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Role Models: One way in which men and women don't have equality. watch

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    I'm generally in support of the belief that men and when in the UK have equality. However I was talking about Thatcher and female role models with my dad and realised there is one stumbling block for equality.

    That would be the lack of female role models.

    Everyone needs role models to inspire them and show that you can achieve. No one can argue there are far more male models available than female especially in the fields of Politics and Industry. If you look through history men have people like Ceasar, Napoleon and JFK while women are stuck with Cleopatra or Marilyn Monroe. There's nothing wrong with these women but they are generally remembered for their attractiveness and charm or other female qualities. There are a few exceptions like Joan of Arc but they are few and far between.

    Without role models it is harder to achieve. You can achieve without them and not achieve with them but undeniably they help. Although it is of course possible to have role models of the opposite sex but its not really the same. Or is it? I'll have to think on that further.

    So that's a disadvantage I believe women still have. The problem is there's no way to make more female role models other than women achieving and becoming role models. Unless you taught women's history in schools more. But no one wants to learn history anymore anyway...
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    Yeah historically I'd agree with you. But gender equality is a hot topic nowadays, so the publicity people like Michelle Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi get is immense. Plus you've got humanitarian activists being recognised for their work in the framework of promoting women's rights, and I believe this was the first olympics where we had women competing for every country. Obviously there's a long way to go globally, especially in some parts of the East (comparatively to the level of gender inequality we have here), but it's definitely an area we're making progress in.
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    Imo I think both men and women have horrible 'role models'.. or rather the ones that are put in front of their faces 24/7.
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    (Original post by tjf8)
    Yeah historically I'd agree with you. But gender equality is a hot topic nowadays, so the publicity people like Michelle Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi get is immense. Plus you've got humanitarian activists being recognised for their work in the framework of promoting women's rights, and I believe this was the first olympics where we had women competing for every country. Obviously there's a long way to go globally, especially in some parts of the East (comparatively to the level of gender inequality we have here), but it's definitely an area we're making progress in.
    That is true. Do you think on a personal scale they are still lacking role models? As in people they'll actually meet as most high management positions are still filled by men aren't they?
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    That is true. Do you think on a personal scale they are still lacking role models? As in people they'll actually meet as most high management positions are still filled by men aren't they?
    Yeah for sure, but I don't know about you but my role models tend not to be people that I meet; it's easier to look up to the president of this country or the world record holder of that sport. And the more progress the high-level women make in these areas the more people of the current generation are going to be inspired to follow the same path, and then in twenty years we will have everyday women to look up to. The olympics is a good example actually; a lot more girls are getting involved in sport nationwide now that they've seen Nicola Adams and Jess Ennis lauded for winning on the world stage.
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    Seems that any woman who is famous has relied somewhat on her looks. Even Marie Forleo, for all of her drive and positive-thinking shtick, could not deny that she'd never have been as successful and got as much publicity as she has done if she wasn't a looker.

    Also, the way women revere tin-pot celebrities who roll off of the reality TV production line is laughable. At some point it must occur to them that these women/people are famous for absolutely no reason at all. And "Jordan" is not a businesswomen. She may have sold many perfumes, books, clothes and whatever else but she relied heavily on her plastic celebrity status to get there, not to mention her plastic breasts.

    There are also many female entrepreneurs out there who have net millions in profit, but most women will probably never look up to them. That way of life just does not have the same surface appeal as that of a recording artist/model/dancer/actress/TV personality. Many successful female athletes don't have the following they deserve either.

    On second thought, Marie Forleo isn't even that famous. Although she's somewhat ingenious for building a successful business that tells people how to have a successful business. There's no substance within it at all.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    I'm generally in support of the belief that men and when in the UK have equality. However I was talking about Thatcher and female role models with my dad and realised there is one stumbling block for equality.

    That would be the lack of female role models.

    Everyone needs role models to inspire them and show that you can achieve. No one can argue there are far more male models available than female especially in the fields of Politics and Industry. If you look through history men have people like Ceasar, Napoleon and JFK while women are stuck with Cleopatra or Marilyn Monroe. There's nothing wrong with these women but they are generally remembered for their attractiveness and charm or other female qualities. There are a few exceptions like Joan of Arc but they are few and far between.

    Without role models it is harder to achieve. You can achieve without them and not achieve with them but undeniably they help. Although it is of course possible to have role models of the opposite sex but its not really the same. Or is it? I'll have to think on that further.

    So that's a disadvantage I believe women still have. The problem is there's no way to make more female role models other than women achieving and becoming role models. Unless you taught women's history in schools more. But no one wants to learn history anymore anyway...
    I think this sort of thinking is self-perpetuating - why have you decided that a girl/women must have a female role model to aspire towards? That thinking is only valid if you've already started with the assumption that women are inferior, so it needs to be proven that it's possible to achieve whatever despite being a woman. Why wouldn't you teach your daughter to aspire to be like a specific man whose works she respects? Why would you restrict her to only female role models? By doing so you're just telling her "Women can't do it so don't bother until one does".
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    I think this sort of thinking is self-perpetuating - why have you decided that a girl/women must have a female role model to aspire towards? That thinking is only valid if you've already started with the assumption that women are inferior, so it needs to be proven that it's possible to achieve whatever despite being a woman. Why wouldn't you teach your daughter to aspire to be like a specific man whose works she respects? Why would you restrict her to only female role models? By doing so you're just telling her "Women can't do it so don't bother until one does".
    People like role models who are similar to them don't they? Or at least have a similar background to them. Women have to deal with challenges that men don't like having kids, patriachy and perving sitting down so it's easier for other women to relate to them than men.

    Just like I'm more likely to be inspired by a MP who comes from a state school than a public one as I can relate to his experiences.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    People like role models who are similar to them don't they? Or at least have a similar background to them. Women have to deal with challenges that men don't like having kids, patriachy and perving sitting down so it's easier for other women to relate to them than men.

    Just like I'm more likely to be inspired by a MP who comes from a state school than a public one as I can relate to his experiences.
    So it isn't as a role model, but rather as 'proof' that something can be achieved despite starting from a perceived (rightly or wrongly) disadvantage. I can accept the need for that, but the fact of the matter about reaching the top in politics and business is that it demands so much time, so a woman (or anyone) must be very exceptional to do that whilst taking time out to raise kids. Given that most women have kids, and most of those take time off work for that, it's entirely expected that there are fewer women at the top, and that actually reflects women's choices so I wouldn't say it's a problem. To reiterate though, I think it's important to prove the possibility, and the best way to do that is to be able to point at someone who's actually done it.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    So it isn't as a role model, but rather as 'proof' that something can be achieved despite starting from a perceived (rightly or wrongly) disadvantage. I can accept the need for that, but the fact of the matter about reaching the top in politics and business is that it demands so much time, so a woman (or anyone) must be very exceptional to do that whilst taking time out to raise kids. Given that most women have kids, and most of those take time off work for that, it's entirely expected that there are fewer women at the top, and that actually reflects women's choices so I wouldn't say it's a problem. To reiterate though, I think it's important to prove the possibility, and the best way to do that is to be able to point at someone who's actually done it.
    Providing proof, if you that's the right word, that something is possible is something people use role models for. So yes.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    Providing proof, if you that's the right word, that something is possible is something people use role models for. So yes.
    But you've agreed that such 'proof' role models exist, and your issue is that you want more.

    Thatcher's proven that a woman can become PM, so there's no defeatist argument anymore for women, it's just a choice. Louise Mensch was on some news channels talking about how Thatcher inspired her, but as we know, Mensch decided to prioritise her family so quit the country. There's nothing wrong with that decision (apart from abandoning her constituents, but then I'd guess they were happy with the opportunity to elect a Labour MP), and it's just a fact of society that women go for that option more than men do.
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    I think it's equally as bad on both sides, the role models a lot of people aspire to today are talentless reality tv cretins.
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    Surely her mother...?
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    I agree. I'm a scientist, so my role models are almost always male.

    I find it's not a problem with historical figures, because they are more abstract - you admire them for their intellect, which can be replicated in anyone, male or female.

    It becomes more of a problem when you see people you want to be like in 30 years' time. For example, you can never wear a tie, or be Dr Who or Indiana Jones (two of my personal aspirations), or drink whisky in a bar, or have a pint with your junior detective sidekick. Somehow men can pull off certain things that women just can't - I think a woman is a long way off becoming head of the armed forces, for example.

    However, things are slowly changing, so I'm not too worried - it's just something that takes time to catch up. I don't think it will be a problem in thirty years time, just for my generation and the thousands before. (Have you ever heard of Hypatia?)
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    But you've agreed that such 'proof' role models exist, and your issue is that you want more.

    Thatcher's proven that a woman can become PM, so there's no defeatist argument anymore for women, it's just a choice. Louise Mensch was on some news channels talking about how Thatcher inspired her, but as we know, Mensch decided to prioritise her family so quit the country. There's nothing wrong with that decision (apart from abandoning her constituents, but then I'd guess they were happy with the opportunity to elect a Labour MP), and it's just a fact of society that women go for that option more than men do.
    If there's only a few role models girls might feel like its so unlikely they will succeed there's no point in trying.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
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    I agree, it is an absolute nightmare, I was on a course for women ( which in itself was a bit of a nightmare) but they asked us to come up with a strong female role model and I just didn't have one, I don't know of any female engineers it is really bad.
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    Men =/= Women.

    And why make role models a debate about genders? Why can't a woman idealise a man and vice versa? Why should a person have a role model who is of their same gender? We should appreciate people for who they are not whay they are.
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    I totally see you're point, but I think it depends on what you're looking for in a role model.
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    I don't see why you women have to have women role models and men have to have men. I'd say I use someone I know from work as a role model (career wise) and she is female
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    If there's only a few role models girls might feel like its so unlikely they will succeed there's no point in trying.
    There are only 650 MPs, it's very unlikely anyone will succeed. Even if MPs had only one term in Parliament (so we had more MPs), the chance of an individual being an MP in their lifetime would be 650*13/62million, or about 0.01% (the 13 is how many Parliaments there would be between the age of 18 and 80). The chances of being PM are far slimmer, but people still go for it. We know it's a long shot, but the possibility is proven, now it's up to women to decide if they want to have a go.
 
 
 
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