Posts tagged Gender Differences.
#5. We Were Told That Society Owed Us a Hot Girl.
Does it seem like men feel kind of entitled to sex? Does it seem like we react to rejection with the maturity of a child being denied a toy?
Well, you have to keep in mind that what we learn as kids is really hard to deprogram as an adult. And what we learned as kids is that we males are each owed, and will eventually be awarded, a beautiful woman.
We were told this by every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game and song we encountered. When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE … and so on.
Hell, at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the dry cleaner.
And then we have Star Wars, where Luke starts out getting Princess Leia (in The Empire Strikes Back), but then as Han Solo became a fan favorite, George Lucas realized he had to award her to him instead (forcing him to write the “She’s secretly Luke’s sister” thing into Return of the Jedi, even though it meant adding the weird incest vibe to Empire). With Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling played with the convention by having the beautiful girl get awarded to the sidekick character Ron, but she made it a central conflict in the story that Ron is constantly worried that, since Harry is the main character, Hermione will be awarded to him instead.
In each case, the woman has no say in this — compatibility doesn’t matter, prior relationships don’t matter, nothing else factors in. If the hero accomplishes his goals, he is awarded his favorite female. Yes, there will be dialogue that maybe makes it sound like the woman is having doubts, and she will make noises like she is making the decision on her own. But we, as the audience, know that in the end the hero will “get the girl,” just as we know that at the end of the month we’re going to “get our paycheck.” Failure to award either is breaking a societal contract. The girl can say what she wants, but we all know that at the end, she will wind up with the hero, whether she knows it or not.
And now you see the problem. From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl. We all think of ourselves as the hero of our own story, and we all (whether we admit it or not) think we’re heroes for just getting through our day.
So it’s very frustrating, and I mean frustrating to the point of violence, when we don’t get what we’re owed. A contract has been broken. These women, by exercising their own choices, are denying it to us. It’s why every Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won’t win him sex. It’s why we go to “slut” and “whore” as our default insults — we’re not mad that women enjoy sex. We’re mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us.
Yes, the women in these stories are being portrayed as wonderful and beautiful and perfect. But remember, there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.
This helps explain some of Nice Guy Syndrome. “I opened a door for a girl and smiled at her, where is my fucking sex reward?!?! Those bitches only dating assholes!”
Telling boys and men that they shouldn’t drink regular diet drinks because they’re effeminate, but should instead drink “manly” things like Dr. Pepper Ten and Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, is telling them that there’s a right way to be male and it doesn’t involve anything feminine. That, in turn, tells them that female is less, female is bad, and female is worthy of ridicule. If men and boys are surrounded by ad campaigns that reinforce these ideas, don’t you think they’ll probably think women are less, and bad, and worthy of ridicule?
the common sense far too many people lack.
Except you can’t show a topless woman on TV - and you can’t defibrillate a woman in a bra. So victims of heart attacks on TV are *always* male. Did you know that a woman having a heart attack is more likely to have back or jaw pain than chest or left arm pain? I didn’t - because I’ve never seen a woman having a heart attack. I’ve been trained in CPR and Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross over 15 times in my life, the videos and booklets always have a guy and say the same thing about clutching his chest and/or bicep.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
They put up some awesome billboards in austin a few months ago showing the signs of a heart attack that women will feel. And I know they were effective because I was in the car when mando saw the billboard and said “Man I had no idea women had different symptoms for heart attacks!”
Way to go city of mine :)
Even better? A woman having all the “classic” (read: male) symptoms of heart attack is more than twice as likely to be sent home from the ER than to be checked out, EKGed, and examined.
Because we’re just hormone-addled hysterics. :-(
Whoa. This is incredibly useful information.
Adorable Little Girl Upset About Gender Marketing of Toys
Superhero princesses for everyone. Problem solved
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got in line for art, and I noticed that she still had not removed her hood. When we arrived at the art room, I said: “Allie, I’m not playing. It’s time for art. The rule is no hoods or hats in school.”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and I realized there was something wrong. Her classmates went into the art room and we moved to the art storage area so her classmates wouldn’t hear our conversation. I softened my tone and asked her if she’d like to tell me what was wrong.
“My ponytail,” she cried.
“Can I see?” I asked.
She nodded and pulled down her hood. Allie’s braids had come undone overnight and there hadn’t been time to redo them in the morning, so they had to be put back in a ponytail. It was high up on the back of her head like those of many girls in our class, but I could see that to Allie it just felt wrong. With Allie’s permission, I took the elastic out and re-braided her hair so it could hang down.
“How’s that?” I asked.
She smiled. “Good,” she said and skipped off to join her friends in art.
‘Why Do You Look Like a Boy?’
Today in "No Shit, Can We Fix This Problem Already?" News: Still more film roles for men than women, study finds ›
In a survey of the top 100-grossing movies of 2009 — including “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" — researchers found that 32.8% of the 4,342 speaking characters were female and 67.2% were male, a percentage identical to that of the top-grossing movies of 2008.
To be fair these numbers are from 2009, which was a pre-Bridesmaids year of movies. But one movie with five female leads is not going to make up for a 35% difference in speaking roles for male and female characters. It’s a nice start, but it’s certainly not enough.
If you get embarrassed every time you drop a pad or tampon—and it will happen—or every time a dude looks through your bag for a pen and finds one of these items instead, he gets to pretend that he is ignorant and that you are yucky for one more day. And that’s a day none of us can afford. Sooner or later, he’s going to be 53, and in Congress, and saying that he just doesn’t understand why people NEED birth control, all because no one had the decency to sit him down and tell him to stop pretending he doesn’t know about vaginas.
I have been there for all my sons when they have had their hearts broken by girlfriends and boyfriends. I helped them pick out gifts on Valentines day and shopped around for a Tux for the Debs. I have met boyfriends and girlfriends, I have liked some and been frosty to others. I have thought about each and every single of them getting married to someone that they love and who will love them back as much as I do.
I have six sons Mr Ahern, six very beautiful boys who became six very beautiful and upstanding young men!
Two of my boys are gay. Four are straight. Two are firemen. Two love playing video games. One loves to cook. Three of them love cars. Five of them have had their tonsils out.
All of them are my sons.
This letter is beautiful, moving, and honest. Highest respect to this woman for loving all of her sons, regardless of whether or not they fit into some ridiculous gender binary.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out one thing. This is an example of a male-targeted, vaguely ‘sexist’ commercial campaign that is genuinely funny, and clever enough for women to “get the joke”. These commercials, despite claiming Old Spice was a product for “men” and not ladies, were met with mutual appreciation from men and women, because it is:
A: Not stupid or flat in its humor or message
B: Not degrading to women
C: Genuinely funny
On top of that, these commercials featured a man that was trying to, above all else, make women happy. He wasn’t trying to be a man because “ew being girly is dumb lol,” he was trying to be a man because “oh ladies I would love to impress you.” And even though both of those messages are somewhat traditional ways of viewing and reinforcing gender standards and expectations, that fine line between them makes a world of difference. Many of these pro-men campaigns are too insulting, or too small-minded, or simply not clever enough to make us “get the joke”. But this campaign has humor that appeals to both men and women at the same time, by neither degrading nor bashing either of them. Men can want to be like this man, and woman get to appreciate a man that is like this man. But at the same time, this campaign is too light-hearted and whimsical to hurt anyone’s feelings, so you can easily take it for the hilarious joke it is.
This campaign is not only funny, it’s clever, highly creative, intentionally over the top, and entertaining. Everything that Dr. Pepper’s agonizing “Why don’t women get the joke about our manly soda?” campaign is not.
The other reason the Old Spice campaign works is that—
1. Making a point about gender is not the focus of the ad. The focus is on the single camera shot with odd things happening, which is amusing in itself and confers its entertainment value on the gender-based portion of the message.
2. It’s not actually stereotyping the (heterosexual) women it’s referring to. He says he has tickets to that ‘thing you love’, which makes no assumptions about what thing the woman watching the ad might like to do - it can be anything from ballet to a concert to sports - but his uncaring attitude to what the ‘thing’ actually is is tongue-in-cheek womanising we know we’re meant to laugh at.
He also doesn’t imply anything impressive about the diamonds or the horse - he just says that he has/is on one.
3. He’s an over-the-top, ridiculous character. Swan dive - into the BEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE. It’s a spectacle of hyperbole. THAT is how you get people to not take your adverts seriously. You make the ad a send-up. Old Spice are saying “we know this character and what he does are ridiculous, and we know that actual gender stereotyping is ridiculous too.”
4. It’s kind of okay to split the sexes based on how they smell. I mean, men and women do smell different. You can’t go that wrong in saying “smell more like the gender you are”, because it doesn’t assume anything. it also acknowledges how unimportant this is by overblowing it. “ANYTHING is possible”. It credits us with knowing this is pretty much bullshit and only there to be entertaining.
The Dr Pepper thing does none of this. No subtlety or actual… direction for its generalisation. I still don’t understand why it exists… at all? Was it supposed to be a diet soda, but diet was too girly, so it’s marketed for men? You can’t go much MORE wrong with ‘men’s diet soda’ than implying that all women are too fat to handle 10 calories and gleefully plastering specific sexist assumptions all over the place with absolutely no intelligent or humorous value, then screaming that we’re taking it too seriously.
You know why people are taking it seriously, Dr Pepper? Because you didn’t write any fucking jokes.
In those prepubescent days, before legitimate addictions like sex and drugs kicked in, Power Rangers served up an amalgam of boy-child obsessions: dinosaurs, explosions, giant robots, and toys. Especially that last bit. While recently slogging through three seasons of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, one fact became increasingly clear: Story and character don’t matter. It’s all about the toys.
-Oliver Sava analyzes his childhood obsession with Power Rangers
Wait, wait, wait…”boy-child”? I’m a girl and I fucking LOVED Power Rangers and dinosaurs. I still love Power Rangers and dinosaurs (and I’m still a girl, but that’s irrelevant) and I resent the assumption that Power Rangers was a show for boys. Also, I was never allowed to have the action figures as a kid because they had weapons, so for me, no, it wasn’t about the toys. It was about being a part of a team of friends, having an active imagination, and miming karate kicks in the backyard to save the world. And as heavy handed as the lessons on that show could be, when I was 6 they totally resonated with me.
In other news, The AV Club is on Tumblr now and I think that’s pretty cool.
“Men-ups” by Clickandclash on Flickr.
Can I just give them all a hug, please?
Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.” — JC Penney
I hate everything.
Elyse at Skepchick has written (even though she’s a girl) an excellent response to this shit. I mean shirt. Sorry, my girly fingers just don’t know what these squiggly things on buttons do. Am I typing? I’m too pretty to type. Can someone find me a boy to finish this sentence? There’s a Justin Bieber CD I need to go buy.
Femmephobia can also be seen in marketing. We have diet soda, and we have diet soda FOR MEN; we have loofahs, and we have loofahs FOR MEN; we have canned soup, and we have canned soup FOR MEN. Men cannot be expected to consume feminine things like body care items or diet food or soup in cans (!?) unless it is specifically marked out as Not Girly, and therefore Not Bad. With a few obnoxious exceptions, such as tools for girls (they’re pink) or video games for girls (they’re pink and have Barbie), women who like traditionally masculine hobbies get to have the same fishing poles, golf clubs and bad Trekkie novels as the boys– because, since masculinity is valued, it doesn’t matter if a woman tries to become masculine.
What’s the worst thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now. You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank. Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term ‘mangina.’ Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.