Monday, 9 August 2010

Jack and Jesus

I don't understand where the time goes too. I swear it's accelerating - which is bad news really. Still, the good news is that we've had some rain. The grass was almost entirely straw coloured, except, of course, where people had ignored the hosepipe ban and sprinkled their lawns and the pavement with it. This morning, a very fat man with earplugs, sitting on a motor mower, was attempting to cut non-existent grass in the park - for this, we pay our taxes.

Like the Governator, and in fact, almost everybody except the hard core religious right, I was ecstatic to see that Proposition 8 has been deemed to be unconstitutional. Of course, this doesn't mean that ordinary, tax-paying Californians can just go out and marry the human of their choice, since they have to put up with another time-wasting challenge by a bunch of imbeciles whose purpose on this planet is to poison everything, but hey, in time, we could be back to normality. The Governator gave a nice speech about how California should be leading the country not slowing it down, and I have watched this video with Jack Black as Jesus, about 17 times.

On the cover of Time magazine's 9th August issue is this picture of a young woman who was mutilated by her husband and his family because she tried to run away. It doesn't even bear thinking about, and yet, we need to, because it's just a matter of degree. Men in Afghanistan can get away scott-free with this kind of violence against women. Men in the west still commit acts of gender-violence and it's not ok just because it's not as horrifying as this. And both men and women allow a society to continue to treat women as the second sex and create an ethos where this happens.

This article in 'The American Prospect' shows how, when men are challenged on sexism, they simply continue it behind our backs, and it's still just as damaging, and underscores my point about how sexism in language works against gender equality.

But this article also brings home another point, and one that Kevin has brought to my attention before. Subversive workplace sexism like this damages men as well, and I don't mean in a 'what goes around comes around' version of reality.
No, because the good ones, the ones that fight sexism simply because it's wrong are excluded from these 'in groups', in exactly the same way that women who are happy to be 'one of the guys' are able to be included on the surface. Of course, by accepting that male is higher status and female lower status, those women are accepting that they are a lesser part of the group.

Likewise, men who believe that women are not the second sex, that gender equality is an absolute priority, are treated as though they are part of the outsider, lower status group. But at least they have integrity, and come the revolution.....

And then there is the casual sexism highlighted in this article by Bidisha in The Graun. Read it, it's startling, but so right.

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