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Thread: Sexism and the TTLG

  1. #51
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    BLOCK OF TEXT
    faetal, I love you, but pleeeeeze use paragraphs!

  2. #52
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Sorry, am basically vomiting out opinions in between writing a thesis, so it comes out a tad compressed. Have put some gaps in, just for you.

  3. #53
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Ooo thank you <3

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    It is a cultural equilibrium, but it can be disrupted by changes in attitudes, brought about by punctuation events.

    In some places, racism is still not quite as taboo as it ought to be. Same story with sexism, it used to be perfectly acceptable for women not to have the vote, but over time, we have been getting closer and closer to equality of opportunity between the sexes. Does this mean some sexism still exists? Of course. Is some of that reinforced by women adhering to stereotypes? Of course. Will that ever completely disappear? Who knows - I doubt it though. Does this mean that things can get no better than they are through re-evaluation of the cultural status quo? Of course not.
    This is interesting, as many of your posts in this thread have been and - while some it sails straight over my head and I'm not ashamed to say so (I feel like I need a PhD to read most of demagogue's posts) - I think that you've captured a discrete thing here which partially refutes my assertion and suggests that change isn't just possible, but probable.

    I know it may seem trite and dismissive to bring up a TV show, but I've been watching Mad Men again lately and as much as it comments on gender politics of the 60s and the changing social norms, I can see parallels in today's society. Making a dismissive comment about "dames" in my workplace environment, or any environment for that matter, would have been a lot easier 10 years ago than it is today. There are female senior managers in our company and in others there are female Execs and CEOs, I know this is extracting the conversation from the wider debate back into smaller circles again, but I suppose it is here where the seeds are sown that bear fruit in later generations.

    It is, I suppose, some kind of irony that there has been a black President before a female President.

    It may all well be a process of evolution, social evolution that is, and the biggest ingredient in that is time.

  5. #55
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Sorry about the language barrier. While being in education for the best part of the decade doesn't make you smarter per se, it does have tangible effects on vocabulary as your every thought has be documented in the language of your profession and while doing a PhD your every waking moment is spent working or thinking about work, so it permeates everything.

    With regards to social attitudes changing, I think the default perception is that society as is represents a stable state because it mostly changes far to slowly to see, unless you are witness to a particularly dramatic punctuation event, e.g. end of apartheid in South Africa or more recently, the acceptance of homosexuality as a natural variant of human sexuality rather than an opt-in sexual perversion.

    The Mad Men example is a good one. Some of these attitudes are very much still prevalent today, the difference is that it is now far more likely to be sustained when someone is called on it. There is still a ways to go before we achieve optimum equality, and like many fear, there is even a chance we'll overshoot the mark and end up with some situations where women have an unfair advantage, but it should be understood that in a society which strives to be fair and just, the end point of these equilibria is likely to end up at the point of lowest moral dissonance, in line with social logic.

    For example, it is extremely difficult to justify paying a women less than a man if they do the same job equally well, thus it can be predicted that after x amount of time, unless society stops wishing to be fair, that this equality will shrink and disappear. Sexism came from a time when men explicitly had the power, whereas now it can not be justified too easily. Currently, we have a system in which men have the de facto power, which still needs addressing, but that is more easy to do since the attitudes drifted, as it has become hard to justify any system in which women are considered low caste.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Taffer View Post
    I know it may seem trite and dismissive to bring up a TV show, but I've been watching Mad Men again lately and as much as it comments on gender politics of the 60s and the changing social norms, I can see parallels in today's society. Making a dismissive comment about "dames" in my workplace environme
    I can't wonder as to how much of the sexes attitudes towards each other is the result of nature vs nurture. I recall one study my professor discussed during college where they "reversed roles" with some wealthier women and male strippers. The results of the study were that the women became so aggressive and possessive that it stunned even the male strippers: they exhibited behaviors like keeping one of them in her apartment with an attitude regarding him as a toy for her, and burning cigarette butts onto their skin while they were on stage.

    I'm not saying that females would be dominant, I believe that males are naturally dominant because our higher hormonal levels naturally incline us to aggressive and dominant behavior. What I'm saying is that violently possessive behavior by females is something that is probably only less prevalent among females due to social norms.

  7. #57
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: Yangon, Burma
    That suggests the obvious "solution": culture of androgyny* and hormone supplements. Then again, our society, esp online culture, is probably enough like Final Fantasy emo-friendship-conquors-all as it is. =/

    * Androgyny is not sexlessness, but exhibiting features of both sexes. Two different strategies; I've seen feminists usually promoting it over ignoring sex differences altogether & "radical equality" (sexlessness usually isn't what they want for that reason; like some of you have been pointing out).

    Edit: It is interesting that the whole culture of androgyny coming out of like Japan (herbivore culture)... isn't so much for feminist reasons (the original proponents back in the 1970s), but economic reasons (economic depression) affecting what men expect from their own lives, not thinking about marriage, being very "tame" in work & relationships & not pushing, etc, and taking on a feminized culture for certain things... Then that culture has percolated into Western culture a bit through this whole anime revolution becoming the undercurrent of so much online culture for better or worse.
    Last edited by demagogue; 27th Jun 2012 at 12:30.

  8. #58
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    A culture of androgyny debases both sexes. Sexual dimorphism is a part of being human and masculinity and femininity should not be undermined as they are still highly important traits not only for individuals (and don't forget this also includes men who are feminine and vice versa), but also as a species. There are many masculine and feminine traits and archetypes which define how we feel in ourselves and interact with each other socially and sexually. This includes all kinds of things of course - masculine women who are attracted to feminine men, masculine and feminine gay men and women and various shades of grey in between individuals and permutations. The point is that none of these traits ought to be used to discriminate or to define a person in the whole before their individual traits are taken into consideration.

    My girlfriend is a tiny little thing and cute as a button, but she manages the entire European sales team for a US biotech company and commands an excellent salary, which continually surprises people. In an ideal society, it shouldn't. In time, perhaps it won't.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Hi, I'm a biochemist and you don't understand evolution nearly as well as you think you do. Especially if you think that (a) all of these traits are genetic and (b) changes in these traits will be noticed by the women who take the actions you propose, or even their great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren. So don't be lecturing about a subject you don't seem to grasp.
    I won't claim to challenge a biochemist at evolutionary understanding at the gene or molecular level but I think the general concept is that anything can become a trait as long as it's aimed for when breeding. Some neurologists claim there is a region in the brain dedicated to "Religious Thought". Without resorting to the idea that "God put it there", the evolutionary explanation is that eons of worship and strict enforcement of religion have bred a region specifically for those thoughts so that humans who have that region are less likely to be killed during an Inquisition or other religious scourge. Maybe men could develop a "no sexism" region after thousands of years.

    AFAIK Evolution is a concept that not only applies to biology but also ideas (memes). There is no need to wait generations for this to take effect. If large numbers of women unilaterally proclaimed that this is the new norm and that is how they will be selecting mates then the whole house of cards would fall.

    Even if the richest men are not driven by sexual demands, those who they employ (second rung) will surely include some men who strive to achieve wealth to have sexual appeal, as head down each tier so you will find more men struggling to obtain money so they can attract women (or maintain the women they've "won"). Remove the influence of money, then the whole structure has little to offer those who wish to pursue relations with the opposite sex. (It'll be like having a stash of gold bars after a nuclear war rather than having a stash of canned food.) Then, by the droves men who wish to remain sexually viable will abandon the pursuit of wealth in favor of other more female friendly activities. The whole structure of our commerce system will be shaken-up.

    (Except for asexual introverts who'd rather play with gadgets all day than have sex... )

    OK, it's not practical but it's food for thought.

    You are what you eat.
    Society is who you date.

  10. #60
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by nbohr1more View Post
    I won't claim to challenge a biochemist at evolutionary understanding at the gene or molecular level but I think the general concept is that anything can become a trait as long as it's aimed for when breeding.
    Why? What is in it for them? Even small genetic changes can take tens of generations and there's no guarantee that such selection would guarantee those changes, as we don't know how much is genetic and how much is environmental.

    Some neurologists claim there is a region in the brain dedicated to "Religious Thought". Without resorting to the idea that "God put it there", the evolutionary explanation is that eons of worship and strict enforcement of religion have bred a region specifically for those thoughts so that humans who have that region are less likely to be killed during an Inquisition or other religious scourge.
    The idea isn't that the religious area in the brain developed in response to religion, the idea is that religion exists because of these areas of the brain. The jury is still more or less out on that though.

    Maybe men could develop a "no sexism" region after thousands of years.
    Maybe we already have this, maybe it's called re-progammability. Our brains are not given to us hard-wired and they are open to a load of adaptation. People who were openly racist in the '50s look back and feel shame - not all, but some - the point is that social programming and culture are transmissible between people and groups.

    AFAIK Evolution is a concept that not only applies to biology but also ideas (memes).
    Evolution is a generic term as well as a biological one. You were talking about evolution of organisms by natural selection. A switch to another definition of the same word is more or less a change of topic: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/evolution

    There is no need to wait generations for this to take effect. If large numbers of women unilaterally proclaimed that this is the new norm and that is how they will be selecting mates then the whole house of cards would fall.
    What is in it for them? Attraction is nothing to do with choice and all to do with impulses and evaluation. The idea that "women" (a) are a fungible group just because of their anatomy and hormones and (b) select partners solely on the basis of a conscious tick list is not realistic. What cultural change over time achieves is to make certain attitudes seem backwards, this can work against which character traits women find attractive. The notion that there can be a deliberate social program designed to make women choose only "nice guys" or whatever will be akin to arranging marriage and also probably make loads of douche bags learn really quick how to behave nice as a ruse. There is no quick fix.

    Even if the richest men are not driven by sexual demands, those who they employ (second rung) will surely include some men who strive to achieve wealth to have sexual appeal, as head down each tier so you will find more men struggling to obtain money so they can attract women (or maintain the women they've "won").
    Again, I'm not sure that categorising humans with such broad parameters says anything meaningful. Try and find someone whose profession and personality type are filed under "rich guy". Also, because wealth is necessarily a minority trait, I don't see it having too great an impact on evolution through natural selection, since most successful reproduction (in evolutionary terms, that is known as winning the round) occurs in people who are not rich.

    Remove the influence of money, then the whole structure has little to offer those who wish to pursue relations with the opposite sex. (It'll be like having a stash of gold bars after a nuclear war rather than having a stash of canned food.) Then, by the droves men who wish to remain sexually viable will abandon the pursuit of wealth in favor of other more female friendly activities. The whole structure of our commerce system will be shaken-up.
    There will always be plenty of women to go around. The idea that all women end up with rich guys doesn't make sense due to the majority of people not being rich. I've never earned more than £26k (~$40k) a year and have spent most of the last 7 years as a poor student, but that never stopped me attracting women. My gf earns twice as much as I do and had a marriage proposal from a rich guy before we met and she basically told him to kiss his own entrails as he pretty much gave the whole "I'll take you on exotic holidays and buy you nice jewellery" schtick, which made her feel like he saw her as (a) inferior to her and (b) like she was essentially for sale. When she asked him to tell her about himself, he just talked about all the shit he could afford. Sounds dull right? I should probably mention that my gf is kind of awesome. Women are not the 1 dimensional ditzes portrayed on reality tv shows. Most are real people looking for other real people. Sexism is not down to them to eradicate by trying to create a sexual gradient for men to play up to. First off, that portrays men as shallow idiots just chasing pussy, which is every bit as bad as insinuating that women just go where the money is. Secondly, it is men who should be changing their attitudes because of an increasing respect for women, not because they are being blackmailed with the threat of dry spells...

    (Except for asexual introverts who'd rather play with gadgets all day than have sex... )

    OK, it's not practical but it's food for thought.

    You are what you eat.
    Society is who you date.
    Society is the 6 degrees of separation which links us all. It's a big inter-connected web - more so since the internet took off. Ideas are like viruses and the ones which bear traits which allow them to out-perform other ideas are the ones which stick. The idea that men are superior to women is one which is being diluted with each wave of new information being traded in the public consciousness. Fuck, in 20 years time, I hope even *I* sound backwards for even having this discussion.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    You and your gf sound like intelligent people.

    You must realize that the world is not made of such people.

    The vast majority are base animals who act according to primal motives.

    Those idiots and ditzes you deride are not imaginary. They makeup a great swath of the majority of low-wage and even not-so-low-wage populations.

    You think most business executives are a logical and progressive as a biochemist? Phooey!

    (It's great to hear counter examples but let me tell you I am living in my own sexist hell.

    My wife and mother-in-law constantly challenge my "manhood" because I don't earn much. My wife is physically abusive and claims I should be able to "handle it" because I'm a man. My wife is derogatory about any "male" activity sports, video-games, action films (etc)... if it's not a traditional female activity like scrap-booking, crafting, knitting, cooking, watching reality show soap operas, folk dancing ...argh... then it's worth less than dirt.)

    The point is not about whether men are putting on charade to fool women. The point is that such an acquiescence will leave a power vacuum that women can then swoop into and plant their flags. Once entrenched, if there is any backsliding it'll be too late to return the "evil patriarchy" back to power. Any men they capture as mates along the way will (at least) willing to
    give-up their "claim" to superiority even if it's a token gesture. Men who would bow before women in such ways are much closer to "not sexist" then those who would never let a woman be "in charge". Any yes, topically there must be some simplification and stereotyping. To achieve any broad-based goals you must act in a uniform way to overwhelm the statistical variance.

    So perhaps women must make choices that are counter to their instincts to achieve this goal.
    So what?
    What if a woman wanted to ensure the health of her future family but was madly in-love with a smoker?
    If she gave-up on that romantic pursuit and held-out for another suitor who didn't smoke would that be equivalent to a "backwards arranged marriage"?

    The same thing applies here.

    Selecting for men who are not sexist or racist or abusive or have other negative traits is just good common sense. Making a more deliberate awareness about how men who "earn less" are more viable as mates would just make the job easier because those on the fence would surrender to the "less sexist" side to stay viable.

    Women should speak up and say "I want a man who earns less than me!"
    (but in large numbers... they wont)

  12. #62
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I think it is at least safe to say that I have the luxury of taking a more distant viewpoint of the whole state of affairs. It sounds like your viewpoint has been harmed by bad experience. I know the shit is out there and I know that reason is not humanity's default setting all of the time (or even most of it some would argue), but one thing we are incredibly good at is groupthink. When the overall atmosphere is that something is considered acceptable, even the masses will fall in line with it. A lot of people won't be doing it consciously, it's just how we're programmed as social animals. The status quo of the group is of paramount importance. If I ever think about how many people in the UK used the word poof or queer to refer to gay people in the '80s, it jars and feel anachronistic as very few people not in the presence of a group of others they know share their prejudice would risk seeming so out of touch with society when they are in amongst it.

    Now I've implied that everyone is potentially closeted in their prejudice and while I'm sure some are, I'd also argue that being closeted is likely a first step in actually becoming more tolerant. In the course of suppressing a prejudice, its role in the brain becomes less frequently or intensely reinforced, leading to a transition state which could easily go fully towards a more tolerant mindset.

    What you describe with women rushing in to occupy a power vacuum is a classic "war of the sexes" view. It isn't hard to see why you feel this way, from what you are describing with the women in your life, but you are but one variable in a huge mass of humans. There are women who likely hate men for much the same reasoning, but the war of the sexes is stupid. Women and men are not separate entities as such, we are the same organism once we reproduce. The make and female parts of a flower may be sedentary, but they still exists for the purpose of scrambling genes in order to roll enough dice in the evolutionary game. A male and female human fulfil the same basic role when it comes to the species. Any attempt to pitch us as adversaries in some sex war is just counter-productive. The only adversaries in reality are members of the same sex competing for the same women that we desire. It is this, I suspect which creates the dissonance we feel when men hit women, as women are not competing with us, they are what we compete for (from the standpoint of heterosexuality, for simplicity's sake). Perhaps this could also be behind some of the sexist mindsets - the idea of competing with women feeling unnatural. But I digress a lot. None of this should be considered more than speculation, and I suspect I am just a little too tired to be thinking about this properly..

    The take home message here though, is that women should not be considered responsible for men being sexist. Men should be more respectful to women because they want to be, not because they think it will get them laid more. Just like women should sleep with men because they respect them and find them attractive, not because they think they'll get bought loads of stuff. But that's just my opinion of course. A change in cultural attitudes won't come from just one person like me.
    Last edited by faetal; 27th Jun 2012 at 22:22.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    [About women being sexually attracted to power] I can't get over how much this statement is (a) baseless and (b) simplistic.
    Simplistic? Yes. Baseless? Oh no. It is the truth, whether you like it or not. As long as you won't admit to yourself that women behavior have a part of why most men adopt a sexist attitude, you will achieve nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Claiming that sexism would be exacerbated by highlighting sexism.
    No, I never claimed that. Stop interpreting what I'm saying in a way which is convienient for you (unless of course this is just a game for you, in which case, just say so and I will put you on my ignore list).

    It's not highliting sexism which will exacerbate sexism, it's not being honest when trying to fight it. It's also making it an idealistic cause which has nothing to do with reality. It's seeing everything in black and white, with the opposite side being completely black, while seeing ourselves as the white knight of truth. And That's what most anti-whatever are doing. They refuse to admit legitimate argument from the other sides, arguments which most of the time are obvious. That's what you're doing.

    Normally, sexism is not one of my cause. To me, this is really not a problem in the society I live (Québec). At least, this is not a problem I can solve. Women have equal (legal) rights since a long time and they have privileges men don't. From small ones, for example, during the night, buses will stop anywhere for a woman; While with men, the bus will stop only at bus stops (even though statistically violence does more victims with men than with women). To bigger ones, mostly related to "positive" discrimination in the workplace (I don't think any kind of discrimination can be "positive").

    Media are also very much pro-women here. For example, when a TV ad shows a man and a woman, it will most of the time depict the woman as intelligent, while the male will be a complete idiot and unable to do anything.

    Of course I'm not saying every women here live a perfect life. Far from it.

    First, there is the problem of immigrants (see? You can now say I'm racist). A few years ago I was offering free services to an association whose goal was to help women from other countries integrate into our society and there are times when I was really appalled to see how some men from other countries treated women.

    Second, even if our culture is pretty much pro-women, the fact is it is just an image. Publicly our society is pro-women, but in the privacy of our homes, it is still men who dominate. It is still women who take care of everything and men who sits in front of the TV.

    You blame culture. You are wrong. Culture is when you stop thinking about something and simply accept it as normal. Culture is not the cause of sexism, it is only the result of time. If you want to fight sexism, you have first to understant its real source. Unfortunately, your arguments show that you have absolutely no clue about it.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    What you describe with women rushing in to occupy a power vacuum is a classic "war of the sexes" view. It isn't hard to see why you feel this way, from what you are describing with the women in your life, but you are but one variable in a huge mass of humans. There are women who likely hate men for much the same reasoning, but the war of the sexes is stupid. Women and men are not separate entities as such, we are the same organism once we reproduce. The make and female parts of a flower may be sedentary, but they still exists for the purpose of scrambling genes in order to roll enough dice in the evolutionary game. A male and female human fulfil the same basic role when it comes to the species. Any attempt to pitch us as adversaries in some sex war is just counter-productive. The only adversaries in reality are members of the same sex competing for the same women that we desire. It is this, I suspect which creates the dissonance we feel when men hit women, as women are not competing with us, they are what we compete for (from the standpoint of heterosexuality, for simplicity's sake). Perhaps this could also be behind some of the sexist mindsets - the idea of competing with women feeling unnatural. But I digress a lot. None of this should be considered more than speculation, and I suspect I am just a little too tired to be thinking about this properly..
    Men and women do compete, and the more we break down gender roles & biases the more we will compete. We compete in the workplace for things like money, power, and prestige. We compete for friends. We compete for fame and recognition. Sometimes we even compete in athletics. All of these things factor into our desirability as a mate. It doesn't really matter whether we're competing for the same partners or not. It's no different than how men compete with each other even if they're not interested in the same type of women.

  15. #65
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Heywood, we also happen to think each other are pretty awesome. I'd say that my friends are pretty evenly split between the sexes. I'm not sure what you mean by competing for friends - is there a set number of friends a person can have? People who feel like they are competing for friendship probably have some personality issues. Competing elsewhere is fine so long as it is on equal ground, but the idea that women and men occupy two distinct camps looking to exploit each other and gain ground is just not really right. Sexism is when that competition is skewed in favour of one of the sexes. Given that men have historically had all of the control and realistically, still have most of it, it's not difficult to see who is on the back foot. Male and female athletes don't often compete directly - sport is one of the few things which is moulded to sexual dimorphism, but this is not sexism, it just shows that at physical peak (represented by pro athletes), the distribution of physical prowess is bimodal in humans. No amount of culture or attitudes can affect that.

  16. #66
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    heywood, that's "normal" competing between individuals, regardless of sex, and the right to compete and achieve (also choose not to compete) whether you're a man or a woman is equality. "War of sexes" is a completely another thing.

  17. #67
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Against my better judgement, I shall sift through this, after which, I eagerly await inclusion in your ignore list, along with logic and the social sciences it seems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    Simplistic? Yes. Baseless? Oh no. It is the truth, whether you like it or not. As long as you won't admit to yourself that women behavior have a part of why most men adopt a sexist attitude, you will achieve nothing.
    The truth according to Papy != the truth. One person's perspective is meaningless. I know this, hence why I have spent most of my adult life reading research which pertains to large data sets. This is the most reliable way to defeat personal bias. You don't get to use the words "the truth", just because it is what you reckon.

    No, I never claimed that. Stop interpreting what I'm saying in a way which is convienient for you (unless of course this is just a game for you, in which case, just say so and I will put you on my ignore list).
    My first point was that it's a bad idea to talk about sexism because the only thing it achieves is a polarization of ideas.
    Implying that not talking about sexism might make it go away, as if perhaps it didn't spontaneously form by itself.

    It's not highliting sexism which will exacerbate sexism, it's not being honest when trying to fight it. It's also making it an idealistic cause which has nothing to do with reality. It's seeing everything in black and white, with the opposite side being completely black, while seeing ourselves as the white knight of truth. And That's what most anti-whatever are doing. They refuse to admit legitimate argument from the other sides, arguments which most of the time are obvious. That's what you're doing.
    I don't know what you are talking about here. Wipe to spittle from your chin and try again.

    Normally, sexism is not one of my cause.
    YOU DON'T SAY!

    To me, this is really not a problem in the society I live (Québec).
    We're not talking about Quebec. Again, I can not stress this enough - your personal perspective means precisely DICK. read some research, read some history - stop bothering with this 13 year old debate club "here's how I see it and if you don't then you're wrong" bullshit. You are bringing down the average IQ of the forums.

    At least, this is not a problem I can solve. Women have equal (legal) rights since a long time and they have privileges men don't. From small ones, for example, during the night, buses will stop anywhere for a woman; While with men, the bus will stop only at bus stops (even though statistically violence does more victims with men than with women). To bigger ones, mostly related to "positive" discrimination in the workplace (I don't think any kind of discrimination can be "positive").
    Show me your statistics that a larger percentage of men walking home alone are attacked than women. Also, of you don't like that system, write to your governmental representative and try to change it, don't use it as a platform to say "women get unfair advantages". Man up and do something about it if you don't like it. No? Easier to sit and type little missives on the internet about how women get all the breaks?

    Media are also very much pro-women here. For example, when a TV ad shows a man and a woman, it will most of the time depict the woman as intelligent, while the male will be a complete idiot and unable to do anything.
    More moronic "I'm going to use my own personal perspective as a treatise on The Truth" bullshit. One person's dislike of advertising methods does not mean that women get all the breaks.

    Of course I'm not saying every women here live a perfect life. Far from it.
    You seem to be saying either that sexism doesn't exist, or that women get too many concessions or that everyone should stop trying to combat sexism because you're fed up with walking to the next bus stop or something. Either way, you are not making a strong point.

    First, there is the problem of immigrants (see? You can now say I'm racist).
    More xenophobic by the sound of it.

    A few years ago I was offering free services to an association whose goal was to help women from other countries integrate into our society and there are times when I was really appalled to see how some men from other countries treated women.
    yes, other countries have even more sexist cultures - I already hinted at this. It's almost as if sexism has a cultural rather than biological basis...thanks for helping to add to my point.

    Second, even if our culture is pretty much pro-women, the fact is it is just an image. Publicly our society is pro-women, but in the privacy of our homes, it is still men who dominate. It is still women who take care of everything and men who sits in front of the TV.
    No, it isn't. There are some people who live like this, but they are living in the past. A modern family is very much built around the idea that women can have a career, men can help to look after children and help round the house. The idea that women *want* to look after the kids and the house while the husband works and watches TV is the very cultural sexism we are talking about here. You are right that sexism like this still exists and it is likely that cultural drift has the power to change this, as it did with racism and homophobia and continues to do so. Women used to be a lot more badly treated than they were and the process is a continuum. The idea that we should all shut up now because women have their fancy bus privileges and snarky adverts is just asinine.

    You blame culture. You are wrong.
    Again with the teenage debate club style. You may get a twinge in your pants when you use forceful phrases like:

    "It is the truth, whether you like it or not."
    "As long as you won't admit to yourself that..."
    "You are wrong."
    "your arguments show that you have absolutely no clue about it"
    But all this tells me is that you are supplementing your flimsy and dilute opinions with forceful phrases, designed to drive a point which doesn't exist. You offer no mechanisms for any of what you describe, you simply try to undermine my points by saying "you are wrong because I disagree" which is, as I mentioned before, the adolescent method of dealing with counter-arguments.

    Cognitive dissonance, yo.

    "The Belief Disconfirmation Paradigm
    Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in misperception or rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others to restore consonance."

    Culture is when you stop thinking about something and simply accept it as normal. Culture is not the cause of sexism, it is only the result of time.
    Not even close. Culture is the flow of information and ideas through social groups and civilisations. Culture is the social consciousness and pretty much acts like informational viruses between individuals and groups. Culture is certainly responsible for sexism - as you said yourself earlier, you are appalled by how people from some other countries treat women and unless you think they are somehow biologically different (out-dated belief responsible for most racism), then you have to accept that it is cultural. The US was an institutionally racist country well into the 20th century - but it was cultural shifts punctuated by rights movements, protests and the erosion of justification of treating black people differently brought about by shifting in cultural attitudes. This isn't my personal opinion, it is the findings of many decades of research. I feel pretty comfortable refuting your simplistic, slightly folksy ramblings, but your total ignorance of social theory in favour of your home-cooked "this is how I see it" bullshit is just egotistical. As far as you are concerned, you already know all there is to know about this, so fuck other perspectives and fuck history and fuck sociology, psychology, neuroscience and population biology.

    If you want to fight sexism, you have first to understant its real source. Unfortunately, your arguments show that you have absolutely no clue about it.
    If you want to fight any negative cultural attitude, you have to call it out as wrong and try to disseminate these ideas so that they catch on. Women's rights movements have for over a century been doing just that, and look what they have achieved. Votes, better salaries, better jobs, laws to protect women from domestic abuse, laws against harassment in the work place. But hey, go ahead and jam your fingers in your ears, put me on your ignore list and carry on as you were. It's easier than accepting that you might be mistaken. Cognitive dissonance is what it is. On the other hand, you can just try typing how wrong I am, maybe in caps with bold writing and a bigger font, because the last round of "you are wrong" just didn't really feel that sincere. By all means, call me some names too if that helps.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I'd say that my friends are pretty evenly split between the sexes. I'm not sure what you mean by competing for friends - is there a set number of friends a person can have? People who feel like they are competing for friendship probably have some personality issues.
    What I mean is that competing for friends is a form of popularity contest, and popularity is a factor in reproductive selection. Sometimes the competition is relatively benign, like trying to accumulate more FB friends. Other times it can get serious, like when a couple with a lot of mutual friends breaks up. People can also be very possessive about friends. That's more often an issue between women, but I've definitely seen examples between women and men and men and men.

    Competing elsewhere is fine so long as it is on equal ground, but the idea that women and men occupy two distinct camps looking to exploit each other and gain ground is just not really right.
    I was mainly arguing against your statement that men and women don't compete, and trying to point out that men and women can be adversaries in reproductive competition even if they're not competing for the same partners. But that's mostly on the individual level.

    Obviously there is competition between large groups of men and large groups of women over power, rights, and equality, with men and women trying to gain ground in different areas (e.g. women looking for equal treatment in the workplace and men looking for equal treatment in family courts). I don't think it's possible to reach an equilibrium point where that all goes away.

    Sexism is when that competition is skewed in favour of one of the sexes.
    I would say that sexism is a term for gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. Different forms of competition can be skewed in favor or one sex or the other but that doesn't necessarily imply sexism. An occupation could be demographically 90% male simply due to gender-based physiological differences (cognitive or otherwise), without sexism coming into it. But if a woman with equal aptitude/ability doesn't get an equal opportunity because someone is prejudiced by the demographics, that's a form of sexism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasquez View Post
    heywood, that's "normal" competing between individuals, regardless of sex, and the right to compete and achieve (also choose not to compete) whether you're a man or a woman is equality. "War of sexes" is a completely another thing.
    What does "war of sexes" mean to you? Are we talking about men & women competing with each other as individuals for sexual power in relationships and/or to establish the dominance of masculine or feminine memes (as in nbohr1more's post). Or do you mean larger battles of equal rights and such?

  19. #69
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    What I mean is that competing for friends is a form of popularity contest, and popularity is a factor in reproductive selection. Sometimes the competition is relatively benign, like trying to accumulate more FB friends. Other times it can get serious, like when a couple with a lot of mutual friends breaks up. People can also be very possessive about friends. That's more often an issue between women, but I've definitely seen examples between women and men and men and men.
    There are a lot of generalisations here. Sounds like something which mostly affects teenagers and people in their early 20s. Popularity contests as a form of reproductive advantage would be the competition among members of the same sex I alluded to earlier. Not really much to do with sexism. I don't get how it pertains to men and women competing with each other.

    I was mainly arguing against your statement that men and women don't compete, and trying to point out that men and women can be adversaries in reproductive competition even if they're not competing for the same partners. But that's mostly on the individual level.
    How do men and women compete with each other for sexual partners? The only example I can think of it a homosexual man or woman competing with a heterosexual man or woman, but this is only a valid concept if the person being competed for is bisexual, else there is no real contest. I don't think this can be considered the rule. Of course women compete with each other, I never suggested they didn't.

    Obviously there is competition between large groups of men and large groups of women over power, rights, and equality, with men and women trying to gain ground in different areas (e.g. women looking for equal treatment in the workplace and men looking for equal treatment in family courts). I don't think it's possible to reach an equilibrium point where that all goes away.
    No, but it is possible that the equilibrium could be improved on. Women do need more equality in the workplace, men do need more equality in family court and divorce settlements (depending on where you are from).

    I would say that sexism is a term for gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping.
    Note that gender and sex are not the same thing. Gender is a characteristic. For example, a transsexual can be a man whose gender is female.

    Different forms of competition can be skewed in favor or one sex or the other but that doesn't necessarily imply sexism.
    I think I covered that, using sport as an example.

    An occupation could be demographically 90% male simply due to gender-based physiological differences (cognitive or otherwise), without sexism coming into it.
    Yes, hence you'd expect fewer women to excel at this occupation, but no restrictions should exist which block women from applying for it if they feel they are able. That's the difference between sexual dimorphism and sexism.

    But if a woman with equal aptitude/ability doesn't get an equal opportunity because someone is prejudiced by the demographics, that's a form of sexism.
    Yes.

    What does "war of sexes" mean to you?
    The cultural notions that men need to stick together, women are bitches, women should clean up and make babies and general perceived flaws about women in general in male culture. Likewise, men are all pigs, only concerned about sex, can't be trusted, need to be strong and insensitive in order to be a MAN etc... Basically, divisive notions mainly propagated by targeted media. Men's / women's magazines are a prime offender. I remember reading a dudebro magazine once at a friend's house and it had article after article about how to have an affair on the sly, how your girlfriend is definitely sleeping with her male friends, how women love to be dominated etc etc.... Likewise, there are women's magazines which detail ways to manipulate men to get what you want etc, etc... Essentially treating the sexes like we are opposing sides on some kind of selfish battlefield with the battles taking place in the form of getting one over on the opposite sex.

    Are we talking about men & women competing with each other as individuals for sexual power in relationships and/or to establish the dominance of masculine or feminine memes (as in nbohr1more's post). Or do you mean larger battles of equal rights and such?
    The former actually comes closer to what I was getting at. What nbohr1more was posting above about his wife and mother in law was talking about women basically having some global agenda for taking as much from men as men will let them take. This is a "war of the sexes" concept IMO. The larger issue of rights is more of a creating a fair balance issue. Though they are likely linked at some level.

  20. #70
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    What does "war of sexes" mean to you?
    For me it's simple: Extreme forms of feminism ("men are violent animals vs. women are angelic saints and men's victims") and male chauvinism ("men are in every way superior to women, women are child-like creatures whose nature is to be controlled by men") fighting each other. It can manifest between groups as well as individuals, but due to the extremist and fanatic nature of it, nothing good can ever come out of it.

  21. #71
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Vasquez says it better than me.

  22. #72
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    If this thread doesn't resolve thousands of years of debate on gender roles, I shall be cross with all of you.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: Deutschy-Deutschland / London
    efficient shutdown, ZB.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I don't have much to add, anything I said could probably be just dismissed as more anecdotal experience as I haven't really studied the topics much.

    That being said, I've really been enjoying this debate and big kudos to everyone, particularly faetal (who clearly did his homework!) and even those he dismisses like Papy, ne1ghbor or heywood, all very interesting points even if I do not necessarily agree with them. Ignore-list-threats aside, i think this thread shows TTLG can have some intelligent, well-behaved and very informative debates!

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    An interesting adjunct to what faetal is saying is that really, the "war of the sexes" is every bit a part of evolutionary history, in many many species. In a species with a clear male/female divide, it is generally beneficial for males to employ some or all of the following

    A) impregnate as many females as possible
    B) prevent said females being impregnated by other males
    C) produce giant offspring, because "hey: it's not like I have to give birth to them"
    D) offload as much childrearing responsibility as possible to the female

    and other assorted douchey behaviours.
    Evolution selects winning strategies, and winning strategies are those that produce offspring that produce offspring etc etc. Having a fuckton of offspring reduces the burden to care for any given individual, since you can't really care for them all, and if you have enough it doesn't matter if a load die through neglect.

    C is an interesting one, since this is an area increasingly well studied: you can actually trace genetic point/counterpoint strategies by males and females to ensure giant offspring (in the male case) and smaller offspring (in the female case). Males after all don't need to worry about dying in childbirth or how many nutrients the growing embryos are stealing, whereas females really really do: a female producing a smaller, less healthy child will be more capable of actually producing another child, so there's a distinct evolutionary selection down the female line for the ability to oppose male-selected 'giant child' genetics.

    All of which is by the by, but I was bored.

    Anyway, point is, evolution has developed a ton of different ways of tackling this problem, based on the warring pressures on the two sexes and the environment in which they find themselves. We, however, are more or less unique in that the fairly simply biological needs of "survive, breed" have become incredibly muddled and distributed (so this gender warring is far from the fairly clear cut situations often observed in nature), and more importantly (being intelligent, self-aware beings with access to a fuckton of resources) we can CHOOSE how we handle it.

    nbohr1more suggests using women employ sexual selection strategies to influence this...now firstly it's worth pointing out this would be evolution by guided selection (rather than natural selection), and thus would be probably more likely to introduce unintended errors: when you're selecting based on progress toward a preselected desirable ideal, you tend to focus solely on traits that go in that direction, ignore other potential changes. Hence you end up with things like the recent discovery that supermarket tomatoes (selected for convenient simultaneous ripening and so on) have actually also lost a gene involved in producing a particular flavour.

    And anyway, genetic evolution, be it guided or natural, is SLOOOOOW. We're evolving culturally far more rapidly than we are genetically, and so behavioural changes in our attitudes to gender equality are going to stem overwhelmingly from cultural factors. And cultural factors are far easier to influence and change. And then change back if we get it wrong.
    We have the power and the ability to examine exactly how much or how little the gender divide actually matters culturally (despite what our genetics may indicate), and how to treat it, so defaulting to 'a fairly douchey approach' seems a bit disappointing.

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