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How’s your husband’s disposition?

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Hear that? It’s all your fault!

via Jezebel


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AIDS and Gender

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

With the recent finding that HIV/AIDS is the biggest killer among women in their reproductive age, we know that there are some serious issues that need to be looked at in terms of this disease and gender.

We know that for most women (an estimated 98% of all women affected by HIV/AIDS live in developing countries), treatment, prevention and ultimately, equality, are things that they do not have access too. Let’s talk about gender inequality for a moment, shall we? Gender norms are a part of this inequality and accounts for much of the spreading of this disease. UNAIDS states,

Gender norms, for example, often dictate that women and girls should be ignorant and passive about sex, leaving them unable to negotiate safer sex or access appropriate services. Gender norms in many societies also reinforce a belief that men should seek multiple sexual partners, take risks and be self-reliant.

And let’s not forget, they also mention how in in many cultures, violence against women is condoned. So looking at the gender norms of men, it’s apparent that women automatically become more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. These uber masculine gender norms continue to hurt women in many ways, but especially in this area. And of course, when women and girls are supposed to be “passive” towards men about sex, it doesn’t prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS. A way to hurdle this is to of course promote gender equality, empower women to know more about their bodies and sex, and teach men that these norms aren’t good for women, or themselves. And of course we can’t forget, if there is going to be consensual sex, use a condom!

The WHO talks about another issue that comes up with gender norms. They call it “gender-related barriers” for services, or treatment.

Women may face barriers due to their lack of access to and control over resources, child-care responsibilities, restricted mobility and limited decision-making power.

Socialization of men may mean that they will not seek HIV services due to a fear of stigma and discrimination, losing their jobs and of being perceived as “weak” or “unmanly”.

How true. For women of course, it appears that they are not in control of the decision to go seek out services or treatments. How horrible, but true. Women once against face the brunt of this disease, because of their lack of options. Men on the other hand probably do have much more access to services or treatment, but because of their societal gender norms, they refuse to get treatment. This hurts men. This hurts men a lot. Any cultural idea of what hegemonic masculinity should look like, usually hurts men and it can be seen here that men also pay the price.

I’m not going to sit back here and think I know the solution to all of this. I don’t think anyone actually does; and even if they do, solutions are a very hard thing to put in place and people will still continue to live with HIV/AIDS and die from it. However, I do say that promoting gender equality is a must (it’s a must anyway, but I digress). Through promoting gender equality, women and girls will have more rights, as well as have an understanding about their bodies and understand that consensual sex is where it’s at. Now, I’m not saying that women and girls always have the choice of consensual sex. A lot of times they don’t. But for them to know that that is what kind of sex should be happening, is a must.

Women and girls do unfortunately bare the greater responsibility and consequences of sex many, many times. After all, we are the ones that get pregnant and we are the ones that are more vulnerable to STIs. It shouldn’t be our complete responsibility, however, it sometimes ends up like that. Women and girls must be educated about safe sex and the possibility of HIV/AIDS. Many women and girls are in the dark about this because they have not had access to this kind of education. Of course, this still will not prevent HIV/AIDS, because some men will insist that no condom be used.

And this brings me right back around to promoting gender equality. When women are able to make decisions and choices about their bodies and sex, we will see a decrease in HIV/AIDS, in both women and men.

If you want to read more about AIDS and gender, visit AVERT.

#ARealWife? Really?

November 13, 2009 3 comments

As I do my daily Twitter visit, I look at the trending topics to see what’s what. Well, one thing caught my eye, which was #ARealWife. I just knew this was going to be golden (insert sarcasm here) and disgustingly sexist, so I clicked on it to see some of the responses. Try to disregard the horrible spelling and grammar. Here we go:

#ARealWife Has a sore jaw after 5 days on her period…. LMAO + WORD

#arealwife will hide dope in her purse for u and prostitute to keep the cable on an food on the table

#ARealWife gives her husband head. Come on!Its 2009. If u not then some other hoe is so u might as well be yo husband slut. LOL

#ARealWife keeps it tight, keeps her figure right, keep her hair fixed, rocks the hottest outfits…

#arealwife is submissive to her husband.

#ARealWife should have dinner ready when #ARealHusband comes home from a long day at work

These are just some of the beauts I saw, but there are several hundred, possibly thousands more. So, let’s do a rundown. To be a real wife, you have to constantly give your husband head while you’re on your period, because you know he needs constant sexual satisfaction. And hey, if you’re not making ends meet, you better get out on the street and become a prostitute, but it might only be helping your husbands drug problem. Also, you need to look perfect. ALL THE TIME. No questions asks. Oh, and you should also be a good cook and make sure that dinner is on the table when your husband comes home, even if you have your own full-time job. Hell, that doesn’t matter, you must be submissive to your husband at all times and if he wants his damn dinner on the table when he comes home from work, it better be there! And my favourite, your husband may be getting head from someone else (or, sorry, some other “hoe”), but probably thinks that you need to be giving him head, because you might as well be your husband’s “slut”.

So, it pretty much addresses many stereotypes about women and how wives should be. Ridiculous. It’s stupid things like this that make this kind of dialogue so damn pervasive! Do people not see this? Even if some of them are “joking” about it, joking allows for this idea to continue getting entrenched in our minds.

Feminism and the stereotypes

November 26, 2007 3 comments

Courtney E. Martin, who speaks across country speaking about feminist issues, has written a nice little piece on the stereotypes of feminism and why there are those awful stereotypes. And she also brings up an interesting point of how everyone, no matter race, gender, age or religion, knows the “standard” stereotypes of feminists, and feminism.

I ask them “What are the stereotypes you’ve heard about feminists?” After a few timid moments, folks start shouting a flood of unsavory characteristics: ugly, bitchy, man-hating, boring, angry, bra-burning.

I believe that feminism has attracted so many unsavory stereotypes because of its profound power and potential. It has gained such a reputation, been so inaccurately demonized, because it promises to upset one of the foundations on which this world, its corporations, its families, and its religions are based—gender roles.

I think she has a really good point about the gender roles and that’s the huge reason why everyone is so afraid of feminism. They are so ingrained in our society, culture and our own minds that they can’t possibly be shaken. What people are forgetting though when they think that is that everyone is an individual. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again as an example. My mother is not the “nurturer”, stay-at-home-mom. She should actually be running the country, because she can. And personally, I like that my mother is not the “nurturer”, because we clash anyway. She’s done her thing, and my dad’s also had a career, but he is far more the “nurturer”, even though I never had any stay-at-home-parent. That was fine with me! I’m not scarred at all. Through this example, I just wanted to show that men and women are all different and it’s wrong to put them in a box because they either have a penis or vagina.

Do you all think that gender roles are breaking down a bit? Or are they still as strong as ever?