Monday, October 17, 2011

Gender Symmetry Checklist v2

So along with my Gender Symmetry Checklist being the most visited post ever here I've also gotten a bit of feedback on it.

From Alas:
Amp: Danny, I think your list needs a different format from other lists; probably a table so that the flip sides of the sexist coin can be presented side by side, instead of being listed vertically.

i.e., instead of:


It should be

Lauren: Danny, I think one potetial problem with your list is that it is very white middle class centric. Now, this is a direct result of the fact that examinations of gender imbalance tend to have this limit/ bias /generalisation far too often and you are building on what is already there. But it still excludes a lot of perspectives and is therefore not true for a lot of women.

For example “women are expected to stay at home and take care of the children” is not at all true for working class women. They are (and have always been) expected to work full time and take care of the children on top of that.

The idealization of women as mothers is also limited to those society considers “good mothers”, which excludes mothers who are disabled, who are poor, who are not hetero, who are women of colour and so on.

Also, a lot of women are considered to be unrapeable / in a state of permanent consent not based on how they act/ dress but simply based on who they are. There is a long, disgusting tradtion of treating women of colour this way. There are also a lot of women who are disbelieved about their rape because “who would want to rape someone like that” (fat women, “ugly” women, old women, trans*women and others who are constantly devalued as “not feminine enough”).

I don’t know enough to say if your list of male advantages/disadvantages is similarly biased.

I am not sure how you would fit these things into your list, but without them, it is not really a comparison of male/female but one of only a selected group of them.

I'm currently working on v2 of this list where I turn it into a table. Also like Lauren said I'll be trying to account for variations of the listed items.

I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew...