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Thread: Emancipation of.. men?

  1. #1 Emancipation of.. men? 
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Here's a spin-off from a post in the trashcan, hopefully we'll get some more insightful discussion here.

    The word emancipation is strongly associated with the advancement of women, but shouldn't we pay attention to the gender roles of men too?

    Two practical examples:

    If you look beyond the jokes and prejudices there does seem to be an issue of gender inequality at the expense of men. I've just read a study about the labour market in the Netherlands that concluded that women work a lot less than men, even if there's no reason for it. Sure pregnant women don't have to work, sure there's a point in working less when you have young kids. But even women who never had kids yet work less in the Netherlands on average, and that's probably true for a lot of other countries as well. Why can't a 20something woman without kids have a fulltime job and work just as hard as most men do? And why stay off the labour market even when the kids have grown up? Ofcourse this doesn't apply to all women, but it does apply to very great numbers of them.
    My tentative answer: because women can get away with it. A 20something woman (no kids) who reduces her workload to 2 days per week the moment she gets a fulltime working boyfriend/husband wont suffer much consequences from it. I've never heard about a woman being dumped because she wasnt willing to contribute an equal share to the household budget while she was able to do so. What if the man would try that? I think it wouldn't be socially acceptable, he'd be seen as a 'pussy' for not being willing to work fulltime without any reason. So again a lot of women work fulltime and make a great contribution to the economy, but those who don't (without any reason) use their power to force men into an unequal position.

    Another recent study shows that at least in the Netherlands boys structurally perform less well than girls, and that it may be explained by the way most education systems are set up nowadays. Kids are supposed to discuss with eachother, to work without guidence of teachers, to get a broad understanding of society rather than learn some concrete facts. Much of these reforms are for the good, but research shows that it doesn't fit with the learning styles of most boys. Most boys want an expert teacher to give them clear information before trying to figure out things by themselves, not just discuss things with other kids who don't know a thing about it. Beside that most primary schools are now dominated by women, who simply don't always understand how a (young) male mind works. This puts men at a disadvantage very early in life.


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    Throughout history of time, men and women had different 'jobs' society. The men would work and the women would stay home cleaning, making dinner, etc. Even in prehistory the men would hunt and the women would gather. Women and men have different genetics, and therefore have different roles in society.

    Now, on to the educational part, there defiently seems to be a bias towards females. Females at the high school level seem to do better at school and are more likely to be in the top of the class then men. However, in the SATs, men do substantly higher in the math section and slightly higher in verbal then females. This does not make a lot of sense? Also, despite women outperforming men in primary education, men seem to thrive better in the workplace. Again, this doesn't seem to make sense. I go to an American school, and I find that often times that there are very intelligent males, yet seem to do poorly in school, probably due to the bias.


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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    I can't say that your Netherlands situation is reflected here in the US., but then I don't have a survey to go on, just the evidence of what I see. The engineering office I work in has a great many women engineers, from their twenties up through all age ranges, and in all relationship situations, married, single, cohabiting with boyfriend, whatever. In the chemical engineering discipline the women to men ratio is roughly 50/50, and among the new hires women are a slight majority. Some leave to have babies then come back. The common thread is they are smart, want to work, are motivated to work, and the last thing they want to do is sit at home every day.

    My anecdotal evidence suggests the attitude you describe is nonexistent at least among professional women in the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I can't say that your Netherlands situation is reflected here in the US., but then I don't have a survey to go on, just the evidence of what I see. The engineering office I work in has a great many women engineers, from their twenties up through all age ranges, and in all relationship situations, married, single, cohabiting with boyfriend, whatever. In the chemical engineering discipline the women to men ratio is roughly 50/50, and among the new hires women are a slight majority. Some leave to have babies then come back. The common thread is they are smart, want to work, are motivated to work, and the last thing they want to do is sit at home every day.

    My anecdotal evidence suggests the attitude you describe is nonexistent at least among professional women in the US.
    The women to men ratio may be equal in chemical engineering, but definitely not the Engineering profession as a whole, and I do see what Pendragon is saying as applicable to the US.

    I think the divorce laws in the US are hideously unfair. Fortunately, I haven't gone through that personally. A divorced woman almost automatically gets custody of the kids, and can haul them off anywhere she wants without consideration of the father. Yet, Dad has to foot the bills without any say in the lives of the kids. If he doesn't he's a "deadbead dad."

    A woman can marry a man, quit her job, go on shopping sprees, and spend the guy just about into poverty. Then she files for divorce and ends up getting a goodly portion of what he owns, or ever will earn. I've seen this happen.
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    In the chemical engineering discipline the women to men ratio is roughly 50/50
    Would you say that this has something to do with public relations or image in any way? I just can't imagine that the proportion of male to female Chemical engineers (or most other occupations for that matter) is roughly equal. By this I am not saying that men are necessarily better at their jobs, but that a good proportion of women still fulfill the traditional roles in society and even among those that don’t, most would naturally tend towards non-technical professions.

    As for the emancipation of men, I could not agree more. It seems that (some) woman nowadays want the best of both worlds. They want to be treated equally, but only if it does not conflict with the benefits of their traditional roles in society.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Women are beginning to dominate everything. Look at the media. The media of today is based on females, not men. The only male things you see these days, really in the media, is Top Gear.

    I mean moisterisers for men? Beauty therapy? What?

    The balance is shifiting away from equality. When I was at school, the female lecturers wanted to help female students more than the male ones, all of them. It was sort of like an instinct they had.

    That said all the female friends I have are about equality, but also don't realise that they are media puppets. I don't know why women have better equality than men these days, but should it really matter? It means that when men aren't qualified to do anything anymore we can stay at home and sit in the shed all day. Heheheheh .
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    A divorced woman almost automatically gets custody of the kids, and can haul them off anywhere she wants without consideration of the father. Yet, Dad has to foot the bills without any say in the lives of the kids. If he doesn't he's a "deadbead dad."
    Not so. In the one case I was involved with (from the sidelines), an abusive husband not only kept the kids but even managed to get the courts to specify the sorts of men the mother could go out with if she wanted to retain visiting rights and access to the kids. He had the money and the laws of the state of Misery (as I believe it's pronounced) behind him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    A divorced woman almost automatically gets custody of the kids, and can haul them off anywhere she wants without consideration of the father. Yet, Dad has to foot the bills without any say in the lives of the kids. If he doesn't he's a "deadbead dad."
    Not so. In the one case I was involved with (from the sidelines), an abusive husband not only kept the kids but even managed to get the courts to specify the sorts of men the mother could go out with if she wanted to retain visiting rights and access to the kids. He had the money and the laws of the state of Misery (as I believe it's pronounced) behind him.
    I never heard of a case like that but you're right. It's not always the woman at fault. I know one woman who has custody of the kids, but she's the breadwinner of the family. Shiftless hubby has managed to convince some court he is disabled, so he is collecting social security. (That's why there will be no money there for me when I retire.) Anyway, he managed to find some shyster to file a lawsuit to get custody of his daughter. This way he will get his grubby hands on her social security money. The basis of the lawsuit? Mom is working all day and cannot give the girl the personal attention he could give her!!!
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    A divorced woman almost automatically gets custody of the kids, and can haul them off anywhere she wants without consideration of the father. Yet, Dad has to foot the bills without any say in the lives of the kids. If he doesn't he's a "deadbead dad."
    Not so. In the one case I was involved with (from the sidelines), an abusive husband not only kept the kids but even managed to get the courts to specify the sorts of men the mother could go out with if she wanted to retain visiting rights and access to the kids. He had the money and the laws of the state of Misery (as I believe it's pronounced) behind him.
    I never heard of a case like that but you're right. It's not always the woman at fault. I know one woman who has custody of the kids, but she's the breadwinner of the family. Shiftless hubby has managed to convince some court he is disabled, so he is collecting social security. (That's why there will be no money there for me when I retire.) Anyway, he managed to find some shyster to file a lawsuit to get custody of his daughter. This way he will get his grubby hands on her social security money. The basis of the lawsuit? Mom is working all day and cannot give the girl the personal attention he could give her!!!
    Yup. Often, the system sucks.
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Would you say that this has something to do with public relations or image in any way? I just can't imagine that the proportion of male to female Chemical engineers (or most other occupations for that matter) is roughly equal.
    Based on the women I work with and mentor I'd say what it has to do with is that when our recruiters hold open houses or go the colleges there are as many if not more women chemical engineers lining up as there are men. In Mechanical, and other engineering disciplines there are not quite as many, but still a large minority. Why this is I could only speculate, but it definitely has nothing to do with PR or image. From the company's point of view, we are looking for brains and motivation and those seem to be equally shared out as far as I can tell. I don't quite see what you mean about image.

    An example - yesterday I was in a meeting with folks from a major oil company. The oil company sent three men to the meeting. My firm was represented by three chemical engineers of which two were women, two mechanicals of which one was a woman and two estimators one of which one was a woman.
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    A woman can marry a man, quit her job, go on shopping sprees, and spend the guy just about into poverty. Then she files for divorce and ends up getting a goodly portion of what he owns, or ever will earn. I've seen this happen.
    No doubt this is true, but the OP seemed to tar every woman with the same brush. People I know are simply not like that. Trouble is we are all using anecdotal evidence as if it were meaningful in any general sense, and it isn't.
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    I don't quite see what you mean about image.
    I meant to promote a progressive image, which ties in with PR I guess.


    when our recruiters hold open houses or go the colleges there are as many if not more women chemical engineers lining up as there are men.
    That is amazing to me. I guess we all are slowly coming out of the dark ages, heh? Good to hear :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Unequal treatment in court cases on divorce is something I know very little about, but yea that could be an important aspect as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    A woman can marry a man, quit her job, go on shopping sprees, and spend the guy just about into poverty. Then she files for divorce and ends up getting a goodly portion of what he owns, or ever will earn. I've seen this happen.
    No doubt this is true, but the OP seemed to tar every woman with the same brush. People I know are simply not like that. Trouble is we are all using anecdotal evidence as if it were meaningful in any general sense, and it isn't.
    In the OP I was talking about statistics, and ofcourse the average value doesn't apply to every individual. And it may not fully apply to other countries, for some reason the Netherlands seems to be a somewhat extreme case.

    A quote from a report of the Dutch social policy bureau:
    However, not all women have young children who need to be looked after. In fact, 62% of women are not in this position. Only a small minority of people believe that these women, too, should either work part-time or not work at all. Despite this, these women, too, generally work for less than 40 hours per week. Young women without children already work an average of four hours less per week than young men, while women aged 40 years or older who do not (or no longer) have young children barely work more hours outside the home than mothers.

    In this regard the Netherlands differs from other countries. Part-time working is much more common among women without children in the Netherlands than in other Western countries. The average working week of mothers with older children is longer in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain than in the Netherlands.
    So the social norm says "women without young children shouldn't work less than men", but still they do work significantly less here. For some reason they get away with it, and I don't think men would have the power to do the same. Feminists often talk about men using their power over women to force them to accept inequality. Well it seems that women also have certain powers which they use against men to get an unfair advantage ('unfair' as judged according to the social norm, that says women shouldn't work less if there's no reason).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Would you say that this has something to do with public relations or image in any way? I just can't imagine that the proportion of male to female Chemical engineers (or most other occupations for that matter) is roughly equal.
    Based on the women I work with and mentor I'd say what it has to do with is that when our recruiters hold open houses or go the colleges there are as many if not more women chemical engineers lining up as there are men. In Mechanical, and other engineering disciplines there are not quite as many, but still a large minority. Why this is I could only speculate, but it definitely has nothing to do with PR or image. From the company's point of view, we are looking for brains and motivation and those seem to be equally shared out as far as I can tell. I don't quite see what you mean about image.

    An example - yesterday I was in a meeting with folks from a major oil company. The oil company sent three men to the meeting. My firm was represented by three chemical engineers of which two were women, two mechanicals of which one was a woman and two estimators one of which one was a woman.
    I've noticed that women do seem to be attracted to chemistry. Maybe it reminds them of mixing recipes in the kitchen. Just kidding. There's definitely less in electrical or mechanical. Some of those young ladies you are mentoring will probably decide to take some time off and raise a family. When they come back into the work force after 10 or 15 years, they will probably be earning less than a man starting out from the same point. But if they are married, filing a joint income tax return with their husband, they might decide it's just not worth it because they would be paying taxes at their husband's income tax bracket.
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Maybe it reminds them of mixing recipes in the kitchen.
    Careful now. They spend more time at the gym than in the kitchen. :P

    When they come back into the work force after 10 or 15 years,
    Or after four months, which is what my daughter (a teacher) did, and might be closer to the norm nowadays.
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    As a footnote to this thread, a new Principal Mechanical Engineer has just been announced for this office, the current incumbent having been promoted. The new PME is a 30-something woman. She will be in charge of approximately 100 pressure vessel, rotating machinery and heat transfer engineers, myself included in that group. She was promoted from within the company.
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