Tag Archives: sexism

Date Rape: Breaking it Down [Infographic]

27 Aug

 

I found the above picture shared on my Facebook feed, and there are a few important points I’d like to share and discuss.

I don’t think that the goal of this nail polish is to end date rape or in its entirety – I think it is just one more tool to keep yourself safe. But, even if it was, this graphic has a good point: there are more important things to focus on about preventing rape.

The first thing that actually caught my eye as interesting was the first bullet point on how to “End Rape”.

1) Address those at risk of committing sexual assault.

Is this common knowledge? Are there people who are predisposed to commit sexual assault? I guess I know the answer is “yes”, but how do we recognize that well in advance of them actually committing sexual assault?

We talk about teaching our boys about consent, just as we teach our girls about protecting themselves, but this statement goes further than that. And if we assume that it refers to males i general, than 4) is hypocritical of itself and this graphic is quite flawed.

As I read further, I found that all of the points under the “End Rape” section are quite interesting.

2) Address the culture that condones and teaches predatory sexual behavior.

This one slightly boggles me. I feel as predatory sexual behavior is not a cultural norm, so I’m at a loss for what it is actually referencing. My personal views on rape are slightly skewed compared to the populous, so there I have an inkling that the predatory behavior she is referring to is simply pursuing someone you are interested in. Of course, if she is referring to what most people consider stalking, then it absolutely needs to be addressed. I do still firmly hold the belief that just because you are a victim, doesn’t mean you don’t hold some responsibility (on a case by case basis, of course). I know…unpopular opinion.

3) Teach sexual consent and respect for women’s bodies from a young age.

This statement should not be in the same set of statements as 4). It should not be centered on women’s bodies, and respect for men’s bodies is equally as important. Men, I feel, can be coerced into having sex just as easily if not moreso than women and its absurd to ignore this. Coercion is not consent. I was never taught that “no means no” except if I’m saying no. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I think the author wasn’t meaning to be biased, and is giving a good message, just in the wrong words.

And the final point caught my eye immediately after 1) did.

4) Address the sexist myth that men are naturally predatory and women are responsible for stopping them.

This actually illustrates a point rooted much deeper in sexism: women are responsible for men. We aren’t. We aren’t responsible for your laundry, or cleaning the bathroom, or keeping you in line. Men are responsible for men, and women need to stop feeling like we should be. Not terribly long ago, I heard a beautiful explanation for Muslim women covering their bodies. The reason they cover their bodies is so that they do not tempt men because being tempted is shameful, and they wish to save them from that shame.

While I like this, and I often feel this way about certain relationships I have, it is not my responsibility.

But on the flip-side, men are not naturally predatory. They have self-control. They have the ability to choose their actions, and I think it is very sexist to assume otherwise. I can’t tell you how frustrated it makes me when we discriminate men solely because they are men.

I’ve already mentioned that my views are slightly skewed, but it’s important to acknowledge that men need help too. For me to deny someone a ride simply because they are a man and not a woman is just as bad as me denying someone a ride simply because they are not white. For me to drive by a person on the side of the road having car problems because they are a man and not a woman is just as discriminatory.

Maybe I don’t feel discriminated against for my sex as much as some women do, but I often feel like we go on about sexism in the wrong way.

I should mention how much I love Laci Green and I highly recommend her videos. We don’t always see eye to eye, but that is okay…I still recommend her videos. I don’t always agree with decisions on how women should be proactive about preventing rape, but the guys who created this nail polish did have a pretty good idea. We already use nail polish, and this type of preventative doesn’t change our routine really at all (which is my pet peeve). I think, especially, if you live in a high crime area or know if you are going to be in an area that monitoring your drink might be difficult, that this is a good idea.

Any interesting stories you’d like to share about date rape or fingernail polish or role-reversal? How do you feel about this new fancy nail polish? Are you a Laci Green fan? What do you think about this infographic?

Sexism and Equal Rights for Men

21 Aug

 

When people fantasize about equal rights, the conversation is usually surrounded by talk of feminism and all the things women don’t get but should. I don’t disagree that women should be paid the same amount as men. The right to vote and to work and wear pants are all great things, also, but I’d like to talk about something else. I’d like to talk about masculism.

I’m new to the words that surround this topic, but from my limited understand I’ve gathered that masculism is the belief that equality of the sexes requires work to be done to stop prejudice and discrimination toward both sexes. The view that men should be held higher than women, or anti-feminist views, are termed as masculinism.

I think this concept is something that needs to be addressed, not in the sense of any anti-feminist beliefs, but that the only way equal rights for the sexes can be achieved is by the collaborative effort between masculism and feminism. Women aren’t the only one who historically have stereotypical rolls. Men are held as the breadwinners and the dominant sex and more often than not I hear stay-at-home men being called free-loaders.

How can women be so easily allowed to stay at home with or without children, while men must work?

Men also don’t have the luxury of being able to wear women’s clothing without being questioned. Men must have masculine interests. They shouldn’t show their feelings. They should pay for the date. They should buy you drinks. I don’t understand why this is all static, but women have a whole movement for them to have more sex, be able to have whatever jobs they want, but can still stay at home while their husbands work.

If there is one thing I’d like you to think about after you read this, its that if you can’t support the thought that men need equal rights, then the sexes aren’t equal in nature. Men are naturally prone to fall into certain roles, as are women. Our brains and bodies are not the same.

How do you feel about “masculism”? 

Why I Don’t Use the Term African-American

8 May

 

As I sat here watching TV, potentially blogging or studying, I heard a recount of someone’s interaction with a criminal. When the investigator asked them for a physical description, the person replied that they looked European. That caught my attention.

How do you look European?

And for that matter, why do we call black people African-American or Hispanic people Mexican or Mexican-American?

First, there are so many countries in Europe, and such a variety of people, that I don’t think someone can look European, just like I don’t think its possible to look American. Then, there is the term African-American. I’ve had several discussions about the term, and some people prefer to be called African-American, some prefer to be called black, and others prefer whatever comes naturally. I hear its also “politically correct”.

I don’t like it. I don’t use it. The people we usually refer to as African-American aren’t actually from Africa; They are from the United States.  The people who are from Africa, aren’t necessarily black, either. Ever seen The Color of Friendship? The girl gets a foreign exchange student from Africa, who ends up being white, much to the dismay of the host sister. For all we know, the child on the left in the picture was born in the US, and the child on the right was born in Africa. The same goes with the term Mexican, or Mexican-American. I am not from Mexico. My grandparents were, yes, but I amnot. The only people who should rightfully be called Mexican are people who live in Mexico, and the only people who should rightfully be called Mexican-American are people who have moved from Mexico to the US (even though Mexico is part of America – I’ll not discuss this now). Future note – don’t call me Mexican, I prefer Hispanic (I’m actually a halfer, so I prefer to be called a halfer, but whatever).

Another point I’d like to make is on the use of the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’. Another situation I was overhearing or reading (I don’t remember) involved a father telling someone about a person – lets say Joe. The person the father was talking to didn’t remember who Joe was, so the father said something along the lines of “the black man that was over here the other day” to which the person became somewhat offended, and asked why it was necessary to say ‘the black man’ and that it was racist.

My theory on this is that it all depends on the context and variety of company of which normally visits the household. If the family normally has non-black visitors, then it would be easiest to say that Joe was the black visitor. If a family normally has black visitors, it would be just as easy to say Joe was the white visitor (assuming that Joe was white). Its a means to contrast the normal with the novel. If there were multiple races of visitors, however, it would become necessary to use other means. Say there are two black men, two white men, and two hispanic men visiting. It wouldn’t make sense to say that Joe was the black visitor, because that doesn’t help the person understand who Joe is. This is when you would say Joe was the tall oneJoe was the short one, or Joe was the really skinny one. Its just the same as if Joe was actually a woman, when most visitors are men. It is acceptable to say “she was the woman”, so why would it not be acceptable to say that “he was the black man”?

Which terms do you use? Do you have a preference for what people refer to you as? Do you agree with me about the use of contrast when describing people? 

Why I’m Not A Feminist

30 Apr

 

First, let me make a distinction. Just because I don’t call myself a feminist, does not mean I am anti-feminist. I’m not. I just don’t associate strongly with what I believe strong feminist views to be.

The main reason that I don’t consider myself a feminist, is because I know that men and women are different and I’m okay with that. We are physiologically and biologically different. We are hard-wired differently, so it doesn’t make sense to me to be expected to be exactly the same.

Also, in order to be a feminist, I think that you should be an activist for women’s rights, and play an active role to raise awareness. I don’t do this. I’m not saying, by any means, that people shouldn’t do this; it just isn’t what I feel passionate about. I also, for one, have no desire to be drafted into the military – none whatsoever. That is a necessary part of gender equality and it is one that I want no part of.

What seems to be a major part of non-active feminists (ones that associate as feminists but don’t really do anything to further the cause) views is trying to abolish double-standards. Yes, I agree that some double standards shouldn’t be in place. For example, women have the capacity to perform at the same intellectual level as men. My problem with double standards is when women lower their standards and morals to get rid of the double standards. No, women should not be judged for sleeping around differently than men should, but I think that men should raise their standards and not sleep around, rather than women lowering their standards and sleeping around.

My final point uses my personal ability of performance as an example. I’m completely independent of needing men. I don’t need a guy to fix my computer, my vacuum, my car, open a jar, or anything else a man might be “handy” for.  Maybe that is why I don’t feel the need to be less “oppressed” by men…because I don’t feel oppressed to begin with. Some of the people I know to act like feminists most are some of the same women who ask men to open bottles and carry things, and that doesn’t make sense to me either.  That being said, I still enjoy when a man opens the door for me, and does similar thing…but I think that has more to do with the hopeless romantic within me than anything else.

And besides, does any activist group want someone to be part of it if they may be considered a hypocrite? I think if I kept my views, I would be a hypocrite if I called myself a feminist.

So, what do you think? Do you call yourself a feminist?