Sexism?

September 20, 2016

leblancclarke

Treating women as inferior is ugly. It’s even worse when women are treated as property.

Since I was old enough to be aware of societal issues, I’ve always thought treating women poorly was a result of insecurity in men. Even as a boy, I saw treating women as lesser was caused by fear or anxiety.

When men prohibit women from being educated, holding office, or voting, there is no rational explanation other than they are afraid (I could add a joke about driving but better not [grin]). When men create and enforce customs or rules that require women to cover themselves in public, or avoid public places unless accompanied by their husbands, one cannot avoid the conclusion that those men are lacking in confidence. And men who require the even more deplorable act of female genital mutilation (FGM) are obviously afraid of losing or not controlling their women.

For those not absolutely clear, FGM is the cutting off of the external parts of the female genitalia resulting in loss of sexual pleasure. And it’s still pervasive! Just in 2016 alone, it has already happened to an estimated 200 million women, in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and elsewhere in Asia, and the Middle East.  These girls and women are real victims. I’ve heard the explanations that it’s not the men pushing this barbaric practice, but you can be sure no woman in her right mind would cut off her clitoris without duress, brainwashing, and/or force. And you can try to convince me until you’re blue in the face that it was the women’s idea to cover their heads, faces, and bodies, but I’ll still tell you to go sell crazy someplace else.

On the other hand, we see groups pushing angry narratives that say interacting with women any differently than with men is sexist or derogatory. Again since I was a boy, I’ve always seen the attempt to treat the sexes the same as an exercise in futility. We do not have to be the same to be equal. We are not the same – people who cannot embrace the differences between the sexes are missing out on one of God’s great gifts.

It has to get tiresome to be constantly hit on by insecure men who think they are entitled to certain treatment, but some advocates are instilling anger (and fear) by promoting the idea that even such things as complimenting women on their shoes or using feminine pronouns are “sexist micro-aggressions.” And it’s reached the absurd point where people are upset or “offended” by a male celebrity saying that he would like to see a beautiful actress’ nude scenes. Yes, media outlets called it “pervy” when Matt LeBlanc (Joey from Friends) joked that he needed to catch up on watching Game of Thrones since he’d heard Emilia Clarke started getting naked on the show, and social media went crazy, admonishing him as “creepy.”

It’s amazing to me that people can take the normal human response of finding beauty in another and turn it into victimization (she chose to be naked on screen). When men find women attractive (even clumsily), it’s not necessarily “objectifying” them – and vice versa. In this day and age when lots of people are looking for reasons to be offended, let’s try to offer a little rational thought by not jumping to conclusions, by not confusing attraction with the real victimization of treating women as property.

And by not being insecure.

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