19% of prime time television characters are non-human while only 17% are women
A Profile of Americans’ Media Use and Political Socialization Effects: television and the Internet’s relationship to social connectedness in the USA ― Daniel German & Caitlin Lally
There are more “non-humans” on TV than women. Talk about unequal gender representation in the media.
Here’s the thing. Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.
Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize/ trim/ shave/ push up/ hide/ show/ ”flatter”/ paint/ dye/ exfoliate/ pierce/ surgically alter this or that.
That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?
The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.
Wearing a hijab isn’t inherently liberating – but neither is baring one’s breasts. What is liberating is being able to choose either of these things. It’s pretty ludicrous to think that oppression is somehow proportional to how covered or uncovered someone’s body is. Both sides of this argument present a shallow understanding of women’s empowerment, which only drowns out the substantive challenges facing all women – issues that cannot be encapsulated in a debate about a piece of fabric.
3 percent of the decision-making in media comes from women. That means 97 percent of how women are portrayed is decided on by men.
The paradox between male privilege and male misery is often used to argue that women’s oppression is balanced by a similar or even worse lot for men. Warren Farrell, for example, writes that societies such as that in the United States are both patriarchal and matriarchal, with each gender having its own areas of oppressive domination. As with other false parallels, Farrell draws attention away from patriarchy to men as victims who deserve sympathy as much as women do.
At the extreme, men’s woes are used to blame women for the price men pay for privilege, even though the price usually is exacted by other men. Men’s reluctance to open themselves fully to their inner emotional lives, for example, is based far more on fear of being vulnerable to other men or of being seen as insufficiently manly-not in control and controlled by others-than on worries about women. In similar ways, the competitive grind, insecurity, or fear of violence that many men experience is overwhelmingly in relation to other men, not women.
fuck yeah anti misogyn-
Um yes, you just took John Green’s words completely out of context. Context is important, people.
Please explain to me in what context it’s acceptable to refer to human beings as “resources.” I’m not a resource, I’m a PERSON, and it’s dehumanizing to say otherwise.
so here’s a link to the video and since a ton of the people who have reblogged this post keep talking about context, let’s actually put the comment into context.
within the context of the video, the comment is STILL offensive. do you know why? BECAUSE THE VIDEO ITSELF IS OFFENSIVE. the video consists of this white man telling some 15 year old girl to be happy bc she’s not “malnourished” or “has plastic bags in her breasts” meanwhile having no analysis of eating disorders or plastic surgery or body dysmorphia or unrealistic ideals of beauty imposed on women that btw are neither the fault of this 15 year old girl nor of the “malnourished plastic bags in breasts women”.
so the entire video is about shaming certain types of women john green thinks are shallow and vapid and stupid and awkward and blah blah blah “I’M A WHITE MAN AND AS SUCH GET TO DICTATE ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS OF BEING A WOMAN TO YOU UNDER THE GUISE OF ADVICE AND YOU’LL HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS BC I AM BETTER THAN THE OTHER 5 BILLION PEOPLE ALSO IMPOSING ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS OF BEING A WOMAN ON YOU” it’s all offensive at the end of the day. he doesn’t get to tell her that she should be “better” than women who have plastic surgery or are thin either naturally or out of choice or whatever, he doesn’t get to make the determination at all in any context ever.
and then to be like oh btw nerd guys are awesome albeit a little needy ummmm wow fuck you bc nerdy white guys are SOME OF THE WORST TYPES OF MEN OUT THERE. they are sexist and entitled and HORRIBLE to women. like do you guys remember that part of the social network where mark is constantly looking down on erica for going to BU and not harvard and finally she breaks up with him and is like “btw this isn’t bc you’re a nerd which you’ll think, it’s actually bc you’re an asshole” YEAH.
so in conclusion to all of you who want us to consider the context of john green’s comment: i did consider the context and turns out the context is horrible and john green is still a sexist piece of shit.
…I want the festival to welcome ALL women. I believe in the power of art more than I believe in the power of most anything, and it was my intention to create a performance piece to be performed on stage at the festival that talked about the issue in a new way… I now believe it is primarily important that I do not perform at a festival that does not welcome trans women, and when I write the piece that addresses this issue directly, I will find stages for its presence that all women have access to.
Rejecting femininity is seen as a cool and radical thing to do. Femme-ness is consequently labeled conformist and unimportant. According to this logic, femmes are eye candy, but we don’t really have anything interesting to say. In case there was any doubt about this, let me clarify: just because I wear makeup and heels does not mean I’m brainless, unaware of my actions, and unwittingly conforming to patriarchal expectations. I have not failed to deconstruct my internalized whatever-the-fuck. I am not waiting for you, oh great masculine-of-center queer person to save me by showing me the error of my ways.
[CW: rape culture, misogyny]
I suspect it’s difficult for men to imagine a world in which their bodies have long been inextricably linked to their value as an individual, and that no matter how encouraging your parents were or how many positive female role models you had or how self-confident you feel, there is an ever-present pressure that creeps in from all sides, whispering in your ear that you are your body and your body defines you. A world where, from the time of pubescence on, you can feel the constant and palpable weight of the male gaze, and not just from your male peers but from teachers and sports coaches and the fathers of the children you baby-sit, people you’re supposed to respect and trust and look up to, and that first realization that you are being looked at in that way is the beginning of a self-consciousness that you will be unable to shake for the rest of your life. Even if they are never verbalized, the rules of bodily conduct for females become clear early on: when school administrators reprimand you for the inch of midriff that shows when you lift your hands straight in the air or youth group leaders tell you that the sight of your unintentional cleavage is what causes godly young men to fall, you learn that your body is dangerous and shameful and that it’s your responsibility to cloister it in a way that is acceptable to everyone else. You learn that your body is a topic of public debate that everyone is entitled to weigh in on, from a male classmate telling you that those jeans make your ass look huge to the male-dominated United States Congress dictating the parameters that rape must fall within to be considered legitimate. To be a woman, and to live life in a woman’s body, is to be held to a set of comically paradoxical standards that make you constantly second-guess yourself and jump through a million hoops in pursuit of an impossible perfection.
Ironically, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo phenomenon is a prime example of how our society hides from the culture of violence against women. In the original Swedish version, Stieg Larsson titled the book “Man som hatar kvinnor” or “Men who hate women.” Believing that such a title would turn readers off, American publishers renamed the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, changing the emphasis away from violent misogyny to the physical body of the (anti)heroine. This alone speaks volumes about our society. Instead of dealing with the discomfort that in fact, some men do hate women, publishers felt that the only way to sell books was to objectify and sexualize the female protagonist.
Womens’ supposed greater sex drive was an argument for their inferiority, but once the assumption became reversed, no one argued that mens’ lustfulness was a sign of a fundamental irrationality that should preclude them from business and politics. Rather than a handicap, a large sexual appetite was positive once it came to be seen as a characteristic of men. Women, being passionless, supposedly lacked the drive and ambition to succeed. Much like sex, the public realm of work was dirty and distasteful, hardly suitable to womens’ delicate sensibilities.
Really interesting article about how the perceptions of sex (especially sex drive) have basically reversed gender roles in the past few hundred years.
…and no matter what the outcome is, women still seem to end up at home.
This is why we cant win no matter how much we refute their logic:we have already lost, these are just their justifications to keep us busy.
The goal posts are always moving.
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.