- Politics and Social Issues
My Take on Sexism
I came across the following as the most common examples of sexism. All these examples struck me as fallacies, each one of these but based on man’s misplaced judgment, or an ulterior motive. For, though the observed nature, like being assertive, showing competence, etc. may be dispersed in a similar manner among men as well as women, the underlying reasons for showing such a nature will be very different. Man chooses to be so, to satisfy some of his desires, say, of domineering, or of proving ones caliber, whereas for the woman, the adopted nature is only for meeting the ends. (Women generally do not have any unfulfilled desires of control and oppression. Also, if and when she has any of submission, people, mostly men, are there always at her call!)
-If women are assertive, it can be seen as aggressive. Women have to walk a thin line between being too nice and too forceful.
The substantial difference between man and woman is that it is easy to please a man. Whereas it is not so, as far as a woman is concerned. For you know, man will always find a need for whatever is offered, but it is impossible make a woman’s day except by meeting the real need. And it is easy to see that man’s assertive nature is easily containable, mostly, by feeding his ego, and such things need not take place only in totally related areas. In the case of a woman, the assertive nature being closely linked with the real issue at hand, there is hardly any room for shortcuts, like in the case of man. The woman therefore devotes her attention almost totally to the issue in hand. And man is not at all used to such single minded concentration.
As man cannot comprehend devoting fully, confronting or attending only to one issue, he finds this as another example of the aggressive nature of women.
-When women are successful, they're often called "bitchy" and seen as less likable.
As we saw above, women, unfortunately, do not sport such unnecessary ‘niceties’ as men. This generally makes them unpopular with the male crowd, as well as inviting unpleasant epithets if they happen to become successful. Not that women are too nice when not promoted, they are only more popular when they are shouldering lesser responsibility, as in that case, the lesser may be the occasions demanding subtlety. And in this case, the woman’s ‘unsophisticated’ nature goes unnoticed.
-Women are more likely to get lower initial offers.
Could be true. In the case of women, pay is not the main concern, as, unlike men, they are not looking for a plum offer. As employers might be already aware, they are not looking for a reason for a change in the present job, which men generally are. But one fact in this connection should not be overlooked; there are many professions, where women earn more than men. Such jobs include bakers (104 percent), teacher assistants (105 percent), nutritionists (101 percent), and occupational therapists (102 percent), and also models, in which woman make 10 times as much as their male colleagues.
-Women are less likely to get credit in group projects. It may be a combination of men being assumed more competent than they actually are and women not actively taking credit for their work.
True, for a man, credit is required at frequent intervals to keep his morale at an acceptably high level. Women tend to form fairly long time relationship with ones work, making such showering of credits unnecessary.
-Women are assumed to be incompetent until they prove themselves.
This in fact is true for both men and women, they are assumed to be good for nothing, unless they prove otherwise. But, in the case of man, the first thing he does will be to show his prowess, how beneficial his presence, how costly his absence and as a result, how irreplaceable he is. And a woman does not take any such efforts to show ones value.
-Women get promoted on performance, and men get promoted on potential.
No, not al all. Both get promoted on performance, but the nature of performance differs. In man’s case, after quickly completing the assigned task, one devotes his time and energy to glorify what one has just completed (or to diminish others’), by pontificating on questions like how much of improvements are possible. In woman’s case, performance strictly is limited to the task which has been assigned. Thus in woman’s case the work get assessed lower than what one does, while in the case of man, as it includes the time spent on other things, the assessed value is generally more than ones effort.
-Talkative men are seen as competent, and talkative women as incompetent.
Look at any man who is talkative. More often than not the topic of ones speech will be about past accomplishments, and how, if time and place permitting, one can produce such wonders again. Or how worthy, ones efforts are and, other areas that are mostly abstract. When it comes to women, not only that they generally avoid the imaginary, but also discuss the merits of all things wise and wonderful which few of the gentlemen around can afford. As the discussion is not of our liking, we label those who initiated that as unworthy.
-When women show anger, they are often judged as too emotional.
In fact, except in ones personal affairs, there is no place for emotional expressions, other than for the purpose of supporting ones aims, efforts or desire. Hence such expressions of anger etc might lead to unexpected results if the underlying intent is not conveyed clearly. Some people forget this while showing emotions and get themselves marked temperamental. No one is to play with emotions without realizing this.
-Women are often interrupted or ignored in meetings.
That the main purpose of a meeting or conference is to create an atmosphere conducive to solution of our problems rather than the solution itself, is well known. As mentioned earlier, women being too professionally focused in their outlook might miss this point, and as a result, their constant devotion to certain particularities may seem to get overlooked. Therefore what gets overlooked is not the person but the solution behind the person, as it takes away another opportunity for creating a conducive environment.
-Women are judged more harshly on their appearance.
Mostly for a gentleman, it might be okay if someone question his dress, but it is anathema if someone questions his caliber. And for a lady it is okay to cast aspersions on her caliber while finding a spot on her dress is unthinkable. Hence we judge women on their appearance (other things are okay with them!) and ridicule the professional behind every man (he doesn’t care for other things!). And ridicule is invisible but appearance is widely seen.
As we saw above, all of these examples are easily explainable as particularities of human behavior, based on the existing theories of human transactions, and have no element of sexual influence in it. Why do we then consider these, incorrectly, as examples of female suppression and institute various ways and means for castigating males? And the males tolerating this happily? Isn’t this the price males pay for remaining superior?
Yes, I think it is another method to keep the real woman away from competing with the man.