I’ve begun to pay more careful and meaningful attention to gender and gender politics lately. Those of you who know me know that this is not an earth-shattering change for me. What’s different about this change is not that I’m thinking about gender politics but that I’m getting frustrated. I even emailed with my mom a couple weeks ago about a number of misogynistic encounters I’d had recently. I was asked illegal questions about my age and gender in a job interview. I heard my colleagues use “young” to describe a woman and “inexperienced” to describe a man – the two were nearly indistinguishable on paper. I watched Shut Up and Sing and was appalled to see that calling women “sluts” for exercising their civil rights was considered acceptable behavior. And tonight, I read an article on Forbes.com that made me cranky.
You’ll notice that the first few tips are about how to use one’s tie and jacket to make an impression as “strong.” Argh! So many things happening there. I read the text version of the article too, just in case it was less gendered. While it helpfully provides “he or she” instead of just “he” when referring to what a person might do, it does not succeed in speaking to or for women. I’m not letting this get to me too much though because the whole premise of the article offends me. People should not be treated as means to ends, but this article encourages readers to “appear authentic.” Why not just be authentic? Wouldn’t that be better?
Where did the feminists go? Our work is not done.
For Girls, It’s Be Yourself, and Be Perfect, Too (from the NY Times)
Male-female gap in income grows (from the Denver Post)