The misogyny of women - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 05-28-2014, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm currently listening to CBC Radio Ideas and Germaine Greer is talking about feminism and women's bodies. She's talking about the idea that there's a misogyny of women, and specifically that women don't trust each other. She gave the example of a woman trying to convince her own mother of an idea and how difficult it can be. She says that whereas men are trained from an early age to work together women don't know how to work together. She said that women are "sleeping with the enemy" and that we are very heterosexual and that we love men so much, she indicates that we are distrustful of each other, we lack camaraderie, and we are way too critical of each other. What do you think?  I think she's right!

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#2 of 17 Old 05-29-2014, 04:45 AM
 
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I'll have to go dig that up to listen to later.  From your description I suspect I'd agree with her.  I have a circle of women friends who are generally supportive of each other, but I've also met women who seem to have a mentality of getting ahead by putting other women down.

 

eta:  I think this is it:  http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2460433320

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#3 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 05:57 AM
 
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I ended up listening to the whole thing. I'd never read/listened to anything by Germaine Greer before, so thank you so much for introducing me to her!

In case any lurkers are wondering, the subject of female mysogyny is in the last ten or fifteen minutes.
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#4 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 06:34 AM
 
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in my experience, offline ... women work together much better than men. as friends, we're more likely to support each other through the stages of our lives, and we can navigate the language of emotions much more easily than men.

however, online ... i see a LOT more misogyny between women, as well as slut-shaming, body-shaming, any kind of shaming you can think of. i see a lot of women subscribing to sexist stereotypes, even acting out those stereotypes. online, i see cutthroat competition i never see offline, especially regarding appearance or parenting choices.

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#5 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow purpleraven what a unique perspective. I think you're right that there's far less accountability on line, it makes sense that women are meaner here.

Rachelsmama I never heard her before either but I'm a fan now!
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#6 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 02:32 PM
 
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I'm a lesbian and I don't usually experience this backstabbing. Maybe it's because we aren't competing for the attention of men and we can focus on other things. I do think that our society often pits women against each other and encourages competition and in-fighting that does not need to occur.



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#7 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We'll divide and conquer had always been a sound war strategy
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#8 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 09:26 PM
 
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When I was a kid, even a teen, it was easier to hang with boys. Other girls made me nervous. With boys I could just relax and have fun. With girls it felt like...they knew how to be a girl, and I didn't know, and they knew I didn't have a clue. I couldn't hide from other girls.

BUT, I was going to say there is nothing to replace the bone-deep understanding that adult women can share. Especially about marriage and mothering.

Someone moved my effing cheese.

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#9 of 17 Old 05-30-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree about the bone deep understanding. My closest friend and I have become even closer from being mothers at the same time. Thank God for other women
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#10 of 17 Old 05-31-2014, 05:58 PM
 
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I didn't listen to the talk, but from your description, I've had the exact opposite experience. Right now, I work with a group of women from right out of college up into their 80s, there are two great guys in the mix too. It is the most supportive amazing place to work.

Honestly, of all the jobs I've had, the ones where the majority were women were the most supportive, fun, and enjoyable places to work. I wonder if it's more about where you work, what field you are in, and what type of person those things attract that have more to do with it, than whether it's women and men.

 
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#11 of 17 Old 05-31-2014, 11:37 PM
 
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I haven't listened to the podcast yet (and would like to if I can find some time), but the title of this thread caught my eye.

There's a 'stand by your man' culture that I've experienced as a divorced woman....former mutual female friends seem to tend to side with the male divorcee, often because he is friends with her husband. But the women I know who did this also seem to be quite codependent....and I often wonder if a female friend who was more secure in herself and her marriage might have taken a stronger stance against what happened to me?

So....I'd have to say that in my experience, the enablers of misogyny are often empathic females who just don't want to believe that their judgement about someone could actually be wrong. I used to want to believe people are all inherently good and that we can fix or save those who have faults....I was taught to see the value in people, and overlook the faults because no one is perfect. These same women were supportive and fun when I was married....but I think hearing the truth about someone they liked also destroyed their illusions, and was just too much to handle....so it was easier to just drift away. Granted, I think I changed too and wasn't interested in pursuing those friendships anymore either.

It was traumatic, and continued to be so as I navigated divorce from your everyday neighbourhood "likeable" sociopath. The women who I thought would be supportive turned out to be a part of the triangle that enables the misogynists (often masquerading as feminists in order to secure adoration/attention from women) to get away with it.
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#12 of 17 Old 06-01-2014, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@ALP en - there does seem to be a culture of females adoring males in general and less so each other. I can't count how many times some have told me how lucky I am to have dh as a partner. They're right, of course, but why do women feel the need to advocate for my man? It's not like there's any indication that I'm leaving and we're more or less equivalent in terms of career and what not. I've wondered what would happen with these female friends if we split, like would they just feel sorry for him? Plus, as you indicated, it's the ones who seem nicest and most normal that are usually the psychos. I read The Stranger Beside Me, the book about Ted Bundy, and the things people said about him are the same things people say about most men who manage to keep their cool in public, hold down a family and a job. Anyway, we do certainly seem to have a culture of male worship.
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#13 of 17 Old 06-06-2014, 10:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post
She says that whereas men are trained from an early age to work together women don't know how to work together. She said that women are "sleeping with the enemy" and that we are very heterosexual and that we love men so much, she indicates that we are distrustful of each other, we lack camaraderie, and we are way too critical of each other. What do you think?  I think she's right!
I feel like her thinking is either a little too out of touch with a lot of the social dynamics of today, or else she is living in an area and moving in circles different than the ones I am in.

As far as working together, I have observed mostly female and mostly male workforces, and I felt like there was a lot of backstabbing and passive aggressiveness in both, as well as outright aggressiveness. And I've also worked in female dominated jobs where it seems more balanced. I think it just depends on the type of job and the other dynamics.
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#14 of 17 Old 06-08-2014, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Viola P View Post
and that we are very heterosexual and that we love men so much,

Women, in general, have much more fluid sexuality than men. (Women are more likely to be bisexual than men are.) So classifying all women as "very heterosexual" is a bit weird.

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#15 of 17 Old 06-09-2014, 06:01 AM
 
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Women, in general, have much more fluid sexuality than men. (Women are more likely to be bisexual than men are.) So classifying all women as "very heterosexual" is a bit weird.
I agree with you about my generation, but when I think of women that I've known from older generations, there was a huge amount of conditioning and social pressure for them to focus on men. The path to security (financial, physical, etc...) was through men, university was a way to gain access to eligible bachelors, single mothers were pittied for their lack of a man, etc... I wonder if that sort of environment is what led Ms. Greer to her conclusion about women's sexuality.
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#16 of 17 Old 06-09-2014, 10:55 PM
 
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I'd venture to guess she is refering to the behaviour of women in relation to our heternormative culture.
The spectrum of sexuality and gender identity isn't really what she is referencing here, rather, she is pointing out that we primarily follow a heterosexual pattern in Western society; from family structure to business, government, and organization shape, because of the values of our society and our conditioning to it.
What I see is that as modern life has reached a new level of madness, gender relations have become more strained, just as all relations have, and in environments where competition flourishes and cooperation is squashed, women just turn on each other. There is just so much unhappiness and distrust out there.

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#17 of 17 Old 06-10-2014, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd venture to guess she is refering to the behaviour of women in relation to our heternormative culture.
The spectrum of sexuality and gender identity isn't really what she is referencing here, rather, she is pointing out that we primarily follow a heterosexual pattern in Western society; from family structure to business, government, and organization shape, because of the values of our society and our conditioning to it.
What I see is that as modern life has reached a new level of madness, gender relations have become more strained, just as all relations have, and in environments where competition flourishes and cooperation is squashed, women just turn on each other. There is just so much unhappiness and distrust out there.

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Yes that!!
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