Many people seem to think that if jobs are open to men and women equally, then there is no sexism.
Be quiet little women, your battle is over, it’s done.
Because people think equal opportunities for employment is all that feminism is about.
Well it’s not.
What is really damaging to women are the subtle nuances and coded messages that society exudes. These basically say:
- Women are sex objects
- They exist for men’s pleasure and to breed children
- They need to be controlled and owned
There’s nothing new here. This message has been kicking around for thousands of years. And it still is. Don’t believe me?
Take this extract from an ‘erotic romance’ book. It’s the usual tall dark handsome rich type meets waif and stray and falls in love with her.
She’s a hairdresser and was having a private conversation at a party in the library with a client, discussing his homosexuality. He’s not publicly gay, hence their private conversation.
Boyfriend’s brother rings boyfriend and says ‘your girlfriend’s on her own with another man’. Incensed boyfriend arrives at party and causes havoc. Later …
“She cleared her throat. “Yeah, pretty much. I was also telling him that his father already knows about his sexuality. I sort of figured out that Caiden didn’t think his father knew he was gay and I was, you know, breaking the news to him.”
“Well, that was a compassionate thing to do,” he said, after a pause, but in a monotone voice.
“I think so,” she said with a hint of defensiveness. “I had to debate about it for a bit.”
Damian continued, “So I want you to know that I appreciate how sweet you are. What a good person you are—”
Angie could feel it coming. “But?”
“But, the thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass if he’s gay. Granted, the fact that he’s gay is the only thing that saved him from going to the emergency room tonight, but as far as you’re concerned, you can’t be alone with him. Him or any other gay man. You got that?”
“Why?” she questioned.
“Why?” he asked as if he hadn’t heard her correctly.
His fingers tightened in her scalp. “Because gay men have penises. They have balls.” His voice hardened, “Too many of them are bisexual. Trust me, if any woman in the world could turn a gay man straight, it would be you, baby.”
Angie stood within his grasp and listened in amazement. It was obvious to her that his opinion came from a heterosexual viewpoint. A very hetero viewpoint. So hetero that he was unable to see that gay men were just that, gay. She could try to explain it to him, she could argue that just as he wasn’t sexually interested in other men, gay men weren’t sexually interested in women. But the problem was, Angie knew it would go in one ear and out the other. Damian wouldn’t get it. Not because he wasn’t intelligent, but because he was so male.
She remained silent as all of that ran through her head and he continued, “Besides, let’s talk about the party for a minute.” His mouth flattened. “Suppose a straight man saw you walk off with him, undoubtedly to be alone. Suppose that straight man didn’t know the guy was gay. You know what he would think?”
“What would he think?” she asked, wondering at the depth of how Damian’s mind worked.
“He’d think that you were up for grabs. He’d think that maybe he had a chance at you, too.” His expression clouded in anger. “So, next thing you know, you’ve got straight men hitting up on you because they think you’re available.”
“Be careful, Angie,” he warned softly.
“You’re taking this a little too far,” she argued.
She nodded her head.
“I don’t think so.” His chin jutted out. “I’m telling you how I feel, I’m telling you what I expect.” He pushed forward, his torso aligning with hers in a sharp movement. “And I’m telling you that you can’t be alone with any man. Not one. Not a single fucking man is acceptable.”
“Fine. Your father,” he spit out. “If I ever meet him, I’ll have to trust him not to be a perverted fuck. But nobody else. Gay is not an excuse to be alone with a man, already married is for damn fucking sure not an excuse. No-fucking-body gets to be alone with you, understand me?”
She stared at him and he kept talking. “If I catch you alone with a man again, I’m going to beat the living shit out of him, and you—”
“What about me, Damian?”
Now, what is wrong with this scenario is that our rich hero is nothing more than a jealous, untrusting, controlling, possessive bastard. Just because he is rich and has a big penis does not make it all right.
Did our heroine tell him he shouldn’t meet privately with his sister, his step-sister, his mother, his secretary, or any woman? Of course she didn’t.
Because in real life, where waifs and strays don’t marry men with mega bucks and mega cocks, these sort of men abuse women, mentally and physically. The women end up nervous wrecks, are not allowed to go out, and if they are lucky, they escape to a shelter.
Yet, authors (?) churn out this tat because it sells. Women have been fed the fairy tale about the handsome prince from day one. The handsome prince who will love us, cherish us, provide for us … and control us. And it is perpetuated in these sort of books. Because, dear reader, he marries her – of course – and they live happily ever after with twins in his condo and his mansion. She doesn’t end up in the shelter. Why ruin the fairy tale?
Relationships should be based on trust, not control.
If I’m gadding around Cherbourg with Roger, does my partner care? Or if he’s having coffee with a woman friend while shopping what’s it to me? He can have coffee with twenty women if I don’t have to shop.
But telling a woman she can’t be alone with another man? That isn’t love. That is very scary nasty manipulation on the psychotic disorder scale. And presenting it as romantic is equally weird.
This isn’t an isolated example. These portrayals of male/female relationships are everywhere, in books, in films, in life.
It’s not easy bucking the trend. If nothing else however, all women should stay away from any man who bans her from being alone with another man..