Sexism Rant…

September 21, 2009

girlpower

Here’s my rant, for what it’s worth (it feels SOOO good to get this one out there!)

I went to a political public meeting a while ago. The room was big, and packed. People crowded just inside the door. I guessed about half the citizens were women, half men. Most older, white, but that’s another story. When the politician finally let the people speak, the first 5 speakers were men. Of the next 10, only 4 were women. Maybe older women don’t feel as comfortable in public speaking as men? I dunno, but it really pissed me off. I don’t think many people present noticed.

When the local paper covered the meeting (front page stuff this was), 6 speakers were photographed and mentioned. ALL were male. No women’s voices heard at all. Now that REALLY pisses me off!

Some time ago I did a post-grad diploma. A girlfriend and I decided to check out a claim that men interrupt women more often than vice versa. We carefully recorded who spoke, who interrupted who, over a week. There were more women than men in this class, a lot of time we were in discussion. We thought, surely, the women should dominate the discussion? Being that there were more of them? No. Despite being less than half, the men dominated the discussion more than half the time. And they interrupted almost twice as often as women. This seriously pisses me off!

So, next time you are in mixed company check out who dominates the conversation. If people are interrupting, who is interrupting who?

One last thing that really pisses me off. People saying ‘get over it’ as if now laws are in place everything is just hunky dory and what-the hell-are-all-those-silly-women-complaining-about. If you are a white middle class male, you have not experienced sexism and probably not racism. So please, just listen when we try to explain what it’s like. It’s still alive and kicking. That’s what we’re trying to tell you.

The first time I went overseas, I went to Hong Kong. Amongst the general culture shock, I (as a white person) experienced racism for the first time. What an eye opener that was!  Until that day, I had no experience of racism and could not really comprehend it. I still cannot comprehend how it is to live with it all your life.

Women wanting equal rights, and an end to sexism, does not preclude men fighting for better treatment (like end to circumcision) at all. We’re talking about sexism here guys. If you have issues that affect men, that is a separate issue and don’t expect us to fight those for you too in order for our fight to be validated.

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