Saturday, December 06, 2008


Anti-Feminist Argument?

Reading the comments on to this entry on post abortion syndrome, I found this paragraph by a woman who most likely is a feminist.
Our reactions to choices we make or don’t make are greatly influenced by societal expectations and programming. Though we may make a decision that our gut tells us is the right one for us, we may feel guilty or ashamed because of societal brainwashing. Females are particularly susceptible to this, because society spends so much time imposing its will and control on females and telling girls how they ought to behave. As one small example, I grew up in a time when girls were not allowed to wear long pants to school, so we stood with bare legs in our dresses in the freezing cold at bus stops, even though we knew this wasn’t good for us!
Sounds like she is saying females are the weaker sex. Sounds like she is saying females cant' stand up to and withstand the pressures of society like males.

Maybe this is why feminists are always asking for special government programs just for them and special laws written just for their benefit. Because, feminists believe they are the weaker sex.

Yeah, you are right.

Re: freezing our legs while waiting for the bus... yeah, sure. I went to Catholic school in the early 60s in Buffalo NY. We wore dresses to school, of course, but wore tights and leggings while waiting for the bus. Duh.

So she's saying females are dumb, too. Thanks, babe.
expectations? heh, welcome to life, sister. I get the expectation that upon being olde enough to work, I will work until I die... end of story. Along the way I will end up giving the money I make to lots of other people, and I will be made to feel guilty for wanting to do anything with it myself. If I am not interested in money I will be implicitly and explicitly told that I am a failure. Funnily enough, I will be villified by the very people who want that money from me, as if it was their hard work that got it in the first place.

I don't think strength or weakness is the basis, I think it is getting something for nothing, but that is even less PC, isn't it?

The saddest part is that a strong woman suffers for this bull as well, feared as another cipher on one side, and as a betrayer on the other...
I think what she is saying is colored by the fact that females are subject to extreme pressures by society. I think she does not recognize the many pressures males are subject to by society because she is not male, and the fact that many males do not address the pressures they are subject to by society.

Since I've been reading this blog, you've chronicled the farily nascent and marginalized movement to study why things like the sucide rate and educational drop-out rate are so high in the male population. These aren't reactions to society's pressures?

The difference is voice and movement rather than any strength of sex. I know just as many males who are devastated by society's pressures as I know females who are devastated by society's pressures, but I know far more women who will analyze, discuss, and seek help, solidarity and support than I know men who even talk about it in such terms.
Cousin Pat - I half agree with you. I think she doesn't recognize the pressures on males because she's too wrapped up in feminist issues. As for the suicide rate and drop-out rate, either could be due to societal pressures or societal neglect, i.e. a society that doesn't care about males. I tend more towards the latter.

Your last paragraph seems mostly true. I know some women who will analyze and discuss things to death but not necessarily reach a point of constructive change or action. There certainly seems to be more solidarity between women than men. Even my kids will talk about how the girls gang up on boys and such. I guess that's where the "You go , girl!" stuff comes from.

I've never felt any particular joy over a male accomplishing something just because he was male. Yet, many women seems to consider it a personal victory when another woman does something. I can understand this to a point, such as if Hillary had been elected president. But, it goes way beyond that.
Cousin Pat... What you are saying is true enough, but you don't have to BE one gender or the other to try and understand their experience. Sure, your view will not be ideal, but REACHING is very important to both genders. Yes, men are primarily conditioned not to talk of the expectations placed on them, sometimes conditioned by the very people they could open up to, their partners. I have seen that in numerous people, incl. myself. It is often seen as a weaknes, and weakness causes people to lose confidence in you.

On the other side of things, I eventually found that women often want you to listen, not actually to take action. To men who are conditioned to "fix" things, this is a very big deal, especially since it is not really language based. You may be told "I need your help..." but then when you suggest 3 best options, you may find that wasn't what she was looking for.

These things are why that pressure divide is particularly nasty. we are very different [a friend cals us different species, and she has a point] in expectation we place on each other, all the while hacving a shadowy understanding of what it means to be the other gender.

IMHO the MOST important piece of the puzzle is that realization. That the other gender isn't just like you. Doesn't have your same point of view, and isn't wrong for that. With that understanding in hand, perhaps a conversation may begin, IF people feel like talking. It's a big if, a lot of people on both sides don't want to know. I think it's true in this case...
Doesn't have your same point of view, and isn't wrong for that

I think few people can comprehend this concept.
Doesn't have your same point of view, and isn't wrong for that

Excellent point. This can be applied to more than just gender differences.
Doesn't have your same point of view, and isn't wrong for that

True, true. But if I got a nickel for everyone I ran into who doesn't understand this concept...
Well, I know there are people who do not share my point of view. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. But I'll be damned if I can understand it. Humor!
A feminist whining "the masculine will has great power over weak minds" is practically a cliche -- or would be if others would call feminists on it.
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