Prof: Elizabeth Boger, Ph.D.
13 May 2018
Section 3 and 4 Exam
• Pope Francis made a startling statement a few years ago with “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Perhaps if the Catholic Church is willing to allow all people to be accepted by the church, then why not let the church allow females to serve in the roles of Bishops, Archbishops, and higher positions within it’s ranks? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America claims it’s clergy who are women has doubled from 1991 to 2003, to 16 percent (Kimmel Michael p.248). Only five percent within the black churches in America serve as pastors. Spreading the word of God should be allowed by all faithful followers, since in the past there were a number of women mentioned as leaders and prophets of Israel like Miriam in exodus, Deborah in judges, and Huldah in two kings. At some point in time, society felt it needed women to serve in subservient roles when it came to religion. Clearly the interpretation of the holy word has been skewed and formulated to appeal to men, yet the majority of the faithful who follow, attend, and take an active role within churches is women.
• Women have made great leaps and bounds in the workplace, but inequality continues persists. Women are still not getting equal pay for equal work. Many women still feel that the glass ceiling or invisible barriers still exists, keeping them from progressing in the career fields normally held by men. This suggests that women’s managerial or leadership aspirations will come to an abrupt stop. This in turn effects the wage gap that already exists in America. There too many women doing the same job that men traditionally held yet being paid peanuts in comparison. Even once a woman does get past the sex segregation and discrimination, she will still have to compete with males who didn’t have to fight as hard for the position. Silicon Valley is a suitable place to look at if someone was referring to sex segregation, wage gap and the glass ceiling barrier. When women enter these big businesses, they are still subject to several types of tokenism. They aren’t really seen for their experience or talents, only to meet a quota or not be singled out as a non-compliant business.
• Women face a difficulty in networking and fundraising, but their worries aren’t about asking for or attempting to raise money. The hard part is, not being connected with the right networks like their male counterparts. Women running for office don’t have the list of names or network connections like many males who run for office. women are subjected to harassment when looking for a mentor. They are subject to bias people when they choose to enter the campaign trail. To add more salt to this wound, women still have the difficulty of balancing work and family. Don’t look to husband to change expected roles. If this happens, women might be viewed as pawning their household duties or turning their back on their family for private goals. At no time is the male candidate subjected to these roadblocks. Women are extremely under-represented in politics. People are more interested in what the candidate is wearing or how she is acting to disqualify her as political leader or candidate. It’s bad enough society doesn’t shine female politicians like it does male leaders. Although there has leaps and bounds in the area of women’s rights, society is still far from embracing more female leaders in politics. All women are blamed when one woman in politics does something not excepted by society.
• When it comes to women in the media and especially in America the images are pretty much the same. Women are seen as sex goddesses, half naked, and obsessing over a male. This is exaggerated even more when it comes to music videos. It’s bad enough that surgery and makeup have been used to alter what the women in videos really look like. Women are seen as objects and subjected to ridicule and sexual advancements, but this is ok, it’s America. America places its musicians on a pedestal and are marveled as heroes and looked upon to be emulated regardless if it means to belittle women. It doesn’t matter what type of music or genre, only that women are seen as sexual objects with little or no meaning, but to make the male musician look as if all women want them. There music videos of men stalking women, beating women, throwing drinks on women, and looked at with lower status.
• Homophobia, or fear of appearing gay or homosexuality does impact the structures of men and women’s friendship. Several characteristics of upholding masculinity interfere like, men are more likely to be homophobic than women. This can lead to men limiting any or all physical contact or emotional closeness with other men. Heterosexual men have a high gender self-esteem. This does not include though, those that are related through marriage or blood. This does however, limit any intimacy or closeness in male same-sex friendships. As far as women, they are more communal than men. There is more emphasis on self-discloser, and a bias heterosexual man may look at this as too girlie-like. Men are more likely to focus on the activity and conversation, as where women may value the interaction more. Men place such a high and usually unattainable standard before them that interaction with women or someone who is homosexual (especially male) can’t appear too close or friendly for fear of appearing gay or girlie themselves. Homophobia does not impact women as much as men. Usually women seek self-disclosure, empathy, trust, and support from their friends. This does not mean there aren’t any female homophobes, just not as frequent as men.
• Doing gender is concept developed by Candace west and Don Zimmermen. Everything society does whether intentionally or unintentionally gender is routinely accomplished in everyday life. It starts before birth when families discuss what color is appropriate for the child, then to how little boys are treated different than little girls. It’s the way society expects children to grow into their perspective roles. The problems with this way of thought is, not everyone is the same. There isn’t a cookie cutter of male and female people. In fact, expectations are set too high for society. This leads to anorexia, self-mutilation to meet body shapes and more feminine so girls can attract boys. Society portrays a slim, white, wholesome and beautiful female in many of its advertisements, movies, and social media. Boys are expected to be the opposite though. Rough, tough, muscular, tall, competitive, and dominant. The problem with “doing gender” is that it can result in social stratification or unequal distribution of society’s wealth, power and privilege between men and women. Doing gender is changing though, slowly but at least for the better. Society is starting to recognize the dangers in doing gender. Health, self-esteem, and unreasonable expectations are just some of the problems. Hyper masculinity leading to violent crimes and making instructional institutions unsafe for younger children. Extreme changes from what is considered appropriate or acceptable displays of gender are stigmatized or policed through social means and displayed for “normal viewers”. Society, though slowly changing is still pushing back and looking to “the way it was” as the truthful answer or blame society for its problems and not taking a deeper look.
• To a rapist, rape is easy. One myth is believed that if a man too horny and deprived of sex, that he will lose control to an unguarded woman. But what about the weaker person that cannot defend themselves against such a predator? Some say that a rapist will commit this crime as a sign of power over a weaker person (understood as why men possibly rape in prison). Not only is it a sign of power over a weaker person or self-sexual gratification for a person in prison, but a show of force to others. A sign that the predator is the alpha male and not the victim. This is not limited to just males in prison though. This is also happening in female prisons. Freudians in the mid-20th century believed it was plausible that the victims instigated rape. That women secretly longed for it. Women’s sexuality was held to be inherently masochistic. Even today when a woman is raped and taken to the hospital, many will ask what she was wearing, as if that was why she was raped. That perhaps, had she not dressed so provocatively then she might not have gotten raped. This in turn may cause the victim to question herself or choice of clothing that lead to rape. Kimmel Michael says
“Men often view their actions as revenge or retaliation”. “They say, women have power over me because they’re beautiful and sexual and I want them, and they elicit that, and I feel powerless,” he says. “Just listen for a minute the way we describe women’s beauty and sexuality. We describe it as a violence against us. She is a knock-out, a bomb-shell, dressed to kill, a femme fatale”. So, the violence then or aggression or the sexual violence is often a way to retaliate.”
As stated above, men are more likely to be the predator and women being the victim. Not only does this instill fear in many women, but also self-esteem and everything that was once positive to a nightmare. Society needs to start taking responsibility and stop blaming the victim. Rape has such a horrible impact on lives and society. The fear of being assaulted or raped should not have to be considered when going out with friends or to a party.
Kimmel, Michael. The gendered Society, Sixth edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print