This is something of a rebuttal to glittereyes360’s recent article on sexism.
Glitter’s article was very good, don’t get me wrong. I just found myself disagreeing with a lot of it.
I’m not saying that sexism doesn’t exist, that harassment isn’t a problem or that some men are pig-headed enough to try and abuse a woman’s sexuality. I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that perhaps we’re imagining more sexism than there really is.
Let’s face it, women fought for equality many decades ago and won. We got the vote, jobs, shorter skirts, divorce, freedom, the lot. We are no longer the house-bound arm candies of important businessmen that we once were in the Victorian ages – now we’re successful lawyers, doctors, sports players. Sometimes, we’ve got to realise that feminism has got us precisely where we want to be.
I practically live on the Internet, which is home to many stereotypes about women. I’ve heard my fair share of ‘kitchen’ jokes, I’ve been told to make a guy a sandwich. But honestly? I find these jokes hilarious. The reason that they work is simply because of the outdated absurdity they imply. We all know that women can be just as powerful as any man, so why should we take offence at that? It’s funny. And certainly no different from a quip about a man’s willingness to accept directions.
Yes, that’s right, I went there. I suggested that we women aren’t holier than thou; that we too can be sexist. The first example I’d like to pick out from Glitter’s article is the one on drinking. I have never known a woman to be called unattractive for drinking ales, but I’ve known guys to be called gay for drinking gin and tonic. Surely the sexist behaviour is in the favour of the woman here?
As for men wearing dresses and women wearing suits, my argument seems to stand for itself here. Women are free to wear trousers or skirts, whereas men are only free to wear skirts for fancy dress or you know… general Scottishness. I’m not saying that we should fight for men’s right to wear skirts whenever they feel the need, but since the can is open, I’m tipping out the worms. The reaction men get for acting like women isn’t one of acceptance, but of mockery. To me, this means that men can’t feel free to act like women whereas women can usually do the same as men.
I put it down to history, myself. Because society is so used to women being unequal to men, we are more alert to sexism against females. When women are sexist towards men, it’s considered to be a sign of independence and feminist pride. And you know what else? The men don’t even complain. Do with that what you will.
Female bosses may discriminate against male employees and women may see an attractive lifeguard as a slab of meat. But even though this behaviour is just as crude as it is in men, it hasn’t the same consequences.
I guess that my point is that sexism is a two-way street. And seeing as we have enough women fighting our corner, I think that this time I’ll side with the men.