Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

You swing like a boy.

Profiling and stereotyping–we are all guilty of it in some way or another whether we realize it or not.

For example, the other day my husband had taken my son (6 y/o) to his fall ball baseball practice. Apparently, my son’s hitting was not too great. My husband proceeded to tell him that he was swinging the bat like a girl.

Now, if you are female then you are thinking the same thing right now that I thought when my loving husband told me that he said that.

“Hold up…wait a minute…you told him what?” (Those were my exact words and I bet that is similar to what you are thinking in your mind right now. Some men out there wondering what is the big deal…like my hubby was after he told me what he told our son.)

My loving hubby demonstrated the swing that our son was performing and again said that he was swinging like a girl.

I told him that a girl can swing a bat just as well as any boy can and that I have seen some pretty wimpy swings in the boys little league over the years. When you say that he is swinging like a girl that is putting all girls in the category of being inferior to all boys because they can’t swing a bat as well as a boy can. It is a put down to all girls–period. Anytime you tell a boy that he is swinging like a girl or running like a girl or whatever like a girl; that is putting girls down. That kind of reasoning and teaching is wrong. It is teaching our son that girls are not as good as boys and that boys are better because they have superior skills.

He didn’t get it.

But I do.

Oh, he understands what I am saying but he doesn’t think that telling our son that he swings like a girl is going to cause him to grow up thinking that girls are inferior to him because he is male.

If you don’t believe me when I say that it is a put down to all girls when you say that a boy swings like a girl, runs like a girl, hits like a girl, or throws like a girl, then I suggest you watch one of my all time favorite movie—The Sandlot. The Sandlot 2 is a good one, too.

Here is an exchange that occurs between kids in the movie, The Sandlot.

[the Sandlot Kids and their arch-rivals come face-to-face]
Phillips: It’s easy when you play with rejects and a fat kid, Rodriguez.
Benny: Shut your mouth, Phillips!
Ham Porter: What’d you say, crap face?
Phillips: You shouldn’t be allowed to touch a baseball. Except for Rodriguez, you’re all an insult to the game.
Ham Porter: Come on! We’ll take you on, right here! Right now! Come on!
Sandlot Kids: Yeah!
Phillips: We play on a real diamond, Porter. You ain’t good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.
Ham Porter: Watch it, jerk!
Phillips: Shut up, idiot!
Ham Porter: Moron!
Phillips: Scab eater!
Ham Porter: Butt sniffer!
Phillips: Pus licker!
Ham Porter: Fart smeller!
Bertram: [sniffs] Ahh.
Phillips: You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!
Ham Porter: You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!
Sandlot Kids: Yeah!
Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!
Ham Porter: You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!
[entire group stands in shocked silence]
Phillips: What did you say?
Ham Porter: You heard me.
Phillips: Tomorrow. Noon, at our field. Be there, buffalo-butt breath.
Ham Porter: Count on it, pee-drinking crap-face!

Oh, it is a classic. I find it interesting that there are all these different insults being slung back and forth and the one insult that is so shocking, so insulting, so unforgivable is that “You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!” Playing ball like a girl is worse than not being good enough to lick the dirt off cleats, worse than being called a jerk, idiot, or moron. It is worse than being called a scab eater, butt sniffer, pus licker, or fart smeller. It is worse than a geek eating dog crap for breakfast, mixing Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam, or bobbing for apples in the toilet…and liking it.

The worse insult that you can sling to any little boy on the baseball field is that they play ball like a girl.

My point is that without even realizing it, my husband was passing along stereotypical thoughts and impressions to my son. My husband is not sexist, but that is how stereotypes, racial biases, and profiling are impressed upon us and our children—subtly, unknowingly, and for the most part, innocently. Of course, there are exceptions because I know that there are plenty of racists, misogynists, misandrists, and a whole lot of other hater-ists out there in the world.

Anyway, people need to think critically. I shouldn’t assume every man thinks that he is superior to me because I am a woman. My husband shouldn’t assume that a girl’s swing is inferior to any boy’s swing. Somehow, telling my daughter that she swings like a boy just wouldn’t have the same effect as saying to my son that he swings like a girl.

Now, this story is leading you up to something else that I have been pondering about the last couple of days. It has to do with stereotyping and profiling. I can’t go into all the different cases of stereotyping and profiling because that would take forever, so I will go with the story that is in the news right now—Professor Gates vs. Sgt. Crowley, with a little interference from President Obama on the side.

Every police officer out there is not racist. Not every African-American is a criminal. After doing some research, I believe that the entire incident between Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley is unfortunate and unhelpful toward healing race relations in our country. I think that Sgt. Crowley was doing his job, while Professor Gates was upset that he was being questioned about his right to be in his own home. Any person would have been upset if they were tired from a trip and just wanted to get home and were being questioned by the police because someone was concerned enough to call 911 and report a possible break in.

I would like to think that in retrospect that the Professor is pleased to know that people in his community care enough about each other to step up and make that call.

Will this cause people to become wary of calling 911 and getting involved because they do not want to have their motives questioned or be called a racist? Will this cause people to not give eyewitness accounts because they do not want to describe race or seen as racially profiling? Will this cause police officers to pause before acting or questioning someone because they would not want to be labeled as showing a racial bias? Will this cause police officers from doing their jobs to protect and serve our communities because they do not want to be accused of being racist?

Was it really necessary for President Obama to speak about this case?

Oh, and what signal does sitting around having a beer to solve a problem send to all those folks in AA that are trying to overcome the urge to drink when faced with a problem?

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Mary Wollstonecraft is my hero; however, I am resigning my position as a feminist.

I understand wanting to be equal and that is why Mary Wollstonecraft is one of my all time favorite people.

What confuses me is that The National Organization for Women, which is supposed to be for all women’s rights, are definitely not for every woman.

They certainly do not represent me. Since I am a woman, I am allowed to say that.

I do not consider myself to be a feminist, because feminism doesn’t mean what it was supposed to mean for women in this country.

For one thing, just because Sonia Sotomayor is a woman does not mean that I think that she needs to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

 It certainly does not change my mind about it just because she is Hispanic. It doesn’t make me racist either. I just think that a person should be hired for any job based on their previous job performance and based on their own merits. Which is a position that I thought anyone who is supposed to be for equality in the workforce would be for, not against. Quite frankly, if I was Sonia Sotomayor, I would be highly offended that people believed the only thing that got her where she is today is because she is Hispanic and she is female.

Once again, women are being judged by their anatomy, or lack thereof.

Sarah Palin. There are some women that hate her. There are a lot that love her. Even some love to hate her. If you don’t like her because of a political stance that she has, then that is much more admirable than to hate her because she doesn’t fit into her idea of what a feminist should act.

I can respect an argument against her because of a difference in opinions as far as policy is concerned. You may not like her because she is an avid hunter and she fishes. That is fine. I have a good friend that doesn’t like her because of the aerial hunting that she supports. I don’t know that much about Alaska and the hunting situation there, but I know that it is brutal territory and I am going to research that before I form an opinion about it.

If you don’t like her because she teaches abstinence and her daughter got pregnant as a teenager, then that is ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but I know that I would not want to be judged by my children’s actions. I certainly would not have wanted my parents to be judged by mine.

I don’t understand the problem with Sarah Palin choosing to have her son despite the fact that he has Down’s Syndrome. If she had chosen to have an abortion, then she would have been ok? If her daughter had not had her baby, then Sarah would have been ok? Again, it just sounds ridiculous to me that she is being judged by what her 17 year old daughter did or didn’t do.

 Let’s move on away from Sonia and Sarah and how one would advance the rights of women and one would apparently squash them.

It is ok to trample on the rights of others, just so long as you have the right to do anything? How can anyone claim to be for equality and trample on the rights of any group just because they don’t belong to your group? It is ok to take the rights away from one group so that you can advance your rights? One group I am discussing is unborn babies. I would bet that there are people that care more about the rights of unborn animals than they do about unborn human babies. Unborn babies die because women have somehow forgotten how to use birth control.

I can empathize with the woman that wants an abortion because she was forced into an act that created a life that she otherwise would not have created. It is more difficult for me to empathize with any woman that was just plain careless with her body and doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. I am pretty sure that most people know what causes pregnancy and most know how to prevent it. It is not that difficult to protect yourself and if you can’t remember to take a pill every day or to stop long enough to say ‘do you have a condom?’ then perhaps you need to consider not allowing yourself to be placed in the situation that could cause you to get pregnant in the first place. If you are not mature enough to do what has to be done, then you are obviously not mature enough to be having sex in the first place. Just don’t go there.

It is like I tell my 14 year old son—It is my job as his parent to not allow him to be placed in situations that could lead to compromising positions (no pun intended) until he is old enough to be able to resist the urge. Problem with that philosophy is that my husband hasn’t even reached that point yet. I will have to fine tune my reasoning behind not allowing my son to go anywhere that could be a potential temptation as he gets older. With all that said, I am merely expressing that I am for pro-responsibility. I want my to raise my children to be responsible—whether it is choosing abstinence (which is what I hope) or whether they choose to act responsibly by using protection (preferably a condom—because pregnancy is not the only thing to be worried about).

If that responsibility is thrust upon you literally by a man that doesn’t care whether you say no or not, then I believe that it is entirely one of those situations that fall under the health of the mother. Some women are just not strong enough to deal with having the responsibility of raising a baby that was conceived by force; however, some do. I believe that the health and well being of the mother includes psychological and physical.

I just think that the true feminist at the beginning of the feminist movement did not want to emasculate men and I do not believe that they wanted to be seen as cold hearted women that were men haters. I think that they truly set out to create equality where there wasn’t any.

Now, the feminist movement is more like a club for man-haters and misogynistic women.