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Dear Amy,

I'm not sure if it's because I've gotten older or more aware and political, but it gets more difficult for me to blow off sexist, especially violent, images I see in the media. I don't watch television, but I watch a lot of movies, old and new. Some of the "classics" have upset me for weeks.   This may be more a question for a psychologist, but when I see a violently sexist movie or magazine ad, I find it very difficult to deal with men for a while.   I find myself blaming my boyfriend, family, male friends and coworkers for these images.   I can turn off the movies, but I have to deal with men every day. Any advice?  

Amy

 

Dear Amy,

Reading your note, I was reminded of an argument I have heard Gloria Steinem make, which is that women get more radical with age. We do so because we see that playing by the rules doesn't always reward us, especially as we grow older and our sexual power is diluted.

I do think that it gets harder to tolerate sexism - in part because we learn that there are negative consequences and two because we have the expectation that each subsequent generation should know better -- and thus do better. When that doesn't happen, we are more likely to feel frustrated that we haven't contributed more toward eliminating it.

That said, certainly act on your anger -- write letters, tell other people, start groups, subversive ads of your own.

Good luck,

-- Amy

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