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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » MRA/PUAhate/"incel" "nice guy" combats "misandry" by shooting up a sorority (Page 6)

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Author Topic: MRA/PUAhate/"incel" "nice guy" combats "misandry" by shooting up a sorority
Destineer
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Yeah, when I first encountered the "red pill" rhetoric the MRA/PUA guys use, I was surprised that SJWs hadn't thought of it first. It certainly has very clear parallels on their side.

Anyway, it sounds like you and I don't really disagree about much.

I do call myself a feminist in broader society, because I think doing so has positive social consequences both for myself and others, and I meet the definition by all but the most wingnut standards.

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Darth_Mauve
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I read a cute Facebook post about the Civil Rights Act, and how that act was not about minorities--it was written to help the majority.

The Civil Rights act said things like, Lynching was wrong. Most minorities--especially those being lynched--already knew that. It was the white majority dude with a rope who needed that explained to them.

Similarly most minorities knew that they worked hard and deserved the same opportunities and the majority, but the majority--they were the ones that needed to be told that fact.

With the civil rights act it was the voting that was the big issue. Minorities knew that they were people--and since the law said all "People" were allowed to vote, it was the ignorant majority who had to be reminded that black, brown, red or yellow were people, and were entitled to vote.

So to with "Women's" issues and "Feminists" issues. See, feminists are not about tearing the privileges away from men. They are there to remind men that those privileges belong to women as well as men. They know that woman are the equals to men in most ways--not better, not more deserving, not in need of more help--just equal. And they simply want to remind men that their rights to vote, to earn equal pay for equal work, to think and have opinions, to say no to sex, even after a drink or two, that these rights already exists. Men don't get the right to take them away.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Yeah, when I first encountered the "red pill" rhetoric the MRA/PUA guys use, I was surprised that SJWs hadn't thought of it first. It certainly has very clear parallels on their side.

Oh God, I need to send that to my sister. She and I were actually talking about this subject this morning, and I think it would either make her laugh or send her into a rage.

So, as a little background - my sisters and I grew up in a (in many ways) progressive household where our parents pretty much taught us we could be whatever we wanted when we grew up, and didn't impose any gender restrictions on us. I wasn't scolded for playing with dolls (though I didn't very much), my sisters weren't scolded for playing with trucks or climbing trees, I was never allowed to get away with violent outbursts or unaceptable behavior because "boys will be boys", etc. It wasn't perfect - we were taught homosexuality is wrong, for example - but we ended up not really having any engrained ideas as far as gender roles or male superiority. Not that we noticed and not that they explicitly ever told us they were doing it, I just realized it pretty recently and had to ask my mother to find out, yes, they did this very deliberately and spent a lot of time planning how they would go about doing it.

So anyway, my sister and I have a lot of the same views as far as race, gender, and gender roles, etc. She's currently a highly sucessful medical professional, and a mother of two. She's the primary source of income for her household - my brother-in-law owns a landscaping business and works 4 months out of the year (plus whneever it snows), but otherwise stays home with the kids. She's a strong, independent, intelligent and educated young woman, and she absolutely can't stand crap like that comic.

By which I mean, she's very quick to notice and point out vestigial remnants (major and minor) of sexism that still exist in our culture, and won't stand to have anyone treat her differently because she's a woman. But she absolutely hates the current #yesallwomen trend because she believes it promotes a sort of universal victimhood amoung women, and that in turn promotes a worldview that deprives women of moral agency and responsibility, and lessens their humanity in the eyes of society.

She argues that "no, I haven't been a victim." Her aspirations and dreams and livelihood haven't been negatively impacted by sexism or patriarchy, and where she has experienced sexism, it's been a minor obstacle at most, and not one that's given her any trouble. And there are quite a few women now who have grown up free of the shackles of sexism, for whom there is no glass celing.

Which isn't to say she doesn't recognize sexism or think it doesn't exist. She's actually written papers on it's influence on the medical community. (especially re: female doctors, male nurses, and how gender roles impact patient treatment) She just can't stand being told she's a victim when she clearly isn't, and feels that a message of empowerment is infinitely more important than one of victimhood. Which is how she raises her little girls. She doesn't tell them to be afraid of boys, or that they live in a society controlled by men, or that they don't have the same choices as boys do. She tells them they're just as strong and smart as boys, and that they live in a society they can shape and mold as they see fit, and they can achieve anything they set their mind to.

Honestly, I hope someday I'm half as good of a parent as she is.

But the frustrating part for her, is after explaining this to some people (men and women alike), she get's the response "you don't realize you're a victim of the patriarchy because you've lived in it your entire life." She responds "how, exactly, has my life been affected by the 'patriarchy' in any meaningful way?" They respond: "well, you wouldn't recognize it because you're too indoctrinated in a patriarchal mindset to understand." Which is always a dodgy argument, IMO.

And this is my frustration, too. As I stated earlier, I think a lot of these attempts at Social Justice (as far as advocacy or law goes) just augment and stratify existing sexism, or even engender it where it didn't previously exist. It's not ubiquitous or systematic, it's a mindset held by certain people, and it can be rooted out and destroyed. But accusing people (men and women alike) who legitimately aren't sexist of being part of the problem isn't going to solve it. If anything, it makes it worse.

As far as my personal life, I feel my wife and I live and work in a mostly post-sexist world. We both pay an even share of the bills (even though she makes slighlty more money), do about the same amount of cooking and cleaning. I hold doors for her, and she holds doors for me. I buy her flowers, she buys me flowers too sometimes. Or cooking utensils. Or a new grill. We don't really play out or adhere to any gender roles, and while we do sometimes experience sexism (she takes me out to dinner, the waitress hands me the bill instead of putting it in the center of the table), it's more of a nuisance than a fact of life.

And Sa'eed/Clive/Yehuda/Sinclair/whoever has shown, it still is a fact of life for quite a few young men. Which is sad and shameful. We need to simply make it clear that that sort of behavior isn't acceptable, and isn't tolerable. We need to take a stand against media and philosophy that says their behavior is acceptable or somehow natural, and that includes excusing it by saying they're just that way because it's how the "patriarchy" shaped them. They're not victims of the patriarchy, just like I'm not a victim of the patriarchy, and my sister isn't a victim either. We'll all free men and women, and we can chose how to react to our surrounding culture, and we can choose where we go from here.

My two cents, anyway.

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Rakeesh
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I would say that it is possible to be a victim of something, without being victimized by it, so to speak. It's not something I've thought about very much, so I'm not committed to it yet, but in the example you offered, that of your sister, I might reply along these lines:

She came up to commendable success in a field that made it more difficult for her to do so than it otherwise had to be. You mentioned she has written papers on that, so I suspect she might even agree with that statement. But she didn't let herself be victimized by it. For whatever reason, defiance or brilliance or ambition hard work or all of that and more, it did not stop her from achieving to a level she is proud of.

It would be hard to overstate how helpful an attitude that is on damn near anything, but I'm not sure how much it actually challenges the core argument 'systemic and implicit sexism put up harriers for women in our society' might be a way to put it. The side of the barriers varies for everyone, that's just the human condition, and the capability of everyone to overcome varies as well. But is that really the same as them not actually being there?

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Destineer
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A woman's chances of landing a job are, on average, worse than an equally qualified man's. That's been pretty well confirmed. So yeah, there are barriers and anyone who denies that is just mistaken. The fact that many women clear the barriers does not make the existence of the barriers OK.

There is also a culture of victimhood and whining that encourages some women to complain about things like the fact that they get asked out on dates, makeup is marketed to them, pink things are marketed to their daughters, etc. And in my opinion that sort of complaining is pretty silly.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I didn't say, "Treat somebody well because they are a woman." I said "Manliness is treating women well". Your goodness towards others does not change at all based on a persons sex or gender.

But part of treating a person well is understanding what their sex or gender is and adapting to that information in a positive way. Mysandry and misogyny don't mean treating the genders differently. It means disliking, hating, or mistreating one or the other or both for those qualities.

At least, that's what I believe.

Could you elaborate? What ways of treating genders differently would you suggest are good? How should we adapt to gender differences?
It would be difficult to generalize it because gender means different things in different places. It's more useful to think of gender as one piece that interacts with many others in creating the individual.

But for starters it would inform me whether or not I should address the person as Mr. or Ms. If they are a girl and they make a comment about girls/guys in general it lets me know how much experience they have in speaking on the subject. It let's me guess at many things about them with greater accuracy, I can discard lots of irrelevant statements and ideas depending on the gender they identify with.

But again, that's pretty bare bones stuff, I'd have to plug it in with myriad other information they divulge in the course of our interactions.

But it'd be pretty idiotic if I was speaking to a woman who had said, "Gah! I hate my period." and I responded with, "Yeah, periods don't sound like fun. But how are you having periods?! If you're confused it's because I have to respond to both possible gender outcomes in a bid to not treat you differently either way."

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Destineer
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Women and men (or rather, strictly speaking, males and females) need different kinds of reproductive health care, so that's a big difference that should be recognized.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
pink things are marketed to their daughters, etc. And in my opinion that sort of complaining is pretty silly.

As a woman who was a girl interested in things like computers, building toys, math, etc., I think gendered marketing is a problem and I think that reducing that objection to "whining and complaining" about the color pink is ridiculous.
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Samprimary
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gendered marketing is that sort of ridiculous thing that is nonetheless so ubiquitously done in society that we don't often get to see how ridiculous it really is.

a society that had done without it for ten years or so would be looking at our society kind of how we look at the gender roles of the 40's and 50's, in the 'wow, that wasn't that long ago and look at how we did things' way

RELATED:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/12-hilarious-reviews-of-a-pen-just-for-women

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scifibum
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Gendered marketing IS a problem, but it's a problem that exists because of market forces. In order to stop it, consumers have to resist it; it's gotten to this point because it works.

Destineer, do you think there are people who complain about it without resisting it? e.g. "I had to buy my girl these pink sparkly toys because I had no other choices available?" That would be kind of silly, but I'm not sure if that's what you are talking about.

In other words, it would be silly to act like a helpless victim of gendered marketing, but it would be inaccurate to use the word silly to describe those who notice it and want to talk about why it's problematic.

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Destineer
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Some gendered marketing is potentially bad. Potentially, like I would need to see a study showing what bad effects it has.

I have a hard time seeing how it could possibly be harmful that pink stuff is marketed to girls. Suppose that marketing is actually effective as brainwashing. Why is it harmful to be brainwashed to like pink? Is liking pink somehow less good than liking blue?

I'm generally skeptical that gendered marketing really does any significant harm to anyone, but I don't rule out the possibility. I would just have to see some evidence to be convinced, and in the absence of evidence I think it is silly to be upset about it.

quote:
As a woman who was a girl interested in things like computers, building toys, math, etc., I think gendered marketing is a problem and I think that reducing that objection to "whining and complaining" about the color pink is ridiculous.
People do complain specifically about the color pink, and that complaining is silly.

As for the broader stuff, I'm just not sure. Do you think it was bad for you that you didn't like the stuff that was marketed to you as a girl? What harm did that do?

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Rakeesh
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Is that a serious question, Destineer? Because it seems obvious. I'll hazard an answer which dkw can confirm or correct if she likes: "Because having things marketed to you on an arbitrary basis can encourage feelings of isolation and personal flaws if one doesn't like the things one is 'supposed' to like."

To expand on that, I would be surprised if anyone had seriously complained about the pink marketing, and that alone, that is. If they're complaining about a pink clothed Barbie doll, that's hardly the same thing, now is it?

As for the broader question of gendered marketing, well, whether or not it does harm is subjective. Whether or not it has effects? Well, I suppose it's possible billions are spent a year on targeted advertising, with constant efforts to hone the craft to be even more effective with less effort, and that all of this is done in an entirely fruitless endeavor that has no real impact one way or another.

Clearly plenty of people think it does, though, which eventually begs the question, if everyone thinks it has an impact, what's the difference if it doesn't, in and of itself?

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Samprimary
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quote:
I have a hard time seeing how it could possibly be harmful that pink stuff is marketed to girls. Suppose that marketing is actually effective as brainwashing. Why is it harmful to be brainwashed to like pink? Is liking pink somehow less good than liking blue?
the problem is that it does not even remotely stop with the color. the way we market things to kids (and the things we market to Boys and Girls respectively) tells girls and boys what is 'for' them and what is not 'for' them and woe betide the child who gets these mixed up. Boys get the monster trux and science kits, girls get the frilly sparkly barbies and ez bake ovens, ah, we've already started down the long complicated road of gender role socialization, and it is extremely powerful to the extent that actually genetically deterministic influences wane almost to the vanishing point.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I would say that it is possible to be a victim of something, without being victimized by it, so to speak. It's not something I've thought about very much, so I'm not committed to it yet, but in the example you offered, that of your sister, I might reply along these lines:

She came up to commendable success in a field that made it more difficult for her to do so than it otherwise had to be. You mentioned she has written papers on that, so I suspect she might even agree with that statement. But she didn't let herself be victimized by it. For whatever reason, defiance or brilliance or ambition hard work or all of that and more, it did not stop her from achieving to a level she is proud of.

It would be hard to overstate how helpful an attitude that is on damn near anything, but I'm not sure how much it actually challenges the core argument 'systemic and implicit sexism put up harriers for women in our society' might be a way to put it. The side of the barriers varies for everyone, that's just the human condition, and the capability of everyone to overcome varies as well. But is that really the same as them not actually being there?

It's a hard point to pin down exactly, but obviously she (and most sane people) doesn't argue that sexism doesn't exist or that those barriers aren't there. She believes (I think, I know for sure I believe) that what is currently flawed with the "#yesallwomen" approach is a sort of imposed victimhood, which is a psychological phenomenon I talk about in the beginning of this thread.

Essentially, when you view yourself as a victim of circumstance, you surrender a certain amount of moral agency, because you begin placing responsibility for your actions in the hands of someone else. "Is it any wonder I react this way? Look at how I was treated as a child!" "Is it any wonder I can't get this job? It's because of sexism inherent in the system." The problem with this is it creates a chain reaction of causality, and it can eventually stratify and strengthen the sexism it was created to address. If you start seeing sexism everywhere, and blame it for everything, then you effectively are making that sexism (more) real. At some point the chain needs to be broken.

So she (and I) prefer an outlook that sees gender stratification and sexism as obstacles that need to be overcome rather than oppression that needs to be endured, or a wrong that needs to be righted. (not that it isn't wrong, I'll elaborate below)

Or to put in another way, you can spend all day telling men how they're responsible for the social inequality that continues to exist, and at the end of the day, what have you accomplished? You've put the responsibility, and therefore, the power to effect change, into the hand of men. And sexism continues.

Or you can acknowledge the barriers that are keeping you from success, take responsibility for your own success, and then achieve that success while helping shatter those barriers for those who come after you.

There's so much negativity, and so much anger and blame that's wrapped up in this subject that it's hard to talk about in a meaningful way. I'm not really interested in going on about it to much, since as a male, I don't have much of a platform to stand on and I feel anything I say might be construed as arrogant or condescending. I suppose it's more of a psychological point: I've had friends go through some pretty awful stuff and face adversity. The ones who managed to get back on their feet were the ones who spent most of their time thinking "where do I go from here?" and then acting on it. (with a healthy dose of "how can I protect myself from this in the future?") The ones who fell apart were the ones who became obsessed with "who is to blame for what was done, and how can I effect justice?"

I think there a lot of very positive feminist messages out there. (this one stood out to me) And I think there are some negative ones too. (Though I think they're intended to be positive, and simply send the wrong message)

I can say as a man, that being accused of being a sexist simply because you have a penis, and therefore society has indoctrinated you to be inherently sexist or whatnot, is something can rub you the wrong way. Worse, it sends the message "you're a sexist anyway no matter what you do, so why should you care?" Which is probably the opposite of the intended message.

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Samprimary
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tbh I do not think that the yesallwomen campaign is ultimately that learned victimhood thing we've been talking about

it is a distinct challenge to the tiresome phenomenon of Not All Men - it's saying these problems are real, it's life for girls whether guys realize it or not (and not having to realize what life's typically like for women, or being disinterested in believing that women are actually frequently victims to such a reliable extent, is a function of ... wait for it ..... waaait for it .. privledj)

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Dogbreath
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Let's say you're an educated white male, early twenties, who can't get two sentences into a discussion of pretty much, well, any social situation in certain circles without being told "check your privilege!" Let's say you're quite aware of your privilege, and also know a great deal about the sort of things that are regularly done to women and girls in this country having worked with battered women, etc, as well as having a sound understanding of the cultural and social pressures that are put on women to conform to a certain standard. Can one file for a privilege check waiver?

FWIW, I don't feel like the aim "Not All Men" is to say that those problems aren't real. Just like I doubt the aim of "yesallwomen" is to actively promote a feeling of victimization. It's just I think "yesallwomen" is inherently arrogant and presumptuous - and there are indeed a lot of women who say "wait, no, that doesn't apply to me." Worse, it makes sexism out to be (like the comic describes) an all encompassing, world wide system of oppression that all women are inevitably victims of. I would argue instead it's a belief or worldview that can be rooted out and eradicated, or even (depending on how you were raised) never be instilled in the first place. And yes, not all men - and not all women - hold sexist ideals or conform to gender norms or promote sexism in any way. There are quite a few men and women out there who simply aren't part of the culture of sexism, and to insist that they are, or to try and drag them in via some sort of universal victimhood or universal blame, is profoundly arrogant and insulting. Or to put it differently (and I stress this is a generic "you", not directed at a particular person), what makes you a better judge of how sexist I am compared to me, or the women in my life? What makes you a better judge of whether my sister is a victim than she? Why should her daughters be told they live in a patriarchal society where they'll never amount to as much as a man, or that they're inherently victims because they're female? Especially now, when we're finally at the point of changing that? Where they legitimately have a chance of growing up in a world without those barriers?

Again, I understand that's not the point. The point is to raise "awareness." I just don't think it's a healthy or productive sort of awareness. (though I can think of numerous other feminist campaigns that *are* healthy and productive and empowering, so don't take that as an anti-feminist rant)

EDIT: beyond this point, I'm going to leave my sister out of the discussion, mostly because I'm not comfortable extrapolating anything more from our conversation yesterday, and it feels like a cheap tactic to me. (since she's not actually participating in this thread) I apologize if it seems like I'm using her opinion to gain some unfair advantage.

[ June 09, 2014, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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dkw
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The point of "yes all women" is not that all women are beaten down and oppressed, it's that all women deal with sexism. "Deal with it" can mean laugh it off, or grit your teeth and endure it, or report it, or work extra hard to convince your boss or your subordinates that you're competent, or any number of other responses.

A shocking number of men are oblivious to the fact that the women in their lives deal with sexist crap on a regular basis, because most women don't whine and complain about it, they just quietly deal with it. The women posting their stories aren't asking someone else to solve their problems, in most cases they've already dealt with it themselves. They're just eliminating the "quietly" part.

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CT
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*dkw fangirl
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Risuena
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*Joins CT*

Is this an official dkw fanclub now?

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Dogbreath
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dkw: That's an entirely different take on it than what I've experienced (re: the comic, etc.), and it's one I both appreciate and agree with, I think. I don't believe sexism is just some giant system that all women experience equally - some women can go most their lives only seeing small traces of it, other are raised in communities where they're treated mostly as property. The amount of sexism they experience is mostly impacted by how sexist the people around them are, and sometimes by how sexist they are. (like choosing to believe you're supposed to be obedient to your husband in all things, etc.)

If you describe sexism as I do - a worldview or mindset that can actually be measured by statements or actions, than I completely agree with you. But if you think it's an overarching "force" or "matrix" that all women are subjected to, or that men are inherently sexist just because of who they are, that's where I disagree. (I haven't seen you actually argue those points, and I suspect you don't believe them either, but I'm not sure)

Anyway, I'm obviously not opposed to the sharing of those stories! And my end goal is the reduction or elimination of sexism. I just mislike the idea of the imposition of a common female narrative.

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Destineer
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quote:
Is that a serious question, Destineer? Because it seems obvious. I'll hazard an answer which dkw can confirm or correct if she likes: "Because having things marketed to you on an arbitrary basis can encourage feelings of isolation and personal flaws if one doesn't like the things one is 'supposed' to like."
But hold on. This will be true for any marketing that's done on the basis of demographics, won't it? Or even if there's no marketing. People who are different from average will feel set apart and excluded. Maybe demographically targeted marketing makes that worse, but I'm not convinced that it does.

quote:
To expand on that, I would be surprised if anyone had seriously complained about the pink marketing, and that alone, that is.
Of course someone has. Do I seriously need to provide links for this?

http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/a-pink-picture-and-a-blue-picture-are-worth-a-thousand-words-each/

http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/assertive-pink-gendered-razors/

quote:
Or to put in another way, you can spend all day telling men how they're responsible for the social inequality that continues to exist, and at the end of the day, what have you accomplished? You've put the responsibility, and therefore, the power to effect change, into the hand of men. And sexism continues.

Or you can acknowledge the barriers that are keeping you from success, take responsibility for your own success, and then achieve that success while helping shatter those barriers for those who come after you.

I don't know, seems like a false dilemma to me.

quote:
the problem is that it does not even remotely stop with the color. the way we market things to kids (and the things we market to Boys and Girls respectively) tells girls and boys what is 'for' them and what is not 'for' them and woe betide the child who gets these mixed up. Boys get the monster trux and science kits, girls get the frilly sparkly barbies and ez bake ovens, ah, we've already started down the long complicated road of gender role socialization, and it is extremely powerful to the extent that actually genetically deterministic influences wane almost to the vanishing point.
There is a huge chicken-and-egg question here about the gender socialization thing (does the marketing work because girls want X and boys want Y, or vice versa?). I would love to see someone actually bring the scientific method to bear on that question. But one thing I do know is, gender socialization worked great (indeed, even better than it does now) before there was such a thing as mass marketing at all.

But keep in mind, if marketing didn't differ between boys and girls, it would still be done, and (assuming the effect Rakeesh is talking about is actually widespread enough) people will feel left out because they don't like the stuff that's being marketed to them.

Anyway, even if the marketing of EZ bake ovens to girls is problematic, I maintain that the marketing of pink things to girls is probably not problematic, and many hardcore feminists do complain about it. I didn't necessarily mean my initial statement to be a criticism of all complaints about gendered marketing. I think in some domains there's a case to be made that it sets unhelpful expectations, although the case I've seen made is not strong enough to convince me at present.

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theamazeeaz
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http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/12/18/hasbro_s_easy_bake_oven_now_for_boys_too.html

quote:
Earlier this month, McKenna Pope, a 13-year-old from New Jersey, started a petition against Hasbro for making the Easy Bake Oven only in girlish colors, as I wrote in a story about gender neutral toys last week. She wanted to buy her little brother the oven for Christmas but discovered that it only came in purple and pink, which she knew would turn him off

quote:
Apparently the toy has come in dozens of colors since 1963 (yellow, teal, brown) but lately the company has only been offering the pink and purple model.

The pink and purple is a very recent bunch of BS....
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Samprimary
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quote:
There is a huge chicken-and-egg question here about the gender socialization thing (does the marketing work because girls want X and boys want Y, or vice versa?).
It's the vice versa. I can practically guarantee you. This has been quite significantly studied. The same question has been studied when people try to use deterministic biological roots to why there's so few women in mathematical and engineering fields.

Socialization >>>>>>>>> Genetics

quote:
Anyway, even if the marketing of EZ bake ovens to girls is problematic, I maintain that the marketing of pink things to girls is probably not problematic
it is, in its own way. It's abstract and ultimately absurd even to begin with, cordoning off entire color groups as 'for girls' colors.
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Destineer
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quote:
It's the vice versa. I can practically guarantee you. This has been quite significantly studied. The same question has been studied when people try to use deterministic biological roots to why there's so few women in mathematical and engineering fields.

Socialization >>>>>>>>> Genetics

I'm not saying that Socialization < Genetics, although I'm interested to see links. I'm saying the socialization resulting from marketing may be dwarfed by the socialization from other sources, and indeed, a response to it rather than a significant part of the cause for gender dimorphism in interests.

quote:
it is, in its own way. It's abstract and ultimately absurd even to begin with, cordoning off entire color groups as 'for girls' colors.
More absurd than cordoning off braids as 'for girls'? If it doesn't harm or disadvantage anyone, who cares?
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Samprimary
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braids just for girls is also somewhat abstract and absurd! and even the color thing comes at a great and real harm and disadvantage, especially to children who are not presenting as the gender they are 'supposed' to be.

Which happens quite a bit. I'm watching that happen right now, actually. An adopted boy who likes pink and likes to wear dresses sometimes. Since this is something a boy is 'not supposed to do' he gets done real harm and stigmatization by adults and schoolkids alike, even as the school tries to work to minimize discrimination against his clothing choices.

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Destineer
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Also, in many cases I think studies that purport to show Socialization >>>> Genetics on some question, really show that Environment >>>> Fixed Genetics. Epigenetics, which depends in many ways on the environment but is not a "social" variable, is rarely considered.
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Destineer
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quote:
braids just for girls is also somewhat abstract and absurd!
I don't actually think it is. We need convenient ways of telling the genders apart, not least because the vast majority of us are only or primarily attracted to one gender. Gendered differences in hairstyles and clothing choices make this very easy. Without them, life and especially dating would be much more awkward.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Without them, life and especially dating would be much more awkward.
I seriously doubt it.
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kmbboots
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Can't you tell the genders apart by whether or not you are attracted to them? Honestly, if you don't know them well enough to know what gender they are (and it matters to you) maybe you should hold off on dating them.
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Destineer
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Look, given present-day standards of dress I can step into a bar and know pretty well with a single look which of the people inside are ones I might want to get involved with. If clothing norms were uniform between the sexes, that would not be as easy.

There is also just the fact that people who have things in common like to dress similarly. Nerds dress like other nerds, bros dress like other bros, etc. I don't see anything problematic about this, nor about the observation that women have something in common that they don't share in common with men. The differences in dress norms are no more problematic than other differences in dress norms across different social categories.

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Samprimary
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I'm around genderqueer and trans* presenting people all the time and I honestly would never expect that this would become a problem.

I mean, I know that people would have problems with it because they're legitimately afraid of the reduction of standardized gender roles and enforced presentation but it has literally never caused a problem, not even a remote one, for me

quote:
There is also just the fact that people who have things in common like to dress similarly. Nerds dress like other nerds, bros dress like other bros, etc. I don't see anything problematic about this
Is it problematic if a bro decides he'd like to ditch the varsity shirt or the sleeveless t in place of some dress slacks and a plaid shirt that day, and then is brought in to the principal's office and told that it's really rather inappropriate of them to not dress like a bro is supposed to dress? That they need to dress more appropriately or they will receive further disciplinary action? The parallel does not quite work. What makes it problematic is not about choice, it's about when deviance from an artificial social expectation of dress (mainly by and for the comfort of men) becomes a socially prosecuted deviance.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
it is, in its own way. It's abstract and ultimately absurd even to begin with, cordoning off entire color groups as 'for girls' colors.
More absurd than cordoning off braids as 'for girls'? If it doesn't harm or disadvantage anyone, who cares? [/QB]
It certainly harms families who would prefer their second child of a difference gender played with their first-born's toys.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
If clothing norms were uniform between the sexes, that would not be as easy.

Is that really a problem though?
In other words, is the fact that people won't be able to make fast and superficial decisions about who they should hit on really a disadvantage for society or an advantage?

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
braids just for girls is also somewhat abstract and absurd!
I don't actually think it is. We need convenient ways of telling the genders apart, not least because the vast majority of us are only or primarily attracted to one gender. Gendered differences in hairstyles and clothing choices make this very easy. Without them, life and especially dating would be much more awkward.
Have you ever had hair that would go past your nipples? Serious question.

One of my former co-workers (a man in his early 30s) decided he wanted to go back to having long hair from his military buzz cut. This person had no qualms about wearing a "utilikilt", so I guess he felt less constrained by gender roles than most folk. At a certain point, he started wearing his hair in low pigtails, which was kind of weird, as a 30 year old guy. But, I realized that I've used the style as an adult when my hair was just too short for a single ponytail, but too long not to put back without it seriously annoying me.

Likewise, if your hair is long enough, and you are bad about getting the ends trimmed, you will find that braids are INCREDIBLY practical. And once it reaches a certain length, absolutely essential.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Is that really a problem though?
I've been trying to imagine scenarios in which my requiring more than a cursory glance to determine the gender of everyone at a bar would be an actual issue, and haven't come up with a non-hilarious one yet.
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Rakeesh
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Actually, I'm trying to imagine a world or at least a society where one's choice of clothing and hairstyle was more (or even much more) fundamentally a reflection of themselves versus 'themselves in the framework of their gender socialization'. It's so far out of our experience that I can't, really, but still.

Would that girl in the bar you see who attracts your attention have a scarlet Mohawk if she hadn't been raised to think it was deeply objectionable? Would the dude you see decide it was past time to see what all the fuss was about makeup? Wouldn't that be interesting? Well truly I don't know. But I think it might be.

Now as for the utility of needing to discern genders at a glance-at-a-distance...erm. Well, let me pose your question back to you: what is the harm in not being able to tell if someone is a man or a woman from across a crowded room?

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Destineer
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quote:
Is it problematic if a bro decides he'd like to ditch the varsity shirt or the sleeveless t in place of some dress slacks and a plaid shirt that day, and then is brought in to the principal's office and told that it's really rather inappropriate of them to not dress like a bro is supposed to dress? That they need to dress more appropriately or they will receive further disciplinary action? The parallel does not quite work. What makes it problematic is not about choice, it's about when deviance from an artificial social expectation of dress (mainly by and for the comfort of men) becomes a socially prosecuted deviance.
Obviously I have a problem with social sanctions against deviance. But social sanctions are a distinct phenomenon from marketing and media portrayals. Note that there are also marketing and media portrayals reinforcing the prevailing styles of dress for bros. That works fine, because there aren't corresponding social sanctions for bros who break with the convention.

quote:
Now as for the utility of needing to discern genders at a glance-at-a-distance...erm. Well, let me pose your question back to you: what is the harm in not being able to tell if someone is a man or a woman from across a crowded room?
I'll let this question stand in for similar ones from Tom and Mucus... it's just a question of minor convenience, in terms of knowing more easily who to approach or check out. Not a huge deal, but on the other hand I see no harm being done by the conventions to outweigh it.

quote:
Have you ever had hair that would go past your nipples? Serious question.
Nope
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kmbboots
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Careful, Destineer. I am starting to rethink my rethinking of my opinion that you are shallow! [Wink]

Social sanctions are not at all distinct from marketing and media portrayals. Marketing and media are a big part of how we determine what is and what is quite often translates to how things should be.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I'll let this question stand in for similar ones from Tom and Mucus... it's just a question of minor convenience, in terms of knowing more easily who to approach or check out. Not a huge deal, but on the other hand I see no harm being done by the conventions to outweigh it.
Your objection to criticisms of gendered marketing of color choices was 'what's the harm if girls are taught to like pink?' It was pointed out that this is hardly the only thing that's ever done. It more or less is universally accompanied by other gendered marketing characteristics. Don't see any pink GI Joes for example, and I can't recall any camouflage My Little Ponies.

That seems like a shade past 'minor inconvenience', but it was not enough to make a valid criticism in your eyes. So...how then is the 'inconvenience' of not being able to tell at a glance even if you're near-sighted whether someone is male or female from a distance a valid justification?

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BlackBlade
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Well, it's pretty inconvenient when going to a singles party and trying to determine if there are enough ladies in the room to justify mingling or if one should bounce. [Razz]
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Destineer
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quote:
Social sanctions are not at all distinct from marketing and media portrayals. Marketing and media are a big part of how we determine what is and what is quite often translates to how things should be.
Marketing doesn't by itself serve to punish people who don't succumb to the marketing. That's what I meant when I said marketing is not the same as social sanctions. I can tell you how things should be all I want, but it becomes much more problematic if I set down bad consequences for you if you don't act the way I say you should.

quote:
Your objection to criticisms of gendered marketing of color choices was 'what's the harm if girls are taught to like pink?'
That was my initial more flippant point, yes, and at that time I was literally only talking about complaints about pink. Since then I've raised a couple of other more serious objections, including the chicken and the egg objection and (in response to Sam) pointing out that demographic marketing is not so problematic if it's not accompanied by social punishment for those who don't conform. The problem isn't the marketing, or the fact that there are norms. It's the fact that the norms are commonly treated as things to be enforced, unlike the norms about how nerdy people dress.

quote:
That seems like a shade past 'minor inconvenience', but it was not enough to make a valid criticism in your eyes. So...how then is the 'inconvenience' of not being able to tell at a glance even if you're near-sighted whether someone is male or female from a distance a valid justification?
I don't think it's justified, it's mostly just arbitrary. It wouldn't be bad if it were different. I'm just saying that the way it is now isn't bad either, and serves at least some minor useful functions.

Anyway, it would be well on its way to being a valid criticism if someone could actually show that the marketing plays a major role in socializing people, as opposed to being a scheme to make money off kids who have already internalized gender norms through other channels.

I think the blaming of gendered marketing for the unfortunate expectations placed on girls and women is exactly the sort of poorly supported pop psych that Sam and I were talking about earlier.

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Destineer
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I also think there's a question of artistic expression in the neighborhood of what we're discussing.

Did Clockwork Orange have morally problematic effects when it was made? Yes it did, there were several copycat crimes. Does that make it bad that the movie exists? Does it mean that the movie shouldn't have been made or that it was bad of Kubrick to make it? No, it was a great artistic achievement. And even if it wasn't so great, it's still important for artists to be able to follow their vision without being shouted down or silenced by social pressure.

Now, not all marketing involves what I'd call art, but some certainly does. The TV shows used to market toys like My Little Pony, Transformers and GI Joe, for example, are absolutely in the domain of art and should be accorded the same basic regard as Clockwork Orange--even if they have problematic consequences. In my opinion, at least.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
and I can't recall any camouflage My Little Ponies.

Pony war

pony sniper

more

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Don't see any pink GI Joes for example,

Pink GI Joe

More

More

Lots of pink

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Samprimary
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quote:
I think the blaming of gendered marketing for the unfortunate expectations placed on girls and women is exactly the sort of poorly supported pop psych that Sam and I were talking about earlier.
The statement and general theory observing how gendered marketing is a significant force in socially determining 'appropriate' or approved non-deviant gender determinant roles in a society is very far from pop psych. It's been studied in very interesting detail, down to figuring out what general word associations exist across items and literature marketed to girls and boys. For instance, products marketed to girls is vastly more likely to involve the message, direct or implicit, that you buy things to make yourself pretty, but vastly less likely to involve the message that it is fun do design, build, or innovate things.

Gender marketing pigeonholes our children into specific roles and behaviors. We know this. Since marketing is a very prominent and pervasive force in a capitalistic society, obviously, it becomes a prominent and pervasive force that socializes kids to know what is 'for' their gender.

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Rakeesh
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My Little Ponies right now aren't quite as relevant to what I was saying. Though I should note that a single example ever (and privately created deviantart stuff hardly counts) doesn't really challenge.

As for GI Joes...well. One of them was a woman. I'm honestly not sure if this is just funning around or what.

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Destineer
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quote:
It's been studied in very interesting detail, down to figuring out what general word associations exist across items and literature marketed to girls and boys. For instance, products marketed to girls is vastly more likely to involve the message, direct or implicit, that you buy things to make yourself pretty, but vastly less likely to involve the message that it is fun do design, build, or innovate things.
I agree that those associations are there in the media, absolutely. What I think remains poorly understood is what effects the associations have on the people who consume the media.

Just noting that media portrays the home as the place for women will not by itself tell you whether this media portrayal causes women to stay in the home, or whether it's being portrayed that way because women are caused to stay in the home for other reasons. Like for example whatever reasons kept women in the home before there was mass marketing, or even before there was such a thing as contemporary capitalism.

quote:
Gender marketing pigeonholes our children into specific roles and behaviors. We know this. Since marketing is a very prominent and pervasive force in a capitalistic society, obviously, it becomes a prominent and pervasive force that socializes kids to know what is 'for' their gender.
If life imitates marketing, media and toys to the extent you suggest, there should be all sorts of correlations that just don't exist. For example, kids who play with toy guns at an early age should be more violent. Turns out they aren't. (Even if they were, that wouldn't by itself show causation, but it's interesting that there's not even a correlation.)

So why should we necessarily expect that (for example) playing with baby dolls causes girls to become stereotypically motherly?

It's possible that it does, but I just don't see why we should assume it does without specific evidence of causation.

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kmbboots
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Destineer, it isn't poorly understood. There are whole departments in most universities that study exactly the effects media has on people. We give advanced degrees on that very thing. Of course, individuals can have a poor understanding of such things but that isn't because the information isn't out there.
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Destineer
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Ten seconds of googling later, from a syllabus for an NYU grad seminar in sociology:

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/causes.of.gender.inequality/

quote:
Commentators often point toward media influence when they try to explain contemporary gender inequality. Theories of media alert us that we must always consider reciprocal causal processes. While any individual may appear only to be the object of media influence, the content and impact of media depend greatly on the existing culture and social structure. The relationship of the media to the collective market effect of consumers may be compared to the relationship between elected public officials and voters. Also, consumers have considerable freedom to choose which media outlets to give their attention and people selectively interpret and judge the media to which they are exposed. All of this makes the relationship between what is portrayed in the media and what occur in the "real" world rather complex.
In sum, it is poorly understood.
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theamazeeaz
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I don't get "poorly understood" from that quote at all.

I read it as saying the following:

People blame the media for gender equality, but our theories make us ask if people have an effect on the media. It looks like any one person is just influenced by what the media says, but what the media says depends on the culture that makes it. Analogy: people influence the media like they influence politics by voting. They can also change the channel. They also judge what they see. Therefore it's complicated.

They are advertising for a class! That it can be taught, means someone has to understand it, or at least decide they are going to read and write papers on it.

Now, I didn't take the step of actually doing the course reading, but I disagree. But I don't think that the fact that people can choose to turn off the TV (or watch something other than Fox News) means that they are immune from hearing a message over and over, and eventually internalizing it, or judging parts of it doesn't mean that other things are subtly influencing them without their notice. That's why the Daily Show LOVES to rattle off clip after clip of Republican congressmen repeating the same line over and over in the media. Death panels! Death panels! Death panels!

I haven't read Speaker in a while, but there's a quote about questioning everything but what they truly believe.

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