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11-12-2011
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I don't think that women can legally do anything about getting paid less than men for the same work, for example. Am I mistaken? I am sure in some aspects they have legal support, but not all, I should think. And certainly all over the world, women are still oppressed and don't have legal rights.

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11-12-2011
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^ In New Zealand you can. And I'm almost sure in most Western countries you can. After all isn't the west supposed to be "developed" or something?

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11-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
Masculine traits? What are those? Who were the "radicals"? The first wave feminists, if you are referring to those who fought for the vote etc, Victorian era, were of their time. They just wanted to have rights to property and to vote. It was a start. But don't kid yourself, because it was after them that the 1920s followed and with that era, the flappers, and the end of corsets, covering everything, etc. Including hands and ankles etc. The feminists of the late 60s and early 70s didn't advocate "masculine traits" though I am still not sure what those are. They advocated working outside the home, having the ability to move up at a job, to do things besides being a helpmeet/secretary. And yeah, to wear jeans if they so chose. Not cinch in waists and full skirts and white gloves. But a different kind of sexy and femininity.
Masculine traits such as aggressive sexual drives, aggressive behaviour, competition with men, being breadwinners in families, shame or renouncement about feminine appearances, dominance in the professional and political field. Yes, women should have the right to seek all of the same opportunities men have, but they should not be expected to equal men in those regards lest they be considered "lesser beings". And by "radicals" I mean radical feminists who were basically anti-sex, anti-male fundamentalists riding on the coattails of the second wave feminist movement.

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11-12-2011
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Originally Posted by PinkGoddess View Post
Masculine traits such as aggressive sexual drives, aggressive behaviour, competition with men, being breadwinners in families, shame or renouncement about feminine appearances, dominance in the professional and political field. Yes, women should have the right to seek all of the same opportunities men have, but they should not be expected to equal men in those regards lest they be considered "lesser beings". And by "radicals" I mean radical feminists who were basically anti-sex, anti-male fundamentalists riding on the coattails of the second wave feminist movement.
That list of masculine traits is a mix of masculine traits and things that are dominant in the culture and are not masculine traits IMO.

Squizree, here in the US we are definitely still working on the issue of equal pay. We recently had a new law passed (named for Lily Ledbetter if you want to look it up) that is meant to help. The Supreme Court recently threw out a legitimate class action suit by the female employees of one of the country's largest employers (Walmart) who are not being paid or promoted equally, even though as a gender they have a significantly better record with the company. They are literally being told, 'We're promoting this man over you because he has a family to support.' Good God.

But primarily when I look at the lack of equality, I'm looking at the fact that men still run things. And when there's a layoff, it's generally women, older people, and minorities who are affected. Even when an organization is majority women, there's apparently this cultural imperative to put a man in charge. And absolutely some of that is coming from women.

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 11-12-2011 at 11:29 AM.
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11-12-2011
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Quote:
Masculine traits such as aggressive sexual drives, aggressive behaviour, competition with men, being breadwinners in families, shame or renouncement about feminine appearances, dominance in the professional and political field. Yes, women should have the right to seek all of the same opportunities men have, but they should not be expected to equal men in those regards lest they be considered "lesser beings"
I honestly don't understand some of this. Is competition with men a masculine trait? If, let's say, Hillary Clinton is running for president versus Barak Obama is that a masculine trait, because she is running against a man? And why is it a "masculine trait" to have dominance or success in a professional or political field? That Donna Karan runs an incredibly successful clothing business is masculine? I don't see it that way. That Martha Stewart has her own conglomerate is masculine? Why can't BOTH men and women be "breadwinners" (a very outdated term on its own)? Why can't both men and women be successful in business and politics? Maybe the fact that women have different viewpoints might bring a balance to world affairs that is sorely missing. I also don't see why any such success needs to preclude feminine appearance. Certainly Donna Karan has a very feminine look, as did Margaret Thatcher, in her own way, as does, hmmm, Anna Wintour.

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11-12-2011
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Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
^ In New Zealand you can. And I'm almost sure in most Western countries you can. After all isn't the west supposed to be "developed" or something?
I don't know about "developed." I think there are still many discrepancies and legal loopholes. Unions can help but in private companies it is a different matter, for example. Owners pay and promote how they see fit, and every woman who is mistreated isn't going to go to court; who can afford the legal expenses! And if a woman is trying to get her foot in the door in a certain industry, for instance, she is likely to suffer the lower wages for the bigger picture hopes. Even though that can backfire.

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11-12-2011
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While some job sectors have implemented open pay scales, and there is a degree of legal recourse for anyone who can provide outstanding evidence of discrimination, countless instances of unfair pay occur in a more insidious way, entrenched in cultural attitudes and the good old capitalist urge to find any reason to pay employees as little as possible.

As an amusing tale (although I wasn't laughing at the time) is that I once worked in a place where a family man was having trouble at home - through no fault of his own - but it meant he was away from the workplace for months on end, and I had to take over his role as well as carry on with my own.

When he came back, he was given a pay rise, while I got nothing. When I went to make my case, I remember being told that if I wanted more money, I should cut back on 'going out'. Given that I was a focused individual who was working a lot of overtime in that office, evenings and weekends, and had a alcohol-free lifestyle, for someone to imply that, if I was given the money, I'd fritter it all away on stilettos and a bar tab, was the most misguided statement that man ever made.

That company knew how hard-working I was, but they thought I would accept whatever they said, they were relying on me to just roll over and get back to the job.

After I left, there was a girl who got a decent pay rise, through doing something else other than work, and that ended with her getting the sack not long afterwards, when the novelty wore off and she became an inconvenience - so in that case, sex appeal led to an even bigger dead end than a future of merely being continuously underpaid for your efforts.

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11-12-2011
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I think the biggest way women set themselves back is by being too conformist in general. Because, in general, social activities are really the field that women excel at and compete within.

For instance, it's well known that autism-spectrum disorders are more common in men. Now that might be misdiagnosis because girls don't act out the way boys do, but it could also be a biological difference that manifests itself in our neurons. High functioning autistic people can be very proficient at what they are obsessed with, but really sub par socially. I think this is less accepted in a woman. Women are expected to tend to things, help out, read people....etc etc etc. I work in a scientific field and the only women there seem to be either high functioning autistics who are poorly tolerated because of their oddities and high functioning, and highly neurotic, perfectionists who really don't get very far (because science isn't about perfection at all).


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 11-12-2011 at 03:45 PM.
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12-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
I honestly don't understand some of this. Is competition with men a masculine trait? If, let's say, Hillary Clinton is running for president versus Barak Obama is that a masculine trait, because she is running against a man? And why is it a "masculine trait" to have dominance or success in a professional or political field? That Donna Karan runs an incredibly successful clothing business is masculine? I don't see it that way. That Martha Stewart has her own conglomerate is masculine? Why can't BOTH men and women be "breadwinners" (a very outdated term on its own)? Why can't both men and women be successful in business and politics? Maybe the fact that women have different viewpoints might bring a balance to world affairs that is sorely missing. I also don't see why any such success needs to preclude feminine appearance. Certainly Donna Karan has a very feminine look, as did Margaret Thatcher, in her own way, as does, hmmm, Anna Wintour.
"Masculine" like "feminine" is a generalisation and therefore does not preclude exceptions to the rule; it simply means that a given trait is more commonly occurring among men than women. The reason being a breadwinner in families is a masculine occupation is because raising children has, among the majority of societies, always been a female one. The reason that seeking power and rising to the top of fields is masculine is because men have always done this even in fields that women traditionally excel in or dominate. The only way this could be seen as a problem is if people have the idea that being a breadwinner is somehow "superior" to being a full-time mother or housewife, or if people think that the drive to power and professional domination somehow is somehow "better" than stable employment. Interesting how men have never been considered "unliberated" for not spending as much time child-raising, nor has it ever been considered "oppressive" that a man's worth is often considered directly in relation to his occupational status.

I never said that women can't be breadwinners or dominate in professional/political fields; I'm merely making reference to the fact that they usually don't - even in societies where they have every available opportunity to do so. I'm not saying that the rights women have in those areas are gratuitous or that women in other societies shouldn't strive for the same rights, merely that we shouldn't define women's collective worth or success by how closely they imitate men in those regards. And this is what a large amount of feminists have done and still do. Women may not ever equal men in some regards, just as men will not equal women in many. The imperative should be opportunity, not competition.

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12-12-2011
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Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
That list of masculine traits is a mix of masculine traits and things that are dominant in the culture and are not masculine traits IMO.
The idea that social conditioning is somehow removed from nature is an erroneous one as culture and society are merely mankind's way of organising naturally occurring roles or behaviours. It's interesting how despite the fact that virtually every species has some form of instinctive social order or structure, it is only in humans that this order is perceived as opposing nature.

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12-12-2011
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The idea that social conditioning is somehow removed from nature is an erroneous one as culture and society are merely mankind's way of organising naturally occurring roles or behaviours. It's interesting how despite the fact that virtually every species has some form of instinctive social order or structure, it is only in humans that this order is perceived as opposing nature.
For millenia most humans' primary concern was individual survival. We are now in the midst of a process of determining how we want to live--the best way to live. Therefore I believe it's important to distinguish between traits that are in fact determined by nature (though even testosterone is not destiny), and traits that are shaped by society (and ignorance).

Your argument seems to be that whatever exists, is utterly natural, and therefore absolutely fine.

Lots of people made the 'natural' argument for slavery, and domestic violence, and all sorts of other societal arrangements that we now consider unnatural and in fact highly perverted.

I am not willing to accept that the status quo is the best we can do as a species. And our history clearly demonstrates that we have both the will and the capacity to improve.

You have the right to cheerlead the status quo and the retrograde; I choose to cheer on those who are forging a new and better way.

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12-12-2011
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The reason being a breadwinner in families is a masculine occupation is because raising children has, among the majority of societies, always been a female one. The reason that seeking power and rising to the top of fields is masculine is because men have always done this even in fields that women traditionally excel in or dominate
Okay but surely just because something "has always been" a certain way, a tradition, doesn't make it right. It like we are discussing tradition versus transformation, but I think it is possible to hold onto meaningful traditions that are not hurtful towards others while still evolving as societies and people.

I would argue that the vast majority of feminists believe in opportunity - equal opportunity, not dominance. I do not really agree with your assertions that feminists want to "imitate" men. You seem to have an extreme view of feminists in general, when maybe only a small percentage of them are as militant as you imply. Many feminists advocate on behalf of women who choose to stay at home and raise children just as they equally advocate for choice, if a woman wants to work and/or a man wants to stay at home and raise children.

It is all about freedom of choice and what works best for each individual, male or female.

It isn't about dominating men, becoming men and imitating men.

Feminists can be feminine at the same time as they run a company; these qualities are not mutually exclusive.

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Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 12-12-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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13-12-2011
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Sometimes I wonder what is 'natural' when it comes to humans, because as a species, we've been around on this earth for many thousands of years, and for a lot of that time, there's no definitive record of how people behaved or what social structures were in place. Civilisation as we know it is a relatively recent invention (or imposition, depending on your point of view).

And if you look at other apes, bonobos are a matriarchal society, where a male's status is dependent on his mother's social standing, gorillas have harems, chimpanzees are promiscuous within fairly unstable male-dominated groups, and orangutans seem to follow a more solitary model.

Popular science frequently looks to the chimpanzee in an attempt to explain the primitive roots of human behaviour, yet "bonobos are as genetically close to humans as are chimpanzees".

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13-12-2011
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Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
For millenia most humans' primary concern was individual survival. We are now in the midst of a process of determining how we want to live--the best way to live. Therefore I believe it's important to distinguish between traits that are in fact determined by nature (though even testosterone is not destiny), and traits that are shaped by society (and ignorance).
Yes, but our unconscious instincts do not transform overnight; it takes thousands of years for a biological trait to evolve. And as I have said, there is no fine line between a trait determined by nature and one by society, as man is a social animal is therefore naturally influenced and shaped by social order. That social order has always existed and has always affected our biology, just as it has the vast majority of animals on Earth.

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Your argument seems to be that whatever exists, is utterly natural, and therefore absolutely fine.
I don't recall saying that.

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Lots of people made the 'natural' argument for slavery, and domestic violence, and all sorts of other societal arrangements that we now consider unnatural and in fact highly perverted.
Yes, but those arrangements are unethical and treat certain groups as inferior, eliminating the right of choice for many individuals. The right of individual choice should always be of utmost concern, and I never said that it shouldn't.

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I am not willing to accept that the status quo is the best we can do as a species. And our history clearly demonstrates that we have both the will and the capacity to improve.
Opposing the status quo and improving are not mutually exclusive with specializing based on our inherent qualities; on the contrary, it was specialization that allowed us to evolve to the level we are now in the first place.

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13-12-2011
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I would argue that the vast majority of feminists believe in opportunity - equal opportunity, not dominance. I do not really agree with your assertions that feminists want to "imitate" men. You seem to have an extreme view of feminists in general, when maybe only a small percentage of them are as militant as you imply. Many feminists advocate on behalf of women who choose to stay at home and raise children just as they equally advocate for choice, if a woman wants to work and/or a man wants to stay at home and raise children.
I didn't say that all feminists do, merely radical feminists. They do not comprise a large majority of all feminists, but they are certainly the loudest, and as a result have been given a grossly unwarranted amount of media attention, resulting in the unfortunate popular image of feminism that we have now.

And the proof of my assertion that many such feminists want to imitate men, is as I have pointed out, their belief that a woman is 'unliberated' if she does not encompass male qualities and successes, despite the fact that they do not see men as such for not achieving or carrying out traditionally female responsibilities.

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