing to give, but not ONLY because you are a man.

    Now - had you said that you had wanted to have kids and be a stay at home dad back then but the people around you expected you to go out to work and hire a childminder then I'd agree about sexism. Why do people (men and women) STILL think that men opting to be stay-at-home dads are taking an 'easy option' or are somehow weird - especially when, as far as I have noticed, it is not OK to say the same thing about stay-at-home mums?
     
  13. Runco

    Runco New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    London
    I think with your example (the child bearing one in particular), I would call this an expectation issue and a compromise issue as well as a gender one. For example, society seems to assume that women get married to have kids and men get married to be taken care of by a 'good woman'. When a woman marries, the assumption is a couple will reproduce and it's only a matter of when they will do it. Hence people seldom hesitate to ask intrusive questions about the pitter patter of tiny feet! In instances where one or the other want children and the other doesn't, I think this is more about compromise. Sometimes men want kids first and women don't. The recent marriage between Colleen McLoughlin and Wayne Rooney is a case in point. Wayne said he wants four kids as soon as possible and Colleen has said the kids will have to wait. I don't think that's sexism - it's compromise. She is not saying she won't have kids she just wants some control over the timing, which I think is fair enough. Men could demand the right to exert similar control without accusations of sexism in my view. Sometimes women want kids immediately and men don't and women have two options - they either wait for the man to be ready or they fall pregnant 'accidentally'. The latter is never a good idea...

    I think the notion of sexism as you describe it goes both ways. For example, when I married, no one asked if I was going to keep my maiden name. No one asked if my husband was going to take my surname. Instead, all my work documentation was changed over to his name without reference to me. I would have liked to keep my name or for us both to go double-barreled. Similarly, when I had our son (we married when he was 2), everyone assumed he would have his father's surname. No one thought to ask otherwise. When I divorced, my family started referring to me by my maiden name again. For my entire professional career, I have been known by my ex's name. I actually ended up keeping my married name purely because it's my son's name and also because it's too much hassle to change everything back again.

    With our bank accounts, we had separate accounts and one joint account. All the money going into the joint account was going from my bank account (I earned a lot more than my husband). Similarly, we had investments, shares, etc., in joint names. All the money to fund these things was also coming from my account yet all the letters were sent to my husband. ALL the letters. I tried to query this with the bank and get this - they wouldn't even speak to me; they would only talk to my husband. Interestingly, even after we divorced and the bank was informed that I was the sole account holder, my bank was still trying to talk to him about the contents of the joint account despite knowing a) we had divorced; b) we no longer lived together and c) that I had deposited a huge sum in there long after we parted. Again, I asked them about this and they refused to even talk to me. I had to close the account and set up new accounts before the bank would even deal with me.

    In terms of life, I agree with MB. Men are treated badly when it comes to divorce, particularly when it comes to access to the kids. I think society thinks men care less about their children than women do. Some of this might boil down to the bitterness that sometimes goes hand in hand with divorce. I have seen men throw their wives and kids out of homes and move mistresses in. I have also seen men refuse to support their wives and children. Men who have murdered their children to spite their wives. I am not saying it's common but it may account for the perception, although I do think there is a great deal of gender bias there as well. Society assumes that kids will be better off with their mothers but women can be very selfish at times too. I have read stories about women leaving their kids for days on end to go off partying; putting men before their kids, etc. Society doesn't seem to penalise women in the same way as it does men.

    I am not sure how things work for men but I am now single and my mother is convinced that she cannot rest or go to her maker until I am settled with a new man. She has made it her mission to coax me into finding someone new. I do think there is this segment of society that sees women as somehow less of a person or lacking or incomplete if they are single. People actually sometimes look at single women with pity (and married women sometimes look at us like we're sharks!). But hey - I am happy being single! Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm lonely and I long to have a man in my life. It would be wonderful to be part of a couple. Fantastic to have a man to share my life with - and share the load with - absolutely. But equally, my life is pretty rich and fulfilling and I feel fortunate that I can do whatever I like! So I am not going to die in a ditch if it doesn't happen. But try telling my mother that...! :smile:
     
  14. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Thank you ladies. I know how long it takes to post an intelligent and articulate response; I am still working on my first one :smile: :rolleyes:

    Regarding my feeling of sexist expectation. If the situation had been reversed and I had approached the long term GF - "I want us to get married, and I want to father five kids with you.", I would have considered that sexist. First because of my expectation (conscious or culturally engrained) that that is what women were for, and second because of the limitations that so many kids, starting now, would place upon the woman.

    Maybe this is/was just the environment in which I grew up, but the imposition of a full time mother role on a woman would have been considered sexist. I do not see why it should be different when the roles are reversed and to expect a man to acquiesce to a full time father role.

    Isn't this a key factor of sexism, the imposition of gender roles?
     
  15. Runco

    Runco New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    London
    I think it would depend on how you delivered the message! To me, sexism would be you approaching some random woman and telling her that you like the look of her and want to settle down and impregnate her AND you expecting her to just fall in line with your wishes regardless of what she wants. If you whack the woman over the head with a club and drag her off, I would agree that you were being a tad sexist! However, whichever way you look at it, if you want five kids (not suggesting that you really do), a woman is going to have to play a big role in that purely because men cannot have kids on their own. In which case, is it right to call it sexism? I think the key to avoiding accusations of sexism is finding a woman who wants the same things that you want.

    In terms of the limitations that having a large number of kids would place upon the woman and the reverse sexism that would occur due to expectations should a man acquiesce to a full time father role, you are talking about two extremes here. Why assume that one parent has to do the bulk of the parenting? Isn't this just seeking to impose gender roles that might not need to be there? Why can't people just do what needs to be done without worrying about who 'should' be doing it? I think this is the current tension between men and women. Society seems to expect women to do the bulk of the child rearing regardless of the number of children being raised and despite the fact that many women work. The same is not expected of men. That said, some men would love to be full time fathers but gender roles/societal expectation does not make this an easy role for men to take on as they are often seen as 'shirking' their 'real' responsibility (i.e. to provide). I think most women (myself included!) are looking for compromise - a man who will HELP us to shoulder the load at home and who will help us to provide without drama. Sod gender roles! For some people this seems to translate into an expectation that men will take on the bulk of the care and sometimes this might be for the best financially but in my experience, people just tend to do what works best, regardless of other people's expectations.
     
  16. got_lost

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,022
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think you are utterly right and it was the environment that you grew up in that gave you such beliefs and considerations.

    As in all aspects of change there are early adopters, leaders even, that embrace the changes and accept the new ideas beliefs, in this case roles with regards to gender.

    They are also respected and listened to and hence the ideal spreads and is taken on board by the followers, and even late adopters eventually. But it all takes time. Decades, even. Then of course, there are those that just don't get it. Don't believe it or don't want to believe it and they will continue to teach their off spring their beliefs, not the 'modern' way of thinking. So the cultural differences of old ways and new ways will exist across generations. In those cases it will be down to the off spring to eventually rebel against what they've been taught and stand up for their own beliefs. (many of which, imo, don't... or they do, but when it's too late).

    From reading a lot of the 'battle of the sexes' posts on here, I wonder whether what we have now is a complete mishmash of the degrees of which cultures have tried to 'give' up the typical gender roles. We have both extremes and all the variations in between.

    Give it another 5 decades and maybe it'll all be sorted out :smile:



    The imposition of gender roles is, yes, but that's not allowing for choice.
    In reality, many people have a choice as to their roles in life (it should read 'all' but I don't think that is true). Many women 'choose' to be mothers and have loads of kids. Many men choose the same. On the other hand, men and women can choose careers. The unsexist way is that everyone 'chooses' their own path, based purely on what they want.

    In reality, once in a relationship/partnership, unless both individuals want exactly the same thing, there has to be compromise. If well thought out and considered carefully, I don't think that 'compromise' should be considered sexist.

    It's a couples 'choice'.

    Isn't it?!
     
  17. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    God yes, plenty of 'em. We're "stupid", we're "just here to bring home the bacon" and once you go gay it gets worse. You're expected to do nothing but slob on knobs all day and pretty much anything you have to say pre- and post- blow-job is irrelevant. Once you hop into the gay community you pretty much become a living sex toy and any other endeavors are meaningless.

    I guess the biggest one is the whole "provider" thing. If you lose your job or your wife makes more than you it's "unmanly." Unless you walk around, chest-hair sticking out, chopping down trees and toting boulders and catching footballs with you're teeth, you're "not a man."
     
  18. invisibleman

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    9,976
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I miss that.
     
  19. Rowan Ravenseed

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    500
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Kilda East, Melbourne, Australia
    Verified:
    Photo
    I think that more often than not you will find that the biggest impediment for social equality is the demographic itself.

    For example a lot of the imposed sexism on men is not there because of woman's expectations of a man but because other men place those expectations on themselves.

    Just as the biggest impediment of woman's lib is mostly women (It is usually more often than not another female who will label an outspoken woman as a lesbian/bitch or a sexually active woman as a slut)

    And in the gay world it is the gay man that takes objection to the feminine gay or that labels gay activists as "shoving their homosexuality in peoples faces"

    These are just my observations
     
  20. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Not in reality, sadly. Boards are full of "my partner won't do this or that etc etc.."

    It would also be nice if people understood what they won't compromise before they formalise relationships, but they don't and then also we all change/mature/evolve as human beings.

    Don't you think we have different expectations from partners at say 25 and 45? I am just saying that at one level these expectations are sexist in that they are related to presumed gender roles.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted