This is the message I've been getting recently. First was PvP's recent comic "Bed Bath and Beyond Thunderdome
" with this remark:
It's harder for women to make friends, okay? Women are competitive and catty and just generally unkind to each other.
...which is frankly untrue. I made at least two new friends on the weekend who were women, without trying very hard at all.
Then there was the hoo-ha that happens yearly at comedy festival time where it was said that women aren't funny. Ben McKenzie responded in an article on Crikey, "Angry Angry – Female Comedians can be Funny Funny
", and you just need to read the comments to get an idea of the vitriol that gets hurled against women. I've lost count of the number of times when I've seen it explicitly or implicitly stated that a woman's job in her social group is to shut up, and put up with and laugh at the jokes of men. Some of those times have come from women's and girl's magazines on how to be popular or survive a first date. Some of those have been on sitcoms, where the female protagonists have been advised to do the same (and then usually mocked for complying poorly).
A quote from Ben in the comments of his article:
[T]o generalise that to “women aren’t funny” – even in an off-hand comment – is a symptom of a larger problem. This isn’t about women being funny; it’s about that opinion being part of the larger problem of sexism in our society. I think the only real reason people think “chicks aren’t funny” is the last one, that it’s a deeply ingrained understanding of how women are allowed to present to the world that leads to that opinion, so deep it takes some work to expose it.
The final point was made in the article "The Female Body
", which makes very good points about the use of dead women in art and fiction for a whole bunch of purposes, and how this reflects our societal attitudes to women (and isn't as dry as it sounds from my summary). What struck me was this quote that was given:
Men and women don’t like each other very much. —Dame Rebecca West
So if you're a woman, we're told, no-one will like you. Other women don't like you (they view you as competition for their men and/or women), men sure as hell don't like you (this one still seems to be more true than the previous, unfortunately; the best you can hope for with some men is a sort of genial contempt, as if you were an amusing dog that had managed to walk on its hind legs), the media certainly don't like you, and advertising executives see you as some sort of magical money funnel without critical thinking skills (My three favourite words! It's on Sale!
"thanks" for that, Diet Coke) or, alternately, sexual and passive set dressing to sell things to men.
It sure sucks to be a girl.
This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth.