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Author Topic: Society Rules
Stephanie_1
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Ever wonder how society comes to the rules and roles that it does? Is there really something that makes men more able to work and women better at cleaning and cooking in the home? Who says men don't cry? Some of these rules and roles bring biases against people for being young. So how does someone begin to break down these walls and show the truth behind them?

Someone told me that teaching teens about sex was wrong because they're "Too young" (Which of course we know it's not age but readiness for any type of sex that is the focus). When I asked what the magical age was - there was of course no straight answer, to whick I explained readiness being very personal, and everyone reaching the point where they're ready for any kind of sex being normal and very personal. Which brings about the question:

What are some roles or rules that really get under your skin (gender, age, orientation, etc)? How do you respond to the people that state them or try to make you believe and follow them?

[ 01-08-2010, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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Onionpie
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I'm going to say... my least favourite (so many choose from! hehe [Razz] ) is one of these:

Crying is weak/girly (in a bad way)/etc -- why is experiencing a full range of emotions considered weakness? I don't hear people saying I'm weak when I laugh so hard I cry -- or what I'd actually consider to BE weak; if I get so angry I scream and shout and don't treat people with respect. If something makes you sad, that doesn't make you weak. That makes you human. And everyone has different levels of Cryability as I like to call it; some people cry really easily and some people don't, not out of any kind of strength or weakness, but just because everyone's different. Just like how everyone has different pain thresholds, it shouldn't make them inferior to anyone else. (though I know there's that idea that "tough" is good)

I also hate how people assume things about me based on my gender; they buy me pink things or "girly" things that I may or may not necessarily like, all because they don't know what I do like and they just go for what they think I'll "probably like" based simply on my gender. Why not ASK ME WHAT I LIKE, huh?

Assumed heterosexuality also gets under my skin; both the general sense, and also when it's aimed specifically at me. My mother would oftentimes assume I'm heterosexual -- which was fairly accurate until rather recently, but even after I bothered mentioning my non-straightness, by the way she talks it's still evident she thinks of me as heterosexual.

Also people who know I have a boyfriend then assume that I'm straight. Which annoys me because although one would think in this society, hey that's better than them thinking I'm NOT straight, because at least I get all the privileges society gives heterosexual people, it's still annoying for me because I recognise the underlying problem is exactly what is happening there. Assumed heterosexuality until proven otherwise.

I also am with you on the "teens are too young" thing when it comes to... EVERYTHING. By the way some people talk, it's like they think we are incredibly obtuse and don't have the capacity to understand basically ANYTHING that they don't WANT us to. Because that's what it comes down to; not that we're "incapable" of understanding whatever it is, but because they're too scared to think we could/don't want us to know whatever it is.

Anyway, that's... far too many roles and rules that I hate, there. But I hate tons of them x3 I sometimes say jokingly that feminism has ruined my life; I'm no longer happy with ANYTHING because now I'm aware of all these roles and social constructs. But hey, it actually hasn't ruined my life, I love being aware [Big Grin]

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Felixosaurus
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Great question - I think i'd have to go with a bit of a generalisation, in that one of my biggest gripes is with assumptions. Mainly assumptions around heterosexuality being the norm, but also assumptions like "you're wearing "X" so you must be into "Y", or you're gay/lesbian/etc so you must be into "XYZ"

That kind of stuff really gets to me. Take the time to listen and people might surprise you

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Lilerse
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Assumed heterosexuality definitely pisses me off, but hits me less personally because I am heterosexual. Still, being an ally, I can't stand homophobia and heterosexism either.
But what's been really driving me crazy on a personal level, especially the last several months, is societal rules about monogamy, marriage, sex, etc. People who think sex should only be in a monogamous relationship and insist everyone else should follow this idea. People who give me a shocked or confused look when I say I never want to get married. People who say "don't worry, you'll find the one" when I mentioned my breakup with my ex-boyfriend, even though I don't WANT to find the "one" and don't think there is a "one" for me. People (and this was a COUNSELOR) who told me I was self-sabotaging by expecting that my relationships would end eventually since I don't want marriage. People who call me a slut as an insult but call a guy a player as a compliment (haaaaaaaate this double standard). People who assume that anyone who's single WANTS a relationship.

I like sex with different people outside of a relationship. I like being single. When I grow up I want to live with a bunch of awesome friends, not one man who I am married to and have kids with.
Oh yeah, I'm also a woman who doesn't shave her legs.
Apparently societal rules don't like any of these things. Sigh.

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punkchique
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Yea, I hate the rules about monogamy.
And branching off from that, I hate the gender disparity when it comes to monogamy like:
If a guy sleeps around with a bunch of girls he's just being a guy. But if a girl sleeps around with a lot of guys she labeled as a slut.
Or when a guy loses his virginity he gets a high five from his dad but a girl is expected to wait until marriage.

I am an adult who enjoys having sex. I don't need a relationship and I don't need love, just trust. I'm tired of people looking down on me because of the way I live my life and I'm tired of having to choose between my reputation and my happiness.

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Lilerse
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And I hate that women are often called easy but men aren't. The men I've slept with have come to bed with me as easily I as came to bed with them..so why am I the easy one? Drives me crazy.

I'm with you on the not relationship/love but trust. That's how I feel about sex too.

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Lythani
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The player/slut differnce drives me nuts. I had to spend most of last year doing damage control when one of my best friends got horribily trashed by her "friends". She was a slut and the guy who got her drunk was a player. Why is is bad for a girl to like sex. WHY???

The one that I am slowly training myself out of is the autogender roles. I have been tought to cook, clean, sew, and to maintain the house and yard becouse that is what girls do. I can understand girls being unable to cook, but for some reason a guy who cannot do household and yard maintance seems wrong.

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AGF
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i hate that a younger brother can gp to parties and go camping and do and say whatever he wants whenever he wants but the older graduated sister cant. i hate that when the older sister gets so frustrated and vents, the only answer she ever gets is:well hes a guy and your a girl and so its different.
i hate that if a girl has a bunch of guy friends because girls are bitchy and annoying, its assumed she is sleeping with most or all when in reality she isnt. however, i also hate the girls that complain of being known as a slut when she knows she is. if you dont like it so much, change your ways because you cant stop what others think or say. welcome to america, the land of opinions.
i hate that guys can leave their rooms messy and dirty dishes in the sink, assuming a girl will clean up after them, but then come home and find her dishes sitting in the sink and a load of laundry on the couch, and he looks at her and says, what did you do all day besides nothing and make a mess? seriously, clean up after yourself.
i hate that tv and magazines say dont have sex, be safe about sex, and yet there are magazines with headlines like:how to please your man, 99 new tricks in the bedroom;how to be sexy this summer. and we have shows like the secret life of the american teenager. the magazine 17 is the worst! first half of the magazine: no sex, safe sex, ads... second half: sex, sex tips, have sex, have safe sex, love your man, ads.....
sorry thats alot but theres alot of pressure on gender roles and sex, all pointing at the women it seems, but also towards men: dont cry, play sports, dance and cheerleading is gay so play football and jump on other guys or wrestle on the ground with other guys.
sorry guys but dance is not gay and your gf is not your maid. and ladies, be sexual with who you want and dont let the media to be a sexy maid.

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Lilerse
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I hate that what is traditionally "women's work" is often not considered work. I was just watching an episode of Gilmore Girls where Emily (the wealthy grandmother) spends days and days planning a launch party for her husband's insurance company, and her husband's business partner suddenly decides to take their clients to Atlantic City instead - completely brushing off all the effort Emily put into the planning. It's like he doesn't even realize that this is Emily's JOB, it's real work and it takes a LOT of time, energy, effort, etc.
I realize most women are not rich and never in Emily's exact position, but I feel like it's a sentiment that those in other socioeconomic classes can still relate to. Misogynistic pricks like Jason (the business partner) thinking that the unpaid work wives do isn't real work. Cooking, cleaning, organizing parties, raising kids, going to PTA meetings, dealing with and caring for husbands, shopping for groceries, any of that - IT'S WORK!

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silvertabby13
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I can't stand name-calling when it comes to a woman's sexuality. Being called a "slut" or a "whore" because she makes decisions that don't fit the mold society has made for her. Since when is it anyone's business what a woman does with her body? Since when is it anyone's job to decide what's right for millions of autonomous, intelligent strangers? People who meddle and impose their views on others just really tick me off in general. Live and let live. The world would be a happier place if people actually followed that.
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Fezzz
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Ooo, this is up my alley.

First off let me say that I am from the deep south (Alabama)... and the sterotype against women here are terrible. We are only used for:

Babies
Cooking
Cleaning
Taking care of the man
Taking care of the babies
And sex


I hate being a woman, simply because of the crap I have to live with EVERYDAY of my life. In many southern guys' eye's here that's all they see me as, what I mentioned above. My selfesteem is super low because of dealing with this junk.

After hearing it so many times and seeing it personally with my mom and how she treats my step dad (like he does no wrong), I get sick of it and start seeing men as -insert bad word here-I know not ALL men are that way, but most of them are here, so naturally that is how I see 90% of men.

We're the ones that have periods EVERY month for 7-10 days.
We're the ones that can get raped and deal with the things afterwards.
We're the ones that have painful intercourse the first time.
We're the ones that deliver the babies so they can grow. (Not men)
We're the ones that have a hard time dealing with our emotions.

The list goes on. I'm sorry I'm venting like this, but it's about time my voice and many others can be heard. Thanks for the topic [Smile]

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mma
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quote:
Originally posted by Fezzz:
We're the ones that can get raped and deal with the things afterwards.
We're the ones that have painful intercourse the first time.
We're the ones that have a hard time dealing with our emotions.

Man, I really hate that list of what women are seen as being good for(you are right on target and it makes me go grr)!
However, I really need to point out that you may be unintentionally perpetuating some other stereotypes in this list here. Of course men can be raped, and when anyone is raped, we all suffer as a society. That's why it's everyone's job to do what he or she can to prevent rape.
Also, there's no reason intercourse should be painful the first time or ever, and there are circumstances when a man might feel pain on intercourse too. And absolutely when it comes to dealing with emotions, societal rules give men the shaft. It's OK for us to have hard emotions to grapple with, because we're "only" women (gag.), but "real men" (whatever.) aren't supposed to express emotions by our societal rules.

I think the point is here, that *any* time a generalization is made, it's worth challenging, whether it's about men or about women. Putting pressure on those stereotypes is how we get free of them. [Cool]

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Fezzz
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Well in the south that is basically what "old school southern Baptist" men and women believe is how it should be. Men are for making money, women are for making babies and keeping the man happy.

I know men can be raped and by all means I don't think it is right on either gender, but let's face it women are the ones that have the baby from it, men don't. I do admit, yes you can get an abortion, but that would be terrible to go through with that, on top of getting raped THEN having to get an abortion? That is so sad.

About the intercourse, if you're a virgin and have a thicker hyman and/or health issues that does make you have painful intercourse, yes it will hurt first time and possible anytime afterwards. My mother has a tilted cervix and it hurts her to have intercourse.

It hurts me to read these stories on here about people being raped. I myself am going to be a child psychologist. I had a past that I'm not to fond of, but now I want to help children that went through what I did. I see if you can succesfully help a child through a tramatic incident then that child will grow up now feeling the thoughts and feelings I do now.

I agree with you on the "real men don't cry" my boyfriend has that in his head that he CANNOT show "weakness" by crying, and it hurts me that he believes that men arn't suppose to cry as much as women. On occasion he does cry in front of me, but not often [Frown]

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