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Feminism and the silencing of women

S☼I

ifyalikeitthenushouldaputadonkonit
No. He keeps saying that he doesn't recognise the issues in his own circles. It's a variation of NAM which minimises the main points being made and could itself have a silencing effect. There is no useful response to his myopia. I really do hope that he continues to live in this comfortable bubble cos the big picture of everyday womanhood is much nastier outside it.
I was just talking from my own experience, and asking if the clear structural imbalance in society, business, media, etc is entirely replicated in the home/relationships, and why. Would I argue the point about rhetorical questions at home if it was upsetting my wife? Would I in the pub with a male friend? Would a female English teacher on these boards? Why do I care so much? Etc.
 

Pickman's model

every man and every woman is a star
So we're at the point where a difference of opinion = silencing?
It also seems that for some answering Manter's question about wife's / partner's behaviour as I have is me saying I should be excused from general observations on male behaviour. Some confusion there I think.
 

mango5

Endeavour era
The short answer is yes, the big picture is reflected at home. But no-one can give you convincing evidence because you can't find it in your own circles. You're not alone in this. The conversation ends up focusing on the validity of the topic, we don't get far into the how and why of silencing.
 

Manter

Lunch Mob
I was just talking from my own experience, and asking if the clear structural imbalance in society, business, media, etc is entirely replicated in the home/relationships, and why. Would I argue the point about rhetorical questions at home if it was upsetting my wife? Would I in the pub with a male friend? Would a female English teacher on these boards? Why do I care so much? Etc.
You haven’t ‘argued your point’. You have asserted that I am wrong, and then announced you have a degree. <<handclap>>
 
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Clair De Lune

Well-Known Member
That's not a rhetorical question!

Suffice to say we're going to great lengths to challenge traditional gender roles in many aspects of our relationship, according to what I've read here and seen/assimilated in and from the wider world.
Perhaps it isn't 'suffice to say' that about your relationship, which in essence let's yourself off any hook as you have the added disclaimer of not wanting to talk about your relationship here (unless in a positive light). It can read like an unwillingness to examine your own part in things. It could be that things are like you say at home- and I hope they are. But how would we know, we are only hearing your perspective, through your lens of understanding. I'm not suggesting you have to talk about your relationship, but you do bring it up to dispute things and then refuse to engage further when questioned. How come you get to have it both ways? when women on these boards are frequently asked to share intimate, traumatic descriptions to explain things to men who either can't or won't understand.
 

Poot

Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk
I was just talking from my own experience, and asking if the clear structural imbalance in society, business, media, etc is entirely replicated in the home/relationships, and why. Would I argue the point about rhetorical questions at home if it was upsetting my wife? Would I in the pub with a male friend? Would a female English teacher on these boards? Why do I care so much? Etc.
Thing is, this is a public forum so we are reticent to give real life observations about our own relationships for obvious reasons.

But the women here have explained very articulately that even in the households of your dearest friends you have no way of knowing what someone's relationship looks like. And I'm not even talking about shouting and crockery-throwing, I'm talking about things that are far more nuanced. Which we have also tried to explain.
 

kabbes

"A top 400 poster"
Last year, I found out that a guy I’ve known for 20 years — quite shy, artistic, unassuming, wouldn’t say boo to a goose — has been beating his wife for the last x years. It’s quite the fucking eye-opener, and that’s from someone who has already argued in the past that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. You really don’t have a clue unless you’re there and seeing it.
 

S☼I

ifyalikeitthenushouldaputadonkonit
Perhaps it isn't 'suffice to say' that about your relationship, which in essence let's yourself off any hook as you have the added disclaimer of not wanting to talk about your relationship here (unless in a positive light). It can read like an unwillingness to examine your own part in things. It could be that things are like you say at home- and I hope they are. But how would we know, we are only hearing your perspective, through your lens of understanding. I'm not suggesting you have to talk about your relationship, but you do bring it up to dispute things and then refuse to engage further when questioned. How come you get to have it both ways? when women on these boards are frequently asked to share intimate, traumatic descriptions to explain things to men who either can't or won't understand.
I didn't claim anything about positive. Where's the idea that the switching of trad. gender roles is automatically positive come from?
Happy to talk about anything whatsoever in knobbing and sobbing. Obviously this is the theory forum but it's quite hard not to draw on personal experiences when discussing this stuff. I'm really not trying to have it both ways and I'm sorry it comes across as a device.
 

S☼I

ifyalikeitthenushouldaputadonkonit
Thing is, this is a public forum so we are reticent to give real life observations about our own relationships for obvious reasons.

But the women here have explained very articulately that even in the households of your dearest friends you have no way of knowing what someone's relationship looks like. And I'm not even talking about shouting and crockery-throwing, I'm talking about things that are far more nuanced. Which we have also tried to explain.
Yep, it's true you can never tell. And it's part of the problem that men will go "nah, not Jim, Jim's a good lad" even when it's clear to others he's being a control freak/abuser. We don't want to believe it, cos we're also good lads...and if Jim can...etc.
 

Poot

Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk
Yep, it's true you can never tell. And it's part of the problem that men will go "nah, not Jim, Jim's a good lad" even when it's clear to others he's being a control freak/abuser. We don't want to believe it, cos we're also good lads...and if Jim can...etc.
Yes. And it's no reflection on you AT ALL. I am absolutely sure that you ARE a good person. You come across as thoroughly decent. But when we talk about these things we obviously would wear out our typing fingers by putting this in every post. Hence namnaw.
 

TopCat

Organise...
I didn't claim anything about positive. Where's the idea that the switching of trad. gender roles is automatically positive come from?
Happy to talk about anything whatsoever in knobbing and sobbing. Obviously this is the theory forum but it's quite hard not to draw on personal experiences when discussing this stuff. I'm really not trying to have it both ways and I'm sorry it comes across as a device.
The personal is political.
 

Pickman's model

every man and every woman is a star
Yep, it's true you can never tell. And it's part of the problem that men will go "nah, not Jim, Jim's a good lad" even when it's clear to others he's being a control freak/abuser. We don't want to believe it, cos we're also good lads...and if Jim can...etc.
or in one example i can give, when it comes out in court for something political that someone has convictions for domestic violence which came as quite a surprise to people who thought they'd known him.
 
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Clair De Lune

Well-Known Member
An example I have, not from home or workplace is the silencing of women on the music scene. And I don't mean successful or famous artists, I mean the music scene in my city where everyone knows everyone. I know of two (* edit- definitely three actually) male singers/front men who are bolstered by their positions and can behave in any manner they want seemingly without losing the respect of their band mates or fans.
It is common knowledge that they have sexually intimidated, exploited, sexually assaulted, verbally abused, lied about and physically intimidated and assaulted women. So conversations are happening, women are attempting to share this information in order to protect other women. But yet, they're still here, people still go to their gigs and play in bands with them and give them access to their female friends and intoxicated younger fans.

It's utterly infuriating that we have to whisper our abuse to our male friends as they will literally lead us away from others to have these conversations, overtly signalling they must remain a dirty secret. And yet, nothing is done. They continue to be given a microphone, a literal stage, an ego platform and unspoken references of 'ah he's a good lad' by virtue of their silence, proximity and continued friendship with these guys. Whether they like it or not, the guys and women who work with these men and give them a platform are therefore complicit in the abuse they commit imo. "but he's a good singer!" Fuck off.
And the many women who have suffered and spoken are silenced...or just ignored it seems.
 
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trashpony

Ovaries and tings
I think it happens everywhere :( but I do find it an interesting example of how easy it is for someone with privilege, power and status to become completely unaccountable for their actions.
It makes me wonder which comes first - whether men get into those positions and become drunk on the power they have or if they deliberately seek power in order to exploit and abuse women
 

RubyToogood

can't remember what goes here
It makes me wonder which comes first - whether men get into those positions and become drunk on the power they have or if they deliberately seek power in order to exploit and abuse women
Certainly from personal observation many men's decision to pursue music is partly motivated by a perceived licence to exploit women. Not outright abuse perhaps but general laddish behaviour.

Speaking of music... I was for a while in a duo with a man. It was chiefly my project and I was deciding the direction and material, playing instruments, singing, using some other tech. He was playing an instrument for some of it and using a computer for some of it. I think the computer was the killer point here.

We were interviewed on radio and the interviewer consistently talked to my partner. Never asked me a question once. I had to interrupt to say anything at all. When we'd finished and they were playing a track, I pointed out that we hadn't talked about a gig we had coming up. So when we came back from the record the interviewer said to my partner, "So [partner], tell us about the gig you've got coming up."

Thinking about it now, maybe we should have challenged it afterwards.
 

chainsawjob

Kipping in the dunes
I was just talking from my own experience, and asking if the clear structural imbalance in society, business, media, etc is entirely replicated in the home/relationships, and why.
Of course it is. Why? Society is patriarchal.
Short answer, longer answer later if I have time
Ok, the longer answer is very much encapsulated in the quote friendofdorothy posted from the blog Stop asking me ‘what about men?’

Women are socialised into their gender roles ... to not even possess a shred of the sense of entitlement that men have.
Let's get the NAMNAW out of the way first, but men on the whole, are socialised from birth to expect women to cater to their needs, emotional, domestic, etc etc etc And women are socialised on the whole to do the catering. It's the dominant culture in society and it pervades everywhere, nowhere more so than in women being silenced. (The statistics of literally how much time men as opposed to women speak in conversations/meetings/interviews bear this out. I wonder how different it is in the home?). I could give a million examples (will come back to this if I have time). It can be subtle and nunanced and hard to spot. Even if a man is fully aware of this conditioning, and on board with feminism and equality, I think it's almost impossible to extrictate themselves entirely from it. And from the effect of society's culture, in the same way subtle racism is hard to rid yourself of when it is so all-pervasive in society, where people of the dominant ethnicity cannot even see things people of other ethnicities can recognise as racist, because it's so nuanced. I imagine it takes very deliberate and sustained effort to root out all the male conditioning and entitlement in interpersonal relations, domestic or otherwise. Male is the default in our society, it takes a battle for female to have equal standing. Male is often the default in the domestic sphere too, and because of the backing of the way society is structurally set up (sexism in employment, how different activities in life are valued and rewarded etc) it is 'easier' maybe for people to operate that way. It is hard to pinpoint it, and challenge it.

So in the homes of most women I know, I see a lot of examples of male entitlement. A lot of assumptions being made about who does what, about whose needs/wishes get given most consideration, I see a mismatch in who does most of the emotional labour, and in how different tasks and responsibilites are valued. And I see a lot of that being down to entitlement, that may be hard even to spot, and is all wrapped up with women being brought up to assume they naturally take second place, in ways that are not necessarily articulated or acknowledged. I don't think it's only in the homes of women I know, in fact most women I know are probably at the better end of the scale in terms of the 'feminism' of their partners. Yet they still feel silenced, and they are still put/put themselves second. It's just so endemic :( That is why there is a lot of work to do imo.
 
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RubyToogood

can't remember what goes here
On a positive note, I was at a workshop thing recently where we'd broken up into small groups to discuss something. There was a male Labour councillor in my group who obviously was very comfortable with public speaking and so on, and it would have been very easy for us to default to him reporting back to the main group. But instead he went round and asked all of the women individually if they would do it until someone said yes.
 

JudithB

Well-Known Member
I remember one women's studies module, a man turned up and dominated every seminar. That was a pretty stark demonstration.
I went to a conference on motherhood and the "killing of the mother" in philosophical terms. For some reason a man was introducing the philosophers and providing the opening statement. He decided this was the moment to announce he thought the whole concept was bullshit. If he had then left, that might have saved the day. But instead he decided to stay and argue the fundamentals of the basis on why we were meeting. We could have done some serious work, but instead had to pander to a man who had decided we as women were wrong.
 

JudithB

Well-Known Member
As in all these threads, the workplace is an obvious context for silencing. So obvious it's uncontrovertible aside from some whataboutery. I wonder if it's why most men seem happiest confining their posts on these threads to workplace issues.

I am interested in the the less obvious situations and patterns that I probably haven't thought about enough.

Not intending to shut folk up about silencing in the workplace but keen to understand it elsewhere. I suspect it is related to 'a world designed for men' which broadly seems more about being 'invisiblised'/unseen than silenced/unheard. Don't know if that's a useful distinction or splitting hairs. :hmm:
Women not only have to function in a world designed for men, but we are also mostly seen as a reflection of men without our own agency. Mother, whore, etc
 

Cloo

Surfeit of lampreys
I went to a conference on motherhood and the "killing of the mother" in philosophical terms. For some reason a man was introducing the philosophers and providing the opening statement. He decided this was the moment to announce he thought the whole concept was bullshit. If he had then left, that might have saved the day. But instead he decided to stay and argue the fundamentals of the basis on why we were meeting. We could have done some serious work, but instead had to pander to a man who had decided we as women were wrong.
FFS... but why am I not surprised?! :mad:
 
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