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If you're a man, come with me on a journey for a minute. Imagine you live in a world where women dominate all the powerful positions. The president/prime minister is a woman and back through history there is a long line of women who've filled this role. The majority of government are women with a few men dotted around here and there. Of the Fortune 500 companies, men make up less than 5% of the CEOs while over 95% are women. When you go into a newsagent, the women's lifestyle magazine section covers a multitude of topics: sport, art, food, science… while the men's lifestyle section was all about how to look sexy for your woman and was covered in images of semi-naked, pouting men. Comedy panel shows would have 5 female contestants and 1 male who is there primarily for the women to make fun of. In tabloid newspapers, female politicians are scrutinised for their views and policies while the male ones have articles about what socks they where or what their arms look like when they wear a short-sleeved shirt. Female musicians perform fully clothed, cameras zoomed into their faces while male musicians come out in novelty jockstraps and gyrate around on stage while singing. If you speak out about the inequality, you are dismissed as having "man issues" or being "jealous of his abs". If you speak out publicly, you get death threats.

Despite this you work hard on your career. You study. You work. You climb the ladder in the face of adversity. You really push, you achieve — a well educated and professional man. You are mature and confident. You are clever and determined. But the powerful women you meet in your professional life, many the same age as you or younger, keep referring to you as a 'boy'.

I am not a girl. I am a woman.
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:iconardesine:
ardesine Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
I love it!
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:iconnhlaqgor:
Nhlaqgor Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
I like your attitude!
Many people should stop here, read this and think about it for a while.

I can only imagine how hard it must be for a woman to archieve the same level of power/wealth/social status/whatever like a man, while getting only a fraction of the payment a man gets for the same job. (at least in germany)
Even worse, the media, industry and of course society, is constantly acting on the basic assumption that women are supposed to care about their looks 24/7 and little else.
The bad thing about it is that way too many women are raised in the believe of this.

In some parts of the world, some hundred years ago(i think) Boys and Girls where raised basicaly without gender identification until a certain age. They where just children and where even dressed the same. To be honest i don't know the details and how much of an impact it had, but i like the general idea.
The problem is the general opinion of society and (even more important imo) if the big companies would loose money if they would do that today. No matter if they admit it or not, they have a huge impact on general opinions and social standards through commercials/movies/TV shows and other things like that. If something goes against their profit oriented goals there's little chance they will do it anyways.
Ok, maybe i'm seeing this from the wrong perspective and i am totally wrong, but to me it appears like society is dictated by the media.
I have no idea how i would even start to change all that. it all seems to me like a self fulfilling prophecy.
Maybe our society needs a general rethinking about what are the goals of a civilisation are i don't know.
But i think there's hope, many people seem to be much more aware of things like that than 10 or 20 years ago.



" Comedy panel shows would have 5 female contestants and 1 male who is there primarily for the women to make fun of."
Really? Wasn't this more a thing like in the 60's?
I am not from the US, so i may have made different experiences. But in the last 10 maybe 15 years i have noticed that the tone has shifted quite a bit.
The funy thing is when i look at commercials or general entertainment, i have noticed that men are more and more portrayed like primitive beer drinking neanderthals, while women are portraied being as always right. Another thing i noticed when watching TV just a few days ago, it's ok for a woman to tell a man that he looks like crap/or that he is stupid on live TV. No one cares about that. But does the same count the other way round? Don't get me wrong, it's rude to do something like that anyways, but i hope you get my point that sexism makes me sick, no matter in which direction.

Sorry for my bad english. I hope everything was understandable.
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Sexism doesn't really have a "direction" as such. You can't really be sexist "against" men. Sexism is an institutional thing. It's the prejudice and discrimination against people due to their sex, but exercised through a power structure.

I'm not from the US either. I'm in the UK. The comedy panel show thing is slowly changing but still exists quite predominantly. The panel contestants are almost always men and the women do get teased quite a bit. It's often quite subtle, but it happens.

You are right that the current trending trope in advertising is to portray men as stupid and women as clever. This is not a good thing. The division of the sexes is still sexism. It's not really because it's unfair on men - they can cope. An advert having a joke at your expense is not really in the same league as not being able to go out at night on your own without the constant fear of being raped, being held back in your job and paid less because of your sex and having to invest so much more time and money on your appearance simply because it's expected (to name but a few). But these negative stereotypes in adverts are still negative and still stereotypes. They only serve to further alienate the sexes from each other. Men and women are really not as different as society would have us believe. 
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:iconnhlaqgor:
Nhlaqgor Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Yeah, you are absolutely right.
Having to fear of being raped or harassment is of course a whole different level of Sexism. There was (and still is) a huge discussion about that in Germany, because in the night of new years eve (2015-2016) there where litereay dozends or more women being harrased and molested on the streets in cologne, WITHOUT THE POLICE INTERFERING!
It's still unbeliveable that they reportedly send women away that where asking for protection. Even when writing this, i can't belive the portentousness of this.
The following months where filled with recriminations and no one wanted to be responsible for it (as politicians always do). radical parties used it for their advantage and lost of stupid people where following them (the usual stuff as always).

But the real questions haven't been put on the table at all.
Why are there men, who see women as pure sexual objects? What's going on in their heads?
Is is because they where raised in a different culture and where overstrained by seeing cheerful partying men AND WOMEN?!?
Ok i'm getting upset about that again, so i'll better stop.

Another thing, a show like the comedy TV show you are describing would be unthinkable in Germany. (At least i haven't seen something like that since the 80's i guess).
I'm absolutely with you, even the small things like the mentioned commercials and other unneccesasary BS support sexism and alienation between sexes, without any need.

Do you think it's a human necessity to have some sort of enemy image, no matter what it is?
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:iconlnmman:
LNMman Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think a lot of people need to read this and take it to heart.
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. I agree. Privilege is a blindfold.
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:iconabigtreehugger:
Abigtreehugger Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Excellent piece, beautifully crafted and no wasted words, congradulations.
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. That's a very nice comment. :-)
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:iconabigtreehugger:
Abigtreehugger Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
You are most welcome, for me it met to things I look for in the written language. Good use of the English language, which is something that seems to be sorely lacking these days and it actually said something that got an emotive response out of me.
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:iconhmorris73:
HMorris73 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016
Here's what I wonder though, what's a more appropriate feminine form of the more casual "guy" if not "girl"?  "Gal" seems kind of old fashioned.
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I wouldn't worry about getting caught up in the specifics. I think I'm aiming to spread a general awareness of the infantilising language used to refer to women and how it impacts our perception of gender.
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:iconeightball357:
eightball357 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015
I happen to love women and most men would step in front of a bullet for a woman.  Keep it up!
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:iconinflagrantedelictooo:
Inflagrantedelictooo Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015
I'm not a man. I'm a boy.
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:iconchris-conway:
Chris-Conway Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I hear you and I get it. Women should be respected for the adults they are and their achievements should be able to stand on their own. It's insulting to have scientific achievements, mechanical innovations, architectural designs, etc. followed by "and it was done by a woman". 

However, I often feel my more intimate relationships are wonderfully rewarded when I respect the woman but appreciate the little girl inside. My mother-in-law used to give my wife Oreo cookies at bath time (apparently Jan was quite adept at making a mess with them).  One night, after a long day, I brought her Oreo cookies while she was soaking just to see the smile spread across her face. I am so fortunate to be married to a woman who is intelligent, competent and well respected who also relishes a good snowball fight and can let me know her opinion by simply sticking her tongue out at me. We play together and it's WONDERFUL because she also acknowledges and appreciates the little boy in me. 

But you are so very correct when it comes to professional relationships and the greater body of society. What Gloria Steinem said before you were born is still true, 'A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.' Fighting for that reality is not a worthy goal. It is a necessary one.

Lotsa Love and Respect, 

Chris
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:iconburnswell:
Burnswell Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
If you're a woman, come with me on a journey for a minute.
Imagine you live in a world where women created businesses from nothing and built them into empires by dedicating their entire lives to those businesses, and men then complain that women dominate all the powerful positions and they should have their lifetime of hard work simply handed over to them "because there arn't enough men". (Somehow they only ever complain about rich white men not getting ridiculous amounts of money they didn't help create, poor men of different nationalities wanting money enough to feed their kids with get completely ignored)
Dishonest men mislead other men into believing (and repeating) that its sexist against men by stating that only 5% of the top 500 companies are run by men, neglecting to mention that it's the top 500 of the 18,500 major companies plus over 27.9 million small businesses. 35% of them are owned by american men, 30% are owned by american women and the rest are owned by foreign interests, gender unknown. A lot of those men inherited their companies by marrying rich women who created the companies.
It's like saying that despite only 30% of american women running a marathon, its sexist because 95 of them made the first 100 places.

A world where men are raised to be inherently valued and protected while women are taught they're inherently worthless and are only as valuable as the services they can provide to others, thus propelling them into obsession over creating a valuable career.
Young girls are taught to be competitive and to never follow their dreams, instead find a job that's secure so you can support your family. Grown women who are unable to support their families enough are "worthless bums" and "not real women" unless they provide for their man. The "unhappy" guy divorces her in a biased legal system that almost always gives the husband the house and kids and forces the wife to continue to pay for them dispite already being underemployed but now has to pay both his rent and the rent for a cheap apartment for herself. She better make her payments or she'll go to prison for not doing so, all because he left her for not making enough money.
Of course there are women who for "some reason" feel insecure if their spouse earns more than them. They must just be afraid of strong men.

Men have complete power over sex, a biological function as basic to the human body and psyche as eating and breathing, and sex is used to control women. A man can at any time accuse a woman of forcing themselves onto them and that woman will be thrown into prison, and brutalised and raped for years. Men will complain that there's need for a trial at all, that the man accusing her isn't just taken at her word. It's sexist to believe a man is capable of lying.

Men will complain that they get called sluts for being promiscuous, while ignoring that the flip-side of that coin is women being assumed by default to be sexual predators. Fathers at the supermarket will hold their children close when they walk by as though they were dangerous; the women will feel deeply hurt but they'll let it go just as they always do. Ideologues proclaiming "teach women not to rape!" Gender studies courses telling women that they're inherently rapists by paranoid men. They were raised to take abuse and so they do, women are more worried about protecting men and making them feel safe than they are about their own feelings and reputation. Women also learn that if they reveal how hurtful that is they'll be rejected as weak, worthless and unwomanly.  The average women would put themselves in harms way to protect a man they don't even know and somehow men take that for granted; yet constantly treated with suspicion. Statistically a woman is ten times more likely to kill themselves than to kill a man, yet we get continuously told how dangerous women are by fear-mongers who want to control people.

I am not a man. I am the use society has for me.
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Edited Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
^^ I prove my point

"When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression"
— someone clever
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:iconmatthew-lane:
matthew-lane Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
"^^ I prove my point"

LOL no you really didn't
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:iconsacredzinja:
sacredZinja Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Your text made me remember something that I'd like to share with you.

I always thought of myself as quite self-dependent, being able to care for myself, earn my own money and don't rely on someone else to do it for me. I surely wouldn't need a man to get along.

And then I fell in love with a man who actually wouldn't earn money. He was injured, and would probably never work again. When this relationship got serious, on some day it stroke me that I would have to work and to provide money. For real. Not just to make my self-confidence rise.
It was then that I realized that I was far beyond thinking equally of men and women. I realized that deep down I took for granted that my husband would take care of some basic things. That I was free to chose whether I wanted to work or not, while he would work anyway.
And for the first time I felt a pressure that men probably know well: That I cannot fail in my career, because my partner relies on me.

But besides pressure, there was something else. It was the feeling that it mattered. My career was no longer just a nice thing to add on my vitae, not just something to kill time until I had children. It was important.

This became very valuable for me. I wouldn't want to go back to this feeling of my professional achievements being unimportant. I also don't want to put the pressure on my man to have to work for our family. As well as he can't take for granted I'll stay home with the kids if he likes to go on working. I want to make these decisions freely, so that we both can feel well in our lifes.

I think it is very difficult to clear one's expectations from those old images. Some men would claim that putting such pressure on them isn't fair while others would fear to become unimportant if they are no longer the provider for their wife and family. I'd love to have a man who doesn't feel "unmanly" when cuddling into my strong arms, for I'd like to give him that kind of comfort when he wants it. But I know, for many man that still feels strange.

If all that really bothers you, if you like to something about that, I'd like to invite you to our new group. It's about gender stereotypes, and we aim to firstly gather experiences people have about that. (boundbygenderproject.deviantart.com)

But why I wrote all this in the first place: I was touched by the last words of your entry. Touched deeply, and sad about it. Maybe, because I myself believed too often that others judge me on my use for them only. So I felt a serious need to tell you that - although it's difficult and changes come slowly - they come, and the number of women who would not take a man's care for granted will rise. But to let if happen, women also still need to fight for being acknowledged in their own efforts. It's both or nothing.

Kind regards,

Zinja
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:iconnaked-is:
Naked-is Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015
marvelous woman
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:iconsacredzinja:
sacredZinja Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
This perfectly meets a thought of mine. It was that we need pictures. Pictures of capable women, of women in charge, like men have pictures going back centuries (e. g. first presidents, important scientiests). I sometimes feel the need to have more pictures how to be in charge and still female. For yes, sometimes I feel like losing feminity, because I like to be a leader, and sometimes I fear that one day I have to trade everything I have achieved to be a good mother, like, being a motherly, female mother and not some kind of birhtgiving father. (Does that even make sense?)

Thanks for writing this!

But some nice thought also: On my birthday, I got an axe and a childishly colourful shopping basket and felt both presents were well thought. :D
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:iconsludgedoomer97:
SludgeDooMer97 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's beautiful
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:icongioarturi:
GioArturi Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2015
You are perfectly right!!! We live in a distorted world in many ways! :( 
But fortunately there are free spirits and brave women as you too! :) :heart: 
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:iconpropellerhed:
propellerhed Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
Imagine a world where equality didn't come with an asterisk and people were people first and not men/women/black/white/etc? I am a man by (accident of) birth and a person by intention. And one day I pray my grandchildren will look back on the dark days of 'labelling' and roll their eyes.

It will be!

Mark
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:iconletmeseebeuty:
LETMESEEBEUTY Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015
I do understand men would not like it if whe world was in reverse I appreciate your statement 
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:iconletmeseebeuty:
LETMESEEBEUTY Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015
My mother told me that the respect for other people is gone.
When I was in the army I had female supervisors and respected them 
I jest feel that people must respect people. Would it help if I felt objectafied by Steven Q Urkil because he started out resembling 
A sexless Afro-American male at the turn of the century. Please pardon me I feel that people must learn to respect people. 
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:iconcelfydd:
celfydd Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't really think of myself as a feminist, but it's all still true and hard to see when there will be an end of it. We just have to recognise that it is a long hard journey, so much progress has been made in the last 30-40 years and it's getting there slowly. We just have to keep leading by example.
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:iconmisfit-geek:
misfit-geek Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.
Betty White
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:iconsnoogaloo:
snoogaloo Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I always have a hard time when anyone says they're a girl.
it IS so crazy that more people don't recognize that imbalance in life.
methinks you're on the way to starting a trend...keep true to yourself, and you'll always be happy and successful! :nod:
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:iconfirstnamekate:
firstnamekate Featured By Owner Edited Sep 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's difficult for people to look at their own culture objectively because they're not only inside it, they are actually part of it. The linguistic infantilisation of women seems ridiculous to people who can see it for what it is, but most people need a little help before they can see it. 

People have grown up with topless women on page 3 of their newspaper and see it as normal, but if the BBC decided that for the 3rd minute of the TV news, they would interrupt their report on Syria to show 60 seconds of a topless woman jiggling around, people would find it weird — but it's essentially the same thing.
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