In When She Woke women pay a higher price than men for breaking society's rules. Do you think that is the case in our society? If so, why?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 06/15/11
YES! There is no question there is still a basic inequality in thinking about women. You don't have to go any further than the front page of the news today to see that as evidenced by the remarks by the Missouri congressman that in the case of forcible rape (is there another kind???), women can "turn off" their ability to procreate. If it had been a man who was raped by another man, there would never be any question that rape
was forcible and a crime. Not sure if this is still the case, but for years viagra was a reimbursed drug while contraceptives were not, despite the fact there is no other reason for taking viagra than to achieve an erection (not a medical necessity) while contraceptives are taken for many reasons other than the desire for family planning. Rape victims (usually women) end up on trial themselves for any behavior in their past which might have "invited" this crime upon themselves, while the raper is dismissed as giving into his natural urges; not optimum behavior but certainly not worthy of long prison terms.
Join Date: 10/23/12
Join Date: 05/22/12
Both of the previous posters make excellent (and agreeable) points, but, the answer to this depends upon the 'rule' that is alluded to... Society has a lot of 'rules' both written and (largely) agreed upon (called laws) and unwritten and (largely) agreed upon (called values/mores/societal norms). I can think of many examples of a 'double standard' when it comes to fair-handedness of consequences for an action (or thought). As an exercise, I would love to hear as many of these as this group could come up with, but I will throw out a couple as 'starters.'
Stay at home dads (not admired, instead considered 'second best' to a stay at home mother).
Viewing adult pornography (disgusting creep or 'girls' night out').
Murder (crime of violence vs. crime of passion)
Join Date: 10/15/10
Christy makes a good point - for all that there is no doubt that society is unequal, I have also often thought how that inequality does sometimes favor women - particularly the opportunity, as a woman, to be a stay at home parent without society looking down its nose. Although of course we have to consider which society - as in much of Europe paternity leave is not only available, in some countries fathers have to take at least a few weeks of paternity leave by law - so any stigma that may linger is a lot less than I perceive in the US.
But back to Christy's challenge. How about preschool through elementary teachers? Women seen as warm and caring; men viewed with suspicion. Much the same could be said for men in any other role that involves children and "caring" professions such as nursing.
So, to go back to the original question, do women pay a higher price for breaking society's rules, I think I have to say "it depends". Personally, I think that I've done quite well out of some of society's double standards, and have been able to avoid others; but that is as much to do with my socioeconomic situation as anything else, and I have no delusions that may women are not so fortunate. One area where I'm absolutely sure that females lose out to males is in the double standards applied to teenage behavior - and I'm not talking here about adult perceptions but more about the double standards their own peers apply. I could go on for a long time on this topic but I've talked for quite long enough!
Join Date: 04/20/11
Historically, this has been the case. I'd like to think that this has changed, or at the very least, is changing. However, we have a way to go yet. Davinamw makes some excellent points. I am always pleased to see men working with young children as elementary school teachers, volunteers with little ones, etc., but I fear Davinamw is right, that many times such men are viewed with suspicion, when in reality, those young children need the example of caring men in their lives. Unwed mothers are treated more kindly by much of society than when I was a young woman (I'm 80 now), but unwed fathers are seldom acknowledged, let alone castigated by society, esp. by their peers. Women bosses are often called by negative terms as they use their positions as their male counterparts do. And how many women's college or professional athletic teams are led by men while men's teams are not led by women? Yep, that old double standard still rears its head.
Join Date: 10/15/10
Lea Ann - at the risk of taking the discussion off topic - I longed for more men in the classrooms when our boy and girl were young - not just for the different dynamic they would have brought to the classroom, but for what their absence communicated. There were no male teachers in our K-5 school of 300+ students, and only one in the entire district. He lasted 2 years as a kindergarten teacher before bowing to public opinion (or should I say innuendo) and moving into tech support.
I remember our son, now 19 saying to me when he was in 3rd grade that "men are expected to be presidents and women to be teachers". To which I replied words to the effect of "no, no, both women and men can be whatever they like". With just a hint of exasperation, he responded, "yes, I know, but they're expected to be".
Join Date: 10/22/10
I agree with Christy as far as there being different rules--the written and the unwritten. I think that the unwritten "rules" tend to be the ones that women pay a higher price for especially when it comes to sexual mores such as they are considered a "slut" by society if they have had intimate relations with many men whereas if a man does the same thing it is accepted by society just as him being a man. Same thing if a woman is comfortable talking about sexual topics. A woman is "asking" to be raped because of what she wears or her past (having slept with many men by society's standards).
Join Date: 06/13/11
Join Date: 04/12/12
I think as far as social opinion goes, women do pay a higher price than men. There hasn't been much change in that regard even though the media and entertainment fields like to portray woman as being equal. Girls are still expected to be "virginal" and guys are expected to "play the field". In the last couple of years I have seen such a swing among the far right in this regard. Someone else mentioned the comments of political figures. And then we have radio commentators like Rush Limbugh. I think Jordan's future society was scary to me because at this time in America the politics are so far right. I feel women are being discriminated against. It seems that women are somewhat to blame for this, though. We have women like Anne Coulter who say things like, "Women shouldn't be able to vote." Or like in the case of Hannah, she was caring and she wanted to protect. Because women have a tendency to act as Hannah did, the guy gets off the hook!
Join Date: 04/11/11
In many instances yes. As has been posted previously, I think first of the roles that have always been thought of as "traditional " roles such those of caregiver. I have both a son and a daughter. I do not see my daughter, because of the opportunities she has had growing up in America,ever thinking twice about what her place should be in society. I realize we have many instances where there is disparity in pay, promotions, even access to certain vocations. What we do have is opportunity to challenge those standards. I was recently in England visiting my daughter when the young Pakistani girl was being treated for her gunshot wounds. This was for defying the Taliban in an effort to see women educated.
What greater price can be paid than giving your life to a cause! I think that anyone who breaks a rule of society no matter the sex pays a price.
Join Date: 10/26/11
Yes! I think society, in general, wants women to adhere to the virgin/mother/wife role. Women that are considered promiscuous are given disparaging names, yet men that sleep around are considered studs and held in esteem (by some). In many societies if a woman is raped it is perceived as her "fault" and she is held accountable but not the man/men who have raped her. A woman that may kill her husband in self-defense after years of abuse (mental, physical, sexual, etc.) is still more likely to receive a life sentence versus a man that kills his wife in a fit of anger. I'd like to think that our greater society is changing and growing but there is still a glass ceiling in some industries, and unfortunately disparity is alive and well.
Join Date: 07/18/11
I agree, I think there are both written and unwritten rules for both sexes. When Men take on traits and jobs that are traditionally female, they're called names. Male nurses are looked down on, constantly asked why they aren't doctors, men who choose to stay at home with their children while their wives work are snickered at. When women are in high powered positions people call them horrible names and when female doctors walk into a room, most people STILL call them nurse.
Woman are supposed to want to get married and have children and when we don't want those things, people think that we're weird or that we'll change our minds. Men don't have to want that. It's okay for them to sleep around, but the same isn't acceptable for women.
Society is still trying to keep up with the ever changing dynamics of gender norms and we're failing. It will only be when we can truly accept that anyone can and DO anything, that we'll finally be able to step out of the shadows of social normatives.
Join Date: 12/17/12
I think women have more societal rules to follow than men, although I really see a lot of changes since I was young. However, women are still expected to be less assertive than men. Since men still fill the majority of positions in law enforcement and the judicial system, they tend to think a man's rights are more important than a woman's. This isn't always true, of course, but I think there is a bias against women in things like sexual harassment cases.
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