…did you ever notice that almost all of the slurs aimed at men in middle school translate roughly into “woman”? Consider:
There is not a similar set of slurs denigrating women by calling them names that translate roughly into “man.” In fact, in some instances, being told you are like a man is one of the best compliments a woman can recieve (i.e., sports).
So, sure enough, we live in a society where “woman” is an insult. I can’t imagine what more proof of sexism a person might need.
This sort of language is even more prevalent than the author mentions here. “Man up,” “having balls,” “you throw like a girl,”—these are all examples.
A man will be offended if you call him a woman.
A woman will be offended if you call her a man.
A man will be offended if you call him feminine.
A woman will be offended if you call her masculine.
A man will be offended if you call him a vagina (pussy etc.)
A woman will be offended if you call her a penis (dick etc.)
As for the others, that’s just not wanting to be called a different sexuality. Which also applies to women. Heterosexual men will be offended if you call them fags or cock-suckers, heterosexual women will be offended if you call them dykes or pussy-lickers.
I definitely agree with the additions of ‘man up’ and ‘having balls’, but they restrict men from being feminine just as much as they restrict women from being masculine. Just like all of these other slurs.
It’s just the same patriarchal gender roles being forced on both sexes, and disadvantaging and oppressing both sexes. I don’t like that any more than you do. But the ‘women are always the victim/men are never the victim’ attitude you have there is a gender role itself, and you don’t want to be a hypocrite. Let’s fight for everyone.
Calling a woman anything related to “men” or any iteration of masculinity does not have the connotations of calling a man being related to femininity. Most women will not be offended will being called a dick like men can be when called a pussy. It’s just not the same thing because femininity within women is not held to be as sacred as masculinity within men.
It does with all of the women I know, and even if it didn’t, the ‘similar set of slurs’ point still stands. I think women are going to be less sensitive because they’ve had feminism to free them a lot more than men have. To me it’s more to do with the imbalance in gender equality than any imbalance in gender inequality. If this does show (as you say) that the male gender construct is stronger, it’s even more ridiculous for the OP to twist it to suggest that only women have problems.
The OP was not suggesting that “only women have problems,” but that the slurs often hurled at men basically relate them to being women, or having female qualities, which offends men because we’re socialized to see femininity as being weaker. Feminism has tried to show that it’s okay for men to be feminine and women to be masculine, but the way that people hold onto masculinity is a product of patriarchy and not feminism.
She said that this was proof of sexism (against women) and that no equivalent (sexism) against men existed. The way men hold on to masculinity is a product of patriarchy, yes.
The way women hold on to femininity is also a product of patriarchy, but you yourself said that we see this less. That’s nothing to do with an imbalance in the patriarchy, because women were originally restricted just as much as men. The fact that women are freer today, and that more women want to be masculine, is a product of feminism - and a good one. You can say feminism tried to do the same for men, but the reality is that the vast vast majority of feminists have been campaigning solely for women. I’m not saying that that is a bad thing. All I’m saying is that men have been temporarily left behind due to this imbalance, and that is what is accountable for the discrepancy.
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