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Tysyacha
07-11-2009, 12:05 AM
I have noticed a disconcerting trend among many people whom I consider religious fundamentalists these days: to raise "masculine" sons and "feminine" daughters. *Scratches head* I don't really get it. What are books like WILD AT HEART and CAPTIVATING, for instance, REALLY trying to promote? What on Earth is wrong with letting people pick their own interests, no matter whether they are considered "masculine" or "feminine" by the rest of (especially American) society at large? I decided to do an A to Z of the two types of activities, just as an experiment to see what we generally consider "masculine" and "feminine":

MASCULINE ACTIVITIES

Accounting
Boating
Chess
Driving
Earth-moving (digging, etc.)
Fishing
Golf
Horseback riding
Intellectual pursuits
Joking
Karate
Landscaping
Managing money and business
Navigating
Orating (public speaking)
Personal training
Questioning
Racing (running, car racing, etc.)
Stock trading
Travel
Understanding things and ideas
Vision/leadership
Writing
Xenophobia (go away, foreigners!)
Yelling (it's OK for a man to yell, even a lot, but not a woman)
ZZ Top

FEMININE ACTIVITIES

Art/Artistic Pursuits
Ballet
Child-rearing
Decorating
Environmental causes
Florals
Gardening
Housekeeping
Inviting friends over
Joking (same!)
Knitting
Listening
Motherhood
Nurturing
Oprah (okay, it's a show, but watching it is an activity!)
Peacemaking
Quietness
Reading
Scrapbooking
Teaching
Understanding people
Virtue (being chaste, especially)
Writing (J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, especially)
Xenophilia (Hey, stranger!)
Youth supervision
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Disagree with this list all you want, but I do know that a lot of people (usually women close to me) are very puzzled when they find out I would much rather do the activities in the stereotypically "Masculine" column than the "Feminine" one. Granted, I don't want to do ALL of the activities in one category or the other. I prefer to pick and choose, and so I reiterate...

Why are religious fundamentalists so concerned that their kids grow up "masculine" and "feminine" along these lines? I mean, if I like chess and boating, does that automatically mean I'm a lesbian? If a guy likes ballet and taking care of kids, does that automatically mean that he's gay? And I, for one, HATE being chaste if "chaste" means "no zanimat'sya lyubov'yu EVER, and if you do "it", don't enjoy it too much or you're most definitely like a prostitute." *Scratches head again* Again, I don't get it. Do you?

Hallucination
07-11-2009, 12:10 AM
Sex is also a masculine activity. We don't use that word 'round these parts.... ;) --Jae

What I've noticed is that 'masculine' pursuits are about being noteworthy and in charge, while the 'feminine' activities are about staying home and raising the family/getting the 'unimportant/simple' things done (things that 'anyone' can do, like cooking and cleaning). Most conservatives/fundamentalists like to think that the family is all-important, and the way it's always been run has to be the best because it's the way it has always been done. Conservatives apparently like to conserve things (whether good or bad), go figure. o_Q

Since when has writing been a feminine activity, especially since it's considered an intellectual pursuit (possibly the most intellectual pursuit there is)?

Tysyacha
07-11-2009, 12:16 AM
I agree with the first part of your statement, but the second part? "Chicks are for...uh..."

I thought gay men didn't LIKE girls, at least as romantic partners. *LOL*

Sabretooth
07-11-2009, 12:49 AM
I agree with the first part of your statement, but the second part? "Chicks are for...uh..."

I thought gay men didn't LIKE girls, at least as romantic partners. *LOL*

WHOOOOOOSH

Tysyacha
07-11-2009, 12:55 AM
OKAY, it went completely over my head. I admit it. :)

Endorenna
07-11-2009, 03:01 AM
I've been raised in a religious home all my life, and my parents have never gone and concerned themselves about whether or not I'm a bit of a tomboy. So, most of the time, when I tell other girls that I like Star Wars and combat video games and such, they think I'm crazy. :lol:

And, just to throw myself a little further out of the 'usual feminine activities' list...the last thing I'd ever want to do is to get married/have kids. :lol:

Astor
07-11-2009, 04:14 AM
Horseback riding

I would argue that, in the UK, at least, Horse riding (for pleasure, that is - Racing is still very much a masculine pursuit.) is seen by many as 'Girly' - it's not completely girly, but there's always seemed to be a prevailing attitude that most riders are women. Indeed, i've encountered many more women riders than male.

Of course, it wasn't always this way - but as horses have fallen out of popular use (ie. for transport) it's gradually become more feminine (or, at least, dominated by females).

That's probably not true in the US, where you have strong traditions of ranching, and the Old West is a huge icon, but many in the UK see Horse Riding as feminine - and, if popular rumours are true, if you ride a horse you must have a large estate and go hunting with the Duke of York every weekend. :rolleyes:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a riding lesson in an hour...

Darth InSidious
07-11-2009, 07:43 AM
I would argue that, in the UK, at least, Horse riding (for pleasure, that is - Racing is still very much a masculine pursuit.) is seen by many as 'Girly' - it's not completely girly, but there's always seemed to be a prevailing attitude that most riders are women. Indeed, i've encountered many more women riders than male.

Specifically, in the UK middle-class spawnettes split into two subgenii at about age 7: the ballerinas and the horseriders.


It's awfully bad luck on Diana,
Her ponies have swallowed their bits;
She fished down their throats with a spanner
And frightened them all into fits. (http://poemsandprose.blog.co.uk/2007/08/27/title~2876176/)

Accounting
Generally done by men, but universally recognised as demonically-inspired necessity.
Boating
Generally done by les nouveaux-riches or enthusiasts, if you mean anything larger than a dingy. Generally masculine.
Chess
No fixed gender.
Driving
No fixed gender, though women are generally viewed as being dreadful at it.
Earth-moving (digging, etc.)
Only performed as necessary; usually masculine, yes. The only women on a building site are on page 3 of The Sun.
Fishing
Only perfomed by world-class bores.
Golf
See above.
Intellectual pursuits
Usually masculine; only performed when drunk.
Joking
Only performed by those gifted with no comic talent whatsoever.
Karate
Anyone over 20 doing this is usually also an accountant, and, possibly, fishes.
Landscaping
This is not something that you do but have done for you if you're middle class and too far up yourself to see daylight. The snobbish alternative to fishing.
Managing money and business
Not discussed in polite company; those that do are generally considered boorish.
Navigating
Generally ****ed up between both sexes equally.
Orating (public speaking)
We have a queen and have had a female premier; go figure.
Personal training
See: Accounting, fishing, karate.
Questioning
Questioning what?
Racing (running, car racing, etc.)
See: Personal training.
Stock trading
No-one sensible relies on this as a means of income; it's either a hobby or a rather uncertain pension plan. Therefore, usually masculine.
Travel
Everyone travels. Usually to Ibiza. Anyone who tells you about their package holiday probably also fishes and accounts.
Understanding things and ideas
Again, this is usually something both sexes fail equally at.
Vision/leadership
These words are only used by politicians, and people who like flow-charts. Again, mostly masculine; usually associated with the word "strategies".
Writing
Women authors exist; mostly they seem to write crap that Mills & Boon would chuck out for going too far.
Xenophobia (go away, foreigners!)
Preserve of both sexes of the middle classes.
Yelling (it's OK for a man to yell, even a lot, but not a woman)
Shouting is only an acceptable activity if the only reason you're doing it is because you're hideously drunk.
ZZ Top
Only done in private and between consenting adults.
Art/Artistic Pursuits
Only performed by people who can make "o" sound like "ae"; sex is irrelevant.
Ballet
See above.
Child-rearing
Like money, should not be discussed in polite company. Children are to have, but not in public (that would be vulgar).
Decorating
No-one ever admits to this. Ever. You've just had the house redecorated. People who admit to this probably fish.
Environmental causes
Only pursued by rather damp men and rather butch women. See: The Green Party.
Florals
Generally frowned upon.
Gardening
Only performed by those who are retired; the super-rich have it done for them, the rest pretend it magically tends itself or else leave well alone.
Housekeeping
Again, is magically performed by itself. Never mentioned, divides upon increasingly blurred lines. Many women insist in private that, for example, taking out the bins is a man's activity. Usually this is a one-way deal.
Inviting friends over
Only if they're very good friends or you're holding a dinner party, in which case you've probably just landscaped your garden and been to see something by Tracy Emin.
Knitting
Exclusively done by grandmothers.
Listening
Bad form generally.
Motherhood
Would prove rather difficult for men; again, generally a social faux-pas.
Nurturing
What kind of unnatural, milksop codswallop is that? Definitely bad form.
Oprah (okay, it's a show, but watching it is an activity!)
Daytime TV is only watched by people without jobs; therefore an activity of the underclass almost exclusively.
Peacemaking
Since holding firm opinions is generally considered rather rude, neither sex has exclusivity on this.
Quietness
Making noise is generally found upon. See: yelling.
Reading
Generally frowned-upon unless what you're reading is either an acceptable classic (i.e., written between 1750 and 1910), or of no literary value whatsoever.
Scrapbooking
Only done for children's holidays.
Teaching
Only done by osmosis and vague moral lessons. Instilling values of any kind is frowned upon most severely.
Understanding people
Only allowed in court.
Virtue (being chaste, especially)
This is considered a very dirty word, and should never be spoken in public, and only under very special circumstances in private.
Youth supervision
The preserve of the police.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
No-one remembers Zsa Zsa Gabor except film buffs and the sort of man who worries about what "D&G" are bringing out next season.

JediAthos
07-11-2009, 09:12 AM
I think that contrary to your list Tysy, and the fundamentalists, the "gender roles" in the United States are more ambiguous than ever before.

Granted, there are people that would, given their choice, raise their children to adhere to such things, but in the real world that most of us live in there are very few true distinctions anymore and people that make such are in the minority.

In the U.S. I've seen just as many women in the professions you listed in the masculine column as I do men working in the professions listed in the feminine column. I know several stay at home Dads that wouldn't trade their lives for any job, and I had just as many male teachers in school as I did female. There are plenty of women in sports(golf, racing,), and in leadership positions.(as much as I dislike her Hillary Clintion, her
predecessor Condoleeza Rice etc..)

I realize I chose just a few to contrast, but I'm way too lazy to break down the entire list. My point would be that I think the people you mention who insist on adhering to these so-called "gender roles" are in the vast minority, at least in the United States.

*edit* As another example...with my own children: My daughter loves Hot Wheels cars, and the Tonka trucks that my in-laws have in addition to her baby dolls. My son likes to push the baby dolls around in the toy stroller in addition to his cars and trucks and I couldn't possibly care less. My children certainly will be able to choose whatever profession they wish with the exception of anything illegal of course :)

Tysyacha
07-11-2009, 11:55 AM
InSidious: *pop spew* Good thing I wasn't drinking any pop at the moment...:)

JediAthos: I totally agree, and that brings up another part to my theory. Maybe the religious fundamentalists are scared of this "gender ambiguity", thinking it will lead to more people being gay (or, Heaven forbid, more women not wanting to have kids at all and more men being interested in NOT competing and conquering). I mean, the two very popular books I mentioned basically say "Women are like this (princesses) and men are like this (knights)." True, I AM writing a story from a first-person PoV about a princess, but I'm trying to make Lux anything BUT the subject of Pink's song "Stupid Girls".

I've found myself near-to-despairing sometimes over not being able to "fit in" to what my family's religious code expects of a woman. However, I also know that the REST of the world has different opinions about such, so that gives me more hope than the code.

Astor
07-11-2009, 05:08 PM
Specifically, in the UK middle-class spawnettes split into two subgenii at about age 7: the ballerinas and the horseriders.

Or so it would seem - I don't compete, but when I have gone eventing, it is, more often than not, girls who have been riding for a long time - and who undoubtedly come from a life of privelege (which is often associated with Equestrian pursuits).

It's something I feel very strongly about - Horse riding is not solely the pursuit of young girls, women and those with far more money than sense - it's unfortunate that it's current representation in the mainstream reinforces the idea.


It's awfully bad luck on Diana,
Her ponies have swallowed their bits;
She fished down their throats with a spanner
And frightened them all into fits. (http://poemsandprose.blog.co.uk/2007/08/27/title~2876176/)

That's a brilliant poem, Darathy - i've never heard it before. Thank you for introducing me to it. :)

No fixed gender, though women are generally viewed as being dreadful at it.

Nowadays, perhaps - gone are the days of motorinas such as Dorothy Levitt. Although, it's entirely possible that she was also dreadful.

XenophobiaPreserve of both sexes of the middle classes.

And of course, anyone who reads the Daily Mail.

Daytime TV is only watched by people without jobs; therefore an activity of the underclass almost exclusively.

Furthermore, I consider anyone who watches The Jeremy Kyle Show to be truly lost. The only thing worse is actually appearing on Jeremy Kyle.

Det. Bart Lasiter
07-11-2009, 08:35 PM
gender is a social construct down with the patriarchy the person wearing the stockings in that zz top song is a guy

KingCheez
07-13-2009, 10:01 PM
reppin androgyny 4 lyfe.........,

Darth Avlectus
07-13-2009, 11:11 PM
Why isn't wisecracking on the list for dudes--or at all for that matter? Or how about swearing like a sailor?

Or late Friday night get togethers after work with your coworkers where you take out your aggressions of the week on each other? Y'know, settling your differences? Like you wanna biff that snitchy fool you have to work with at blockbuster...he's getin' ahead at your expense, but he also wants to see whaere he stands in the social pecking order. C'mon, at least a few guys here know what I'm talkin' about (without my having to spell it out any more)?

El Sitherino
07-13-2009, 11:13 PM
In the U.S. I've seen just as many women in the professions you listed in the masculine column as I do men working in the professions listed in the feminine column. I know several stay at home Dads that wouldn't trade their lives for any job, and I had just as many male teachers in school as I did female. There are plenty of women in sports(golf, racing,), and in leadership positions.(as much as I dislike her Hillary Clintion, her
predecessor Condoleeza Rice etc..)
Just because there are examples that can be given to show gender roles aren't necessarily true doesn't mean we still don't have them. We're still very gender specific in society and it's even more apparent due to the quick nature to post up names of people that "break the barriers". It doesn't change the fact that people still aren't over the roles and it doesn't change that many people to be noted are merely exceptions that prove the rule. We make a large fuss about women drivers and golfers, why?

JediAthos
07-13-2009, 11:52 PM
Just because there are examples that can be given to show gender roles aren't necessarily true doesn't mean we still don't have them. We're still very gender specific in society and it's even more apparent due to the quick nature to post up names of people that "break the barriers". It doesn't change the fact that people still aren't over the roles and it doesn't change that many people to be noted are merely exceptions that prove the rule. We make a large fuss about women drivers and golfers, why?

The names I used certainly weren't the first to "break the barriers" but I used them because I felt they'd be recognized.

I won't disagree that some people still aren't over gender roles, I think that was Tysy's original point. I would still say that roles in the United States today are much more ambiguous than they ever have been before.

There is more hype behind female race drivers because there aren't that many of them. I would suppose that could be attributed to roles or perhaps not as many women aren't interested in driving a race car, or perhaps there haven't been enough women interested with the requisite amount of talent...I really can't say for sure.

As far as golfers...I'm not sure there's really as much hype as the LPGA is well established and the top performers are often compared to their counterparts in the PGA tour.

mur'phon
07-14-2009, 02:54 PM
Women, even those in full jobs tend to do more than twice the house work of males. They are ridicolusly underepresented in the top tier of management, and usually earn significantly less than males, even when they do the exact same job. Also many jobs are still largely dominated by one gender (for example I work this hollyday in caring for mentaly ill children, which is a line of work sorta dominated by females), this wouldn't neccesarly be a big deal except that female dominated jobs tend to be lower paying than male ones (yes, even those requiring about the same education).

In adition, considering the fact that gender roles are ingrained in us from almost the day we are born, by means as varried as what toys we get to what our parents/peers consider good behaviour, it would be rather surprising if we decided to act as if gender roles don't exist.

As an aside, even though we in the west have come a long way (though of course there are major diferences betwen for example scandinavia and Grece), most people don't live in the west, so the "major advances" have been a bit limited.

Darth Avlectus
07-16-2009, 04:17 AM
Generally I'd say for anger and problems

Masculine:
Deals with anger in his own way, just needs alone time.
Feminine:
Needs to interact and talk about it.

However I see overlap all the time with this.

Universal activity:
Sparring and dueling. Nuff said.

As an aside, even though we in the west have come a long way (though of course there are major diferences betwen for example scandinavia and Grece), most people don't live in the west, so the "major advances" have been a bit limited.

Do you mean like in eastern worlds like China? I have noticed the women over there whom I am penpals with over the internet do not mind referring to "A man and his" in a universal vein at all. Whereas most of the women in more western worlds would identify with "a woman and her" for the universal sense. Like not so much individuality, more conformity in the east. Whereas west is more individual, less conformity.

Of course, I have sort of noticed these women tend to take a common view of quality of life over individual pursuit.

I do not pretend to understand it. I just accept it because it is eastern and I am western.

Web Rider
07-16-2009, 11:05 PM
Do you mean like in eastern worlds like China? I have noticed the women over there whom I am penpals with over the internet do not mind referring to "A man and his" in a universal vein at all. Whereas most of the women in more western worlds would identify with "a woman and her" for the universal sense. Like not so much individuality, more conformity in the east. Whereas west is more individual, less conformity.

Lets not confuse "eastern" with "China", China has spent decades doing the same process that the USSR did, forcing conformity and uniformity over individuality. Much as we drill our children with "go your own way" China drills theirs with "follow the rules". Which of course, is fairly specific to China's current "communist" system. While there are a variety of common themes among Asian cultures, I don't think they can be summed up as uniformly as "Western" culture often is.

Sabretooth
07-17-2009, 02:23 AM
While conformity is probably at max in China, conformity and traditionalism are fairly universal traits in most of Asia. Inida may not look like it, but the conformity here isn't so much about sticking to the rules as sticking to what's right. Tradition is held high, which is why you see so few rebellious people spouting individuality.

Then there's Japan of course, a prime example of conformity to the max. I think the reason for this is that the West, post-Renaissance saw a trend of strong individuality in philosophy, which would then seep into the public consciousness. This did not happen to Asia, which was largely modernised by force or necessity, and therefore largely retained its more older philosophical and social systems.

Darth Avlectus
07-17-2009, 02:35 AM
Lets not confuse "eastern" with "China", China has spent decades doing the same process that the USSR did, forcing conformity and uniformity over individuality. Much as we drill our children with "go your own way" China drills theirs with "follow the rules". Which of course, is fairly specific to China's current "communist" system. While there are a variety of common themes among Asian cultures, I don't think they can be summed up as uniformly as "Western" culture often is.

True. Still, I see a certain sort of a striving for "quality of life" amongst the general "eastern" societies. :raise:<shrugs>

Now that I think more about it, so far as "enlightened", in past being a Samurai was considered enlightened. Back in the not too distant past, very war like when compared to today. More chivalrous today, almost like a knight...almost, but not quite. So I guess you have a good point. Philippines, Mongols, Thai... Yeah, I guess I hadn't thought about the variations. Thanks Web.

@ thread subject: Normally combat is thought to be a guy thing while the women tended to the home. I cannot help but notice, though, certain historical things about combatant women like Amazons, and even Viking women.

Women who could hold their own liquor and are quite vigorous I might also add. :dev11: (C'mon, at least somebody else here knows what I'm talking about? Anyone?) ...Fun to duel with if nothing else.