Screw Critical Thought. Blame Women, Feminism, or Men.


In Ur Societiez Feminizin Yer Menfolk

My friend Lydia W sent me an email with the subject heading: terrible article you could have a field day with.

I clicked on the link. I read the article “Are Women Feminizing Men?“. My response was simple:

“I almost started crying when I read this.”

Matthew Fitzgerald (author of Sex-ploytation: How Women Use Their Bodies to Extort Money From Men, an evidence-free rook, aka rant book) managed to spit out some of the worst sexist stereotypes in two tiny pages with nary a source to back up his claims.

Blanket statements about human nature applied to one gender? Check.

“typical female hypocrisy”

“women — shrewd and manipulating as they are”

“[Women] use [power] for sexual blackmail…”

Painting men as sex-centered simpletons? Check.

“Let’s face it: A man’s needs are pretty minimal. All he really asks for is regular sex and a cold one.”

“most guys will do just about anything to get laid.”

Power-Crazed Women

He seems to think that women are mad with power and that our uterii are staging a media takeover, saying “far more influential are movies like Mel Gibson’s cotton candy pander-fest What Women Want”.

Really? Let’s take a peek at the top grossing films of the last decade.

TOP TEN FILMS OF THE 2000s

(unadjusted domestic gross totals)

  1. Avatar (2009)
  2. The Dark Knight (2008)
  3. Shrek 2 (2004)
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  5. Spider-Man (2002)
  6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
  7. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  9. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  10. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Every last one was a male-centric plot line. Nearly every last one is an action movie. All of them were directed by men, produced by men and starring men. Women are a minority behind and in front of the cameras. (For insight as to why, read this Salon’s roundtable with 10 powerful Hollywood women).

Power-Hungry Women?

So what’s the real dirt on women and power in this country? Gender equality isn’t as equal as this guy is shouting about. Yes, women are making gains in education but at a time when educational systems are crumbling. Yes, women make up 52% of the workforce but in low paying positions. In the Forbes top ten richest there are two women from the Walton Family (Wal-Mart) but their wealth was inherited.

Really, the U.S. ain’t doing so hot with gender equality. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranks #31 out of 115 for equality. Read the WEF report here, relevant snip below:

The Global Gender Gap Report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four critical areas:

  1. Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
  2. Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
  3. Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
  4. Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

The Index’s scores can be interpreted as the percentage of the gap that has been closed between women and men.

This was out of 115 countries. When I read about women’s lives in other parts of the world, I really want to cry. Rape, honor killings, systematic abuses, minimal autonomy. Horrifying. We so often forget that in our own country, women have only really been making gains over the last century. Women around the globe need a leg up after centuries of unequal treatment. Please read this article in the New York Times about women’s rights around the world.

So to the haters out there: women’s rights are still an issue. We’re making progress, but not enough. I struggle to understand why people (usually men) direct such vitriol at women trying to succeed in life.

What boggles my mind even further is that Matthew Fitzgerald’s writings center around women as shrewd manipulators using sex as bait. I read his book’s Amazon reviews to get a feel for his audience and what I saw…well, it’s disturbing to think he’s right about any people in the world. But what he says resonates with some. In half of the reviews people exclaim “OMG! Women are totally like that!” but the only women I’ve seen use their bodies for financial gain were sex workers. So, women of the world using sex for manipulation: stop lying. Go ahead and be a sex worker. It’s OK. Just be upfront and tell the guy you’re fucknig him for rent money or a new purse.

And to the guys complaining/writing about those women: stop dating them. There are plenty of women that enjoy their financial freedom. There are also women that enjoy sex for its own sake.

At the heart of his writing, and much of the anti-feminist parading as anti-misandrist writing, is a very true frustration.

Are Equality Policies Rooted in Sexist Thought?

“The modern man walks around on eggshells, afraid of saying the “wrong thing,” scared of showing his natural sexual interest to a woman, scared of being scorned, humiliated, or even fired — scared of his own true self.”

Exaggeration (and heteronormative) but a phenomenon I see with some men of my generation. They’re…. Peter Pans? No. Hesitant is a better word. Prone to inertia. And I think the writer is on to something when he points out the role of politically correct speech and sexual harassment charges.

Before you get all riled up: sexual harassment is serious. Anyone in a position of power manipulating an underling sexually deserves punishment. But the way we lay out the law sometimes hinders equality and political correctness can be an ineffective solution.

I am thankful to have laws that prevent my higher-ups from sexually harassing or coercing me. But I resent a law on the books stopping someone from calling me “babe” or “chick”. I’m a grown woman and I should be able to easily say “Stop it”. If I have to, take the matter to a higher-up and keep pursuing it. There is something creepily paternalistic about some of the sexual harassment guidelines, particularly when schools use suspension as a behavioral intervention for inappropriate touching. I am also frustrated with a world that lumps flirting with sexual harassment, that pegs any sexual move from a guy as predatory and aggressive. Sexism underlies these policies. We assume men to be sexually aggressive and women always dislike sexual attention and need outside intervention. The regulations are necessary but we need to look at ineffective and harmful aspects of these policies, lest our solutions create more problems than answers.

Which leads me to an uncomfortable question, still unresolved in my own mind: when we create policies to spur equality through encouraging preferential treatment for disadvantaged groups, should those policies only be short term? By carving them in stone will we, over time and gains in equality, have laws with unequal treatment? And are we sending the message that women need this protection permanently? We certainly need to give a leg up to historically oppressed and disadvantaged people but at what point can we resume an even playing field? Do permanent laws of preferential treatment hurt in the long-term and uphold racist and sexist ideals?

The Blame Game

Whatever the answers to the above questions, one thing is certain: we cannot sit and point fingers at other groups or nebulous ideologies. Yes, it’s comforting name our monsters but ultimately misleading. Men are not at fault for all the world’s problems. Women are not at fault for the current masculinity crisis and anxieties. Feminism (whatever you think that is) has not ruined gender relations. Agitated, yes, but that needed to happen. The old gender order wasn’t working.

But when we agitate a cultural bedrock like gender roles we need to think critically about how to reconstruct gender relations in society. Some would say eradicate gender, but I disagree. You will find cultures with two, three, four, five or six genders but you will not find gender-less socieites. So while I feel so sad when I see inflammatory, gender-stereotyped, sexist analysis that plays the blame game, I know it’s a mistake to write it off wholesale. Just because someone else won’t engage in critical thought (or provide any evidence to back their claims) doesn’t mean the frustration isn’t valid.

The problem is not feminism or women withholding sex. It’s that we need a new construction of masculinities, alongside femininities, that deal with harmful aspects of male gender while encouraging men to shine and succeed in life. We need to deal with the sexist man-bashers of every gender. We need to deal with restrictive gender roles in general because the times, they’re a-changin’.

49 thoughts on “Screw Critical Thought. Blame Women, Feminism, or Men.”

  1. The confusion and disarray in men’s understanding of their own roles is real, and I’m pleased to see you addressing this analytically.

    Two of the difficulties facing men in understanding their own gender and roles are stereotypes of successful jock (woman-mauling, drug-swilling center of the universe) and university playboy (woman-mauling, drug-swilling center of the universe). Both are widely idealized in movies and television to the continuing harm of young men who assume this is how a human being is supposed to behave.

    In both of these stereotypes and in the men who continue to attempt to emulate this behavior into their 20s and 30s, there is a lot of fear. That in itself is sufficiently complex to fill several volumes, but once we as a society of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, and neighbors begin to find ways to understand ourselves and those around us, we can mature as individuals and as a society and as a nation.

    Frank.

  2. Actually, this a very good well thought out comentary.

    Yes, men have become more “hesitant” about some of the positive aspects of our masculinity. But blaming women, even though some men may wan’t to believe women are the sole cause, won’t help make things better. Men and women together need to figure out the balance. And when the pendulum swings, it will always swing too far the other way for awhile. With laws regulating our tendencies, because we are supposedly unable to figure it out ourselves. Besides, we know it started with Tammy Wynette’s: “Stand by your man, After all he’s just a man…” and has continued with Nine Inch Nails, “I want to f— you like an animal.” But I digress…

    We should ask ourselves the question when we see or hear something sexist, racist, biased, unethical etc: “Is that right, does that feel right, if I was in their shoes how would I feel?” That’s pretty basic and many times we forget the basics.

  3. THANKS! The times they are a changin’ indeed.

    Masculinity (and Femininity) need a reset. I get very tired of listening to men a) blame women rather than take responsibility for their happiness, unhappiness, satisfaction, political station, job, etc. b) say and do things which reinforce damaging, violent and emotionally immature stereotypes about men.

    I also get very tired of women who either a) blame men rather than take responsibility for getting what they want or creating the relationships they want or b) let men off the hook for being immature and emotionally stunted with statements like ‘boys will be boys’ or c) say and do things that reinforce damaging, psychically violent and emotionally immature stereotypes about women.

    It’s a dance that’s been playing for a few tens of thousands of years. You’d think with these huge masses of grey matter, the lizard brain would be a bit more in check.

    AND I also feel very strongly that the fundamental mistake is one of denial. We have collectively created a culture of taboos (political correctness could be an example) in which there are whole areas of personality, actions, thoughts and feelings which have been put into a deep dark hole. AND surprise, surprise, these archetypal demons locked in ‘unbreakable’ chains manage to find a way to escape and show up in all kinds of damaging ways in the culture. Gonzo porn, domestic violence, sexualized children, violent misogyny, misandry and homophobia, hypersexuality, women whose first and primary concern is sexual acceptability, men whose first and primary concern is denial of ALL that could be considered feminine. Men are no longer consciously taught to be mature, because there are few men who understand what that maturity looks like, or how to teach it. The same is true of women. And the lot of us are mostly taught by media, which as you pointed out is mostly made, produced and marketed by men. (the same immature men who were never taught otherwise)

    Want to break the denial? Create conscious places for men and women to safely explore the taboos, let the demons out of the cages in a safe and conscious way (this does NOT mean enacting them on one another!) and learn what they have to teach us. We’re already letting them out … we’re just making the wildly irresponsible choice to not analyze, process and explore these taboos consciously. When we come to a level of self-awareness about what we hide in our taboo closets, the taboos lose their psychic magnetism – freeing us ALL up to create masculinity and femininity that will support us toward wholeness rather than diminishing us toward gendered mud-flinging.

    The good news is that there are more and more men and women waking up, doing their work cleaning out the closets and creating conscious and more emotionally responsible cultures and relationships. They are isolated pockets most of the time, but growing.

    And if the predictors work … it will only take about 1% of the population waking up to change the whole game. I think that the huge amount of yelling, fear and panic about this topic might indicate that we’re close to breaking through. I hope so.

    For men – I recommend the ManKind Project as a way to start doing the work of taking responsibility for our lives. Cut the shit man. Time to take responsibility for yourself.

    1. Brilliant Comment by Boyson Hodgson.

      The power lies with the ladies (I do not say wo-men, anymore than I call girls wo-boys). The ladies have the babies, not the men. The ladies have control. Use the power. Bring boys up to be nice guys. Resist the temptation to let us walk all over you. Fight your masochistic urge. Do not blame us if you blow your opportunity to change the world.

      Most important of all, understand how strong the boy’s drive is, at around 10, to cop orgasm (silly old Nature, but we are stuck with it), and organise things for the boy. The moment he can do it, he ought to have it. Frustration is the mother of all evil. Seriously.

      1. “The ladies have control. Use the power. Bring boys up to be nice guys.”

        This is part of what I’m arguing against. Women should not have all the power in raising children. I’ve heard this is especially an issue for men in the UK and Australia as family courts strip them of their parental rights, likely because of this very mental construct.

        I don’t think men should be discouraged as fathers nor women lauded as instinctual caretakers.

  4. Thank you for providing a thoughtful, educated response! It’s time we all act as individuals and take accountability for ourselves no matter what sex we happen to be.

  5. I don’t think it’s really all that confusing and threatening for men or for anybody. The basic rules of good behavior haven’t changed in a hundred years, and they boil down to “think about how what you are doing/saying feels to the other person.”

    Why is it scary and threatening to men to just apply that to everyone, and expect it from others? Why is it confusing to women to do the same? What the fuck happened to common sense?

    It seems really easy to get sexual politics and sexual insecurities all wrapped up in this but I refuse to accept that this is hard. If people don’t know how to appropriately express their sexual appreciation to members of the desired gender, just read a book on the subject, there are SO MANY. I mean, just don’t be a jerk. How is that so hard? I mean, really?

    1. Exactly. The article shouldn’t just piss off women–it is also insulting to men because it is based on the premise that men are that easily manipulated and only think with one head.

    2. in response to your post, all i have to say is this. obviouesly there is a great power struggle occuring between the sexes and its been occuring for centuries. usually when one group is oppressed(women) by another (men)there always seems to be a balancing agent to tip the scales back to equality(and i believe this is true for all forms of inequality). for women i believe it began with the 60s or 70s during the sexual revolution and even before that when women fought and won the right to vote.
      now think about this, with the newly emancipated women given the right to vote and an even greater power to control sex, what do you think happened to roles of men and women in american and to the balance of power between the sexes? that balance quickly shifted. women finally wielding a weapon strong enough to beat men and keep them at bay, in a sense, became drunk and corrupted off its power.
      you wanna know why its actually kinda difficult for men and women to treat each other in a similar fashion with respect. consider this, in this country and i dare say the world, we live in a reality of double standards. 2 different out comes for pretty much the same behavior. if a man slaps another man, you can be sure a fight might break out and no one would care. if a women smacks a man, a man cannot strike a women because A) It is not socially considered respectable because a women is weaker or of the weaker sex and it is considered un manly, 2) greater legal ramifications can occure in such and offense. what im tying to state is that with the type of attitude or Double Law existing, women have a different understanding of social ettiquet when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. this ranges to how you speak to the other in terms of sex, tone, meaning and such, as well as physical contact and conflict resolution. just recently, while i was in school(college) a classmate of mine (female) who is a bit older than me, after i started conversationg with her for a few days felt it was alright to start grabbing me in my chess and sides. i was shocked because this event was so random and im pretty gaurded and in check when it comes to dealing with women so i dont say or do anything that is would be seen as offensive or sexual. plus is was pissed because if i had mimic her actions with another student or with her, the results would have been most unsavory(in my opinion)

  6. Wow, not an easy read, lots of info to read through. Oh Kay, so this is the way I see it. It’s all about the control, base istinct. For someone to lead someone must fallow, and the success or failure of the expidition is what determins your next leader. Simple? not so, gender is only one way we as humans are divicive, and there are too many to list, so I’ll keeep it simple for now. It’s that big concept to generalize what our role is, in the comunity. It’s that first one, the hunter and gatherer, that mighty male slays the beast and the tender female picks up around the cave. Witch one do you want to be? not so fast, we generalize so we can limit our competitions role in the comunity, so the power base stays safely in the hands of the leadership.
    This is when it gets nasty, see, leadership is always under threat of new ideas and invention. So if you want to stay in control you must limit the involvment of that threat. Really there is no threat but leadership comes with EGO, ENTITLEMENT…. and the thought of, I FEAR loseing control. This is why, I think gender confusion is on the rise, any way, the truth is that we are all eaqual and fear makes us slip into being, scared, shallow minded animals, actualy animals do it better than humans in some ways.
    Humans are inteligent, but not always smart, because the first time you take the life of another or enslave your your your competition you become aware that :1) it can easily be done 2) that it can happen to you 3) there is no, do overs. Whats done is done, it is now game on and each new revelation of the human condition carries with it the knowledge of it’s past, encoding our DNA to the present day.
    So the genetic relationship, of male and female is at the core of why we do what we do. That is not the whole story, is it? no, sadly it isn’t, we as a race have to respect all life and that is easier said than done. It’s not that men are strong and women are weak, that keeps us in this genetic holding pattern, it’s that we keep playing fallow the leader. Yes we do need leadership, and that is where the next step in evelution needs to concentrate and develope better understanding of the bigger picture but it won’t happen if we continue to be divicive. I am, going to give you the key to our future and the truth is, we have had it all along.
    The key is Love and Knowledge, it is just that simple. Believing is not the same as knowing, just as lusting is not the same as loveing, we have to stop putting our collective faith, into belief and start acting upon what we know. This is the truth and you don’t have to fallow me, you just have to stop fighting eachother over who is in control or mightier or more right than you…. I just want to accent to that higher plain knowing that all that I love is safe and I can lend a hand to understand better (of good and will) what geneticly WE (men & women) have all the control over, our future.

    1. i only gave you thumbs up because i like the technical jargon of your post. dummy it down for the rest of us will ya,lol.

  7. Stupid people make me tired.
    That being said; you wrote an articulate, intelligent article that delves into the psyche of the female-hating-males. Personally I think some men are afraid of strong, independent women because it makes them stop and think “If I don’t kill the meat, what does she need me for?”

    1. I wish those guys would also stop and think, “Is need the basis for a healthy relationship?”

      Wanting is better than needing. Wanting is awesome.

    2. Question, what do you consider a strong female? a women who has her own job, place, car? Has very strong opinions about life, society, ect? Can hold her own in a conversation with a group intellectuals? Can throw a mean right hook with the best of the men? and im going to be a douche bag and just say that im going to ask if your a black women because usually in my readings only black women use the phrase “strong women” to sugar coat a certain sort of unsavory behavior they want to paint in a better light. and yes im black. and if im wrong, you got me with my foot in my mouth.

      1. as a Black/Native American, i would say that a strong assertive woman is MUCH different (and usually more positive) than a mean aggressive woman. to me, the two are mutually exclusive.

  8. Excellent article, thank you. Some good comments too.

    I have to wonder what role chemicals like BPA are playing in this — BPA is known to make boys more hesitant and fearful and girls more assertive — and cash register receipts have *far* more BPA than

    Much male posturing could be overcompensation, and as was pointed out, we aren’t raised by our parents but by television and the media — so many of today’s parents were themselves raised by television and the media and so they simply don’t have the tools in their boxes to teach their children much differently.

    “Don’t be a jerk” is a good ground rule. But with a population so confused, untutored, and frightened

  9. Thanks to feminism at least the women gender roles have come a long way from the narrow confines of the screwed up system we live in. However the system we live in is still a huge mess for all, male, female… it’s a mess for all human and other life forms. Until we all learn to treat this planet, and each other with respect regardless of differences, it will be a struggle.

  10. Bear with me, I’m 50 years old, voted Republican all through the 90′s, have been married 20 years, so I’m kind of a traditional guy. That being said, I was also raised by a single female parent after my father died when I was 6, didn’t turn to crime, didn’t become a rapist, and I’m not drug addicted.

    The bottom line is, you have to keep pushing. You need to keep pushing women to continue to step up to the plate, not putting up with gender discrimination or inequality. You also have to recognize that men won’t happily step aside. Like it or not, women are here to stay. Women do better in school than their male counter-parts, more likely to be accepted into and graduate from college, and are the fastest growing demographic in graduate and professional schools, as well as industry.

    Everywhere I turn, I read about the demise of men. But for centuries, people have talked about the feminization of men and the decline of the species. I think the real lesson there is men have always suffered from esteem issues. Short of going back to a hunter/gatherer existence and rigidly defined gender roles I think our only solution is to muddle forwards.

    Be of good cheer though. Despite all the bluster of the Rush Limbaughs and Dr. Laura’s of the world, I don’t actually see anyone turning the clock back…no matter how much they claim they want it.

  11. Thanks for getting into this, the oldest human problem. The problem is Ignorance of our own power and forever lamenting the power of the opposite.

    Will we ever lift that veil? And see the truth?

  12. Excellent article, thank you. Some good comments too.

    I have to wonder what role chemicals like BPA are playing in this — BPA is known to make boys more hesitant and fearful and girls more assertive — and approximately 30% cash register receipts have *far* more BPA than the polycarbonate plastic so many people are freaked out about — orders of magnitude higher, in fact.

    Much male posturing could be overcompensation, and as was pointed out, we aren’t raised by our parents but by television and the media — so many of today’s parents were themselves raised by television and the media and so they simply don’t have the tools in their boxes to teach their children differently.

    “Don’t be a jerk” is a good ground rule. But with a population so confused, untutored, and frightened, this is a hard row to hoe. And once again, the media has played its role in making this job much harder. Men are so often portrayed as weak and pussywhipped by the women in their lives. This makes the job of gender equity even more difficult, and tends to render men angry and frightened of women.

    The increasing militarisation of American society hasn’t helped either — men are told that they need to take control, but they really don’t know how to do so, and so they blame the easy targets — women — for their problems. It’s much easier to do that than to blame the real sources of their problems — joblessness (blamed on women “taking” their jobs away from them) anxiety over the puppets they are told are the problem (women, people of color, terrorism, etc.) and the increasing numbers of people who think that religion that teaches male ‘headship’ will solve all of their problems.

    If you read Stiffed by Susan Faludi, you will get a great overview of the problems facing men in American society today and their perspectives on what’s wrong in their lives — overwhelmingly it comes down to joblessness — we have not replaced the jobs lost during the 70s, let alone since then.

    As for women — they too are trained by the media to believe that the answer is to be sexually attractive and to seek out the guys with the bucks, rather than partners with whom they they can form positive and durable relationships. The increasing numbers of women who seek out surgery to make themselves more attractive are not generally doing it for themselves — they’re doing it to attract a desirable mate, and also for career advantage. As hard as it is for an older man to find suitable employment, it’s even harder for women, whose physical appearance is too often key to gaining employment and who face even more age discrimination than men do in the job market.

    We must choose to turn off the television and teach our children ourselves. While we may think of media as passive entertainment, it is training us and training our children to act and think this way.

  13. I love this article. It’s been awhile since I’ve read such an intelligently written piece that acknowledges we haven’t finished with this realignment of the genders. Thanks for all your links and information too!

  14. I sure am glad I don’t have to deal with any of this “gender-role” business. I take care of my wife and she stays home and does the laundry. When I want sex I get it, and she doesn’t try to power game me or manipulate me. Yes, it’s 1950s style, and both of us are perfectly happy. Sticking feathers up your arse does not make you a chicken. I agree with the author of the article, though. If you don’t like certain types of chicks, don’t date them. If you are scared of a career woman, why in God’s name would you hit on a girl at work? Go find some waitress in a shitty restaurant who’s just waiting for some tough guy to sweep her off her feet. Personally I think that women have gotten rooked into the modern workforce. I sure don’t find being a corporate wageslave all that liberating. *shrug* Oh, my wife just finished my dinner, so I’ll leave it at that.

  15. Well put together and thought read. I throughly enjoyed that. If I can add a view points if I may, so much I want to address but too much to post on here..
    While many view the Civil Rights movement as a movement that was predominantly a movement for social equality for people of color, it was also very much a movement that spoke of social injustice regardless of race, creed or gender and one of which women also benefited from. Affirmative action was a by product of the Civil RIghts movement, an informal apology that attempted to address decades of inequality in the workplace in regard to the blatant and discriminatory hiring practices that were being perpetuated by a nation wide “good old boy system”. This system turned away many a qualified person of color and gender and literally gave jobs to people far less qualified. Indeed, one can say that this “system” was not just a racist system but one that was also intentionally and overtly sexist. Those women that were lucky enough to have jobs endured forms of harassment, physical and verbal, that left them emotionally and physically scarred and thus reciprocally sexual harassment laws were enacted to protect women from this type of injustice in the work place. Since that time, the legitimacy of both laws, affirmative action in particular, has been challenged numerous times in regard to its constitutionality with some states such as California (California Civil Rights Initiative) and Michigan for example, passing constitutional amendments banning affirmative action within their respective states.
    Fast forward to the 21st century and there is a growing voice in the diaspora that these laws, amongst others are promoting a new “reverse racist/sexist” agenda in this country that is proportionately affecting caucasian men. Ironically, the outcry is that the system is now prejudiced against them and that they are losing out on jobs and promotions to less qualified women, and or people of color. When the Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor was going through the vetting process to become Court Justice she was pinpointed as being a proponent of this “new racism” that is supposedly growing in the country based on a statement she made in 2001. Sotomayor is quoted as saying: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” This raised the ire of many of those “angry white men” to include the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who accusing the then Supreme Court Nominee of being a “new racist”by stating that “New racism is no better than old racism.”

    Was Sotomayor saying that her being a women of hispanic heritage made her better than a white man of privilege or was she saying that her experiences and perspectives based on her life as a young hispanic woman who came from a background of poverty, as well as being a woman, gave her a perspective that as a white male he could not understand? A perspective, I might add, that is desperately needed in courts across the land. One has to assess such rhetoric critically.

    In regard to equality and justice, if this is indeed the case, that white men are losing positions to less qualified applicants based solely on gender and color, then I would say that this would need to be addressed because that is not the reason these laws were instituted. People of color, and women never wanted the proverbial “leg up” on anyone. All they wanted was to be an equal participant in the mantra that is now the fading “American dream”, that being the ability to be an equally considered member of society, afforded the same opportunities and access to a good life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However the system did allow access to that, it was an exclusive club, an elite membership of which all white male members of society were automatically admitted, women- possibly, if you were willing to play by “their rules”, forced to be in a subordinate role that belied your intelligence, and only as long as you were willing to also be objectified and patronized. People of color? Sure you can play too, as long you know your place and were willing to accept a service position that served as a footstool for white male society. This is the truth of what is America, and by which these laws were created – out of necessity. Additionally, these laws had to be fought for to get the system to change. It was not as if the system within itself had a shift in conscience, some moral higher calling that caused it to have a change of heart and correct decades, even centuries of wrong. No, it had to be fought for.

    You find yourself questioning the long term application of such laws and whether or not they serve to uphold racist and sexist thinking in this country.
    The answer in my opinion is that it WAS and still IS necessary for such laws to exist within the framework of society. There is proof evidence of that within the statistical data that you provided in your post. There is also statistical data out there that supports the still vast inequalities within the framework of society and the workplace. From the vast discrepancies in salary between white males and minority/gender groups to their underrepresentation in upper management positions.

    The laws that were instituted were not created to uphold racist and sexist thinking in this country, they were a BY PRODUCT of those very depreciatory ideologies. Racism and sexism are not ideologies that are created by laws they are ideologies that serve to reinforce racist and sexist thought that lies in the hearts and minds of people. Laws that would have very well continued to denigrate people of color and gender to a servile, second class citizenship in this country while unconscionably benefitting an elite group based on color and privilege.

    During times of depression and economic stagflation, such as now, it seems that it is the human response to retreat to melancholia and recall times long past and promote some form of “golden age” in the recesses of their mind. You hear that outcry now. However, one has to question, great for whom? I am pretty sure that women and people of color have no desire to take it back to the good old days because who was it good for exactly? No, these laws need to remain an ever present institution to be a consistent reminder that such behavior and prejudice shall not be tolerated in what is to be considered a free society because while these laws do exist, when these laws were enacted to combat the racist and gender biased system that was/is workplace America, it really did not change much in terms of how the racists and sexists operated. Instead the “leopard”just changed its spots and went underground. Those same racists and sexist people are still out there, denying people jobs and positions based on color and gender, and raising their kids to do the same. All under the guise of, the position has already been filled, you’re over qualified or whatever other lies they can weave.

    New racism/sexism may be the outcry but John Ridley a favorite author as well as a sociological and political blogger puts the points succinctly. You can just plug in racism and sexism interchangeably.
    “new racism” isn’t like “old racism” ’cause “old racism” tended to involve things like shackles, and whips and the Middle Passage. Attack dogs, Billy clubs and water hoses. Burning crosses and lynch mobs. Confederate flags, liquor and screams of “Kill the (fill in pejorative here)!” “Old racism” was red lining and segregating and “whites only” drinking fountains, schools and country clubs. It was The Dred Scott Decision, Executive Order 9066, and the Trail of Tears. “Old racism” was a blind eye and “all deliberate speed” that wasn’t deliberate or particularly speedy and nonsense about the sanctity of marriage which was crap when it was applied to “race laws” and is crap when applied to “one man/one woman.””New Racism?” That’s apparently a Latina openly talking about how “more often than not” she would like to avoid the “conclusions” that allowed “old racism” to thrive. That’s a long way from getting your ass beat for trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge so maybe your kids might one day enjoy the right to vote. The fact that Newt would even attempt to compare “old racism” and “new racism” only proves Sotomayor correct in saying that experience based on fact is very different than that based on perception.”

    Are the laws we have perfect? No. Will they ever serve to address the inequalities that were perpetuated upon women and people of color in this country? Never. Not even close. Should a woman or person of color get a job over a man, because just because they are a woman or person of color? Never.
    However , next time a white man and a woman or minority go up for a job, equally educated with relatively the same measure of experience thus running it into a tie.. give it to the woman or minority. I think they have earned it.

  16. I disagree with most of your article, but I particularly enjoy the ending. I have always argued for equality among men and women, but I have always feared that in acquiring some sense of equality, women will also adopt the perilous aspects of men’s behavior. I guess that’s why I like Tarantino so much-

    1. What points do you disagree with and what do you offer as an alternative viewpoint? I’m a curious little creature and I welcome well-stated divergent viewpoints.

      1. Here is one point, As long as we are getting so hung up on Dominence and submissive roll playing, we will not get to the joys of liveing the good life. It comes down to in the end respect for all people. regarless of gender, race, politics or religion. You don’t need a degree to understand that. This is the problem with the world, Too many Zealots & Idealogs & not enough Lovers. I think SEXADEMIC IS 1 HOT MOMMA. LOL You know it is good to have knowledge but it is quite another thing to think you are better than the gal next to you. Look at politics in America, have you ever seen such childish behavior in our life time? As my wife of 16 years says, ” were all going to hell” LOL
        http://1anvil4u.wordpress.com/

  17. This report about the sexes is pretty dynamic. I am glad that it also pulls out some points to what sex satisfaction means to men. I am certain that women are not ferminising men but making them become more responsible in a civilised society. What is wrong in telling a man or anyone what I don’t want?

    Yes, women know that men want to have sex just for the sex of being a man. This is their natural existence their biological drive. Unfortunately, a lot of men are either ignorant or do not know that most women do not gain total satisfaction through sex. Let me say this in a different way; a woman can have sex with a man without feeling any desire for sex. This particular response to sex in women is not similar in proportion to what men feel sex is.

    The situation of a woman having sex just for the sake of satisfying her man can exist in normal relationships. Or if it turns out that she says ‘no’ but the man persists to have his desire then the act of doing so becomes rape.

    For a woman, having sex with a man and feeling satisfied can gives her some sense of achievement depends whether or not the condition of the sexual relationship is ‘unconditional love affair’ or ‘conditional affair’.

    This ‘sense of achievement’ that women like to have is actually a factor that makes women personality complex, because it changes, these changes are more common in modern times. In any case, women like to receive some to sort of appreciation from a man she is in relationship with. In unconditional love affair, women prefer not to have a say in this bargaining, making the man have more power, but he is still expected to be fair. In a conditional affair, there is not much love here, and the man should pay for what he gets depending on how far he want to go and depending on how much of a bitch the woman is. In both cases, women love to give things in return, be it as a form of a gift, or increase of that love & desire and plenty thrill (in unconditional terms) or just being nice and fair (in conditional terms).

    Sorry guys, it is not easy for women too. As you can see it is pretty much easier to go for ‘unconditional love affair’ in which case the man is chasing his natural ego and achieving it in a civilised manner by doing the job of making sure the woman falls in love with him, before sexual advances occurs.

    Unless of course you have a lot of cash to spill and you don’t want to be loved, it’s simple, stick to conditional terms and don’t complain. But if you insist you need love, guest what, you can’t have it and it can’t be bought! It is possible that you could even cause things to turn dirty and I think this is where Mathew Fitzgerald got confused (author of sex-ploytation …) perhaps no one ever told him that there are two forms of relationship between the two sexes and so two different classes etcetera.

    love goddess

    1. the thing is, from a sexual perspective, both men and women have strong sexual drives but it has been or i should say perpetuated, the idea that women are able to go without sex or are too evolved to be driven by their sex drive as men are. this sort of perspective or frame of mind can and has been used by women as a bargaining chip or weapon to place themselves into a position of power.

  18. Very interesting read, and some of the comments too… The issues are real and deserve critical thought and articulate consideration. Recently I had a co-worker get all up in my face accusing me of something that turned out to be totally erroneous. In the course of his tirade he used every old trick in the book from proximity intimidation, pointing, and went so far as to prevent me from getting up to open my office door. It was a 100% ego response and I wondered how he would have handled the situation had I been a man, and had I not been his senior (professionally – he is twice my age, sadly.)

    My interest in gender issues has dramatically increased over the past five years as I have been living in Asia. It has become something of a national concern in China (just one of the books on the subject: http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/none/save-boys-637264#ixzz0dzoxJ0LC ) and, as expected it is all about where to place the blame.

    1. Thank you for the link! China’s social development over the next few decades will surely prove endlessly fascinating.

  19. I agree with most of the article. However, I am tired of hearing about womens rights. As a young female I’m sure I am a minority when I make that statement. But I am tired of women fighting for some things and not others. Don’t get me wrong, I am appreciative that I have the right to vote and that I am more likely today to get a well paying job along side a man with the same education and experience. But I never hear women fighting for the obligation to enlist in the military at the age of 18. If we want to be equal don’t we have to do this all the way? Just something I have noticed over the years.

    1. “I am tired of hearing about womens rights. As a young female I’m sure I am a minority when I make that statement.”

      You’re not as much of a thought minority as you think and it’s good to critically look at how women’s issues (or any gender issues) play out in public discourse.

      And you’re right about some women fighting for selective rights, but remember that women have wildly divergent viewpoints about many aspects of gender equality. There is no female hive mind.

      “If we want to be equal don’t we have to do this all the way?” Agree. Keep on marinating over it. You should have heard me as an undergrad bitching about feminists in my professors office (I’ll write about his response one of these days). I was a super critical of women’s studies when I was younger and regularly fought with one of my sociology/women’s studies professors, often storming out of her class in anger.

    2. wo miss, you might be opening up a whole new can of worms with your statement,lol. but i am curious as to what other think of you view or the question you just posed.

    3. tired of hearing about feminism? well, get over it…you’ll be LIVING it soon enough.
      as for the military – feminists actually (well, progressive ones) challenge the militaristic paradigm…why fight to get into a system that in and of itself is life-hating and patriarchal?

  20. If there is a mark to be missed, most of you hvae missed it. From the author of the book, to the -at least well-meaning- myopia of this writer.

    Of the many left-field details rattling around, I think I’ll eschew them all, and focus on the ones that really should be obvious. Details are compelling, but this is the crux.

    The writer asks whether preferential treament under law ought to be metered out as a temporary measure. Percieving it as a way to “redress the balance”. Firstly, people spurred on by ideology like to cherry-pick about the era they’re referencing. Crying foul about all of the “cons” of being a woman of the bygone days, while acting as if men had all the “pros”. Even today, if men have all the “pros”, why are women so resistant to even discussing a redistribution of power in the very area that they complain about? They complain about men “taking responsibility” and merrily tar & feather people as “deadbeats” (even though statistics show women as defaulting on child support at nearly twice the rate), but when it comes to divisions of custody… Watch the claws come out. This writer (as they inevitably do) writes as if women are short-changed even in western society (wage gap, education, lifestyle) and speaks as if she’s oblivious to the very rigorous arguments against her position. Wage gap? Try decision gap. Yes, women ARE at a disadvantage, when it comes to being involved in a family. That’s biology, not men. But it only begins there. Women get pregnant, and so we have maternity leave, to compensate for this biological point. In the wake of pregnancy is rearing. When it comes to rearing, women also make choices that demand flexibility and so impacts on their desirability as an employee. YES- I know most of you have heard this before. This part isn’t discussed as much- Women expect equal opportunity in what is tradintionally the male seat of power: The Workplace. So they want to eradicate a percieved pro, of being male. So, since the children are the female seat of power, where is the pro-active jostling for women to surrender it? All I see is all take from women, and no give.

    The finger is often waved at women because of their initiating 70% of divorces. Well heres something I think is missed in the simplification that it’s hard to say if it defends women or not. The rate makes mockery of the “male commitment” insults. It’s sometimes claimed that it’s because the law favours women so greatly in the event of divorce, financially, that she is more inspired to initiate it. This however, is another veiled insult to men. She is also comfortable in the knowledge, to such a point that it’s absolutely taken for granted without discussion, that if she leaves, the kids go with her. And so, men, who don’t want to lose their children, will be more resisting of divorce.

    All of this strikes at the heart of the presumptions this writer makes, before she even addresses the matters that are being reasoned with on a false construct. You beg the question of whether preferential law should be temporary? You haven’t shown where there is a genuine deficiency to redress. Let alone, articulated why preferential treatment is even the best theory, to redress a deficiency you haven’t shown. Some of it is understandment that is frankly galling. “Women are making gains in education”. Which women? Where? Maybe I’ll read your link after this, because I sure hope you’re not referring to western women. It would translate as: Female students are being coddled by subsidized reformed into success. Boys are being sold to the scrapheap for fear that aiding boys would be at the expense of the glitter-party. And yes, feminist representatives have said [exactly] that thing. That they oppose helping struggling boys because it may detract from the success of girls. Pertaining to those who impact the law reforms, make no mistake about who it is they’re interested in helping. Equality isn’t on the agenda.

    As much as unintelligent doomsayers would like to cite videogames and other sins as the sign of the anti-christ, multiple-media influence has stuff all to do with most cultural waves of discord. Well, not directly. It is just that- Influence. It’s not formative, except by influence to what IS formative. Law. A society is not characterized by what an individual does to another individual. It is characterized by what the policy (law) is to tolerate. What annoys me about the blatantly sexist takes on men on television, isn’t may urgent dismay over how it may affect boys. It’s the turgid hypocrisy, over those that won’t acknowledge it for what it is. It’s all about the geese, and the ganders don’t exist.

    These are the crops sown by preferential attitudes. If women really CAN “do anything”, then let’s have enough of the talk already. Why do people so empowered by ability, who are not at all logistically prevented (prove your claims, if so. And while you’re at it, explain Affirmative Action in a culture that is against women) need to be empowered by preferential treatment? Make different choices. Give men half the empowerment with paternal responsibility and free up your roster to become semi-suicidal with corporate committment. Do the yards that you seem OBLIVIOUS to men having to do to get ahead (because it’s a man’s world, don’t you know, it all just falls in their lap) and quit expecting the law to acknowledge your gender; AT ALL. At all.

    And while we’re at it, let’s have a moratoreum already, on thinking that “equality” is represented by “position”. “Equality” is represented by the WHY. Why are most of the people on the starting blocks at the Olympics black? It’s giving me the impression at this stage, that they run faster than white people on average. I mean, there IS NO WHY. What’s stopping whites from competing for the blocks? Nothing. But there they are. Black dominated. The senate? What’s stopping women from filing for candidacy, and lobbying the public for their votes? Hell, some of them even (always unsuccessfully) play the sex card and doll themselves up in their run for office. There is NOTHING of policy. No WHY. You know, like the discriminatory custody policies in a society that supposedly prizes egalitarianism, that are dead-set against men. That is a why. A why, that you’ll hear women support. Equality indeed. Will they still complain if family commitments get in the way of their worklife, however. Or, will they be keen on noticing this, next time they complain about an inaffectual number, like 79 cents?

  21. PS.

    Yes I know there’s a few typos (inEffectual).

    Anyone who points out my typos, a portal will open up under your seat, and deposit you into a furnace.

    It’s your call.

  22. > Yes, women make up 52% of the workforce but in low paying positions.

    Got any sources to back this up? Every place I have worked – a big IT company and a big ibank, there were just as many women at the director-level and above as men. The CEO of my last company was a woman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s