Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hey, I get it!

Ok, so I finally understood some of what we were discussing in Women's Studies! That's not to say that I'm not getting anything from the class. It's more that I tend to think it's utter BS. The idea that started to make sense to me was the idea of "the gaze". As far as I can tell, the idea behind it is that women always feel they're being watched (more that they are always being watched) by men, because women are "other".

Now, I still think that is somewhat BS. Yes, I have been aware of a sensation like that, but it's not as a woman, it's more as a woman in engineering. Occasionally in soccer too, but frankly, a guy who was one of 3 in 20 or so would feel just as out of place. However, it occurs to me that the fact that a lot of guys have odd reactions to whistles or yells might qualify under this. The odd reactions to which I'm referring is that a lot of guys don't seem to see anything wrong with accidently giving some sign that they heard the yell, etc. Actually a lot of them don't see anything wrong with reacting at all.

Now, I'm not going to say that the only reason someone would whistle out the window to get my attention , or make patronizing remarks when the light changes, is because I'm a woman. However, the fact that society makes it quite clear that yes, it's because I'm a woman, that people behave like jerks , I tend to assume that I'm the target of that sort of immaturity. (Note the difference between me being the target, and me assuming I'm the target because I've been told that I am). And that, I think, is the idea of the gaze.

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