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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 at 2:02PM :

In Reply to: yes, I see what you say... posted by Sadie from ? ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 at 12:17PM :

: I completely agree with you that social programs & education are the most important things on the agendas of women these days - we need more programs that lift women out of prostitution or welfare & teach women to think about themselves OUTSIDE of their vaginas & breasts or how they look (because that is what a LOT of young women are taught to focus on).

xxx & to continue where I was forced to stop: yes, men ought to be made more aware of their attitudes regarding women, in general, & at the workplace, specifically. That is something that can be forced, but how does one force it? Which way is most effective?

xxx However, what I see now-a-days is that women are STILL being subtley manipulated into thinking that "femininity" means ONLY certain things, in the most superficial ways, & women then get sooooo caught up in that. Who trained women to dress like they do in the first place? What's the difference between a hijab & any other ridiculous costume women specifically wear because they've been conditioned into it by a male-dominated society (the garb of a prostitute, the garb of a "respectable mother & wife," the garb of a nun)?

xxx Ultimately, there is a slew of problems that women still have to face - some of these problems arise from outside of themselves (e.g. in the form of harrassment), & others of these problems arise from within (because certain notions are still being planted there quite subtley by society). For my female friends, I encourage them to realize what has been planted in their brains, as well as what is being imposed on them from the outside in a more direct & obvious manner. BOTH sides have to be addressed. We can force men to realize all sorts of things through lawsuits, which is good, BUT how much are we REALLY accomplishing for ourselves by perpetuating social constructs & notions of ourselves that were imposed on women for countless ages? There needs to be education of both men & women in order to realize equality.

xxx On another note: my friend was not harassed because of what she wore. It was because she was too sympathetic toward the man - he manipulated her "feminine" character, & he eventually touched her inappropriately. Apparently, the guy's done this to other women, too. Anyway, Fred's assumption that the harassment was due to the clothing she wore was completely off. My comments were more about actions, initially. What my friend should have done is been more of a "hard-ass" & avoided his seductive whinings in the first place (like another woman who works with my friend has succeeded in doing). Yes, it's HIS fault, but now my friend is going to go through with a lawsuit & forsake getting the degree she was working on just so she can get a message through to him. Who's losing out in the end? He may lose his career (which he ought to lose), BUT she's ALSO losing out now.... & it's the fault of a very Baptist "Christian" upbringing that taught her that she, as a woman, needs to express certain "female" traits toward others - nurturing & supportive, EVEN at the expense of her own livelihood. Are men taught to act like that toward EVERYONE? No. So why should a woman act like that toward a man who only thinks about his needs? So, what I'm driving at is the LACK of reasoning skills & goal-oriented thinking my friend was brought up with.

-- Sadie
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