"Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years."
Reblogging for the entire article. I am on board with almost everything until the very last couple of paragraphs, where the author claims that the idea that choices women make are a result of discrimination is false because “the choice of college major is quite free.” Technically that’s true, but exploring decisions like this is key. A woman can choose to go into a male-dominated field, but that’s a hard choice and can be an uphill battle compared to a man’s choice to go into that field. I just heard a story on NPR where a professor at the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley) was involved with this study on men and women and ethics in the business world, and all students (men and women) were more likely to deceive/take advantage of the person they were working with when that person was female; additionally, the men tended to allow themselves more lenient standards of ethics in general (i.e., this is unethical if I’m getting screwed over, but this is “a gray area” if I’m benefitting). If that’s the business culture, then as a woman, I would be pretty discouraged to go into that field.
Sexism absolutely exists in academia (don’t even get me started on the stories I’ve been following on philosophy departments in colleges around the country) and business, but it’s important to try to understand why and realize that gender inequality can’t be reduced to a [bad] sweeping statistic.
I don’t know if some of you have been to these live reads at LACMA, where a classic film is read live on stage by actors who just sit and read the script. We did one recently of American Pie, but we reversed the gender roles. All the women played men; all the men played women. And it was so fascinating to be a part of this because, as the women took on these central roles — they had all the good lines, they had all the good laughs, all the great moments — the men who joined us to sit on stage started squirming rather uncomfortably and got really bored because they weren’t used to being the supporting cast.
It was fascinating to feel their discomfort [and] to discuss it with them afterward, when they said, “It’s boring to play the girl role!” And I said, “Yeah. Yeah. You think? Welcome to our world!"
The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
I especially like how, in the majority of cases, you don’t have to verbally communicate what your signals are to other women. I’ve had women I didn’t even know come save me. Literally every woman recognizes the “Dear god, help me” facial expression, and knows exactly what they should do. We don’t get a handbook for this. We don’t have a sit-down nail polish party where we talk about a standardized woman code for preventing creepers. It’s just part of being a woman.
BUT LOL RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T EXIST.
Yup. I’ve definitely taken strangers by the arm and pulled her aside to go, “Oh my GOD it’s you! How ARE YOU?!? It’s been so long!” and then been like “hey I could overhear that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone so I figured I’d give you an out” and then see their VISIBLY RELIEVED expressions. This is part of girl code, because rape culture is that pervasive.
I once had a girl sit on my lap and say “hey baby” after she witnessed a guy (who was easily 20+ years older than me) hitting on me and harassing me for my number even after I told him I was taken. After he got up and left she asked if I was okay. I couldn’t thank her enough times, I even bought her a drink.
When I was 16 years old, I went to a club with my mother to see a band perform. The part of the club where the concert was taking place was too hot and crowded, and I broke away from it before I had a full anxiety attack, though I was still visibly shaken. As I sat down at the bar, with my clearly marked under-18 hand stamp, an older man sat down next to me and started talking about how much nicer concerts were in his home country. He kept trying to offer me drinks, even though I already had a cup of ice. He would not leave me alone, even after I pointed out my hand stamp. Said that he preferred younger girls. I started to panic again.
A woman that was about 6’1” came over, grabbed me, and about screamed, “Girlfriend! I lost you in the crowd! Come on, your dad’s outside to get us!” She dragged me outside of the club, gave me a hug, and left. I ended up ditching my mum and actually calling my dad to pick me up.
Never ignore the ‘please help me’ face, ladies.
I’ve done the whole hey girl! We’re looking for you… Thing to rescue girls at gigs and clubs before (via dykeprivilege)
Almost everyone I know has something like this. One of my friends and I even have code text that means “call me so I can answer and act like it’s important” in case we need to get out of a situation.
But you know what sucks? That friends, acquaintances or even strangers are the ones who have to help. They can CLEARLY see the “make it stop” face but men don’t care and won’t back off.
I wear a shiny ring on my left hand ring finger, when going out and every time I travel. I’ve been hit on anyways. One time I forgot to put it on so my fall back phrase “I’m engaged” plus a Beyonce-inspired hand wave didn’t work and a girl I had spoken to maybe twice came over with a “OH I FOUND YOUR RING! You’ll never believe where I found it. Come I’ll show you.” And she lent me her ring until we got outside. We are now good friends who now have matching rings.
To all those who don’t think the rape joke was a problem, or rape jokes are a problem.
I get it, you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would NEVER rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something or connect you to doing something that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone.
And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right?
So fine. If all those arguments aren’t going anything for you, let me tell you this. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and you don’t see the harm, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing.
Because this is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down-
6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.
6% of Penny Arcade’s target demographic will admit to actually being rapists when asked.
A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?
They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.
Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.
If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.
But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.
And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?
That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.
You. The rapist’s comrade.
And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…
Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim."