Posts tagged: Gender Roles
I feel we as people have defining moments. We are faced with situations where the decision we make will shape who we are. I’ve had moments that I look back on in regret, but here is an example of one of those moments I remember with pride.
I was a peer tutor my senior year in sociology. I had the teacher for one class or another every year in high school, and really looked up to her. One day a male student came into class late. He had been doing this more and more frequently, and our teacher felt he was exploiting her leniency towards the tardiness disciplinary protocols. She gave him the required tardy slip to fill out and he called her a “bitch.”
You could visibly see she was hurt. His intention was to publicly shame her, and diminish her sense of authority, and he had succeeded. The teacher walked swiftly to the hall way to put the attendance sheet in folder on the other side of the door and she did not immediately return. Everyone sat uncomfortably, but said nothing to the student who had insulted her.
I however did not remain silent. I told him he needed to go out in the hall and apologize to her. He tried to explain that he had a good reason for being late, but I cut him off. I asked him if in the same situation if he would have said the same thing to male teacher. He did not respond, and I reiterated that he needed to go apologize to her now. He followed through with my very insistent request.
I think it’s very important for women to stick up for other women. Regardless of if it’s someone you like or not; being tolerant to someone’s mistreatment perpetuates an environment where you may one day be treated unjustly.
The way women ‘fight’ SUCKS.
Did your boyfriend cheat on you? If he did, and you’re more upset that the women he slept with, than him, then you have fallen victim to maladaptive socialization. Letting the man off the hook, staying together with him, and blaming the ‘home wrecking whore’ for the cheating is bullshit! If you decide to say with him, forgive him, work past it.. etc that’s your choice, BUT I think it’s important to recognize that it was a decision HE made to cheat, HE fucked up, and even if the other woman threw herself at him in a less that commendable fashion HE is the one ultimately responsible for the infidelity. Not doing so is perpetuating the mind set that men have no self control; the same mindset of it being 100% the girls job to “say no.” I personally think that men are capable of more than we give them credit for, I think they can think with their heads and not their cocks, and that if we set our expectations as such we will find some men will live up to it.
Another example of unhealthy conflict resolution women frequently take part in is the covert attack. If another woman has an issue with you, doesn’t like something you’ve done, feels that you’ve wronged them… etc, it is very rare that they will come right out and say it. Instead, they will talk to all of your mutual friends and trash talk you. Not only the specific issue they take objection with, but the way you dress, your haircut, and overall physical appearance. They will misinterpret things you’ve said and use it against you. The woman will continue to do this until your mutual friends have joined in talking trash about you until they feel they’ve ‘won’; that everyone agrees with them, that you are in fact, a cold hearted trashy slutbag. This may escalate to an open admission of disliking you (maybe one of the mutual friends told you what they said, but the open admission will probably be text or a facebook message, rarely face to face). The mutual friends will then be forced to take sides. Does this seem like some manipulative backwards BS to you?
Who’s responsible for this?!
….The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
But they are not the only culprit! Soap Operas, The Hills, 90210, The Heathers, Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate about You, and pretty much all other movies and TV shows marketed specifically for a female audiences.
Stop internalizing the media’s trash! Let’s have a face to face sit down, utilize “I”-statements, and realize that you’ve probably done some insensitive-drama causing-shit yourself, and cut a girl a break. Not every conflict is going to have the same solution, but MAKE SURE YOU’RE ACTUALLY WORKING TOWARDS A SOLUTION, not ‘winning the fight.’
I would like to start this post by clarifying that I am not a man hating feminist. Most of my views on feminism deal with how women can in power themselves, not about how boys need to treat us more fairly. This particular post does have to due with my experiences with men who are less than women friendly.
My views on being called a bitch or a cunt have evolved greatly in the last few years. I remember in high school, I would be in a heated debate with a male counter part. My point of view well researched. I explained my argument well. BUT all he had to do to win the debate was to call me a ‘bitch’ or a ‘cunt.’ Cunt especially used to be a word, that if I were called, I would feel this sense of shame, and rage, and defeat. My face would turn red, and I’d have to fight back tears. One word in response to my argument and he had won. He had put me in my place.
Now, if I’m called a cunt or a bitch, I take it as a victory. I’ve realized that any man who’s going to call me that is intimidated. It’s not just those two words either, if a man ever tries to “put you in your place” it means he’s scared. They might not use cunt or bitch, but try to humiliate you, or insult something your self conscious about. If you can realize this; understand that the whole thinking behind ‘being put in your place’ is that someone is recognizing that you’re displaying dominance (or have an expectation to be treated with equality) and wants to try and put you in a submissive role, then you’ve already won.
Don’t back down or show signs of defeat. Point out that they just made a petty attempt to assert dominance. Let them know they failed!
I hear women saying things like “I want to find the man of my dreams, someone to make me feel whole” and it makes me sad. You are a whole person all on your own. You don’t have to be defined by your relationship to a man. Being in a relationship with a man doesn’t give you more worth.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a companion, or getting added enjoyment in your life from your significant other, but in a world where half of marriages end in divorce I think it’s important to have self sustainable happiness and sense of worth.
I am Julianna. My self image does not alter when my relationship status does.