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Sexism still acceptable?

There was a comment that I heard not too long ago about women not listening when told to do something.  As if women are too incompetent to make there own desicisions and have to be directed by the nearest male.  Of course, I asked this person nicely to be respectful and refrain from saying gendered comments.  It seems to me that people won't tolerate any derogetory statements on any ethnicity, religon or sexual orientation (understandably), but comments on women are fair game. 

i'm not sure about whether the earning less due to societal expectations of motherhood really reflects on the employer than society as a whole (and honestly, i can't expect that, somehow without those societal norms, mothers wouldn't stay home to care for children more than fathers to at least some extent). However, I think there's more subtlety in the the salary/career advancement of women as opposed to men.
For instance, a man and a woman start at the same job, same pay. It involves some physical labor, and though the woman is capable of such, when it comes to staying late or doing extra physical tasks, it tends to be the man who is asked (not every one at work is needed for these things, of course). He is perceived as more physically capable (perhaps rightly so) and more able to withstand the extra stress of this labor. Come time for performance review and promotions, who has stayed late or gone beyond stated duties? The man, only because he was asked or expected due to his perceived physical skill. He winds up with better pay, position, and perception as a "team player" though either person may have been willing to stay. Hell, the woman might have been more positive about it.
There doesn't have to be a company policy about pay, it's about the people behind the management/labor decisions sometimes. Assuming that a man is better able to do a task because of his sex has ramifications down the line, even if those assumptions are correct at times or correct in general (e.g. men having better lifting ability, in general, but maybe the tasks that the job involves aren't that strenuous anyway). On top of that, sometimes men are asked to do the extra tasks because the person in charge is being polite/"kind" to the women, though it doesn't work out that way in the long run.

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I do not think sexism is acceptable, but i think it is nearly unavoidable. We all know that the genetic make ups of men and women make them different. It does not make either sex incapable of earning a higher salary, washing the dishes, or baby-sitting; however, it does generally influence the behavior and emotions of each gender. I feel that women are more sensitive towards sexism, not because they are sensitive creatures, but because they have faced severe sexism for so long. Maybe they are generally more sensitive as well (i'm not sure about that one, but maybe it's true). Now as for men, they have many expectations from society, but i very very very rarely hear them complain (maybe it's just the men i hang out with), or maybe it is because they are too egotistical to complain about what bothers them, or maybe they just don't care.

Anyways, I am trying to say that i do not think sexism is still acceptable. In some countries it is more than acceptable, it is simply a part of life. But in America there are countless opportunities for women and many organizations to help fight sexism. As for the existence of sexism, I honestly cannot picture a society completely free of sexism. When there are two very different but compatible beings, there will always be stereotypical roles and sometimes even very rude jokes. I think that as women, we are very blessed to live in a society that is strong enough to face some of the major issues of sexism.

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There's another kind of sexism that I notice here, particularly on  comedy TV series. I haven't seen US TV in forever but it was common in the 80's there too. The idea that "Dad's an idiot" and if Mom weren't around to see to things he would just make a shambles of everything. That men are just big kids/babies and can't be trusted, or expected, to act responsibly. The kids know this and are all about taking advantage of Dad's softhearted, shortsighted stupidity to get their way in whatever--quick! Before Mom gets home!! I find this very irritating, especially when at one and the same time Dad is portrayed as having a responsible, sometimes highlevel, job such as say doctor or journalist or whatever. But the minute he walks through the door at home he turns into some drooling adolescent.

Sexism cuts both ways sometimes. I really get tired of this image.

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i'm not sure if that image of the humorously irresponsible father stems from single-parent (mom) families, or if it's just always been the case. but, it doesn't seem like it would help that situation. like, hahaha, men are so naturally irresponsible and not wanting to assume the responsibility of fatherhood!

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Women get paid less for the same jobs as men all over Europe, I know that. Particularly in Spain. Childbirth leave is 6 mos to a year, depending on the business...but more than one woman finds herself either replaced or invited to take a severance package at the end of that time. Because, say the bosses, they've had to train someone to take your place etc. etc. The fact that it should be a temporary contract from the git-go is neither here nor there. When I came here in 1983 they really didn't want to hire married women at all "because you're going to have kids and quit."

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Interested in the bonus consideration...

Most single parents are women. True. I'ts interesting to think about why that is. I mean, in many cases, I'm sure its just that the person who doesn't have the baby in their body has an easier time ducking out of the situation. But if the father is choosing not to be a part of the child's life, the general assumption is that the child wasn't planned in the first place. NOT to bring up abortion here at all because I know thats another whole can of worms, but really the woman also had/has choices in the scenario as far as keeping the baby (abortion or adoption or what-have-you) or really, using birth control in the first place.

The second way you end up with single parents is through separation or divorce of two parents that were raising the child together. In that case, I know that it is common practice to give the mother full or most custody (as in my case as a child, every other weekend with my dad), even if both parents are equally capable to raise the child. I would consider that sexism, but in the opposite way. Yes, maybe that will hinder the mothers career advancement, but do you really think anyone, man or woman, wouldn't trade career advancement for the opportunity to be a bigger part of their child's life?

I'm not necessarily making an argument here either way. I just think the topic is very interesting, and really, sad. I think we are past the age of men having more "power" than women, at least in this country, but we are still struggling with destructive gender stereotypes on both sides.

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do you really think anyone, man or woman, wouldn't trade career advancement for the opportunity to be a bigger part of their child's life?

for real??! I am sorry to say that I personally know many many men and a few women who have gone to great lengths to AVOID being a bigger part of their childrens' lives... unfortunately it isn't terribly uncommon. I don't understand it, but it definitely occurs with considerable frequency...

I'm not necessarily making an argument here either way. I just think the topic is very interesting, and really, sad. I think we are past the age of men having more "power" than women, at least in this country, but we are still struggling with destructive gender stereotypes on both sides.

completely agree, on all counts!

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Gotta disagree, ST... sexism is defining a person by their genitalia. If I say, "my hubby doesn't do dishes as much as I think is fair," that's a legitimate complaint. If I say, "*men* do this or that negative thing," that's sexism -- applying broad generalizations to people I've never even met, based on the fact that they happen to be penis-humans instead of vagina-humans.

It seems like you view sexism as a finite set of beliefs, rather than a complex underlying framework for relating to other humans in the world... that isn't how I would define it, and I think to do so underestimates the destructive power of the beast (against both men and women).

I agree with you HotCook. Generalized statements about anyone are a major pet peeve of mine, and they are totally offensive. Believing any generalised statement about a group of people is the basis for prejudice, and prejudice begets hate and misunderstanding. I don't like it when people say, "Vegetarians are wimpy" or how about when Gord Ramsey said "Vegetarians don't have palettes." I don't like it when people say, "Women are like camels" or "Women are incompetent." I don't like it when people say "Canadians are stupid." If the words themselves don't hurt or offend (and clearly they are intended to), they help build misguided and stereotyped views, work to make those views acceptable in society, and through that guise make people feel isolated and as if their full potential is not realised while decreasing caring and support amongst people. Trivialising these types of comments is not the right way to go.

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When I came here in 1983 they really didn't want to hire married women at all "because you're going to have kids and quit."

I still get asked in job interviews if I have kids. It happens all the time. I ask my male friends if they've ever been asked that, and none of them have ever said "yes."

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In the u.s. -- you guys may know this -- that is an ILLEGAL question to ask in an interview... & happens ALL the time! and if (goddess forbid) you have a problem with answering this type of question -- or, are aware they're not suppose to be asking it in the 1st place!-- then you're (still) a hostile feminist radical... yyyeeeaaahhhh.... to quote the N.O.W. response to 'virginia slims' ads: "We haven't come a long way, and i'm not your baby.' (by which i mean,  WOW there's still a lot of crap circling the gender-bias bowl!)

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