The US is one of the most highly patriarchal cultures in the world; one of the most highly geared towards gender binaries and punishing those who move out of their assigned lanes and roles. There are multiple Muslim nations who have had female leaders, but the US never has, and probably won’t any time in the foreseeable future.
It’s not just oppression from men. American women have internalized much of this misogyny. They are more bought into consumer culture than the rest of the developed world, so for them, much of the hierarchy centers around thinness, beauty, and Martha Stewart accomplishment rather than substantive achievement. Also, they get the shit beat out of them when they try to otherwise achieve because it threatens the social hierarchy.
I wrote something the other day about standing up to bullies and a guy friend wrote back “You are braver than me. I moved away from that and came to Medium where it’s safer.” My response to him was that I was describing my almost daily experiences with bullying on Medium, a platform that supports civility and enforces their rules.
The statistics that I quoted you about 70% of women in STEM being sexually harassed no doubt has a lot to do with it. American men have made it really clear that they don’t want women in STEM and they don’t want them in academia. They want to maintain those as male bastions because that feels more right based on the strong gender binaries of our culture. And obviously, there are exceptions to this, but many American men have serious hierarchy based insecurity and ego issues that some of the rest of the developed world doesn’t seem to have to the same extent. Maybe it’s due to being reinforced by Hollywood action movies or the Marlborough Man — I don’t know. My experience with European men is that they are much better equipped to admit they learned something or that they aren’t entirely omniscient compared to American men. It’s really fucking tiresome, I must say.
Apparently, it’s time for me to go to bed before I launch into a real rant……