Isn’t it sexism for women to have things just for them!?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Okay, it’s a bit trickier than that.

In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be anything ‘for men’ or ‘for women’, because ideally there would be perfect equity and it wouldn’t be possible to decide if something was ‘for men’ or ‘for women’.

Anyways, that doesn’t exist. As a result, there is indeed an awful lot of ‘this is for men’ and ‘this is for women’ going on.

For the record, at the moment I’m mainly thinking about television.

Also for the record, the majority of television is aimed towards men and written by men. If you doubt that, count up all of the shows you know of that have predominately male main characters, or in which the female main characters exist only as sexist caricatures of women that, as far as I can tell, only really appeal to the kind of guys that watch it for ‘evidence’ that women are frivolous and manipulative, and maybe some deliriously stupid women, and compare them to the shows in which female characters actually have major roles and characterization that equals their male counterparts, that don’t exist as the aforementioned stereotypical caricatures or eye candy.

If the second category outweighs the first… seriously, what channel are you watching? Because I’d love to see it.

More often than not though, the first category will be the larger one by a mile. This can get kind of annoying when you’re actually female, so it’s rather nice when there are shows made just for women and girls. Excluding when these shows are made by men and end up being condescending representations of what women should like and therefore complete shit, of course.

Now, is that sexist?

Well of course it’s sexist that women are so poorly represented in media that they have to have shows made just for them to ever see a decent portrayal of women. That should be obviously wrong, because the majority of television should be equally gender balanced.

Except… that’s not what these people are complaining about. They’re complaining that after having everything made for them, they have to deal with one thing that isn’t made for them. At this point, fuck no it isn’t sexist on the show’s part. It’s sexist on your part. You already have a ton of shows to choose from where everything can be about your demographic, you don’t need to demand that shows geared towards women gear themselves towards men instead, like certain My Little Pony fans have been doing.

That isn’t how fixing sexism works. You don’t ask the underprivileged group to give up what they have before you give up your own. If you don’t want there to be shows aimed at genders specifically, that’s fine and noble. But at the very least you should oppose shows ‘for men’ and ‘for women’ equally- don’t just declare that the ‘for women’ shows become for men.

To clarify: We all know segregation was wrong, right? Right. Having, say, water fountains ‘for whites’ and fountains ‘for blacks’ was clearly wrong. If you were to ask me if it was racist for there to be fountains for black people, then I’d clearly say yes.

Thing is though, I’d also say it was racist for there to be fountains for white people. I’d say that there needs to be just one water fountain for everyone.

Whereas the people who complain about women having shows for themselves would probably be thinking more like this:

“Gee, it sure is racist that black people have their own drinking fountains!”

“It sure is.”

“White people should be able to drink from them too!”

“…and black people could use the white fountains, right?”

‘What? No! Dammit, these uppity womenblacks are trying to take everything from us!”

“…”

Hopefully nobody misses the irony in that.

Hopefully.

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2 responses to “Isn’t it sexism for women to have things just for them!?

  1. thesecond March 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/20/the-chew-records-most-watched-week-ever-for-women-18-49-plus-ratings-for-the-view-general-hospital-one-life-to-live/117153/

    Since the show women watch most are soaps, formulaic tv shows with stereotyped characters, or “condescending representations of what women should like” as you said, I can understand why you’d think they weren’t for women. It’s believed by many advertisers that women control 85% of household income and so they target them more. Shows which are for men are obvious because they have lots of jokes and sex appeal and violence. Like family guy.

    In a world where the most well known and popular female movie is twilight, are you sure you can speak for women about what they want?

    Who is demanding that shows for women be made for men? Most male complaints about female tv that I’ve seen say more that it’s crap, what with most tv being incredibly sexist and abusive to most males, physically and mentally. You can just change the channel. I have never in my life ever seen anyone complain about the existence of tv shows for a gender before.

    • Grimalkin April 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Uh, I never said that I don’t think they’re for women. I know they’re for women- that’s how they’re advertised. The problem I’m pointing out here is actually something you kind of pointed out- that if something is being made “for men” it has sex or violence or humor, but if it’s “for women”, it’s more often than not essentially just drivel.

      As far as speaking “for women about what they want”, I’m actually speaking AS a woman about what WE want. Just because the most popular female movie is Twilight doesn’t mean that ALL women want to watch nonsense like that. But honestly, I barely even mentioned this in my post, because it’s rather beside the issue.

      The problem I’m actually getting at here is that if you want to watch a show/movie/etc. where women are actually important characters with actual characterization, you have to watch something made “just for women” (and find something actually decent in that category) as opposed to, you know… for people. The same isn’t true on the flip side. You can have a predominately male cast in a show/movie that’s aimed either at men OR everybody (Or women, sometimes). That’s the issue here; women are sorely underrepresented in media, and that’s why we DO have shows made just for women. Sadly those do tend towards sexist stereotypes.

      Occasionally though, you get a show made for women that IS decent and watchable. The one that actually inspired this post, as I mentioned in the actual post, is My Little Pony, which has a huge male fanbase due to its quality. As a result, there are tons of men declaring that the show needs more main male characters and to be geared towards men. Just because you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean it isn’t going on, especially since you seem to be of the breed of person that thinks that TV is full of “SEXISM AND ABUSE TOWARDS THE MENS!!” Not exactly the kind of person I’d expect to be noticing womens’ issues.

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