“There was a time when the pregnant woman stood as a symbol of stately and sexual beauty. While pregnancy remains an object of fascination, our own culture harshly separates pregnancy from sexuality. The dominant culture defines feminine beauty as slim and shapely. The pregnant woman is often not looked upon as sexually active or desirable, even though her own desires and sensitivity may have increased. Her male partner, if she has one, may decline to share in her sexuality, and her physician may advise her to restrict her sexual activity. To the degree that a woman derives a sense of self-worth from looking ‘sexy’ in the manner promoted by dominant cultural images, she may experience her pregnant body as being pregnant and alien” (53).
Iris Marion Young, “Pregnant Embodiment” Continue reading
In class on October 24, we watched the documentary Rape in the Fields. We watched this documentary because it connects with the article we read in the book Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. The article that could connect with this documentary would be “Mexican Immigrants, Heterosexual Sex and Loving Relationships in the United States” an Interview w/Gloria Gonzales-Lopez (NSS pages 538-546). Sexuality is not strictly an identity for these women, but the idea of it has become a means of capital gain for other individuals (there bosses) through the sex trade, prostitution, and undocumented work. For those of you who haven’t watched the video there is a shorter clip right below.
All of you were children yourselves at one point and a large portion will eventually adopt or have children of your own. Think back to your childhood to a time when you had a babysitter who was not a family member. What did this babysitter look like? Was this person a male or female? How old was he/she?
For most, this babysitter was a female who your parents may or may not have known beforehand. It pretty unlikely that your image of a babysitter is a male because the media and society generally portray babysitters, nannies, and other child care providers as women. Why? Are women instinctively better care providers? Is there some reason to NOT have a male babysitter?
According to this article in the Washington Post, most people are afraid to hire a male babysitter because, statistically speaking, males are more likely than females to be pedophiles. While this may be true, not ALL non-females are child abusers and some females are. Interestingly, the article never talks about men being incapable of caring for children, and suggests that this idea is a huge problem.
“Here is the real problem when we err on the side of statistics. By telling the millions of men that they cannot be trusted with children, we are reinforcing gender stereotypes at school, at home and at work.”
According to Essentialists, your sex and gender are inborn. Basically, it is a natural part of who you are and, because of this, women are born to be more caring, sensitive, emotional, and feminine while men are born to be strong, resolute, logical, and masculine. On the other hand, Constructivists say that your sexuality and characteristics are socially constructed by the culture in which you are raised. Basically, women are taught to be caring, sensitive, emotional, and feminine while men are taught to be strong, resolute, tough, logical and masculine (Seidman, 3-17).
So, which is it? Are women naturally more competent care providers? Are they trained to be care takers? Or perhaps, men and women are equally capable of caring for children, even with the very different socialization they undergo? The media tells us that men just cannot be trusted to do a good job in films like “Daddy Daycare”, “The Pacifier”, and “Mom’s Night Out” and never shows us men competently caring for children. This sexism hast to stop.
This sexism extends far beyond child care into all aspects of society. Men are more likely to become doctors while women become nurses. Most engineers are men while most teachers are women. Even when women cross over into male dominated fields such as being a college professor, they are generally paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Why?
As college students at Vanderbilt, I am sure we are all familiar with the overwhelming influence of the hookup culture. Even if you don’t engage in hooking up yourself, it is hard to avoid noticing the random make-outs at fraternity parties or the loud sex noises from the room next door. This overwhelming increase in sexual interactions since high school should logically come as no surprise. College students are given the freedom and often times the encouragement to engage in intimate interactions without repercussions from parents or detention warnings from teachers. But why is hooking up so popular now and what characteristics of hooking up affect the social and emotional lives of college students? In Chapter 3: The Hookup of “Hooking Up”, Kathleen A. Bogle analyses this trend and personally interviews college students to get an authentic account of what hookup culture is all about.
It is difficult to imagine living in a foreign world where you are basically forced to act a certain way, both sexually and emotionally, based on your occupation and stereotype. This is exactly what Filipina maids in Lebanon must do. These live-in maids face double standards, narrow stereotypes, and racial hierarchies that mold many of their personalities and sexualities in ways that appease Lebanese society. Hayeon Lee addresses this unique phenomenon in her article, “The Public and Hidden Sexualities of Filipina Women in Lebanon.”
There is a definite double standard between men and women in the college environment. Kathleen Bogle states designates a whole chapter to provide readers an explanation and attempt to create an understanding for those of us who don’t really get it. So, guys are free to hook up with whoever comes at them (or whoever they go after) while girls have to be cautious to maintain a good reputation, one that does not include the words “slut” or “whore”. Furthermore, we are given standards to live by with no boundaries. Larry, a senior at Faith University, stated that a girl is considered a slut if she sleeps with twelve guys in a short period of time or if she hooks up with five guys in a week, which means a new guy every day. This statement really bothered me because I feel like that is not the least bit realistic. So where do these guys get these obscenely high numbers when being asked what a “slut” is? Do they think that girls are morally corrupt or do they use their numbers for background knowledge to make the estimate? The more important question may be: who are these guys to determine what the definition of a “slut” is? Why can they hook up with large amounts of girls and still be considered a bro? If guys are given the opportunity to define such a harsh term, we clearly have a problem in society. This double standard is very unclear which gives guys more freedom and girls more of an opportunity to be judged. I also found it displeasing that once a girl hooks up with a guy, she is talked about with the “bros” which could possibly place a target on her. A target that calls for boys to stay away from her or one that draws them in. It was interesting that boys who want to hook up look for the “trophy girl”, one that does not hook up often. My question is, if she does not hook up often then why does he think he’s something special enough to persuade her to hookup. Does it make her more of a trophy girl if she turns him down knowing she is just another girl to him?
By interviewing boys and providing statistics, it is known that boys don’t want to date in college. They want to “have fun.” It takes two to tango. Therefore, in the midst of trying to have their own fun they are putting the moves on many girls. In society today, a girl will do whatever it takes to try to get a boy to fall for her, even if that means hooking up. Maybe boys are essentially the start to this unfortunate domino effect. Let’s set up a scenario: A girl sees a guy at a party who she thinks is very attractive, they talk, he uses his sweet talking abilities, they leave and now they are in bed together. By the time the night is over, he’s a bro and she’s a slut?
This video displays the sexual double standard wonderfully.
She explains that this double standard has taken place for a really long time. Even though both a man and a woman are involved in the act, the woman is viewed as promiscuous.
Earlier in the semester, we talked about sexual education programs in school. Many were not efficient and some schools did not have them at all. This woman in the video brings up a very important fact. Many young girls today are told not to be too revealing with their outfits because boys will get the wrong impression. Therefore, they need to be taught more than only abstinence in these programs. As I said, this sexual double standard is really not specific which allows anyone to say mean things. Even girls call girls sluts when they are not particularly taking part in any action that would resemble the actions of a “slut”. This is the time where we need to educate to stop this double standard.
My questions for you: How can we stop this double standard? Do boys instigate it? Why are they given the opportunity to define it? Should Kathleen Bogle have interviewed guys at different universities? Do you think there is any hope to end this double standard?