Don’t Call Me Bossy

An excellent post from lawyer Kathleen Wu, a plea to end calling women in leadership roles “bossy,” is here. Both girls and boys call girls “bossy” starting at a pretty early age. We should teach our kids to stop. Wu does a great job of connecting child age bossy-talk to the dislike of women in the work force.

“To summarize the two studies, when women who work in professions traditionally held by men (such as the legal profession) are successful, they are less liked than similarly successful men. Furthermore, those successful women are evaluated more harshly and get fewer “organizational rewards” (bonuses, promotions, raises, etc.) than their male counterparts. What causes this bias? One of the most plausible explanations is that society still tells us that there are women’s roles and men’s roles, and jobs that cater to the supposedly innate characteristics of each gender. Women are nurses, teachers and mommies — all jobs that require some empathy, nurturing and other, “softer” characteristics. Men are cops, high-powered executives and football players — jobs that require more aggression than compassion.”

The Salvation Army, Homophobia, and Charitable Giving

When you see the Salvation Army kettle this Christmas season, please pause and think before throwing in your money. The Salvation Army does a lot of good work but donors should remember that it’s also an organization that doesn’t believe in equality for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. It’s an evangelical church that helps to pay the salaries of lobbyists fighting gay rights legislation. Last year they also refused to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys collected for needy children because they’re incompatible with the charity’s Christian beliefs. Surely there are better places to give.

Some web sources:

web page for salvation army

Women cyclists beware! And: Lorry drivers beware!

Apparently Transport for London have a report showing that ‘Women cyclists are far more likely to be killed by a lorry because, unlike men, they tend to obey red lights and wait at junctions in the driver’s blind spot’. In not jumping red lights, cyclists are therefore in the blindspot of drivers and liable to be crushed when the lights change.

This report has not been released: I guess reports that suggest you’re safer when disobeying laws don’t go down well -though TfL insist that, rather than being disinterested in the safety of women cyclists, the report is for policy purposes only. They have indeed brought in an awareness campaign… which has itself been criticised.

More here.

Here’s the poster as the London Cycling Campaign would like to see it:

And some useful safety advice for the cyclists among us:

  • If a lorry is in front of you, wait where you can see the mirrors until it is possible to pass it
  • You should pass a lorry only on the right and only when you are sure you have enough time and space to get far enough ahead for the driver to see you clearly before they start moving
  • If a lorry is behind you, ride where the driver has to consider your presence
  • Ride where lorries cannot pass you, or cannot pass you without changing their position on the road
  • HGVs are so dangerous to cyclists that they should be treated with extreme caution

[from London School of Cycling)

Silencing in Russia

Political leaders in St. Petersburg are about to vote on law that will make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender. The ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin could make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen.


Go here to sign a petition.