Saturday, July 28, 2012

Down with Patriarchy

Here's something infuriating, get ready.
I was on the skytrain heading home yesterday and had the unfortunate view of a drunk and sleazy man making vulgar remarks at several women. This fucking clown was THE slime ball of the century, not only was he completely insufferably obvious while ogling these women, he also very vocal and made kissing noises and various disgusting facial expressions. The situation was an example of power imbalance. The women looked beyond uncomfortable, they looked extremely distressed and perhaps felt very vulnerable too (I know I would). They tried their hardest to keep composure and exited the vehicle as fast as possible when it was their stop. 


To make the matter worse, this man was not alone. HE WAS WITH A WOMAN!!! This woman (also drunk and obnoxious) seemed totally aloof about how her date was making passes at other women. At some point, the man turned towards two girls sitting behind him and started gesturing at them with his hand and touch them. At this point, the girl was trying to dodge his hand all the while telling him to stop. Upon hearing this, the drunk woman became hostile and turned around and said, "hey, don't start shit. You're suppose to say 'please and thank you'".


Without getting too deep into the social significance of this whole thing, I think we can all agree that this is just another example of how some men feel that they are entitled to treat women however they see fit. (ie. with less respect thus as less than them) At the same time, some women perpetuate this inequality by not only submitting themselves to the subjugation of men but also broadcast such beliefs externally, unto other women. Thus, we (women) are disadvantaged by two sets of taken-for-granted assumptions which does not help the cause of equality at all. 


I, in the past, have been criticized by other fellow feminists as "contradictory" and "victim blaming" (victims being the women who are discriminated against) because my notions can sometimes seem a bit harsh towards women. My defence is usually that I hate to see women as victims of patriarchal circumstances and by seeing woman as the people who have been subjected to sexism and unfairness sort of implies that "that's just the way it is, we women are always the passive recipients of the shitty end of the bargain". To that I say "FUCK THAT" because whenever I hear anybody (men and women) talking about anything with any a shred of gender undertone, I tell always say to them, "it doesn't have to be that way, gender roles are the status quo, yes, but it doesn't have to be." Thus I try to change as much of our societal expectations as possible, starting at the most basic level by rejecting everything coloured by gender rather than sex. To subvert gender, I believe both men and women are responsible but since most gender stereotypes hold more negative standards about women, women need to work extra hard to reverse them. This means, by only defending ourselves against external sexism coming from others is not enough, we also need to recognize our own schemas of gender and reverse them. That is usually the hardest part but it can be done. 

2 comments:

mimi said...

The drunk village idiots, oh boy.

I think the majority of our generation has accepted this new equality between genders, but some people are just complete asshats...

But in this situation, these women couldn't do anything... There was a drunk male in proximity who could very well become violent with them.

The sad thing is that subjecting gender schemas to equality is not that difficult for our generation.

But most men are bigger than us, physically stronger than us, and more prone to using violence when drunk to get their way.

But you're right, both sexes need to be willing to change their views to change the world. And social psychology is definitely doing some good to help us understand why we think what we think.

ANYWAY re:your comment, THAT IS AMAZING! I wanna live in New West now lol. But too far from UBC unfortunately ): And I don't even have my L yet, so I'm at a disadvantage.

Aw Xu I rly wish we could meet up right away but I've got so much shit to sort through right now. There's Fashion Club events to get ready for, jobhunting to go on, and moving's gonna be a month-long process for me for sure. I'll have to commute back and forth btw Langley & Kerrisdale for my current job (which is so unpredictable right now b/c they're only calling me when they need me, which so far means they don't need me like ever). But I might be free the last week of August so maybe we can have an adventure then (: &Fashion Club is hosting a few car washes to fundraise so maybe I'll see your around?

Thanks for adding me on Facebook. Gave me a heartattack when I saw the request this morning. It was on my Blackberry tho so I couldn't rly see your profile hahah. (Sorry but random weirdoes add me a lot... Like random old Asian guys... I dunno why.) But I recognized your tattoo immediately when I checked FB online (: I like the name hahah.

Talk to ya on FB sometime (; My number's on my profile so txt me too if you want! :D

Angie Bitchface said...

wow, who are these women who stay with men like that? how little self esteem do they have, and why? why can't these men be Darwinian-ly eliminated from the population??

I proudly identify as a "raging feminist" :) and I will call anyone out on their misogynistic bullshit.