討論逐字稿: A Terrible Bargain

We discussed Melissa McEwan's article, "A Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck"

Feminists have a reputation of being man-haters.
Is this true, in your opinion?
Why do you suppose people say this of feminists?

Because feminists are females that stand up for females, so I think it easily will form a sort of strong feeling towards men.
Yeah, because feminists are always saying things like, 'fucking men'!
Most people, when they talk about feminism, they think feminists are women who hate men, who hate marriage, who hate traditional society.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Yes, and no, I don't know. I kind of dislike men.
All men?
Almost.
Wow. An authentic man hater here!
Just because I dislike them doesn't mean i hate them.
Yeah, dislike is different than hate.
Well, what don't you like about men?
They already have a stereotype about women, what they want from women is just like, a servant to serve them.
To support them!
Not really support them. Serve them! Do the laundry, cook for them, take care of their kids, take care of their parents. They don't care much about their spouse's intellectual ability. They are afraid of their spouse if their spouse is smarter than they are.
I think it's because now the world is man-based. So that's why there is something called feminism. But is there masculism?
Yes, it's called everyday culture. Or Patriarchy. Or Machismo. Or, basically everyday life. When is the culture about men? All the time, our culture is all about, for men. It's all men, all the time!

But there still exists female societies that females are in charge of.
Like what?
Some tribes in China
Okay, but nobody who has any power, or major cultural influence on the world.

Why do you suppose people say this of feminists?
Because what they say is extreme, you know based on social standards.
It's extremely different than the basic social message.
But why would that make people say they were man-haters?
From media or...
It just occured to me. Most of the culture is about loving men, so if you're against this culture, then you're against loving men so that must mean you hate men. Because western culture is all about dialectics. If you're not white you're black, there's no grey. If you don't love somehting, you hate it. There's no room for saying something different.
So what is the history of the men's society?
You learned it in shcool.
I mean, why is the world dominated by men?
I wish I knew. I have my theories, that when people were hunter gatherers it was a fairly egalitarian society, and then when people started having houses the women were the house-owners, and the men didn't like the women having all the social power, they wanted to control women's fertility so they were sure of their heirs, so they built civil society, and the locus of power shifted from the home to the civic square, and effectively disenfranchised women of social power. Wow, that's like a really condensed way to express something that might have happened over, say 5000 years, ha.
So maybe they want to control who their children are, so men make women feel that men are superior to women, then men can control, men can dominate the situation.
What's egalitarian, what's hierarchy?
Egalitarian means that everybody in the group are socially equivalent, they have the same priveleges and respect as every other person in the group. Some people may work harder than others, but this is not a function of rank or class. The fruits of society are more or less equally distributed. Hierarchy means that people are ranked in classes, some classes get more priveleges and respect than others, some classes work harder than others, people receive the fruits of society in disproportion. Our current world is hierarchical. I don't know if any egalitarian social structures exist anywhere, because at the very basic level, you have the class of men, who are the default human, first class people, and the class of women, who are the second class people.
I think that a hierarchy developed in world culture and men took control of it, and women let them do it, for whatever reason, because honestly you can't get control over someone unless they give it to you.
So we let men control us.
But, the truth is, the price that you're made to pay by being an uncontrollable women is super high, so very few women like to do it, so it's not really like we're lettting them out of some free choice.
Domestic violence. Women dressing like men and men dressing like men, is totally physically punished.
Yeah, the categorization of 'male' and female' has to be clear. You can't have blurred categories, people freak out.
but I don't see why poeple can't handle blurred categories, I don't know why.
Well, but listen, what's the first question people ask about babies?
Is it a boy or a girl!
Right, you know that couple in Northern Europe who are hiding the sex of their baby, won't tell anyone? People are so freaked out about this!
Okay, so, the older generation, gender means a lot to them, but the new generation, no?
No!! In our generation, in each class at school, boys are alwyas more than girls. Even in this year, in this dragon year. The number of baby boys are more than baby girls.
But in taiwan it's illegal to select for gender.
You can still go to a clinic to find out
But it's illegal!
It's illegal to steal, lots of people steal!
You know, I don't know how to express my feeling. This teacher at school, he had a baby girl, but now he wants to have a baby boy! When I hear this, I feel so angry.
Why, he has a girl, now he wants a boy.
I think each life is valuable, no matter what gender he or she is. You're so eager to have a boy, what if it's a girl? Are you going to kill it? I'll fel so sorry for his daughter, if it turns out to be a she. And he's younger, he's 10 years younger than i am. The situation has not changed at all! Even in this era.
But in the traditional opinion, if the family has a boy and a girl, that will be a 好, a good thing.
No, but according to what my sister said: If your first kid is a girl, then the second kid is a boy, you have a 100 percent. A grade. But if the order is opposite, you have only 80 percent grade.
I thought it's because the oldest child has to stay home to take care of the parents.
Because the sister can take care of her brother, and the parents.
That's such bullshit!
So my mother should get 200%, because she has two girls, me and my sister, and then my brother. Because there are two sister that can take care of...
Wow.
...but people always say the boy has the resopnsiblity to take care of the familyl
Stacy clearly doesn't agree, ha.
So they don't take responsibility to make money now? Okay.
It's weird, nowadays, boys don't need to take responsibiltiy for making money, but they still have privelege in our society. It's unfair.
Yes.
But it's the reality.
But if I got the, just like the relationship between me and my parents. When I was on my own, I can control my own finances, then I can make my own decision, and I can control my life. I think if, so if more and more women can earn money by themselves, I think I would do a very good job.
But women still don't dominate our society.
More and more women are...
Actually, our company, I think the female is more than male.
But the important postition is still men.
Yeah, that's true.
You know, I have to share an example, of how men police women to stay in their place, even if the woman is quite powerful. I went on a trip, and there was a Taiwan female legislator in the tour with us. In the airport for the trip home, the handle of her suitcase broke, she couldn't pull it out properly. So she was pulling it awkwardly along with the handle stuck, and this guy shouted out across the hall we were in, in front of several tours, he shouted out, "You have to pull the handle out!" and then he gestured several times. I was so shocked and angry. Who the hell doesn't know that you have to pull out the suitcase handle?!? Of course she would know that, so obviously there was a problem. But he chose to beleive that she was that dumb, and he chose to point out her 'mistake' to the entire 200 people standing around. At the time I didn't know what to do, but now I wish I'd shouted back, "Of course she knows that, you idiot, it's broken!" I wish I'd defended her. But maybe that would have made things worse. My point is, if she was a male legislator, would that guy have shouted across the room like that? I really doubt it! I doubt he would have even concluded that she didn't know how to operate a suitcase, he would have thought there was a problem. But he decides to shout out, and in doing so undermines her dignity. His ideas as a man were more important than her as a woman regardless of her status as a legislator. It was important for him as a man to point out the woman's behaviour publicly, in order to show that he was someone who knows things, and she was someone in the wrong.
And a large part of men think that women can't drive well. They always have this idea. Oh, that must be a women driver...
Because it's a power, to be able to drive. You can be independent!
...and my sister is good at driving,but her classmates always think they have better skill than her, but actually they don't.
Because women are supposed to be staying home, and driving is the freedom to be anywhere.
And men want to keep women in the house, so they announce women is not good at driving. Like my father, actually my mom is good at driving, but after they got married, my father didn't let my mother drive.
Wow, why?
Because he doesn't trust her?
Or maybe he just want's to control everything.
But your mother didn't ask to drive.
Yeah, she asked once, but he said 'NO", and she is a traditional woman, so she never drove again.
And your dad is a traditional man
Yes, so he does the driving, but in fact he's not good at it.
Interesting!

"Most of my threatening hate mail comes from men. The most unrelentingly trouble-making trolls have always been men. I've been cat-called and cow-called from moving vehicles countless times, and subjected to other forms of street harassment, and sexually harassed at work, always by men. I have been sexually assaulted—if one includes rape, attempted rape, unsolicited touching of breasts, buttocks, and/or genitals, nonconsensual frottage on public transportation, and flashing—by dozens of people during my lifetime, some known to me, some strangers, all men.
But I don't hate men, because I play by different rules. In fact, there are men in this world whom I love quite a lot.
I don't hate men. It would, however, be fair to say that I don't easily trust them."

What do you feel about this statment?
My mom always said that men is more close to animals.
Your mom is not a fan of men.
In what situation did she tell you this?
Because, um, we were discussing this picture, on the internet, my friend updated her photo on facebook, and there's a lot of, because she is a beautiful girl, so she has a lot of friends, but some of the male fans, they will say, they always focus on her breasts. And then I discussed this with my mom. But the beautiful girl did not feel mad about this, but I started to feel mad about this, I think she should stop them, but she didn't. So I talkted about this with my mom. So she said, that men are like animals and like more sexy girls.
So you're saying the girl likes to receive this comment.
They like the attention
Well, as a woman you're rewarded for conforming with the patriarchal culture, and punished for deviating. You get complimented for being feminine, and laughed at or yelled at for looking unperfect.

And I think men are less trustworthy, i agree with that. I've been in my position for three years, I have to find substitute teachers for classes. I also keep records of unqualified teachers. Because there's a system, if a teacher does something wrong, their qualification is suspended, they can't be a teacher anywhere in the system, in Taiwan.
If...what?
If they did something wrong.
So every now and then I'll get a notice, that so and so is disqualified. So I keep records. From my first year up till now, i have 40 something MALE teachers who are charged with sexual harassment of students.
Oh shit, that means there's a lot more, because you know, reporting. Only a tiny amount of this kind of thing gets reported, because it's hard.
For elementary school?
For elementary school to high school.
Because they might apply for being a substitute teacher, you don't need a teacher liscence for that. So if someone comes with a resume.
How many women?
Only one.
What?
Yes, she's schizophrenic.
It means their personality changes suddenly with out any warning or control, and sometimes they can be dangerous to others.
So when I find these notes on my desk, I tell my boss, I say, our girl students are threatened. And he agrees with me, he has three daughters.


When you as a women have pointed out a problem, have you ever been accused of:
a. not really understanding the situation
b. sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong
c. hysterically overreacting, being too sensitive

You nodded your head, do you have a story?
Yeah, sometimes in the group discussion, maybe we will work with, since we are a medical team, we will discuss different thoughts or opinions with the salepeople. In my last company. The men always show that they know everything, and they can control the whole situation. So if you raise some question, they will think, oh, that's a stupid question, and not take it very seiriously. But if another man jumps in the discussion and agrees with my opinion, then the other men will be more receptive to this kind of discussion. But I think it's kind of a way to show control
Yeah.
You can control the situation.
Does the man who jumps in the discussion in a key position?
Not really. I think the men want to listen to other men, but don't want to accept women's opinions.
Even if the women's position is superior to the man?
If you have a higher position, that might be another situation. It's about showing who's more powerful and has more control, and control the resource, who can speak.
Yeah, because sepaking is a resource.
I still think that it's very strange that men will back up other men,
But men don't back up women
But women don't back up women
And men will form their own groups even in highshool
And they form their own company when growing up.
But they're not so close to each other.
I think they have their own communication way, like smoking together, and drinking alcohol together.
They have their system to communicate with each other.
In girls group, it's very hard to welcome in newcomer, but in male group, I think they are not so obviously that 'we are in a group but you are not' but in the girls group it's very obvious.
I know what you are saying. Men are more competitve with other men, but for women, maybe they can think, oh you are more weak, you won't be so competitive with me,
So I will go together with--
They don't show, in my experience, they will show competitive with men, but they will be more gentle to women, becuas they think, oh, you're not a threat to me, so I can be nice to you.
Say:
From what I've seen
According to what I've seen/observed/experienced
In my experience (NOT 'in my obeservation')


Have you ever had your personal experience dismissed because it does not fit someone's concept of how things should be? e.g. "It can't have been that bad" "You're being oversensitive" "I'm sure they didn't mean it that way"
I have this personal experience, but it's always from my sister.
So your sister always says that
That i'm being oversensitive! Definitely! "I'm sure they didn't mean it that way".
She is trying to take care of you.
She's trying to make you feel better.
Younger or older?
Younger

Concluding Statements
I think that males, they always have more power than females, no matter if it's traditional or modern society, but I think women, they're seeking their own ways to have their personal life, and some advantage, i think in modern soceity. I think we have more chance than traditional, than women 40 years ago, so I think i'm optomistic for the future of women.

I think in our society, I thought it's impossible to be fair between women and men, basically because I think that men as an animal, they have more powerful muscle, they can do a lot of heavy job...
Are you saying they are horses?
They are horses and cows!
Okay, your words, not mine!
...I think women are lazy, we rely on men to do these heavy things, we leave the control to the men, so the situation now is the men is the more powerful party, and they control the war and the society. But now, I think I'm getting more and more aware of this situation, because, in maybe the past one or two years, I'm not so aware of the stiuation, in many cases, I don't recognise this situation as discrmination. I think, okay maybe it's that I'm too young or don't have enough experience. But now I'm more aware so the next time I face the stiuation I'll try to fight.

Okay, um, I really thankful for the feminists in the past, that made the laws, made the world right now better than before, and women have rights, but I think women will never be equal to men, because only women can bear children, and having children...
Puts you at a disadvantage?
...yes,l take time off work, and I don't know.
There's just the breastfeeding for one.
I think the world has to change structure for child-rearing to not be a disadvanatage.
Although there are laws protecting women, giving them time to take care of the child, and can come back to work, but still it's not the same that the men can have the child and still have the work at the same time.

You know, you should look at this piece by Gloria Steinem, it's hilarious.... http://www.mum.org/ifmencou.htm
You know, menstruation is so important in terms of breast cancer, you know, so the longer your menstruation you have the greater threat of cancer. It's related to hormones.
So If I don't have a kid, I have a greater risk of getting cancer?
Seriously, though, if you don't have a kid, you have a small chance of getting cancer. But, if you get pregnant, you have a 100 percent chance of getting a kid!

Um, I think women are stronger than men, I always have thought so. Geneticlaly men are weaker than feemals. It's very obvious at school. If you go to the special education department, all the kids with problems, like autism, ADHD, or attention disorder kids, the boys always outnumer girls. And I think, if our socity was controlled by women, our socity would be much better. I was thinking since our society was already controlled by men for too long, well, you can see the result of it. I think it's for women to control this world it's not far away, I think we can see it quite soon.

Well, I'm so surprised that even nowadays most people think baby boys are better than baby girls, and for some women around me, they still has a traditional opintion that wife should support thier husband, wife should do all the housework, and women should have babies, and women should rely on men. I think if women cannot become independent by ourselves, it's impossible to see a better future for women.
Or for everyone!

Yeah, so I agree that we should rely more on ourselves, and give more education or more discussion with our female friends about this kind of topic. For instance today we are talking with my male superior officer. He said that he washes his own clothes, and irons his own clothes. That's good, right? But my female colleague said, oh, your wife is so lucky, why doesn't she do this for you, she should do this. I was so disappointed.
A female said that?
Yeah, my female colleague said that.
Time will change things.
But that female colleague is in our generation
She is a woman from 40 years ago.
She's trapped in time warp.

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