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In one of my classes yesterday (Critical Issues) we were discussing how women are portrayed in the media and how advertising is increasingly sexualized, portraying woman as mostly only useful as sex objects etc. We watched a very thought provoking documentary called "Miss representation" 

http://youtu.be/TyC2iWrSYJ8

 

Prior to the documentary our instructor gave a presentation of how gender  roles have been portrayed in the media over the years. At first very much placing women in a stereotypical role of homemaker, subserviant to her husband etc until feminism arose. Things started to change somewhat for a short time but now are pretty much back to the pre-feminist era. One song that was played was written and performed by Helen Redy "I am woman"... I commented that I remembered when that song came out many Christians were opposed to it as they felt it was promoting feminism. Immediately one of the students came to the defense of christianity saying he couldn't see that they would be opposed since christianity and Jesus promote equality of genders.  Not wanting to deviate from the discussion at hand our instructor put a stop to the discussion but I feel I want to respond to this young man as I feel he really doesn't know what he's talking about. I was where he was for many years and he's a nice guy (I am a mature student) but wanted to know if any of you have some particular articles I can offer him.  This guy is very involved in his church and was raised in a devout christian / evangelical family. He of course spouted the rhetoric that there is equality of the sexes just different roles... I've heard that over and over from christians trying to defend the biblical stance on gender roles.

 

Thanks in advance ... these kinds of debates really push my buttons!

 

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To be perfectly honest, it's pretty sexist towards both genders. Women are pretty and only useful in a sexually satisfying way in media. Whereas men are dumb labor machines lucky to have found her, wh

"There is equality of the sexes just different roles."  Well, if everybody was the same, all men being good wage-earners and heads of families, and all women being wonderful nurturers and nest-builder

That is a great film.  If your classmate is young, I wouldn't try to convince him that the song was actually opposed by Christians.  Sometimes it's difficult to for younger gen folks to fathom an era

That is a great film.  If your classmate is young, I wouldn't try to convince him that the song was actually opposed by Christians.  Sometimes it's difficult to for younger gen folks to fathom an era like that.  He says he agrees women should be equal... the question is does he think they currently are in today's society, and if respect a part of the equation for him.   As a Christian, he probably disagrees with at least the sexual representation of women in the media.  Maybe you could google some liberal Christian views on feminism and give him some essays and articles that you find then judge his reaction.  Though I'm not sure I'd take it upon myself to debate someone like that.   The class and life itself will shape him, for better or worse... debating Christians is too stressful and futile to me. wink.png

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To be perfectly honest, it's pretty sexist towards both genders. Women are pretty and only useful in a sexually satisfying way in media. Whereas men are dumb labor machines lucky to have found her, whose only purpose is to work so that she can raise the kids. But only she is usually able to think deeply, whereas he is not.

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I'd agree with you, Babylonian... but suggesting the media is sexist towards women doesn't negate or suggest that it isn't towards men.  However, I do believe the media and society are much less forgiving towards women than to men.  There are many more deep, thoughtful male characters in movies and TV shows.  There is a much lower standard for physical attractiveness for males, both in mass media and porn.  But there is a strong suggestion that men are only men if they don't cry and are tough and masculine, which must be a difficult standard to live up to.  I would also agree that men are held to a high standard financially.  Thankfully that is slowly changing as women choose to have careers and not rely on men for their support.  Overall men, thanks partially to birth control (the hormones make us prefer less masculine men) and the fact that most women don't buy that bullshit, most non-traditionally masculine men are still in high demand both in love matters and in the business world.  Unfortunately, most men buy the media bullshit about women.  I've met very few men who don't make fat jokes or sexist comments about "dat ass" or what have you.  The ones who don't feel that way are very silent about it, which is a whole other issue as well.  Overweight, average-looking women have a harder time finding a long term mate or decent job... at least in my experience.   If a guy doesn't get a job, it is probably because his specific abilities or personality traits (unrelated to gender) are undesirable for the job at hand.  A perfectly qualified woman will be passed up merely for being overweight. I read about an experiment once where an overweight female tried to find a job.  She put her picture on her resume.  She changed the picture to an attractive, thin female, but the qualifications were the same.  They did the same for a male.  The male didn't see a statistically significant difference in interview offers.  The female did.  The did the same thing for a black female in a different study, and obviously there the results were the same when she became white.  

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"There is equality of the sexes just different roles."  Well, if everybody was the same, all men being good wage-earners and heads of families, and all women being wonderful nurturers and nest-builders, then yeah, there would be equality with different roles.  But everybody is NOT the same!  There are men who have no interest in being a good wage-earner or would be dismal failures at trying to be head of a family.  And there are plenty of women who have no interest in staying home and raising kids and it would be disastrous if forced to do so.  What about women who can't have kids?  Should they just stay home and be a homemaker for the husband?  Some people object to being breeders.  Some people love being single or prefer living alone.  Some people have no interest in monogamy.  Some people have no interest in sex.  Some people like to meticulously dress and groom as the opposite sex, and put a lot of effort and pride in that.  Some people suffer from severe mental illness or addiction, and should not be forced into a role which they would fail at, or in the case of severe drug addiction, cause harm to children.   

 

You just can't put everybody into the same cookie-cutter mold, which I find that xianity wants to do.  "Here is THE role for men..." and "THE role for women..."  Then they like to say that people break those molds because of their sinful natures which they need to overcome, or Satan has tempted them.  I have actually heard a preacher seriously say that homosexuals are simply succumbing to their sinful nature and if they could only overcome it and marry a person of the opposite sex and have children, then all would be well.  What a disaster!!!!!!  And a lie!!!!

 

If this young man is truly young, then he probably still thinks that all families are like his and the ones he knows from church.  When I was young I certainly didn't understand the full diversity of the people around me; I thought of my family as the "normal" "typical" family and my immediate neighbors and people I knew from church did pretty much follow the "rules."   Then I grew up and realized as I got to know families past a superficial level they were amazingly different than mine.

And when I started working and was out in the city more, I realized there were people who truly held to different values than what I grew up with, and they were still very fun to be around and get to know.  You could try to point this out, but really I think this mainly takes maturity and some real world experience.

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Well here in the US things have not gone back to before feminism.  We enjoy very good gender equality and people enjoy the freedom to live how they like.  It's true we haven't had a woman president yet but women have broken into the highest levels of business and pretty much everywhere else.  Our over all income gap is closing as the oldest men retire and the female work force gains seniority.

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I've had three female bosses, two of them quite ugly. I had many female business owners as clients when I had my own business. I've had two female doctors and one female dentist (way back in the 1970s). Both my wife and my sister-in-law, though no better educated, have always made more money than their husband. Working women I know seem to generally be doing as well as their male counterparts. Obviously, there must be some exceptions in there, but it doesn't seem to be the rule that women can't excel in professional fields and the corporate world. There will always be someone in a position of power who doesn't particularly welcome blacks or Hispanics or fat people or women or something. That's human nature and those people will always exist.

 

Perhaps I've been living in a feminist bubble all my life, but I haven't personally observed the conspiracy against women. But then, I wasn't looking for it.

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 Immediately one of the students came to the defense of christianity saying he couldn't see that they would be opposed since christianity and Jesus promote equality of genders.  Not wanting to deviate from the discussion at hand our instructor put a stop to the discussion but I feel I want to respond to this young man as I feel he really doesn't know what he's talking about. I was where he was for many years and he's a nice guy (I am a mature student) but wanted to know if any of you have some particular articles I can offer him.  This guy is very involved in his church and was raised in a devout christian / evangelical family. He of course spouted the rhetoric that there is equality of the sexes just different roles... I've heard that over and over from christians trying to defend the biblical stance on gender roles.

 

I think he has a different definition of "equality". Probably he means that men and women are equally important (as long as they stick to their roles). Tell him the problem is not if they are equally important but if they have equal rights and freedom which is not the case in (traditional) Christianity, the bible(esp, OT). Also how can man and woman be equal, if the woman has to obey her husband?!

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I'd agree with you, Babylonian... but suggesting the media is sexist towards women doesn't negate or suggest that it isn't towards men.  However, I do believe the media and society are much less forgiving towards women than to men.  There are many more deep, thoughtful male characters in movies and TV shows.  There is a much lower standard for physical attractiveness for males, both in mass media and porn.  But there is a strong suggestion that men are only men if they don't cry and are tough and masculine, which must be a difficult standard to live up to.  I would also agree that men are held to a high standard financially.  Thankfully that is slowly changing as women choose to have careers and not rely on men for their support.  Overall men, thanks partially to birth control (the hormones make us prefer less masculine men) and the fact that most women don't buy that bullshit, most non-traditionally masculine men are still in high demand both in love matters and in the business world.  Unfortunately, most men buy the media bullshit about women.  I've met very few men who don't make fat jokes or sexist comments about "dat ass" or what have you.  The ones who don't feel that way are very silent about it, which is a whole other issue as well.  Overweight, average-looking women have a harder time finding a long term mate or decent job... at least in my experience.   If a guy doesn't get a job, it is probably because his specific abilities or personality traits (unrelated to gender) are undesirable for the job at hand.  A perfectly qualified woman will be passed up merely for being overweight. I read about an experiment once where an overweight female tried to find a job.  She put her picture on her resume.  She changed the picture to an attractive, thin female, but the qualifications were the same.  They did the same for a male.  The male didn't see a statistically significant difference in interview offers.  The female did.  The did the same thing for a black female in a different study, and obviously there the results were the same when she became white.  

This is true, but then again, it makes sense to their mindset. Women are smart, they should know better. Men are too stupid to be held responsible. /fail

 

This is why I talk politics and religion, because when you don't, its these bullshit beliefs that create inequality and idiocity, that go unchallenged.

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As a generic heads-up regarding feminism... this blog helped me better than anything else so far to understand feminism, even though I still don't agree to all the points made there. It may help you too :)

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The sad truth of life is that men consider women secondary.Sure, in some countries we get to fight for our rights,but the underlying belief is still the same.

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I wouldn't say we were living in pre-feminist times. Sure there's lots of progress to be made, but currently I've been encouraged and successful in an industry my mum was told not to even consider getting into when she was my age. I see that as a hopeful sign and why we shouldn't dismiss the value of the on-going progress that has been made.

The bible does have some positive things to say about equality, 'There is neither... male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.' is one that comes to mind, maybe you could build on that? I really think the way to approach these issues is not to attack his faith as something that has inherent misogyny as he's probably not going to loose it any time soon, but to see it as a positive that he views women as equals and explain equality for many women (and men) mean choices. This way it's a positive message rather than a finger-wagging 'no no no your beliefs are BAD' that often just gets people's backs up.

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The sad truth of life is that men consider women secondary.Sure, in some countries we get to fight for our rights,but the underlying belief is still the same.

 

Of course not.  Having a Y chromosome doesn't make people evil or stupid or selfish or any of the 58 other things you like to say about men.  Culture shapes those attitudes.  Not gender.  Some countries are way ahead of others on gender equality.  The way to improve things is to focus on specific problems rather than to blame with a broad brush.

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Prior to the documentary our instructor gave a presentation of how gender  roles have been portrayed in the media over the years. At first very much placing women in a stereotypical role of homemaker, subserviant to her husband etc until feminism arose. Things started to change somewhat for a short time but now are pretty much back to the pre-feminist era.

 

Coincidentally my wife and I were just in Toronto. She had never been in Canada before and remarked that men are treated a little differently than in the U.S.. For instance when being addressed in a customer service situation the server/waiter/attendant etc., etc always talked to me and not her or both of us. It was imperceptible to me until she pointed it out.

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The sad truth of life is that men consider women secondary.Sure, in some countries we get to fight for our rights,but the underlying belief is still the same.

You have unhealthy views of men, and to be perfectly honest, if that were true that our Y chromosomes and having male genitalia made us think that way, then things would be very different.

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The sad truth of life is that men consider women secondary.Sure, in some countries we get to fight for our rights,but the underlying belief is still the same.

You have unhealthy views of men, and to be perfectly honest, if that were true that our Y chromosomes and having male genitalia made us think that way, then things would be very different.

 

 

 

Yeah, the whole world would still be exactly like Afghanistan under the Taliban.  Woman made huge strides over the last 100 years because there were some men who were persuaded and saw equality as being a good thing.  But it started thousands of years ago when Rome realized that it's great families needed their women to be powerful.  That was a decision made by men for their own ends but it got the ball rolling.

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 Immediately one of the students came to the defense of christianity saying he couldn't see that they would be opposed since christianity and Jesus promote equality of genders. 

 

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The sad truth of life is that men consider women secondary.Sure, in some countries we get to fight for our rights,but the underlying belief is still the same.

You have unhealthy views of men, and to be perfectly honest, if that were true that our Y chromosomes and having male genitalia made us think that way, then things would be very different.

 

 

I'm not the only person that holds the views I have, and I am entitled to hold them. Sit back and have a long, hard look at this clusterfuck of a planet. Look at the cuntiest parts of it, and pretty well every single time you will find a male responsible for the shittiest, nastiest, greediest and most violent parts of it. No one is saying women are perfect, and no one is saying you as an individual are responsible for the ills of the world, but jesus mate, tell the truth.

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Maybe the problem is an unequal distribution of rights rather than that they're male? I'm pretty sure women can be tyrannical too given the opportunity, just look at queen Mary.

I think women are plenty responsible for the slowed progression of feminism in this culture, many of us are so quick to judge each other, it's women who read the magazines that say 'you should look like this' and it's women making their friends feel bad for how many people they've slept with or how skinny they are or what they're doing that'll never attract them a boyfriend. As a whole women need men's help to create a more equal society and they can't get it if they're busy demonizing them.

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Maybe the problem is an unequal distribution of rights rather than that they're male? I'm pretty sure women can be tyrannical too given the opportunity, just look at queen Mary.

I think women are plenty responsible for the slowed progression of feminism in this culture, many of us are so quick to judge each other, it's women who read the magazines that say 'you should look like this' and it's women making their friends feel bad for how many people they've slept with or how skinny they are or what they're doing that'll never attract them a boyfriend. As a whole women need men's help to create a more equal society and they can't get it if they're busy demonizing them.

 

It isnt demonising something to point out its faults. This is about power.

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Okay, I meant males all acting together in a position of power is probably as destructive as females all acting together because I reckon it's not the maleness itself that's the problem that needs to be addressed, but the unequal distribution of rights, which all members of society placed lower than others of both genders loose out because of.

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If we really want to head that way, then yes, power corrupts. Regardless of gender, skin color, religious (non-)beliefs or whathaveyou.

 

Give men power without responsibility and they'll abuse it. Likewise with women. It's a balance thing. Yes until recently (from a historical point of view) it was men who held all the power, but would the world really be that different if it had been the other way round?

 

Maybe so. I do have my doubts though. :scratch:

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