Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | January 27, 2018

In Light of #MeToo, We Still Can’t Let Things Slide

The #MeToo campaign has helped bring a lot of awareness of how much of a problem sexual violence and assault still are in today’s society. While I think it’s good that people are becoming more aware of how much of a problem this still is even today, I’ve observed there are still a lot of sexist attitudes towards women that you would think would be behind us.

What I’m NOT saying is that these attitudes alone make men into abusers – there is far more to the psychology behind a sexual predator than that and plenty of men have sexist attitudes towards women who never commit a single sexual crime. I am saying, though, that perhaps we women need to stop being complacent about some of these attitudes and address them when appropriate, instead of just ignoring them.

This post isn’t about sexual assault so much as attitudes towards women that often make life difficult. Here are some I’ve encountered:

You shouldn’t be doing that, that’s men’s work – Each household has their own way of doing things, ’nuff said. Some women prefer doing a bit of light yardwork, some men like to cook – it’s really nobody else’s business how tasks are delegated in your home. There should be respect for how each household manages itself.

If you’re a woman, you NEED to be in the women’s group – Part of a church’s ongoing growth should include acknowledgement that many church-affiliated women’s groups pre-dated womens’ ordination and things were traditionally done with a different take on gender roles in mind. A model that focuses too much on meetings with inconvenient times for working women or “kitchen duty” is simply not going to entice a lot of younger women. Maybe there needs to be more focus on the unique abilities of each person that help build up the congregation, regardless of gender/identificatuon.

You need a man around here – Often said in reference to a messy yard or house in need of a paint job, this is problematic thinking that doesn’t acnowledge the fact that sometimes there is a “man of the house” with physical disabilities or the family has limited financial resources to hire professionals and busy job schedules with limited time for DIY jobs.  The insinuation is that women can’t or shouldn’t do certain tasks for arbitrary reasons. Once again, this is another situation that is no one else’s business unless they are in a position to offer legitimate help that is asked for and welcomed.

Unasked for offers of help, only offered BECAUSE you are a woman – Ever been out mowing your own lawn and had a random guy offer to do it for you and be particularly persistant about it when you politely decline? There is nothing gentlemanly  or chivalrous about men not understanding that no means no, especially if they showed zero interest in offering to help the man the next house over with an obvious knee injury. Boundaries need to be respected, and not grasping a clear no is a major boundary violation, regardless of whether it’s soliciting unrequested help or something more intimate.

No wonder these women have gotten assaulted, they dress/act like whores – No woman deserves to be assaulted, regardless of their dress or how they conform to someone else’s conventions. Modesty varies across cultural and religious groups, and many feel modesty is more a matter of attitude than dress. One’s cultural or religious prejudices should never impact their respect for basic human dignity.

Why aren’t you married/don’t you have kids/ aren’t you worried about being an “old maid” – Single women and/or non-mothers are not deficient as human beings, and it’s sad that many still imply this even in the 21st century. There’s something wrong with the equation when single men are called the relatively neutral “bachelor”  and single women are called derogatory names like spinster or old maid. Peoples’ reasons, regardless of gender, for remaining unmarried or childless are theirs and are also no one else’s business.

Climbing down off my soapbox, but hopefully I’ve given ya’ll something to think about 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


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