You can’t have it both ways when it comes to sexism

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We all know that sexism is bad. I have a very conservative father who is a man’s man. I used to annoy him deliberately by putting up feminist posters on my bedroom door. One said a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. I thought it was really very funny but now looking back I realise that it was actually really sexist. I thought it was saying that women can do anything but what it was really saying is that women don’t need men. It was actually a man hating poster, not an expression of independence at all.

My Dad taught me to shoot, cut firewood, mow the lawn and encouraged me in everything that I did. He never told me that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.He was never sexist towards me yet putting down men and our need for them was what feminism had taught me to do. We are designed to need the other sex if we are heterosexual. There is nothing wrong with that. When we treat each other well and respect and accept our differences men and women together are wonderful.

The problems begin when people think equality means that we are the same. We aren’t. We tend to interact very differently. A clear example of this would be what happened when I hurt myself as a child. My Mum would be concerned with my feelings and making me feel better. My Dad would joke and distract me. One time I sliced off the top of my toe on the gate stopper in the ground. Mum saw all the blood and her voice revealed how worried she was. Dad looked me in the eye as blood dripped everywhere and asked me if I had hurt the gate when I kicked it. At the same time he and Mum worked together to stop the bleeding.They made a great team but their approaches were very different.

Men interact with each other very differently to women. Women tend to talk about their feelings and are empathetic and sympathetic to each other. They are not good at being honest with each other if it is an inconvenient truth. They are more concerned with sparing the other woman’s feelings. Men interact with insults. If a mate is overweight they tell him he is a fat bastard. They call each other names as a term of endearment and they will often say what needs to be said without worrying about hurting a mate’s feelings

Men treating women exactly the same way as they would treat a man in the same situation rarely works out. In reality when a man treats a woman like another man she is unlikely to like it.

In the below opinion piece it discusses how some male sports commentator’s joked  in a disparaging way about another sports commentator. If they had been mocking a male commentator no one would have raised an eyebrow but because the commentator was female their banter was labelled sexist. In reality they were treating her exactly how they would treat a male commentator. Their behaviour has been labelled sexism but really when you think about it,it would only be sexist if they didn’t mock her in the same way they mock male commentators. They are actually treating her as one of the boys.

…McGuire and his guffawing mates…were talking live on an event last Monday where celebrities slide into a pool of ice-cold water to raise funds for motor neurone disease.

…But then McGuire et al got stuck into Caroline Wilson, an award-winning Australian football journalist at The Age.

…The transcript is so awful, you need to read it. But the audio…also reveals everyone was laughing, together, at a violent joke about DROWNING a female journalist they all know. Hur Hur Hur.

McGuire: In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson. And I’ll put in 10 grand straight away – make it 20. [laughter] And if she stays under, 50. [louder laughter]

What do you reckon guys? Who else is up there? I know you’re in JB?

James Brayshaw: No, yep, Straight in.

Danny Frawley: I’ll be in amongst it Ed.

McGuire: Is Duck there?

Wayne Carey: Yes, I’m here mate.

[and later]

Frawley: I’ll actually jump in and make sure she doesn’t — I’ll hold her under, Ed.

McGuire: I reckon we could charge 10,000 for everyone to stand around the outside and bomb her.

Damien Barrett: I’m on Caro’s side now, Ed. I’m on Caro’s side these days, Ed. [indecipherable]

McGuire: She’ll burn you like everyone else, mate. She’s like the black widow. She just sucks you in and gets you and you start talking to her and then bang! She gets you.

And then McGuire ends: “It’ll be magnificent. I think we should do that next year. It’s all good for footy.”

No Eddie. It’s no good for footy to make light of violence against women, and slag off one of the code’s most senior female journalists.

A toxic boy’s club mentality is on regular ugly display in forums like The Footy Show, and we haven’t forgotten the time Sam Newman manhandled a lingerie-clad mannequin to mock and humiliate Wilson.

-The Age

I don’t know the history of the participants so I do not know if it is simply rough rivalry or whether there is actually some anger there for some reason. What I will say is men will treat men who they are rivals with in the exact same manner and will be upfront with their insults too when they do not like someone. Is it really sexism or just locker room type language? If a woman is in a career dominated by men should she be insulted if they treat her like one of the boys or upset and what does equality really mean?


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