Man models women’s clothes

Or so it is being reported in the stories on Andrej Pejic. (Googling around, I can’t find any evidence that Pejic identifies as anything other than a man, but please do tell me if I’ve got that wrong.) At first it sounds pleasingly gender-bendy. But Pejic is being presented is a female ideal– even more unattainable than previous ones. And that doesn’t seem so pleasing somehow.

But he also seems to be doing men’s shows, and appearing in articles on trans icons (posing as Ziggy Stardust, not as himself). So maybe it’s all good? What do you think? (Thanks, A!)

What trans men tell us about inequality

There is a new book… that examines the workplace experience of those who have taken a different journey: the transition from female to male….

Most of the men interviewed revealed that as men they were given more authority and respect in the workplace than they had received as women, even when they had stayed in the same job. They also found that their economic gains post-transition were greater despite the fact that their human capital remained the same.

Here are just a few of the observations made about the personal difference they found between being a woman in the workplace and being a man.

As men they found that they were perceived as being right more often. One tells a story of intentionally repeating a comment that had just been made by a woman in a conference setting. The woman had been shot down for making the comment but when the man made exactly the same observation the reaction was “Excellent point!”

Alternatively, the men found that displays of knowledge that had been previously sanctioned by their employers when they were women were now rewarded and they were encouraged to offer their opinions. More support was provided to them at work when they needed it, and more resources made it easier for the men to perform their jobs well.

As men, they found that behaviour that had been previously perceived as excessively assertive when they were woman was now positively seen as “taking charge.”

But there’s an important exception.

About one-third saw no gains to being a man. It turns out that the real gain described above is not in becoming a man, but in becoming an older white man. Becoming either a Black or Asian man meant facing a whole new set of challenges in the workplace as either being too aggressive or too passive. If the transition made them look like very young men (especially over the period in which they are developing peach fuzz beards) they saw no advantage, or were disadvantaged for their youth and perceived lack of experience.

For more, go here. Or get the book.

(Thanks, Frog and Shaula!)

Why We Need Women in War Zones

An excellent article here dealing with Lara Logan’s sexual assault in Egypt.
Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.

More important, they also do a pretty good job of covering what it’s like to live in a war, not just die in one. Without female correspondents in war zones, the experiences of women there may be only a rumor.

Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.

There is an added benefit. Ms. Logan is a minor celebrity, one of the highest-profile women to acknowledge being sexually assaulted. Although she has reported from the front lines, the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound: It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is.

(Thanks, David!)

Asperger’s – new blog

I just came across this blog, which describes the experiences of a twenty-six year old woman who probably has Asperger’s Syndrome – as she says in the info, she doesn’t yet have a diagnosis, but her experience fits. There’s only one post up at the moment, but it looks like it will be interesting and informative. It also reminded me of the recent research that suggests Asperger’s is far more prevalent in females than originally thought, but the disorder manifests differently in females, and since the diagnostic criteria were based on male manifestations of the disorder, many females go undiagnosed. See this post for more information.