Monday, March 8, 2010

Women Just Have It Bad All Around...

Women Just Have It Bad All Around...

I'm not going to sugar coat it and even though I don't have a pair of boobs, I can say it with ease that being a women in our society sucks. But hey, at least you have a day, right? Today, as you may have known by the circle marked around your calendar is International Women's Day.

This day is celebrated internationally.. duh. Take Russia for example. On March 8th it is their day to get the women in your life flowers and I'm pretty sure the police doesn't give any female a ticket today. Pretty sweet deal. But as you may know, women in our country earn less at the same level of employment than men. This is a fact in developed countries. The fact that we need to have a day for women kind of shows that shit is unequal. As a proud feminist I can say this is wrong. Yes, there may not be any rape in the congo today, but what about the other days?

Women daily endure sexism, harassment in the workplace and inequiality. In many parts of the world women are still treated as second class citizens. Women's day attempts to raise awareness by celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Even though it's already the end of the day, perhaps you took part in some of the events and activities happening in your area.

In my field of work, Women's day is particularly important. The field of entertainment and film making have typically been considered as a male-oriented profession. While it is clear that this should not be the case as no physical or psychological impediments exist between the sexes, it is often noted that many more men take to working on a set.

Yes, there's a few popular names that break the mold. Just yesterday at the Oscars the best director award went to Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow. It is a big award mainly because she wasn't just up against men directors, she was up against her ex husband James Cameron who was nominated for Avatar. But even with that victory the field is still dominated 81-1 in terms of men to women in those high powered positions.

Then you get into the field of looks.. Or the pressures of society to look a certain way. Take this girl in China who, I guess because of the patriarchy feels like she is not beautiful unless she has a Hollywood demanded look.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese woman is seeking extensive plastic surgery to look like U.S. actress Jessica Alba, mainly because she hopes to win back her boyfriend who she said always wished she looked more like the Hollywood star.
Though let's face the facts, she's doing all this because her boyfriend liked Jessica Alba, or at least thought she was hot and she is going to go under major surgery to please her man.. Yeah, she's a fucking idiot. I don't care if society has pushed this idea on her.

I may like red hair but I'm not going to tell my girlfriend that she has to dye her hair or I'm dumping her. That's just fucking moronic. Besides, I like the way she looks already. I wouldn't be with her if I wasn't attracted to her. I don't get the mentality here - "He loves very attractive female actress, I must turn into that!" doesn't make sense. It's not like he's settling for you while hoping he lands that hollywood hottie.

And if someone is with you but isn't into what you look like, then why are you with them to begin with? Come on now, where's this Girl power? Self esteem powers activate!.... oh no. Somethings wrong. My powers... they are gone! Seriously, even though Audrey Hepburn is beautiful, it doesn't make you any less beautiful because you don't look like a carbon copy of her.

Though let's be honest here. If all the men on Earth were killed, you'll still see "Patriarchy" very much alive and well. Too often people associate patriarchy with "male", when it's the system specifically that should be targeted. The shortcomings of our civilization are a reflection of the shortcomings of people in general, not one particular gender.

While we are on the subject of being real here, let's talk about that glass ceiling. I used to think that the gender pay gap statistics were a useful measure of discrimination, but then I read a study about how women who run their own business pay themselves 2/3rds what men running businesses in identical stages of development do. From that moment on I had to really reconsider what I was believing and I started seriously considering evidence that most of the gender pay gap is due to men and women putting different weight on earning more money and it became convincing pretty quickly.

One study looked at people in the financial sector who were offered, as a promotion, either a 3% pay bump and a title change or a 5% pay bump. Then men overwhelmingly took the 5% raise and the women were split 50-50 on it.

It's obviously very difficult to say how much of the pay gap is caused by discrimination against women and how much is caused by a combination of women caring about money less and other factors. What are those other factors? How about women entering less lucrative fields like teaching and social working where the supply of people trying to get into said field means the demand for good pay is pretty low. The point I think is clear is that it's pretty ridiculous for people to yell out things like "79 cents on the dollar! Damn you patriarchy!!!" because most of it is ones person choice.

Would you look at that, 18 and unengaged! Well, let me tell you.. I'd engage her. Bazinga!

But even with taking that away, it doesn't mean that women and men at the work place are equal. The personal choices may be different but it shouldn't cause women to be treated as lesser people. I knew someone who told me that in the 70's at a job interview, she was asked to unbutton her shirt a little. She said she eagerly complied and was hired on the spot. During some Christmas shopping last year I saw some guy smacking female co-workers in the butt with wrapping paper.

While I wouldn't work at a library with an all-female staff, save for the small Chinese man tucked away on the 3rd floor in the Anime section, I can say I understand why that career choice is picked for those who do.

It's tough to be a female in our society over all. Even if I dispelled and disagree with the equal pay idea. Even in America, the land that should be full of equality and freedom, women endure a lot of hardships.


4 out of 5 students (81%) have experienced some form of sexual harassment during their school lives. (Hostile Hallways, American Association of University Women 1993).

In a study of 2,000 female students, 89% reported experiencing inappropriate sexual comments, gestures and looks; 83% were touched, grabbed or pinched; 40% reported these incidents occurred daily at school. (Secrets in Public: Sexual Harassment in Our Schools, Nan Stein, et al., Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, 1993).

A survey conducted by the AAUW (2002) on 2064 students in 8th through 11th grade:

* 83% of girls have been sexually harassed
* 79% of boys have been sexually harassed
* 38% of the students were harassed by teachers or school employees
* 36% of school employees or teachers were harassed by students
* 42% of school employees or teachers had been harassed by each other

In their recent study (2006) on sexual harassment at colleges and universities, the AAUW reported:

* 62% and of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university.
* 66% of college students know someone who was harassed.
* 80% of reported sexual harassment is peer-to-peer
* 51% of male college students admit to sexually harassing someone in college, with 22% admitting to harassing someone often or occasionally.
* 31% of female college students admit to harassing someone in college.

Physical and emotional:

* 68% of female students felt very or somewhat upset by sexual harassment they experienced;
only 6% were not upset.
* 57% of female students who have been sexually harassed reported feeling self-conscious or
* 55% of female students who have been sexually harassed reported feeling angry.
* 32% female students who have been sexually harassed reported feeling afraid or scared.

51% of male college students admit to sexually harassing someone in college, with 22% admitting to harassing someone often or occasionally.

Academics and achievement:

* 16% of female students who have been sexually harassed found it hard to study or pay attention
in class.
* 9% of female students dropped a course or skipped a class in response to sexual harassment.
* 27% of female students stay away from particular buildings or places on campus as a result of
sexual harassment.

A survey on stalking conducted by the National Institute of Justice on 223 colleges and universities:

* 13% of college women had been stalked and average of two months
* 3 out of 10 reported being injured physically or emotionally
* In 10.3% of incidents, the victim reported that the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact
This is suppose to be the time for education and it's pretty clear that you can't really focus when someone's giving you THE MALE GAZE! But you have to agree, girls are pretty.. isn't that right random article picture found online from the past


Nearly half of the 832 working women in researcher Barbara Guteck's 1985 study said they had been harassed. None took any legal action. Only 22% told anybody about the harassment. (The 9to5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment, Ellen Bravo and Ellen Cassedy. New York : John Wiley and Sons, 1992).

A telephone poll by Louis Harris and Associates revealed:

* 31% of the female workers reported they had been harassed at
* 7% of the male workers reported they had been harassed at work
* 62% of targets took no action
* 100% of women reported the harasser was a man
* 59% of men reported the harasser was a woman
* 41% of men reported the harasser was another man

Of the women who had been harassed:

* 43% were harassed by a supervisor
* 27% were harassed by an employee senior to them
* 19% were harassed by a coworker at their level
* 8% were harassed by a junior employee

Women supervisors were 137% more likely to be harassed than females in non-supervisory positions.

Women are nine times more likely than men to quit jobs because of sexual harassment, five times more likely to transfer and three times more likely to lose jobs. (“Impact of Work Experiences Toward Sexual Harassment”, Allison M. Konrad and Barbara A. Gutek, in Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 31, September 1986).
Even factoring the big baby syndrome where even dirty jokes within earshot of women may count as sexual harassment to some people, it's till way too much in terms of numbers.

This just in: dames. theyre screwy

In a content analysis of 48 hours of prime time television programs, findings suggest that sexual harassment is prevalent within this medium. Overall, 84% of the shows studied contained at least one incident of sexual harassment or sexually offensive behavior, with an average of 3.4 incidents. In none of these programs was the behavior specifically labeled as sexual harassment. (“Prime Time Sexual Harassment”, Elizabeth Grauerholz and Amy King, in Violence Against Women, Vol 3, No 2, April 1997, Sage Periodicals Press).

100% of women report sexually harassed in public, on the street. (In one of the first street harassment studies, sociology professor Carol Gardner Brooks interviewed 293 women in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the late 1980s through early 1990s. The women were representative of the race, age, class, and sexual orientation of the general population in Indiana and the United States.)

Over 80 percent of the women had experienced male stranger harassment in public and those experiences had a large and detrimental impact on their perceived safety in public. (using a national sample of 12,300 Canadian women ages 18 and older from 1994, Ross Macmillan, Annette Nierobisz (2000))

She found that 90 percent of the 63 women she studied had been the target of offensive or sexually-suggestive remarks at least sometimes: 19 percent said every day, 43 percent said often, and 28 percent said sometimes. (Nielsen, 2000)

25 percent of women had experienced sexual harassment or “an indecent act” on public transportation. (A 2002 survey by the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel)

During the summer of 2003, members of the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team in Chicago surveyed 168 neighborhood girls ages 13 to 19 about street harassment and interviewed 134 more in focus groups. They published their findings in a report titled “Hey Cutie, Can I Get Your Digits?” Of their respondents, 86 percent had been catcalled on the street, 36 percent said men harassed them daily, and 60 percent said they felt unsafe walking in their neighborhoods.

In 2007, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office conducted an online questionnaire about sexual harassment on the New York City subway system with a total of 1,790 participants. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents identified as women. Of these women, 63 percent reported being sexually harassed and one-tenth said men had sexually assaulted them on the subway or at a subway station.
And no "She wore dat short skirt" is NOT an excuse or justification for this shit. It's pretty clear that people aren't on equal playing ground. Though, I'm not sure how I would feel if I was constantly told I looked cute or something. I mean, when I'm told I have a nice ass, it's actually an ego booster, but if I was told that day in and day out, I suppose it would get old and start to make me feel like I'm just some piece of meat. Let's face it.. you can objectify me all you want, ladies. And if it will get me a free drink at a bar in West Hollywood, you to, guys.

The ironic thing to all this is that any progress made in today's International Women's awareness is all for naught considering next weekend every white male in America will demean his girlfriend by demanding that she do something for "Steak and BJ day", on March 14th.. Though that's not really sexist. Other than the fact that it explicitly defines rituals to be undertaken, it's no different than a day for flowers and cunnilingus that's called by a different name.

Besides that, does anyone take Steak and BJ day seriously? I know it was a response to Valentine's day, which is in itself pretty patriarchal as it enforces gender roles, but I have never celebrated Steak and Blow Job day even though I love both Steaks and Blow Jobs. Maybe it's just that Steaks and Blow jobs should be an every day tradition. Wait, no. Not everyday. You don't want to suffer from high cholesterol and heart disease. So perhaps you should limit your red meat consumption to three times a week at most. The Blow Jobs, on the other hand (or mouth) should be practiced daily.

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