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Take Back the Night and Jennifer Teague

Thu Sep 15, 2005 Miss Vicky 

It's been a week since Jennifer Teague's disappearance. It's been heartbreaking to monitor the news coverage each day: no new leads, emotional pleas from her parents, fearful Barrhaven women and girls wondering whether it could happen to them.... And in one of those strange "six degrees" occurrences, we discovered that the missing woman is a friend of one of the Webgeek's sisters (we saw her on Sunday night following an evening of posting flyers).

For me, stories like this and the Ardeth Wood case of two years ago always yield mixed feelings. One cannot help but feel profoud sadness and sympathy for the people left behind, especially when there is uncertainly or lack of resolution in a case, but it's a distant kind of sympathy. I can only imagine what it would feel like, and I'm guessing the reality would be about a hundred times worse than anything I could conjure up in my head. But mixed up in the sadness is anger. A lot of it.

I'm angry that women still feel like potential prey when they walk on a street at night. I'm even more angry that there are men out there who view women as such. I'm angry that we are always one small step away from becoming a victim, and that our recognition of this reality has made it a self-fulfilling prophecy by forcing us to alter our behaviour or question ourselves, our dress, our habits and patterns. When we let fear control what we do, we have become victims already. I'm angry that we have to feel that women are somehow to blame for violence when the problem is rooted in how women are viewed by men and by society as a whole. I'm angry that fashion, popular culture, political systems and so much more keep throwing these attitudes back in our faces just when we think we're making some progress. I'm angry that women are supposed to be the ones to fix these problems, because so many men just don't get it, or don't want to get it, or think they get it and make things worse by trying to show they get it but not quite making it. I'm angry that calling oneself a feminist has somehow become a whispered secret shame. I'm angry that so many people feel it's inappropriate to be angry about these things.

Yep, I'm a little angry. Yep, it's unladylike. Yep, I'm a feminist and I'm not afraid to say that above a whisper.

I learned a long time ago that the best thing to do with one's anger is to channel it into something productive, like political action. So it's predictable that I would find something to work on, in addition to spreading the word about Jennifer should anyone have information that might help the search.

Take Back the Night marches have been held every year since I was in university. I've had a stormy relationship with them for a while - some have been very empowering. Others have been annoying (how can you take back the night when you're dividing the march by stopping for lights and making sure you walk politely on the sidewalk?!). Sometimes they become more about whether or not men are allowed to march, diverting attention away from the issue and the goal of the march and somehow making it all about how feminists are evil and men are so downtrodden. I'm hoping that this year folks will see the event for what it is meant to represent: the right of women to feel safe enough to walk unaccompanied at night.

I had a hard time finding info about this year's march on the 'net, so I called the Rape Crisis Centre. Here's the scoop:

Take Back the Night
Thursday, September 22
6:15 Rally at the Women's Monument, Minto Park
7:00 March for Women and Kids
after the March: events and refreshments at City Hall

Now before we get into a big kerfuffle about the march, let me say that I hope you menfolk understand and respect how important it is for men to step aside and support the march from the sidelines. I love having the Webgeek's company when I'm out at night, but I shouldn't have to need his accompaniment to feel safe in my own neighbourhood (or any other, for that matter). The march is about taking the streets back for ourselves, and the impact of this statement is reinforced when women march together as a community. It's pretty simple, really. We'll see you afterwards for coffee and cookies and the inevitable speeches and singing of folks songs.

It doesn't look like much promotion has happened, so spread the word!

Some people were moved to reply

The Webgeek Sep 15, 2005 11:45 AM said:

We'll see you afterwards for coffee and cookies and the inevitable speeches and singing of folks songs.

ok, but can I skip the folks songs? I don't really dig on 'kumbaya'.

Miss Vicky Sep 15, 2005 11:47 AM said:

Me either. We can retire to the Manx instead, perhaps.

amckay Sep 15, 2005 12:43 PM said:

I agree completely with your anger, as it angers me as well, but let's hope you are jumping to conclusions in this case. There is precious little detail here - we really have no idea what happened to Jennifer. Though that horrible gut feeling tells me you are right.

This really is a parent's worst nightmare come true. I was just telling a friend earlier today that I often lie awake at night thinking of scenarios that might occur when my boys are 5, 10, and well into their teens. And I try my best to figure out how I can best prepare them for some distant scenario which may never come to pass. It is a scary world out there, for men as well as women.

We should all be doing whatever we can to help reduce violent crime. That includes working with your local police force and reporting crimes and suspicious behavior. It includes being aware and teaching your children how to be aware as well. I know when my boys are old enough I'll be sending them to this program. But long before then they'll be avid martial-artists and will learn both how to protect themselves, and others, as well as how to prevent confrontation in the first place. We all have a part to play in bringing an end to violent crime, and crime in general. We can win if we all do our part.

accidental altruist Sep 15, 2005 01:26 PM said:

I'm sheepish to say I've never done a take back the night march. I always felt the same as Miss Vicky - that women and girls are especially vulnerable to violence - but only now that my daughter is 10 do I have a generalized fear. I know my fear will increase as she gets older and more independent. Sure I've personally been in situations where I felt unsafe. Had one close call when I was 17 where it was simply my physical strength that allowed me to "get away". But I never felt exposed & vulnerable for my own sake. It's only now that the dread has crept in. And yeah, it makes me feel angry.

I'm going to talk to Kelly tonight about postponing the hour of next week's potluck to enable more folks to participate in the march. But at the very least I can skip dinner and bring my daughter to the march.

pinklitva Sep 15, 2005 04:40 PM said:

I remember 'take back the night' from my days at McMaster. I am glad it is still happening. Thank you Miss Vicky for highlighting this very important issue.

The facts however are that it is still relatively rare for women to experience violence while out walking. What is a real threat to women are their partners. Each week in the UK, 2 women are killed as a result of domestic violence.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/hh /what.shtml

This week, we have experienced a most tragic death of a young women shot while shopping in a very posh store in London. After shooting the woman, the man turned the gun on himself. What this incident particularly highlights is how domestic violence transcend the social boundaries. It doesn't really matter how wealthy you are, as a woman, you are most a risk 'in your home'. One of the UK's greatest health threats to young women and children under the age of 5 (particularly female children), is domestic violence.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/eng land/london/4243658.stm

So to me, Take Back the Night is about far more than taking back our streets. It is about shouting out that women need to be safe, both on the streets and in the home.

amckay Sep 15, 2005 07:35 PM said:

Yes, that is the real tragedy here. I was looking up stats earlier and was astonished at how high the percentages were for violence caused by a partner or other loved one (family member). As I recall for many types of crime it was 3/4 or more! The sad part there as well is that this makes it extremely hard to catch and prevent.

Special Patrol Group Sep 15, 2005 08:21 PM said:

I'm with you Miss Vicky.
I'm very distrot about the Jennifer Teague news and I really hope there will be a positive conclusion to this very worrisome situation, whatever actually happened to her I truly hope she can one day go home to her family and be alright. But at this point nothing is known and certain conclusions can be drawn...
When it comes to the issue of being a woman and feeling unsafe on our city streets, I'm always very angry and straight out fed-up with the reality of random violent crimes committed against anyone male or female!! Unfortunately, I have had a brush with a violent individual myself a long time ago and have never quite been able to shake the paranoia when walking alone at night. Luckily I was not hurt badly and that situation could have been alot worse if I had not fought my offender off...I won't go into detail about it but these sickos are out there on our streets for sure, hopefully in small numbers.
All we can do is take whatever action(s) we individually feel is necessary to take a stand against this sort of crime, not live our lives in fear and refuse to feel like victims or prey.

I'll be there at the march and I'll tell my girlfirneds to join me as well. I haven't been to one of these marches in the last couple of years because it was so quiet, I thought it wasn't going on anymore!!
Glad it's still going strong.
SEE YOU THERE LADIES!!


accidental altruist Sep 16, 2005 10:10 AM said:

at work we've been running a "stop violence against women" campaign. if'n yer insterested, join up on our latest website initiative:


10,000 Voices

pinklitva Sep 16, 2005 04:47 PM said:

Thanks Accidental

I will add this link to my bloggsite and hopefully have a few more names added.

Today I couldn't get into the parking lot at Liverpool University because the police had blocked it off. A woman's body had been found right behind the bus shelter. She had been strangled.
http://icliverpool.icnetwork.c o.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews /

dave Sep 17, 2005 03:15 PM said:

Being a slightly suspicious sort of person, it crosses my mind that Jennifer found out something corrupt about someone, or some corporate entity, and this website may have been seen as the media outlet for that disturbing datum.
Control of what one can only refer to as the "Establishment Media" has been very shocking to me here in Britain, through my "Train Pass Society", there is far more to say than should ordinarily be possible....travelling for nothing all over the "U.K.".....would you all say this 'lockout' situation relates to loss of democracy within your media? Can respond pretty dramatically.....today was meeting friend Sarah in St. Andrews (Prince William's university town) and the amount of mysteriousness in both our lives is incredible....depending on responses, may enlarge copiously regarding this.....slainte, from dave the rave.

amckay Sep 17, 2005 04:31 PM said:

I've been thinking about this some more, and the fact that over 3/4 of the violent crimes committed against women in many areas seem to be by loved ones. I've been relating this to some thoughts of mine in another area and trying to mash those two thoughts together.

About 17 years ago someone very dear to me started to have a lot of problems with her husband. Fortunately for her there was never abuse involved. But as she started to find out over the next 2 years or so, for a decade or more he'd been habitually forging her signature on documents, and had run them up a debt of over 100K, unbeknownst to her. He'd also embezzled from the minor hockey association where he was president for a while, from his workplace, and even from his own children. During the "fallout" time from these discoverings, there were a lot of court dealings, mainly around getting support for the kids since she threw the deadbeat out and was looking after the 3 of them. But this wasn't a regular court, this was a "family court". And I came to realise at that time it was more-or-less a "kangaroo court" because within this system the woman seemed to very much be at the disadvantage. The extremes this woman had to go through to get even the slightest amount of justice from the situation (and not much ever came, believe me) was astonishing.

At that time I came to realise that the whole idea of "family court" was nothing but a farce. A way for the old boys to keep the club rolling, and keep the women down. This was of course in Nova Scotia. I have no idea what the situation is like there today, nor whether or not the concept of "family court" exists here in Ontario. But I have to tell you that the whole idea is a complete wash. And given the statistics, it has to be a key reason why woman are still not justly treated to this day. It boggles my mind how when a crime is committed against a person that it can end up in a courtroom that has real teeth, except when that very same crime is against a loved one in which case it goes to kangaroo court.

Does anyone know how this situation may differ today from how it was almost 20 years ago? Does anyone know whether it was or is any different in Ontario than in Nova Scotia?

Ranni Sep 18, 2005 09:02 AM said:

Hello, this is my first viewing of this site. I am interesting in adding to the debate about men taking part in the TBTN Rally. I support and embrace the goals of the rally and have attended my fair share of marches over the years. I also believe that is men are part of the problem then they need to be part of the solution-so it is time to evolve the march/movement and start to find ways to include men in a real and meaningful way.

Miss Vicky Sep 18, 2005 06:41 PM said:

The whole point of the "Take back the night" march is to empower women to combat the fear and intimidation that prevent many of us from walking unaccompanied at night. That's why it is so important that the march part of the event is women -and-children-only. Men who truly want to support the end of violence against women need to understand that there are some things that women need to do for themselves - the key part of this particular event is the symbolic act of marching without male escorts, and building a community of women dedicated to ending the culture of fear that keeps many of us home at night.

This is not to say that men do not play an important role in the activities. The rally before the march and the events at City Hall afterwards are open to anyone supporting this issue. Men are usually welcome to leaflet along the outside of the march; they are simply asked to respect the need for women to have this small space of activism for themselves.

I'm not sure about Ottawa, but in some places Take Back the Night march organizers have invited men to take on the task of organizing child care during the march. Or raising funds for rape crisis centres and sexual assault hot lines. Also, the White Ribbon campaign is an excellent initiative that allows men to come together to challenge the attitudes that contribute to violence against women. Just as women need to work amongst themselves to process their reaction to the culture of fear, men need a space where they can work on how they can contribute to greater gender equality. And of course, the folks of both genders need to work together -it's a question of timing and the appropriate campaign.

Given the events of the last two weeks, I believe Ottawa women need this march more than ever. I hope that men will understand and respect this, and perhaps find ways of participating that don't compromise the symbolic importance of the march.

jan Sep 19, 2005 09:23 AM said:

I'm in St. John's, Newfoundland and the TBTN march on Friday night went through the downtown from Bannerman Park to Duckworth Street with a stop at the courthouse and an honorary chaulk "X" mark, all over the building's facade, made by all participants for themselves, or for another woman who braved the court system (rather than just shut up and take it) to fight violence, persecution and injustice.

We marched, chanting, in the middle of the busy downtown Friday night street, with a police escort (female) and stopped traffic, through lights and all that....women on the sidewalk applauded, men nodded, women, children and men waved from downtown apartment windows...two young women stood in the doorway of what I understand to be a massage parlour just watching us (I waved and tried to make eye contact but alas, they didn't respond); some men turned their SUV's around behind us and squealed away. No matter.

At City Hall, we had several speakers including a gay man who knew violence and knew what it was to challange the white, straight mens club he eventually left in order to be true to himself. Otherwise men did not participate in the march except by being at City hall to meet with us once the march was done.

Another speaker, well-know retired police officer Connie Snow spoke. Having worked as an officer for so many years, having risen through the ranks, and then having fought difficult and serious battles with the boys club, she made several statements which helped me articulate why it should be a women only night. For example - why should men need to 'take back the night'? They already own it.

She referred to the oft cited advice from the authorities when a rapist is loose (women should stay home and hide away, or travel only in large packs). She suggests instead that blame be laid where it belongs and the advice should be that when we know a male is loose raping others and until we find out who it is, all men should stay home after dark.

I'll be there again next year.


Jan




The Webgeek Sep 19, 2005 09:58 AM said:

Jan, Ranni
Welcome to our little web space. I was going to try and give Ranni a male perspective on why we shouldn't be in this march, but Jan put it pretty susinctly:

why should men need to 'take back the night'? They already own it.

I have a very distinct memory from over a decade ago of getting off a bus very late at night in the suburbs. I'd been downtown with friends drinking and was coming home. A woman got off the bus with me at the same stop. As I walked home I noticed we were both going in the same direction. I also noticed she kept looking back at me, which I found curious. To be honest, I (wrongly) thought she might be checking me out (hey -- I was drunk, single and young -- not the most enlightened combination). This thought quickly left me when she kicked off her shoes and sprinted off at top speed. What to me was nothing more than a happy coinsidence (two people walking in the same direction at night) was an extremely scary and stressful situation for her. I had nothing to fear. She did. I don't need to march with thousands of other people to remind myself how it feels to be safe at night. She probably does.

Also, its been my personal experience that for every well intentioned fellow who truly wants to show support, there's a guy who wants to march because
a) he (wrongly) feels that he's being descriminated against; or
b) is faking the sensitive guy routine to try and pick up.

And for Ranni's contention that the walk needs to evovle into something else; well, when women's bodies stop appearing on walking paths, then we can start talking about that evolution. Until then, I think there still needs to be a way for *women* to protest without having us stubby Y-chromasome types around. There's a way of being part of the solution without being part of every single aspect.

amckay Sep 19, 2005 10:07 AM said:

The discovery is deeply saddening. I was praying that Miss Vicky was jumping to conclusions - well, she may well have been, but it seems the conclusions she jumped to were the right ones.

I'm trying to think what I can best do about it, and all that comes to me is that I must strengthen my resolve to get involved. Not that this is normally a problem for me since I regularly report suspicious behavior to police, but I guess what I can do is be more vocal about encouraging others to do so. I use what I call the "Peter Parker Principle". If I see somebody doing something I wouldn't want them doing to my family, I do something about it then and there, because next time it could well be my family.

Contrary to popular belief, police are extremely responsive and are there to help us. Please get involved and don't just say "there is nothing I can do". Please do not just turn a blind eye to crime. Please learn how to be aware, and please teach your family and others how to as well.

Please spread the word!

The Webgeek Sep 19, 2005 10:26 AM said:

I was praying that Miss Vicky was jumping to conclusions

Well, at this point, (unless I missed something) the remains are stll unidentified, so Jennifer may still be alive. Of course that would mean that some other woman was killed and dumped on NCC land, which is an equally grizzly thought.

*sigh*

Sometimes I really hate humanity.

amckay Sep 19, 2005 10:29 AM said:

Well, now you're the one jumping to conclusions, webgeek. It could well be some drunken fool who fell in the ditch or something. Could be a man who got the crap beat out of him and was dumped there.

But the reporters are saying that insiders in the police department are saying that the Teague investigation changed completely with this discovery so I'm not terribly optimistic anymore.

The Webgeek Sep 19, 2005 10:46 AM said:

Umm, I was trying to give you hope there Amkay, not start an argument.

However,
If connections are being made to Teagues' disapearance, then one can reasonably conclude that, at the very least, it wasn't a man.

Also, from the article I linked to :
Someone had partially covered the human remains with branches.
Which does suggest the body was dumped there. I doubt a drunken fool would have bothered to cover themselves in branches after falling hard enough to die from their wounds.

Either way, a grizzly find.

amckay Sep 19, 2005 10:56 AM said:

You have an odd way of trying to give me hope ... in any case I'm going to try to keep my hope alive until we have some conclusive news.

In the meantime I was doing some googling to try to find stats on violent crimes committed against men, vs against women. They don't seem to be broken down that way at least not that my 5 minute search could find, but I did find that violent crimes of a non-sexual nature are about exactly 5 times that of violent crimes of a sexual nature. So chances are against it being the body of an abused woman.

Though as you adeptly note - a grizzly find nonetheless.

EDIT : Actually, I just found that victims of homocide tend to be male 2 to 3 times more often than they tend to be female. But I'd like to see the same stats on all violent crimes. Still digging.

EDIT : BTW, The parent site to those status has a lot of useful stuff. And of particular interest to this thread is how safe people feel walking at night, though frustratingly that is not broken down by gender. It would be interesting to see that breakdown because while overall Canadians seem to feel safe, I bet there are huge differences in between the genders.

The Webgeek Sep 19, 2005 11:12 AM said:

Amkay.
Well, hope might not have been the best term for it, but I was trying to point out that Jennifer may still be alive.

As for the malebody thing, I'm not sure why you're trying so hard to argue this point.

Here's the first sentence of the story I linked to:
Ottawa police have discovered a body, but they don't know yet if it's missing teenager

Now, I'm not a forensic investigator or anything, but if it was a male body, that'd make it pretty conclusive towards it NOT being Jennifer.

Anyway, this little conversation has gone on too far as it stands. I don't think its the best thread to have a semantic pissing match in.

amckay Sep 19, 2005 11:15 AM said:

It wasn't intended as a pissing match, but you are right this is not the best thread for the point I was slowly dancing around. I'll save it for another time ...

The Webgeek Sep 19, 2005 11:19 AM said:

Annnnd, I'm a dumbass.

from the National Post:
Police said the state of the body made it impossible to immediately say whether it is that of a man or woman.

yuck.

Miss Vicky Sep 19, 2005 11:19 AM said:

thanks, boys

jan Sep 19, 2005 12:18 PM said:

Hi,

Just an aside to the stat comment: Connie Snow, the afore-mentioned recently retired police officer (high ranking - second or third in command until she got into a harrassment suit with the new commander) - said in her speech at the TBTN walk that "90% of sexual assualts are committed on women and children and that 99% of the offenders were male. Taken in context with the content and credibility of the rest of her speech and the respect with which she is regarded in the St. John's community (women especially) and the fact that she is not constantly throwing her commentary around the media, I believe these were actual stas, not just numbers snatched from the air.

Jan

johnnycannuk Sep 19, 2005 03:29 PM said:

Sad news, they have found Jennifer

http://www.cfra.com/headlines/ index.asp?cat=1&nid=32127

[The Webgeek made it clickable]

Miss Vicky Sep 19, 2005 04:19 PM said:

Well, that's pretty horrible.

Special Patrol Group Sep 19, 2005 08:10 PM said:

This is such a shame. I just found out...

I spoke to Chefgeek and he is currently consoling Kaleigh right now, who naturally, is very upset about this news since she knew Jennifer.
It was expected in some way to be bad news but now there is no hope that she will return home.
Now there's a murder investigation underway, hopefully the person responsible will be found and brought to justice.
Or some sort of Voodoo curse!

amckay Sep 19, 2005 08:53 PM said:

I was just thinking that if we had security cameras everywhere like in the UK, they'd probably have caught those sons-of-bitches by now. I am already strongly in favour of such cameras in public places, and I hope that people will think about tragedies like this when they are making up their own minds on the issue.

pinklitva Sep 20, 2005 03:28 AM said:

In the UK, we do have cameras in places like town centres and trains stations. CCTV started becoming more common in 1996 when I first came to the UK. Quite often the cameras do allow us to capture images of victims as they move about town. In fact,they even have them on buses. They are particularly useful on Friday and Saturday nights when our young people drink excessive amounts of alcohol and them get abusive. They are also useful for identifying the criminals but they don't seem to stop the crime. We just have a video recording of it but there are still victims....

I guess the question is, are you willing to exchange lowering community risk of for lack of personal privacy?

amckay Sep 20, 2005 09:30 AM said:

Absolutely. There is no such thing as personal privacy in a public space. You're in public. If you want privacy, go home.

Your cameras caught the culprits in both recent terrorist attacks. No, it did not prevent them, but catching the culprits probably prevented further incidents.

accidental altruist Sep 20, 2005 10:29 AM said:

With regard to violence against women and girls I think I'd sooner tackle the roots of the problem - sexism:

demand gender postive curriculum in all schools

elect more women

speak out when you hear sexist language or jokes (when you start to pay attention you'll be astounded at the frequency)

question the spin, ie: why was Belinda Stronach called a "whore" for crossing the floor? that term wasn't used to describe Scott Brison or Keith Martin!

give toy tools to girl children and dolls to boys

refuse to buy discriminatory CDs, books, movies etc.

... there's more of course. but i'm at work and figure ya'll get the gist already.

Miss Vicky Sep 20, 2005 11:45 AM said:

excellent points, altruist!

The Webgeek Sep 20, 2005 11:52 AM said:

Sigh,
not to get mired in "privacy" debate here, but the problem with cameras is threefold.

1) Prohibitive cost. It would be WAY too expensive to cover every inch of Canada with a camera monitor them 24/7. So rural/sub-urbam areas like Barhaven and the NCC greenbelt (where this crime happened) probably wouldn't get covered anyway, based solely on a cost/benifit analysis.
2) Who Watches the watchers? Yes, cameras helped catch the London bombers, but according to police, all 5 of the cameras filming our Brazilian friend getting shot (look 3/4 of the way down the article) were mysteriously malfunctioning at the time of the incident. This was, of course, only discovered after the police conficsated all the tapes.
3) Over reliance on camera evidence. In cases like this, where the public wants quick closure, there is a temptation to rely on video evidence too much -- especially in 'the court of public oppinion'. Someone who just happened to be in the vicinity and caught on tape may very easily be branded as guilty simply for being on the tape. Even terms like 'person of interest' seems to unfairly mark people at times.

And no, being in public does not make your right to privacy null and void. There have been several cases where someone's where-abouts was determined by public means and the courts ruled that their privacy was comprimised. One case that jumps to mind, a young woman who was at a hospital having an abortion was caught on film for a promotional video being made in public space by the hospital. Her father, I believe a surgeon, saw the video; recognised his daughter; put two and two together and figured out why she was there. This apperently caused much discord in the family which resulted in her successfully suing the hospital for breach of privacy.

starving_artist Sep 20, 2005 12:16 PM said:

Ok, I'm male (which seems to always be a bad thing when speaking with women on the subject of gender equality, feminism, etc.) I have a one year old daughter and I've been a 'womens-lib' supporter since I was a teenager. I must say that I'm put off by Miss Vicky's comment about men not 'getting it' and "make(ing) things worse by trying to show they get it but not quite making it." I used to think this was a mis-understanding between the sexes. Guys simply cannot appreciate what it's like to walk down a street in the evening and have to fear being attacked. Guys will probably never understand (completely) what it's like to be a job interview and realize that your resume and experience are only second to your breast size and hair color. And I still do think this is a misunderstanding between the sexes...to an extent. But as time goes on and the more comments I read/hear that have the same holier-than-thou tone, the more I start to wonder if the 'Feminists' just find it easier to lump all men into the 'woman-hater' or 'too-stupid-to-help' catagories. As a man, I may not ~COMPLETELY~ understand what it's like to be a woman 'in a mans world' (so to speak) but I do sympathize and honestly feel that this must change. I also live by example and openly disapprove of men who perpetuate this terrible view of women. I get this awful feeling everytime I hear of a woman being raped or murdered because I worry what may happen to my little girl when she gets older. It's bad enough to worry about her getting murdered, but what really gets to me is imagining what her life would be like, post-rape.

Miss Vicky (and all feminists, for that matter) stop slamming the men and they won't be seen as the marginalized group. And if society is ever going to change, you're going to have to face the fact that if you have a problem with the way men in a society treat you, the men of society are going to have to part of the solution.

(this is the part where I wonder if I'm going to spawn 37 angry responses after posting this)

The Webgeek Sep 20, 2005 12:31 PM said:

I think your being a little overly sensetive there dude.
She wasn't slamming *ALL* men.

Just *CERTAIN* men who don't get why "Take back the night" needs to be a women's only event (well, the march part at any rate).

And you know what, every once and a while, we happen to get unfarely blasted or labelled because of a certain groinal appendage. Stop being a baby about it. Instead of getting all uppity and defencive, how about just sucking it up and taking it. If anything, it should make you realize, in some tiny way, what it's like to be unfairly treated based soley on gender.

accidental altruist Sep 20, 2005 12:48 PM said:

ha ha. no anger from me. welcome starving artist. but 37 posts could mean we've got a rousing discussion!

have you ever dressed your one year old daughter in gender neutral clothing and taken her out to "meet people"?

when my daughter was an infant i preferred yellows, greens and blues. most folks just thought she was a boy. it was shocking to notice that when folks thought my child was male they would coo about "what are you going to be when you grow up?" - they'd look at her dad, gawk at his massive shoulders and figure the baby was born to play football.

BUT, if people found out she was female they'd start playing match maker, setting her up for dates 18 years in the future with wee boys they knew.

funny how we start unconsciously choosing gender roles before a child is potty-trained!

i think it all goes beyond any "terrible view of women" or someone being a "'woman-hater'". alot of our discriminatory views are so ingrained that we don't even notice them.

just off the top of my head:

for the longest time my daughter assumed she couldn't be a school principle because each of her 4 schools had had a male principle.

when i talk to my clients about our office IT person I have to correct them 95% of the time because she is (mistakenly) assumed to be male.

my daughter has gone camping with me and my friends for years. she's asked to go fishing several times to no avail, but boys going to the same campground with the same friends have been taught to fish from day one.

there's stuff I love about being a woman, but geez, there's stuff that sucks too. i'm not sure where men are a "marginalized group" - could you explain?

so yeah. i'd like to be able to express strong feminist opinions once in a while without being labelled a 'man-hater' or anything of that ilk.

:-S

accidental altruist Sep 20, 2005 01:37 PM said:

you might not be old enough to remember this album starving artist - so i figured i'd point it out. over 30 years later it's still topical & great listening for any child!





"William's Doll" is a might shrill, but the sentiment is bang on.

Miss Vicky Sep 20, 2005 01:54 PM said:

I loved that album so much when I was a kid. Used to regularly perform the baby sketch....

The Webgeek Sep 20, 2005 02:21 PM said:

Well, Christmas is coming up.

Miss Vicky Sep 20, 2005 03:26 PM said:

Btw, starving artist, I'm all for guys being part of the solution.

amckay Sep 22, 2005 02:29 PM said:

Wondering what folks think of the idea of forcing fast-food employers to offer rides home to youth. McGuinty just said he won't make it a law, but I think it should be. These places exploit the cheap, young labour and should be forced to pony-up given how rich they get off it.

Discussions on internal newsgroups at work indicate that this used to be a law for females to get rides home, but was struck down because it was discriminatory. So instead of making such that everyone got a ride home, it ended up that nobody did. Not sure if that part is true or not but some folks did seem to have some references (which I do not have on hand).

That Everyone that Cares About Jennifer T Sep 23, 2005 05:07 AM said:

I am sad cause someone had be mean to make a lot people sad, why they had to take Jennifer Teague from not so short of life i could replace Jennifer i make lot people happy again they could found the person that killed Jennifer alot sooner .and why the police stop searching when sead they doing house searching they should kep it quite, And the best thing is the person is to give himself up if you don't want Jennifer to find you when the police catch you be lot harder on you please give yourself up make the Teague family happy again thank you all.

falling_anchor Sep 23, 2005 09:12 AM said:

This statement "Violence Against Women" bothers me. It is sexist. As a man - shouldn't the war cry be "Stop Violence Period!". What - Only men deserve to be beaten? Murdered? Thats what this statement implies. Beat my son, but not my daughter. I am a parent of both genders. I'm against violence period. As for discrimination I've been discrimated against countless times because I'm male and white and CDN and English. Everyone gets a bum rap at times. I could list many inequalities where women are favored over men. If we complain - we're too sensitive. If women complain they are fighting for their rights. Sheeesh

The Webgeek Sep 23, 2005 09:59 AM said:

I've been discrimated against countless times because I'm male and white and CDN and English. Everyone gets a bum rap at times.

As a white Canadian english speaking male, I call bullschleck.

Jesus. Miss Vicky diservedly gets angry because a young woman dies walking home from her work in our city and all you can do is bitch about how you feel you've been slighted by that. Suck it up nancy boy.

Pull your head out of your ass and realize that anything you feel you've had to endure as "descrimination" is *nothing* compaired to half the crap the rest of the world puts up with on a daily basis. when adding up the laundry list of grievences "specialty groups" have to contend with, the white north american male has it pretty friggen easy.

You remind of those morons that complain at emergency rooms because somebody else's sucking chest wound took presidence over their scraped knee. "But I was here first! This scab might scar if no one looks at it right away! Is this what my tax dolors go to? Waah waaah Waah"

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 10:15 AM said:

falling_anchor ... i've got a conferance call but couldn't resist wading in. i got this off another blog which discussed the same campaign:

"Violence against women is unique and needs to be recognized as such before real progress can be made. Part of combatting violence is understanding why it is occurring. Acts of violence are committed against women in many cases, because they are seen as second class citizens. "

mblog

let me know if you have any questions.

:-)

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 10:18 AM said:

webgeek - what's with the 'nancy boy' comment?

The Webgeek Sep 23, 2005 11:42 AM said:

ok,
I just looked up "Nancy Boy" over on Urban Dictionary. In retrospect, perhaps it was not the best term to use.

Sorry.

Maybe Lighten up, Francis might have been better.

Miss Vicky Sep 23, 2005 11:46 AM said:

You probably could have kept the ad hominem out of it and just told him to lighten up.

But that's just me.

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 12:17 PM said:

thanks webgeek. my lingo
is constantly evolving too.

:-)

amckay Sep 23, 2005 12:29 PM said:

While I do agree with much of what webgeek said, I think he goes a bit overboard in the tone and belittlement. There is no need for that in polite company, thanks. You'd dress me down for it if I did it to someone else, and darnit I'll dress you down for it on your own board.

Your response suggests that it's OK to discriminate against white men because we've done it so long to others, so I do have to add that reverse discrimination is still discrimination, and is a completely unacceptable answer. Reverse discrimination is nothing other than revenge, and we need justice, not revenge.

Yes, women were wronged through most of history, but that is raplidly changing (at least in this country) and we have to work to a point of equal ground, not towards allowing revenge for all of history. Your response suggests you think we as white men deserve that revenge. Allowing women to get revenge for the wrongs done to them is not the answer. Two wrongs do not make a right. So "suck it up" is so incredibly far from the right answer I don't know where to begin. It alienates the very people whose support you need.

Miss Vicky Sep 23, 2005 12:45 PM said:

Asking for equality and a community safe from fear is hardly asking for revenge. It's not like we're going around advocating violence against men.

Like it or not, there is systemic gender discrimination in this country, and the folks getting the short end of the stick do not have y chromosomes. Even the reverse discrimination arguments do not come out in the wash - women are still making less money, doing the bulk of part-time and precarious work, facing sexual harassment at the workplace and sexual assault on the streets and in the home, are more likely to be living in poverty, and so on. Most guys that complain they "can't get a fair break" may have experienced incidents that make them feel that way, but there's no evidence of this overall. I don't mean to diminish how individual men feel - perhaps they were passed up for a job or a promotion or whatever - but to argue that gender-based violence and discrimination does not exist is, quite frankly, a way of ensuring that it continues.

The Webgeek Sep 23, 2005 12:50 PM said:

Your response suggests you think we as white men deserve that revenge.

No, I don't. But I do think that complaining about being "discriminated against" when they can't go on ONE march intended for women, or being "morally outraged" by demands to end violence against women if pretty self centered and misses the point entirely of both.

And yes, maybe i did go overboard, but three (count'em 3) guys found it absolutely neccesary to come in here, create accounts, and voice their moral indignation at their being slighted by Vicky, when she did no such thing. It's annoying.

amckay Sep 23, 2005 01:26 PM said:

Miss Vicky, I wasn't suggesting for a second you were asking for revenge - your original post did not in the least suggest that. I was addressing the attitude expressed by webgeek's post, which very much did suggest IMO that he felt that not only was equality a desired goal (which it downright should be), but further that the balance should be tipped in the opposite direction, and we should just "suck it up".

And nowhere did I say or even suggest that gender-based violence does not exist.

And yes webgeek, some fellas felt the need to come in and express some extreme views. But if you cannot deal with those extreme views in a civil manner then you are working against your own cause, not for it. Those very people are the ones who need to see the light. Belittlement works against you, not for you. That's my main point : your post did more harm than good towards the desired goal. Likely a lot more.

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 02:05 PM said:

while representing 1/2 of the population - women still only make up a small fraction of upper management, boards of directors, elected positions.... it might *feel* like the balance has tipped the other way, but that's far from reality.

little boys used to getting a whole cookie to themselves sure feel hard done by when asked to break the cookie in half and share with their sisters.

all women want is their HALF of the proverbial cookie.


those sour-pusses coming on the site are just flaming n' running. cowards.

amckay Sep 23, 2005 02:21 PM said:

I agree with you completely, altruist. And even though I'll point it out as being reverse discrimination when it happens (because that has to be done), I support picking women over men for positions like that so as to balance things out. Provided other qualifications are identical, of course.

That wasn't my point, though. Yes, the remarks made are somewhat cowardly. But while you can legislate things like equal opportunity, you cannot legislate what people think and how they react to things. This is why it's so important to approach the problem with a positive attitude, and to avoid the belittlement and ad-hominems. To truly win, mindshare has to be won. You do not gain mindshare by confrontation. You gain it by winning people over to your side. Again, that's my point.

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 02:32 PM said:

right - and i think i do that when addressing folks directly. i'm all into MindHead... I mean, mindshare. i even sign off with smiley faces sometimes to make sure folks don't think i'm being sarcastic.

it's hard to get MindHead when folks just do the drive-by blogger thang. oh! maybe it's a right wing Iron John conspiracy to get disgruntled dudes to clutter up Miss Vicky's parlour room!

;-)

accidental altruist Sep 23, 2005 02:37 PM said:

"Happy Premise #1, there is no giant foot trying to squash me.

Happy Premise #2, even though i feel like i might ignite, i probably won't."

falling_anchor Sep 24, 2005 09:03 PM said:

Web Geek - Yeah I am a "young" white male. I was not alive when all the perceived "Injustices" were committed toward women. I can tell you my experience:

1. I have been told to my face that I am I not being hired for a job because I was a man.
2. I was turned down for an apartment because I was male. They liked me and a female equally. But she got the apt - they said simply because she was a woman. The female landlord told me this.

Those are simply 2 of my experiences:
1. Men pay more for car insurance.
2. Men pay more for Life insurance.
3. Women get lighter sentences in law than men for doing the same crimes. THATS A FACT!
4. Way more men have been executed vs. women! The crime ratio stat does not mirror the execution stat. A man & woman commit a very serious crime. The law will likely execute the man and send the woman to jail.
5. Ladies night. Is there a men's night?
6. Military - Men - no matter the length of hair must shave their heads bald. Women are allowed to keep their hair as long as it's neat. Is that fair?
7. And TV - a large injustice toward men. Pay attention to commercials. How many acts of violence are committed toward men vs. Women? Men are portrayed as dumb and lacking knowledge on TV. I could list a slew of commercials that propagate this.
8. Most heavily underfunded cancer - Prostate. Breast Cancer is covered. Prostate is not. Imagine if the reverse were true? You'd all be whining.


I really could go on & on and on!!

The point is - both genders get discriminated against for various & different reasons.
We all do. So stop whining about it. Maybe men are sick of your damn whining.

I have a son & a daughter. The statement "Violence against Women" needs to be changed to "Stop Violence". Because it's a sexist statement. Go ahead and beat my son but not my daughter. YEAH I resent that thank you! I love my son as much as my daughter. Much of historical injustices toward women can be traced to the church and property laws. There were also laws on the books that favored women over men. It goes both ways! How many of you realize that slaves were also white!

Perception is reality. And if the women on here feel wronged. How is that any different from young white men feeling wronged?

Screw the past. This is now. I am living it and discrimination goes both ways. Realize it.

The Webgeek Sep 25, 2005 03:31 AM said:

I was not alive when all the perceived "Injustices" were committed toward women.
These injustices aren't perceIved. they're real. And they're still going on. it's not like rape suddenly stopped happening.

I have been told to my face that I am I not being hired for a job because I was a man.
Me too. It didn't bug me too much though, because it was crap-ass minimum wage retail job. Most Jobs that favour female staff tend to be low-paying service sector jobs. I also know for a fact that I was hired for certain jobs over women who applied. Those were good computer type jobs that paid realy well. The disparity between women and men in the workplace starts favouring men as wages and salaries increase. It's also true that women often get passed over for promotion more than men. Again, this isn't "percieved", its reality. Yes, it has gotten better lately, but it's far from fair yet.

Men pay more for car insurance.
Men pay more for Life insurance.
Statistically men get in more accidents therefore men are higher risk and subject to higher premiums. Same thing goes with young/new drivers and people who own sports cars. Again, statistically men don't live as long, so the chances of paying out sooner are higher. Not Rocket sience here.

Women get lighter sentences in law than men for doing the same crimes. THATS A FACT!
Well, looks like their working hard to "fix" that:
"From 1995 to 2002 the average annual rate of growth of the female inmate population was 5.2%, higher than the average 3.5% increase in the male inmate population. Since 1995 the total number of male prisoners has grown 27%; the number of female prisoners 42%. By yearend 2002 women accounted for 6.8% of all prisoners, up from 6.1% in 1995."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 4.

Way more men have been executed vs. women! The crime ratio stat does not mirror the execution stat. A man & woman commit a very serious crime. The law will likely execute the man and send the woman to jail.

When women kill - and they do so at astonishingly lower rates than men who commit 85% of all homicides - the vast majority kill family members,
usually men who have battered them for years. As many as 90% of the women in jail today for killing men had been battered by those men. (Allison Bass, "Women far less likely to kill than men; no one sure why," The Boston Globe, February 24, 1992, p. 27)

5. Ladies night. Is there a men's night?
You are aware that "Ladies Night" is really just a ploy to get men out to bars by luring them with the promise of drunk women. And anyways. they're always on Tuesdays. Yay. They get to save cover charge on a crappy drinking night. Ooooh. we're sooo hard done by.

6. Military - Men - no matter the length of hair must shave their heads bald. Women are allowed to keep their hair as long as it's neat. Is that fair?
Awww. Those poor men having to get hair cuts. That must really suck. Women in the military sure do have it so easy.

And TV - a large injustice toward men. Pay attention to commercials. How many acts of violence are committed toward men vs. Women? Men are portrayed as dumb and lacking knowledge on TV. I could list a slew of commercials that propagate this.
I think you need to start looking a little harder at those comercials.

Most heavily underfunded cancer - Prostate. Breast Cancer is covered. Prostate is not. Imagine if the reverse were true? You'd all be whining.
Actually, skin Cancer get a little less, but it is pretty close to bottom. You're right. And the numbers a pretty even on death rates. I must admit I was suprised by this. Time to get my but poked by a doctor.

The point is - both genders get discriminated against for various & different reasons.
We all do. So stop whining about it. Maybe men are sick of your damn whining.

Women are disriminated against to a far greater degree. And tend to suffer much more degrading and painful forms of discrimination than men on average. Wanting that to end isn't whining. It's common sence.

I have a son & a daughter. The statement "Violence against Women" needs to be changed to "Stop Violence". Because it's a sexist statement. Go ahead and beat my son but not my daughter.
Jeeez, thats some stupid logic. Wanting to stop a particular type of violence doesn't mean were condoning another type. I don't want either of your kids beaten. Nobody reading this site does.

But the fact is, the types of violence women face is far different and much more sinister (on average) than violence perpitrated against men. It's not that we're advicating violence against men, it's that we want an end to the more heignious violence that is specifically suffered by women at the hands of men.
Here's some stats:
- nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood.
- 28% of all annual violence against women is perpetrated by intimates.
- 5% of all annual violence against men is perpetrated by intimates.
- 90 - 95% of domestic violence victims are women.
- as many as 95% of domestic violence perpetrators are male.
- the chance of being victimized by an intimate is 10 times greater for a woman than a man.
- past and current victims of domestic violence are over-represented in the welfare population. the majority of welfare recipients have experienced domestic abuse in their adult lives, and a high percentage are currently abused.

I could go on and on as well

falling_anchor Sep 25, 2005 03:28 PM said:

Are you for real? The point of my post was that discrimination goes both ways. It was not necessary for you to point out how you feel women get shafted. I think we all get that. And by the way, the job I lost to a woman was a high paying postion around $55,000 - not minimum wage. Women have every opportunity to go to University that men do and then some. The gov't goes out of its way to favour everyone but white men. Just read an application (Are you a woman or member of a visible minority) is written on them. Most men today are sick & tired of being bashed by feminists and their supporters. If you're a man - you must be a tranny. While yes, some men commit criminal acts against women - which I am opposed to BTW, most men treat women as their equals.

Clarification:
1. You are wrong - Prostate is the lowest funded cancer. Thats a fact I happen to know. Certainly far less than breart cancer.
2. Your stats on prison inmates say nothing. If 1 woman is in jail and you add another - thats a 100% increase. If 1 million men are in jail and you add 100,000 thats a 10% increase. So your percentages mean nothing. The fact is when women & men commit the same crime, men get heavier sentences, whether that is robbery, assault or otherwise. Look at Karla Holmoka for example. Texas I think has executed 2 women in the 20th century and hundreds of men. That ratio does not support the statistics.

If in every 10 very violent brutal crimes 9 were committed by men and 1 by women, you'd expect a ratio that mirrors that on death row. But you don't. Typically a woman will get a life sentence and for the same crime a man will be executed with few exceptions.

"1 in 3 adult women have been victims of violence by their male partner". Quite frankly I bet women have assaulted men more. That seems to be acceptable. A woman punching out a man makes the highlight reel of most movie previews. You see women hitting men on Music videos, movies, and TV commercials. Jessica Simpson has a video out right now where she punched a man. Vorizon Wireless has a woman beating up a man on their TV commercial. I know a lot of men who have been slapped or punched by their wives/girlfriends. It goes unreported.

If you haven't seen any of this you're living under a damn rock!

Some women are victims of violence at the hands of other women, such as the girl in BC who was savagely beaten by a gang of girls. They broke her back and left her to drown.




Women are not Always the weak little victims this sites seems to paint them as. Some men are beaten by women. More women beat kids than do men. Female gangs exist and they're brutal.

Again I know there are indeed times when men are in the wrong. What I want people on here to understand is that it goes both ways. Men get wronged as well. Especially today's white male.
Both genders can come up with reasons why they feel wronged.


This site is self serving. As I said, "Stop Domestic Violence PERIOD" should be your battle cry - no matter whether the victim is a man, a woman, a gay man or a lesbian. Champion the cause for an end to violence period! That I would support.

Chicagosun Sep 25, 2005 03:53 PM said:

Webgeek wrote the code for this site and can remove racial slurs and threats if he feels like it.

[Edited by The Webgeek on or about 2005-09-25 17:59:54]

Miss Vicky Sep 25, 2005 05:44 PM said:

'bye Chicagosun! Thanks for dropping by.

Miss Vicky Sep 25, 2005 05:52 PM said:

falling_anchor, you're not getting the point.... but you don't really want to, do you?

This thread has diverted a little too much from the original subject - which was to find a productive way to process the emotions many of us have been feeling since Jennifer Teague's disappearance (and now the discovery of her murder) - especially the fear that many women feel about walking outside at night.

What think everyone? Time for a change of subject? More tea, perhaps?

The Webgeek Sep 25, 2005 05:59 PM said:

And since the comments from both falling_anchor and chicagosun originated from the same IP address, Both are banned from this site.

accidental altruist Sep 25, 2005 10:08 PM said:

'evening ya'll. um. i'm sorry webgeek and miss vicky had to waste so much energy on this... and those hard-headed interlopers.

this was a crazy week for me. this site provided much food for thought as a woman in Canada in 2005. i was also influenced by Take Back the Night (even though i didn't march), some interesting columns in the Ottawa XPress as well as challenging private conversations. while on the surface it all may seem negative - it's all actually inspiring and has steeled my resolve.




pamused Sep 26, 2005 02:10 AM said:

sheesh. this thread sure is frayed. maybe we might start anew over a fresh pot of tea sometime soon? there are, indeed, so many emotions to process over how jennifer teague's story ended, and began. and i hope it would lead to thoughtful reflection about discrimination and injustice. maybe we could even contemplate the hundreds of lesser known stories of non-white women who are missing or who are murdered, who never make the news.

maybe we could engage in respectful dialogue as we work through this stuff, and not have to deal with unsophisticated rants from the same kind of simple men who used to strut into the women's centre i once ran and ask obnoxiously "der, how come there's no men's centre on campus?? hunh??"

been there, done that, and i'm friggin' tired of teaching. and that, friends, is a woman's right.

pinklitva Sep 26, 2005 02:32 PM said:

Miss Vicky! The sherry bottle right away please!!!!

pinklitva Sep 26, 2005 02:51 PM said:

I think men as well as women can be discriminated by the hegemonic patriarchical structure upon which our societies are built. To some extent, I support notions of stop violence (period) as extolled by Falling Anchor. I think, however, Falling Anchor is basing his argument on the assumptions that both men and women experience the impact of patriarchy in the same way - that the playing field is level - and thus there should be no differential treatment. I cannot agree with this because violence, for example, is experienced differently by men and women. I too don't want my son beaten up any more than I wish my daughter but to assume that my daughter will experience violence in the same way as my son would be niave. Women experience patriarchy differently than men and thus some shifting of balances are often required. I think in theory, affirmative action policies are a reasonable solution. It is the fact of locating these within a patriarichical structure like the workplace that often causes the failures in their application.

However, I realise I am perhaps setting myself up for further abuse from our interlopers who have to date demonstrated very simplistic understandings of what being male or female in a masculine world is.

I shall contemplate further comments from the corner of Miss Vicky's parlour because all the 'testeronic posturing' is boring me.

[Edited By pinklitva Sep 26, 2005 11:29 PM]

Polly Jones Sep 27, 2005 12:48 AM said:

Wow...that was intense reading through the comments. I was on an organizing committee this year for Take Back the Night and even, all as feminists, we had trouble getting along. Why? People have such strong feelings about violence; so many people have been hurt themselves. The one commentator was wrong that men face discrimination in the same way women do. Patriarchy systematically oppresses women. However, the system offers a raw deal for men too in that it is very limiting. It is right that we don't allow men to address their own feelings...because in general, we don't allow men to have feelings other than anger. I think maybe another thread/post could have been created to explore this. We have to let men discuss their feelings about being excluded, but also not let that discussion ecclipse the issues for women.

Anyway, Miss Vicky, I noticed your diary entry on PBs and I just wanted to encourage you all this debate/messiness/stress is worth something.

Flanders Sep 27, 2005 10:44 AM said:

jeepers - so much anger, so many issues, to be addressed both in this forum and in a psychiatrist's office...

First: Take back the night. I used to be on the "why can't men participate in TBTN" side, but have changed my mind on reflection. Simply put, having men participating in the march would negate its entire point. Guys, if you're offended by this, take ten seconds, chill out, and think. The tragedies of the murders of Teague, Wood, etc. etc. pose a threat to women doing nothing more than going out alone in public. The point is that they should not have to rely on the presence of men for their safety. Men who truly want to help can do so in a myriad of ways which have already been listed above.

Second, to recall an incident Webgeek mentioned early on in this thread...For the last few years, what I've done when I'm walking down the street at night, and see a lone woman ahead or coming toward me, is simply cross the street first, or move well off the sidewalk to create space. In a perfect world, this gesture wouldn't be needed. But as this thread makes clear, this world is far from perfect.

Third, of course men can be discriminated against, but I'm not so naive as to think the deck isn't massively stacked in my favour as a white guy. (at least, here in North America...then I spent a week in Japan, which was VERY illuminating in terms of experiencing what it's like to be pigeon-holed as inferior simply because of how I look.)

Finally, when's men's night? I thought every night was men's night...8^)

liss76 Sep 27, 2005 06:43 PM said:

My solution to changing the male outlook (re: sexism)?

Breastfeed. Teach boys from the ground up that breasts have a primary function that *isn't* about sex--well, not directly.. LOL. ;o) Okay, perhaps that's a bit simplistic, but it's strangely reassuring to me when our 3.5 year old informs his baby brother that those are "Mommy's boobies" and not his. ;o)

Teach him to cook. Introduce him to the joys of dressing up and pretending. Show him by example that household work isn't divvied up according to gendered roles. Teach him to respect himself and show by example how you want his to treat others.

Cut down/out his exposure to commercial advertising--sexism is rampant in ads. Be alert to the media he is exposed to when young--sexism is absorbed easily and children don't understand how to filter out the good from the bad in the same way as most adults. Be an example.

Raise a compassionate boy and change the world one male at a time.

amckay Sep 28, 2005 12:09 PM said:

Show him by example that household work isn't divvied up according to gendered roles.

So you'll be putting up those shelves and insulating the house now? Awesome!

On a more serious note, it does all start at home. "Think globally, act locally" sort of applies, I guess. And we definitely do not have gender stereotypes in bringing up the boys. And I have to say that giving up TV was without question the number 1 best thing we could have possibly done for our children, and not just because of the sexism. The rampant commercialism - kids do not need to be programmed to consume. And my kids won't be. 25 months and counting!

Unfortunately that only works for the kids of the people who are already enlightened, so it's sort of preaching to the converted. The kids of the sexist morons like those who have interjected their "wisdom" into this thread, will unfortunately grow up to be sexist morons. If those people can even find a woman in this day and age who will have them ...

liss76 Sep 28, 2005 12:45 PM said:

Hey now.. I assemble furniture and do the majority of any yardwork. Sure I do most of the cooking, but that's because I'm better at it than you are. ;oP

I have my own toolbox and (unless you've been into it) can actually find my hammer on a moment's notice! I'm handy.

Getting rid of television was the best thing for all of us. I find my reactions to media has changed dramatically in the past 2+ years.

falling_anchorr Sep 30, 2005 02:10 PM said:

No I never said that men & women are discriminated against the same way. But both genders DO get discriminated against in different ways. That was the basis of my argument. People here only see one side of things "How women are victimized by men". My position is that all races and both genders have cause to complain if they wish. 2005 is but one year in history. Everyone at some time or another has been discriminated - Hugeunots, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Men, Women, Christians, blacks, whites and on and on the list goes. I pointed out my own experiences as a white male. Today in 2005 I have found that white men are the only group who can publicly be discriminated against without consequence. Case in point TV Commercials and Job Applications - which say "Are you a member of a visible minority" and ask that you specify gender. Numerous programs are in place to assist women. I once did a University project and the results of my research were that all 97% of charitable organizations benefited women - 3% men.

And Web Geek - I'd appreciate you avoiding insults like calling me "Nancy Boy" and stick to the toic at hand.

Miss Vicky Sep 30, 2005 02:31 PM said:

falling_anchor, the rest of us have moved on from this topic. I suggest you do as well.

Commenting has been closed for this entry.