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Old 11-01-2009, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default Women's roles in Society today.

We have come a long way baby. As we all know women can be whatever they want to be these days. Have a career or a family or both. However why is it that to do so a woman always has to pay the price? I read about a study that stated that if a woman wants to make it to the to of her field she usually has to sacrifice having children or be less involved in the raising of her kids. WTF? Look at the women who have run for President of the US as well as those who held the top offices in other countries and how they were judged and talked about. Not for their platforms, positions and work only, but for appearance, child rearing, their marriages and so on.
And what about judgements and double standards? If a woman has many sexual partners she is a slut and a guy doing the same is a stud. If a woman is overweight she is judged more harshly than a man with a beer gut. And if the house doesn't look perfectly clean no one judges the guy saying he is a poor housekeeper- it falls on the woman.

I wonder sometimes how we as women can work towards equality in all areas of our lives. Do we as women impose those standards on each other or is it the patriarchal nature of our society that does it? Both? THoughts on the topic as a whole? Talk amongst yourselves LOL.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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Boy, great topic of conversation, Ruffie. I've been thinking about this lately. I spent years as a SAHM and don't regret a moment of it. However, my family got used to me doing everything. Again, no regrets -- I was better suited to breastfeed anyway! Plus, I loved staying home and making a nice home for my family.

However, I've been in the workforce full time for six years now (after four years of nursing school) and... guess who does the lion's share of house work? Over the years I've slowly handed more and more stuff over to Burtimus but it's been tough. While he's been willing to do what I ask of him, it's the having to ask that makes me resentful. I mean, does it really require a uterus to know when a toilet needs to be cleaned? He's miles ahead of my first husband who flat out refused to do jack (including "babysitting your kids" -- actually OUR kids -- when I wanted to, on the rare occasion, go out with friends), but still. What the hell? I work just as many, if not more, hours than he does and yet I still do the shopping, most of the cooking, the doctors' appointments, household stuff, vet appts, dog walking, etc etc etc.

And as resentful as I am, I have a hard time giving up the control of how/when/if the stuff gets done. So I can't solely blame him. I'm a total control freak and I'm sure I don't make it easy to offer to help. Plus, I'm so damn competent that who could come close to doing as good a job as I do? *snort*

I wonder, are the younger women among us having these kids of issues managing a career/kids/home/hubby? Or is this a generational thing for us 'Boomers?
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Okay, "babysitting your kids" would piss me off so much.

I have more to say on this topic in general but can't formulate it now.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Okay, "babysitting your kids" would piss me off so much.
Yeah well, that's one of the many reasons he's my ex husband.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
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I mean, does it really require a uterus to know when a toilet needs to be cleaned?
According to my wife, it does. She has a theory that women see dirt and men see clutter: as long as everything is in its accustomed place, the scene appears clean to male eyes. I have to admit that this is true for me (by the time I noticed the mold growing in the shower, it had developed an advanced civilization), and it seems to be true for a lot of guys I know...
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have no desire to be a work driven career woman juggling family and work and marriage and a perfect sex life and a super clean house. Maybe I'm just lazy LOL! What i want is to make my photography business a success, marry a super man who adores me, have two or three children and settle down to raise them. I hate that, right now, my life revolves around work - Public relations is what'ss keeping me fed at the moment. I hate that I get home at 10 or 11 some evenings, that i go days without seeing the sun or just taking a nap in the shade. I want to be able to express myself creatively through my writing and photography ( I don't consider that work, its pure heaven) I want to have my babies and my husband, want to take care of my mom and dad, make sure my brother and sister and niece are happy and well - that for me is more important than anything else in the world. God didn't make me a juggler, he also didn't make me superwoman. My quest is happiness and family. I live in terror of becoming one of the isolated, desperately lonely, financially successful, independent woman I see all around me. I also have no desire to be a working mother, exhausted and resentful, sexually dissatisfied and just angry that so many things and so many people are pulling her in 5 million directions. No siree - that is not the life for me.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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I live in terror of becoming one of the isolated, desperately lonely, financially successful, independent woman I see all around me.
I have to say that I've heard much about how independent women always end up lonely and isolated, if financially successful. But beyond hearing this in the media and as a kind of word-of-mouth boogeyman that women talk to each other about, I haven't seen much evidence that this kind of woman actually exists.

What I've seen are lots of independent women who enjoy the freedom they've chosen for themselves and are happy to have no one but themselves and maybe their aging parents to be responsible for. I've seen also many women who have wanted both to have careers and families, and who have worked their fingers to the bone to make that possible. And I've seen lonely people in all walks of life, people who either because of background or circumstances have ended up alone and are unhappy about it.

I don't think that unhappiness can be separated from the totality of people's lives and attributed to their "independence." The myth of the shark-woman who'll do whatever it takes to be successful--to the point of forgetting she is a woman who somehow, of course, essentially needs people around her--is just that: a myth. As someone who's now entering my early 40s and who's worked with and been friends with my share of traditional and iconoclastic women, I've seen nothing to suggest that it's anything but a myth--at best a wild exaggeration.

Put this down as my $.02 (with thanks to Tau for providing the springboard to my point.)
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:13 PM   #8
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We have come a long way baby. As we all know women can be whatever they want to be these days. Have a career or a family or both. However why is it that to do so a woman always has to pay the price? I read about a study that stated that if a woman wants to make it to the to of her field she usually has to sacrifice having children or be less involved in the raising of her kids. WTF? Look at the women who have run for President of the US as well as those who held the top offices in other countries and how they were judged and talked about. Not for their platforms, positions and work only, but for appearance, child rearing, their marriages and so on.
And what about judgements and double standards? If a woman has many sexual partners she is a slut and a guy doing the same is a stud. If a woman is overweight she is judged more harshly than a man with a beer gut. And if the house doesn't look perfectly clean no one judges the guy saying he is a poor housekeeper- it falls on the woman.

I wonder sometimes how we as women can work towards equality in all areas of our lives. Do we as women impose those standards on each other or is it the patriarchal nature of our society that does it? Both? THoughts on the topic as a whole? Talk amongst yourselves LOL.


In a Patriarchal society men do not do housework. The unfortunate bill of goods that most women continue to buy is that a woman's life lacks meaning unless she is with a man. As long as women feel incomplete without men, they will always define themselves as inadequate.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:06 AM   #9
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I think its really, really important to be happy in your own skin without a significant other. I also think its really important for it to be ok for women everywhere of all ages to be able to say: You know what, I'd be cool if I didn't have a lover or ever get married cos I really enjoy myself, but I believe that my happiness would be enhanced if I had somebody to share my love with, somebody to share my body, and my bed and my hurts and pain with.

When I was younger I didn't think it was ok to want that I mistakenly believed that wanting to be in a relationship was weakness. I've learnt that it really, really isn't.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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Nah, that sexism is still largely there, it is just manifested in a different way. It is in the form of sexual exploitation in the media. Come on, why is it in a movie, they show so much female nudity (full frontal) yet the most you see of the man is his ass if anything?

Misogyny, especially towards women of color , is just as bad. Look at many rap lyrics---"bitches this, hoes that", "bend over and shake this, that, and the third". The music videos, rap in particular, contain gyrating half naked women while the men are fugly and fully covered in baggy attire acting like pimps. Yet no one says a thing, since it's women of color being degraded, where the hell are the feminists? I wonder why women of color weren't interested in the feminist movement--because it helped middle class white women.


Univision and other spanish networks, which are stationed in America and target Latinos routinely degrades women and designates them only as sex objects. God, take a look at the show "Sabado Gigante" nothing but half naked trollops shaking and twisting around. And if a woman is not "beautiful"---meaning loads of makeup, plastic surgery, face lifts, fake hair--then she is ignored. Men can look any way and be taken seriously on Spanish tv.

Then you have youtube videos of hateful men saying women are good for nothing. Are they pulled?

Enough of my rambling. Yeah, it's still there, just like racism, but in a different form.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:46 PM   #11
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Well, happyface, I can see what you're saying, and I agree that rap videos are over the top, but I gotta make a few points. First of all, black women did in fact feel that the feminist movement didn't really address their concerns so they branched off to form the Womanist movement/womanist theory, and there are several notable texts and black writers you can read to familiarize yourself with womanist theory. The most famous of which is an out of print work(?) from the early 80s called - This Bridge Called My Back. You can probably get a used copy from amazon. It's still taught in black studies and women's studies courses. And in fact the president of the National Woman's Studies Association is a black woman - Beverly Guy Sheftall. So yeah, black women were interested in the feminist movement and contributed quite a bit to it's evolution and continue to do so today.

Second, I take issue with using the word "trollop" to describe other women. IMO using words like that just plays into a misogynistic view of women. Our virtue shouldn't be tied to our sexual purity or lack thereof. There's no way I'm gonna let someone else decide my worth based only on my sexual history. How invasive and patronizing that is, so why should we do it to each other?
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #12
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Well, happyface, I can see what you're saying, and I agree that rap videos are over the top, but I gotta make a few points. First of all, black women did in fact feel that the feminist movement didn't really address their concerns so they branched off to form the Womanist movement/womanist theory, and there are several notable texts and black writers you can read to familiarize yourself with womanist theory. The most famous of which is an out of print work(?) from the early 80s called - This Bridge Called My Back. You can probably get a used copy from amazon. It's still taught in black studies and women's studies courses. And in fact the president of the National Woman's Studies Association is a black woman - Beverly Guy Sheftall. So yeah, black women were interested in the feminist movement and contributed quite a bit to it's evolution and continue to do so today.

Second, I take issue with using the word "trollop" to describe other women. IMO using words like that just plays into a misogynistic view of women. Our virtue shouldn't be tied to our sexual purity or lack thereof. There's no way I'm gonna let someone else decide my worth based only on my sexual history. How invasive and patronizing that is, so why should we do it to each other?

Yeah, black women established the womanist movement--I would place Alice Walker and Maya Angelou among those categories. As for the trollop, you are very correct. I should take that back. We shouldn't judge others. People are so much more than their sexual history. But unfortunately, society judges those women in the videos as such and these women set us back. As women, we have to have standards and not allow ourselves to be demeaned. Until then, those misogynist videos and lyrics will always be there. Yes, trollop was a bad word to use.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:33 PM   #13
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As much as I dislike those videos and the music, I can understand why women would dance in those videos. How many of them are struggling dancers and actresses? How much work can a black or latino actress really get in the mainstream media? How many roles are there for fat women? Still not many. I'm not gonna begrudge a woman for trying to pay the rent.

I can't really fault women for liking rap music either since I liked death metal and still do and there is just as much misogyny in those lyrics as there are in rap music, the only real difference is that in death metal you can't understand what the guys are saying and a lot of people don't like it, so I think people kind of gloss over it. If a woman can identify with men who rap about bitches and hos, then you know, okay.

It would be nice if we as women could define the social norms about us from our own point of view in society at large....I have a lot of thoughts about the subject, but I'm too tired to try to explain it in a really well thought out way. Essentially, we do tend to define ourselves in a way that is meaningful to heterosexual males rather than in a way that is meaningful to us and I have to wonder if there would be so many loaded words like slut, trollop, harlot, ect if we did.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:33 PM   #14
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As much as I dislike those videos and the music, I can understand why women would dance in those videos. How many of them are struggling dancers and actresses? How much work can a black or latino actress really get in the mainstream media? How many roles are there for fat women? Still not many. I'm not gonna begrudge a woman for trying to pay the rent.

I can't really fault women for liking rap music either since I liked death metal and still do and there is just as much misogyny in those lyrics as there are in rap music, the only real difference is that in death metal you can't understand what the guys are saying and a lot of people don't like it, so I think people kind of gloss over it. If a woman can identify with men who rap about bitches and hos, then you know, okay.

It would be nice if we as women could define the social norms about us from our own point of view in society at large....I have a lot of thoughts about the subject, but I'm too tired to try to explain it in a really well thought out way. Essentially, we do tend to define ourselves in a way that is meaningful to heterosexual males rather than in a way that is meaningful to us and I have to wonder if there would be so many loaded words like slut, trollop, harlot, ect if we did.
Very well said
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