As I'm reading a commentary on the Steubenville rape trial outcome, I get an email.
A Groupon for Pole-Dancing classes.
Oh, the irony.
Because those aren't marketed to dudes. Because dudes don't need to be fit or sexy to be attractive but women not only need to be fit to be considered sexy, they also need to act like sex workers.
And I'm reading actual comments about how the Steubenville rapists will have their lives ruined "worse" than the girl who was raped and it all goes hand in hand.
People think it's all harmless. Pole dancing classes and jokes about how dumb women are or how bad of drivers we are. They think it's all harmless. They think they aren't sexist. And that's probably the most harmful thing we have going in society today....the latent "harmless" sexism that no one sees. The comments that are part of the problem but no one will admit it. The people who think they are the exception to the rule and they aren't really sexist so it's ok for them to make damaging comments about women that they wouldn't normally make about men.
I don't believe there is anything harmless. In 2013 when we have a 16 year old girl going to a party and getting raped and people feeling sorry for the boys who raped her......there is no neutral ground. There is no joke about women that is ok. It all helps or hurts, but there is no middle.
I feel overwhelmed with how deeply sexist our society is and how much people deny it. Women cry "sexism!" and are dismissed. We even need dudes to validate that something is, indeed, sexist. Men don't see it and don't experience it, so we have less men to validate that it does exist. Women pander to it, mostly without knowing, and are probably the worse perpetrators of it.
I just wonder....has it gotten better....or has it just gotten more subtle, more clever. If we've figured out smarter ways to perpetuate sexism.....is it ever going to end? Will teenage girls always have to prove they aren't sluts when they get assaulted?