Now to everyone, do you have any experiences with this issue you'd like to share? And what do you guys think about it? And what do you girls think about it? Do you do it?
I find it curious that you state earlier that this question is only for men, but then you ask women for their opinion, too. Double-standard?
Really, there's no one answer to this because women, just like men, have varying personalities. I think we get so wrapped up in this "women are from Venus, men are from Mars" crap that we forget that the genders have more similarities than differences. Are there double-standards? Absolutely, but that's a two-way street. I could cite examples from my personal experiences to back that up, but I don't think I really need to. But I will say that woman are in an interesting place in our society right now. My generation was the first to grow up with our mothers and society telling us that we can do anything a man can do. That's a heady thought to me. The younger people on this board probably won't really see the cultural impact of it in the same perspective as my father or grandfather's generation will, but believe me, it's an impact. We're feeling our way in new territory right now and we have decades and even centuries' worth of tradition and stigmas on one side, and this new stuff to navigate on the other.
We're filling traditional men's roles in society more than ever, by being breadwinners and career women, expected to be tough and play with the boys on their level, but at the same time we can't be too masculine without being labeled as 'castrating', 'bitchy', or even as lesbians or ice queens. We're bombarded with feminine terms used in a derogatory manner, like 'don't be a girl', or 'pu**y', but if we try to be less feminine we're cut down by both genders. According to statistics and surveys, women with careers still do most of the housework and child-rearing as well, though I believe there is more of a rise in men taking on more home-life responsibility. We're held to higher standards of appearance than men and our worth is judged more sharply on our looks than men's are, even while society cries sexism on the surface. Feminism has a stigma attached to it, even though the men who decry it claim they want equality for women (see example above); the word "feminism" is equated with the most extreme viewpoints held by a minority of the people who use the term and there are many women who shy away from the term because they don't want to be labeled as one of those "feminazis".
We're told that we should want a career as well as a family and we're percieved as being either doormats or frigid if we choose only one or the other. We're given a binary choice between being a slut or a virgin, with very little space in between, and while "sluts" are condemned on the surface of society, it's still vindicated subversively: look at the teen stars groomed to be wholesomely sexual, or teen/gross-out comedies where women are worthless unless they're attractive and sexually pliant, or even the popularity of the Girls Gone Wild series. 'Be like this or be labeled a prude', is what these say, and nobody wants to be a buttoned up spinster who's no fun at parties.
We're closer to equality now than we ever have been, but we still make .75 cents to the dollar for men's wage (on average), and we're still viewed as objects by society at large. How many billboards or commercials do you see using attractive women to sell things to men as opposed to attractive men selling things to women? We're taught to condemn them on the surface and we roll our eyes, but secretly, we're still comparing ourselves to the models, with a little pang of fear way deep down that we don't like to admit to that we might not measure up.
Now that's not to say that men are all evil overlords who live to keep women down, I don't believe that. I think that society is changing and that's creating friction because people don't handle change that well. Everyone's trying to figure out where the lines are and half the time we don't know either. Some people are reactionary, others more compliant to give in, and men are largely taking their cues from us. Small wonder everyone's confused.