Interesting reflections by Jennifer Finney Boylan on how gender norms and expectations factor into teaching from the perspective of someone who has taught as a man and as a woman. Also, age. For her, age seems to have brought some freedom, but surely also brings some challenges.
Female male model November 22, 2012
So its time to meet Casey Legler, the female male model. There’s an interview with her talking about her work as an artist and as a male model here. Interesting to see gender being treated so flexibly.
Gender Bias in Theater? June 24, 2009
The NY Times reports on a year long study conducted by a Princeton economics student, Emily Glassberg Sands, whose work has been vetted by a number of excellent economists. The study looked at the fact that many more plays produced are written by men than by women. These are the conclusions reached:
1. There are many more men than women playwrights and the men are more prolific. Given that, men’s and women’s plays are produced at the same rate.
2. A study, which sent a play to theater directors and literary managers around the country with the name variously a male or female one, indicated that men judge men and women equally, but women are more likely to favor the male writer.
3. Women’s plays, when produced, are commercially significantly more successful, but they do not get any longer run time than the less successful men’s plays. (A case of there being higher standards for woman to get treatment equal to a man.)
4. “Plays that feature women — which are more commonly written by women — are also less likely to be produced”. (One person’s quoted reaction said that the female characters were less likable; it was not possible to tell if this was supported by the research or an interpretation of it.)
Let me start off the comments.
I have heard the equivalent of 1 holds for the sciences; I am not sure about other fields, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is true in most or all male dominated fields. The data in this case was drawn from a directory that depends on self-reporting, so part of the difference could start with what is reported. One reader comments that women are still socialized to believe that they will be wives and mothers in a way that puts other things second. I am inclined to think rate of productivity may be influenced by having a sense of being a part of the community, having expectations that what one writes will be taken seriously, and so on.
2 is certainly unwelcome, but a reminder that women are equally likely to have implicit biases; if we simply assume we are more fair, we may well be less fair.
Now, please, do join in and tell us what you think!
I blame my brother. April 2, 2009
Apparently, those with sisters grow up to be happier than those with brothers.
“Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. “However, brothers seemed to have the alternative effect.
So I guess Jender-Brother (or J-Bro, as I like to call him*) had an easy time thanks to my lovely influence. But it didn’t stop him from messing me up. Or maybe we canceled each other out– there I was, trying to encourage emotional expression, and there he was stamping it out at every turn! The article contains no reflection on families with only children, and gives no indication of whether those under discussion came from families with children all of one sex. Also little reflection on the pernicious effect it might have to tell parents or expectant parents that their boys can be expected to make family life less happy. Whee! Thanks(?) Jender-Mom, for sending that one on!
*I think it helps with the bonding. I’m like that.
The Doc Marten Vote (masculinity & feminism) September 26, 2008
“I know that I don’t look like everybody else on television,” she recently told The Washington Post. “Women on television are over-the-top beauty-pageant gorgeous. That’s not the grounds on which I am competing.” – Rachel Maddow (pictured below)
Originally I was going to write about this older article in which MSNBC and Air America pundit Rachel Maddow talks about surrendering to wearing “lady clothes.” But in doing a Google search today on her, I came across another article, “The High Heel Vote,” in The Independent on how the US election is is “really all about women.” (The connection is the quote at the top, to which I’ll get in a moment.) (more…)
Quick Guessing Game August 5, 2008
Three Presidential debates, one Vice Presidential. Moderators: Three white men, one black woman. Who gets the Vice Presidential debate?
Big Heads: The New Feminine August 3, 2008
As many of you may know, it’s been very well-confirmed that people react to newborns very differently based on their perceived sex. Stick ‘em in pink and they’re all tiny and delicate. Stick ‘em in blue and they’re strong and alert. Yesterday, Mr Jender took a phone call from a baby group friend, letting us know that his wife had just had a baby girl. She is, apparently, very large: over 9 pounds. And she has a huge head, far above the average. This was immediately followed by “She’s so delicate, so feminine!” Just more proof that anything at all counts as feminine, if you really want to think so. (New father went on to explain that he was feeling utterly baffled at how to deal with this new baby, because he knows how boys think, but not how girls think. Mr J politely tried to reassure him that it probably wouldn’t be all that different for quite a long time.)
Have you had similar experiences? Please do tell us about them in comments– these sorts of stories are always very useful for teaching!
(Typo edited– thanks Sally!)
‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’ August 1, 2008
Let’s just alternate these terms. They’re synonyms anyway, right? (And yes, I know I’m focusing on a rather superficial aspect of some stories that actually raise really troubling issues. But sometimes I have to let the inner pedant out to play.) Thanks, BTPS.
Guess what? July 25, 2008
Girls don’t suck at maths. See also here. (How many times does this need to be shown?) Prediction: if this comes to widely accepted, expect lots more stories about how girls are innately predisposed not to like doing stuff that involves maths– gotta explain the dearth of women in science and maths in such a way that nobody has to worry about it. (Thanks BTPS and Jender-Parents!)
Maybe there are some nuggets of wisdom June 23, 2008
in this article arguing that women just don’t want to do engineering and so-called “hard science”. But somehow I doubt it when the evidence draws on the “fact” that philosophy has tons of women in it, and when the list of the 5 countries offering women the most financial security and the most family-friendly policies includes the US (nothing says “family friendly” and “financially secure” like a lack of guaranteed health coverage, maternity leave, and childcare). Wow, that’s some nifty science for ya. And some spectacular journalistic fact-checking. (Thanks, Heg!)