Friday, January 15, 2010

Feminism Triumphs Fun....Sometimes

Even though I considered myself to be a feminist before I began working at the WRC, during my time here I have become even more aware of the gender stereotypes that are thrown at society from every possible direction. As a result, I find myself pointing out these instances to those around me and occasionally, I end up ruining everyone’s fun.

For instance I was watching TV with a friend of mine and a commercial for the show Burn Notice came on. As my friend and I watched I said “this drives me crazy…look…there’s the hot speeding sports car, the sexy skinny woman in a skimpy dress holding a big gun that of course she has complete command of, and the macho guy in sunglasses saying ‘looks like murder is in fashion this season’ (or something to that effect)...I mean come on, it’s like the writers said what do men like…hmm…spies in cool cars, explosions, guns and hot chicks…let’s throw all that together.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend, unlike me who has never seen the show, likes and watches Burn Notice. From then on every time the commercial came on she made a comment like “oh no…there it is again” or “I know, I know, you’re right.” I know it seems like a small thing, but I don’t want her to feel bad for liking the show.

So last night when I was playing soccer (me, another woman, and about 25 men), the other woman scored a goal and I hear from the guys standing next to me say something like, “you just got scored on by a girl..!” I wanted to ask why it was so surprising that a girl scored, did they not think she was capable because she was a girl, were they trying to make the other team feel humiliated because a girl scored? But I didn’t say anything. I knew that I would probably be perceived as the lecturer-feminist who couldn’t just laugh along with everyone else. So…when it was my turn to play…I scored a goal…and while similar comments may still have been made on the sidelines…I concluded that this was probably a more effective way to get the message across.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to see something annoying, watch the old "A Team" epidoes. Here is the scene:

    The three guys are setting up some hard-core bombs and explosives to take out this ultra religious freak and his compound.

    Woman on the team said so sheepishly and weak it made me laugh, "I'm scared."
    Three guys step in to assure her it will be okay. She is later seen (While they make the big guns, etc..)sewing with another woman to make some sort of net.

    Other woman (made to look like a sex-symbol and "play thing" for the guy called "face.": "Do you think this will really work?"
    A-Team lady: "Well ____ (Lead, older man with cigar, can't remember his name) says it will."
    They both go on sewing.

    Grrr this annoyed me so much. When I think we have a long way to go, I can watch an episode like this and think- we have at least moved ahead a bit.