I went to the Supermarket one day and I bought:

Do any, as close to naked as possible, Men feature in this calendar? Naw. Didnae think so.

It can be plain and simple, striking and popular. It’s available in every store, for all to want and all to buy. And no I’m not talking about the latest deal on Wotsits or Toilet paper. I’m talking about sexism.

From chocolate bars to airline companies and designer suits to crisps you’d have to be blind as a fucking bat to say you’ve not noticed it. Not even once. However, if you are one of these people, before I ask you how long you’ve been living on Mars, I suggest you do at least one of the following and then tell me you still don’t notice it:

1. Walk into your nearest supermarket and pick up a Yorkie.
2. Turn on your telly and wait for the McCoys advert.
3. Fly with Ryan air and ask for their charity calendar.

That’s just naming a few, and boy do I mean a few.

If I could afford to spend the rest of my life finding all the sexist ad campaigns ever to exist I’m positive it wouldn’t even be a little bit hard to find one for pretty much EVERY consumer bracket imaginable. But at the rate they’re churned out, that’d be damned near impossible. Yet people are still so quick to jump in and tell us that sexism simply doesn’t exist anymore. Women are equal to men. End of story, Bye bye and Goodnight.

Just incase you’re a lazy cunt and cannae be bothered to do any of the three things I suggested above let me make it a little easier for you.

Isn’t the campaign for underwear, on the right, absolutely hilarious? Incase you can’t read the tag line, it  says -

Bet you didn’t notice the armadillo

Naw. Wanna know why? Because you’ve made it look like a fucking cushion. Had you put it somewhere a little more obvious… say in front of a white wall, photoshopped to ‘perfection’/death sticking it’s chest out for example, or even at her feet or how about on her bloody head then aye, I’d have noticed the fucking armadillo.

And isn’t this Pepsi advert just fan-fucking-tastic?!

Her life is clearly of such high importance that a single can of Pepsi can ‘buy’ this creepy weirdo as long as he wants to assault her whilst the lifeguard sits back and what, enjoys the view? So fucking respectable Pepsi. Tell you what, even if your product didn’t taste like shit, this advert certainly wouldn’t send me to the shops in search of a can. And if I happened to come across one? I’d save it until the chance to lob it at the head of whoever passed this god awful campaign arose.

Oh, and how about this -

You know you’re not the first

The first what? Lassie you’ve fucked in the back of your BMW because it’s such a ‘babe magnet’. Please give me a break. This shit is actually allowed to run whilst an advert that showed electric eels being released into the water systems was placed on an after 7:30pm rule? If you still try to tell me sexism doesn’t exist? GET TAE.

And here’s a little message to the ‘brains’ behind this oh so wonderful campaign – Ken whit I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Buying a BMW does not now, or ever get the buyer laid any more than if they drove a pimped out polo or a three wheeled banger. Many men are not stupid, and will still buy your fucking vehicle without you trying to make them believe it comes with some added ‘bonus’. Chumps.

Some brands even go as far as banning girls from buying them. But don’t worry ladies… it’s all in the name of humour, right? How about you go and buy a packet of McCoys instead? In fact. NAW. They’re ‘MAN CRISPS’.

I could continue on for hours and hours and hours but I think you probably get the drift, or at least, I hope you fucking do. Yes, I am aware that it’s going to take a while and a lot of work to remove sexism from advertising and ultimately from the world, but until that day comes, gonnae naw be a complete ignorant bastard and at least admit that it does still happen. And not only does it still happen but it happens in the majority of companies and campaigns. I hope that if you did not realise the extent of this problem before -YES, IT IS A PROBLEM -you can at least realise it now. And if not… I hope it’s because you’ve either:

a) Just been born.
or
b) Don’t live in this fucking universe.

(Cross posted and adapted from my personal blog)

27 Comments

  1. Don Juan says:

    What you are attacking is the advertising agencies in general you see as much as we rail against us all being similar in fact indivuality is always shouted from the rooftops. We are put in groups and judged institutionalised racism, sexism, bigotry everything under the son you name it. But all these institusionalised groupings work in fact they get sales. When selling to a man often it is to reaffirm is manhood while to a women it is to reaffirm her feminity.
    e.g The Diet coke adverts are aimed at women it gives the classic setting of an all female workforec working in an office when a window cleaner walks in or any type of man except he needs to have the white vest top and the oppurtunity to take it off. Now lets look at the male drink Coke Zero those adverts are of a JAmes Bond lookalike getting a full swat team to help him out to get the girl or to get away from the firls father.

    You know what Coke Zero and Diet Coke are the same drink but do you know what women mostly buy Diet coke and men mostly buy Coke Zero. We are a victim of ourselve.

  2. Brogan says:

    I’m aware Coke Zero and Diet Coke are the same drink and I’m aware I’m attacking the advertising companies/the world in general. It is kind of the point here. I don’t care if sexism ‘works’. Find me an advert that makes men as worthless as these adverts make the women.
    (http://blog.modelmanagement.com/2010/11/16/scandalous-sex-in-advertising-campaigns/)
    And if you do, let me know please? But I’m not going to sit and hold my breath.

  3. Sarah says:

    http://ssy.org.uk/2010/08/fuck-you-american-apparel/

    ^ See also American Apparel, whose workers are sexually abused in adverts and in job interviews

  4. Don Juan says:

    Well quite clearly many adverts aimed at women set out to demean mens intellgience in the sense that the women always seems in the mothering role to her husband, her father and even her son. Also the nonsense that men have to say on the telly that women are brilliant at everything. i.e. if women ruled the world there would be no war. That is kind of annoying, because it demeans the all men into treating them like little boys. In fact all mainstream talking on men is refering to them as boys. Saying that men never grow up.
    Also I don’t know if you have looked at gay mags recently but they seem to indulge in poster pin ups also. It maybe that we live in a highly sexualised society for instance when the society was more conservative women were treated like inferiors and simpletons but they were not openly sexualised as they are today and also men for that matter. We live in a highly sexualised society which responds nor finds it distasteful to have both men and women as sexual objects. Take for example that soaps showing at tea time or just after are now filled with sex wheras before this would be frowned upon. Add to that the music videos which I can never understand e.g. Beyonce what you would take to be a highly succesful women with a good voice still needs to dress in a sexy manner to get her song sold. NOw is that of her own accord that she likes it or is she forced somehow, the true problem is that women are the problem to other women it is not men in they adverts it is women.

  5. Sarah says:

    Paul, no. Women are not their own worst enemy. Men have got that covered.

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/08/worst-enemy.html

    “1. Men not being sexist shouldn’t be contingent upon women not being misogynist. They should stop being misogynist just because it’s the right thing to do.

    2. Men and women are misogynist for different reasons: men to marginalize women, and women to ingratiate themselves with the men trying to marginalize them. Neither one is justifiable, but one is oppressive and the other is a (bad) strategy to deal with that oppression.

    3. One thus sees that if the men who are misogynists weren’t, the women who are misogynists wouldn’t have any reason to be. Ergo, exhorting women to stop being misogynists so that men will stop gets it precisely backwards.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage women not to be self-loathing misogynists. It only means that we probably shouldn’t treat them as somehow more responsible for sexism than sexist men. They really and truly aren’t our worst enemy—if our worst enemy disappeared tomorrow, we’d never have a problem with sexist women again.”

  6. Brogan says:

    I like how you mention gay magazines and how they seem to indulge in poster pin ups. I never once said throughout this that they didn’t. They are also part of the media. They quite possibly also do it because they have to ‘keep up’ with Male magazines like Nuts and Front or any basically sex magazine on the shelves. (I’m not in anyway suggesting that this makes it better or acceptable.)
    Also, men are often displayed as strong, powerful sexual objects and women are more than often displayed as an item to be bought by said man. So dinnae give me any of your ‘men get it just as bad’ bullshit. Cheers.

  7. Jack says:

    As usual, Paul’s posts are very confusing. I am trying to argue back but it involves a lot of looking at the comments and squinting to try and work out what the fuck you’re on about.

    “Also the nonsense that men have to say on the telly that women are brilliant at everything. i.e. if women ruled the world there would be no war.”

    When does that even happen? OK, I’ve heard it made as a joke maybe a couple of times in my life by the mainstream media, but usually the men that make it are doing it in the context of being some kind of creepy Swiss Tony style “charmer”. The idea that men “have” to say this (who exactly is “making” them do it? The feminazi establishment?) is daft. Much much more prevalent messages in the media are the ones about how women are stupid/emotional/manipulative/bad drivers/obsessed with shoes.

    I think Sarah’s points about why some women react to sexist society the way they do are really important. I’d just like to add that your view of advertising and who runs and controls it is very naive. Just because a woman is the “face” of an advert, does that mean that the advert will have been conceived of, commissioned by or paid for by women?

  8. Don Juan says:

    Micheel Mone is a women and I believe heavily involved in her advertising campaigns. Her industry is all about creating sexy lingerie or else she would only have one product her adverts are of women posing in said items. Is this wrong or is it wrong to imply that men have sexual feelings towards women.

    The popint on gay mags was to say how easily it can switch too women being sexual objects to men. Your point as always is that women are in chains and that due to very good propaganda campaigns women consider themselves sexual objects so they do exactly what the patriachal society want and gets their tits out. I don’t particularly care about nuts or any other lads mags in fact if you look inside half of it is talking a lot of shit anyway.

    In terms of sexual objects men and women are treated the same and when trying to appeal to a particular sex they use the most primitive of desires to insure the sale of their product. You merge being a sexual object with being equal but what you are doing is generalising you are attaking the women that give in to the system and desire to be models, glamour models or any other form of work that requires you to look good. You do this because you believe that these women stop yourself asan individual gaining the respect you fully deserve.

    In fact I believe that you are naive your believe is that the individual is responsible for the group one women going against your cause is a blow and her job must be villified. But I would say this does Jaqui Smith, Harriet harman, Baroness Warsi and other female politicians get judged in the same way as a glamour model NO they don’t because unlike you many people take pewople as individuals. It is through generalisation that ineqwuality can be made. Currently you are attributing every thought of 51% of the population as concurrent to your own. I do not consider all women the same I do acknowledge overaching propaganda.

  9. Don Juan says:

    Jack I am happy that you find my posts confusing the reason for this is that I don’t sunscript to any form of visible causes. I am open too debate I will agree on somethings with yourselve and strongly disagree on others I am not LIberal I don’t aim to be or want to be I am socialist in that I believe it to be a good economic policy but I don’t agree with the new Libertarian views nor the liberal views.

  10. Sarah says:

    As usual Paul, you make absolutely fuck all sense. Jack, you’re so right about the squinting. It’s the reason his posts are so easy to recognise as his – his (absence of understandable) writing style always gives him away.

    “Micheel Mone is a women and I believe heavily involved in her advertising campaigns. Her industry is all about creating sexy lingerie or else she would only have one product her adverts are of women posing in said items.” – lol, Michelle Mone = the female grip on the advertising industry? Whatevs. ‘One product’? Whit??

    “Is this wrong or is it wrong to imply that men have sexual feelings towards women.” – No one would ever say it is wrong to have sexual feelings towards some women. You’d be a liar or a pervert if you said you had sexual feelings towards ALL women, because you don’t even know all women, and if you have sexual feelings towards all the women you know, ew. Anyway, stupid question, but no of course it’s not wrong to be attracted to some women. It is however wrong to leer at women, whether that be in your house, at the bus stop, or on a billboard. It is wrong to treat women as sexual objects, which is COMPLETELY distinct from ‘being attracted to them’. Just because the advertising industry puts the billboard there does NOT mean you have to participate in objectifying women just because it’s there and you are able to. Socialists are supposed to be better than that. If you see a billboard with a half naked, hypersexualised image of a woman on it, and you get an erection, frankly there is something wrong with you.

    “Your point as always is that women are in chains and that due to very good propaganda campaigns women consider themselves sexual objects so they do exactly what the patriachal society want and gets their tits out. I don’t particularly care about nuts or any other lads mags in fact if you look inside half of it is talking a lot of shit anyway.” – Yes, women are in chains. Yes, women have learned to treat themselves as sexual objects – it’s a survival mechanism. There’s no need to use ‘lad’ language like ‘get their tits out’. And oh well, if PAUL “doesn’t care” about lads mags, then everything is ok!

    “In terms of sexual objects men and women are treated the same” – No they’re not. One quick difference might be that ‘sexed up men’ in adverts are soooo much less common than ‘sexed up women’. You’ll see a man fully clothed next to a woman in her underwear. Because men and women are NOT EQUAL. Another quick difference might be that ‘sexed up men’ are presented as unattainable to women – see the Diet Coke advert. On the other hand, ‘sexed up women’ as presented as not just attainable by the kind of losers who read lads mags, but incredibly interested in them – see Lynx, and those microwave sandwich adverts where the chair spun round and the woman was suddenly naked against her will although why would she even be going on a date with that loser etc.. And that contributes to the ideas that ‘sexy’ men aren’t real and women should learn to settle, and that losers who read lads mags have a RIGHT to whatever woman they want.

    “when trying to appeal to a particular sex they use the most primitive of desires to insure the sale of their product” – That’s an excuse. “Primitive desires” is just an excuse men use to leer at, objectify, harass and rape women. It’s bullshit. It’s motivated by a societal and/or personal hatred of women. And the advertising companies that make adverts which objectify women are some of the worst proponents of rape culture. (http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/ if you want to understand what is meant by rape culture).

    “You merge being a sexual object with being equal but what you are doing is generalising you are attaking the women that give in to the system and desire to be models, glamour models or any other form of work that requires you to look good. You do this because you believe that these women stop yourself asan individual gaining the respect you fully deserve.”
    - No, actually, what you’re doing here is very obvious. You’re projecting your obvious (from your many many posts on this site) deep seated hate of women onto what you think we’re saying. No one here at SSY has ever or would ever say that they hate women who take part in things that objectify them. We simply don’t believe that. We know the reality of patriarchy is that many women are forced to take part, are tricked into taking part, are groomed into taking part, are sold a false consciousness that it’s somehow empowering, or are simply doing what is expected of them in patriarchal society and we’d never hate them for that.

    “In fact I believe that you are naive your believe is that the individual is responsible for the group one women going against your cause is a blow and her job must be villified.” – No, we’re not in the business of vilifying women. We think the opposite of ‘the individual is responsible’. We don’t think ‘one woman going against our cause is a blow’, you’re just MAKING SHIT UP. We never vilify the women who are being objectified, used, abused. We vilify the MEN who do the abusing, and the SOCIETY that encourages and perpetuates that abuse.

    “But I would say this does Jaqui Smith, Harriet harman, Baroness Warsi and other female politicians get judged in the same way as a glamour model NO they don’t because unlike you many people take pewople as individuals” – I thought you were JUST saying that WE take people as individuals? You make NO SENSE.

    “It is through generalisation that ineqwuality can be made” – no, it’s through men abusing women that gender inequality is made.

    “Currently you are attributing every thought of 51% of the population as concurrent to your own.” – Naw we’ve no.

    “I do not consider all women the same I do acknowledge overaching propaganda.” – Evidently you don’t, as you’ve been banging on about how there is no overarching propaganda that subjugates women and elevates men, you’ve been talking crap about how women and men are treated equally by the advertising industry and in terms of sexualisation, which is just wrong.

    “Jack I am happy that you find my posts confusing the reason for this is that I don’t sunscript to any form of visible causes.” – Lolwut. No, we find your posts confusing because they are unreadable, not because of your ‘confused ideology’.

    “I am not LIberal I don’t aim to be or want to be I am socialist in that I believe it to be a good economic policy but I don’t agree with the new Libertarian views nor the liberal views.” – Shut up about ‘liberals’. You’ve attached yourself to a concept and keep flinging it about as if you know what it means. You obviously don’t know anything about socialism if you keep attributing our radical socialist and feminist views to ‘liberalism and the liberal democrats’ as you frequently do.

  11. Brogan says:

    I have looked inside nuts and front. I did a project and yes the whole thing is a load of shit. MEANING that the people buying them are buying it for the women because they’re seen to be something men can BUY.

    ‘The popint on gay mags was to say how easily it can switch too women being sexual objects to men’ – How easily women can switch to being the sexual objects of men? Ehm what. Women ARE sexual objects to men. Although If you’re meaning men are viewed as sexual objects I think you should work on your sentence structure/ wording a lot. However, It still won’t help you make me believe what you’re saying isn’t a load of bullshit.

    Of course it’s not wrong to be attracted to women. It’s normal and rather healthy for humans to be attracted to each other. But using them as an object for men to stare at and then want to ‘buy’ is not acceptable. And still… you actually believe that in Men and Women are treated the same when it comes to advertising. When have you EVER seen an advert, like the Pepsi one for example, which belittles men that much? … The answer is never. Because it doesn’t happen. Just because there are adverts with topless men does not mean they are treated the same. Like I said before men are seen to be strong, powerful and successful. Women are not. The BMW advert. Without the tiny wee logo on the bottom you wouldn’t even know that was trying to sell you a car. Because the advert is trying to make you believe that with the car you get WOMEN!

    I think you should now shut up and before you come back go and PLEASE open a textbook and learn to post something that doesn’t take about 30 minutes to decipher.

  12. Jack says:

    I want to be a visible ally in this discussion, but trying to get my head around what Paul is actually saying is making my head hurt. The sentences just don’t make sense, it’s like reading one of those spam emails that is a string of gibberish with the occasional half sentence that makes sense. Here’s a response to some of the bits I could get my head round:

    Does the existence of Michelle Mone change the fact that the advertising industry, particularly the directors responsible for coming up with the ideas behind ad campaigns, is completely male dominated? It’s a classic example to go, “aha but this one person made it through, so that means all of them can.” Does the existence of Condoleeza Rice mean the Bush administration wasn’t racist? Or that black people are just as responsible for anything racist it did? Of course not, that’s really offensive, as offensive as claiming women are responsible for their own oppression.

    Sarah already dealt with your ridiculous claim that women and men are equally treated as sex objects. Women are the subjects of the vast majority of pornography, and popular culture that verges on pornography. And when men are the subjects, it is pretty much universally for the consumption of other men, so it doesn’t really change the point.

    “It is through generalisation that ineqwuality can be made.” Err no, it’s through centuries of social dominance and appropriation of resources by certain groups within society (men, “whites”, the bourgoisie etc.) which is then justified culturallly that inequality is made.

    Your posts make no sense, I’m sorry to say but please read them over before posting and see if anyone else could make head nor tail of what it is you’re actually trying to argue. I hate criticising people on the basis of spelling and grammar, but in your case it makes it materially hard to work out what you’re on about. Trying copy pasting into word and getting it’s advice on grammar, although would probably only be a small step towards making your ideas more coherent. I am as clear why you think the things you do as I am why this guy does:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD4ma24NfL4

  13. Don Juan says:

    I am a human being to hate women is to hate humanity, I hate neither, to disagree with you Sarah is not to hate 51% of the population it is merely to try to make a dent on your eternal arrogance.

  14. Sarah says:

    Trolololololololololo

  15. Meghan says:

    First of all, I like and support Brogan’s post and the sentiments raised in it. There’s not a thing I disagree on.

    @Don Juan – I think it IS important that we look at how masculinity is defined by the media etc., because it too is marginalising and attempts to impose a certain type of blokishness on our culture. I think it is important that we look at the roles available to men and ways of redefining them. I don’t, however, think that it is the task of this sort of contemporary ‘masculinism’ (if we want to call it that, it’s a potentially misleading title though) to resist feminist advances – apart from anything else feminist advances also have a lot to offer men. I do NOT mean to say that men are just as marginalised as women – this isn’t true. In all constructed power-binaries, masculinity and the things associated with it remain hierarchically above femininity and the things associated with it (see Helene Cixous’s chapter ‘Sorties’ for furter info). The masculinity debate is worth having, but probably not at the bottom of a very good article by Brogan that has little to do with redefining masculinity (and shouldn’t necessarily be about redefining masculinity either, since we don’t want to shift the focus gender studies back to focus on the white heterosexual male: let’s face it, he’s got enough power without becoming the subject of a field set up to destabilize him).

    Nonetheless, Helene Cixous has this to say about men:

    “Men still have everything to say about their sexuality, and everything to write. For what they have said so far, for the most part, stems from the opposition activity/ passivity from the power relation between a fantasized obligatory virility meant to invade, to colonize, and the consequential phantasm of woman as a “dark continent” to penetrate and to “pacify”. (We know what “pacify” means in terms of scotomizing the other and misrecognizing the self.) Conquering her, they’ve made haste to depart from her borders, to get out of sight, out of the body. The way man has of getting out of himself and into her whom he takes not for the other but for his own, deprives him, he knows, of his own bodily territory. One can understand how man, confusing hiself with his penis and rushing in for the attack, might feel resentment and fear of being “taken” by the woman, of being lost in her, absorbed or alone.” – cixous, ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’

    For me this is a classic case of ‘false consciousness’ in some ways, men insert themselves into this role that’s been constructed, maintained and sold back to them where they ‘confuse themselves with their penises’, by judging each other by how much sex they’ve had and thus by how much ‘conquering’ of the other (that they refuse to recognise as other but instead see as property since they’ve been indoctrinated to do so) they’ve done. So men have to make new roles for masculinity, to get away from Captain Kirk’s enterprising, colonialist and ultimately sexist attitudes. Star Trek displays the options to become ‘feminised’ like McCoy, to act according to conscience and impulses, or to disappear into the kind of hard masculinist logic espoused by spock. With the advent of poststructuralism these binaries are broken down, other options become possible. But they must be created, ‘written – in the Cixousian sense – by men. (Hence masculism perhaps, if you wnat to call it taht, although it’s easily misinterpreted to be a counter to feminism when it’s no such thing.) I use examples from Star Trek because they’re likely to be something we’re relatively familiar with. And because, like Zizek, I believe that most Western cultural phenomena can be outlined in Trekkie terms.

    The truth is though that the advent of feminism and the progress it has so far made necessitates that men redefine themselves – these things are not in opposition but in synthesis. A refusal of men to comply to the male gazing, and ‘conquering’ ideas that sexist advertising invites would be a move that feminist men might take which would serve a dual purpose – not to be complicit in patriarchy, and also to refuse the limited and hegemonic definitions of masculinity that the media impose at the same time as they present women as they present women as products.

  16. James says:

    A good read when it comes to anything that demeans women every socialist has a duty to speak out against it no matter how prudish and ‘unmanly’ it may appear to some. The problem that we have in our society of large numbers of men purely seeing woman as being sexual objects to satisfy them and the all the horrible ramifications will only grow and increase respectively the more these images are seen as just as a ‘bit of a laugh’ and go unchallenged. So the more articles highlighting and confronting the problem the better.

    Oh and that Pepsi ad in the article that I thankfully haven’t seen before is just wrong in so many levels.

  17. James says:

    Well said Meghan completely agree.
    You’ll find that when many men are simply trying to fulfill the role that they believe society expects them to and if they are asked to stop and think about what they are doing/saying they’ll probably realise just how pathetic it is. That’s why I believe it is so important that whenever we encounter sexism (and indeed all kinds of prejudice) no matter how tempting it may be to just have an argument free taxi journey home we confront it head on.

  18. Don Juan says:

    Meghan your point is valid although I have a large problem with women excluding men from certain conversations duie to the fact they are men. You have set up only women conversations and all men can do is nod along to the findings. This is wrong I would not expect a women to be to happy if I told her to shut up this is man talk. The point is all subjects should be open to debate by both genders.
    If I say a comment you put me in a box and then James and others quite nicely insult me by implyiung that I am an automaton doing the motions of a patriachal system which expects me to behave in a certain way.

    Also in none of these things to wqomen discuss the changing view on sexuality within these over-sexualised adverts which are wrong especially given that more and more adverts are showing all humans as primitive beings unable to restrain themselves from having sex or believing everything is about sex.
    Foe instance the patriachacy of the today is so different from 1950s patriachy views on sexuality have been liberalised so it is deemed acceptable to be more overtly sexual because advertising companies will no they can get away with an advert that shows females in underwear or promising sex in some such manner if you buy the product.

    Also Helene seems to believe that we are cavemen but many times in this blog and others I have been informed that you can’t accuse people of base primitive desires or thoughts. As in men being in a continous tribal dance to prove himself superior to other men by having a women.

  19. Meghan says:

    I don’t think Helene Cixous thinks that all men are cavemen at all (certainly she has a lot of admiration for the philosopher Kleist, who was definitely male). I think what she is highlighting here is that a certain construct of masculinity has become dominant – the kind of masculinity stereotype that these adverts promote, where men judge each other by how much sex they have had, and see sex as a primary and irresistible motivator. Hence why she is calling for men to ‘write themselves’ – to construct for themselves identities which don’t consist of embracing the space provided for them by the activity/passivity binary (which she sees as patriarchal and marginalising to BOTH genders). But she does think that women deserve their own conversations and dialogues and discourses where men are excluded. I don’t think she would deny this opportunity to men either – in fact, her own refusal to redefine men implies that she thinks that men SHOULD have their own space where women are excluded in order to determine their new indentities. For myself, I believe that all groups (whether dominant/privileged or not) deserve their own autonomous space in which to determine themselves. I think this is something being acknowledged by the Men’s group at the Free Hetherington (which is the counterpart to the excellent women’s group). Identity is something that is continually being performed, and thus it is continually changing, and these changes should be discussed and documented for all groups. And I would argue that they ARE being discussed and documented for all groups, there is certainly much academic ink being spilt on masculinity studies as I write this. Which is as it should be.

  20. Meghan says:

    “If I say a comment you put me in a box”

    Actually I don’t – I have a bloggers account, but it’s not an Admin account. I don’t get to put you in a box. even on my own posts if I wanted to put you in a box (which I haven’t done, to yourself or any poster, just for information), Admins on the blog would be able to take you out of it and post your comment regardless.

  21. Sarah says:

    Paul, men only conversations is commonly known as ‘society’.

    Women only safe spaces is known as ‘fighting back against patriarchy’.

    You don’t need a safe space, you have society. We need a safe space. Address your privilege.

  22. Don Juan says:

    If there is a safe place for women then there is inequality quarentted.

    Positive discrimination

    If you say I am to admit to privilege then I refuse the simple reason for this is I don’t consider myself superior if you are forcing me into acknowledging privelege then maybe you believe me to be superior or at least MAN not man which are completly different things when you put them in capitals apparently.

    When I say all subjects are too be discussed I am saying that equality is not a female only issue or a black issue or a asian issue or a homosexual issue issue. I am saying it is a issue for all of us and nothing can be acheived by excludng ‘WHITE MAN’

    If you are saying men only conversations is named society then you in fact are already isolating yourself hence not being part of society so you can’t affect it.
    The truth is that society is a whole and covers a wide variance of beliefs many beliefs I don’t agree with. No one individual is society.

    In society i guess you mean the propaganda which is strung together to make some semblance of a united cause then it is not MAN nor a STATE it is free of its original shackles and it is free to take on many shapes. This Propaganda has led us into the belief that somehow the British state had democracy long before it actually did, that Britain is a symbol of freedom, these are lies but true at the same time.

    But the point I would make is that the society that you give many names is the same demon but t is working you belief yourselve isolated from the society but then you still work for it by sowing disunity by seperating MEN and WOMEN or is it men and women.

  23. Don Juan says:

    Meghan when I was talking about a box I mean making a judgement of me and ignoring my views by putting me in a category.

  24. Sarah says:

    Whether you personally “consider” yourself not to be superior to women is irrelevant – society gives you systemic advantages over women, known as privilege. Often this will manifest itself in your behaviour without you being very aware of it and will result in the oppression of women. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant – the point is it’s there, and it’s your duty to challenge it.

    The way to challenge it is not by telling women they are wrong about their own oppression or by telling them how they should conduct their fightback. It’s up to women to decide that, not men. Men get to decide everything else.

  25. Don Juan says:

    Actually it is about my personal opinion or not my own but Mens opinion. See you are challenging how men think not how women think. In fact you should be challenging both but if you talk about institusionalised superiorty. why is it that women are deemed the best carers for children and a court will mostly favour a women in a custody battle regardless of her fitness to be a parent to the child or children.
    Why is it for many years men have been made to work five years longer to get their pension when women have statistically a larger life expectancy. I don’t know with the new pension ages coming in whether that inequality still exists but its still a good point.
    Men do not get to decide everything, women inhabit many high-flying jobs and a women even although she was a complete boot got the highest job in the land. At what point do you turn around and say women are making decisions. For example in the Scottish socialist party do women not make decisions within or is it that you keep dealing in theoretical philosphies rather than looking at the real life vision before you.
    In the end it is easy for a group or an individual to claim that they are not given equality because in a country of split groups i.e. men and women. It is never going to go totally your way so the true feminist vision of the world whatever that maybe will never be realised because men inhabit this world also.

  26. Meghan says:

    Actually, the presence of men doesn’t preclude the possibility of a more feminist world. If it did then male feminists would be hell-bent on their own elimination – instead they’re aiming to eliminate the privileges that society gives them over women, and to refuse to be complicit in the oppression and suppression of women in our society, which is ongoing. When I say that men too should have a space in which to determine their roles it’s important that I note that the nature of this space for men would be inherently different from an autonomous safe space for women. While women seek a space free from fear of oppression and abuse, the equivalent space for men is about addressing and (hopefully) refusing the predatory roles that traditional codes of masculinity would allocate them. It’s about refusing hierarchical binary power relations. But at the same time women cannot be ‘given’ or ‘allowed’ equality – they must take it for themselves. This can only be done by women establishing their own fight against patriarchy – and yes, this does mean without the input of men. Man must write himself, woman must write herself. Because society has hitherto treated these two groups seperately and differently (and continues to do so), a solution must be reached seperately.

    You are right when you say that there remain certain domains which are primarily seen as female – such as childcare (perhaps nursing, primary school teaching, etc). This isn’t an indication that women have more privilege than men though, it’s an indication that women are pigeonholed into certain roles by a society that continues to see their primary function as to care for men and children. In the same way that certain jobs are still seen as traditionally male domains (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr8jFMXTioc&feature=fvwrel see this for an artistic rendering of such pigeonholing situations, role-limitation, opportunity-skewing and also for funsies). Having some women in high-flying jobs doesn’t prove that women are equal (in fact it smacks of tokenism in many instances) – in many cases women have to work much, much harder and for far longer than their equivalent male counterparts in order to get to the same position. They are also still paid considerably less money for the same work.

    Pointing to the fact that some women are able to speak out from under binary power relations – Thatcher, admirable female members of the SSP members, etc. – doesn’t mean that women are equal. Exactly the same way that pointing to the fact that some men are abused doesn’t mean that men are not privileged.

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