What to give a woman!

This quote has been circling Facebook with people liking and commenting on it. Because of sharing, reposting, and those other tricky Facebook features, we do not know for certain where it originated from, but it seems as if attribution is to be given to Erick S. Gray. The quote points to women and domesticity in a way that is a little off-putting to us even though this might not be the intent of the writer.

“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

“If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby” – given that all women want children and are able to conceive. Statistically speaking, a woman might “give you a baby”, but she is usually the one to take on most of the responsibility of childcare.

“If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home” – because the assumption is that women are the homemakers, the domestic ones who always enjoy cleaning, doing laundry and fiddling with home décor. Just give her a house, and she will make it a home.

“If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal” – why not make your own dinner?

“If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart” – often times it takes much more than a smile.

Interestingly, the quote says nothing about respect, equality, or teamwork when in a relationship. The last part of the quote points to women’s “vindictive” and “sly” nature. “So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!” Perhaps women are tired of being given “crap” since they are so busy raising children, being homemakers, making dinner and in return only receiving a smile!

What to Give Her, What to Buy for Him!

Gift giving can be tricky. And if you believe in the polarization of gender and biological determinism, be aware that you need to stick to highly feminine and masculine gifts that reinforce the belief in the segregation of women and men.

Red Envelope has a whole section of gifts for her, and for him. Subcategories for women (that are not included in the men’s section and vice versa) consist of “cooking and baking,” “flowers and plants,” and “gardening.” Subcategories for men include “sports” and “electronics and gadgets,” as well as “watches” (there’s a clear distinction between a watch and a piece of jewelry, right?) Some categories are similar, but assumed gender preferences are included. For example, for women there is a section called “for the home,” but for men this similar section is called “home & office.” For women, there is also a section titled “bar & wine”; the same section exists for men, with the addition of cigars. See, this is helpful because we would not want women smoking cigars in their offices and men to dirty their jewelry in the garden.

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Sweden – An abomination, or a place where women’s reproductive rights are valued?

Overall, Swedes have a very liberal view when it comes to women’s right to abortion, which is most often mentioned in relation to Sweden being a very secular country. Most Swedes are however happy with this arrangement and believe that everything is a-okay. Well, maybe not everyone, as Edward Pentin has a few chosen words to share (Edward who?). And what better than a quick educational spiel by someone who is not Swedish and seems to know very little about Sweden overall. And why not throw in some biased people to further support your own preconceived notions. Interestingly, Edward Pentin (again, Edward who?), a writer for the Catholic “ZENIT – the world seen from Rome” basically believes that Swedes are an abomination. In his article “Secularism in Sweden: Where Irreligious Trends Leads After Decades”, he points out that Swedes not only support abortion, but that their marriage rates are down, and that they are very accepting of…HOMOSEXUALITY…can you believe it?  [Read more...]

It’s (Still) Good To Be King

The other day we found some Christmas ornaments that reinforce the notion that the home is the man’s castle, the couch is his throne, and other examples that likens a man to being a king for no apparent reason. The ornaments are shaped like ties, for the male breadwinner of the family, and say “King of the Remote,” “It’s Good to be King,” and “CEO of this House.”

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The Flip Side: Women as Hysterical

This is the first of a two-part series about the short film The Flip Side: Dating.

The Flip Side is series of short movies that “flip” the way we believe women and men act. In these scenarios, men supposedly act like women, and women like men. In the short movie about dating, the scenes are more likely to portray women as hysterical and overly sensitive and men as dirty brutes, even though these scenarios are played out by the opposite gender.

When women are portrayed as unable to control their emotions, there is almost always a hint to the underlying role of biology when explaining the way “women act.” Women are inherently unstable, emotional, needy and hysterical, and men are viewed as distracted, unavailable, emotionless and unfeeling. Just look at the scenarios played out where women act out male stereotypes: they pee on toilet seats, fart in bed, play videogames, are on their phones constantly, and look at other men. But emotional unavailability is not deemed as “embarrassing” as being emotional or sensitive; and, as many find potty humor extremely amusing, these “male traits” are really not portrayed in an unflattering way (just look at the funny commercial depicting Mandles, “candles for manly men”), as the stereotypical “female traits” are.

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Not Just Any Kind of Sexuality: The Pornography of Everyday Life

I have a thing for advertisements, especially when they portray sexism, gender stereotypes, or the pornification of sexuality. Elin and I frequently write about advertisements that we find disturbing, annoying, or just plain sexist. And there are many kinds to choose from, as different forms of advertising are everywhere. Some of my favorite analyses and discussions of popular culture and advertising are Jean Kilbourne’s series Killing Us Softly and Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity. I also wrote about the documentary Orgasm Inc, concerning female sexual dysfunction.

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When it Comes to Politics, Don’t Listen to Sex and the City

For many women, Sex and the City signifies the sexually adventurous and independent woman, one who does not take any crap and knows what she wants. For others, the show is the complete opposite of independence and instead showcases very materialistic women endlessly looking for the right man to marry while discussing shoes, drinks, and parties. Sex and the City falls in the same category as Madonna, you either love her or cannot stand her.

There is something so off putting about Sex and the City to me. The constant discussion of fashion and appearance, the neverending hunt for relationships, and the often shallow discussions of anything that is not fashion or relationships, along with Carrie’s constant shrieking (when she sees a mouse, when she looses a shoe, gets picked up by a man, encounters dogs, when it rains, basically all the time). Besides, how can all these women have so much money to spend when they actually never work? While browsing for anything good on TV I found an episode that depicted the women sitting around a table outside at a restaurant discussing politics and Carrie’s new politician boyfriend. Just before the lunch conversation, Carrie’s voiceover stated that she and her partner were compatible since he knows about politics and she knows about fashion, and both are very similar. During lunch, one of the women noted the irony of Carrie dating a politician, since she was not even registered to vote. Samantha then said that she would vote for whomever was the best-looking man running for office, or for president. Carrie’s voiceover said something like “Here we were, four girls talking politics.”

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The 3% Conference Addresses Women in Advertising

We have problems with many advertisements aimed at women. Often they claim to be for women, but are more often than not irritating, demeaning, and frustrating, and do very little for women. Advertisements often portray stereotypical notions of what women want, like, like to do, and should look like; they also attempt to sell products by making women feel guilty about the appearance of their bodies and all the (often made up) “imperfections” that are pitched in a way as to make women feel that they are useless and unattractive.  The advertisements that we recently wrote about are good examples of how not to advertise to women.

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When Keeping Your Child is No Longer Your Choice!

In the last week, a horrible story about a Chinese woman forced to undergo an abortion while 7 months pregnant has caused quite the upheaval in China and in the rest of the world.

Since 1979, China has reinforced the one-child policy as a strategy to control a fast growing population. There is however exceptions to the one-child policy, such as a second child may be allowed if the firstborn is female. In terms of controlling and reducing the population, the policy has been successful. But there have been many subsequent consequences related to the policy. For example, female infanticide and forced abortion has become increasingly common as male children are deemed more desirable. The ratio of females to males in the nation is also very uneven, as is the overall age of the Chinese population (described as the 4-2-1 problem where one child will be required to care for two parents and four grandparents as they age).

As unrepentant pro-choicers, we feel that women should have the right to make their own decisions concerning their bodies and reproduction, and this includes the choice to carry, give birth to, and care for your own child as well. The problematic notion of the one-child policy not only highlights women’s extremely limited reproductive choices and reproductive rights, but also gender inequalities, as well as inequalities influenced by a person’s social class and status. [Read more...]

Roundup: Women and Science

After watching the E.U.’s Breathtakingly Sexist Science Video, I decided to go on the Internet in order to see how other countries and/or other media talk about women and science.

China’s first woman astronaut takes the starring role
New York’s ‘Girls Who Code’ to Train Women for Tech Jobs
A greater role for women in sciences in Arab societies
USAriseup talk about encouraging women to all races & ethnicities to obtain science degrees
It is time to stop worrying about female brain and get smarter

Women in science are the solution to solve the wrong equation of stereotypes!