Sexism, Stop It

Regarding Weinstein and Trump’s sexual harassment of women and the huge volume of Metoo’s that have appeared, it is clear that sexual harassment (and worse) of women in particular that the problem is pervasive. I think it part of a larger attitude towards women that is reflected in things like only 17% of plays produced in the US are directed or written by a woman; that South Florida’s Carbonells for directing, new play, and overall production, are rarely awarded to women; that the vast majority of the artistic directors of Miami are men; that the romance genre of books is still considered pretty much garbage although 50% of fiction sales of romances; that Hollywood TV producers were sued in a huge class action suit for discriminating against women, and they lost the lawsuit. Surveys of reviews of plays and books by women reveal that reviews of works by women are, shall we say, less laudatory than those by men. Not only are the stories that women enjoy considered of lessor import, but the way women tell stories is often, wrongly, considered of less quality. In the music world, only when blind auditions became the norm were women musicians finally hired on an equal basis with most orchestras today have equal numbers of men and women musicians, while in composing where the gender of the musician is known, the number of women composers whose works are chosen are still in the minority.

When for the first time a competent, honest, well prepared woman ran for the US president, the news, including and especially the New York Times focused on a false attack about her using a private email account (like all her predecessors did) and like the current incumbents do, rather than reporting on her record and the issues of the day. Indeed, just her running for president sent many, women and men, into a rage. So, men, when you turn down a role in a play written by a woman thinking it doesn’t have enough “meat,” does that mean it does not have men shooting guns and screaming, or that the man’s role is supporting to the women’s roles and you think that shouldn’t be? When a man says a play about sacrifice is unimportant and who cares about that even though a major religion’s central message is the importance of sacrifice, aren’t you showing the same underlying contemptuous attitude toward women as the extremes of Trump and Weinstein are? So, women when you consistently choose to be on boards of the theaters that have men as artistic directors and go along without a boo with a theaters that have men artistic directors, men directors, and men playwrights, and roles that feature men both in numbers of roles and the importance of the roles, aren’t you also showing the same underlying contempt of women? When the majority of uneducated white women voted for Trump aren’t they showing the same underlying contempt?

As women still tend to be the primary caregivers of children, then why do so many children grow up to have these bad attitudes toward women? We all have a lot of work to do to “raise our consciousness” as we used to say. However, since men hold most positions of power, since men receive more respect for anything and everything they do, they have a greater responsibility to look at their own unconscious attitudes and correct them. Even men who love women in general, respect women in general should ask themselves if they have a habit of interrupting women, prefer creative works by men than women, feel secretly relieved they make more money than their wives or girlfriends, and if they do any one of these things, stop it. Women who routinely defer to men’s opinions, fall silent when men interrupt them, and choose men to run things when a competent, honest, and perhaps of-greater-intelligence-or-talent women is available, stop it.


About Cynthia Clay

I was judged to be a computer program on Shakespeare at the First Loebner Prize Competition of The Turing Test—a truly science fictional experience. I'm an author who likes to write sf, fantasy, updated versions of old myths.
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