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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Conflicting expectations

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Author Topic: Conflicting expectations
alaska
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Prompted bya thread started by Rick9999 in Ask a Sexpert, in which he quoted from an article by a guy called Walter Williams: "Men must stand up" I think it would be good moment to have a discussion on what kind of conflicting expectations men and women face these days.

What do you think is expected from men and women by society these days? What makes a "perfect man" or "perfect woman"?
In how far has this view of society on roles changed in the past 50 years? Do you think it's more difficult for people of one gender to find their "role" as for the other? If so, what are the reasons?

Should we change anything?

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Caro
~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~

"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 07-01-2001).]


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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well, i think a lot of women are having trouble balancing "traditional" gender roles in a world where their context has changed greatly. i know for me, i'm very career-minded. But i also would like to have some "domestic qualities," retain "my" place in the home. maybe someday, eons from now, i would like to take 5 years off work to raise my children (but gummy, you don't even *like* kids -- i know, i know...).

meanwhile, i still expect my partner (male, because I am heterosexual) to be a breadwinner and defender of the clan. i would prefer it if my boyfriend could defend his lady's honor. And i most certainly prefer not to be able to beat the guy at arm-wrestling. i always said one of my prereqs for a guy was that he should be able to bench press my weight (i may be chubby, but i'm still within a reasonably range!).

nonetheless, i have asserted myself in some non-traditional roles. and i have dated a few veritable weaklings (he just needed to do more push-up, that's all). and who knows where i'll end up?

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rizzo
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Wow, although I can see his point, I don't know about spanking "feminist wackos"... actually in my experience, it has been mainly your average, heterosexual, married or boy-crazy women who do the most man-bashing. And while sure, there are some feminist "wackos" out there (who, although disturb me at times, also make me think), I don't like the implication that all feminists are nuts...

Okay, that's my rant. Now to the issue at hand. No matter who's doing the man-bashing, it bothers me. Those cards and email forwards and jokes and comments make me very uncomfortable. "The fastest way to a man's heart is through his chest, with a sharp knife," I mean, how vicious is that? There is a double standard, for sure. You wouldn't get away with that if you substituted the word "woman". (Ah, I love substituting one group with another in sayings, just to prove hypocrisy...) I won't deny that there are things men still get away with that women don't, and I hate to be one of those feminists that is viewed as wishy-washy and weak, but I really do think we need to treat men as well as we'd like to be treated.


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'rin
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i have mixed feelings about this article. for one, i hate his tone, i really do. the tone he takes in this article belittles what he's trying to say by just being inflamatory. on the other hand, he is saying something useful maybe. i don't think either gender gains anything from the male bashing that is common umong some feminists lately. yes, girl power is a good thing.....buy why does it have to come at the expence of boys? the man who was suspended for sexual harasment isn't a victim, if his job has rules that harsh i'm sure he read the code of conduct, or at least signed off on something saying he did (if he signed w/out reading that's his problem). if he did not like the rules he could have quit his job. back to the article though.......this guy is doing exactly what he's acusing feminists of. he's bashing the other side. so eventhough he may have a few good points, he's totally lost them in his hatefulness. this is a tough issue, and i'm really sick of seeing the nastyness on both sides. yeah men have done some crappy things to women. this does not give women the right to do crappy thigns to men. if a particular man does crappy things to a particular woman, by all means taht woman should do somethings about that man's behavior. it isn't something that should be generalized out to inclued all men and all women. i don't understand why either side of this debate thinks that they will get somewhere by belittling the other side.
sorry to ramble, this is a hot button topic for me.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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When i clicked on the link I got to the page, but didn't see the williams article in question, so I will just respond to what was posted in the ask a sexpert page. For starters I think this is a much better forum for the question than the ask a sexpert one, but perhaps Sexual politics would be an even better one.
I think that there were many valid points made in the article. Alaska's putting it down because it relied on anectdotal evidence was not really all that fair. these are some pretty high profile annectdotes. In particular the Katie Curic comment about castration. Now I never saw it, and this is the first time I have heard about it. I will for a moment assume that it is true, since Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist and it is unlikely that he would make something like that up out of whole cloth (too easilly checked). If such a comment were made by a national news anchor about any other group than men, the anchor wouldn't even be back after the next commercial break. Imagine if Regis asked some guy if he ever thought about cutting the **** off is ex wife? The fact that is attracted so little notice just underscores the point. Remember the furor a few years back when an ex ball player associated with the Dodgers made a crack about blacks not being great swimmers, there was a national uproar over that and he was out on his butt. I think that memebers of the media should be held to a much higher standard than retired shortstops.
The "girls rule" T shirts are much more common than just one elementary school. Very few schools have put a stop to it as inappropriate (there was a WSJ article on the subject a few months ago). there is discrimination against men, not just defacto, but even de jure discrimination. Imagine for a minute the Congress passing a law called the "Violence against Whites act". Girls are not required to register for the draft, while boys are. Family courts are extremely biased against fathers in custody decisions. Courts are much more likely to impose more drastic sentences on men than women for simalar crimes. (how many men are on death row compared to how many women? As far as I know there has only been one woman actually executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the late 70's). In those states where paddling is allowed in schools, boys are far more likely to get swats than girls are. Much is made about girls lagging scores on the science portion of the SAT's but little is made of boys lagging scores on the english portion.
A 20 day suspension for an innocuos statement like "hi good looking" seems just a bit more than overly harsh, and it is obviously something that required interpritation of what exactly constituted sexual harrassment. Sure there was probably a code of conduct saying don't sexually harrass others, but I doubt it spelled out exactly what did or didn't constitute sexual harrassment.
At least in the quoted portions of the article, I did not find the comments geared at all toward all women, just the more strident anti male elements of the feminist movement, and at the double standard which society has when it comes to saying things about men and about women.

Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
Much is made about girls lagging scores on the science portion of the SAT's but little is made of boys lagging scores on the english portion.

while on average boys score higher on the SAT than girls, the percentage of males in american universities is dwindling.

at uc berkeley, women are the majority of the population. That's 15833 women versus 15444 men (undergraduate and graduate students). The men still outnumber women in graduate studies, but the rising number of female admits foreshadows a rise in the number of women pursuing higher degrees.
(see http://osr4.berkeley.edu/ for more stats)

imagine that, they're going to need affirmative action for men in the near future.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gumdrop Girl:
at uc berkeley, women are the majority of the population.


This is becoming the norm in all of the UC schools, and is most striking at UCLA. In Fall of 2000 (the most recent data available), there were 10,337 male undergraduate students and 14,666 female undergraduate students. You got it...4000 more women than men. I didn't know it was such a wide disparity, although now that I think about it I have never had a class which with a male majority in it. (Not that it really mattered much to me!)

This was particularly noticeable during my freshman year when I lived in the dorms. I was floor president, and had 86 women and 14 men on my floor. This was more of an imbalance than on the other 9 floors in our building, but didn't pose too much of a problem. The only thing it did result in was a lot of girls using our showers in the morning...we had shower stalls with a thin partition that extended from about mid-thigh to slightly above my head. So I would be in the shower and drop something...and I'd see someone with red painted toenails showering in the stall next to me. It was pretty interesting.

In the UCLA graduate department, there are a total of 3,917 men and 3,407 women, so men still hold a slight majority there although the trends have seen a tremendous increase in the number of female graduate students while the level of male grad students has levelled off. Additionally, the Fall of 2000 was the first time that women have made up a majority of the Masters' Degree students. (Doctoral students are still mostly male, by a margin of 561 to 433).

So when you add up all of those silly numbers, there are 18,073 women and 14,254 men on campus. I'm not sure what it all means (aside from the fact that it means my friends and I are happy guys), but it is an interesting trend that sees no sign of abating.

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[This message has been edited by BruinDan (edited 07-03-2001).]


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John Doe
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Gumdrop,
Instead of affirmative action (ie in the sense of quotas and differential assesment of standard criteria) I think what we need are school systems which do not systematically short change boys.

see http://www.vix.com/menmag/kleinfed.htm


Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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I really hate to break it to ya John, but I have been in public schools for 17 years and I do not feel shortchanged. My teachers were mostly women, which helped me learn to relate to them. The detention I got was because I acted up. The things I learned and did well on were things I studied hard on.

I don't take much stock in articles like that because I am a product of recent public schooling. I don't need somebody else telling me what is wrong with our public school system when my friends and I can talk about our own experiences ourselves. I think before you start believing everything you read in this regard, or waving the banner of "discrimination" for something you have so little firsthand knowledge about; you really should either spend 9 months attending your childrens' primary-school classes every day for observational purposes, or find another way of broadening your own realm of knowledge beyond your personal school experiences of decades ago.

I hate to be so blunt, John...but I am starting to think that enough is enough.

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Milke
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'While some of my best friends are women . . . ' Anyone who feels the need to point out that they have 'best friends' who belong to a certain group is usually preparing to bash that group, and generally in most clunsy fashion. This article definitely succeeds on that point. The writer brings up some valid points, but his manner of doing so really makes them sound petty.

I agree that anything suggesting that violence against anyone is, at best, questionable, but I really don't think as many feminists are such SCUM Manifesto followers as he seems to believe. *sigh* And if it's anything to you John, I don't believe that drafting anyone is ethical.


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Gumdrop Girl
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just for the record, i was being facetious about the affirmative action thing. guess who went up against 2000 people in a counterprotest against AA. that's right, it was me.

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"And who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail


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blackbird
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You know, I really don't notice the difference between men and women. I get involved in situations, and then afterwards, if it comes to mind, I might think about it, but usually it would be pointed out like "it was all girls!" or like that. I'm one to not really notice someone's sex, religious, or ethnic identity. I didn't even notice that in all of grade school (1st - 8th grades) there were only two black people in my class. It isn't what I see when I look at people. For college though, despite the fact that I think more minorities should be going to college (since a lot of them just don't try..talk about lazy), they should also have to work at getting in just like everyone else. I always ponder when I'm filling out applications that have a section for ethnic identity and claim that it is just for statistical purposes. I think something fishy is going on in this applications

As for what I expect in future life partners, basically just someone that can stand up to me. I don't want a guy that I can push all over the place. I mean, marriage is to be a compromise. I'm not looking for a Moose Mason because I'm certainly not a Midge (for reference: Archie Comics). I'd be proud of a guy as long as he can stand on his own two feet. I don't need a guy as a crutch that's for sure. I mean, what fun can I have out of a relationship if the guy will let me walk all over him? At the same time though, I'm not going to let a guy walk all over me.

Alaska, as for perfection..that all depends on who is making the decision. No one is perfect. And well, if they think that they are, then they are even less perfect. I find it very contradictory to be in a society that claims we are all unique, yet also casts stereotypes on everyone. I don't think that I necessarily have a "role" in society to play. I'm just here for the ride and those times when I like to sneak off away from the group

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"1970 called. Al Pacino wants his car back."

[This message has been edited by blackbird (edited 07-26-2001).]


Posts: 354 | From: san mateo, california, usa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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quote:
Originally posted by blackbird:
For college though, despite the fact that I think more minorities should be going to college (since a lot of them just don't try..talk about lazy), they should also have to work at getting in just like everyone else.

I have yet to see any sort of accurate statistical or realistic data or long-term studies that showed ANY minority group in general had a lower college attendance because of laziness, not because of economic difficulty, standards set in community schools. unwillingness on the part of some families to allow children or encourage them for higher education, and other social issues. In fact, I have seen a reliable educational study which showed that from 1972 - 1992 the exact same numbers of white and black students planned to enroll in college. I have seen national ed stats that showed that while college grad numbers on minorities haven't dropped, high school grads in all groups (including caucasians) have, and I have seen stats that show Asians and Hispanics are more likely than any other group to complete degree programs. I could go on for days, but suffice it to say, I have yet to find ANY reliable information that shows a difference in enrollment/completion rates between caucasians and minorities that is based on laziness, nor do I know of any educator that has.

So, unless you're offering up that sort of data on large groups or have it available to extrapolate that statement from, that sort of statement is highly biased and unfounded, and I'm not comfortable with it being furthered here.
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Heather Corinna
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[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 07-26-2001).]


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blackbird
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Actually, it came from something I was watching on TV. Granted that television commentaries, along with everything else should be taken with a grain of salt...that was what the people they were interviewing was saying. I'm sorry that I have no text results or poll statistics.
Posts: 354 | From: san mateo, california, usa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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