Archive for the ‘#feminism’ Tag

Please Don’t Protect Me From Men   Leave a comment

I’ve been in the workplace for 40 years last summer. For most of that time, I’ve worked with a mix of men and women. One or two jobs were all women and there was a construction job where I was the only women. I like men. Most of my close friends have been men … and I do mean “friends”.

Image result for image of men and women working togetherI consider myself a feminist in that I enjoy being female and I don’t consider myself less than men except for not being as tall or as strong and not being able to urinate standing up. I more than make up for those inadequacies with other qualities.

My feminism tells me that us girls are every bit smart enough and tough enough to compete with the boys at work, if that’s what we choose to do. I have noticed since my early days in the workforce that women have worked hard to be taken seriously and be treated as equals in the workplace.

The New York Times article “What The Sharing Economy Really Delivers” didn’t really impress me with its accuracy, but there was one sentence about women and co-working spaces that really irritated me: “Already many women have chosen to bypass the air-hockey subculture of conventional co-working facilities for all-female alternatives like The Wing in New York or Rise Collaborative in St. Louis. They are tired of men and their predations and inefficiencies.”

That irritates me! I get angry when I see women choosing to retreat to some imaginary safe space, segregating themselves in separate office buildings because they are too tender to deal with “difficult” male colleagues. Honey, you’re sending a message to the few sexists left out there that they were indeed right – women can’t cut it in a man’s world. Take a giant step backward into the 1950s, because you’ve just dealt a major blow against true feminism. In fact, you might be a sexist if you, as a woman, choose to segregate yourself from men. Sexism, like racism, is not a narrow definition that applies to only one type of person. Men can be sexists, but women can too.

And we’re harming ourselves when we engage in this stupidity. Although polls say men and women prefer to work in single sex offices, studies reveal that they are more productive when they work together.  Researchers found a higher level of contentment for men if they did not have to ‘walk on eggshells’ around women, while women were happier when not dealing with a ‘testosterone-fulled atmosphere,’ but mixed sex offices posted a 41% higher profit, challenging the concept that a happier workplace leads to greater productivity, but also recognizing benefits gained by the differences in gender interacting with one another.

I’m not a victim. I’ve worked beside men my whole life and I’ve dealt with sexist remarks and sexual advances. I know how to speak up for myself and take credit for my own work rather than let anyone else steal my thunder. I know how to talk to managers if I need to, but really — because I deal with it on my own — I’ve rarely needed to. So, ladies, I implore you — don’t retreat into enclaves of victimhood. Venture out into the real world and win success on your own two feet.

Posted February 16, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide, Uncategorized

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A Day Without Women   4 comments

As a middle-aged American woman, I kind of yawned at the Day Without Women marches this week. I just couldn’t get excited about it. Why?

Well, for one thing, I don’t think they know what they’re protesting and, for another, I think they should seek counseling to work out their generalized anger issues.

What are they fighting for? It appears to me that they haven’t got a clue what they want out of life, let along what they hope to accomplish by marching in the streets. Maybe they are unaware of the history of women or the current state of women in America.

Image result for image of male oppression in usWomen in America have the exact same rights and responsibilities as American men. They can go to the same schools, have access to the same education and jobs as men. They can choose to enter the American military, just as a man can, and even serve in combat units and as infantry. Because of affirmative action, female applicants for top colleges and jobs are often preferred over men– even in the cases where the male candidate is more qualified with actual skills or education. Women receive special incentives to enter fields like science and math where some claim there is a gender gap. Women can choose to get married or stay single without too much societal backlash. A 40-year-old single woman is seen as strong and independent while a 40-year-old single man is viewed as flawed.

Once a woman gets married or has children the differences in choices and opportunities grow. Women are free to choose between having a career, or staying home and caring for house and family. Many women choose to do both and enjoy the respect, and assistance of both family and co-workers.

Men, however, do not enjoy respect if they choose to leave the workforce to be a full-time dad. That’s viewed as lazy and they are accused of living off their wives. If a man does take time off to care for children, he has a much harder time reentering the workforce than women who make the same choice. Men who take sick days to care for ill children might have their jobs threatened, while a woman who takes a sick day to care for her child might have some coworkers complain behind her back, but her job is secure.

 

Each person is different. Every person has strengths and weakness. Some come from experience, others from education and still others from genetic differences inherent in the different sexes and races. Thanks to evolution and survival instincts, men and women excel in different areas. Modern feminists might not like it, but it’s biological fact that we’re different.

Women important in our society because we bring forth the next generation and, traditionally, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the future world.  It’s true that in past generations women were treated as property. There was a point where women could not own property, could not vote, and had no say in how their communities or even their homes were run.

Related imageBut, it’s not like that anymore.

For the past several generations our great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mothers fought to be treated equally with men. To have the same legal and societal rights and responsibilities as men. They won the right own property, to work, to take advantage of the same educational and employment opportunities as men. Women run homes, businesses, schools, and countries. Women hold top positions in governments and plan the education of the nation’s public school children.

There is nothing that limits a woman in her career pursuits except her own ability and dedication.

Equality has been achieved. There is nothing to fight over.

These “feminists” seem to have missed the notification that we won the equality we were seeking. They are so busy screaming for “equal rights” that they fail to recognize that we already have equal rights. They’re not asking to be equal. They want special treatment, special consideration, and special rules because they are women.

There was a time I considered myself a feminist. Granddaughter of a suffragette, daughter of an independent woman, I claimed that title as a means for saying I was equal to men. I never believed that women should be treated differently, but all people, regardless of sex, race or religion, should be treated on their own individual merits and strengths. I was taught that “feminism” was a belief that women should have the same OPPORTUNITIES as men.

I tossed aside that title of “feminist” a few years back when I heard leading feminists making statements about men that I couldn’t agree with. The idea that you deserve special treatment because you are a woman looks a great deal like putting a positive spin on the oppression my mother and grandmother fought against.

Do they know it is still sexism if the ones being oppressed are male?

Gender Betrayal   3 comments

Image result for image of hillary clinton in defeatThere are all sorts of reasons given for why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the presidency and Trump did. Prior to the election, I was pretty certain that Trump’s disgusting behavior toward women would cost him the election. I was wrong. Trump won white women by 53%.

What?! Yeah! You read that right. White women. by 53%.

Many progressives are venting their spleens on Huffington Post, Slate and elsewhere, claiming these women are traitors to their gender.  I’ve even been told I’m a traitor to my gender for voting for Gary Johnson. How dare a woman vote for a man when there was a woman running!

“White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump.” Slate Headline

A former communications director for the Clinton campaign told MSNBC that “internalized misogyny” led white women to support Trump.

Wow, climb out of your safe spaces and confront reality. If progressives want to blame women for Clinton’s lost, they should start with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton repeatedly misled the public about her off-the-books email system and became the first candidate in history to be under FBI investigation while campaigning to be president. That’s her fault. I didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton positioned herself as the anointed inheritor of President Barack Obama’s third term. She didn’t craft her own identity in an obviously anti-establishment year. She ran on all the policies Republicans opposed in previous elections, policies that led to the GOP winning record numbers of state legislative chambers, governors’ races, and control of Congress. That’s her fault. White women didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton never set foot in the state of Wisconsin, even though it’s home state to the Republican National Committee Chairman, the well-liked GOP speaker of the House and a governor who beat the labor unions in a contentious right-to-work battle. According to NBC News, Trump spent 50% more time in battleground states in the last 100 days of the election. That’s her fault. Nobody else did that.

Clinton ran a misguided campaign filled with miscalculations. Don’t say Clinton was disadvantaged because she was a woman, because as a Clinton she had every advantage possible. She had money, the staff, the ads and institutional support needed for a successful run. She squandered all those advantages and she lost.

Instead of reflexively blaming women, Democrats should ask themselves what they did to make Clinton more competitive.

While, both candidates and their campaigns were deeply flawed, there is a gaping difference between the way Republicans and Democrats.discussed those flaws. You can do a media study to prove this to yourself. Many Republicans spoke out consistently and repeatedly about their candidate’s flaws, using their public platforms to challenge the party to be better. The Democrats didn’t.

Even Clinton’s chief primary rival Bernie Sanders stood on the debate stage and refused to hold Clinton to account for her “damn emails.” And let’s face it – a 70-odd-year-old SOCIALIST senator made a credible run and beat the heavily favored front-runner in critical Midwest states. That should have jolted the Clinton team out of their “it’s my turn” stupor, but it didn’t. The Democratic Party protected Clinton like a fragile butterfly every step of the way. In hindsight, it’s no wonder she didn’t break the highest, hardest glass ceiling. She was treated as if she wasn’t strong enough to do so.

Maybe the Clinton camp honestly believed disgust for Trump would magically propel Republican voters to her. They underestimated conservative voters dislike of Clinton. She was a non-starter with actual conservatives a long time before she announced her candidacy. I knew I wouldn’t vote for her for President when she was still the First Lady. I was never tempted to vote for her just because I didn’t like Trump.

I’ve been asking why some of my friends who disliked Trump voted for him instead of her and this is what they say:

  • Clinton refused to call anything a terror attack even as the murderers yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” while committing heinous acts around the world.
  • She, and the Democrats, kept saying, “Obamacare is working!” while American families were being slammed with huge premiums and deductibles increases along with shrinking networks.
  • She didn’t seem to realize that the US economy has only “recovered” if you’re a member of the elite, really wealthy or a government-benefit recipient. For all the rest of us, the recession is still going on.
  • She refused to enforce US laws by promising amnesty to those who flout them.
  • She promised more taxes, spending and regulation even though our government is awash with debt, waste and bureaucracy.

This election proved that voters had bigger problems than Trump’s sexism, such as genuine fear of the future for themselves and their families. The “suck it up, buttercup” caucus prevailed and yes, our country will survive.

I’m not saying I’m not unsettled by Trump’s treatment toward women and minorities. It bothers me to know that a man who has displayed such disrespect for women in both his personal and professional life will soon be leader of the free world. I worry about my daughter, trying to make her way in this world, with a misogynist at the helm.

On the other hand, politics are full of compromises and ups and down and every 2 to 4 years, we get to correct the direction of the country … if it turns out the collective wisdom of the electorate was wrong. Trump won for reasons other than his misogyny and maybe we just need to wait a while and see. If he’s a sexist whose policies pull the economy out of the eight years of morass it’s been stuck in … all, then sexism is a tolerable flaw. I’m not married to him, after all.

The way I look at it, I’m not a traitor to my gender because I didn’t vote for Clinton. Alaska’s electoral votes wouldn’t have changed the election outcome anyway. I voted the way I voted because I have bigger issues than sexism to deal with. I worry about surviving in the coming economy, about whether my son is going to have to march off to war along with his sister. The black President proved what I already knew. The outside package of a candidate means a whole lot less than their policies do in how they will be as President. We need a President who wants to fix what’s wrong. We need a President who … isn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but we didn’t get that this time, so ….

What will we decide to do in 202o? I hope we’ll be wiser than we are this time, but I doubt it.

Posted December 2, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Political Philosophy

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Getting Specific on Feminism   Leave a comment

An ongoing, but limited (140 characters, yo) conversation on Twitter made me decide to revisit the topic of 3rd wave feminism.

Image result for image of 3rd wave feminismI believe in equal rights for women. I’ve enjoyed equal rights as a woman for most of my adult life. I do not, however, believe in complete equality between man and woman.

We’re not the same. Whether because God made us that way or because evolution just worked out that way, scientifically speaking, there is simply never going to be equality between a man and a woman. Our genetic makeup is so inherently different that it fundamentally affects the way we think and behave.This should never hinder a woman from having a successful career or attaining a top-grade education, but feminists simply have no grounds to claim that men and women are indistinguishable and should be treated as if there are no differences. Without going too deep into it, anyone can realize that there would be no reason for the distinction between the two sexes if that were the case, but let’s be honest – when men and women compete physically men have the advantage in strength, height, weight and speed. You can look at Olympic times and see that is the truth. Pretending it is otherwise is pure folly.

Image result for image of 3rd wave feminismI am often puzzled by the animosity over gender roles. Feminists cry foul at people who attempt to “impose” gender roles and stereotypes on young girls, saying they should be given the freedom to decide if they want to be “girly” or as masculine as they want. Really? So we shouldn’t learn any skills in life until after we’ve reached adulthood? Often, this animosity extends to the mothers of girls who want to teach their daughters cooking or sewing. We live in an era when parents cannot buy a “cooking set” or Barbie doll toy for their daughters without a horde of feminists catching the scent of their unforgivable crime against the female gender. Definitely, if a girl is uncomfortable with assuming the typical gender role, any reasonable parent would not “force” her to be girly. But this whole “what if she doesn’t want to be girly” issue has been blown way out of proportion by feminists. Leave parenting to the parents. If the girl doesn’t like it, I’m sure parents will cater to their individual child’s needs. No need for feminists to be the Parenting Police.

Image result for image of 3rd wave feminismI have no doubt there are many women in the world still living in oppression. It’s a problem that needs to be solved. I think the greater issue is that people in general live in oppression. I seek equality of rights of all whether male or female, regardless of race, language, or religion. Feminism was a beautiful ideal meant to give women the space to express opinions, make decisions, and receive fair treatment in all aspects of life. It was not meant to be an avenue for hate-speech against men or exalting women to a godlike status whereby anyone who has any criticism of a member of the female gender is automatically condemned to an eternal doom. Yeah, there are men who are creeps, but feminism should be the fight for equal rights for male and female, not the fight against all things male.

A while back, I read something about an actor who declared himself a feminist. “Good,” I thought. But then there were comments on the article where women were sarcastically proclaiming that we shouldn’t be applauding this man because he should have already been a part of the movement a long time ago. And, I thought “That is why so many men want nothing to do with you or your movement and probably why so many women hesitate to be associated.”

Anger is an effective tool when employed discreetly. It can communicate severity of issues and garner support from unlikely areas. When exercised carelessly, the approach appears belligerent, which can lead to backlash and potential opposition based on distaste alone. Unfortunately, many of today’s combative third-wave feminists do not recognize that systematic accusations, insults, and belittling of others for their experiences and views typically produce this type of rebuff.

Calling out men or male-friendly females is not unlike reprimanding an employee in front of the entire staff. It’s the sort of behavior we are striving to eradicate, but we see it far too often from the ranks of 3rd wave feminism … as if they are somehow exempt from the standards the rest of us must live under.

Then there is the practice of attempting to limit others’ speech. American society as held the right of every to think and say what they wish, whether it is moral and just, or not. Many feminists have a tendency to condemn anything that affects their feminist sensibilities in a negative fashion. The usual approach is some endeavor to stop these things from existing, for fear of influencing others to think in such a manner. Not only do I think that silencing misogyny is a waste of time, I think silencing free speech is morally reprehensible. People accept and reject all types of narratives all the time. Trying to shout down those narratives just makes us look like we’re defending something that is too weak to speak for itself. We should strive to represent ourselves as people of depth and ability who deserve the right and opportunity to use those abilities.
Part of equality is behaving as equals, and if we continually place all blame on men for our problems, we will do ourselves no service. We need to stop being insulted and start acting like adults. Within feminism, like other social and political movements, there are differing perspectives, a range of very particular goals, and many approaches to reaching these varying and specific objectives. We are all joined by the major tenets, but because of our differences, feminism serves as an umbrella term for anything relating to the equality of women to men.

We each have a distinctive and unique ideal for the world. Some wish to create a utopia where no one is ever hurt or offended. Mine is for people to live, and love, and hurt, and make autonomous choices while acknowledging and respecting the autonomy of other people. There is no direct highway to this goal, but without a doubt, taking individual action to better our lives, combined with objective thinking, respect, and compassion is the route I’ve seen most effectively change minds in our favor.

I am not suggesting anyone sugarcoat views through apology. I am only encouraging certain feminists to stop conflating healthy discussion with aggression, or as my Twitter friend put it “anti-feminism”.. At best, it is driving positive attention away from the ideals of feminism, and at worst, turning people against women in general.

Posted October 13, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide, Uncategorized

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When Women Are Sexists   Leave a comment

This is apparently my week for feeling irritated at entitled twits who cross my path. I’m not sure if it’s something going on with me or the world in general, but there you have it.

Brad and I enjoy watching PBS on Friday nights because it has a lot of news, often from overseas, and it’s fun to mock the Democratic news. No, seriously. PBS might as well be Soviet-era Pravda. But we haven’t got cable and I want my news fix, so we watch it and mock them. It’s a good opportunity to research their claims and find out that they’re propagandists.

Image result for image of woman chopping woodMy least favorite show in this lineup is “To the Contrary”. It probably has something to do with Bonnie Erbe’s whiny voice or the fact that she apparently doesn’t know the definition of “diverse perspectives”, but I have trouble sitting through the program. If you’re unfamiliar, the premise of the show is that a college-aged, employed woman with a brain and a blog like myself should be using my access to the marketplace of ideas to post angry tirades against the always-oppressive male and demanding my rights as a woman. Equality to these women (some of whom are regulars and others who are “conservatives” to qualify for the “diverse perspectives” title, I guess), each week make it clear that “equal rights” for them means at the expense of men’s rights. If I don’t espouse these opinions, I am a sexist.

Similar to how I feel that minorities can be as racist as white people and ought to be called on it, I also believe that women can be as sexist as men. I just view sexism in a different way than Bonnie and her fem-bots.

Image result for image of woman changing tireI’m going to start out by making a really sexist statement. I like my husband and men in general. I think most of them are fine human beings. I don’t require them to act like women in order to come into my circle. In fact, I often prefer the company of men over that of women, because men are more honest and way less emotional.

Second thing to know here is — I am the granddaughter of a suffragette, the daughter of two feminists, and my daughter doesn’t take crap from any man or woman.

When Mary Alyse — what we all called “Grandma” — was a feminist, feminism was a movement for equality. Today, it is a movement for supremacy. The original feminist movement advanced the radical notion that women are people, individuals just as deserving of life, liberty, and property as men. I’m down with that. I live that!

Alaska is often portrayed as a very male oriented society — a state filled with manly men and that is true. Pampered metrosexuals generally need not apply because we’re a rough and tumble place where such folks might break a nail or develop a callus. But Alaska is also where women win the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. Susan Butcher won the Big-I three times and Aly Zirkle has won the Quest twice. To look at her, you would believe Aly could do it. Susan looked much more delicate. But my point is that men and women are equal here in Alaska.We’re free to choose to do the same things. And generally, we make the same money if we’re doing the same job, although women still often select jobs that don’t pay as well because they are less physically challenging or allow more time with family. That’s the proceeds of the original feminist movement, what my grandmother fought for and my mother proved could be done, with help from my father who was the first Business Agent for the Alaska Culinary Union who would dispatch women as cooks.

Today, though, feminism has become a movement that advocates the radical notion that men are lesser than women as people; that men are less deserving of life, liberty, and property than women; that women are entitled to things just for being women; that one sex is better than the other, just ‘cause. It has gone from being a movement for equality, to a movement for supremacy.

It’s stupid. I’m not sure how I, a woman, would benefit from this inequality. I can’t see how anyone benefits. It complicates my life and I find the whole notion insulting.

According to third-wave feminism, I should want to be paid more simply for being a woman, apparently to make up for the many years that women were paid less than men as a matter of course. The whole idea of being given a raise or promotion based on gender insults my abilities as a person. I do not need their help. I can earn that promotion on my own, thank you very much. My brain is more than capable. My DNA should not privilege me.

Ironically, third-wave feminists intimidate me. I haven’t met a lot of them. They tend to not find a niche here in Alaska, but the few I’ve met put me on edge, ready to defend myself when accused of being an enemy of my sex and a horrible example of womanhood. I’m a “classical feminist” – I am all for voting rights and equal pay for actual equal work. I change my own tires and chop my own wood and I don’t really need a man to do those things for me, although if they want to volunteer ….

I think society ought to have the same expectations of men in the sexual arena as we do of women and I think women who cat around like men cheapen themselves and all the rest of us.

Interestingly, third-wave feminists intimidate men, too. That’s the point. They want men to feel less than. But what follows is destructive. Men like my husband, who is married to me so an active participant in classical feminism, back off and  stop trying. They become weak because shows of strength are deemed wrong. Suddenly humanity’s “other half” becomes less productive, less interesting, and more pathetic. Women, feminists included, then have to contribute much more heavily to the economy and society to support the weaker, less productive half they created. We’ve already seen it underway and I hate it. Men descending to a lower level does not raise women to a higher one. And, then third-wave feminists point to these men who have done what was demanded of them by feminists as a perfect example of why men are less.

Third-wave feminism says I should hate men … those big, stupid oafs. I don’t. I think men are wonderful. I have a lot of close male friends who I would trust with my life if I had to. I admit that I don’t understand them all the time, but truthfully, I am perplexed by women often too. Animosity stemming from lack of understanding — Would that be bigotry?

Yeah, I think third-wave feminists might be sexists.

 

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