Friday, May 17, 2013

Sexism in the 21st century

Maybe I was thirteen, perhaps a year older or younger. We were on a family holiday. Mother was there but Father was at home tending the farm. Mother had rented a holiday house somewhere on the Mornington Peninsular.

He had long blond wavy hair and was gorgeous looking, the complete surfer look of the seventies. He was using a skiffle board. What is a skiffle board? I think he stood up on the board and rode small waves. I should google skiffle board, but I can't be bothered. The teenage me was just overcome with something. I was too young to feel lust, or maybe I wasn't. I so wanted him, but I had not a clue how or in what way.

Are gay male teens and straight teen girls preoccupied with dicks? I think at that age we already knew what powerful things they are. We just didn't realise that they aren't connected to the reasoning area of the male brain in any way, and only have a very rudimentary brain of their own.

That is the colour for this post, digressing, as usual.  What were those paddle board things called that we held out in front of us while we swam? Perhaps paddle boards? Got it, Jiffy Boards. Google does not seem to know what they are.

A mini kind of surfboard sits at the window of the neighbour's below and at the front of us in one of the kid's bedrooms. While I know it is in the girl's bedroom, I keep thinking of it as the boy's bedroom, because surfing is boys' thing hey. No, the surf board is in the girl's bedroom.

I am sexist.

Let me give you another example. One family on our floor have two children, a boy and girl. She is almost a sour teenage lass, he a little younger and is more bright and outgoing. At times when we step out onto the landing, we hear the tinkle of piano playing, at times scales but other times proper music, sometimes classical, sometimes popular.

In the lift, already thinking I knew that it was the girl, I asked which of you plays the piano so well? Gotta encourage the kiddies in the y'arts. You guessed it, the boy. She plays a little, but he is the pianist.

Enough sexism? One more, but not really. In the phone shop, we dealt with a young Asian female. I so wanted a bloke to deal with who knew about phones. 

Now this is the salient point. What we actually wanted was someone with some power and ability to deal. The owner is an older Asian male and he can strike deals. His young Asian female staff don't have that power, and nor do the young Asian males in the shop for that matter. It is not always sexism at the fore.

13 comments:

  1. Dare I say that as a teenager I didn't know dick about dick? Except for that joke where the young boy says to the teen girl "No wonder you're bleeding!!!... someone's cut your dick off!"

    Enough with the crudity. You are absolutely right - sexism is about power. Many isms are about power.
    The challenges are:
    a) be aware of society's/ your own isms
    b) try to get what you want without reinforcing the inequitable distribution of power [but don't go overboard with the self-denial/ martyr thing
    c) not let people get away with dismissing a valid point [i.e. teen girl really is a hormonal horror, younger lad genuinely does have a nicer personality] by saying you are just being sexist.

    Good luck, you misogynistic sod, you.

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    1. FC, I can truly say I never imagined having menstrual humour on my blog. How wonderful.

      I have tried so hard all my life to be a martyr. R says I do it well.

      If I can soothe the world by calling the pot vermilion, then I will.

      I have come across some lovely polite and pleasant teenage girls, but she is not one of the takes after her prick of a father.

      You left grumpy out of your last sentence.

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  2. Not all straight teenage girls are/were obsessed with Dicks. Some of us were obsessed with Joes, Davids, Brians and Stevens.

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    1. No taste fore the exotic River, like a Raphael?

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    2. There were no Raphaels in Port Pirie. Not by name anyway, although there may have been some who looked angelic. I knew a Dick too, but he was...well, a real dick, thought everyone should love him just because he was gorgeous.

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  3. I've just watched news footage of a horrific truck accident on one of Melbourne's freeway bridges. The driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt and fell 25m out of the cab and the bridge was closed for hours.

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    1. River, I wonder if the photos went to overseas news services. It is the kind of thing that they might focus on. Yes, always wear a seat belt. Even truckies are invincible.

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  4. We grew up at a time, Andrew, when surfers were boys and the girls were their followers watching on from the beach. A book was written about it; 'Puberty Blues'.

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    1. I have read it Victor, a long time ago. Life was so much simpler then.

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  5. As an adolescent, I thought the idea of dongs was fairly awful. I believed that young males were smelly, vulgar, not interested in study, too physical with each other and not verbal enough.

    It was only when I was 20 that the men seemed smarter, less violent, sexier, more academic and showered regularly :)

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    1. Hels, how does that old saying go, girls and sugar and spice and something awful for boys. Funnily I took a photo of something related in the supermarket yesterday that I will eventually post. Collectively, a pack of school boys on a crowed tram can be quite odorous.

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  6. I may be a little sexist myself Andrew, men are bloody hopeless at multi tasking haha!

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    1. Grace, I am not good at multitasking but sometimes men get above the base of their lusts.

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