Question #156: How do women disrespect men? Ladies?
April 26, 2013
Throughout my shortish journey writing online, I’ve learned through comments left and conversations, that there are many people out there with opposing beliefs about feminism and where we fit in the patriarchy.
There is a common thread, however, which eludes heavily toward the notion, that it’s pretty much all up to the males to create change.
I don’t believe this is entirely true. It can’t be, if equality and respect for all is the ultimate goal.
You will get no argument from me when we discuss the fact that men have a MASSIVE (and I mean colossal) contribution to make toward shifting their sometimes-toxic perspectives – and actions – towards females. No contest.
But I also believe it’s equally important to recognise what contributions women make to this paradigm.
In my ever-enduring search for balance, I think we have to ask this question about ourselves; hence my request in the title – that it’s the women who need to answer this one.
When I helped run a media literacy workshop for the girls at my school, our visiting presenter, Collett Smart, said something right at the end of the day, which resonated with me.
It pertained to mutual respect. Collett said:
There seems to be a huge portion of the responsibility laid on boys and men to respect women, but women and girls also need to respect men.
This lead me to my following understanding:
Both genders play a role in perpetuating a state of existence. Both men and women. Boys and girls.
Male and female.
This is a crunch issue.
Even as I write this, I find it challenging to get my own head around how to explain this without confusion; because the question has to be asked:
How do women contribute to this current (porn) culture?
How do they disrespect men?
I have one example, a clip, which I showed the girls on our workshop day to demonstrate something entirely different – how it misrepresents our girls and teaches a false sense of empowerment. It was not used to discuss respect.
But I want to revisit this clip, which shows a song and dance routine that appeared on the show Glee. The worst part is that I only saw it because the television was playing it – in its entirety – as an ad for the show, at around 7pm; when most kids (who are soaking up the uncensored world around them) are up and watching.
In my eyes, this clip deals with what I’m grappling with, in terms of mutual respect.
1. What we discussed with the students, is that the song is one that is supposed to be empowering for women. “Who’ll run the world? Girls!” But it is ALL null and void because the main girl is in suspender belts, teeny leather skirt and over the knee black boots. A porn image…in a school. The lesson? That the only way women can feel empowered, is through sex.
The snag for me here is that sex is being showcased as a female superpower.
It’s not. None of the boys watching these girls dance will imagine them as President or Prime Minister.
No respect for women.
2. The girls dance into the classroom and we see the ‘oooh’ and ‘corrrr’ looks on the guys’ faces as the girls sexually dance and sizzle in front of them. The lesson? All men turn into moronic, dribbling, wastes-of-space, when sex is paraded in from of them.
No respect for men.
Unfortunately, statistically, the greater victims of the real-life, playing-out-porn-culture scenarios, are women; hence the very serious pressure on men to pull back on the reins as their participation is too much.
But if a female – knowing how males have been conditioned to believe they can’t restrain themselves around the possibility of sex – is purposefully sticking and jiggling her revealing cleavage in a boy’s/man’s face (for example) or is dancing with moves including grinding and bending over in front of him (another example) etc. – is she respecting him?
What do you think?