Sexual Exploitation Couched in Gender Roles…

Sexual Exploitation Couched in Gender Roles…

As a society, we must move beyond the crippling practice of raising girls differently from the way we raise boys. We must stop telling our boys that “Boys will be boys” and allowing them to walk away from chores and other responsibilities, because, as some parents proclaim, “They simply will not do what they don’t want to do. So I do it for them.” Or worse yet, some mothers placate their sons by doing everything but eating for them, and either doing the same for the husband or nothing at all for him, only for her son. This practice sends an absolutely unacceptable message to boys. Then there are parents who assign their daughters to their sons as something akin to handmaidens. They clean up after the boys, prepare their meals, and wash their clothes. Why? It’s good practice for a girl learning how to “take care of her husband” later. Now, this isn’t the situation in all American households, of course, but it is probably true in far more homes than not.

When boys are given curfews and girls are required to be in before dark, the message sent is boys will be on the prowl and girls are the prey, so they should come in before the shadows fall. If girls are caught outside, some risk strict punishment or, many times, a foul reputation from the neighborhood and larger society. The underlying notion is Girls should be at home, learning how to be acceptable in society and in school. A girl’s reputation, after all, is ever at stake. If girls are head strong, opinionated, free thinkers, and independent, they chance being dubbed one of a string of tasteless names: hoe, fast, wild girl, wild child, whore, floozy, Jezebel, heifer, skank, skeezer, and bitch. If I gave myself more time, I’m certain I could brainstorm more.

When we, as a society, assign hard-and-fast gender roles to boys and girls, socializing boys to think that they are superior to girls, that they are privileged and girls need to accept this belief as fact, and that boys deserve more of anything material, pay and otherwise, because boys become men who will be the breadwinners for their families, we continue to safeguard sexual exploitation and violence against girls and women.

And we must not tolerate religious leaders and others in the public spotlight who tell us that a woman needs a man to control her or else she will go astray. Leaders who propose rigid rules for females and fail to uphold any rules for males propagate the crippling message: Inherently, women require men to guide them and help conduct their lives.

Gender roles and misogynistic socialization send the message that if girls and women fail to behave as Society dictates then it is admissible to wield the strong arm of masculine superiority. After all, girls and women shouldn’t dress suggestively or else they deserve rape. If they aren’t in the company of men, they’re more likely to be targets for assault. If they smile flirtatiously, they were begging for whatever happened. An opinionated wife warrants a husband’s bad behavior. Like children, they refused to do as they were told. Bodacious female behavior constitutes grounds for punishment. So Society, having already socialized boys in the way it does, sets the stage for boys and men to justify doing what they must to demand girls and women “walk a chalk line.”

I’m on a RANT! We’ve got to do better, worldwide!

Today, I was walking down a major street, passing a gas station, and a car pulled up near me. Like a fist, a voice
smashed the serenity of the bird songs and the hum of traffic and articulated: “GET YO’ FINE AZZ OUT OF THE WAY!”

Thank the Divine it wasn’t a blow. Thank the Divine it wasn’t dusk. Thank the Divine I wasn’t hit or forced into the vehicle. Blessings abound in every moment.

Ours is a “Culture of Rape.” To many men, girls and women are here to sexually satisfy, to brutalize, to
support them financially, and to be ride-or-die bitches. To these abusive men, a girl or a woman doesn’t have to dress in any particular way to warrant abuse.

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This is how I was dressed today as I walked. So no, what stimulates abuse is an abusive mind, a violent intent.

Some might say there are women who might have found the comment today’s “sexy” street talk. If so, those women need to rethink self respect. I found the hurled comment disrespectful, verbally violent, in poor taste, rude, nasty, and ugly. As I continued to walk, my eyes remained straight ahead, although I was keenly aware of the voice and the car’s proximity to me. I didn’t give the man the satisfaction of a gaze, and he eventually pulled the car out of the gas station’s entrance and into thin traffic.

We must stop seeing this behavior as attractive. It isn’t. This is not the kind of man a self-respecting woman should want to come for her. If she should come across one like this, KIP. Keep it popping. He will be the bane of her existence, if she bows to this sledgehammer lunacy. A lesbian, I wouldn’t want a woman who behaved like this man.

All I can do is put my finger to my chin and ponder, when will Society begin taking responsibility for its gender woes?

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Love & Light

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5 thoughts on “Sexual Exploitation Couched in Gender Roles…

  1. This is a great post and it needs a lot more attention. I think that the biggest threat to the black community is poor parenting, and this is biggest reason why blacks, who comprise of some 17% of the American population, represent some 2/3 of the American prison population.

    I think that gender roles are still appropriate in society. Boys should be raised differently than girls, but for different issues than what you discussed here.

    To be clear, women are not property and men should not be controlling their spouses. Women deserve to have the same educational, social and employment opportunities as men. At the same time, I firmly believe that men SHOULD be raised to be the breadwinner of the family, but not at the expense of preventing their spouse from doing the same if she’s capable.

    My wife and I are a perfect example. She has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree, but I’m still the breadwinner of the family. When she gets to the point that she’s ready to get a new job commensurate with her education, I would fully support that, as I always have (I’m paying over $500/month for her student loans that she took before we met for her bachelor’s, and we split my education benefits for both of us to get a master’s degree.) If she were to make more money than me than me and become the official “breadwinner”, then that would be tremendous for our family since it would more than double our household income. I hope that happens one day.

    In the meantime, I will continue to provide the financial stability we need, until the time is right. If a woman has the ability to be in a position to be the breadwinner, I say more power to her, but if a man CANNOT be, because he didn’t get his education or simply made bad choices in life, then that guy is a loser. Period. I think that it’s also Biblically written that a man is supposed to provide for their family.

    Also, men really do need to be raised to provide safety for their family. There are women that can do this (just like my mom, who actually KILLED a man as a cop), but the majority of women simply can’t fight off a male criminal as well as a male will be able to. Women are generally less aggressive and aren’t as physically strong as men. If a burglar enters our home in the middle of the night, I don’t want my wife doing anything else but hiding and dialing 911 while I go searching to confront the burglar in the middle of the night. If we meet an armed robber on the street, it’s my responsibility to protect us and her’s to seek safety. A man should ALWAYS bear the primary responsibility for protecting his family. If his wife can back him up with that (mine wouldn’t), then that’s just plain awesome, but the ultimate responsibility of security should always fall to the man.

    A man that wouldn’t give his life for his family or won’t protect his family shouldn’t have one, and boys do need to be raised to know that. That by no means says that men are “superior”, but it recognizes clear, natural and unavoidable differences in genders.

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    1. Good morning, IceBreaker!

      Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a wonderfully crafted response to my post! You raise valid points that I definitely appreciate! And I agree. The subject warrants more consideration among our parents and those in the larger society, well basically, all parents. I can even see conferences with presenters and panel discussions.

      Have a dynamic week! Peace and blessings to you and your family…

      Liked by 1 person

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