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Are Women Predisposed to Expect & Accept Sexism?

Everyday sexism and misogyny - as women I feel we’re born to accept and live with it. It’s normal, I bet most of us don’t even notice it. ‘Boys will be boys’, as the saying goes…

My husband remarked to me on this topic the other day and it really got me thinking. We’d been out and even with my husband by my side; we could count the number of leering, staring men.

 

"One man actually commented under his breath as he passed by, which led my husband to say right then and there “How do women cope with this? I don’t think I could handle it if I were a woman.”

 

Getting frustrated, my husband started staring back at the men, but most didn’t even notice. Their eyes firmly on me, it was like I was some object, something that didn’t deserve courtesy or respect. Or maybe in fact, they didn't even care what I thought - they wanted to look so the looked.

"...in this period of working towards equality, it’s important not to tar all men with the same brush. Most of the good men are too busy going about their business to voice their angle on this, which is I think why those behaving badly take the limelight."

 

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One man actually commented under his breath as he passed by, which led my husband to say right then and there “How do women cope with this? I don’t think I could handle it if I were a woman.”

Now that is an observation made by a good man, and in this period of working towards equality, it’s important not to tar all men with the same brush. Most of the good men are too busy going about their business to voice their angle on this, which is I think why those behaving badly take the limelight.

 

"I feel like in recent years, women have gotten angry, we’ve had enough and we’re pushing for change."

 

Which leads me onto this point: I feel like in recent years, women have gotten angry, we’ve had enough and we’re pushing for change. The ‘Me Too’ movement really gave us a firm push and it’s refreshing to see grass roots of change, including the new Up-Skirting Law that was passed in the UK last week, spearheaded by Gina Martin.

However, I must say that I don’t like some of the generic man bashing that’s happening in our fight for fairness. Not all men behave badly and in any case, do we as women REALLY want to see men be demoted to where we have been for centuries, with us ‘above’ them?

I certainly do not, and as a woman and feminist, I believe in equal fairness for all!

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But back to the matter at hand –
Why do some men act this way towards women, and why as women do we almost expect it?

Whether it’s getting hooted at by passing cars, stared at in the street by passing men, catcalled or – my biggest dread – walking past a building site and waiting with baited breath for the inevitable whistling and unwanted comments.

 

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"My mother never sat me down and told me to expect this in life, but as I grew up I didn’t bat an eyelid at everyday sexism."

 

Is it a generational thing? And how is it that as women we grow-up to accept it? My mother never sat me down and told me to expect this in life, but as I grew up I didn’t bat an eyelid at everyday sexism.

Likewise, are little boys brought-up to behave like this towards women? Is it the fault of society, the way children are raised, peer pressure or is it an inherent in-built aspect of some men?

What are your thoughts, do you have a story of something that’s happened to you? If you are a gent reading, what are your thoughts on this? What do you think we can do as a society to stop it?

Share your thoughts below….

 

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