Author Topic: Women at risk  (Read 9677 times)

Online serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,208
Women at risk
« on: August 09, 2009, 12:12:15 pm »
I've always thought that among categories of hate crimes, those committed against women probably outnumber those against any other group.

August 8, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist

Women at Risk

By BOB HERBERT


“I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne — yet 30 million women rejected me,” wrote George Sodini in a blog that he kept while preparing for this week’s shooting in a Pennsylvania gym in which he killed three women, wounded nine others and then killed himself.

We’ve seen this tragic ritual so often that it has the feel of a formula. A guy is filled with a seething rage toward women and has easy access to guns. The result: mass slaughter.

Back in the fall of 2006, a fiend invaded an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, separated the girls from the boys, and then shot 10 of the girls, killing five.

I wrote, at the time, that there would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews. But if you shoot only the girls or only the women — not so much of an uproar.

According to police accounts, Sodini walked into a dance-aerobics class of about 30 women who were being led by a pregnant instructor. He turned out the lights and opened fire. The instructor was among the wounded.

We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected.

We profess to being shocked at one or another of these outlandish crimes, but the shock wears off quickly in an environment in which the rape, murder and humiliation of females is not only a staple of the news, but an important cornerstone of the nation’s entertainment.

The mainstream culture is filled with the most gruesome forms of misogyny, and pornography is now a multibillion-dollar industry — much of it controlled by mainstream U.S. corporations.

One of the striking things about mass killings in the U.S. is how consistently we find that the killers were riddled with shame and sexual humiliation, which they inevitably blamed on women and girls. The answer to their feelings of inadequacy was to get their hands on a gun (or guns) and begin blowing people away.

What was unusual about Sodini was how explicit he was in his blog about his personal shame and his hatred of women. “Why do this?” he asked. “To young girls? Just read below.” In his gruesome, monthslong rant, he managed to say, among other things: “It seems many teenage girls have sex frequently. One 16 year old does it usually three times a day with her boyfriend. So, err, after a month of that, this little [expletive] has had more sex than ME in my LIFE, and I am 48. One more reason.”

I was reminded of the Virginia Tech gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in a rampage at the university in 2007. While Cho shot males as well as females, he was reported to have previously stalked female classmates and to have leaned under tables to take inappropriate photos of women. A former roommate said Cho once claimed to have seen “promiscuity” when he looked into the eyes of a woman on campus.

Soon after the Virginia Tech slayings, I interviewed Dr. James Gilligan, who spent many years studying violence as a prison psychiatrist in Massachusetts and as a professor at Harvard and N.Y.U. “What I’ve concluded from decades of working with murderers and rapists and every kind of violent criminal,” he said, “is that an underlying factor that is virtually always present to one degree or another is a feeling that one has to prove one’s manhood, and that the way to do that, to gain the respect that has been lost, is to commit a violent act.”

Life in the United States is mind-bogglingly violent. But we should take particular notice of the staggering amounts of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are. They are attacked because they are female.

A girl or woman somewhere in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every couple of minutes or so. The number of seriously battered wives and girlfriends is far beyond the ability of any agency to count.

There were so many sexual attacks against women in the armed forces that the Defense Department had to revise its entire approach to the problem.

We would become much more sane, much healthier, as a society if we could bring ourselves to acknowledge that misogyny is a serious and pervasive problem, and that the twisted way so many men feel about women, combined with the absurdly easy availability of guns, is a toxic mix of the most tragic proportions.


Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 02:04:35 pm »
I agree completely with the article.

Misogyny is so ingrained in society - from religion to politics to domestic life - that it's somehow seen as 'natural'.

Women are the more numerous sex in the world, comprising over 50% of the population and women are the physically weaker sex so if there is any violence in the world at any time women are always in the line of fire. 

Not sure what we can do about men's aggression. 

They're not just aggressive against women, they're aggressive and competitive against their own sex as well.

Always anxious to prove their masculinity and if they know they can't win in aggression against other men, they take it out on women.  The recent killer in the article is basically one of those - he tied his masculinity to having as many sex partners as he wanted.  And when his social skills did not prove up to the task - and having never considered prostitutes, I guess he wanted to get it for free - he didn't internalize the failing as his own because that also would threaten his masculinity.  So it had to be someone else's fault - women in particular. 

The social definition of masculinity has to change in order for these types of men to be spotted and rooted out.  So long as society equates masculinity with power, aggression, control and sexual prowess, nothing is going to change.

As a friend once said, "There aren't enough laws we can enact, we have to change society's values."

Which is going to be nearly impossible to do.

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 02:06:01 pm »
Thanks for posting that sobering article K.  Lots of food for thought there.

The Sodini/ gym assault has been getting lots and lots of press here since it occurred so close to Pittsburgh.  The local news actually did a segment about ingrained misogyny in society that featured lots of interviews with specialists from women's shelters, etc.  I was amazed to see something like that on the local news, and thought it was a good thing that this aspect of the LA Fitness crime was getting some real attention.  This article furthers this on a broader level.

One of the women killed was an acquaintance of a co-worker of mine. She didn't know her well, but still it feels very close to home.   Very, very scary.


the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Mikaela

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,228
  • Unsaid... and now unsayable
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 03:42:31 pm »
Thank you for posting this.

It states succinctly what I've been saying and writing often enough, on this board too - and I always feel that I come up against a not inconsiderable contingent who just rolls their eyes and tut-tuts and doesn't consider the violence and repression of 50% of the population as anything much to worry about.

Consequently I think it's very good when articles such as this one points out the pervasive misogyny even in our western societies.

Quote
From Del
As a friend once said, "There aren't enough laws we can enact, we have to change society's values."

Which is going to be nearly impossible to do.
Yes and yes to all of that.

Online serious crayons

  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,208
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 05:48:23 pm »
I think there's something about women being victimized by violence that just seems "natural" to a lot of people, even those who are also appalled by it. That's what Herbert is getting at by saying violence against women is "not only a staple in the news, but a cornerstone of the nation's entertainment." Unlike violence against member of particular ethnic groups, which most people by this time have learned to be outraged about and to see as unacceptable. I think violence against women is put in a different category as just an unfortunate fact of life that women have to put up with. And every movie about a serial killer going after women in particular reinforces it.


Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,067
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2009, 10:33:25 pm »
I agree that there are twisted people in the world and hate against women, men, minorities, gay people, etc. One book that I found helpful in this regard was Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen. He has founded an organization that builds schools for girls in Pakistan, Nepal, and India, helping to educate and empower girls. This is making a big difference, more, IMHO than TV shows about serial rapists and such. Television is a morass of misogyny and I just try not to associate myself with it.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Church will pray for gunman's family but not his victims
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 02:40:58 pm »

Aug 9th, 2009 | FOREST HILLS, Pa. -- If prayers were said Sunday for the soul of the gunman who killed three women at a Pennsylvania health club, they were not by the parishioners of a church where he apparently sat quietly for many years: Tetelestai Church doesn't pray for the dead.

"We pray for the living -- the victims and the family of George Sodini," said Chuck Matone, a senior deacon.

...Deacon Jack Rickard believes Sodini is in heaven.

"We believe in permanent security -- once saved, always saved," Rickard said. "He will be judged, but he will be in heaven. ... He'll be in heaven, but he won't have any rewards because he did evil."


I thought heaven was the reward.  >:(

http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/us/2009/08/09/D99VIBGO3_us_health_club_shooting/index.html

Offline mariez

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,084
  • "you bet"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 02:55:21 pm »


Kudos to Bob Herbert for such a thoughtful and well-written article.  Thank you for posting it, Katherine.



...Deacon Jack Rickard believes Sodini is in heaven.

"We believe in permanent security -- once saved, always saved," Rickard said. "He will be judged, but he will be in heaven. ... He'll be in heaven, but he won't have any rewards because he did evil."[/b]

I thought heaven was the reward.  >:(

http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/us/2009/08/09/D99VIBGO3_us_health_club_shooting/index.html

Yeah, Deacon Rickard seems to want to have it both ways, doesn't he?  Talk about trying to cover all your bases and keep your flock satisfied so they won't question you too much.  A very troubling article. 

The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis         ~~~~~~~~~Thurgood Marshall

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.    ~~~~~~~~~ Mark Twain

Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,067
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 10:03:44 am »
I agree that there are twisted people in the world and hate against women, men, minorities, gay people, etc. One book that I found helpful in this regard was Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen. He has founded an organization that builds schools for girls in Pakistan, Nepal, and India, helping to educate and empower girls. This is making a big difference, more, IMHO than TV shows about serial rapists and such. Television is a morass of misogyny and I just try not to associate myself with it.

I am outraged about the attack on Greg Mortensen and his Central Asia Institute by 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer. I have followed the CAI closely and they are as upright as an organization operating in that region can be. It will be a tragedy if the girls of this region are deprived of education just so 60 Minutes can juice their ratings.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Mandy21

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,238
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 12:48:46 pm »
Good topic, Katherine.  I just finished reading a book about serial killers in history, "I, Monster" written by Thomas Philbin, who's written many books of a similar ilk.  His opinion (debatable, of course) is that a common theme which runs through their blood is sexual frustration and past abuse and sexual and familial issues in regards to their own troubled pasts.  The only woman serial killer mentioned was Eileen Wuornos, who only killed men (that we know of).  And the male killers referred to in the book seemed to have made conscious choices to kill either men or women, but not both.  For instance, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer only tortured and killed men.  Ted Bundy only tortured and killed women.  I wonder what happened to them in their pasts that made them choose one sex or the other to target as their victims?
Dawn is coming,
Open your eyes...

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 08:13:42 pm »
I am outraged about the attack on Greg Mortensen and his Central Asia Institute by 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer. I have followed the CAI closely and they are as upright as an organization operating in that region can be. It will be a tragedy if the girls of this region are deprived of education just so 60 Minutes can juice their ratings.

But are the charges true?  The IRS reports they've only filed 1 return in 14 years.  If true, and it's a matter of public record, isn't it? that by itself is highly suspicious.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,846
  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 09:09:58 pm »
But are the charges true?  The IRS reports they've only filed 1 return in 14 years.  If true, and it's a matter of public record, isn't it? that by itself is highly suspicious.

It was reported on the NBC network news this evening that Mortensen's publisher will be looking into allegations that all is not as it seems in his book.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,846
  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 09:15:04 pm »
That's what Herbert is getting at by saying violence against women is "not only a staple in the news, but a cornerstone of the nation's entertainment."

You could, I think, make a case that violence against women has been a cornerstone of entertainment in Western culture since Ancient Greece (think Perseus rescuing Andromeda--after slaying Medusa, who was a monster but who was also female, or Zeus raping Europa, for example). Hollywood even has a name for the genre, "Woman in Jep" (as in jeopardy).
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,067
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 10:11:55 pm »
But are the charges true?  The IRS reports they've only filed 1 return in 14 years.  If true, and it's a matter of public record, isn't it? that by itself is highly suspicious.

I can't answer that. But I can say that the IRS doesn't comment on these things. How many times have you read in the newspaper about your tax payments?
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline milomorris

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,426
  • No crybabies
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 02:40:07 am »
I just discovered this thread thanks to recent posts appearing on the Bettermost homepage. My response is a couple years late, but this topic is evergreen.

Misogyny is so ingrained in society - from religion to politics to domestic life - that it's somehow seen as 'natural'.

Correct. But misogyny is just as ingrained as is misandry. And in the post-modern era, misandry has taken on new dimensions and forms of expression. For example, 3 years ago, my man David went for a job interview at a local waste management company. This face-to-face interview was the result having passed 2 telephone interviews: 1 with the HR manager, and 1 with the hiring manager. The HR manager was a middle-aged white woman. David is a middle-aged white man. She actually had the nerve to ask David if he would have a problem working women or with blacks!!!

This illustrates layers of stereotyping on her part: male stereotypes, white stereotypes, and age stereotypes.

I could go on and on citing examples of misandry in society, the media, academia, the workforce, etc. but that would be of little value

Women are the more numerous sex in the world, comprising over 50% of the population and women are the physically weaker sex so if there is any violence in the world at any time women are always in the line of fire.  

I'm not sure what you mean by "the line of fire," but in war, in terrorism, in ethnic unrest, in gang violence, etc. women and men are at equal risk. All of these forms of violence are mostly indiscriminate regarding targets, and 100% indiscriminate when it comes to collateral damage

Not sure what we can do about men's aggression.  

Back in the good ol' days, we used to know exactly how to handle male aggression. Our fathers and other men in our families and communities used to teach us how to manage it, and how to use it constructively. For example: if someone hits you, you hit them back. "Fight fire with fire." You didn't go grab a gun and shoot someone just because they insulted you. Back in the day, the "man rules" had plenty to say about aggression, and if a man transgressed, his masculinity was questioned or diminished. Now that all the "man rules" have been de-valued, much control over aggression has been lost.  

they're aggressive and competitive against their own sex as well.

Competition can, has, and continues to take healthy forms that inspire men (and women) to strive for excellence. Certainly there are unhealthy forms of competition. The idea is to promote the healthy forms, and discourage the unhealthy ones. Same goes for aggression.

Always anxious to prove their masculinity and if they know they can't win in aggression against other men, they take it out on women.  The recent killer in the article is basically one of those - he tied his masculinity to having as many sex partners as he wanted.  And when his social skills did not prove up to the task - and having never considered prostitutes, I guess he wanted to get it for free - he didn't internalize the failing as his own because that also would threaten his masculinity.  So it had to be someone else's fault - women in particular.  

That describes men with specific mental illnesses and psychological dysfuntions. It does not accurately describe men in general.

The social definition of masculinity has to change in order for these types of men to be spotted and rooted out.  So long as society equates masculinity with power, aggression, control and sexual prowess, nothing is going to change.

I could not disagree more. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan." The problem is not with the qualities you listed, but rather with how an individual might express them.

Strength is the core of masculinity. Without it, there is no masculinity, and no value in males.

Aggression is a constant of masculinity, and can be an incredibly useful tool whan managed properly.

Control is a virtue, and it begins with self.

Sexual prowess is essential for the continuation of any species, and important for the well-being of the individual.

But that is not the whole story of masculinity. There are other important qualities that ride alongside the ones you mention above.

Honor

Respect

Loyalty

Discretion

Confidence

Humility

Integrity

Dignity


All of these play into masculinity. Assessing the abundance or lack of these qualities is how society decides how manly a man is.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,846
  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 09:10:10 am »
I can't answer that. But I can say that the IRS doesn't comment on these things. How many times have you read in the newspaper about your tax payments?

Ah, but we're not taking other people's money to build schools in Afghanistan. I'm sorry, but I think that's a false comparison, to compare the tax returns of an individual to those of a charitable organization. And it always does make the news when individual celebrities screw up on their taxes big time (think: Willie Nelson, for example).
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,067
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 10:13:23 am »
Jeff, I concede that you are right about this. It may be quite true that the IRS would publish information about a charitable organization. I will look into this and see if there are facts behind the accusations.

Meanwhile, Jon Krakauer has made the first chapters of his forthcoming book Three Cups of Deceit available online. I respect his work although I don't think much of 60 Minutes after a company I worked for went under their warped microscope. More later as this story unfolds.

Meanwhile those who will suffer are the girls whose education will be cut off. They and their families are the ones at risk.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,846
  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 10:44:54 am »
Meanwhile those who will suffer are the girls whose education will be cut off. They and their families are the ones at risk.

That is, indeed, very sad and distressing.  :(
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 09:20:48 pm »
I just discovered this thread thanks to recent posts appearing on the Bettermost homepage. My response is a couple years late, but this topic is evergreen.

Correct. But misogyny is just as ingrained as is misandry. And in the post-modern era, misandry has taken on new dimensions and forms of expression. For example, 3 years ago, my man David went for a job interview at a local waste management company. This face-to-face interview was the result having passed 2 telephone interviews: 1 with the HR manager, and 1 with the hiring manager. The HR manager was a middle-aged white woman. David is a middle-aged white man. She actually had the nerve to ask David if he would have a problem working women or with blacks!!!

This illustrates layers of stereotyping on her part: male stereotypes, white stereotypes, and age stereotypes.

But why do you think she was asking?  Because of misogyny, many men DO have a problem with women as authority figures over them.  If there wasn't a problem, she wouldn't have had to ask.


Quote
Back in the good ol' days, we used to know exactly how to handle male aggression. Our fathers and other men in our families and communities used to teach us how to manage it, and how to use it constructively. For example: if someone hits you, you hit them back. "Fight fire with fire." You didn't go grab a gun and shoot someone just because they insulted you. Back in the day, the "man rules" had plenty to say about aggression, and if a man transgressed, his masculinity was questioned or diminished. Now that all the "man rules" have been de-valued, much control over aggression has been lost.

But I see that as masculinity pushed to the brink.  NO ONE wants to be shown up.  That's the male ego right there.  Before, men had to accept being a loser, being weaker, being beaten.  Men's aggression drove them to weapons.  Now, if they get beat up in a fair fight, they don't lick their wounds and go home and bear the brunt of a lower status because they weren't top dog.  They grab a gun and immediately return to kill the other so they can regain status.  

Quote
Competition can, has, and continues to take healthy forms that inspire men (and women) to strive for excellence. Certainly there are unhealthy forms of competition. The idea is to promote the healthy forms, and discourage the unhealthy ones. Same goes for aggression.

Sure, but cooperation works just as well.

Quote
That describes men with specific mental illnesses and psychological dysfuntions. It does not accurately describe men in general.

Or it could describe men with a great fear of being psychologically emasculated by situations.

Quote
I could not disagree more. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan." The problem is not with the qualities you listed, but rather with how an individual might express them.

As I pointed out, cooperation works just as well'.  Martin Luther King, Jr, was talking about soft MINDS.  Since when is handling something cooperatively and in the spirit of peace, soft-minded?

Quote
Strength is the core of masculinity. Without it, there is no masculinity, and no value in males.

Aggression is a constant of masculinity, and can be an incredibly useful tool whan managed properly.

Control is a virtue, and it begins with self.

Sexual prowess is essential for the continuation of any species, and important for the well-being of the individual.

But that is not the whole story of masculinity. There are other important qualities that ride alongside the ones you mention above.

Honor

Respect

Loyalty

Discretion

Confidence

Humility

Integrity

Dignity


All of these play into masculinity. Assessing the abundance or lack of these qualities is how society decides how manly a man is.


But all of these are attributes of women as well.  Now what do you say about their role in masculinity?

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 09:29:41 pm »
I think we may be veering somewhat off-topic.  This thread doesn't need to spiral off into another endless debate about gender roles, attributes or stereotypes.  I'm clearly one who clearly believes that gender is completely fluid and people born male and people born female pick up both masculine and feminine qualities.  And individuals express those qualities as they see fit.  I think few people really want to be painted into a gendered box.

The constant equation of femininity (as it manifests in both males and females ) with weakness is a form of misogyny... so that may be somewhat relevant here.

But, I think there are other threads here at BetterMost where the more general discussions of gender roles and gender identifications can and have been discussed at length.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,067
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 09:48:01 pm »
I think we may be veering somewhat off-topic.  This thread doesn't need to spiral off into another endless debate about gender roles, attributes or stereotypes.  I'm clearly one who clearly believes that gender is completely fluid and people born male and people born female pick up both masculine and feminine qualities.  And individuals express those qualities as they see fit.  I think few people really want to be painted into a gendered box.

The constant equation of femininity (as it manifests in both males and females ) with weakness is a form of misogyny... so that may be somewhat relevant here.

But, I think there are other threads here at BetterMost where the more general discussions of gender roles and gender identifications can and have been discussed at length.

I agree a hunerd percent friend! There are good places to debate gender roles, but this is a thread about women at risk, so let's keep it there.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 10:25:14 pm »
Hi Lee,

Yes, I think the practical, real-world, real-life dangers and challenges that face people born female around the world are really important concerns to discuss.  When you sit back and look at the enormous obstacles placed in front of women trying to simply get an education, find a basic job, have any kind of sexual freedom/ satisfaction or have autonomy/independence from male people (on an international level)... it's almost overwhelming.

There are theoretical debates (that I believe are of real value) but there are real-world aspects of oppression that are enormous, and deserve their own form of discussion.

From the perspective of an outsider (someone not of the culture or nationality where the gendered discrimination is happening, Afghanistan or anywhere non-American) it's hard to know what to do to help.  That's my main question and concern when it comes to international feminism.  From such a distance, it's hard to know how to help, as much as I want to at the deepest level.


the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline milomorris

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,426
  • No crybabies
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2011, 11:24:00 pm »
But why do you think she was asking?  Because of misogyny, many men DO have a problem with women as authority figures over them.  If there wasn't a problem, she wouldn't have had to ask.

That's like asking a black man if he is, or ever has been a member of a gang...or sold drugs. The question is based on a negative stereotype. If they want to filter out guys who have problems with female management, there's got to be a better way to do it.

But I see that as masculinity pushed to the brink.  NO ONE wants to be shown up.  That's the male ego right there.  Before, men had to accept being a loser, being weaker, being beaten.  Men's aggression drove them to weapons.  Now, if they get beat up in a fair fight, they don't lick their wounds and go home and bear the brunt of a lower status because they weren't top dog.  They grab a gun and immediately return to kill the other so they can regain status.  

I agree 100%. There used to be a time when boys were taught how to be an honorable loser. That's gone now, so boys/men don't know how to handle it.

Sure, but cooperation works just as well.

Not exactly the same results, but I agree that cooperation is critical too.

Or it could describe men with a great fear of being psychologically emasculated by situations.

Yes. And when that fear leads the man to violence, it has become pathological...or in other words, dysfunctional. Of course said fear is only one of many root causes of violence against women.

Since when is handling something cooperatively and in the spirit of peace, soft-minded?

I never said anything about cooperation. What I disagree with is the idea that masculinity should no longer be defined by power, aggression, control and sexual prowess. I think these traits have value. Yes, they can be destructive, but it is up to the individual man and his ability manage those traits constructively.

Now what do you say about their role in masculinity?

Well since I have been admonished not to divert this thread into another conversation about gender roles, I'll offer a short answer on what I think is the most important distinction.

Strength. It is true that both men and women can possess strength. The difference is that when a man lacks strength, his masculinity suffers. When a woman lacks strength, her femininity remains unaffected.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Women at risk
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 11:47:26 pm »
^Thanks Milo.  This is all so interesting.  It really is so interesting and valuable. Gender debates can go on forever endlessly.  I don't want anyone to think that I'm trying to end this (above) line of conversation.  It just needs to go in another thread somewhere.

Thanks Buds.  :-*
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie