Combating everyday sexism

I saw this post through social media recently:

Women that don’t cook, clean or suck dick always ask “where are all the good men?” The good men just finished eating dinner and they’re relaxing in a clean house about to get their dick sucked

I was immediately repulsed by this, angered and annoyed that this post had been shared, and what was even worse, the sharer (a male) found it amusing. There are many connotations about both sexes in this short post, that main one being that women who do not fulfil these roles do not deserve to have a ‘good’ man. This implies that women who do not conform to their traditional gender roles are not considered worthy of having a decent male partner.

This post is a perfect example of everyday sexism, by which I mean sexism that happens on a daily basis according to our gender roles, constructed based on our sex and maintained for a long period of time, to the point where it has become natural in society.

Here’s a simple example to demonstrate. Women are biologically constructed to conceive children (whether they choose to use this ability or not is their choice), meaning that they are perceived as care givers. As a care giver, they will look after children by maintaining the home through, you guessed it, cooking and cleaning. These are often still perceived as jobs carried out mostly by women (you only have to look at television adverts, especially for cleaning products).

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Or even this recent example of sexism!

Of course this notion of women was well-received during most of the 20th century (even for many centuries before that), where men would be the bread-winners of the family, going out to work everyday in order to support his wife and children financially. He would expect his home to be well-maintained, clean and for his dinner to always be ready when he got back from work. Advertisements (considered as vintage) helped in maintaining these gendered roles, especially during both World Wars.

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I thought that we had moved on from this perception that women are the ones who have to, cook, clean, ‘please’ their partners and stay at home if they have children. I thought we were progressing towards a society where sex/gender should not dictate what jobs we do, where women can succeed and be more than just a ‘wife’ and where men can take paternal leave to look after the children at home.

I believe that we are slowly progressing in terms of sex/gender equality, but as I’ve just demonstrated, the fact that posts like this are being shared through social media for amusement indicates that it will take a long time before we really achieve better equality. It will take generation after generation before every single person truly believes that inequality and belittling the opposite sex is completely unacceptable.

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This has to be one of the worst vintage adverts I’ve seen!

It is inevitable that both sexes experience divides between each other, due to how we are biologically constructed. But these should be celebrated, not undermined and used to uphold the binary oppositions between men and women.

Before I finish, what is considered a good man? (in the context of the post) It seems to me that a good man is a male who sits around, not willing to help out his female partner who is doing all of the hard work in keeping the house clean, presentable and habitable. In this day of age, most women work for a living, so they are having to do all of the housework and cooking in addition to working, while their ‘good’ man still sits around, complaining of his difficult day at the office and expecting a ‘stress reliever’ from his woman.

What about her? Is the cleaning, cooking and pleasing her partner her ‘stress reliever’? Is her man not capable of helping her out with the chores? Does he need looking after because he’s not capable of looking after himself, not able to do the simple but laboursome task of cleaning the house and preparing meals? Well then, if this is what a good man is, I certainly won’t be looking for one! I’d rather be with a male partner who recognises that jobs around the house should be shared and taken in turns, that chores are not gender specific. I’d rather be with someone who believes that it’s all about pleasing each other, not just one person receiving all the pleasure for doing nothing.

 

Clare Bear

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