Sexism For Dummies (And Everyone Else)

Are you any sex or gender* at all? Then this applies to you.

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Sexism does not only apply to women. In fact, women are quite often sexist towards men without necessarily realising. Women have had it tough in past centuries/millennia, but now they are finally grasping at equality, it’s about time we actually paid attention to ‘male sexism’ (the term we’ll use to refer to sexism aimed at men).

Have you ever heard a young boy be told to ‘man up’ for displaying emotion? Or perhaps you’ve heard someone tell a man to ‘grow a pair’? These are just a couple of examples of extremely common male sexism. The issue with statements like this is that it creates an unrealistic expectation for boys and men to live up to. What does it mean to ‘man up’ or be ‘manly’? We’ve accepted this to refer to strength and lack of emotion. It implies that a man is not a man unless he is strong and burly, and that if he shows any emotion then he is not a real man. Women are finally fighting unrealistic expectations placed on them, yet why do we still ignore what society is doing to men? This isn’t to say that the battle fought by women isn’t real, merely that everyone should be aware that everyone has things to face.

An interesting example of the difference between the sexes is the verbs ‘to mother’ and ‘to father’. ‘To mother’ a child generally implies to nurture it and rear it, but ‘to father’ a child implies a mere contribution of DNA towards the creation of a child. Why is it that our language also reflects that it is supposedly inappropriate for men to display emotion or offer care without being seen as weak and unworthy?

There are a few campaigns fighting to raise the awareness of these matters but the first step is to learn more about it yourself. Being aware that nurturing aggression and lack of emotion in boys and young men is what causes some of the behaviour that later leads to sexism towards women which causes fear of violence and rape. It’s not that simple, but you get the idea. If we all finally opened our eyes and allowed fluidity of gender and individual interpretation of what masculinity truly is, we might make life for boys and young men much easier. Making life smoother for anyone is worthwhile, especially when we are already to striving to achieve as much for women who have fought against inequality for centuries and more. Men are capable of emotion, of multitasking, of nurturing children and so much more; it’s about time we realised that men are just people with different bits between their legs, and that this doesn’t impair their ability to behave like kind and caring, fully-functioning human beings.

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*To read about the difference between sex and gender, read this article about transsexualism.

Sentenced To Death For Being A Lesbian

I recently received an email from All Out with the story of Aderonke from Nigeria. Aderonke is a lesbian. She’s been sentenced to death for being a lesbian. She managed to flee to the UK, where her case is still being decided, but three members of her family have already been killed because of her sexuality. The law in Nigeria is harsh and ruthless, yet they are still considering deporting her. Although there will be no shortage of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK who are fleeing the punishment for their sexuality, this could become a landmark case.Should Britain deport Aderonke because of who she loves?

Theresa May’s already said that some people have been forced to submit video of themselves having sex or answer humiliating questions during hours of interrogation. And, many people who provide evidence to the Home Office that they will be jailed or killed for who they love have been deported back into danger anyway.

The team at All Out have created a petition asking Theresa May to save Aderonke from deportation, and to ensure that people already fleeing their home countries because of who they love are not subjected to a humiliating interrogation process. The petition requires only 10,000 signatures, and has already gone beyond 8,000; if it can get past 10,000, maybe it can begin to represent true popular opinion that people should not be killed because of who they love.

All it takes is your email address and a minute of your time, Sign Here.All Out fights for universal equality.

Feminism 101: Y Chromosomes Permitted

obama-feministWho truly knows what feminism is? Is feminism the extremist behaviour of women seeking superiority over men? Is feminism the act of drawing attention to the inequality that women face? Is feminism simply a myth? So many questions, so few answers!

But, wait, there is an answer. Feminism is women seeking equality. So does this mean feminism is just the concept of being against sexism? If so, why is it called feminism? Why is it fem- if it’s equality for all?

Women have their own movement for equality because that’s how bad we’ve had it. Before you call me a ball-breaker, or a feminazi, or some other pointless and actually quite irrelevant name, just think about it.

Have you heard of anti-Semitism? Anti Semitism is prejudice and discrimination again people of the Jewish faith; racism against Jews. How come Jewish people get their own special word? Let me answer that for you; have you heard of the holocaust? Where one of the oldest religions in the world was penalised because… well, because they were different.

Feminism is kind of like that; it has it’s own name because the female people have been discriminated against for so long, with little relevant reasoning as to why. Each wave of feminism has brought about action for something different. In the early 20th century in Britain, it was the fight for suffrage – the right to vote – and we won! Looking back now, there was no true reason as to why women were any less able to vote in a well-informed manner like their male counterpart. I’m not saying all women are highly intelligent, some are pretty idiotic, but so are some men. So surely we can conclude that some of all sexes (and some of those who don’t adhere to gender-binary standards) are foolish. Everyone is stupid, regardless of what’s in your pants.

Yet, the female comedian, Jenny Collier, was recently pushed out of a line up because there were already “too many women on the bill”. Now, I have the sneaking suspicion that her email didn’t come from a concerned individual worried about men’s rights, but rather from an unfortunate soul who clearly didn’t think through what he was doing when he sent an email likely to cause uproar from all right-minded people. How can someone get away with something so obviously sexist? Some people say that female comedians just “aren’t as funny as men”; but that isn’t even what’s being questioned here. It’s agreed that Jenny Collier is funny, so why is she being brushed off? If she wasn’t funny enough, not a good enough comedian, then that might be fair reasoning; cancelled an act because they aren’t what you want in terms or their skills – fair enough. However, cancelling an act because their 23rd chromosomal pair is ‘all wrong’.

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It’s true that in some professions, men suffer discrimination. In jobs like teaching or nursing, any man who enters the career “isn’t a real man”. It’s a problem, but that is a whole separate issue that would require and whole separate post. Men can suffer discrimination due to their sex, but how often does it happen? More often than not, women are judged purely based on the fact that they are women. Even women who were born women and underwent gender reassignment will suffer the same oppressive behaviour towards them.

It is time that people realised that women are subjects, not objects; active, not passive. Even women can be sexist towards women without realising. A woman and a man are just people. Once we learn to view people as people, we can progress. Men may love women, but so can women, and men can love men! More than ever, gender and sexuality has become fluid and broad, so how come something as archaic as sexism is still lingering like a bad smell?feminist

Feminism means equality for women. I personally think that we should use a different word, a word for equality for all genders, an inclusive word that is neither feminine nor masculine. I can only hope that if there were a non-specific word, then people would stop judging this book by its cover and start understanding the cause of the friction. Feminists are not crazed women, controlled by their wombs. Feminists are fighters for equality, womb or not.

Sexuality vs Gender: Why it’s okay to be gay… if you’re a man.

Equality for all sexualities!
Correction: Equality for most sexualities!
Further correction: Equality for few sexualities.

The market has been expanding. Let me give you an example: dating apps commonly bought from iTunes include those such as Plenty Of Fish and Match.com’s mobile dating apps. These apps are largely use by heterosexual individuals but, correct me if I’m wrong (I haven’t used these sites myself), homosexual individuals can also search for matches. Apps like Tinder or the new copycat app ‘Hot or Not’ allow anonymous swiping to indicate if you like the look of someone, be they male or female. Then, of course, the famous Grindr, a gay dating app. I even recently found another one called Scruff that’s also a gay dating app. Yay for gays, we say. However, wait just a minute… these apps aren’t universal gay dating apps, no. Grindr Gay Dating AppThese are dating apps for gay men. I am yet to hear of any dating platform for gay women. Sure, some platforms don’t discriminate between gay, lesbian OR bisexual (for example, on Tinder you can choose to be matched with men, women or both). I am yet to see, in this day and age, the opportunity that is available to gay men, open and accessible for gay women. Pretty much all of us have a male gay friend, we even say male gay couples around, nothing special there… but how many female gay friends do we have? How often have you seen a lesbian couple out and about their business like any other ordinary couple? I’ve seen barely a handful of lesbian couples in the past months, which is ridiculous given that there clearly are lesbian women out there.LGBT
In fact, although the concept of a lesbian is alien in our day to day life, this is nothing compared to when I heard a 16 year old boy ask “what’s bisexual?” when learning about equal rights for all. What is bisexual? “Well,” the teacher began to explain, “it’s when someone chooses to like both sexes”. WRONG. This is wrong. The key incorrect word being ‘choose’. Sexuality is not a choice, the same as race and our born sex is not a choice. Even in 2014 (be it early days of the year or not), even teenagers in our modern society don’t understand sexuality. Even in 2014, our teachers in our modern society cannot explain sexuality. True as it may be, that some people may have phases or levels of preference, many of us have heard of the term ‘bicurious’ (although, how often it ends up anything other than bisexual, I don’t know). Even in our new and accepting world, where gay marriages will begin in March this year… There is still stigma towards to gay woman, and towards the bisexual individual. Bisexuality is not greed, is not something to be made fun of, same as homosexuality is not something to be made fun of. Bisexuality is not even the loving of a personality, regardless of sex. Think of how you feel about the sex you are attracted to; their minds, their bodies… the lot. Being bisexual is the same, except for both sexes. A person who is bisexual does not fancy everyone they look at, same as a straight woman, or gay man, do not fancy each and every man they see. No. Bisexuality is feared and mocked, or even called ‘hot’. Even if a bisexual girl does excite a young man, if you don’t know her then don’t tell her that. Who are we to decide to what extent we accept members of the LGBT* community?

Sincerely,
A progressive thinker.

*LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. I haven’t addressed people who are trans as I didn’t want to overload you.