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What causes american women to have low self esteem?
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categorypsychology
typeunderstand
tynamite
tynamite's avatar I am answering this question because I consider all these answers to be rubbish except one of them. I find that when feminists talk, they talk in some weird language that men cannot understand. Being a feminist must be like talking to a brick wall.

I would change the words American women in this question, to Western women. I'm know this trend isn't America exclusive, as I'm from the UK.

The reason why more women in America have less self esteem, is because they are subject to much more social pressures than men are.

The importance of looks

From a young age, the importance of how they look, and the pressure of how they should look, carves a huge influence on their lives. Women are taught at a young age, that the only way they can get what they want out of life, is to look good, as in being attractive. Such pressures are created by how men treat them on a daily basis, and how women like to create social hierarchies within themselves, using looks as a deciding factor of who is in or out their group.

The best way to explain this, is that female groups of friends have a score evaluation executed by peers, based on how the group looks, and that male groups of friends don't. The desirability and credibility of a female group of friends is judged by how they look. For men, not so much.

This is not something I understand as a man, but I know it exists.

The importance of social roles

From a young age, the importance of imprinted social roles, and the pressure of undergoing those social roles, carves a huge influence on their lives. Women are taught at a young age, that the only way they can be accepted in life, is to conform to these social pressures, such as behavioural traits. Such pressures are created by men without them being aware of it.

The best way to explain this, is that in a relationship, a woman's role is constantly reinforced by her peers whilst she is in one. I'm sure you know what role that is. They are also expected to be kind in the workplace and in other places in life.

This is not something I understand as a man, but I know it exists.
Women experience double binds about having to be nice to men who asked for her number and not also be a slag about it, and another example about having to be kind and accepting in the workplace but also can't be assertive and instigating in situations where they're meant to work for things.7

Women live in a parallel universe

I have always said that women live in a parallel universe. I say this because women talk about loads of things that matter to them, that are really big issues for them in their lives, but they're not understood by men or occuring to them either.

When a woman talks to me about women issues, for example a Muslim woman talking to me about how she gets looked at more in a headscarf than without, or a woman talking to me about hair, or about being called a slag, or getting a job, I say "Women live in a parallel universe. It's like a different world."

100% of the time they say.
"Yes it is."

They try to explain it to me the best that they can, but they know that I can never truly understand what they're trying to say. I then say.

"I wonder what it's like to be a woman." I say in an intrigued tone.
"I wonder what it's like to be a man." I say in an irritated tone that gradually increases in pitch.

The sooner you accept that women live in a parallel universe, the sooner you'll understand to some extent the feminist things that feminists say.
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tynamite
tynamite's avatar

Nan

By this answerer's comparison of women to men in the sphere of looks, social roles, and parallel universes, I see descriptions of some of the the outcomes of sexism, which result in low self esteem in American women. But I do not see the cause of such women's lower self-esteem described or expressed.

When people differentiate between genders at birth, and then as soon as girls understand that men see girls as sexual objects ('How pretty you are!') and when these kinds of messages are continually reinforced (from baby dolls to Barbies, even for toddlers; i.e., baby girl doll grows up to become a Barbie), then girls begin to differentiate and we see the impacts described in this answer.
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tynamite
tynamite's avatar

Me

I don't think it's possible to answer what the actual cause is, as the cause is coming from a multitude of implicit things, so it would be hard to pinpoint what the general deprecating thing is for everyone.
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tynamite
tynamite's avatar

Nan

This question asks 'What causes American women to have low self-esteem?' and if we don't get to the root of the causes, we are not answering the question asked.

Stating that it's not possible to describe a "multitude of implicit things" doesn't answer the question fully unless we describe what, precisely, the 'multitude of implicit things' are which cause American women to have low self esteem.

Also implicit in the question itself is the assumption that "American women have low self esteem." I am not sure that is a correct assumption to make. I would like to see the subject studied, and citations provided in answers to the question (unasked here and not addressed here) about whether American women do have low self esteem. I do not acknowledge this is a fact -- and the comparison to any other population to which the question refers is unstated and unknown. Therefore, this question has been tagged as a Question Which Contains Assumptions.

I feel the question doesn't ask users to describe impacts and manifestations of low self esteem in American women. The question is about causation.

It seems to me you have answered a different question than the one asked, i.e., What are the impacts and manifestations of low self esteem in American women?

To answer this particular question,
What causes American women to have low self-esteem?, we must address the causes and, apparently, assume for the purposes of answering here that the premise is true.

In this answer you accomplished the latter task, and the former one has yet to be addressed.
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tynamite
tynamite's avatar

Me

Thanks for letting me know. I have a habit of not answering the actual question asked, without being aware of it. I'll have a think about what the causes are and let you know once I come up with something.
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tynamite
tynamite's avatar

Nan

Thanks Adisa. I look forward to it.
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