And we’re back! Today I wanted to continue my discussion about gender differences, specifically continue my ideas about female inequity in society. Yesterday I talked about the subordinate and passive woman. I’d like to jump around my list a little today by talking about the physically appealing and incapable woman.
So lets get right into it. The big subject that women have to deal with on a day-to-day basis is their gender role of being physically appealing. Or rather, that they will be objectified by their surrounding humans, and will be categorized as a “good” woman or a “bad” woman based on how well they dress. This includes matching cloths that are in line with the seasonal attributes, being thin in shape (but not in too good a shape or else she will intimidate people), applying and touching up make-up throughout the day, and having a generally positive demeanor (i.e., if a girl constantly has anything by a smile on her face, it will be referred to as a “resting bitch face.” In doing this, women become the object of visual pleasure for the people around them—most specifically men, as we are a predominantly heteronormative society.
Much like we don’t believe that paintings reflect reality in more than just image, so too does this objectification of women cause us to take women less seriously. This can affect women, and men, in all sorts of ways. For women, it is mostly negative; where as for men it is entirely positive. Not only do men become the focal point of “serious” society, they also have playthings that they can call upon at any time. Women, while given access to jobs in the modeling industry, do not benefit in the same way. They are slighted through this objectification—they become more props that people. Hence why there is always a token female in any product commercial—Carl’s Jr. comes to mind.
This objectification leads to the idea that a woman is less capable than a man. Sure, there are arguments that women biologically have less muscle mass than men, but in no way does this change how well she can type web code, or pour chemicals into a beaker. Which means that the ruination of female capability is purely made out of a social construct. Even if a person were to measure how much, on average, females knew about science in comparison to men that does not mean that they are less capable than males at sciences. This is because the upbringing is different between boys and girls. If a girl is relegated to play with dolls while a boy gets to play with Legos, of course he is going to be a better mechanical engineer nine times out of ten—he was engrained with this advantage this long before he even considered engineering as a life plan. If we want to actually see who is capable, we need to even the playing field—and I would expect we will see that women are just as capable as men are.