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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 should add that no one backed me up.  This seems to be happening quite a bit more. lately.  Man says something derogetory about women 'in jest'.  Women calls him on it.  Everyone else around her, including other women, support the man and chastise the woman for dare saying anything.  Hadn't we all learned by now that women deserve respect, too?

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sadly, you're right, sexism is still acceptable in our society. I have to deal with what you're talking about every day--being an outspoken feminist, that makes me an 'easy target', aka someone to tell your disgusting sexist stories/jokes to. As if I want to hear 'woman, get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich' one more time....
My mother is the type of person to make very sexist comments towards women, and not even realize that her own words hurt her. I think many women fall into this category, but that's just me.
if you're not reading feminist blogs/websites, I'd suggest doing that now.
http://www.feministing.com 
feministing is a personal favorite of mine. Good luck!

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Nope-- not acceptable at all... dl, kudos for calling out the rude person; keep it up. EVERY time we let remarks like this go unchallenged, we agree to live by the world view that basically equates Vagina Americans (Samantha Bee's term, hehe) with Shetland Sheepdogs...

When I was a young woman, I internalized more of this crap than I realized -- I think a lot of girls do -- & then spent some hard time sloughing it off me like barnacles from my hull. Now I consider it my mama-duty to make double-dog sure that I stand up to this antiquated world view, and audibly... If it goes unchallenged (which it often does, 'cause thanks to the religious right's 'culture wars' many young women feel like there's a stigma attached to the term 'feminism', which they seek to avoid), then it's reinforced as 'normal.' Which it isn't. PTTHHTTT, is what I say to that world view!

Ever heard Ani Difranco's 'Grand Canyon'? http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/search/songs/?query=ani%20difranco%20grand%20canyon

Best poem about feminism (& some other cool stuff) I know:

"I love my country
By which I mean
I am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light

...

I mean, no song has gone unsung here
And this joint is strung crazy tight
And people been raising up their voices
Since it just ain't been right
With all the righteous rage
And all the bitter spite
That will accompany us out
Of this long night
That will grab us by the hand
When we are ready to take flight
Seatback and traytable
In the upright and locked position
Shocked to tears by each new vision
Of all that my ancestors have done

Like, say, the women who gave their lives
So that I could have one

People, we are standing at ground zero
Of the feminist revolution
Yeah, it was an inside job
Stoic and sly
One we're supposed to forget
And downplay and deny
But I think the time is nothing
If not nigh
To let the truth out
Coolest f-word ever deserves a fucking shout!
I mean
Why can't all decent men and women
Call themselves feminists?
Out of respect
For those who fought for this..."

I feel a debt to the Elizabeth Cady Stantons/ Lucretia Motts/ Margaret Sangers/ Mary Dalys, of history; I consider it my job to build on what they left me. So: make stupid anti-woman comments if you must; but do so at your own peril... I *will* call you on it! and I won't mind if you call me a bitch for doing so, either... that's a term of respect: it's an acronym for  'Being In Total Control Here'.  8-)  I'm not sorry!

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Nope-- not acceptable at all... dl, kudos for calling out the rude person; keep it up. EVERY time we let remarks like this go unchallenged, we agree to live by the world view that basically equates Vagina Americans (Samantha Bee's term, hehe) with Shetland Sheepdogs...

When I was a young woman, I internalized more of this crap than I realized -- I think a lot of girls do -- & then spent some hard time sloughing it off me like barnacles from my hull. Now I consider it my mama-duty to make double-dog sure that I stand up to this antiquated world view, and audibly... If it goes unchallenged (which it often does, 'cause thanks to the religious right's 'culture wars' many young women feel like there's a stigma attached to the term 'feminism', which they seek to avoid), then it's reinforced as 'normal.' Which it isn't. PTTHHTTT, is what I say to that world view!

Ever heard Ani Difranco's 'Grand Canyon'? http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/search/songs/?query=ani%20difranco%20grand%20canyon

Best poem about feminism (& some other cool stuff) I know:

"I love my country
By which I mean
I am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light

...

I mean, no song has gone unsung here
And this joint is strung crazy tight
And people been raising up their voices
Since it just ain't been right
With all the righteous rage
And all the bitter spite
That will accompany us out
Of this long night
That will grab us by the hand
When we are ready to take flight
Seatback and traytable
In the upright and locked position
Shocked to tears by each new vision
Of all that my ancestors have done

Like, say, the women who gave their lives
So that I could have one

People, we are standing at ground zero
Of the feminist revolution
Yeah, it was an inside job
Stoic and sly
One we're supposed to forget
And downplay and deny
But I think the time is nothing
If not nigh
To let the truth out
Coolest f-word ever deserves a fucking shout!
I mean
Why can't all decent men and women
Call themselves feminists?
Out of respect
For those who fought for this..."

I feel a debt to the Elizabeth Cady Stantons/ Lucretia Motts/ Margaret Sangers/ Mary Dalys, of history; I consider it my job to build on what they left me. So: make stupid anti-woman comments if you must; but do so at your own peril... I *will* call you on it! and I won't mind if you call me a bitch for doing so, either... that's a term of respect: it's an acronym for  'Being In Total Control Here'.  8-)  I'm not sorry!

hcnm--I think you're awesome. Keep this stuff up! If we let people know sexism is unacceptable--hopefully we can make a change!!

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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 don't know what planet you live on, but here on earth there is a HUGE problem with this one.

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c'mon... everyone knows women aren't capable of making clear-headed decisions.  it's not personal.  it's science. 

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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 don't know what planet you live on, but here on earth there is a HUGE problem with this one.

There are problems all over with all 3 of these.  Back to sexism; I think women tend to say things about other women (or at least let it slide) because either they think it makes their own stock go up in a man dominated world or they'd rather not become the focus of negative comments.  

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It was late and I was angry when I posted.  I should clarify (qualify?) that statement.  Its not that people don't still say things about other people's ethnicity, religon or sexual orientation.  They do.  However, you are far more likely to either a) get backed up if you call someone on it or b) someone else will call them on it and c) they are more likely to be shunned or thought less of for saying such things. 

There seems to be almost no shame or any reprocussion for sexism.  Quite the opposite.  Its encouraged in our society.  How big is the porn industry now?  How many 'guy' comedies show women in subjective roles?  How often do they question/badger women that come forward about sexual assult? 

Side note: People still have a longway to go in accepting others, no matter whom.

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c'mon... everyone knows women aren't capable of making clear-headed decisions.  it's not personal.  it's science. 

That's the fear talkin', man... don't fret: we will rule benevolently.    ^-^

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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 don't know what planet you live on, but here on earth there is a HUGE problem with this one.

There are problems all over with all 3 of these.  Back to sexism; I think women tend to say things about other women (or at least let it slide) because either they think it makes their own stock go up in a man dominated world or they'd rather not become the focus of negative comments. 

true, true. i think it irks me more when women are sexist.

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There are so many different facets of this topic. I do still see a big problem with sexism in my everyday life. There are the jokes ( My brother: "Want to hear something funny?" Me: "Sure" My brother: "Women's rights.") but there are even worse things--like the fact that the focus of rape prevention is still mostly things WOMEN should do to prevent being raped. I think it's way past due that we start educating men on avoiding pressuring women into sex, forcing sex, and coercing sex. I have to learn how to hold my keys, where to park my car, not ever wear headphones when I walk and keep a constant watch on my drink? Then men should grow up learning that they need to ASK for sex, accept the answer no, learn the social and emotional skills necessary for dealing with their feelings in a safe way, avoid violence and aggression and change their language (scoring, f***doll etc.)

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i always thought it was weird that, one moment, we're told that most rape is done by familiar people, and it is not a result of an uncontrollable sexual urge, but for power/control. The next moment, we're told about where and when to not walk outside, watch our drinks, have keys ready before getting to the car/home door, etc. Any tips for preventing acquaintance/spouse rape? 'cause I haven't heard any, other than having better acquaintances.
Also, regarding the sexual nature of rape: apparently it's not about sex, but I also remember being told in health class not to dress certain ways/etc when in public at night. Not only does this implicate the victim, but it also reinforces the myth that men "just can't help themselves."

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Murder is the same as rape.  Most women are killed by those they know, after months and even years of abuse. 

The blame the victim mentality infuriates me so much.  Its not their fault.  No one 'asks' for that to happen to them.

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i really like the blog jezebel-- it's a pop culture blog with a feminist angle.  some of it is really inane and othertimes it gets so far into PC-land, but for the most part, it's a great forum to talk about sexism and modern culture.

Sexism definitely still exists.  And it's hard to talk about sexism, without also discussing classism, homophobia, racism.  A lot of these discussions seem to devolve into a pissing contest over who is more oppressed, unfortunately.  I appreciate that you called this person out on their comment.  I believe, such as with vegetarianism/veganism, you can be an activist in your everyday life.  There are still huge institutionalized obstacles that needed to be overcome, but changing attitudes is an important part of getting there.

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It's absolutely acceptable, and what I find so frustrating is the fact that it's heavily institutionalised. As you pointed out a lot of women are as bad as men for making disgusting comments and that's used as some kind of excuse. "My girlfriend's okay with it so you're just overreacting". Worse yet, there are the women who talk about how they hate other women and get on better with men. Totally seems to me like trying to get the attentio of the cool boys at the back of the class.

Feministing and Jezebel are really good sites and offer some easily digestable insights into the workings of oppression of every kind. It was so helpful for me to start reading the theory behind the sexism and understand the patterns of behaviour that people fall into, plus once you can pinpoint the key motivations for sexist/racist/homophobic behaviour, you can break it down really effectively for people who don't get it.

The worst part is that so many people seem to think feminism is "over", and that any attempt to level the playing field in traditionally male fields is some kind of unacceptable incursion into men's rights. A lot of men who consider themselves egalitarian have a ton of resentment built up over "women's issues", despite the fact they're still marginalised as if they don't pertain to over half the population. It's tough. As hotcooknmama said, it can feel really good to call people on stuff. I find that just saying something like, "Wow, do you really believe that?" in a disbelieving voice can make a person think twice.

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I have to say I dont think sexism is directed only at women. Look at any commercial nowadays and its some guy being an absolute idiot while his wife stands by shaking her head or something. I realize they are usually trying to sell things to women in these commercials, (like - husband is an idiot and tries to use the blender without a lid. Luckily wife has BOUNTY BRAND PAPER TOWELS) but its really irritating.

Imagine any of those commercials reversed and think of the nationwide outrage that would ensue.

More than I hear guys make derogatory remarks about women, I hear women standing around talking about how dumb their boyfriends/husbands are, and even horrible personal stuff like how they dont "satisfy" them in bed, and everyone just laughs. Like, if a group of guys were standing around talking like that we would be aghast but its OK for women to do it?

I'm by no means saying that what that guy said was okay, I'm just saying it goes both ways.

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It totally goes both ways and it shouldn't. I don't think the 'battle of the sexes' cliche is at all useful or desirable. On the other hand, I think there's a tendency for men to be criticised for the so-called 'soft skills' like interpersonal communication, family matters and housekeeping, which are generally less valued in a lot of traditionally powerful spheres. And when talking about sex there's the unpleasant fact that we have a huge double standard and women talking openly about wanting to be satisfied is more likely to attract criticism - the whole slut-shaming thing. So while you might hear a lot of women talking about their dissatisfaction in the bedroom, I also think it's symptomatic of the fact that "desirable" female sexuality is frequently performative for men. There was a hint of that in my relationship with my ex: if I didn't do it "right" he'd whine and complain about what he "needed" and hold out until I either turned it into an argument or just gave in to shut him up. There's a power dynamic there which is really hard for women to overcome, especially younger women.

It would be awesome if we could all be open and honest about what we want and need to be satisfied, but a lot of women don't KNOW and even more don't feel that they can bring it up with their partner. It's really sad. I know educated, strong women of my age who feel ashamed to talk about sex.

While I call people out for making stupid generalisations about men too, it's harder to be as angry about that when the balance of power isn't at all proportionate. I actually left a gaming site a while back because there was a lot of low-level sexism going on and calling people out didn't work - I just got told I was 'overreacting' and pushing my own ideology on people. Every single instance of a woman on the site saying anything about a man got brought up and thrown back at me personally, while the moderation refused to admit that my concerns were equally valid. There are a lot of weapons that can be used against women who speak out, a lot of ways in which we can be silenced. It isn't always as true of men.

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I have to say I dont think sexism is directed only at women.

I understand what you mean, there is stereotyping and generalization of certain kinds of men out there but I think that's different than being sexist. Sexism is holding ones power over another. But, because in our society white men are the ones that hold the power women can't truly be 'sexist' towards men because we can't withhold their power from them (like, we almost always get paid less than men in the same position, with the same education etc. so we cannot use our position as a position of power because they have the upper hand). Similar to the idea that a white person could enter a room full of black people and feel judged or typed, but because in our society white people have more power than black people it's not the same as being racist. Not trying to get all semanticsy here, although I realize it may seem like it.

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I think it comes down to gender equality in a broader sense than just giving women official equal status. While women can't withhold power from men, in a way they (men) are withholding it from themselves by shaming "feminine" behavior which also manifests as homophobia (but that differs from society to society). Of course, it doesn't help when women reinforce the same standards.

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Here's another excellent song about this topic -- specifically about how our current status-quo gender stereotyping and socially institutionalized sexism cheats BOTH genders:

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/search/songs/?query=when%20i%20was%20a%20boy%2C%20dar%20williams
(Dar Williams, 'When I Was A Boy')

I do think, though, that it's pretty hard to be oppressed when you have the bulk of the social/ financial/ political power... so any anti-male sexism has a lot less potential for harm than its anti-female counterpart. But yeah, it's a bad idea either way it flows...

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