Degrees of Misogyny

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I was not assigning you a task, but correcting your description of what you had to do to support your claims. You said this: "My case is far easier to make; I have only to show a minimum of one example of sexism that is not born of hatred". These repeated attempts to fence misogyny off into "hatred", corrected so often as they have been, have now come to an end - ok?

    What's wrong with it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Because sexism can occur in the absense of "dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women."

    An example I gave is chivalry - opening a door for ladies (but not for men). It is an act not born of dislike, contempt or prejudice, yet it is still sexist.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    And whence, then, comes it?

    (You do realize the metaphorical betting pool is scrambling to cover variations of courtesy? There are so many iterations.)
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    So you are unaware of any roots of chivalry in ingrained prejudice, bordering on contempt.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    To regard an entire class of humans as consistently different from the rest of the population--in such a way as to require treating them as needing assistance with everyday activities such as opening a door, pulling a chair out from under a table, or giving up one's own chair in a place so overcrowded or poorly prepared that there aren't enough chairs for everyone--has, of course, always been explained, usually with genuine sincerity, as a form of respect. Since royalty (in the places where royalty still exists) is treated the same way regardless of gender, it's not difficult to buy into the "respect" argument.

    But when chivalry is also invoked to explain why half of the population need not be as well educated as the other half, need not work for a living, need not bother to understand politics (much less be allowed to vote or to hold any public office except hereditary), chivalry starts to look like a euphemism for male supremacy. And when it continues to descend into such atrocities as wife-beating, droit de seigneur (the lord of the village gets to have sex with every new bride before her husband does), or a woman being shackled to her dead husband's funeral pyre, it now looks like a compendium of textbook examples of sexism.

    Fast-forward into the 21st century, when motherhood is nowhere near as great an impediment to office work, especially as telecommuting becomes more widespread, what do we call the phenomenon of a mother's merit raises in salary being steadily reduced with every new baby?

    For that matter, how do we explain the fact that, in an economy in which the majority of workers sit at their desks all day typing on keyboards (so the most common workplace-implicated health issues are obesity, hypertension and carpal tunnel syndrome), the average woman's pay is still less than 75% of the average man's pay?

    This can no longer be dismissed as chivalry! Perhaps misogyny isn't quite the right word, but there's some type of institutionalized discrimination at work, and for the sake of our own species's future, it's time to root it out.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever the roots may be, it is not of consequence to the modern man who simply delights in seeing a woman smile at him.

    So - is this a thread about the history of gender-interaction? Or is it a thread about contemporary interaction? Of the two, only the latter is something we can do anything about.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    And that modern man's self-assessment is largely irrelevant to the functional question.

    This is why:

    The two are not exclusive; to presume history is detached from the present is insupportable in general.

    More particularly, contemporary misogyny is not detached from history; given unbroken male supremacism in our cultural arc at least since the Biblical age, and pretty much observable so far back as the historical record can offer us any insight on the question, we must consider the elements from which any idea or concept is fashioned. That is to say, chivalry itself arose from a misogynistic cultural stew of contempt for, and ingrained prejudice against women.

    And there really is no way to avoid presuming against women; chivalry is a frame asserting to define a woman; liberating within chivalry is about as inherently contradictory as liberating within marriage―either proposition defines women according to an external template of expectation. But, yes, there was a period of my life in which "women's lib" was expected to feel grateful that women were being graciously permitted more existential liberty within the context of marriage; disappointingly, it actually was kind of a step forward.

    The "modern man who simply delights in seeing a woman smile at him"?

    Yeah, it's not her job.

    Chivalry? He could try treating her like a human being instead of some mythical alien creature to be impressed and won over. The smiles he gets from other human beings will be worth far more than coy shadows passing well enough to get through the moment of someone deliberately trying to charm her.

    The day women actually achieve equality in human societies, yes, we will have every reason to revisit our fundametnal comprehension of the relevant social dynamics in order to account for the new reality, but until then declaring some magical transformation of historical misogyny is pretty much ... er ... ah ... the nearest to an excuse anyone can come up with?

    There is an idyllic day in the future in which certain disdained elements within our society―words, jokes, arguments―will be more acceptable in daylight, but that can only occur after the human experience has completely separated itself from the past that gives rise to the vice of chivalry, or the punch of words like bitch. I can't make you any promises, except to say the longer this goes on, the longer before we're out the other side. As it is, barring the possibility that I live two hundred years, owing to technology, I'm probably not seeing the end of it in my lifetime.

    Meanwhile, the one direction we should not go is backwards.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't. It is simply one case of sexism without misogyny. There are, of course, a great many cases where there is sexism WITH misogyny,
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The "roots" referred to are not historical, but psychological and cultural and inculcated and contextual, and of immediate consequence.

    How does it happen that this man expects a smile for his delight? Are the guys who walk over at stoplights and spray crap on your windshield and then wash it off for the delight of your demonstrated approval treating you chivalrously?
    Well, it isn't. It is sexism clearly couple with, rooted in and reinforcing, misogyny. That you can discover a carefully restricted and defined point of view from which the misogyny is momentarily invisible to the careless does not make the misogyny go away.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It sounds like you're asserting that the sins of the father are visited upon the son. i.e. a modern male is to be held responsible for the history of chivalry.

    But now you're getting into what it means to interact with the human population. We look for companionship even while going about our daily lives. Life is the forum in which we seek companionship. It would be great if a flag went up worldwide that said 'now it is time to socialize' but that's not reality. People looking to make friends or more with another person is part of society. No one who steps into a public place has the right to say "I never want to be seen as approachable." They do have the right to say "I do not wish to be approached now. Go away." or "You should know that this is a place where it is not appropriate (perhaps, the workplace)."

    So, yes, both men and women, by their presence in public, are allowing themselves to be interacted with - in an acceptable fashion (such as holding a door open for them).

    Any person who agrees to be part of society also agrees to accept a certain base level of interaction when in public. "Hi. I noticed you. Did you notice me?"


    And to put a fine point on it: your comment"chivalry is a frame asserting to define a woman;" is too specious. It is gender-agnostic and orientation-agnostic.
    A straight man may hold a door open for a woman.
    A gay man may hold a door open for a man.
    A straight woman may hold a door open for a man.
    A gay woman may hold a door open for a woman.

    They are all "asserting to define the gender of a person to which I am oriented".

    Nobody said anything about expectation or job. It is human interaction: I hope for a smile.
    That is not for you to judge.

    It is not up to you to decide what he could do or what he might gain. That is up to him, and not open for judgement.
    It is also not up you to decide whether she appreciates it. That is up to her.
    Nor is it your place to decide that being "nice to someone" is contrary to "treating her like a human being" or that being nice is instead treating her like "some mythical alien creature to be impressed and won over". That's just rhetoric.


    We are part of society in the-here and-now. We are creatures of companionship. These interactions are within the normal bounds of societal interaction.


    You are beginning to preach. The above is not making any case, it is simply judging something you don't like.


    The point remains that modern chivalry is a form of sexism that does not involve dislike or contempt.
     
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  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Modern men are chivalrous to a woman as a way to say "I have noticed you. Have you noticed me?". If it proceeds from there, it is only because she responded positively.


    Nobody said anything about expect.

    Agreed. It isn't. They are invading the personal space of the occupants (which extend to their property i.e. their car), by making contact and remaining in contact.

    That is not the same thing as holding a door for someone who is about to move through the entryway. There is no invasion of personal space, nor any continuation of unwanted attention.

    It is not.

    I don't have to make anything go away. The onus is on you to demonstrate a motive of contempt and dislike. Until you do so, the benefit of the doubt lies on my side.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It does appear to involve ingrained prejudice, at the least - are you sure contempt plays no role? The more chivalrous subcultures of my experience are also the ones saturated in insults and derogatory references based on assigning supposed female attributes to men and boys, language closely coupled with chivalry. It sounds like contempt is involved.

    Meanwhile, look at this:
    No, they aren't. They are just holding the door open. It's the specific nature of chivalry - which none of those participate in - that is your example of sexism.
    So are the chivalrous.
    Neither is chivalry. Are you talking about chivalry, or common and non-sexist courtesy?
    None such is required. The contempt is not a motive, but a context, and no dislike is implied.[/quote]

    btw: sorry about the misattribution, uneditable above, of billvon's quote to dave.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    16,697
    What is it in this thread about asking one's opponent if they're sure?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Do y'all expect that your opponent will just start second-guessing his/herself?



    The issue here, as always, is that you (et al) claim that misogyny is always present when sexism is present. (At least, I've heard that comment uncountable times.)

    I have demonstrated an example of sexism (defining someone by their gender) that is not based on contempt. It is based on quite the opposite.

    The key to this form of sexism, that makes it not contemptible is that it is a polite, acceptable overture, that if not reflected, nothing further comes of it. That is within the bounds of accepted, polite behavior.


    I am not asserting that there is no form of chivalry that is contemptuous. Simply that chivalry is not a litmus test of contempt.

    You misunderstand. It is not unilateral politeness.

    A straight man may hold a door open for a woman but not for a man.
    A gay man may hold a door open for a man but not for a woman.
    A straight woman may hold a door open for a man but not for a woman.
    A gay woman may hold a door open for a woman but not for a man.

    These are examples of chivalry as opposed to general politeness. I am holding the door open for you, not just anyone.

    The focus of the chivalry is "a person who is of the gender I am attracted to".


    Label it how you wish; the onus is on you to demonstrate that a given act is rooted in contempt or dislike, on the part of the actor (whether consciousness, subconscious, or through some racial inertia), or it is not an example of misogyny.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    The issue is that you have asserted that chivalry does not involve misogyny. Others have questioned this, on the grounds that in our experience it appears to be a false claim, quite obviously - as the special treatment of women it invariably indicates is one based on a presumption of weakness and availability both, a species of noblesse oblige in which men are the nobles and women the inferior weak whom nobility owes a protection and defense they may not refuse, the whole devolved in modern times into little bits of theater that function as harassments.

    And in your elaboration, you have indicated that you don't know what chivalry is - which would explain your apparent obliviousness to the ingrained prejudice that universally accompanies it. Like this:
    Those are all contrary to chivalry - they are unchivalrous discrimination in the granting of favors to the personally favored and discourtesy to the rest.
    That's boorish, not chivalrous, behavior. Nobody is arguing that boorishness is always coupled with misogyny.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  18. river

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    True
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    (1) You turn around and contradict yourself: "Any person who agrees to be part of society also agrees to accept a certain base level of interaction when in public. 'Hi. I noticed you. Did you notice me?'" (#91↑)

    (2) By your own standard: "No one who steps into a public place has the right to say 'I never want to be seen as approachable'."

    (3) You have expressed your expectation: "I hope for a smile", or, previously, "the modern man who simply delights in seeing a woman smile at him".​

    You choose to post these sentiments and expectations in a public place. You don't get to bawl about people judging what you say.

    You lied: "Nobody said anything about expectation or job", except you also "hope for a smile". Seriously, why would you say, "Nobody said anything about expecation", and then reiterate your expectation?

    As I have noted already, you could try treating her like a human being instead of some mythical alien creature to be impressed and won over. But, hey, as you say, she doesn't have the right to go out in public without you hitting on her; the truth of the matter is that you don't get to say things like this in a public place and then tell people they don't get to have or express an opinion.

    You choose to define her. You choose to expect from her. By your own explanation, this is not some general courtesy offered all people, but offered women in hopes of getting something in return and according to an hisorical standard notorious for its objectification, dimunition, and even infantilization of women.

    So all this desperation that other people aren't to judge, or it's not up to them to decide? You chose to enter the public square and post these opinions.

    And quite frankly, if a woman is not allowed to leave her home without being hit on, it only seems all the more absurd that you should try to reserve your public advocacy from public consideration.

    And, yes, actually, my daughter does have the right to leave the house without some sleazy―excuse me, "chivalrous"―dude deciding what she exists for. So does every woman in human society.

    Thus:

    "It is not up to you to decide what he could do or what he might gain. That is up to him, and not open for judgement." ― Neither is her existence any of his business.

    "It is also not up you to decide whether she appreciates it. That is up to her." ― Neither is it up to him. It's not his fucking business to decide it should be her business.

    "Nor is it your place to decide that being 'nice to someone' is contrary to 'treating her like a human being' or that being nice is instead treating her like 'some mythical alien creature to be impressed and won over'. That's just rhetoric." ― By your own explanation this is sex-based; instead of parsing what is and isn't chivalry and thereby only reinforcing sexist presumption while trying to justify your refusal to not be sexist, you might just try being similarly courteous and decent to everyone. True, it means you might get some smiles from men, but that shouldn't be a problem to such a self-assured specimen of masculinity such as yourself. Treat people like people, and stop deciding for them just because they're women and therefore you think you can.

    • And, yes, persistent discrimination and denigration resulting from your own refusal to not behave that way is, in fact, hateful, and therefore, by your own esoteric standard, misogynistic. At least now we know why you dodged the point earlier. But you're right about one thing; you weren't slithering around the point, merely squirming away from it―my apologies for the mistake.​
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hope and expectation are two different things.
    I hope to win the lottery but I don't expect it. I hope for a smile, but there is no obligation placed upon her.

    Tiassa, There are civil ways of disagreeing. You know only rage.

    Doubly egregious coming from a Staff Member. Shame.
     
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  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You've got a point. Chivalry is not the appropriate word. Upon further thought, a chivalrous person would hold the door for someone unilaterally. I retract the use of the inappropriate word.

    Still, the example stands on its own merit. While it is polite, there is no obligation or expectation for a door to be held open for one; not holding a door for someone is not impolite. But choosing to do it because a woman has caught your eye is identifying her by her gender, as a person you'd like to see smile from. It is sexist, in that his behavior is gender-specific, but it is not contemptuous. It is acceptable as part of societal public interaction, to say "Hi!" on the chance that they might say "Hi!" back.
     
  22. Bells Staff Member

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    24,118
    You buy the lottery ticket in the hope of getting something out of it.

    You open the door to women in the hope of getting something out of it.

    Look, no offense, but comparing women to a lottery is downright creepy and sleazy. And holding doors open in the hope that they smile at you... No, just.. no. The term sleazy applies here.

    The point you seem to be missing here is that you are doing something in the hope of getting a benefit out of it and in light of this discussion. Just.. no. We aren't objects that can be won in a prize.

    That depends. If you are going through a door and you know someone is coming right behind you and you don't hold the door for them so that it doesn't slam on them, or if someone is elderly, disabled, has their hands full, I'd say it is very impolite.

    The way you are carrying on in how you describe it, it is just sleazy.

    I'll put it this way, if you acted that way towards me, I would consider you to be sleazy and I would give you a wide berth and make a point to avoid all eye contact. And if you said "hi", I'd walk away from you that little bit faster.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    So every single female person that gets near you and a door at the same time "catches your eye", and you feel entitled to make holding a door for them - an unusual courtesy you do not extend to those who do not "catch your eye", i.e. are not female - a social interaction in which they have to deal with your hopes for their behavior as female persons.

    And the assumptions involved in such behavior do not seem, to you, to involve any ingrained prejudices - such as assumptions of inferior hierarchical status. You would hold the door for your female boss, hoping for a smile because she caught your eye, but not your male boss, because he doesn't catch your eye.
     

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