Tag Archives: feminism

Women: What Are You Doing?

9 Jun

June 9, 2018

Recently, I was with my Mom and we were taking car service downtown. Mom takes this particular car service a lot. she knows the drivers and they know her. She’s a regular. On this particular day we were sitting in the back and as we approached the destination she leaned over to me and handed me the money for the driver. She wanted me to give it to him. (I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t pay for the trip. Simple. Mom wouldn’t let me.)

I have no idea why she wanted me to give it to the driver when she takes this car service all the time and pays herself. I started to ask her why but she said “because I said so,” which is good enough for me coming from Mom.

But this isn’t the first time. It’s not a unique phenomena that woman- independent, strong women- defer to a man when it comes time to handle money. I’m not talking about paying, I mean literally holding and handing money to someone.

Longtime readers of this blog, at least those who admit to reading this blog, may recall a trip I made back in my teaching days as a chaperone to a bus load of kids touring colleges around Boston. It was led by a very strong-willed female teacher. She set it up, arranged the bus, made hotel reservations, etc. Yet at the end of the trip when it came time to tip the bus driver, she handed me the money to give the driver. Why? She had been dealing with him all along, giving directions, etc. But when it came to handing him some money, this strong and in charge woman decided a man should do it.

Slightly more recently, when I worked at the Company I Am still not allowed to name, I went on a corporate trip with my group to Delaware. It was a miserable trip and you can read about it here. The highlight was the view from my hotel, which was a swamp. We got on a shuttle bus, me sitting behind the driver, one of the group sitting next to me, the boss behind me, the other group member behind her. I was not paying any attention at all until this happened:

When the driver asked where we were from, my boss literally kicked the back of my seat and said “answer him.” I had to ask him to repeat the question since I had totally zoned out as soon as I got on the shuttle, day dreaming about ditching all responsibility and going the heck home.

 

Again, when it came time to deal with a man, my boss, a woman who was not afraid to yell and kick my seat, deferred to a man to answer a question. I wasn’t the spokesman of the group at any other time, before or since, and other than a mumbled “hey” I hadn’t had any interaction with the driver. But when it came time to make small talk, somehow my boss, rather than answer him herself, wanted me to do it. Did I mention I was the only man in the group?

Why? Is this some sort of reverse chivalry? Do they think they are doing me a favor by having me do the stereotypically male things, like tipping and dealing with directions? Is there a kind of reverse feminism at work? I really don’t understand. So ladies, I ask you- what is this odd behavior all about? Is this a throwback to the attitude of some things are men’s work? Is this a set back for feminism? Or is this just the way things are? 

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Three Views of Feminism

22 Aug

August 21, 2011

Have you heard about slutwalks? These are public demonstrations or marches where women dress in slutty outfits and proclaim themselves proud to be sluts.

It all began when a Canadian police office told a group of women that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” The women immediately took offense at the suggestion that getting attacked or raped is the victim’s fault. The blame for rape or attack falls squarely on the shoulders of the attacker.

So far so good.

But they didn’t take offense as much at the suggestion of being culpable in their own possible attack as they did at the use of the word “slut.” Co-founders Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis decided to use the word slut in their response. They observe that historically, “slut” has had negative connotations, and that their goal is to redeem the term.

And that is where they lose me.

“Slut” has negative connotations because it is a negative word, There is no “redeeming” it.

Yet they tried. And so you have the slutwalk. 

“We’re taking slut back”
“Proud slut”
“Slut pride.”

What is the point of identifying yourself as a slut? Why would you want to make that your public image? Do people march under the “I can’t tie my own shoes and I’m proud” banner? Should bad tippers wave “I’m a cheap fuck” placards?

The KKK and American Nazi Party proudly call themselves racists and how does it work our for them? OK, being a slut and being a racist are hardly the same, but why would a woman want to identify herself in a way that only brings up negative associations?

Get it straight. “Slut” has never been and never will be a good word. No good can come from associating women’s rights with “slut.” It overshadows and ruins the point they are trying to make.

The women’s’ point is that no matter how they dress they are not inviting rape. I agree. The fault of rape is the rapist who makes the ultimate decision to take his dick out of his pants. (Pardon my language.)

However.

There are things you can do to lessen your chances of being attacked. You do not walk in a bad neighborhood after dark. You do not go swimming when sharks are sighted off the beach. You do not flash money at an ATM.

And that was the policeman’s (poorly phrased) point. He was not blaming the victims. He was pointing out that there are some things you can do to lower your risk of attack. What’s wrong with that?

Of course, not everyone has the same view of feminism. Check this out:

 

On the one hand you have a group of women saying “We are not sex objects. Don’t treat us like sex objects.”

On the other hand you have a group of women saying “We are sex objects.”

I guess it is true. Blonds do have more fun.

Especially if you are Vienna from The Bachelor

Who would want to watch a show where a normal person stays home and plays video games? What kind of show is that?

 

Oh, that kind of show.

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