Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Enail on Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:26 pm

I don't know about "should," but there are many experiences that people choose for themselves to make gendered, for homosocial bonding or because they like focusing on their gendered qualities and experiences. Spa days, "girls'/boys' night out," baby showers (often woman-only), "man caves"...

I'm not very keen on it myself, and I definitely have qualms about the ways some of those things sometimes reinforce gender norms for larger society and sometimes for less-willing participants, and questions about how free the choice is in a society that so heavily reinforces it, but gender roles and gender-normative behavior is something that many people actively value in various ways in their lives, so when it's small-scale choices, one could say they 'should' be gendered because the people involved want them to be that way.

And of course, living in a world where many things that shouldn't be gendered are, experiences of how things are gendered are themselves gendered, so sometimes discussion/support/messaging around that needs to be gendered to be useful and effective. Wink
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Wondering on Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:47 pm

My baby-shower was not woman-only!

But one of my friends questioned it: "Oh, are men coming, too?" I was completely confused. Like...why wouldn't my husband be there? He's the dad! It's the Baby shower, not the Mom shower.

I agree that discussion, support, and messaging often needs to be gendered. And adding to that, I also think it's fine for some physical spaces to be gender-specific. Like women-only gyms so that women have a place they can go to work out if they so choose without being ogled or hit on by men. Places for women to feel safe or at least safer.

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Thanos6 on Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:13 pm

It's the Baby shower, not the Mom shower.

My female co-workers seem to disagree.  Every time I've heard them planning a shower, I get the impression that what they have in mind is a "girls' party" that happens to be baby-themed.  Gifts are brought, of course, but they seem to be more of an afterthought than the centerpiece.  Not a complaint, just an observation.

I agree that discussion, support, and messaging often needs to be gendered. ... Places for women to feel safe or at least safer.

Now see, I would say that in an ideal world, "safe spaces" wouldn't be necessary period, and so therefore things like gyms wouldn't need to be gendered either.  But of course, we're not even close to that world yet.

I would say that there's nothing wrong with girls'/boys' nights out, if it's imposed internally by the participants and not outward by society.  For example, if a groom-to-be and bride-to-be wanted their bachelor/ette parties to be exclusively same gender, I see no problem there.


Last edited by Thanos6 on Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Making myself clearer.)
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:25 pm

My sister is attending the same university I went to. She's thinking about volunteering for a church thing that involves sheltering homeless people. I vaguely remember doing the same when I was in her year, but it wasn't a big deal. Mom's getting super fretful about the whole thing, though, explicitly because she's a girl. It sucks that there's so much more at stake for her than there was for me, when it's the exact same activity.
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by eselle28 on Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:45 pm

Little girls' t-shirts sometimes have really bad slogans on them, but after having spent all day folding little boys' ones, they're pretty bad too. "Boys Will Be Boys" is maybe not a slogan you want seared into your son's brain. "Future Ladies Man" is dumb on several levels and also badly punctuated. "Wingman for Hire" (featuring a picture of a plane) is just sort of dumb.

I think it's not a coincidence that all those shirts were for babies and toddlers, while those for school-age kids who usually have some say in what they wear feature nothing more offensive than a silly fart joke.
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Wondering on Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:49 am

One of the most appalling gendered baby shits for girls I ever saw was pink (of course) and said Girl Genius. The boy version of the shirt said Genius.

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by HSavinien on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:48 pm

Wondering wrote:One of the most appalling gendered baby shits for girls I ever saw was pink (of course) and said Girl Genius. The boy version of the shirt said Genius.

I suppose it's too much to hope they were referring to Agatha Heterodyne.

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by caliseivy on Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:33 pm

Has anyone seen this article, it's from January:

Job Listings That Are Too 'Feminine' For Men
Job postings for home health aides say applicants need to be “sympathetic” and “caring,” “empathetic” and focused on “families.” It turns out that doesn’t lead very many men to apply.
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Werel on Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:49 pm

UGH. Yeah, what man would want to have the crucially important skills of giving a fuck about other humans?

That's the reason we're making a concerted effort in my academic department to start writing recommendation letters for men which highlight their empathy, social contributions (committee work, party planning, organizing get-well cards), and social calibration. Make it seem like those are things which men are expected to have, if they want to be hired.
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:47 pm

I just had a dude refuse to let me hold the door open for him, even though his hands were full and I was already standing there, holding the door open. He actually said "You're not allowed to do that, it doesn't work that way in my world" and insisted that I close the door so that he could open it himself in order to leave.

Okay like wtf actually?!

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Datelessman on Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:33 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:I just had a dude refuse to let me hold the door open for him, even though his hands were full and I was already standing there, holding the door open. He actually said "You're not allowed to do that, it doesn't work that way in my world" and insisted that I close the door so that he could open it himself in order to leave.

Okay like wtf actually?!

I agree, that is utterly ridiculous. For me, holding a door for someone when applicable is just common manners. I've done so for men and women, young and old, and said "thank you" or "thanks" when someone has done so in kind.

My inner sass would have replied, "What world is it? This is Earth." Laughing
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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:28 pm

Yeah lol no, when a very large and imposing man is blocking your exit, and you already know he's upset because he feels his masculinity has been questioned by this tiny young woman, you definitely don't sass off at all.

But yeah, isn't a world in which people who have their hands full have the door held open for them one in which we all want to aspire to, because fuck it, that's the common decency I thought we all wanted? Sexism does strange things, man.

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Re: Gendered experiences that really should not be gendered

Post by Datelessman on Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:18 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah lol no, when a very large and imposing man is blocking your exit, and you already know he's upset because he feels his masculinity has been questioned by this tiny young woman, you definitely don't sass off at all.

But yeah, isn't a world in which people who have their hands full have the door held open for them one in which we all want to aspire to, because fuck it, that's the common decency I thought we all wanted? Sexism does strange things, man.

I agree, safety is paramount. I just couldn't resist the quip.

Unfortunately, common decency is less common than most of us want. And while sexism does do weird things, it's also a tool the men in power use to keep others down, or pitted against each other, IMO.

But sometimes it does reveal its absurdity, and a guy yelling at someone trying to help them when their arms are full because of which genitals they have is one example.
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