This post and in particular some of the comments got me going...
I found once I got into the discussion I couldn't stop and started posting such as the following in response to various comments.
Uh... we do see those jokes about men all around us. And if you are going to 'cry' about how you are inundated by the reverse then maybe you ought to accept that despite their not saying as MUCH as women do (and please keep in mind that women stayed silent about their role in the world for a very long time before the dam broke and they started to speak up and out against the injustice) they are just as harmed by such stereotyping as women are. In fact, they are under the onus of "men don't bitch, men don't cry and men don't care about feelings etc" so anything they might say or do is immediately written off as just a 'man thing'. Hmmm... just as derisive a statement as the 'little woman' in my view of the world.
There are a myriad of commercials, ad campaigns, television programs, books and radio programs where there is an all knowing woman nodding her head in silent amusement and superiority at the inability of the 'man' not being able to complete the easiest of tasks. Laugh at them when they try to change the baby and don't get the diaper on straight. Send Dr. Phil out to get the groceries and have Robin (HIS WIFE AND LIFE PARTNER) mock him for getting the apples not in a bag (as he rightly pointed out, they were in a bag, just not the nice little extra produce bag). Big Bang Theory, a (IMO) very funny sitcom has the obligatory 'superior' woman, who doesn't have the book smarts of the boys next door but certainly provides the clever 'street smart superiority' of "I am woman, hear me roar." Not to mention keeping the equality of representation issue at bay... we have a strong female role on the show, look at us... we do see? There she is right there, adding to the hyperbole of the guys being so smart they are dumb. Even Lucy at her ditziest got her way in the end and Desi was her long suffering protector but since she won was she the dumb one after all?
Power is a balance. You can't give power to someone without taking it away from someone else. Since women have (historically) been downtrodden, put upon, treated as less than chattel and seen as not even smart enough to vote; it's now okay to take that sense of empowerment and use it to do the same to men? Sorry I don't think so, at least not in my world. So when does the pendulum stop? When does the swing go back the other way and MEN take the world back, get their empowerment back? Get their self esteem and their innate abilities to be just as good as woman? Puleasse... Stop using your 'so called' superiority and 'equality' (women and men aren't equal and I for one, appreciate that fact)
I LIKE being a woman. That doesn't mean I have to be better than a man. Sometimes, in somethings, I don't even have to be even as good as a man, so long as I still like being a woman.
(taking this rant to my own blog, sorry for grabbing on it AAG but thank you for giving me a reason to actually get uptight enough to write again :)
To continue... Some of the posters pointed out that in their opinion (cause that's all we really got here, folks, is opinions after all) jokes such as this were just one more 'nail in the coffin' and every time someone laughed at one such or didn't speak out against they were giving their approval, silent or otherwise.
I think every time we overreact to something like this we put a nail in a whole other 'coffin'. I think it serves only to reinforce the stereotype. Actually, a case can be made for Paul being the butt of this whole thing much more than Heather. She got her 'dues' and if it happens to be put forth in the guise of sex as a service so freaking what? She did alright out of the whole thing, didn't she? She got the nice place to live, she got the money to spend on her personal hobby horses. If she did or didn't love him isn't really the issue, is it? So long as she was 'compensated' for her time, then all is right and well with the world. Frankly I think it was probably worth it to Paul (and no he's not my favorite beatle either but I can't say that I'd want him shot for it *eyerolls*) to pay that to rid of her from his life.
Divorce settlements are as ridiculous as every other thing done to 'result in a fair and equitable treatment of women'. You want equal babe? Try paying the settlement instead of receiving it. Try convincing a judge (predisposed to being a 'fair and reasonable person seen to represent the public opinion at hand and uphold the current laws of the land') that you did your level best to support your partner in what has now become a failed marriage. That while you may have brought home the larger share of the finances due to an agreement between yourself and your partner that now that the marriage CONTRACT is over, you shouldn't have to continue doing so, most likely at the expense of having a reasonable ability to live your own self. Try that on for size. Try paying to see your kids (been there done that and still pissed at it, since the ex did his very best to alienate me and present me as a 'bad mom' and had his whole act bought by a female judge...yay Sisterhood, way to stick it to your own), try having every time you fight against the 'pay for this or else I'll take you to court' be a losing battle. Then you can suck it up and claim equality.
Getting divorced isn't about sticking it to the other person, but what do women do? They cry, they ply their feminine wiles and claim weakness and inability to support themselves. Shouldn't they want to stand on their own feet? Not accept a free ride till they get married again and start living off someone else's labours? (before you get all twisted, OBVIOUSLY I'm taking about divorces such as Paul and Heather and not one where the woman is left raising x kids on her own with any source of income whatsoever, that's different and if you don't know it, you ought to)
Every time WE as women, demand our fair treatment, our fair share, our DUE we set ourselves back. Being equal means accepting the ups with the downs, not getting the downs smoothed over because we are women and history has treated us badly. So what? suck it up. Get a grip. Stop wanting it both ways. Stop being like Oprah who when told by an audience member that he didn't see a black woman before him but a successful business person whose opinion he respected, remarked to the effect of but you have to see that I'm black and a woman or else you aren't acknowledging me. It doesn't work that way... not if you want fair and equal treatment for all. Making an employer accept a female employee because 'it's fair' doesn't make it fair. Not unless she was the only applicant for the job that met all the criteria to the highest level of requirement. THEN it's fair and only then. Taking our shot along with everyone else, and with no regard what so ever given to our gender (or for that matter race or any other 'special' aspect of ourselves we go around demanding be acknowledged) and having the person best suited to the position chosen. That will be fair. That will also, the way the world is going, likely be a very long cold day in hell; but I hope I'm wrong and people will stop asking for special treatment as their fair treatment and get on with things.