Home » Archive » I’m A Feminist Because..

I’m A Feminist Because..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX3w4leth9I

This video actually addresses one of the questions that were raised in class last Thursday when we talked about gender and sex.
This guy in the video gets picked on because his room is a little bit girly. Just because it is so neat and his blanket has a flowery pattern! And then of course they have to judge his beauty videos that he make, which are only for fun.
He talks about how society tries to demean female as a gender,and always put her at a lower status then man. Like the famous saying “ you need balls to do that”, because of course men are the tough ones and having balls makes you more powerful despite that they are the weakest part of men. For me it was interesting because of all the comments below this video, that are insulting. One of the commenters asked him to “grow a pair”. On the other hand, many people actually advocated his opinions and confirmed that this is the reality we live in. The guy ends his video by saying “Why don’t we stop feeding into archaic ways of thinking, and open our minds.”

This reflects some of what is written in chapter three in our book, “Learning Gender”. Norms are associated with femininity and masculinity.  Individuals that follow these norms are rewarded by social institutions, and if they are broken, they are sanctioned for them. Thus kids learn the roles that are expected from them not the ones they want to.

In “Shame-O-Phobia”, David Wexler reflects these obligated social norms by his personal experience  He could not bare the thought of carrying his wife’s purse for 15 seconds, and his main reason to state was that he could envision the smirks of people around him, terrified by society’s judgement of his masculinity. He didn’t want to appear as feminine- “God forbid!” Men are supposed to be rigid, and not show any emotions, because women are emotional, never men! Wexler in his article assures that opening up doesn’t make a man vulnerable, rather it releases him from pain he doesn’t have to carry.

In brief, all these issues we have in society that emphasizes gender roles are driving people to worse in some cases. It can prevent women from being the lead formula one drivers, and guys from being ballet dancers. So what if a guy was sensitive. I am not saying that we are not different, we are built different after all, but if some one wants to deviate from the path that society enforced, then why not? It is their life.


3 Comments

  1. meerkat93 says:

    I completely agree with you on the point about the women being prevented from being “lead formula one drivers”. The female race car driver Danica Patrick has been all over the news lately and while I admire her for breaking into a male-dominated area like racing, I have noticed that most of her fame and news coverage stems from the fact that she is a woman. She doesn’t get press because she is a good driver. I have seen her in a bikini, as one of the many faces of GoDaddy.com (and in fact that is emblazoned across the chest of her racing uniform), and just all “dolled-up” for the camera in general. She is pretty, she is female, and she decided she was going to race cars. She is famous for that, not because she has actually dominated at racing (her best finish is 62nd according to her stats on her Wikipedia page). She has been made into some kind of pretty little mascot for the “men’s” sport of car racing. Even if she wanted to be (or is, in reality) a strong independent woman, she is not presented that way in the media, which is the way most people will become familiar with her.

    My racing rant aside, the gender roles that enforce what careers and behaviors are acceptable for men and women often do not overlap. When they do the results can be as disastrous as described above. People are limited and even demeaned based on these roles. I saw a headline stating that Danica Patrick may “revolutionize racing”. Until she can race without having the fact that she is a woman constantly pointed out, she hasn’t revolutionized anything at all.

  2. hebasha says:

    I viewed the video that you linked to this post and that youtuber really does make some interesting points! It makes me wonder what the origin of the phrase “you need balls to do that” if the testicles are indeed the weakest part of a man. What I found interesting is his implication that people refuse to use the terms “penis” and “vagina” when referencing to male and female reproductive body parts. They are universal medical terms.
    I also agree with the comment above regarding separate gender roles between men and women. Men and women are limited to what they feel they are capable of when they are told, directly or indirectly, that because of their gender–something which they can’t help–they can or cannot do something. I’ve been told multiple times that women don’t perform as well as men in the sciences, that women are “emotional” and can convey themselves better in writing. I’ve also been told the complete opposite; that women inherently accustomed to sitting at home and having the discipline to study, and therefore perform much better than men in academics, whereas men are far more active and leave the home more often. Obviously, these stereotypes are wrong, as they contradict one another and they are completely ignorant of the fact that women and men are more capable than society’s constraining gender roles. It seems as though these stereotypes are told to individuals for a reason. For example, I was told I would perform better than my brothers because I was a girl and, as such, I should stay at home and study more often, whereas my brothers can visit their friends as they please without worry, because “they’re boys, and they’re likely to do far worse. So why try?”

  3. ninazm21 says:

    You bring up a very interesting point in regards to how the gender norms are limiting our pursuit of things we find interesting or are really good at doing. These gender norms are imposed on all of us and many times we choose to forgo certain actions, behaviors, activities, or even life pursuits in fear of how our society would react. The problem is that these gender norms or so deeply ingrained in our daily lives that we can’t help but be judgmental towards those who sharply stray from those norms. We are born and grow up with these social norms and from an early age are exposed to consequences if we stray so it becomes second nature, this is how boys are suppose to act and this is how girls are suppose to act. Being exposed to feminist thought and learning how to change our predispositions will lead us to become more accepting but are stereotypes are still very difficult to remove. For a real change in our culture to occur it must start with our children. It’s much easier for someone to be accepting and judgmental of another if they weren’t raised to believe this person is acting in socially unacceptable manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: