Thursday, April 23, 2009

Playing with dolls 

I hadn't heard about this ridiculous Michael Coren column about how unwomanly female soldiers are until I read about it over at Galloping Beaver. Dave and the Rev say just about everything that needs to be said about this sexist drivel.
The only additional point I want to make is this:
I've been dealing with this kind of dinosaur attitude all my life, where some men, and some women too, think it is chilvalrous and they are doing women a favour by preventing us from going into dangerous or lonely or physically demanding careers like construction workers, police officers, firemen, forestry workers, ambulance drivers, doctors, veterinarians, long-haul truckers -- or soldiers.
Consciously or unconsciously, they see women as Barbie dolls -- women aren't real people, we are just gender objects. People who think this way use words like "pretty" and "sexy" to describe young women, and words like "frumpy" and "bitchy" to describe older women -- the words don't actually describe us as individuals but only as how we look or how we relate to the men in our lives. We are really nothing but bit-players in the real world, the world where men do the real work.
The tip-off that we are dealing with another dinosaur is this: inevitably, somewhere we always find a mealy-mouthed, head-patting line about how very very special it is to be a woman because we bear the children and isn't this just the most important "job" of all!
The coda is, so just shut up about all this stupid equality stuff, and go cook something delicious like only you ladies can! And since you're in the kitchen anyway, can you iron me a shirt for tomorrow?
This attitude toward women was so ingrained in our society that many people didn't even realize they had it until they first heard the doctor riddle.
I wonder if Coren would get it even now?

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