Being thin, it seems, is an unspoken requirement if you’re after a fatter paycheck. And the thinner you are, the better you fare, financially speaking. If you are deemed to be heavy, on the other hand, you suffer, as a 2011 study made clear. Heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less. Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average. And yes, those results are far more visible on women’s earnings than on those of men.
You may also struggle for promotion. It turns out that about half of male CEOs are overweight, but only 5% of female CEOs carry extra pounds. Add an extra layer to that glass ceiling.
Weight discrimination is costly for women October 31, 2014
“Women in clothes” October 4, 2014
This is a new book of interviews and illustrations that just might take your mind off the philosophy profession (eck!).
[i mean no disrespect to those who have worked and are working hard to air the profession's problems and to explore solutions. Rather, I am thinking of someone on facebook who commented that her mother wondered if she was thinking about the PGR too much. If you notice the non-philosophers among your family and friends are rolling their eyes when you speak, think of reading "Women in Clothes".]
Here’s part of the amazon buzz:
Poems, interviews, pieces that read like diary or journal entries-all these responses help the editors fulfill their aims: to liberate readers from the idea that women have to fit a certain image or ideal, to show the connection between dress and “habits of mind,” and to offer readers “a new way of interpreting their outsides.” “What are my values?” one woman asks. “What do I want to express?” Those questions inform the multitude of eclectic responses gathered in this delightfully idiosyncratic book Kirkus
About the Author
SHEILA HETI is the author of five books, including the critically acclaimed How Should a Person Be? and an illustrated book for children, We Need a Horse. She frequently collaborates with other artists and writers.
HEIDI JULAVITS is the author of four novels, most recently The Vanishers, winner of the PEN/New England Fiction Award. She is a founding editor of The Believer and a professor at Columbia University.
LEANNE SHAPTON is a Canadian artist, author, and publisher based in New York City. She is the author of Important Artifacts and Swimming Studies, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.
Here a conversation with the editors. http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/women-in-clothes-video-book-sheila-heti-heidi-julavits-leanne-shapton/
The kindle edition has color illustration at least for the ipad app.
three of the four amazon reviews make reading it sound like a transformative experience.
NeuroGenderings III September 1, 2014
Below is a list of podcasts from Neurogenderings III, a conference on the brain and gender, held this year in May. The podcasts are available here.
I heard Jordan-Young at a conference in honor of Anne Fasto-Sterling a week before the conference; I do recommend listening to her. And if you think that sex is purely biological then you will find Anne F-S’s keynote very interesting, I hope. The other speakers are very distinguished scholars.
Dr Cynthia KRAUS, Senior lecturer at the Institute of social sciences of the University of Lausanne. Opening words to NeuroGenderings III: the first international Dissensus** Conference, 8 May 2014, University of Lausanne.
Prof. Franciska KRINGS, Vice-Rector of the University of Lausanne. Welcome words to NeuroGenderings III: the first international Dissensus Conference, 8 May 2014, University of Lausanne.
Rebecca JORDAN-YOUNG, Tow Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College. Sex as Chimera: Tools for (Un)Thinking Difference.
Gillian EINSTEIN, Visiting Professor of Neuroscience and Gender Medicine, Linköping University, Associate Professor of Psychology, Dalla Landa School of Public Health, University of Toronto. When Does a Difference Make a Difference? Exemples from Situated Neuroscience.
Georgina RIPPON, Professor of Cognitive NeuroImaging, Aston University. Functional Neuroimaging (FNI) and Sex/Gender Research: of Differences, Dichotomies and Entanglement.
Anne FAUSTO-STERLING, Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, Brown University. How Your Generic Baby Aquires Gender.
**from your dictionary.com: When a large group of people is very unhappy with a certain policy or event, this collective unhappiness is an example of dissensus.
Naomi Wolf on Aging: What do you think? August 12, 2014
Is the following just a description, or in part a recommendation? In any case, it carries a lot of information about values, though just whose may not be clear. In any case, what do you think about it? definitely on the right track? Spending too much on yoga, pilates, organic food and expensive hair stylists? Some big flaws? Just wait untill she gets to 65?
When I am at a social occasion, the showstoppers are no longer the young beauties in their 20s. Rather, those who draw all the light in the room are the women of great accomplishment and personal charisma — and these are usually women in midlife. (Indeed, at events I have attended recently, cadres of conventionally beautiful young women seem now to be treated almost like wallpaper or like the catering staff.)
The change in social norms around the issue of women’s aging is immense. There is now an influential and growing demographic of educated, well-off women whose status, sense of self-esteem and sexual cachet rise rather than fall as they head toward midlife. I do not see younger women looking at accomplished women in their 40s with pity or derision: I see them looking ahead with admiration and even envy...
Because of advances in health and well-being awareness, many women I know are entering midlife feeling as good as (and looking better than) they did in college. But they also have professional success, self-knowledge, sexual magnetism and awareness, and even thriving children, admiring husbands or ardent lovers. These signs of accomplishment merely add to the allure of many midlife women — women who, when asked if they would like to be in their 20s again, think of doing so with a shudder.
So male philosophers who hit on young women in classes or conference are what? Incredibly insecure? Following the pro-creation narrative? Out of touch with the values of the cultural elite?
Body hair teaching exercise July 6, 2014
That’s the question confronting students in classes taught by Breanne Fahs, associate professor of women and gender studies in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Since 2010 Fahs has offered students the chance to participate in an extra-credit exercise related to body hair.
Female student participants stop shaving their legs and underarms for ten weeks during the semester while keeping a journal to document their experiences. For male students, the assignment is to shave all body hair from the neck down.
“There’s no better way to learn about societal norms than to violate them and see how people react,” said Fahs. “There’s really no reason why the choice to shave, or not, should be a big deal. But it is, as the students tend to find out quickly.”
For more, go here.
Some reflections on the Tata Top July 4, 2014
Have you seen the new “Tata Top”? Feeling ambivalent about it? Of course you are! Help is on the way.
Over at Fit Is a Feminist Issue, Tracy offers a useful survey of the pros and cons of the Tata Top. Check her post out here.
Jenn Neilson writes:
My name is Jenn, and I’m a former academic with a PhD in philosophy from UT Austin (2011). I’ve moved on from academia to my next project, but I thought that you might be interested in a post about it for the Feminist Philosophers blog.
I’m starting a kids’ clothing company called Jill and Jack Kids to challenge gender stereotypes and inspire the next generation of leaders to think beyond pink and blue. We’re launching our new line of kids’ clothes that go beyond pink and blue on Kickstarter from May 19th – June 6th, 2014. We’re starting with t-shirts in sizes 2-8, with 4 designs that change the messages we’re sending to kids, and our products are eco-friendly, socially responsible (no sweatshops!) and made in Canada with US-sourced materials.
As she explains:
Of course it’s great that we’re starting to see skill-building toys being marketed to girls, as well as boys (Goldieblox being the prime example). But this is really only a tiny part of the change that we need to make in kids’ environments to stop reinforcing the outdated gender stereotypes that limit their opportunities in life. If we want kids to want to engage in play that develops new skills, they have to see that kind of play as acceptable for kids like them. This will be easier with some kids than others, but how easily it comes depends both on the examples and influences that they see around them, and on their sense of self–their sense of how they’re supposed to behave, what sort of interests are seen as acceptable for them to have, and what options are open to them. A child’s sense of self is shaped by a combination of his or her own personality, along with a wide range of social factors. To change the environment that kids grow up in enough to stop reinforcing outdated gender stereotypes, we’re going to have to do a lot more than market skill-building toys to kids who are already independent enough, who already have a strong enough sense of self, to be interested in them. If we want to see the level of real, widespread change that stands a chance of eradicating gender inequality as we know it, then we have to start earlier. We have surround kids with influences that will help them to develop a strong and resilient sense of self, so that they will be secure enough to choose toys and clothes and books and movies based on their true interests, instead of choosing according to what society expects of them.
So how do we do that? We start by changing the messages that kids receive from role models in books, on TV and in movies–ending the era of the traditional Disney princess, where adventure, curiosity and personal strength are reserved for boys. But that’s not enough. If we want to change the messages we’re sending to kids, we need to recognize the communicative power of the things that are closest to them–the very clothes we dress them in. Gender conventions in children’s clothing reinforce the idea that building, discovery and active play are for boys, and that girls should be concerned with home life and aesthetic appeal. The bows and ruffles and hearts and frills teach girls about the importance of looking pretty, and the dark colors, truck and sports motifs show boys that they’re destined for competition and adventure. We should strive to make our children’s worlds reflect our hopes for a future where men and women are treated with equal respect, and have equal access to and responsibility for all aspects of life. Only our own choices as consumers and business-owners can make that change happen.
Check out her website here!
Appearance norms – facial hair February 24, 2014
Photo credit: Huffington Post
Hats off to Harnaam Kaur! After enduring years of bullying due to her thick facial hair caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, she decided to stop attempting to shave, pluck, and bleach it out of existence, and for the last few years has had a full beard. Hats off too, to Harnaam’s brother, Gurdeep Singh (pictured above), who she says is her biggest supporter:
Kaur slipped once and shaved off her beard at the age of 17 after pressure from her extended family, but revealed: “All I could do was cry because I didn’t feel like myself without my beard.
“My brother was actually the one person who was completely shocked by what I had done – he hugged me and said I had looked so beautiful with my beard, he didn’t understand why I had done it.”
She added: “It was from that point that I thought I’m never going to remove it ever again.”
You can read more here.
Not the usual makeover reaction February 20, 2014
This video features four women who get makeovers, photoshoots, and photoshopping, and their reactions to the way they look. Could be useful in teaching. (Thanks, Mr J!)
‘They cannot change me’ January 21, 2014
This video is a nice commentary on beauty expectations for women in the entertainment industry. From Jezebel:
Here’s a striking video from Hungarian singer Boggie, in which her moving image is being retouched and “corrected” throughout the entire video. Directed by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy, the three-minute video shows Boggie’s transformating from a lovely woman in dim lighting to a lovely, flawlessly made-up woman who has, judging by her glowing surroundings, been abducted by aliens and forced to sing for them.