Why does the US rank 71st in the world for female representation in government?

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The World Economic Forum in Davos gave a rare platform to women’s rights on Wednesday – when South Africa’s Desmond Tutu said it was time for women around the world to start their own “revolution.” Tutu addressed the world’s political and financial elite – most of whom are men – telling them, “Let us realign forces, let us ensure that women have a significant part in the decision-making process… What we need is a revolution led by women.

I think women ought to be saying to us men: ‘You have made a mess, just get out and let us in’.” Tutu makes a fair point – especially in the United States, which ranks 71st in the world when it comes to female representation in government. Despite making up half the population of the country – women only make up 17% of our government. To put that in perspective – we rank 35 places below Iraq. Time to bring more women to Washington, DC.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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The world needs the feminine perspective for balance in all things. Our first question should be why would 52% of the world's population allow ourselves to be repressed for the past 2,000 years. What happened to women that would create this subservient, domesticated class? Where is the education on women's history of the period prior to the patriarchal rule? There is a little known documentary shown on PBS in 1992 called "Women and Spirituality - The Goddess Trilogy" which is well researched. The Trilogy offers insights which can stimulate an awakening in men and women. The 3 hours include, "Goddess Remembered, The Burning Times and Full Circle". We are long overdue to gather the women together from a loving but empowered state to step into shared leadership for solutions to the worlds problems. The survival of humanity may depend on it. Namaste,

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Catheryn Bachman
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Jan. 26, 2012 10:37 am

Maybe we should make it 4 senators from every state and mandate 2 of the 4 be women for starters? or 3 and make the 3rd be female.

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MrFantastic
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Aug. 2, 2011 1:53 pm

Thom, You have just barely scratched the surface on THE world's MOST IMPORTANT issue. You need to do more on this,and incorporate it into your every broadcast. Get all the other journalists at RT TV to blow the whistle on both the US and Russian elections for reinstating patriarchy with too few women on the tickets. I would be happy to help you with background and be a guest on your show.

BIG STORY: US ELECTION MEDIA "COVERAGE" THREATENS WOMEN, FAIR MEN AND WORLD ENVIRONMENT

It shocking, dangerous to all generations and the world, and unacceptable that the media is censoring and failing to cover the story that the so-called election upcoming is dangerously failing American woman and fair men thus, real democracy itself and the world environment, because the major parties have not followed the voluntary examples of many countries and parties of the rest of the world putting democracy- sufficient numbers of women on the tickets. Unless immediate exposure and warning is exerted now, to have this issue dealt with at party conventions, it will leave the US ranked 71st in the world, just under a very corrupt and backward country, Turkmenistan in representation of women http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm and once again not meeting the 1995 UN Beijing Platform for women's minimum of 30% women in office to protect democracy http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/decision.htm#diagnosis and the environment http://gas.sagepub.com/content/19/4/50. We want to encourage you to urgently, immediately and passionately act to tell the story and recruit other journalists, both women and fair men, to cover the especially important national, and (still in many places) world emergency that exists concerning this world-trend-impacting election, it's dangerous lack of a sufficiency of woman candidates, the likely patriarchally and ape-like planned lack of women VP candidates, and the media's now years long failure to let America know that its elections are failing womena and common non-patriarchel men, failing democracy and failing to cover the many examples of success of gender balance in many countries in the world. http://genderbalancerepresentation.webs.com/megalinks2.htm The US media is failing to cover how many millions of Americans, would prefer Hillary Clinton or ANY other prominent Democratic woman over Joe Biden as VP and a ticket of Obama and Clinton or ANY woman if polled, and why there are no polls on this, and its urgent importance to the likelihood of an Obama win. The US media failed to cover the 1995 Beijing Conference Platform which called for a minimum critical mass for democracy of 30% women in all countries by 2000http://www.uneca.org/
acgd/beijingplus15/documents/15YearReviewofBPfA.pdf , it failed to cover the leadership of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi in bringing women's representation to India via the Panchayat Raj http://www.hindu.com/2001/10/03/stories/05032524.htm which already serves hundreds of millions with gender balance, and the Women's Representation Bill still in committee in India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_Reservation_Bill, the media failed to cover gender parite that brought 50-50 to every city in France brought about by Prime Minister Jospin and his wife Sylvia Agacinski http://www.observatoire-parite.gouv.fr/, they failed to cover the gender 50-50 in Wales National Assembly brought about by Senator Julie Morgan and her husband Prime Minister Rhodri Morgan http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/09/gender.uk, they have failed to cover the one women for every man ballots of the Nordic countries since the 1970's and their recent 40% requirement for women on corporate boards http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-wbwomen.2..., and the have failed to tell all the parties in Europe and worldwide that use voluntary standards http://www.socintwomen.org/en/quota.html and http://www.quotaproject.org/systemParty.cfm and the success of several African countries and Belgium, the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Spain and others in getting gender balance. They are not letting America know how far behind the rest of the literate world America has become, and how truly dangerous to democracy and the environment this is. They are failing to cover the 50-50 campaigns in England http://www.countingwomenin.org/ and Europe http://5050campaign.wordpress.com/resources/about-the-campaign/ American women are being kept in the dark by the major media and both political parties. American women are working to overcome this.
http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/site/pages/2012Project.php and http://www.womensorganizations.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=art..., but the major media has been so silent about this silent national and world emergency, even 'though there is a lot about it on the Internet. The Occupy Movement Convention in July will be gender balanced, but there has been no media coverage of this critical aspect.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_Percent_Declaration#The_document. The silent ignorant complicity of most women journalists (unlike Soraya) in allowing the US to fall to the rank of 71 with Turkmenistan without blowing the whistle long ago is a testament to the power of patriarchy on women and just how easily many women still try to fit into a man's world, and the silence of men is the complicit silence of imbedded, habitual world-destroying hierarchy. Women journalists like Keli Goff's rant on the Dylan Ratigan show, need to insist on each other to catch up on globally responsible homework on this without blaming women voters, http://loop21.com/politics/are-female-voters-blame-failure-women-candidates , who have been kept in the dark, and immediately enlist sympathetic men like Thom Hartmann http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/01/why-does-us-rank-71st-world-fe... and men like Robert Reich http://robertreich.org/post/14932718385 and Chris Matthews http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/08/08/chris-matthews-sho..., who clearly want Hillary Clinton or ANY Democratic woman to be Vice President, shame and expose the patriarchal control being exerted on other journalists for not telling or investigating this whole story for years and still not warning of the disaster by not telling now on their every report on both parties and the upcoming election, and start real coverage of the issue of women's representation and real democracy, and protecting earth, and the economy (which will go into another depression without gender balance economics) in the US and world. This problem has been going on for years. It is planet-endangering dangerously overdue time to blow the whistle on this. A gender imbalanced Supreme Court gave us Citizens' United that has turned the election into an auction for environment and Internet endangering gender imbalanced corporations. The co-author of this, Rachelle Onefamily Miller ran for Partner President on a gender balance ticket with Hjalmer Wayne Erickson in the year 2000 http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/candidates2000.htm, and she and her husband Andy have a website calling for the Democrats to nominate Hillary or ANY Democratic woman for Vice President: http://hillaryforvicepresident.webs.com/whybarackandhillary.htm  You can urgently refer to http://genderbalancerepresentation.webs.com/megalinks2.htm for information and send email to rajchelleonefamilymiller@yahoo.com

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rajchelle onefa...
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It would be flippant to point to Republican women as the reason, but that would also be to ignore Republican men, and no matter how the Palin-Bachmann Overdrive plays off key, it hardly touches what the really ugly men have been doing.

Money is a reasonable answer, but I think a long period of denial and nostalgia for "a country" that does not have all these unAmerican newcomers and "feminazis" pushing White Men out of their Madmen entitlements is more to the point. In the Southern Strategy, 'women' are supposed to be standing by their men instead of pushing them out of the way.

After Alice and the Mad Hatter finish the Tea Party, maybe we can come back up out of the rabbit hole.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

If Thom were to say we need a balance of the Feminine Principle in politics and society as a whole, I would agree. As he states his position, however, I don't agree. Yes, we need a balance of women in Congress and elsewhere; however, the implicit assumption —that women are the "better sex"— must be seen as being as bigoted as the assumption that men are superior.

Sure, many women tend to focus more on the needs of children and the vulnerable, because they live in close proximity to such issues. And, yes, we need to honor that perspective, by creating a space where liberal women have a greater say in policy. However, unless we grant permission to all men —and conservative women— to evolve toward a more balanced gender identity, one that allows for acceptance of care and "softness," for example, rather than dismissing such as "bleeding-heart liberalism," the species isn't going to survive.

Until women manage to have parity, in numbers, with men in Congress, I'd rather look at the numbers of true progressives in Congress compared to the numbers of conservatives, male or female. I don't think the liberal-hearted males in Congress should be discounted as a force for good.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

hhttp://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/av/30x30/msnbc.jpgttp://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/av/30x30/msnbc.jpg

II am trying to link to Melissa Harris Perry's show with guest Francis Fox Piven among others. ZenZoe would like it

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I saw that show, the whole conversation, live, douglaslee. Very good. C-Span also had this: Feminist Majority Hosts Forum on "Women, Money and Power."

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Great topic Thom! How about a weekly segment on your show devoted to this matter?

We need to open up viable topics about what is NEEDED now - here & globally. WE - concerned women AND men - need a way to achieve progress around our most pressing issues of work, shelter, income instead of the current greasy, ignorant & dangerous slide in to the historical past - the focus on women's reproductive concerns.

As you can see from most of the responses here - everyone is in agreement - let's get more women into leadership in Washington, DC AND the rest of our world. This has happened in many countries through the use of quotas - it seems the only way to get things started. So let's use quotas - yup legislate them. This is what brought the Danish into a 41% rate of women holding office. Brazil, Spain, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Germany, India all have women in their elected offices due to quotas. Recently Tunisia, Ireland added their own legislative quotas. Neither The USA or the UK have any quotas - not even the voluntary kind.

Good luck on a quota! We couldn't even get an equal rights amendment passed. We still are victims to a system of economic debasement because the guys & gals in power aren't going to give up any of their goodies.

You could start with an interview with Phyllis Chesler. Her book "Womans Inhumanity to Woman" has insights which if discussed could change the direction we are headed - some consider it controversial & little tedious.

Here is an except of a review by Anna Aragno: "But the climax of this work, in my opinion, comes in the last chapter, where acquired wisdom, experience, matured vision and, perhaps, psychoanalytic savvy converge to point the way toward a new level of feminist consciousness by turning it inward: the "enemy," or the "cause" of female suffering and subjugation is no longer definable in terms of the "Other" gender, and its masculine tyranny or patriarchal destructiveness, but potentially lurks within the bounded bonds of every woman's interpersonal experience with other women. The recognition that either through base instinct, imitation, masquerade or identification, intra-gender demons carry as much toxic weight and destructive power as any male Gorgon, generates a new post-irate, humanistic feminist narrative, if you will, one that calls for intra-sister tolerance, restraint, respect, compassion and affiliative dialogue. Once the enemy is identified as also within -- a true psychoanalytic insight -- the path is forged for a new ideological course, to which the author herself points. A chastened sisterhood, aware of its own self-generated and perpetuated aggression will, hopefully, appeal to the humanity in each of us.

This book will become an immensely important contribution to feminist literature, partly because of its bold disclosures but predominantly because it makes explicit what has thus far been hidden from view and therefore vastly expands our awareness."

"I love this book. I have long believed that internalized violence is the number one enemy of the oppressed and that mere 'hoodism' is not the answer. And in order to achieve liberation, the oppressed must change, that change being more important than changing the oppressor."
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

“Today I call for stronger commitment by leaders to increase women’s participation in politics,” said Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), during a press conference in New York.

“I encourage countries to use quotas to expand women’s participation in parliament,” she said. “It is also good to open public debate about the right of women to take part in government and to hold public office. Democracy grows stronger with the full and equal participation of women,” she added.

Heres the web site for: Women’s political participation must be accelerated through quotas – UN official

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41445&Cr=un+women&Cr1

2 March 2012 –

“.......Today I call for stronger commitment by leaders to increase women’s participation in politics,” said Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), during a press conference in New York.

“I encourage countries to use quotas to expand women’s participation in parliament,” she said. “It is also good to open public debate about the right of women to take part in government and to hold public office. Democracy grows stronger with the full and equal participation of women,” she added........."

World Economic Forum has a woman problem | International | From the Newspaper 29th January, 2012 29th January, 2012

media_muse
Joined:
Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm

In general, we treat the correction of bias and discrimination as "lifting up" those who have been oppressed with an implicit presumption that they are just as good as those who have been in power. It makes sense legally to push for the end of prejudice and for equality before the law; but in the nature of prejudice and bias, there is a problem with those in power at the root. "Equality" does not force the "superiors" to face what has been wrong with them, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the corporate world where women are now free to behave as badly and irresponsibly as men have.

When feminists talk about women as a corrective to our cultural pathologies under patriarchal masculinism, they do cite gender differences that matter like being mothers who have a focus on home, hearth and what children need. But, "equality" tends to get measured by being able to compete in a 'man's world' rather than to be part of a serious cultural reflection and change of values away from masculinism. This is what makes Madmen an interesting story for our time and not just nostalgia or a "thank god that's over" piece of historical drama.

I posted earlier about some of the structural differences in our 'democracy' and those where parliaments and other factors have made electing women a lot less of an issue than here. I cannot discount the Southern Strategy Culture War for retrograde influence, and it would have been amazing had feminism forged ahead without damage from Barbie in the Newsroom and the "feminazi" rhetoric of hate radio. Barbie may have come a long way, but not exactly forward to the future, and there is still a long way to go.

I don't think "feminist men" feel neglected or put down by the emphasis on getting women elected. I think I have great company from men who know how important it is for us to have patriarchy and the culture of macho insecurity masculinism taken down and out. Real men will do perfectly well in a world with real women. It is only the bullies and posers who have to worry.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

If Thom were to say we need a balance of the Feminine Principle in politics and society as a whole, I would agree. As he states his position, however, I don't agree. Yes, we need a balance of women in Congress and elsewhere; however, the implicit assumption —that women are the "better sex"— must be seen as being as bigoted as the assumption that men are superior.

Sure, many women tend to focus more on the needs of children and the vulnerable, because they live in close proximity to such issues. And, yes, we need to honor that perspective, by creating a space where liberal women have a greater say in policy. However, unless we grant permission to all men —and conservative women— to evolve toward a more balanced gender identity, one that allows for acceptance of care and "softness," for example, rather than dismissing such as "bleeding-heart liberalism," the species isn't going to survive.

Until women manage to have parity, in numbers, with men in Congress, I'd rather look at the numbers of true progressives in Congress compared to the numbers of conservatives, male or female. I don't think the liberal-hearted males in Congress should be discounted as a force for good.

Thank you, Zenzoe, for being a human advocate and not a male basher out of convenience. I agree that the feminine reputation is not always deserved and the masculine one isn't either. We should be asking ourselves why women are not represented as well as a percentage of congress as they are a percentage of society. That's fair. However, implying that women would be more civil automatically, as women, is not true. As I've stated before, some of the most vehement defenses of the military industrial complex that I've encountered came from women.

I think a lot of men don't recognize sexism when it's pointed at them. Some times we become so caught up in maintaining the societally acceptable condition of hyper-masculinity we tend to ignore the downside that comes with that, as a slight inconvenience that accompanies the power we hang so much of our egos on. For instance:

I don't know if other men on this forum have experienced this, but there have been a number of occasions when I've entered a house or store where strange women with children were present, only to have the women clutch their offspring to them, in a protective gesture, when I enter. I don't think it's something they consciously do to offend me but, admittedly, it does.

Now, one could argue that their response is an evolutionary necessity, given the history of male human violence against women and children. Still, it hurts when people look at me- an over sized human, but human nonetheless-and assume I am a monster because if I were one, I'd be especially effective, due to my size and temperament. BTW, I'm not freakishly huge, just bigger than the average person-6'2" 210 pounds. My wife tells me I also have an air about me of " no bullshit will be accepted here", which probably adds to the problem.

For the record, I love women and I love children and would never harm them for my own gratification. I like to think that I've evolved past where my ancestors were, philosophically, and I take seriously my "love is god" idea. Yet, the first thing some women think when they see me is, "...must protect the children", even though they really couldn't be safer. In fact, unbeknownst to them, they're safer with me IN the room than not, as I've acted as a physical deterrent to other abusive men before.

Should I start wearing a bow tie or some other token of pacifism just to put people at ease? Is that any different than a female congressperson who overcomes her genetic stereotype with excessively hawkish behavior? I don't want to be phony, I just want to be accepted for who I am. In this way, I understand the female perspective far too well.

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm

I think that smiling and showing respect with mutuality will work well. It might take a second response to overcome the societal expectation, but treating children as people does help their mothers see something more than a predator or threat. Treating them as people is the other thing that works. And, recognizing that they have a right to suspect someone they do not know will also be communicated in your favor. It is not phony to appreciate that you live in a world of context. Deal with it instead of just being sad about it.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I'm not "sad" about it. I recognize that we can't overcome sexual stereotypes so easily as we might want to. They are not fair, no matter who they are directed toward, but are possibly unavoidable. Humans, like other animals, do not -except through a dedicated and thoughtful learning process- ignore their instincts.

My lack of smiling or treating children and women with respect is not the problem. With women and children alike, they almost always come to like me, after they know me. My comment was about the, perhaps justified but nonetheless hurtful, instinctive distrust of men. And, I don't know how I'm supposed to "deal" with things that happen in the minds of other people, but I'll try for you.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm
Quote D_NATURED:

I don't know if other men on this forum have experienced this, but there have been a number of occasions when I've entered a house or store where strange women with children were present, only to have the women clutch their offspring to them, in a protective gesture, when I enter. I don't think it's something they consciously do to offend me but, admittedly, it does.

I am sympathetic D_NATURED to the situation you described where you have been hurt/offended by the fear projected on to you by the woman with her child. It is important than men speak out about this because this is an example of how woman buy into the WRONG FEARS. And thus perpetuate what is really happening underground.

BTW, if you wear a bow tie you are bound to run into someone terrified of a male in a bow tie. With this approach you'll need an array of costumes and incredible intuition to know which costume to put on - at the right moment! This seems like a lot of work to deal with while encountering others projections. But hey, maybe you'll have the time of your life! A male close to me - similar to your size - has described his similar sense of dismay that his mere presence caused obvious fear. We've had many conversations where I saw his bewilderment because some one was afraid of him. Hence the mom's fear for her child is due to other reasons. If you go for the evolutionary theory - a big strong male is supposed to be a sexy thing.

The conundrum here: fear of an unknown male as a child predator or woman predator is another modern media myth - they sell fear which is good for their revenue. There are of course exceptions but for the most part most child victims are preyed on by some one KNOWN to them. This is the same for women and those that prey on them. There are several recent media events of famous men who had been molesting children known to them. It seems the doing of predatory & violent sexual, physical abuse of our humanity is not taboo - the taboo is talking about it. Hence the mom's fear for her child is due to other reasons.

This taboo would be another reason to have a weekly Thom Hartmann news hour and blog devoted to other issues concerning women rather than the usual re-hash of past insipid issues the corporate media gives us. WE women - all humans - need to be involved in the matters important to our lives. This is a pertinent subject - we need everyone - especially women - to speak out about this. MOST victims - DO NOT talk about it. There are several reasons which make sense why they wouldn't. However this is an area everyone - especially women - could help to change - if they were permitted to talk without out being castigated or shamed or blamed. This one area - of beginning to diminish violence in our own homes our own neighborhoods, our own religious cultures - this one area alone could end so much pain, destruction and discrimination in all of our families.

media_muse
Joined:
Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm
Quote D_NATURED:
Thank you, Zenzoe, for being a human advocate and not a male basher out of convenience.

Thank you, D_NATURED, for seeing me that way and saying so. But yeah, I do believe, since we mostly share in our humanity, it should be more important than sex or gender.

Quote D_NATURED:
I agree that the feminine reputation is not always deserved and the masculine one isn't either. We should be asking ourselves why women are not represented as well as a percentage of congress as they are a percentage of society. That's fair.

Agreed. Why is it that fewer women than men take an interest in politics? How did politics become a masculine pursuit in America? (Netherlands’ parliament is at parity—50% male and female—by law? Sweden and Finland do well too, I understand.) Of course, the factor of motherhood still plays a part. Not that motherhood ever held Nancy Pelosi back! ;-)

Quote D_NATURED:
However, implying that women would be more civil automatically, as women, is not true. As I've stated before, some of the most vehement defenses of the military industrial complex that I've encountered came from women.

Yup. Death penalty too. I mean, what kind of Supreme Court would you prefer: One with five progressive, male justices, and four conservative, male justices; or one with five conservative female justices and four progressive, female justices?

That you have a vagina does not mean you have a heart.

Quote D_NATURED:

...Should I start wearing a bow tie or some other token of pacifism just to put people at ease? Is that any different than a female congressperson who overcomes her genetic stereotype with excessively hawkish behavior? I don't want to be phony, I just want to be accepted for who I am. In this way, I understand the female perspective far too well.

I don’t think one should ever have to be a phony. I happen to like the looks of an honestly masculine, burly guy with a beard (not that it describes you). Own it, however you are! And, also, there’s no accounting for other’s perceptions of us. You never know—maybe in one case, you reminded her of her abusive ex; in another case, maybe you reminded her of the prime suspect in a movie she just watched. Plus, in general, there’s a plague o' fear goin’ around these days, yes? I, for example, don’t walk alone in my neighborhood at night. If I were to do that and a man followed me, by coincidence, I’d probably freak out. No matter who he really was, I’d have him pegged as the local serial rapist. (Not that my freak-out would justify “standing my ground” and shooting an innocent man in the chest!)

I kinda doubt you're all that scary, though.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I guess my point, and it may have been lost in my tears of victimhood (wink), is that I understand their fears. I can't blame them for protecting their children. They SHOULD be cautious. It's about survival, it's not personal, but the reaction feels personal.

I can't help the way I look. I know there's no green light that comes on when a man is full of good and needn't be feared any longer by the young and the helpless. We all have our potential for good and harm and it can only be recognized in the moment. I'm aware that some people-often con men and politicians-dress in ways to project a harmlessness. It is a way in to wherever they want to be. It is manipulation.

But that's what stereotypes do. They force people into manipulating other people by projecting things about themselves that aren't true, to compensate for or justify the way they are "perceived". They can't be themselves and everyone pays the price for the lie.

The bow tie would look super creepy on me, anyway. I guess I'll just smile more...like that's not creepy.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm

It is how we all suffer for the culture of fear and prejudice. It took a while for black friends to decide that I was for real, and some of their friends never could warm up. It is a shame, but I still treasure what we did get to and the grace I received from them. What I suffered was much less than they did every day.

DRC's picture
DRC
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote media_muse:
Quote D_NATURED:

I don't know if other men on this forum have experienced this, but there have been a number of occasions when I've entered a house or store where strange women with children were present, only to have the women clutch their offspring to them, in a protective gesture, when I enter. I don't think it's something they consciously do to offend me but, admittedly, it does.

I am sympathetic D_NATURED to the situation you described where you have been hurt/offended by the fear projected on to you by the woman with her child. It is important than men speak out about this because this is an example of how woman buy into the WRONG FEARS. And thus perpetuate what is really happening underground.

BTW, if you wear a bow tie you are bound to run into someone terrified of a male in a bow tie. With this approach you'll need an array of costumes and incredible intuition to know which costume to put on - at the right moment! This seems like a lot of work to deal with while encountering others projections. But hey, maybe you'll have the time of your life! A male close to me - similar to your size - has described his similar sense of dismay that his mere presence caused obvious fear. We've had many conversations where I saw his bewilderment because some one was afraid of him. Hence the mom's fear for her child is due to other reasons. If you go for the evolutionary theory - a big strong male is supposed to be a sexy thing.

The conundrum here: fear of an unknown male as a child predator or woman predator is another modern media myth - they sell fear which is good for their revenue. There are of course exceptions but for the most part most child victims are preyed on by some one KNOWN to them. This is the same for women and those that prey on them. There are several recent media events of famous men who had been molesting children known to them. It seems the doing of predatory & violent sexual, physical abuse of our humanity is not taboo - the taboo is talking about it. Hence the mom's fear for her child is due to other reasons.

This taboo would be another reason to have a weekly Thom Hartmann news hour and blog devoted to other issues concerning women rather than the usual re-hash of past insipid issues the corporate media gives us. WE women - all humans - need to be involved in the matters important to our lives. This is a pertinent subject - we need everyone - especially women - to speak out about this. MOST victims - DO NOT talk about it. There are several reasons which make sense why they wouldn't. However this is an area everyone - especially women - could help to change - if they were permitted to talk without out being castigated or shamed or blamed. This one area - of beginning to diminish violence in our own homes our own neighborhoods, our own religious cultures - this one area alone could end so much pain, destruction and discrimination in all of our families.

Damn, you're cool. You're so right on about how we don't like it when people talk about things that happened to them. It makes us uncomfortable to have to have some empathetic response to their story. We have to do things, when there are victims. It's a lot of work establishing justice. It can break up families. LOL.

I didn't want to sound too whiney about it all, I just wanted to mention the whole "fear of me" thing because it's hard to imagine what other people deal with until they tell you. I could be much worse off, in the grand genetic dice roll, than to be a large white guy in America. There's worse positions to be in and I'm not bitchin' (excuse the stupid phrase). I remember I was a child once, though, bullied mercilessly, a victim in the might makes right world. So, I can't help but think that with my current privilege comes an obligation.

I think the way I compensate for my stereotype now, as an ogre, is to stand up for smaller people, even at my own paril. I've done it several times. I won't see anyone get bullied in my presence. But I wonder if that is not as much a testosterone-rich display as the bully demonstrates, the flip side of the bully coin...the defender. At times, it conflicts with my stated desire for there to be peace in the world. Each time there is a potential for violence. That is the thing I struggle with. Violence is what I claim to detest. It is as if it is my nature to be violent and I can only choose to fight for good or evil.

Have you ever read, The Once and Future King? Great book.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
Joined:
Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm
Quote DRC:

In general, we treat the correction of bias and discrimination as "lifting up" those who have been oppressed with an implicit presumption that they are just as good as those who have been in power. It makes sense legally to push for the end of prejudice and for equality before the law; but in the nature of prejudice and bias, there is a problem with those in power at the root. "Equality" does not force the "superiors" to face what has been wrong with them, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the corporate world where women are now free to behave as badly and irresponsibly as men have.

DCR, I am curious - what would you suggest as ways to get more women involved?

When you write " "Equality" does not force the "superiors" to face what has been wrong with them, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the corporate world where women are now free to behave as badly and irresponsibly as men have". I am in agreement with you here- yet I am not sure if this is an argument for or against the current status quo. ALL OF US - I include myself - by virtue of our socialization have internalized issues which are causing us many problems. Everyone has their own internalized sexism, ageism, racism, corporatism, etc, etc ad infinitism - which create our blind spots.

Our founding fathers gave us their esoteric best when they wrote our: " We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America".

This document was written in 1787 - 225 years ago. Women received the right to vote in 1920 - 92 years ago. Susan B. Anthony & supporters worked for 60 years to obtain this right. In 1973 through Roe vs. Wade women achieved another landmark evolutionary thought event - the decision to be able to control a highly sensitive matter concerning the workings of their female body. We have now spent the past 39 years trying to hold the evolutionary notion of a womans right to control her own body. I wonder how many more years we will be doing this.

The 13th Amendment was ratified in 1870 abolishing black slavery. Some blacks interpreted this as their right to vote. The federal law does not guarantee the right to vote as this was to be established by each state. So states enacted practices to prevent their voting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the federal enactment of law to break up the ability of varying states legal disfranchisement of black voters. Today we are seeing continuing efforts to bring about further disenfranchisement. As we know from Justice Clarence Thomas we can see his own internalized racism and how it behaves with his judicial activism.

I mention these two situations as examples AND encouragement for all of us to keep on trucking - keep on with the evolutionary process of bringing the best of humanity to our world. Woman NEED TO BE INCLUDED because we make up 50% of the world, without women's involvment WE ARE ONLY HALF AS SMART AS WE CAN BE. It is up to BOTH WOMEN AND MEN for our world to shape up, smarten up and get sharper results.

WE have ample examples of women and men who have tamed their inner "isms". This is the benefit of education & compassion. Education helps to remove ignorance so that the human being can makes choices. The choice between a "knowledgeable response" or a" reptilian brain reflexive reaction" are worlds apart - and those actions speak volumes.

DCR, no one can deny the truth of this you have written here: "In general, we treat the correction of bias and discrimination as "lifting up" those who have been oppressed with an implicit presumption that they are just as good as those who have been in power". WE NEED TO make corrections & do lift ups in order to level they playing field. No doubt we will have more incredible examples of the internalized convoluted "isms". We'll need to accept this as part of the evolutionary process and take this step by step, maybe tiny steps. This is why I suggested quotas. What do you suggest DCR?

Zenzoe is right on when she wrote: " Yes, we need a balance of women in Congress and elsewhere; however, the implicit assumption —that women are the "better sex"— must be seen as being as bigoted as the assumption that men are superior...

Until women manage to have parity, in numbers, with men in Congress, I'd rather look at the numbers of true progressives in Congress compared to the numbers of conservatives, male or female. I don't think the liberal-hearted males in Congress should be discounted as a force for good".

Yes, DCR, we real women and real men need to really get busy - to get reality up a few more evolutionary notches.

media_muse
Joined:
Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm

D_NATURED, I found your point valid - not whiny at all. I found you to be brave to speak about an area that affects mens feelings about themselves. I consider you courageous with what I see it as a helpful example for other men to perhaps think about the projections they encounter daily - which denote them as violent predators. Most men want to be protectors and providers - not predators. Of course, if I were speaking about the gangster banksters - undeniably they are predators and proud of it.

In reality all of us - women and men - face our own sense of bewildered rejection when someone unknowingly projects their fear or resentment on to us. Its easier for women to discuss this 'feeling' part which is why men need to step in to this part. This is another step in bringing our world into balance. Patriarchy - as it is currently & obscenely practiced - is the problem. It pits women and men against each other. We need to evolve - release ourselves from our own tethers to the punitive patriarchal practices. How or what that will look like who knows - but we have to do it. The bully and the defender live in each and every one of us - its just a matter of choice on which behavior we utilize.

BTW, I have not yet read The Once and Future King, but you have aroused my curiosity so I'll check it out. Thank you for the suggestion.

media_muse
Joined:
Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm

I agree with you about patriarchy being a big part of the problem. It is a relic of the very might makes right philosophy of past tyrants, alive and well in our time. It doesn't fit in to a rational plan for the future, but the conservative clown car is full of those who are ever diligent to hobble progress in the name of preserving ancient human foibles. They are as tenacious in their desire for the continuation of a dysfunctional system as we are about changing it.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
Joined:
Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm

Dr. Gabor Maté gave a speech called "Addiction & Capitalism" - available through a KPFA fund raiser last fall - worth listening to. He bridges the systemic addiction problems we have through Capitalism which also passes as Patriarchy. No wonder we are so mixed up! Patriarchy is not about the masculine or the feminine. Patriarchy is a power & control method. Our power systems are used as economic systems and vice versa. Obviously it is about money & the control of money. We ALL are mired in an equal opportunity patriarchal capitalistic economic control system.

As you said: we can't do much about about the tenacity of "the conservative clown car is full of those who are ever diligent to hobble progress in the name of preserving ancient human foibles." AND as you said we must all be involved in our own tenacious actions for a change which honors life - the life of all people and the beautiful earth we live on.

media_muse
Joined:
Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm

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