In this gender reversal you’ll see things, ranging from a passively obedient man, to a man being dismissed (men shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about important stuff) to sexual harassment and assault.
It all may be more jarring when a man experiences it. Partly because we can grow numb to things we are used to seeing and hearing about. So this video breaks the taken-for-grantedness of it. And, since these things don’t typically affect men, they don’t really have to think about it. Read the rest of this entry
Guys sometimes wonder why women don’t ask men out. Plenty of women don’t. But it turns out that many have — and do. Here’s what students from one of my women’s studies classes had to say. (My method was discussed in another post.)
Out of the 26 women who responded to my survey, 17 had actually made the first move at some point. So many more had than hadn’t.
Here’s what they had to say: Read the rest of this entry
“Hannah” seemed off-kilter.
She was dating a friend of mine in high school. They fought constantly and it was always ups and downs, always on and off.
Her personality swang widely, too. She went from hyper to depressed and back again. And her clothing seemed to fit her depressive mood: sweatpants and t-shirts. Maybe they expressed her sad life. Maybe they made her feel safer, making her invisible. Sometimes she hid in her own bubble, cutting everyone off.
I think she was also a cutter.
She never talked about her family and I wondered why. But over time she opened up to me. She had never felt loved by her mom or dad. Especially her dad. That’s all she said at first. Read the rest of this entry
By Jack Smith
Why do some women buy into our objectifying culture?
I wondered about that one day when my women’s studies instructor asked this question:
A feminist friend of mine has a daughter who wants to wear short shorts that show her butt cheeks. Her mom doesn’t like it because she feels that it objectifies her. But her daughter says she’s a feminist and feels women should be able to choose to do whatever they want.
What do you all think about this?
Here’s what I think: While this young woman probably truly believed what she was saying, I can see things from another perspective. Which may or may not agree with her. It depends. Read the rest of this entry
I teach women’s studies so I asked my students to write down what they thought on the topic.
Have you ever asked a guy out? If not, why not? If yes, why? Were you nervous? How did he respond? Should it be socially acceptable for women to ask men out? Would making a move make you feel more empowered? Or would you rather not have to face rejection?
This is an intro to women’s studies class in the Bay Area, so the women may be more liberal than most.
I got 26 responses. Interestingly, most had asked a guy out at some point. But over a third (9) had not. Why not? Here’s what they said: Read the rest of this entry
An anorexic looks in the mirror and sees someone who is fat.
One is addicted to money. The other to starvation. As each grasps for power.
Enter Mike Huckabee.
In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.
I think it’s quite hard for men today, because there’s an increasingly narrow bandwidth of behaviors which are seen as exclusively masculine. As women have quite rightly encroached on what used to be seen as male territory, all that’s left is the negative things. There’s less scope for a sensitive man to feel at home. What kind of men do we actually want boys to become?
That’s British artist and cross-dresser, Grayson Perry. We met him earlier in a discussion on “Men Who Wear Frocks.” He wears dresses, he says, because they help him get in touch with the feminine side of his humanity, which is blocked by a culture that suppresses male emotion.
Here’s how Perry explains that process of female “encroachment” into (so-called) male territory:
Until the later part of the 19th century, cross-dressing in ordinary life was an overwhelmingly female to male activity. Typically it tended to be a woman just trying to get on in a man’s world. But in the Victorian age, the traffic started to switch direction. Since then transvestism has become an overwhelmingly male to female behavior.
As the Victorians increasingly corralled all the softer emotions, vulnerability, innocence, gentleness, beauty into an exclusively feminine realm, men were cast as stoical, butch, practical providers, and dressed accordingly. Is it any wonder that some men started to want to cross over? For me, what the Victorians wore is the most striking example of how clothes can come to symbolize complex emotions.
So women started out more apt to mimic men in order to grasp greater opportunity and self-expression. Not to mention, gaining the status and privilege of the masculine world.
These days, women commonly express a whole range of so-called masculine traits and activities without being seen as crossing gender boundaries. They’re just doing “people-stuff.”
But men have not taken on feminine traits and activities to the same degree. Not because they can’t, but because they mostly won’t.
Well, I’ve been interested in men who saw me as “just a friend,” too. One particularly can’t-take-my-eyes-off-you gorgeous man comes to mind. It’s not that I asked him out and got rejected. He just never asked me out. So we stayed friends when I wanted more. Leaving me in the friend zone.
So even women who don’t ask men out get friend-zoned. Unless every man they are interested in asks them out–which is hard to imagine.
Yeah, being “friended” in a not-so-wanted way happens to women, too.
True, the friend-zone is more in-your-face for guys since they’re expected to make the first move. So it may be more hurtful for them in that way. But we all end up in the same place: outside the arms we want to be in.
Of course, it’s possible that some of the men that women are interested in simply don’t make that first move because they are shy or don’t realize we find them attractive. So that brings up another topic. Girls often don’t feel like they can ask guys out. Read the rest of this entry
The word itself suggests evil: baad, the practice of making daughters pay for others’ crimes. A young girl becomes a slave and target for the rage that one family feels toward another. In the end, greater wrongs are committed than the original crime.
Baad is practiced in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The most well-known case is Bibi Aisha whose disfigured face shocked the world on an August 2010 cover of Time.
Well, not constantly. It just seems like it to some folks. A ruckus broke out last week when The Wrap reporter, Tim Molloy, asked Girls creator, Lena Dunham this question:
I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it. They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.
It’s a question that has stuck in my mind.
Artists say they only do nudity for artistic reasons, not prurient purposes. So why is titillation the only legit rationale for Mr. Molloy?
Ms. Dunham says,
It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.
Alive, and not ashamed of your body, it seems to me.
Lena does not have what’s considered the ideal body type. But her obvious comfort has made me aware of my own discomfort. Read the rest of this entry