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ABryonJ.maybe

Is it as hard being a woman as it appears?

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ABryonJ.maybe

I was watching a favorite British panel show (The Last Leg with Adam Hills, an excellent show) and they were talking about the Weinstein case. Is it as bad for women dealing with misogyny as it sounds when hearing about how horrible this man was? Do women have to deal with this daily, weekly or monthly? (Even once is too much!). So don't thrash me too hard, I admit I don't know as much as I should but I'm here to learn! 

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TheAP

I can't speak for other women, but I haven't dealt with it very much, if at all.

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Claire1983

It varies.  Some women do have to deal with that on a daily basis, for others it's more sporadic.  Sometimes it's move overt and sometimes it's just some low level stuff that in a lot of cases doesn't get to you unless you really think about it.  But yeah in general, being a woman is a lot harder than it should be.

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StormySky

Depends on which country you live in. Most women in the first world only experience a few instances of jarring sexism, while in much of the third world, women are seen as property, not people, and living conditions and education opportunities are few if any.

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CBC

I have very little experience with that sort of thing and consider myself quite lucky in that regard, however it's definitely a reality that many women have faced, yes.

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Orianaro

I also have very little experience. I wouldn't be surprised if some ace people get less of that kind of attention, for me personally, I dress very conservatively and stay away from people like because they seem a little too focused on sex. I'm also only talking North America here, since I don't have experience anywhere else. In general, misogynistic abuse can be really, really subtle. Just seeing demeaning ads or media can irritate me, and oh my goodness social standards for women... in my opinion, most women play their gender with an extraordinary amount of grace and learn to overlook the little things, even when they start piling up. (And we have to deal with periods? Why, world, why?!) Admittedly, especially in the last year, work place abuse like this has gotten a lot better. It used to be that oh hey, my coworker made a lewd comment, or consistently stares a little too long or did they just touch...?! And women were expected to just suck it up and deal with it politely. For the most part, that's not really tolerated anymore.

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knittinghistorian
1 hour ago, TheAP said:

I can't speak for other women, but I haven't dealt with it very much, if at all.

Me too! It baffles me a little, because it seems so statistically improbable. I have a fairly conventionally-attractive build, and I like to wear flattering clothes (also often relatively revealing, as I live in a hot climate). But I can’t remember ever being catcalled. My hypothesis is that either 1) I actually have been catcalled or hit on, but didn’t notice or 2) I exude some sort of air of aro/aceness that acts as a force field.

 

All that said, I do still have to deal with the “don’t be out alone after dark” thing and the “be aware at all times of my surroundings” thing and the constant low-level paranoia of “am I safe in this situation?”

 

I’ll know that women’s rights are in a good place when I can go for a run outside at night without worry.

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Nowhere Girl

I encounter situations such as catcalling and other sexual microaggressions very rarely. I do think that it's related to my appearance - I'm fat, big (not tall, just stocky), I suffer from visible allergy and I'm not very girly. My preference is to take more care of my health while remaining sexually unattractive - for example, having "unwomanly" visible muscles, so in general I can say that my strategy is working. But still I believe that sexual harassment isn't just provoked by a woman's attractive appearance. Sometimes a woman is dressed very "modestly", is even rather ugly and is still harassed because sometimes it's about power, not sex.

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SilentRose

I have gotten catcalled a number of times, and there is a feeling where your heart races a little, as girls we're taught to be careful around men and I know deep down any man, even a small one, could likely take me out. Nothing horrible like daily workplace harrasment has happened to me, thank goodness. And I don't think I've ever been discriminated by a school or employer or anything on basis of my gender. 

 

However, every woman's experience is different. As a white, educated American woman my experience would be a lot different than a poor minority woman, or women in other countries. I would never make a general statement about how bad women have it, because I'm privileged in a lot of ways. However, I think the thing we can all agree upon is that we still have a long way to go when it comes to treating women with respect and dignity. 

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SunflowerKit

I have been sexualized since age 8, when my mom told me to change out of my tights because her friends were looking at my butt. I was told from a young age not to go out at any time of day by myself. I get catcalled on a fairly regular bases when I go out and it scares the shit out of me. I've also been followed before, and been asked really personal questions by strangers who are men. I work in customer service and men have made sexual comments about me before, as well as just talking down to me and calling me petnames. I have had men approach me on dating sites or sites like Fetlife, with the sole intention of fucking me, and if I'm not down, they leave. I've been abused sexually, twice, from a young age. Men often assume they can touch me or say whatever they want to me, simply because I'm a woman.

I would say, yes, it really is that hard out there for women, even if you live in a first world country. And the less privileges you have as a woman (i.e. being POC, mentally ill, trans, queer, etc.) the worse it gets. We can't say "no" to men at clubs without getting harassed, or worse, killed. We have to worry every time we walk alone on the streets. We are judged by society no matter what we do or how we look. And we are taught from an early age just how dangerous men are.

This might not be the experience of every woman, but it is the experience of most women. And that is why feminism is a thing.

 

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Pixley

I deal with it sporadically, whether I’m dressed nice or dressed in sweats and a raggedy tank top.

 

And now more recently, as a genderfluid AFAB, whether I’m dressed as a man or as a woman, which definitely sucks more, since there’s nothing like being objectified and misgendered AT THE SAME

TIME. 😤

 

I’ve gotten incidents of cheesy pick-up lines, to guys blatantly saying I’m attractive and immediately wondering what my relationship status is, being mistaken for a prostitute (and guys attempting to solicit my services), and even being followed by guys in their cars while I was out walking. 

 

It just freaking wrecks me when it happens, since I know I’ll be obsessing over it for the rest of the night.

 

And every time this kind of stuff happens, it scares the living crap out of me. Like a lot of people on here, I get nervous and shaky because I’ve been taught that men are dangerous and that I’m defenseless without mace when I go out for a walk around my neighborhood. 

 

So, I’m polite (because I don’t feel confident I could win in a physical confrontation with them) and hope that they just leave me alone (even though I actually want to tell them to go fuck themselves instead).

 

So yeah, unfortunately, being female is kind of as terrible as it seems, if not MORE SO.

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paperbackreader

I don't buy stipulated gender roles either for men or women - so I'm probably not a good person to ask... (don't shoot me too please!) 

 

Generally, as others have already identified: 

Most people love being in control / power. Some people in high places, feel it is acceptable / their birthright to exercise power in the way that they do, at the expense of other people's wellbeing / liberties / freedoms. Other people exercise control / power by taking a more collaborative approach. I would say that some women in high places would do the same, it's just that it's rarer to find at this point in time, hence no reports... 

 

Some do it for personal gain, others for greater good. IMHO Weinstein thought he was doing it for both - scratch my back by fulfilling my wishes and I'll scratch yours by fulfilling yours (giving you a good career). The problems started when he felt rejected and translated that to people don't get a choice to say no. 

 

On the subject of misogyny: 

Did you listen to Inside Science on Radio 4 yesterday? They were celebrating their discovery about the double helix and I think the observation the presenter made was brilliant (if the guy had been taking notes of the lady's numbers in her presentation, rather than observing whether he would want a kiss from her if she had a bit of make up on, he would have been the first to make the breakthrough about the double helix structure). 

 

Misogyny of this sort annoys me a lot because it means that the work of up to 50% of the population is dismissed / overlooked in some people's minds for no good reason. Frankly, that's not a very productive way to run society, and unfair to everyone, not just women. 

 

On the subject of propositioning / expressing interest: 

I think on a historical cultural perspective, society expects men to put their first foot forward in terms of expressing an interest, and culturally there has been shifts as to the acceptable way to express interest. Go through the generations and you will find that some women see catcalling as being 'admired' and something they secretly enjoyed, and others see it as being misogynistic and sexualised... Having thought about it a bit more from an ethics perspective, I don't really have a problem with people catcalling because they may just be stuck in a different 'acceptable timeline'. What I do have a significant problem with is people having a problem with women saying 'no, don't do that please, I find that rude' and the judgments associated with that. 

 

When the Weinstein scandal was coming out, there were all sorts of things being dug out about the UK Parliament. Pats on knees / shoulders, propositioning texts... Taken alone, I don't think that's 'misogyny' - unprofessional, yes. What annoys me a lot is people taking advantage of their position of power to make people say yes. That's not ok. 

 

If people want to express feelings / desires, they should be allowed to do so, so long as they don't cross the criminal boundary. Whether their choices of how is tasteful or not, is something that will vary from generation to generation and (to me at least,) more easily forgivable. But people who do so should also come prepared for rejection, and accept the potential damage to their ego without bitterness, or retribution or circumventing that by playing unfair and using their position of power to make them feel better about themselves. And people who do express rejection should be freely allowed to do so without consequence.

 

Of course I speak from a robot / logical view - emotions of humans are fickle...

 

I don't know if anyone else has experienced it, but I have found that the focus of the media on the Weinstein scandal (et all) has caused a lot of men to express feelings that they have been targeted, curtailed, cagey and discriminated against - as if all men are to be blamed for the wrongdoings of a minority of men - and also feeling very insecure about what is now acceptable to say / express. Personally, I feel that this impact is negative to some men, and tends to be more negative to those who don't appear to have had the same transgressions. But I'm also glad that it's now out in the open because misusing power, however it is done, should not be made acceptable. 

 

I guess from both gender's perspective, it is important to feel safe to be who they are, validated and to be able to get what they want. We just need a little more constructive dialogue as to how to allow both genders the space to be who they are without feeling like it's the impingement of freedoms / assault on their being either way... 

 

(Not going to explore the cultural difference between countries, because that will just become PhD thesis length)

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Rhaenys

For me no. I don't find it hard, I honestly think it's more difficult to he male but maybe as I look like a small boy instead of a "woman." I haven't had much to deal with. Maybe if I were in another religion it would be hard as I've seen my family under it suffer.

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