Things you learned as a kid #2

#experimentingwithshorterwriteups

You’ve probably learned these phrases, or equivalent in your language:

  • “You throw like a girl”
  • “Crying like a girl” *
  • “Grow a pair and just do it”
  • “You’ve got some balls …”
  • “Sissy”
  • “Man up” *

These things are wrong to say – not because “it’s not nice and you should be more politically correct” – but because of how these phrases were designed. All of them favor the so called masculinity over femininity, usually they are in gender role context, and all of them are obviously patriarchal.

In this day and age some of these things have been somewhat adopted by women as well, even though they are still connected to the ideas of masculinity. Or maybe the woman is like “well I am a girl” when confronted with the ‘joke’; “You throw like a girl!”, but it doesn’t negate how they’re meant.

When you say “Oh grow a pair” to a person of any gender, you inherently aren’t just saying “be more confident, get over yourself and #justdoit”, you are always saying “a man can do this, you should be able to do it too”.

There’s no reason you can’t say things like this with similar meaning (bad throwing, be more confident, wow you’re brave… ok maybe ‘sissy’ is just completely insulting beyond repair?), but please stop falling back to the patriarchal gender roles.

*) credit to @GinaTonix for reminding me of these

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On why we need feminism and why thinking you want equality isn’t enough

Disclaimers:

  • I’m not schooled in the facts, history, art or anything of feminism, I’m just seeing things that are fucked up in the world.
  • I’m generally disappointed in the way I wrote this blogpost, but still wanted to post it anyway
  • Sorry in advance if you’re equally disappointed.
  • Obvious misogynist behaviour talk is left out in this post because… those things are obvious, everyone on the Internet can enjoy that shit every day.

Despite what you might have perceived from the world of feminism and whatever you might think of equality, there’s a big chance you probably don’t know you yourself are contributing to the patriarchy. Within this space both men and women are maintaining current society’s separation and misconception of what they think of what a woman is and what a man is, which feeds into the unequal treatment of all sexes and all genders. The problem feminism is trying to solve, is not just the end goal of equal treatment of all sexes and genders, but making people aware that the root of the problem lies in the un-equality that our society has normalised so much that we’re not aware we’re participating in it every day.

I’m not here to blame anyone, nobody is perfect; not me, not you, not anyone. We all grew up learning how the world works and it’s ingrained in everything that we do now, whether we want it or not. It’s just that how the world currently works, is wrong. From the moment you were born and your parents learned your sex, you were treated and thought of un-equally through gender roles. Even when your parents would be like “oh I don’t care as long as he or she is healthy”, they applied gender roles as soon as you were born. Even if your parents do their best into treating and or teaching you to not apply them, your peers and teachers at school will soon undo the work and squeeze gender roles into your brain.

When you say you just want to treat people equally, you’re undermining the problems we face to be able to actually treat people equally. You’re not realising that you yourself have a picture or a list in your head of what woman and a man are, but aren’t aware that the majority of these points on these lists can actually be true for all genders. You’re not realising that you’re making excuses in the positive or negative based on sex differences while they should be applied to all sexes.

Even when you know what the concept of gender roles mean, you might not still be actually aware that not just you, but everyone, applies them in their daily lives in a subconscious or conscious manner. Almost every company you see uses gender by default to make separation of products and services they sell, more than not done by applying gender roles. Expectations of anyone that is surrounded by these large amounts of unnecessarily gendered products feed into the endless cycle whether you want it or not. Almost everyone subconsciously applies gender roles when having some kind of opinion about what someone is saying, showing or wearing, which feeds into the normalisation of gender roles.

When talking about feminism and “fighting the patriarchy” we’re not talking about fighting men, we’re talking about fighting society’s normalisation of privileging men and equalising the playing field for all genders.

Equality for women is such a big thing in this equation because they are most apparently affected, and you can actually make legislation around the specific issues that women face in the world. But even when everything possible has been done to deal with these issues, the underlying problems will most likely remain until society is actually aware of how unequal and gender-role influenced their behaviour is.

Disregard what you think you know is true and look around you, and you’ll understand that just saying you want equal rights, probably won’t be enough.

Optional bonus rants if you want to read more.

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