You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘The Female Experience in Society’ tag.

Fancy that, eh? Just another way the system known as patriarchy in our society expresses itself.  Women are not listened to or taken seriously, even in life and death situations.  Kinda hard to be successful in society when your words are taken, by default, as less than face value.

 

Huh.  It seems that even the New York Times acknowledges that something may be up with the way we socialize females in our society.  Similar results could be gleaned if say oh, we actually listened when women spoke and took what they said seriously.

“The census data on the labor market show a persistent gap in what white men and women earn and how much they participate in the labor force, though that gap has narrowed over time. But that gender gap varies by states — and it’s that variation that helped the researchers isolate the effects of sexism, by place.

The researchers looked at men and women who were born in the same state and then moved to the same state, like North Carolinians who moved to New York, or Texans who moved to Colorado. They found that the gap in wages and employment between men and women in those groups was bigger for those who were born in states with higher levels of sexism.

They also find that, compared with women around them who were born elsewhere, the women born in more “sexist” places marry and have their first child “at appreciably younger ages.” Another recent paper, in which Ms. Pan was also one of the writers, found a sharp decline in employment for women after their first child is born, and also that women’s attitudes toward gender roles grow more traditional after a birth.

Mr. Charles, Mr. Guryan and Ms. Pan found that the results held even when controlling for age, education and migration patterns, which is to say, Americans historically tend to move to states close to their state of birth as adults, if they move at all.

The research cannot say for certain why those differences persist. The economists say that women appear to internalize social norms when they are young on issues like when to have children, what tasks are appropriate for women in the work force or even how much society values the work of women.

Those traits could, in turn, affect a woman’s willingness to bargain for higher wages. “We know that whatever it is, must be something of a product of where they’re from, and continues to affect them now,” Mr. Charles said. “A notable example here might be the willingness to ask for raises, or the willingness to confront a manager over a raise that was too small. A woman imbued with her value in the marketplace is likely to reject an insufficient raise.”

Those internalized norms appear to have affected a young woman named Nicole, who grew up in Indiana, earned a business degree and a master’s in information systems, and left her home state to build a career. Nicole, who asked that her last name and current employer not be identified, said she has struggled with the assertiveness needed to ask for a raise or a higher starting salary.

By the time she started as a consultant at a large accounting firm, some of her high school friends were married, ready for children, working part time or not at all. Nicole said she was working harder than many of her colleagues and wondering why she earned less than they did. “Sometimes, my male job recruiter friends are like, ‘Why don’t you just ask? When someone offers you a job, they expect you to negotiate,’” she said. “Whereas my friends and I, we’re just happy to have job offers. It didn’t cross my mind that you negotiate.”

Internalizing a culture that does not value women working outside the home, or that makes a woman’s role as a mother a priority, could also discourage women from working longer and less flexible hours. The Harvard University economist Claudia Goldin has found that much of the gender gap in pay comes from differences within occupations, such as law and medicine, where men are rewarded for their disproportionate willingness to work long hours and agree to be on call when they are off duty.”

Women not doing as well in a society regulated by and built for men?  Shocking.

 

The female experience isn’t unknowable, it just seems like a good portion of the population has trained themselves not to listen…

I’m getting fatigued with my #femaleexperience tag. Then I think that if just describing the situation is fatiguing then living it, with no respite, is demonstrably worse. So yeah, off I go, not renewed, but persisting anyways. How society interacts with you depends on which classes you happen to inhabit, because the treatment is not equal. More importantly, this differential spans all experiences in society, moral, legal and familial – egalitarians take note of this feature because the baseline you are experiencing is not necessarily the one others are experiences so things are not ‘fine’ or in need of minor tweaking. Reformation, if not revolution is required to rewrite the base norms of our society to we can say goodbye to the shitty behaviour described below.

More of the female experience of living life in our society. Sounds like fun, no?

Women don’t come of age, so to speak.  But rather have societies stereotypes and prejudices thrust upon them.  Amy Eileen Hamm speaks to her experience on growing up in a patriarchal society.

“Men have asked me to do things, forced me to do things, threatened or done things to me. For too long, I silently agreed that my body was an invitation.

I was angry when I lost control of my body. When my breasts appeared and my uterus bled. When this foul and mutating vessel made everyone around me think that I, too, had somehow changed. Or — painfully, in hindsight, because I believed it was true — that I was using my body to send messages of desire or consent, when I was still only a child.

Of course, there are women who suffer more, and in more terrible ways. I can’t speak for them; I can only understand how womanhood is too often an imposition.

Earlier, I described having learned an unshakeable, dysphoric shame. Bouts of shame plague me still, in my mid-thirties. I want an androgynous body I will never have. (Though I recognize, in the rational part of my mind, no variation in body type would be an escape from the female sex.)

I have bridled with rage and self-hatred after seeing male colleagues glancing at my chest. Breastfeeding was a months-long nightmare of intense dysphoria, on top of the typically associated pains and struggles. The triggers are plentiful and often mundane.

I don’t know how to overcome this, just yet. There are balms, including radical feminism and radfem communities.

It has been healing to openly share the ways our bodies move us through this world. And to discuss how our female bodies — from which there is no absconding — often dictate our treatment and well-being.

After all, what do I know about how it feels to be a woman, apart from what I’ve learned while others — largely men — react to my being one? Nothing. I only know how it feels to be treated like a female-bodied person.

I don’t know what it feels like to be a woman. I don’t believe this feeling exists. I have yet to hear a satisfactory or sensical answer to the question.

Without a female body, there is no equivocating oneself into womanhood. There is no incantation or initiation that can transcend our bodily reality.

“Woman” is not a feeling. “Woman” just is.”

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