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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Overheard from Yenn while standing outside the Fox shop at Plaza Sing:

"Hey, let's go F men and F women."

'Nuff said. :p U go see Yenn's blog for a more detailed account of our shopping trip.

Exploitation? Discrimination?

I had an interesting chat with Turtle last night on MSN. He started out by asking me:

Turtle: Do you think women these days are insecure?

Huh? What brought this on? Then he went on to complain about what he perceived as 'male bashing' in the media.

Turtle: Look at all the shows on local TV. Like Eye for a Guy. All male bashing. The producers and Denise Keller are just out to make guys look stupid.

Well, that's just one instance of male exploitation, which is a fairly recently social phenomenon. Female discrimination tends to be more subtle, and has been around for centuries already.

Turtle: Is it? Name an example on local tv.

Gee, how about just about any show that features Fiona Xie? (^^!)

OK, that's beside the point anyway. Turtle and I went on for quite a long time into the night ["Male chauvinist pig!" "Feminist!"] er, discussing this topic a la JC GP debates.

What I eventually felt was that exploitation and sexual discrimination tends to happen to BOTH sexes, not just particularly males or females, unlike Turtle's view that males were getting it worst these days, and the females were getting on top.

Everytime you watch some guy on TV getting beaten up by his pissed-off wife, or you see some advert where the male is forced to carry the numerous shopping bags of his woman, you see an example of male exploitation. The men don't get it, basically. (^^!) And a lot of advertising and marketing is geared towards making women feel superior, and more powerful than men. [which prompted him to wonder whether this was really an indication of women's insecurity. I replied it's more likely an indication of women's increased willingness to shop.]

But female exploitation is still around, albeit in more subtle forms. More advertisements feature women than men. More advertisements feature various *cough* body parts of the woman, rather than for men. (^^!) Think of the no. of ads you've seen involving naked/partially nude women. And think of the no of ads you've seen involving a male model at the same level of nudity. Get my point? (^^!)

Even more subtle is the discrimination at work, which most of us might not have really experienced yet. There is still a tendency to hire men for most top level positions. [though how much of this is due to discrimination, and how much is because men really are better leaders, I don't know. The jury's still out on this one.] There is a glass ceiling for most women at work. And if you're pregnant, or if you're a mother? Forget about it.

Even the social expectations of women are different. Women must be caring mothers, good housekeepers, and strong career women. Men...... must have good careers and bring home the bacon. (^^!) No one really expects a man to take paternity leave to take care of the baby after it's delivered.

So I think Turtle's logic is flawed in a way. Sure there is male bashing in the media. But in a way, it's just a distraction to take women's attention away from the bashing that's happening to them.

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