Sexual Politics

by Maureen on October 12, 2012

sexual politicsI was talking with an old friend from the states yesterday and he’s convinced that all the problems over there started 40 years ago when women decided they should be equal to men in every way.  “Feminism has taken over the political process,” he said.

He went on to say that “men used to talk about real issues and now everything is an attack on masculinity, marriage and the family.”

All I could think of in reply was, “huh? What planet are you on?” but of course I didn’t say that.  I went to university with this guy so we’ve known each other for a very long time.  He thinks that feminism is the cause of all problems everywhere in the world. “Women used to know their place,” he said.

Okay, that’s where I couldn’t hold my tongue (or fingers) any longer.  While I was crafting my clever response, he said, “Feminism isn’t a reform movement, it’s a revolution.”  As if that’s a bad thing.

happier with a hooverI began by saying, “How can you say that women should stay in their place so that men can be happy running the show?  From my perspective you’ve done a pretty shit job of it over there for quite some time.  One war after another, poverty running rife, …  ”  It went on and on and his reply?

“It’s all because Obama is president, he’s allowing all these women to take our country over.”

My eyes started coming out of my head.

“These women?  As if women haven’t been in the United States for a very long time?” I said, “You make no comment on anything I said, only to reply that the current President is the ruination of all and seriously, he’s a man.  Does being black put him in the same category of not knowing his place as women?”

I was so pissed off that I just wanted to smack him in the nose but that’s not what polite society accepts as conversation, plus he is 10,000 miles away.  I decided I needed to leave the conversation so I told him that I’d had enough of the bully mentality as it had been pretty full on here in Australia this week.

He replied, “Yeah, I saw that on the news.  That woman of yours needs to shut the fuck up and accept that men are not going to like her being in power because that’s against the social order – read the Bible.”

I loved the Prime Minster’s response in Parliament the other day.  She spoke for me.  As a woman who’s worked in businesses dominated by men, I know how it feels to be left out of the company sponsored upper management bonding events like deep sea fishing, golf afternoons, etc.  “Oh you don’t want to go with a bunch of smelly men,” one guy said to me once.

There’s never a time that I thought women were better than men but I’ve always known we are equal and have a right to be treated as such.  If men like my now former friend and others like him think women are going to step back from the fight for equality, they’d be wrong.

women hit things

See?  women aren’t as good as men.  We hit things.  Why men don’t get that we’re sick of this crap, I can’t fathom.  Far from spoiling things for them, including women will make the world a much better place for everyone.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda October 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

Wow Maureen, I don’t know how you held your cool with your friend. I think I might have been trying to crawl down the line to rip him a new one – just like Julia did to Abbott. She was magnificent and made her points brilliantly. Clearly some of these guys are just terrified of any threat to what they see as their rightful power-base.

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Maureen October 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

In person I would have blurted out something stupid. It’s much easier to do it over IM but I did finally lose it and told him to get lost. He wasn’t like this as a young university student.

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