Gender bias? Yup, it’s there. Unfair treatment in workplace? Check. Feminist? Why would I want to be that?

Sally sent us a link to this article, which contains some interesting US post-election polling. A few tidbits:

68% of women said they were being treated unfairly in the workplace.
61% of women think there is a gender bias in the media.

And yet only 20% of women are willing to call themselves “feminist”.

“Teachable moment” is the phrase that springs to mind. We’ve got a real opportunity here. Thoughts on how to seize it? (Other than: give shorter titles to your posts!)

A further useful fact for teaching revealed by the poll:

39% of men say that a male is “naturally more suited” to carrying out the duties of the President.

In my experience, that’s the sort of thing all the students insist nobody believes anymore.

12 thoughts on “Gender bias? Yup, it’s there. Unfair treatment in workplace? Check. Feminist? Why would I want to be that?

  1. You know, after I posted I found myself with a strange feeling of deja vu… Oh well! Maybe it’s still worth discussing.

  2. 39% of men say that a male is “naturally more suited” to carrying out the duties of the President.

    About this, jender says, “In my experience, that’s the sort of thing all the students insist nobody believes anymore.”

    That isn’t my experience. My experience is that this is an all too typical heads-I-win tails-you-lose situation.

    Men (and plenty of women) accept enough pop-evolutionary psychology to give credit to the idea that men are “naturally” more competitive, aggressive, etc. And they don’t think that supposing those qualities to be the mark of a good leader is at all sexist, to them it’s just good common sense. So (in my experience) they think this point about being “naturally more suited” to leadership is just a fact of sex (not gender) difference, just like (the always popular) “but men are stronger and so they should be the firefighters.” Heads, we win — nothing sexist about it.

    But when I ask why we devalue more traditionally “feminine” traits (e.g., communication, nurturing relationships, ability to reconcile opposing parties, listening) when it comes to thinking about leadership what I get back is that my question is too gender-essentialist. It’s not, after all, as if men can’t display those characteristics, why think they’re “feminine”? I’m just being overly sensitive — tails, you lose — nothing sexist about it.

  3. Maybe “naturally more suited” should be interpreted to mean the three piece as opposed to the pants suit. :)

  4. A lot of younger women find the word “feminist” to be the “f” word and in many ways, I can’t blame them but I fear that specifically, the 20-somethings, are actually missing some valuable understandings of what feminism has done for them as they frolic senselessly between boob jobs and blow jobs on the internet and reality t.v. (and real life) and allow themselves to be called “bitch”, “slut” or “whore” not only by men acceptantly but amongst themselves within female groups; that *is* their language. I kind of see the young generation as a self-degrading generation. I can’t help to wonder if younger women are confused about feminism in the sense that they associate feminists to “Hillary Clinton” types and therefore can’t relate. I’d be interested to know the age group of these women surveyed just for curiosity’s sake.

Comments are closed.