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Thread: Benevolent Sexism

  1. #1

    Benevolent Sexism

    I read this article on my way into work this morning:

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...volent-sexism/

    It's obvious that benevolent sexism is rampant in the LDS church. Everyone knows it and oftentimes MJ, who is quite orthodox, gets offended by the amount of benevolent sexism that continues to exist. I'm not talking about the blatantly misogynistic church policies, but more of the rampant belief that women are inherently this or that (insert your favorite benevolent adjective).

    My opinion on this is two fold: 1) The church does way too much in the way of benevolent sexism. I hope it stops and honestly I think it's not as bad today as it was 10-20 years ago. 2) I think many of the comments used to show sexism in the article above are reaches and that the women are somewhat overly sensitive in this regard. There's no question that male/female have different roles in pretty much every species on earth. Sometimes the male is the main caregiver and sometimes it's the female. I see no reason to think that humans are any different and I therefore have no issues with broad gender roles as long as they aren't absolute and those broad gender roles lead, IMO, to a lot of what is being considered benevolent sexism.

    In short, I'm a feminist but I'm also someone that believes in evolution and therefore I believe in broad gender roles.....although since I believe in evolution I hold open the pathway that leads to the eventual changing of gender roles.

  2. #2
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    My wife is so awesome that if she were a dude, I might consider being gay.
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  3. #3
    So...let me first admit that I didn't read the whole thing.

    But I can't help but wonder what role women's own reactions play in all of this. Things have calmed down some, but it seems like it wasn't long ago that folks were fighting about how a woman can succeed in working world while also being a perfect Mom - who is a great cook, keeps the house and laundry clean, plans and executes birthday parties that embarrass most of us, and get their kids to all of the extracurricular they may be involved in.

    So using the obituary as an example - for some reason I have the impression that many women want to be known for cooking a mean stroganoff and being a rocket scientist at the same time.

    And where do you draw the line between benevolent sexism and just being courteous? Is it sexist if I open the door for a woman? I would never imply that she is incapable, but it just seems courteous. What about sharing an umbrella or jacket if it is raining or cold? Would that make me sexist?

    I have a hard time with this stuff. Not because I don't recognize that women are capable.

    In the end - if this means that the YW and RS sisters can start to share the duties of shoveling the snow, setting up and taking down chairs while the men take turns dropping off dinner to the new parents - I'm good with that.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    My wife is so awesome that if she were a dude, I might consider being gay.
    And mine is so awesome that if I was a chick I would certainly be a lesbian.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie View Post
    And mine is so awesome that if I was a chick I would certainly be a lesbian.
    Yours is a much more palatable scenario.

  6. #6
    Interesting quote from the article:

    "If a woman’s accomplishments must be accompanied by a reassurance that she really was “a good Mom,” but a man’s accomplishments are allowed to stand on their own, that’s a problem."

    What accomplishments of men "stand on their own?" "he was a good Lawyer?", "he was a good Dad?" "he was a good little league coach?" "he was a good provider?"

    What is the difference?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Interesting quote from the article:

    "If a woman’s accomplishments must be accompanied by a reassurance that she really was “a good Mom,” but a man’s accomplishments are allowed to stand on their own, that’s a problem."

    What accomplishments of men "stand on their own?" "he was a good Lawyer?", "he was a good Dad?" "he was a good little league coach?" "he was a good provider?"

    What is the difference?

    I guess the author tries to explain this, but extrapolating these thoughts from an obituary is weak. I can't count how many obituaries of men include paragraphs of what a great and loving dad someone was.

    Benevolent sexism. Perhaps the author is simply attempting to brand herself as a "specialist" in this new area, grab fame and use it to further her career. Really, that's not a bad idea. Kudos to her.

  8. #8
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DU Ute View Post
    Yours is a much more palatable scenario.
    I said "might consider."
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  9. #9
    I am so smart S-M-R-T Slim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie View Post
    And mine is so awesome that if I was a chick I would certainly be a lesbian.
    Quote Originally Posted by DU Ute View Post
    Yours is a much more palatable scenario.

    I have a buddy tell me all the time that he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Slim View Post
    I have a buddy tell me all the time that he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body.

    I had a friend who said that as well. He eventually decided he was a straight woman trapped in a man's body.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Slim View Post
    I have a buddy tell me all the time that he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body.
    You should tell him to get some new material.

  12. #12
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Talk about a threadjack.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  13. #13
    A bunch of men on a sports message board talking about sexism. Classic!

  14. #14
    I grew up in a very traditional household. My dad works and tends to all the finances, Mom stays home and cooks and handles all the household stuff. Giving this context, it's been surprising to me how progressive my dad has become over the years and how entrenched in traditional church-prescribed gender roles my mom has become.

    This became evident at a family dinner last night wherein my aunt pulled up the Ordain Women Facebook page on her phone and passed it around with great sighs and eyerolls from my mom, aunt, and uncle. My dad and I sat there very quietly, having had a long conversation just the day before about how we both support women giving blessings and anointings outside of the temple (and more, but at very least that). My uncle declared that if women want the priesthood, they should just "defect and join the FLDS [sic] church and go apostatize there." Since it's obviously impossible to want to improve things from within, right? My mom began an onslaught of criticism and disdain of those "unrighteous women" who "just can't listen to the prophet." When my mom finally cornered me, saying, "Is this just a stupid Utah thing? Because I haven't heard anything about this in Washington," I said that people from all over supported ordaining women, and that it was both men and women. At that point, all heaven and hell broke loose and we had the family argument of the decade. I'd really been trying to avoid a confrontation because it was completely pointless and now we're all just mad.

    I'm not really sure why I'm sharing this with you, perhaps other than to demonstrate that not only men engage in benevolent sexism and that people can change (or not) in those attitudes. Last night was extremely discouraging. If my family is representative of general church membership, then I have even less of a place in the church than I hoped.
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Funk View Post
    I grew up in a very traditional household. My dad works and tends to all the finances, Mom stays home and cooks and handles all the household stuff. Giving this context, it's been surprising to me how progressive my dad has become over the years and how entrenched in traditional church-prescribed gender roles my mom has become.

    This became evident at a family dinner last night wherein my aunt pulled up the Ordain Women Facebook page on her phone and passed it around with great sighs and eyerolls from my mom, aunt, and uncle. My dad and I sat there very quietly, having had a long conversation just the day before about how we both support women giving blessings and anointings outside of the temple (and more, but at very least that). My uncle declared that if women want the priesthood, they should just "defect and join the FLDS [sic] church and go apostatize there." Since it's obviously impossible to want to improve things from within, right? My mom began an onslaught of criticism and disdain of those "unrighteous women" who "just can't listen to the prophet." When my mom finally cornered me, saying, "Is this just a stupid Utah thing? Because I haven't heard anything about this in Washington," I said that people from all over supported ordaining women, and that it was both men and women. At that point, all heaven and hell broke loose and we had the family argument of the decade. I'd really been trying to avoid a confrontation because it was completely pointless and now we're all just mad.

    I'm not really sure why I'm sharing this with you, perhaps other than to demonstrate that not only men engage in benevolent sexism and that people can change (or not) in those attitudes. Last night was extremely discouraging. If my family is representative of general church membership, then I have even less of a place in the church than I hoped.
    I am sad you feel you don't have a place, or even less of one. But, maybe you are over-reacting. Your family is representative of your family first and foremost. Those dynamics are not the same when applied to a larger body on the whole. This past weekend we had similar discussions with my wife's family. You won't find a more devout or well-connected LDS family. However, they would be considered very progressive. Ultimately, church service is what we make it, regardless of some of the frustrations we must contend with. There is great work to be done in the church locally. I love getting lost in it. There is nothing else that quite compares with it. But, in order to embrace it, we also have to suffer it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Funk View Post
    I grew up in a very traditional household. My dad works and tends to all the finances, Mom stays home and cooks and handles all the household stuff. Giving this context, it's been surprising to me how progressive my dad has become over the years and how entrenched in traditional church-prescribed gender roles my mom has become.

    This became evident at a family dinner last night wherein my aunt pulled up the Ordain Women Facebook page on her phone and passed it around with great sighs and eyerolls from my mom, aunt, and uncle. My dad and I sat there very quietly, having had a long conversation just the day before about how we both support women giving blessings and anointings outside of the temple (and more, but at very least that). My uncle declared that if women want the priesthood, they should just "defect and join the FLDS [sic] church and go apostatize there." Since it's obviously impossible to want to improve things from within, right? My mom began an onslaught of criticism and disdain of those "unrighteous women" who "just can't listen to the prophet." When my mom finally cornered me, saying, "Is this just a stupid Utah thing? Because I haven't heard anything about this in Washington," I said that people from all over supported ordaining women, and that it was both men and women. At that point, all heaven and hell broke loose and we had the family argument of the decade. I'd really been trying to avoid a confrontation because it was completely pointless and now we're all just mad.

    I'm not really sure why I'm sharing this with you, perhaps other than to demonstrate that not only men engage in benevolent sexism and that people can change (or not) in those attitudes. Last night was extremely discouraging. If my family is representative of general church membership, then I have even less of a place in the church than I hoped.
    Good post but it more highlights just outright sexism, which is institutional within the church. I do like your thought that women are just as bad at benevolent sexism as are men.

    In all honestly, one of my biggest issues is with the way success is defined in the US. I'd actually go so far as to say that the church defines success much better than "the world". The world ties success to a person's income or social status, when, at the end of the day most of the work performed by working moms and dads is simply pushing paper around. Our jobs can be done by anyone. We are all replaceable.

    Ultimately success should be defined by a person's happiness. I hope someday my obituary simply states "Moliere was a great husband, father and grandfather. He lived his life in happiness and spent every waking hour trying to make people smile."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    Good post but it more highlights just outright sexism, which is institutional within the church. I do like your thought that women are just as bad at benevolent sexism as are men.

    In all honestly, one of my biggest issues is with the way success is defined in the US. I'd actually go so far as to say that the church defines success much better than "the world". The world ties success to a person's income or social status, when, at the end of the day most of the work performed by working moms and dads is simply pushing paper around. Our jobs can be done by anyone. We are all replaceable.

    Ultimately success should be defined by a person's happiness. I hope someday my obituary simply states "Moliere was a great husband, father and grandfather. He lived his life in happiness and spent every waking hour trying to make people smile."
    I agree. And that would be a nice obituary.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    I am sad you feel you don't have a place, or even less of one. But, maybe you are over-reacting. Your family is representative of your family first and foremost. Those dynamics are not the same when applied to a larger body on the whole. This past weekend we had similar discussions with my wife's family. You won't find a more devout or well-connected LDS family. However, they would be considered very progressive. Ultimately, church service is what we make it, regardless of some of the frustrations we must contend with. There is great work to be done in the church locally. I love getting lost in it. There is nothing else that quite compares with it. But, in order to embrace it, we also have to suffer it.
    I tried to caveat my "over-reaching" with my "If they are representative . . ." blahblahblah. I realize they may not be. It so happens that my self-selected online communities and IRL friends happen to be much more along the progressive spectrum than my family, so interactions with them tend to be somewhat shocking. The whole Pants Day nastiness seemed to come almost exclusively from the ultra-orthodox. Eh.
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Funk View Post
    I tried to caveat my "over-reaching" with my "If they are representative . . ." blahblahblah. I realize they may not be. It so happens that my self-selected online communities and IRL friends happen to be much more along the progressive spectrum than my family, so interactions with them tend to be somewhat shocking. The whole Pants Day nastiness seemed to come almost exclusively from the ultra-orthodox. Eh.
    To be sure, there is a segment of ultra orthodox. It's an important part of LDS culture for a variety of good and bad reasons. That culture will be replaced. I think the biggest issue is helping all people, myself included, come to the conclusion that it's better to worry less about what other people are doing and more about ourselves and what we are accountable for.
    Last edited by tooblue; 04-04-2013 at 11:35 AM.

  20. #20
    Sometimes looking at things through the eyes of a different culture is revealing.

    I have a good friend who is Navajo, who was in the Indian Placement Program, has done well educationally, is now a single parent looking for that right guy, in SLC.

    Her mother and step-dad are still down on the Rez, are very much Navajo traditionalists. The Navajo culture is historically matriarchal, in fact gay men hold a special status, seen as above men, but below women. The word they use for gay is "becoming".

    Anyway, my friend asked her mom one day if she ever wanted her step dad to marry her, since they've lived together for 25+ years. You know, back up the love by making that sacrifice, putting it in writing.

    "Why would I want to do that? If we got married and he screwed up, it would be much harder to kick him out of the house".

    Striking.

  21. #21
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  22. #22
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Benevolent Sexism

    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    Stupid ideas, even more stupid to publish them. I'm not sure his career should be ruined for it but that's life.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 08-08-2017 at 12:33 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #23
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of what the guy did, but this is an interesting take from a female software engineer who works in Silicon Valley.

    Google Can’t Seem to Tolerate Diversity

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...rate-diversity

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I am not a fan of what the guy did, but this is an interesting take from a female software engineer who works in Silicon Valley.

    Google Can’t Seem to Tolerate Diversity

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...rate-diversity
    Great game of thrones reference in the comments:

    When you tear out a man's tongue you are not proving that he is a liar, you are only proving that you fear what he says. - Tyrion Lannister.

    edit : first set of comments to an article I've ever enjoyed:

    "It reminds me of a line from a Saturday Night Live skit about the bubble: Here in the bubble, we don't recognize color, but we celebrate it."
    Last edited by Two Utes; 08-08-2017 at 02:00 PM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Great game of thrones reference in the comments:

    When you tear out a man's tongue you are not proving that he is a liar, you are only proving that you fear what he says. - Tyrion Lannister.

    edit : first set of comments to an article I've ever enjoyed:

    "It reminds me of a line from a Saturday Night Live skit about the bubble: Here in the bubble, we don't recognize color, but we celebrate it."

    Here is the actual email from the guy. Whether you agree or not, it is very well written with a LOT of thought put into it. And the dude is a Harvard grad

    https://diversitymemo.com/

    Unbelievably, I had to get it through the BBC reporting the story, not from US outlets. This county is fucking train wreck right now.

  26. #26
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Here is the actual email from the guy. Whether you agree or not, it is very well written with a LOT of thought put into it. And the dude is a Harvard grad

    https://diversitymemo.com/

    Unbelievably, I had to get it through the BBC reporting the story, not from US outlets. This county is fucking train wreck right now.
    The #fakenews NYT had a link to the entire memo in its reporting:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/t...T.nav=top-news

    Here's the original memo: https://assets.documentcloud.org/doc...ho-Chamber.pdf

    I read through it last night. Dude did put a lot of though into it, but it does read like an above-average undergraduate research paper with lots of sweeping generalizations, over-simplification, and a lack of engagement with relevant social-studies/psychological/etc. research. To be fair, though, it was an internal memo - probably not a finished product.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure if he should have been fired. People like Assange are framing this as free speech / censorship, which it is not, and google was justified in firing him out of fear of a "hostile work-environment" allegation (as the NYT speculated).

    I'm just not sure it's in google's interest to fire the guy instead of saying, "while we disagree with some of the ideas in this memo, we are working with this person to understand his point-of-view and to foster an environment of collaborative mutual respect in our workplace blah blah blah".

    Firing the guy out-of-hand sends the message that people who disagree need to keep quiet.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  27. #27
    The new York Times... all the news that's fit to make up

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    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

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  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    The #fakenews NYT had a link to the entire memo in its reporting:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/t...T.nav=top-news

    Here's the original memo: https://assets.documentcloud.org/doc...ho-Chamber.pdf

    I read through it last night. Dude did put a lot of though into it, but it does read like an above-average undergraduate research paper with lots of sweeping generalizations, over-simplification, and a lack of engagement with relevant social-studies/psychological/etc. research. To be fair, though, it was an internal memo - probably not a finished product.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure if he should have been fired. People like Assange are framing this as free speech / censorship, which it is not, and google was justified in firing him out of fear of a "hostile work-environment" allegation (as the NYT speculated).

    I'm just not sure it's in google's interest to fire the guy instead of saying, "while we disagree with some of the ideas in this memo, we are working with this person to understand his point-of-view and to foster an environment of collaborative mutual respect in our workplace blah blah blah".

    Firing the guy out-of-hand sends the message that people who disagree need to keep quiet.
    GOOGLE MANIFESTO AUTHOR JUST MIGHT HAVE A LEGAL CASE:

    https://www.wired.com/story/google-m...-a-legal-case/

    California is an "at-will" state, meaning Google can dismiss an employee for almost any reason. However, Damore says that before he was fired, he filed a complaint, formally known as a charge, with the National Labor Relations Board, which administers some aspects of federal labor law. Under the National Labor Relations Act, it's against federal law to fire someone in retaliation for filing a complaint to the board, lawyers say.

  29. #29
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    GOOGLE MANIFESTO AUTHOR JUST MIGHT HAVE A LEGAL CASE:

    https://www.wired.com/story/google-m...-a-legal-case/
    They'll pay him off.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  30. #30
    While America is being outraged by this memo, in reading an article about Taylor Swift's countersuit of a man she claims groped him, this little tidbit was interjected into the article:

    "Swift wore a black-and-white checked dress with a collar and black tights and carried a beige handbag. She wore bright red lipstick and had her light brown hair pulled back in a bun with full bangs."

    No mention of what any of the men involved with this were wearing or had done with their hair.

    Is it just me or was that a weird thing to include in the article?

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/us/tay...ial/index.html


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