Friday, October 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

"...[W]hen men choose to enter less-prestigious female professions, they often find rolled out for them a red carpet leading to better-paying positions within the field. The sociologist Christine Williams coined the term 'glass escalator' to encapsulate her discovery that men in (what are currently) traditionally female occupations like nursing, librarianship, and teaching 'face invisible pressures to move up in their professions. As if on a moving escalator, they must work to stay in place." -Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender

I know there are better reactions regarding this plight of men, but my honest gut reaction is: cry me a river.

In what I believe to be a noble effort to not alienate men from feminism and conversations about gender, I have heard it argued that sexism/patriarchy/kyriarchy/gender roles harm men in an "equal and opposite" way that they harm women. While that may be the case in some instances, I'm not convinced that's so in the majority of cases. Certainly not in this case.

Assuming we could adequately quantify and measure such harm, I think it is more likely that sometimes gender roles harm men more than women and sometimes they harm women more than men. And so, when talking about sexism, I think it really trivializes and erases the unique experiences of men and women in sexist, stereotyping societies when we try to force these fictional narratives that say Don't Worry Guys, We Totally Know That You're Just As Oppressed As Women In Every Single Instance Of Sexism.

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