Jump to content
The Education Forum
  • Announcements

    • Evan Burton

      OPEN REGISTRATION BY EMAIL ONLY !!! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS TITLE FOR INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION!:   06/03/2017

      We have 5 requirements for registration: 1.Sign up with your real name. (This will be your Username) 2.A valid email address 3.Your agreement to the Terms of Use, seen here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21403. 4. Your photo for use as an avatar  5.. A brief biography. We will post these for you, and send you your password. We cannot approve membership until we receive these. If you are interested, please send an email to: edforumbusiness@outlook.com We look forward to having you as a part of the Forum! Sincerely, The Education Forum Team
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Angela McRobbie

Feminism, Sex and Hard-Drinking

Recommended Posts

Guest Angela McRobbie

The spectacle of young women staggering about the city streets, drunk and disorderly, throwing up, or else looking for sex, has become a familiar feature of the UK's "happy hour" night-time economy. Granted, such freedoms have long been enjoyed by young males and few would argue for a return to the days when women were expected to embody higher standards in order to guard their reputations.

A survey of children in Europe and North America, released by the World Health Organisation last week, revealed high levels of binge drinking and underage, unprotected sex among British teenagers. Recent research consistently shows that in the UK there is close to gender parity in the consumption of alcohol and in having sex at an early age.

This equality is, however, hugely problematic. Second-wave feminists advocated sexual freedom, but these contemporary freedoms are a travesty of such ideals. The hard-drinking culture, along with the requirement to be "up for it", even if this means casual sex in car parks, marks the corrosion of feminist values.

Feminists drew attention to the demeaning media portrayals of women, the power of the porn industry, the pervasive existence of sexual and domestic violence and the cruelties of the sexual double standard. Feminism did not promise to solve the intractable problems of how men and women live with each other. It did not extinguish anxieties about body image and appearance, or offer a blueprint for sexual conduct. But it did provide a systematic analysis which located the causes of sexual injustice in social structures and arrangements rather than in personal failings. It offered a utopian vision of sexual equality which would, if ever achieved, enhance the lives of all women and men.

Acknowledging the unruliness of desire and the breadth of the sexual imagination, feminism defined sexuality as a meaningful, pleasurable and ethical aspect of human activity. These debates were animated and passionate, and they forced men to think about their own desires and their behaviour. Now with anti-discrimination legislation in place, and with young women doing so well in school and in the workplace, there is a widespread discrediting of feminism as old fashioned. Young women risk their own "cool" status by defining themselves as feminist. And yet as feminist academics like myself recognise, there is a hunger for debate on the part of the new generation of young women pouring into our universities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,...1232749,00.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nowhere is there a greater "need for a reconvened feminist politics which would be beneficial to us all" (which you mysteriously left out of your posting), than in the single sex (especially boys) schools, in which I have taught over the last decade. Sadly the attitude towards women of many of the male students that I have taught can only be described as 'neanderthal'. I have had countless discussions / arguments about how sexist and patriarchal they are, that it is not respectful (I don't really like the term, it is not powerful enough), nice or even a good 'strategy' to treat women as either 'wifey' or 'ho' (no different from mother/whore but a bit more 'street'). I have had to deal with one student graphically describing his sexual exploits in front of the rest of the class and then re-enacting most of them on the table top (the little darling is currently serving a heathy exclusion!). The amount of porn that is viewed by students online or even downloaded onto their mobile phones is horrifying. As someone who would describe themselves as very supportive of the ideas of feminism, I am having to fight a losing battle in my classroom against the anti-feminist backlash that we are currently experiencing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
............

Are you quite sure Brinn ;)

Alcohol-fuelled underage sex is the stuff of tabloid headlines. It is still the case that behaviour which is acceptable for a lad is hypocritically frowned on when the perpetrator is a girl. In many cases a minority of girls are just holding up a mirror to the behaviour of a minority of boys.

And perhaps the real q is why some young people have so little faith in the future they are ready to throw their life chances away...and of course whether the apparent rise in "Alcohol-fuelled underage sex" is actually an artefact created by media coverage on the one hand a greater frankness on the part of teenagers on the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have spent many years teaching the struggle for gender equality (history and sociology). Students have no problem seeing women involved in the early struggles for universal suffrage as being admirable people. However, they were far less keen on those women involved in the post-war struggle for equal rights. The problem was one of image. To most students feminists are women wearing dungarees who rejected the idea of wanting to be attractive to the opposite sex. Despite my attempts to argue against this stereotype (I pointed out that no women actually burnt her bra and that SCUM was a very small organization) they appeared to be unmovable on this topic. Their prejudices appeared to go very deep. This is reinforced by the fact that this is a period in their life when being attractive to the opposite sex is one of the most important things in their life.

I watched in dismay as I saw young women develop the idea that gender equality was about acting like young men. Even academic students in my ‘A’ level groups used to proudly boast of how they got drunk the previous Friday or Saturday night (unlike the less able students, they did not go in for binge drinking during the working week). This was discussed in my sociology classes and no one was willing to be too critical of this behaviour, although privately some students did confide in me that they only behaved in this way because it was the “accepted norm” of the group. This behaviour has all sorts of consequences. As research has shown, most teenage mothers got pregnant while drunk. No wonder we top the European league for teenage pregnancies.

I was listening to a reporter on the radio the other day. He said he has reported on the activities of people in over 80 different countries. However, it is only in the UK that he has witnessed young people involved in binge drinking. He went on to say that the behaviour of drunk young people on the streets of Britain was the most unpleasant aspect of British life.

Why has this happened? When I was a teenager in the 1960s it was vitally important to show you were not drunk (it was a sign that you were not manly enough to “take your drink”). This idea is still prevalent in the rest of Europe. When, and why did this idea change in Britain? Why is the idea of getting blind drunk an attractive proposition to today’s young people?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest that 'getting so drunk that I didn't know what I was doing' is a great excuse for (both young women and men) not taking responsibility for their actions. I would also suggest that it is rare that they are actually completely oblivious to their actions at the time but the excuse of being 'blind drunk' allows them to pretend that they would not behave that way normally.

This of course is just a way of allowing fatalism to step in so that if they do something stupid, get pregnant, sleep with their best friends boyfriend/ girlfriend, catch something nasty, and it is not their fault, just something that 'happened' to them.

As a relatively young woman I can understand this tendancy in that there are so many avenues open to us today that were not there some decades ago and we want to explore them.... however, admitting to that desire the following day is not an easy task - hence the stories of being 'blind drunk'. Its simply a form of escapism in a world where so much more is expected of us than was of our parents.

As far as the booze/sex link is concerned, well, once again for women its a way of denying that we made choices. Obviously we wouldn't 'choose' to sleep with a different man every weekend and therefore the blame has to go elsewhere. I think an acceptance of female sexuality would go a long way to counter this fatalism. Sadly, sexually, britains women may appear to be sexually liberated (as the covers of Cosmo etc would suggest) but we are still living in the dark ages in terms of demanding and getting what we want. Teenage pregnancy is an extension of that. How can we ask the man to wear a condom when we don't actually want to have sex with them and the sex is just happening to us? How can we go on the pill when that means admitting to want to have sex?

For men to want and to enjoy sex is completely OK, but for women, well, we know what kind of girl that makes you, and cutting back on sex education in school just makes it seem all the more dirty and wrong rather than just another part of life that we need to take responsibility for.

Rowena

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As research has shown, most teenage mothers got pregnant while drunk. No wonder we top the European league for teenage pregnancies.

*Underage* pregnancies might be a problem and *unwanted* pregnancies....but teenage pregnancies? My eldest sister was (only just) the consequence of a teenage pregnancy in 1934 and this was not regarded as a problem.

Also I can assume they did not "get pregnant" all on their own in most cases....so this begins to look like blaming the victim.

More importantly of course ignorance is more closely liked with underage pregnancy than excessive alcohol consumption.

***Drink provokes the desire but take away the performance.***

Have a nice day

Derek McMillan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So who is playing silly buggers here? Is that what your 'down the pub' comment was about Mr Walker?

Not guilty :)

I was merely trying to lighten the mood with my comment.

All people require to register on this board is a valid e-mail address. I have really no idea who any of you are and whether you are who you say you are. I just happily maintain the site without payment. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest brinn
So who is playing silly buggers here? Is that what your 'down the pub' comment was about Mr Walker?

Not guilty <_<

I was merely trying to lighten the mood. All people require to register on this board is a valid e-mail address. I have really no idea who any of you are or whether you are who you say you are.

ISPs would give you a pretty good clue, of course. So who do you think is being all these people?

I am not so bothered as that - but it does make me wonder if 'issues' are to be taken seriously here, or whether they are going to be artificially generated....

I like the bug-eyed wonder btw.

Edited by brinn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Identity on the internet is nebulous. This matters if you are engaged in a credit card transaction but if you are having a good old argument it matters less.

I happen to know some of the ppl involved here irl but I hope I would still attend to their arguments if they came on as Donald Duck!

The issue raised by Angela are still important. Periodically governments produce "evils" which they can then "combat." whether this is "single mothers", "paedophiles", "asylum seekers" or "binge drinking" there is room for a moral panic, some sleazy tabloid headlines and then on to the next "issue".

1) Binge drinking is likely a symptom of an underlying malaise - a lack of confidence in the future; aggressive marketing of alcohol to teenagers and an ignorance of the downside of alcohol abuse.

2) The BBC is just wrong in saying the binge drinkers are a burden on the health service. In fact like smokers they are paying over the odds in taxation and headed for an early grave...they are a burden to their own health but a convenient scapegoat for a cynical government.

Derek McMillan

(or is it?)

(IRL - is one of those TLAs - short for "in real life" and used by ppl like myself who really need to get a life!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest brinn

Angela as the original Angela McRobbie, is real of course - as you can see from my earlier post: she wrote an article for The Guardian which was quoted in the first post on this thread. I meant, is the first poster really Angela?

It does make a difference, imo, because you cannot enter into a debate with the person raising the issues if they are someone who merely quotes the words of others and then does not contribute directly again. I actually wanted to ask her about her opinions as stated in the original post and it is a pity that I was mislead at first into thinking I could. I feel a bit let down by it because it is an issue I care about. Of course I could just state my opinions, but it was the debate with her I was after - especially as I wanted to question her role as a member of academia with young women in her care who are questioning their role as women in society. I find debates - as in asking questions and thinking about the response - rather informative and I learn from them; they help open my mind to other possibilities. The matter I wanted to ask about is not something anyone else here appears to be in a position to debate with me; hence I felt frustrated and let down by the deception behind the post - as unimportant in most other ways the deception actually is.

And yes, English teachers can complain about over long posts. I did.

It is disappointingly petty of Mr Simkin to use the subject I teach as a stick to beat with me and suggest my standards are too low because he didn't like my opinion about the length of some posts. Is this a trend that is being started where posters can accuse their fellow colleagues in education with poor teaching standards - something we can never actually know about each other from posts on this site - simply because they don't like some opinion? I sincerely hope not; as fellow professionals we ought to respect each other a little more than that. Also, where, I wonder, did I say I had never heard of ecredits or Curriculum Online?

However, I don't want a spat with anyone (except the elusive Angela) about this and I can see that my previous posts were rather insulting about this forum, tarring it as I have with somehow being involved in generating the artificial posts. I am sorry for that as I like and respect the forum and wish it to succeed (sans the insults about professional abilities, I hope!) I can see that I therefore provoked a negative reaction from the stalwarts of the site and apologise sincerely for that; most especially to Andy Walker whose politeness exceeded my own. Whereas I thought, by directly addressing my last post about Angela's reality directly to 'Angela'; I was avoiding being personal to anyone else, I can see that that was not the case from the tone of some of the other things I said.

I did however want to see if the poster calling herself Angela McRobbie was going to reply and was trying to provoke whoever started the thread to respond - my point about wishing to debate issues as raised by real people still stands. I shall, in future, make a careful check of the register of first posts to see if they are in fact unacknowledged formally expressed quotes from another source and thus avoid being fooled into thinking I can hold a debate with the thread's originator!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest brinn

I can't help it, I have to say this... (and no, Derek, as much as I admire your postings so far, I wouldn't take a poster calling themselves Donald Duck quite so seriously as you might - but then I haven't had the pleasure of knowing any of them in rl :angry:)..... so:

I honestly cannot understand why posters cannot post as themselves and quote other people's material with acknowledgements and a link to the full document, if they want to start a debate. It is so much more honest and makes debates more immediate.

I am at a loss why whoever is posting like this has chosen such a weird method of introducing topics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brinn I agree with your comment:

I honestly cannot understand why posters cannot post as themselves and quote other people's material with acknowledgements and a link to the full document, if they want to start a debate. It is so much more honest and makes debates more immediate.

I fear that there is quite a lot of this and it irritates me too. You will find postings by 'Tony Blair' and 'Charles Clarke' have appeared at various times on this forum - delusions of grandeur maybe?

Re the 'long postings' comments - I have also criticised this tendency as they smack of 'lecturing' rather than debate. There is quite a lot of discussion about this in the debate on 'where are the women' ... I'll find the link and post it in a moment. .... here it is, it has attracted quite a lot of interest! Where are all the women?

Anyway, perhaps we might now be accused of being a bit :angry: ??

Edited by Maggie Jarvis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×