Grief and sexism?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dmr727, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #1
    Last month, a work buddy of mine was killed in an accident while she was at work. It's been a pretty sh*tty month, needless to say. Now, I've had male friends killed in similar circumstances, but this has hit me especially hard. It's hit all of us harder than we want to admit.

    I was talking to a friend of mine today about it, and she says that I'm bothered more about it than usual because the person involved was female. It's a sexist thing - guys have a harder time dealing with the death of a female, for one reason or another.

    Deep down - I think she's right. I'm more bothered by this than usual because the person killed was female. Does that make me sexist? I never thought of it that way. :(
     
  2. paulej69 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    #2
    Interesting - did you know her better than the male friends you lost? Did you have any sort of "romantic" feelings for her, maybe even subconsciously? - that might affect how you feel.
    By the way - what sort of work do you do that is so dangerous?
     
  3. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #3
    I wouldn't call it sexist at all, but just falling in line with societal norms. As a society, we're brought up to believe women to be the fairer, more valuable sex. Women and children first and all that...

    It's also more unusual in that she was killed in a work-related accident. Men account for some 90%+ of all workplace fatalities - I don't have the exact stats on hand but everything I've read puts it in that ballpark.
     
  4. dmr727 thread starter macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    No, I didn't know her any better. I don't want to overstate our relationship - we didn't hang out outside of work - but we knew each other well enough to at least have each other's phone numbers. I still refuse to delete her number from my phone, for whatever reason.

    There wasn't a romantic thing. She was an attractive woman, don't get me wrong. But I'm married, and she had a fiancee. Of course that doesn't matter, but there was nothing there that doesn't exist between any male and female colleague in a similar situation. I did have a lot of respect for her, but I also have a lot of respect for my male colleagues.

    I don't do anything dangerous. It's just that it's such a small industry - everyone knows everyone else.
     
  5. Randman macrumors 65816

    Randman

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fla
    #5
    You've not said what your profession is but it may be the stereotypical view that women are somehow weaker therefore an accidental death is perceived as more tragic.

    The ironic thing is women, on the whole, are the stronger of the sexes. They live longer, have fewer health problems, pop children out of an orifice after carrying them inside for almost a year, traditionally rear the children and manage the household and have to put up with abuse and grief from men.
     
  6. dmr727 thread starter macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    You're right 100%. I mean, my wife does what I do. And she's significantly more accomplished than I am. But at the end of the day I have a much bigger problem with her buying it while at work than if I did.
     
  7. Stepper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    North London, England
    #7
    What exactly do you do? I find it hard to believe that people have died in your sector of work, yet you say the work you do isn't dangerous? :confused:
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #8
    You "friend", another female, is feeding you BS, IMO.

    You are living proof that chivalry is not quite yet dead.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #9
    Agree with iJohn Henry about both your female friend "feeding you BS" and your chivalry, decency and essential humanity.

    Violent, unexpected accidents, or events, shock us and sometimes, can make us question assumptions, or attitudes which we never suspected we had, or never knew existed. I think that knowing a person, irrespective of gender or the nature of work/death has an effect on how one responds. Close death, obviously, affects us much more than the death of a stranger. But, unexpected and violent deaths also shock us, can throw attitudes into sharp relief, and can make us reassess our place, or location, in the essential human scheme of things.

    A friend of mine was killed earlier this summer in a plane crash. He was the pilot and his engine cut out. Despite that, he managed a perfect textbook emergency landing in a field, - saving his passenger - but unfortunately did not (could not) see the crater into which his plane tipped over, because it was obscured by tall grass. He loved motor-bikes, and planes, but none of that meant that his death was predictable.

    Over twenty years ago, I witnessed what I am pretty certain was a murder in broad daylight during the Notting Hill Carnival. Both aggressor and victim were black, and one stabbed the other viciously. They were on one side of a fruit and veg stall, I was on the other a few feet away. Despite having an excellent view of what happened, to this day I am horrified that I would have been unable to identify either of them with any precision.

    You can spend ages asking whether you are a sexist, (I don't believe you are), or a racist, or whatever. To notice, to empathise and to feel is what makes you human. Treasure it.

    Cheers
     
  10. dmr727 thread starter macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    I fly for a living. Not the big planes - just the itty bitty ones.
     
  11. techgeek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    There is good reason for that. As a survival mechanism, it is important to protect the women and the young. It takes 9 months to produce a baby (plus a bit of recovery time afterwards of course ;). That combined with the number of available women of child bearing age defines the maximum growth rate. 1 man is capable of fathering lots of children in the same time frame so less are required. Obviously this is a gross simplification, for instance it doesn't take social attitudes about biggamy and the like into account, but it serves the purpose.
    Lets face it we men are just more disposable.:eek:
     
  12. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #12
    It's beliefs such as these that lead to the injustices men experience in grossly disproportionate amounts in out lovely court systems. From what I gather, yours is just as screwed up as ours is if not more so.
     
  13. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #13
    I second that, right down to the inverted commas around the word 'friend'. It may be just her way of coping with something that shocked her too, but someone ought to tell her she's being unhelpful. I don't think it makes sense to make accusations of sexism like that; I don't know, she may just be jealous that people feel sad at your colleague's death, thinking that she is not as popular as your colleague, and feels an unacknowledged need to dismiss your (and other people's) genuine grief as mere sexism to make her feel better.

    Forget about her, dmr. I'm very sorry for your loss.
     

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