This is exactly what I mean...
I ran out of column space, which is why I was not able to explain what I meant by "traditional gender stereotypes that tend to devalue women."
Well, what do you know, in some papers today, there are news items quoting Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan saying one of the most outrageous things that bring home my point.
While trying to draw lessons from the Subic rape case, the good bishop has been quoted offering this bit of advice to women "women, most especially, should be taught that 'womanhood is precious and noble, so it is not right for them to be flaunting it around.” "They should not make themselves appear cheap and practically inviting to be violated by men,” he said.
This is exactly the problem with traditional gender stereotypes - they cast people into certain moral categories. Thus, a woman must subscribe to the traditional gender stereotype of someone who is "chaste, meek, passive, obedient, etc" otherwise, they invite being violated. Thus, certain types of women (such as those who frequent bars, dance with abandon, wear sexy clothes, etc) deserve to be violated for "flaunting" their womanhood in public. Oh please. This is very medieval. This line of thinking reflects just how irrelevant and awfully outdated the Church is on a number of issues.
Why should the blame be pinned on the victim instead of the culprit? What does this line of reasoning say about men - that men are unthinking, sex-crazed animals who are bound to lose their mental faculties at the sight of a woman in sexy clothes? Rape - or sexual harassment - can be excused because a woman was walking on a street at midnight and therefore invited the assault?
It is reasoning like these that perpetuates power inequities in our culture - the same reasoning that conditions men to think that they are entitled to certain mischief - because the woman did not behave according to the traditional gender stereotype. Thus, she invited it.