Archive for the ‘feminism’ tag
Tom Meagher’s wife was raped and killed. But he writes quite movingly about how and why he refuses to accept the idea that the man responsible is some aberrant and abhorrent creature:
By insulating myself with the intellectually evasive dismissal of violent men as psychotic or sociopathic aberrations, I self-comforted by avoiding a more terrifying concept: that violent men are socialised by the ingrained sexism and entrenched masculinity that permeates everything, from our daily interactions all the way up to our highest institutions. Bayley’s appeal was dismissed, but I left court that day in a perpetual trauma-loop, knowing I needed to re-imagine the social, institutional and cultural context in which a man like Bayley exists.
Really good portrait inside the rarely-remarked-upon minor problems faced by women in the technology and business world. Without an agenda Heidi Roizen recalls both the awkwardness and hard issues that she has faced in her career:
The PC manufacturer’s senior vice president who had been instrumental in crafting the deal suggested he and I sign over dinner in San Francisco to celebrate. When I arrived at the restaurant, I found it a bit awkward to be seated at a table for four yet to be in two seats right next to each other, but it was a French restaurant and that seemed to be the style, so down I sat.
Wine was brought and toasts were made to our great future together. About halfway through the dinner he told me he had also brought me a present, but it was under the table, and would I please give him my hand so he could give it to me. I gave him my hand, and he placed it in his unzipped pants.
(via Daring Fireball)
A nice little piece defending the Bechdel test, and clarifying its purpose and usefulness:
The Bechdel test has steadily entered the public lexicon and brought with it a growing awareness of the enormous sexism inherent in Hollywood. It’s time to stop quibbling about minor rules of the Bechdel test and put all feminist tools—even the imperfect ones—toward fixing the problem of gender inequality on screen.
Really neat study from the Nate Silver-directed venture FiveThirtyEight: they did a pretty rigorous statistical analysis of Hollywood movie using the Betchdel test (on LB) of the portrayal of women and found pretty clearly that movies that do better on the test do better in the box office.
The article’s way more thorough and detailed that an one chart, and well worth a read.
You don’t have to agree, but it’s a pretty plausible explanation for many things, include the leadership gap he’s talking about:
There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes, that prevents women from accessing the ranks of power. Conservatives and chauvinists tend to endorse the first; liberals and feminists prefer the third; and those somewhere in the middle are usually drawn to the second. But what if they all missed the big picture?
In my view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris — often masked as charisma or charm — are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women.
An Indian entrepreneur, shocked by the rags women were using to cope with their menstrual flow, set out to solve the problem. The result is quite an inspiring story. Here’s an awkwardly funny excerpt showing his impressive dedication:
He managed to convince 20 students to try out his pads - but it still didn’t quite work out. On the day he came to collect their feedback sheets he caught three of the girls industriously filling them all in. These results obviously could not be relied on. It was then that he decided to test the products on himself. “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says.
He created a “uterus” from a football bladder by punching a couple of holes in it, and filling it with goat’s blood. A former classmate, a butcher, would ring his bicycle bell outside the house whenever he was going to kill a goat. Muruganantham would collect the blood and mix in an additive he got from another friend at a blood bank to prevent it clotting too quickly - but it didn’t stop the smell.
The inspiring part:
“Anyone with an MBA would immediately accumulate the maximum money. But I did not want to. Why? Because from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty - everything happens because of ignorance.”
He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. “A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it,” he says.
Speaking of “doxing”, a female Duke student was exposed, “doxed”, and criticized for making pornography. Here is her response:
I suppose I should not be surprised by this level of disrespect as to my welfare and safety. I suppose I should not be shocked at the lack of sensitivity I have been afforded. Because, sadly, these are the realities that women — especially sex workers — face every day. We are scorned by the very same people that encourage us to be sexual (“come on, baby,” “you know you want to,” “you’re so hot”) — and, in, my case, the hypocritical society that watches me behind a computer screen.
Or more succinctly:
You want to see me naked. And then you want to judge me for letting you see me naked.
This video really gave me a much more visceral sense of what male privilege really is. It’s subtitled French, but it’s really great watching.
(via Jacqui Cheng)
A good read about the perils of being a woman on the internet. Sadly nothing with which I wasn’t vaguely familiar, though the specifics drive the point home. The overview is pretty simply expressed by this point:
Abusers tend to operate anonymously, or under pseudonyms. But the women they target often write on professional platforms, under their given names, and in the context of their real lives. Victims don’t have the luxury of separating themselves from the crime. When it comes to online threats, “one person is feeling the reality of the Internet very viscerally: the person who is being threatened,” says Jurgenson. “It’s a lot easier for the person who made the threat—and the person who is investigating the threat—to believe that what’s happening on the Internet isn’t real.”
(via Next Draft)
This essay, delivered as a video, is an uncommon idea explained with great clarity. I implore you to look past the from — someone monologuing to the camera for 15 minutes makes me very likely to turn away — and give her amazingly rare points a hearing.