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Author Topic: Sexism!
Monotonous
Activist
Member # 29530

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Warning: describes depictions of rape. May trigger.

The person below has a similar complaint to mine.

I've also been thinking about feminism a LOT lately. I used to be a huge movie person. Now most movies make me offended or upset in some way by the way they're portrayed and it's really starting to bother me. It gets me so angry and I feel so helpless for what I can do.

This is not the real problem, however. I am with my partner a considerable amount. His dad and his brother love slasher/horror movies and I used to as well until I really realized how sexist they were, and how almost all of the violence is directed towards women who have their shirts ripped off or raped or something.

So, my boyfriend, his brother, and his dad watched this movie called Devil's Rejects. In this movie, a girl is put at gunpoint and forced to give oral sex, after being forced to take off her clothes. Another scene, a girl is grabbed by her hair and pulled out of a shower and thrown on a bed. There's a very extended scene of a naked girl covered in blood being dragged into the woods, and one of the main characters, Baby, is obviously trying to get the watcher to be sexually interested in her and he butt is almost always showing. Men are also heard literally hundreds of times referring to women as "b****es" and "s***s". The attitude in the movie is that women are only good for sex and there is so much violence toward them.

My boyfriend is forced to watch these movies by his father because it's their rare quality time and his dad likes movies. He would get extremely upset if he refused to watch a movie with him. I just don't see how ANYONE can find entertainment in movies like that. At all. How could watching people being sexually assaulted be entertaining? I cry just thinking about it.

His brother makes fun of me all the time for being a feminist. I mention things in movies that are sexist and he criticizes me, saying stupid things like keyboards are sexist too or something ridiculous. Then he criticizes me for wearing clothing made in sweatshops but decrying entertainment that objectifies women. Then that "it's just a movie!" crap that everyone brings up. It actually really makes me upset that people are so unwilling to acknowledge the fact that women are not treated equally, in media and otherwise. I don't know what to say to his brother to make him shut up, I just end up getting so incredibly angry at him that I want to slap him. Almost all the movies he watches has some girl being raped in them. It really worries me.

Mr. Partner had to have a serious conversation with him about how women are dehumanized in media and why it's wrong, and how he should never make fun of me for it because I don't make fun of his beliefs even though I find them destructive and offensive.

How do I react to people like this? Whenever I mention anything even remotely feministic, someone has to scoff and make fun.

ARGHHH!!!

[ 11-19-2006, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

Posts: 59 | From: United States | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, is there any way your boyfriend can sensitively broach the topic with his Dad?

Such as, "Hey Dad? Do you know anyone who has ever been raped? A lot of women have, and I'm really not feeling okay about watching rape, even in a fictionized way. I DO want to spend time with you, but can we choose the movies we watch just a little bit differently?"

Really, someone is getting upset no matter what: you and your boyfriend are. And in brining these topics to the table, we've got to be willing to deal with people being upset or not just nodding and carrying on. This is really teeny activism, but it's important, and it's something everyone CAN do.

But yeah: people will react negatively often. Sex is THE biggest division and sexism is very pervasive and ingrained. hard as it is, if we're going to work to have our wold be less sexist, we've got to start calling it where we see it and deal with however people may react. Our hurt feelings are a lesser price to pay, really.

(FYI? In the future,. when you post decpictions like you did above of those scenes, could you add a trigger warning for survivors? For those of us who have been raped or sexually assaulted, walking into something like that unawares one the wrong day or at the wrong time can be a real whammy. Thanks! I've gone ahead and added a warning for you on this post so no one has to get triggered.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Monotonous
Activist
Member # 29530

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My partner really isn't as good at articulating how he feels about things into words as I am, so he has a little trouble talking to his dad about it. But when he did try to talk to him during the movie, he just rolled his eyes and didn't say anything. I will tell him what you said about what he can say to him, though, and see if he can take that approach with his dad.

I wish I could talk to him, and I'd like to, it's just that he's not my family and I don't know him very well; I feel it would be tremendously awkward, and since he's an avid viewer and supporter of sexist-type things like porn, stripping, movies like the one I described, I feel he'd get angry at me and I really don't want any hard feelings between my boyfriend and his parents. This makes me feel guilty, that I'd put the welfare of women aside to avoid awkwardness, but I don't know what to say. I don't have to watch the movies, so I don't know how it would be brought up. My boyfriend already had to tell his brother about how I was abused a few years ago and not to make fun of me for pointing out dehumanization or bring up my opposition to it in a derisive manner and said that he got through to him at least a little.

I'm trying to do everything I can, even if it's just a tiny bit.

In the future I will add warnings. I'm really sorry to anyone I made uncomfortable!

Posts: 59 | From: United States | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It sounds like this may well just be a matter of your boyfriend waiting out until he's an adult out of the house, and then having more of a say in what he'll do with his Dad, unfortunately, if the pre-movie approach doesn't work.

And yes: it'd be a bit much for you, especially as a curvivor, to have to have a talk about this with his Dad yourself. It'd be all the more awkward if the movie-watching isn't even something you're involved with.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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