Posts Tagged With: gender

A Beautiful Takedown

Bill Nye recently commented that one half of all scientists should be female considering how half of all humans are female. There was an outburst of negative feedback in response to this comment saying something along the lines of: “How the fuck does Bill Nye expect this to happen? What do you want to do, force women to enroll in science courses, regardless of whether or not they want to do it? Just for the sake of having “enough” women? Why the fuck do these fractions matter so much? Maybe, just maybe, a lot of us DON’T FUCKING WANT to be scientists. Is that a crime”

I’m not personally going to answer these questions because I came upon such an A+ commentary that i shall simply copy and paste her genius response.  Read on:

Hi there. Female engineering student here. 

Bill Nye is not saying that you HAVE to be a scientist, and you are right that no one is holding a gun to my head because I am interested in science, but let me tell you some of the struggles of being a woman in the STEM fields. 

1) Because I am a woman, I am not expected these fields. I first fully realized this when I was in high school, on my robotics team. See, although my robotics team was about 50% female, most of the women were part of the “business administration” side of things: finance, marketting, PR, membership, etc. Was this a problem? Absolutely not. But I was there to be an engineer, and specifically, to be the robot programmer. This was met with a lot of hesitation at first from some of the other students (all of whom happened to be male. This is not necessarily a bad thing.) You see, all of the robot programmers before me were guys. Computer programming is just a thing that guys do, or so they thought. Even after I had proved myself to the mentors on the team, many of the students still underestimated my abilities. There were rumors going around that I wouldn’t have been able to program the robot at all if the lead software mentor wasn’t there to help me. This was just flat-out false, but it wasn’t until I won an award for the team that the other students actually saw my merit. 

2) There is not a lot of encouragement for women to go into these fields. I first noticed this when I was in elementary school. I was always interested in math, science, you name it, but many of my teachers and family members pushed that to the side for a long time. When I asked for legos for christmas, I would get ballet slippers. In fact, for a long time, I was training to be a professional dancer. I loved to dance. I loved math more, but no one seemed to notice that about me. It wasn’t until I had a long conversation with one particular teacher in high school that I decided to look into engineering. I had never even considered it as an option before, because no one decided to encourage me to pursue my interest in science. If it hadn’t been for that teacher, I would probably not be at the school I am at right now. 

3) For a long time, Engineering/Science/Math WAS a “boys only” club. Let me tell you when some of the top technical schools and societies started letting women in:

  • RPI, The oldest tech school in the country, founded in 1824. Started admitting women in 1942 to “replace men called to war.” Campus housing for women wasn’t constructed until 1966. 
  • Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society – Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1968.
  • Caltech – Currently rated #3 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1891. Started admitting women in 1970. 
  • Georgia Tech – Currently rated #5 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1952. 

Do you see the implications of this? Engineering has been a part of our society since around the late 1800s (in the case of RPI, since the 1820s), but women weren’t even allowed in for the most part until the 1950s, regardless of their merit. 

4) Because of the fact that it was a “boys only” club for such a long time, there are not a lot of women engineers and scientists to look up to. When you’re reading your physics, chemistry, and math text books, the majority of those theories were came up with by men. It is true that much of our history was written by White Men, but this does not mean that the fact that there are few women scientists to look up does not matter. 

So, as you can hopefully see, princess-munckin, or anyone else that shares these opinions, Bill Nye was not arguing that women that are not interested in STEM should go into those fields anyway. But he IS arguing against all of the systematic barriers set up against women who ARE interested in engineering and science. There are several women out there who are just as good as the boys at math and science, but will never pursue their interests because it just doesn’t seem like an option. That was me for a long time. I am super grateful for the fact that I fought against that, and that I ended up where I am. 

If you don’t like science, fine. Don’t be a scientist. But if one day you have a daughter and she shows interest in being a scientist, PLEASE encourage her. Because Bill Nye is right, there needs to be more women scientists in the world. 

(Source)

———————————————————————-

And that’s how you perform a beautiful takedown.

“When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?”

Sandi Toksvig
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Not To Do

People of Earth! I am Lrrr of the planet Omicron P and…

OK I’m watching way too much Futurama. 

Let me rephrase: People of Earth! Watch this video:

I think being part of the LGBT community must be incredibly hard, not just for the most obvious reasons, but because they must get asked so many stupid questions by so many stupid people every day. It’s called the internet people! Use it. Anyway, this guy is a gem, and his video’s are both eye-opening and funny. So if you’re looking to drop your archaic assumptions about homosexuality, and gay men in particular, then drop by his channel and educate yoself!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yassss!

———————————————————-

“Why the need for an “I hate other girls” proclamation? Is there some underlying desperation for male approval, some need to prove that you’re so different from all the other girls out there, when all that boils down to is that you’re one of those chicks who just wants dudes to like her? And you do it by insulting and generalizing about other women. And here’s the thing, once you do it, you start to make it OK for everyone to do it. So saying, “Girls are bitches” or, “Girls are shallow and catty” just opens up the door for guys to say those things. It’s one of the ways that society at large helps to keep women down: by turning us against one another, even subtly. And I know that girls who hate other girls are the first ones to say, “Oh, I’m not like that. I’m like a guy! I like guy things, and guys are easier to be friends with.” So you probably shouldn’t be surprised that all those women that you’re being a jerk about aren’t banging down your door to be your friend. Because by saying all of that, you’re being shallow and catty. You’re reducing women to stereotypes while somehow frantically begging everyone not to apply that stereotype to you.”
Persephone Magazine: “Self-Fulfilling Prophesies: The ‘I Hate Other Girls’ Trap”

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now That’s Fierce

Have you heard of Kazaky? No?

Well sit yourself down and watch this beauty of a music video:

Kazaky is a Ukrainian, high fashion male dance group that wears all-latex everything and works with some pretty awesome choreography. The song is great and all of that, but what I really got excited about was the fact that they are all dancing in 5.5 inch STILETTOS. YES GAWD.

Gender non-conformity/androgyny is such a beautiful, attractive quality — equal parts excitement, difference, and fascination. We need more of this – in fashion, in music, in art, on TV – EVERYWHERE! I love the mixing of the masculine with the feminine in really obvious ways.  The message is not as extreme as it is in drag where you’re basically “playing” the other gender. Gender fuck is friggin genius because it brings the polar opposites of masculinity and femininity together all in one. And what could be hotter than that?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Sex Sells” Myth

“I will lose my mind if I hear the “sex sells” fallacy one more time. Sex does not sell. If sex sold, we would see penises where we see boobs. Naked men would be on everything that naked women are on.” – Source

But that’s not the case, is it?

If sex really sold, we would see the same amount of objectification of men and women in every aspect of our lives but that’s not really the case. I’m not denying that the portrayal of men in media isn’t problematic because it certainly is. Body dissatisfaction, depression and eating disorders are on the rise for men, as much as it is for women.  But if you take a close look at how men are being portrayed, they’re mostly in positions that exude power, authority and confidence. In the case of women however, we’re either turned into objects themselves, along with whatever object the ad is selling or we’re depicted in vulnerable, submissive positions. Female objectification and male objectification are very different things, solely because men, in the larger scheme of things, are not so systemically and narrowly reduced to their physical/sexual attributes.

A women’s studies class at the University of Saskatchewan decided to flip the switch and produced a video of images that reverse and play against traditional advertising tropes. But here’s the thing – when you attempt to replace female bodies with male bodies you don’t really objectify men in the same way. This is because our culture’s gaze is so inherently male and so the male body isn’t able to be manipulated, sexualized and victimized in the same way female bodies are. Indeed, the tropes of female body-as-prop are so well-worn, such a part of our cultural landscape, that simply changing up the bodies in the images isn’t enough to actually threaten the male form. In fact,  they’re funny. Because that’s how we culturally interpret a man in a “woman’s role.” It’s comedy.

In reality, the male gaze isn’t purely “male” – it’s something that women have interpolated and now own, too. We are just as critical and questioning of female bodies – if not more! – than men are. And upsetting the female-as-object paradigm in media images is only part of the answer. It’s equally critical that we show female bodies in stronger, more powerful archetypes, too.

And to end this post with a little chuckle, I give you this:

—————————————————————————————————-

“I have a daughter who’s 10 and we walked past a billboard the other day advertising a TV programme. There was a row of men in suits and a woman in a thong. My daughter said, “Why is it like that? It’s to sell it, isn’t it?” She knows that already. I said, “Yes, it’s a shame a young woman would want to be portrayed in that way,” and she said, “But it’s her choice, isn’t it? Nobody made her do that.” So how do you explain the Gramscian concept of hegemony to a 10 year old? If the culture is so all pervasive that you can’t think outside of it, how are you making genuine choices?”

– Monica Ali

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh snap

There are just some things I will never not re-blog. This is one of them. Take note kids.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gender Bender

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

From Boy to Girl In Less Than Two Minutes

This amazing video shows what it really looks like to go through a gender identity change. YouTube user iiGethii writes, “This video is of me going through a three-year transition (roughly one thousand pictures). I have had FFS during the process. I started roughly around when I was 20-21 years of age.” The photos show in striking detail how iiGethii grew more and more feminine in appearance, and became the beautiful young woman she wanted to be.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More On Reverse Sexism

I am literally copying and pasting this post because it is PERFECTION.

Source: Click here

1.  Discrimination based on sex is not sexism

Sorry dudes, it’s not.  “Sexism” is a manifestation of a large, societal system that privileges men over women.  Frequently it manifests itself in the form of discrimination against women.  But just because it does that, it does not mean that discrimination against men is “sexist.”  In fact, much of the “discrimination against men” that I see bandied about is really just legal mechanisms for redressing men being privileged over women.  Evening the scales, as it were.  Let’s look at some examples, shall we?

Spousal/child support.  This is a big one, frequently cited, but it’s not sexism.  Yes, men more frequently pay spousal and child support, and compared to women, they often pay more.  An unsubtle analysis might make it seem like men are getting the short end of the stick.  No, dudes, we’re not.  Women who work are paid less than men who work.  So frequently, because our marriage laws generally demand a division of property, that means that a man who makes more than a woman has to give up some of his income to continue to support that woman.  And that’s for women who work.  Women also have more barriers to entering and re-entering the workforce after having been a parent/caregiver.  Women who care for children of a marriage give up the opportunity to work and make money, and engage in what we might call uncompensated child care.  That’s a disadvantage to women, post-divorce.  Looking at child support, we see a similar pattern.  Women are overwhelmingly expected/forced to take care of children in an uncompensated manner, so post-divorce, society looks to the income-earning spouse, generally the man, and expects him to pay up and help support the child.  Moreover, society generally expects women to continue taking care of children after a divorce, without much of a regard to whether or not the woman wants to, or the woman’s ability to re-enter the workforce and earn a wage to support those children.  So as far as these forms of support, they’re not things that “disadvantage” men, but legal mechanisms to help redress an imbalance that overwhelmingly favors men.

Let’s look at a less legal example (and a much simpler one): “ladies’ nights.”

Some dudes look at this and say, “This is discrimination against men, because women get free drinks, and men don’t.”  You’re wrong.  This isn’t discrimination, but rather, a pretty blatant attempt to get dudes to go to bars by advertising to dudes that something they want is going to be at the bar: women.  What these bars are doing is pretty much offering you a service/promise of women being there.  You’re getting something in return for not getting free drinks.  And it’s all a product of the pretty effed up kyriarchy.

Another example from my comments: the “concrete basement” or the fact that men are overwhelmingly involved in more industrial accidents than women.  First off: see above re: the pay gap.  More men are in industrial accidents because women were not allowed to be employed in industrial jobs.  Men got the huge advantage of being in jobs where there was good wages (and as the 20th century wore on, benefits) while women were routinely denied being able to work at all and those good jobs too.  Yes, there were more accidents, but women never even had the opportunity to take those jobs with its attendants risks and rewards.  And certainly a discussion of sex-based fatalities could not be complete without what was the historically #1 killer of women for all time: child-birth.  Sorry victims of industrial accidents, but there’s a crapload more deaths of women at childbirth both today around the world and everywhere historically than there are for industrial accidents.  This is a pretty common tactic of anti-feminists: to take a negative byproduct (industrial accidents) of what is a huge advantage for men (having jobs for wages), and make it seem as if it is “sexist against men” because of that byproduct.

One of my commenters, “John,” laid out some more examples, and I’ll address them.  He mentioned the draft (selective service).  While again, this is sex-based discrimination, but historically, selective service was viewed as a responsibility for citizens.  And who weren’t citizens?  If you guessed women, you’re right!  The draft is another example of a negative byproduct that hurts men, but a byproduct of something overwhelmingly privileged in favor of men.  When the U.S. was founded, women couldn’t vote, mostly couldn’t own property, couldn’t be elected to office, couldn’t engage in most occupations, etc., etc.  Citizenship, and all its attendants rights (voting, participating in elected office, holding property) and responsibilities, like the draft, was exclusively male.

John made a pretty crazy argument about circumcision that I won’t adress, suffice to say that according to my understanding of how this all works mechanically, female circumcision as practiced is far worse than male circumcision.  John also brought up adoption, but I think I’ve addressed how legal rights in favor of women have developed to redress society’s privileging of men on this stuff already.  He brings up a pretty crazy argument about men who rape women (in statutory rape cases) don’t have a choice in whether or not to abort, give up for adoption, or keep the child.  I don’t think I need to cover that one much more than simply to say that after committing the crime of rape, you don’t get to press any parental rights upon the victim.

2.  The Kyriarchy sucks for men too

Yo dudes, believe me, I get it: the kyriarchy, patriarchy, heternormative world sucks for men too.  That doesn’t make it “reverse sexist” however.  It makes it shitty.  And we should do stuff about it, but whatever it is, “reverse sexist” is not the appropriate term to characterize it.

One comments, in responding to comments about how women are often forced to prove themselves in workplaces, often competing against other women in a cutthroat manner, made the point that men also have to compete in a cutthroat manner against other men in the workplace.  I’ll wholeheartedly agree, but whatever you want to call that phenomena, “reverse sexist” isn’t it.

If you’re a man who recognizes that society sucks for men in the way it places expectations on men to act in certain ways and be certain ways, let me point in the right direction of the enemy: it’s society and how we structure our culture, not women.  Sure, women can buy into how our society is structured just as much as men can, but that doesn’t make all women any more than it makes all men the enemies or opponents of feminists.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boy or Girl?

Whenever there’s a baby on the way, everyone is always eager to know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.

“Will you be painting the baby’s room pink or blue?”, “Ooh, if he kicks like that then it must be a boy!”, “Tell us what you’re expecting so we know what presents to buy for your baby shower!

Yes, tell us indeed. So then we can buy gender-specific toys and gender-specific clothes for your baby and watch as they grow up within the confines of their assigned gender and perform gender roles specific to their said gender. How very suffocating.

I like the above image because it doesn’t assume. And you know what’s great about not making assumptions? You don’t misjudge, create illusions or cause harm. And you know what’s great about letting people define their own genders? You foster an environment for people that’s respectful, safe and welcoming. Now why is that such a bad thing?

Don’t know about cisgender? Click here.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.