Religious-Wrong Women — 9 Comments

  1. oh ps. i totally agree with the stolkholm analogy – and the oppressed becoming better at oppressing than the oppressors…..its a form of denial that they are oppressed and to prove it they align and up the game…then the whole things becomes self regulated

    then there is the whole thing about some women just plain hate ….arseholes everywhere

  2. i get the alternet on subscription and read the abortion article yesterday…i live in scotland and reading how the religious right has cast their iron fist down on women and their right to choice terrifies me, and it was the first time i had heard of this tea party – i cant believe they have more or less free reign

    i read that one state demands a woman to have a scan prior to abortion and requires her to describe the fetus to the doctor and then answer a questionnaire

    what is this insanity?! and what is america doing about this?

  3. Sorry, should have been clearer, I was referring to The psychology of legitimacy, the 12th chapter part.

    Also, you are right about the manager, but even if it was a female, I still think it’s partly a defensive reaction especially due to centuries of sexism and stereotyping.

  4. I am not sure which studies you are referring to, RedKiwi, since at least one study on ambivalent sexism has been done internationally with lots of people. From the abstract:

    The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, first validated in U.S. samples, has been administered to over 15,000 men and women in 19 nations.

    Also, the hiring manager in your example could just as well be a woman as a man. Unfortunately, there is also research that shows that oppressed people support the status quo that oppresses them (some of those studies do have small samples…).

  5. It is worthwhile to mention these studies are done in the US and that the size of the research is quite small, nonetheless I’m sure the stereotypes still exist-at least in regards to women-in the manager’s mind but more so as a defensive reaction, especially if he was brought in a more patriarchal family, as most are.

  6. Thanks for your comment, RedKiwi! Let me clarify this statement given the objections you are raising.

    (1) Positive stereotypes are not “good” – they are still stereotypes. However, they are often not recognized as stereotypes. Susan T. Fiske and Peter Glick have done a lot of work on “ambivalent stereotypes,” which included stereotypes, which are (or seem to be) positive. They mention (in the 12th chapter of this book) these example: “the spirituality of blacks and Native Americans, […] the close-knit extended families of Hispanic communities, […] the success of Asians and whites in business and technology.” These are stereotypes because they claim to describe typical traits and characteristics of a group or a member of that group.

    (2) I agree that running a company is not necessarily a worthwhile endeavor, however, in standard cultural thinking, running a company requires traits other than nurturance and love. You need to be assertive – maybe even aggressive – and competition oriented (which, ironically, in itself would be a stereotype!). Now, clearly this is not the only way of running a company and it might be better to run a company with love but Western ideology does not see is that way.

    (3) Society as a whole passes that judgment. But more importantly, the judgment is passed by hiring managers or boards who perceive a man, for example, as more qualified because men are stereotyped to have the qualities required to run a company. Fiske & Glick have done quite a bit of research documenting what they call ambivalent sexism as well as benevolent sexism.

  7. I can’t agree with “There are also other ways for the system to stay in place. One of those are benevolent stereotypes, like benevolent sexism. Women are nurturant, loving, god-fearing etc. Sounds positive, right? Well, only if you don’t realize that these stereotypes then prevent us from doing things like run a company… As positive as they sound, they still are stereotypes and they just happen to be characteristics that are culturally less valued.”

    First of all, it’s stereotypes in general which are bad, no matter what stereotypes they are and it should be that people understand they are worthless when assessing someone. Secondly, you need to explain WHY such traits would impair you from running a company and why running a company is worthwhile in the first place. Thirdly, why would they be culturally less valued? Who passes this judgment?

    And yeah, it’s funny how psychology works, even when we’re talking about abuse it’s often that the victim will try to identify with the aggressor and it’s why even when someone is beating his spouse, she still remains with him, in a majority of the cases.

  8. Granted, it’s not masses but it’s a fairly high number of women who are Tea Partiers, according to the AlterNet article:

    Women also play a decisive role in the Tea Party and now make up fifty-five percent of its supporters, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. Hanna Rosin reports in Slate magazine that “of the eight board members of the Tea Party Patriots who serve as national coordinators for the movement, six are women. Fifteen of the 25 state coordinators are women.”

    Thanks for sharing your experience at forum for single! The sad thing (to me at least) is that these opinions filter into the rest of society and influence all of our thinking. The second chapter in this book summarizes findings on the protestant work ethic. You don’t have to be protestant to believe that hard work will make you rich! I suspect there are matrimanical ideas that have similarly spread beyond the evangelical circles…

  9. I saw a poll recently…looks like the Tea Party is majority male and predominantly white, Republican, and conservative. So hopefully those masses of women are an outlier.

    People who are religious conservatives do think differently. I went to an evangelical forum for singles I sometimes visit, and posted a question about how marrieds and singles could be considered equal (as had been concluded in a previous thread) if only marrieds were allowed to have sex. Some people commented that there was nothing to argue about, that it was God’s law. Others talked about how everyone sins, or quibbled with my definition of “equal”. I don’t recall anyone mentioning how society in collusion with the church works to make sex legitimate only for marrieds.

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