It’s time for our round-up of what we’ve been reading (and watching, and listening to)! Let’s get to it:
“I’ve never been female, but I have been black my whole life…”
Neil DeGrasse Tyson answers a question about “genetic differences” as the reason so few women are in science…by talking about discrimination he’s experienced his whole life as a black boy and man. This is SO GOOD. – Kate
“So the next time you see something like this and you think that girls can’t code, just remember girls invented coding. And invented the tools that finally let softies like you play at being programmers. They did the heavy lifting so programming could be easy enough for noobs like you.”
Why Telling Women to Be More Confident Won’t Stop Sexism: a (non-exhaustive) list of ways we can help women in the workplace that don’t include telling them just to hold their head up high.
“Kay and Shipman ultimately imply that the key to gender equality is women’s self-confidence, putting the burden on women to personally fix an institutional problem. The authors allocate a small paragraph to children and the lack of flexibility in the workplace when in fact that’s what drives most of the wage gap. Trying to solve gender inequality in the workplace by telling women to be more confident is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. It may give the passengers something to do, but it definitely won’t stop the ship from sinking.”
I actually really liked The Atlantic’s Confidence Gap article (which this article is responding to.) It wasn’t about “just telling women to have more confidence”; that PolicyMic article was a glib misreading. Cnfidence is something that I struggle with, and I, like the Atlantic authors, blame culture for beating it out of me as a girl. So I personally resonated strongly with it, and found the article’s recommendations to be comforting, empowering, and helpful. – Jan
I got completely turned off to the article when they said that “Maternal instincts do contribute to a complicated emotional tug between home and work lives, a tug that, at least for now, isn’t as fierce for most men.”
Any article attributing the way having children affects women’s career trajectories by citing “maternal instincts” rather than “cultural and institutional obstacles and oppression” has immediately lost all my trust. That left a bad taste in my mouth and I gave up about a page later. I strongly sympathize with the idea that lack of confidence can be debilitating and really hold people back, but I didn’t trust the authors of the article to put the blame for the lack of confidence where it belongs, particularly since it wasn’t even acknowledging all of the other institutional barriers to success that exist, particularly for women who are not rich, white, and educated. – Bridie
“This brings us to the idea you have that women shouldn’t have equal pay because it will make it more difficult for them to find husbands. What you’re doing is attempting to limit my choices, and I don’t appreciate that.”
“The amazing thing about “white guilt” is that it allows white people to take the suffering of other people and somehow make it about us again.
We’ve just gotten so used to having everything be about us that when we see a movie directed by a black man, starring a black man, telling a personal story about experiencing slavery, we just assume that it’s still about us, but indirectly. Like it’s trying to send us a message about how we should feel about ourselves. Who else could the movie be for?”
“Well done to the gross, sexist corner of nerd culture: You have finally scraped the bottom of the barrel.”
“The actress and activist got the fifth highest number of votes in the online vote, much more than many people included on the annual list.”
“My denomination — the United Church of Christ — authorizes me to perform these ceremonies,” said a North Carolina minister. “But Amendment One denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right.”
Now that men are coming forward and describing instances of sexual assault, what role do feminists play in helping them have the cultural conversation that has gone on for female victims of sexual assault? -Jan
Content note for first person description of sexual assault.
I have no love for Time anymore but occasionally their opinion section has good stuff. Kareem Abdul Jabbar talks about the recent LA Clippers vs owner Donald Sterling uproar and the ridiculous cycle of what society latches onto as racism and what they ignore. – Skylar
Suuuuuuuper interesting interview with Judith Butler about her theories on gender and her thoughts on TERfs and their views – Skylar
Content Note: Includes graphically transphobic quotes and tweets
“Housing determines access to transportation, green spaces, decent schools, decent food, decent jobs, and decent services. Housing affects your chances of being robbed and shot as well as your chances of being stopped and frisked. And housing discrimination is as quiet as it is deadly. It can be pursued through violence and terrorism, but it doesn’t need it. Housing discrimination is hard to detect, hard to prove, and hard to prosecute. Even today most people believe that Chicago is the work of organic sorting, as opposed segregationist social engineering. Housing segregation is the weapon that mortally injures, but does not bruise.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates kills it here. – Skylar
That article about how you shouldn’t tell men that you have a boyfriend to get them to go away is super great in theory, but in practice, you really don’t owe strangers the truth. Putting the onus on women to fix patriarchy when the real problem is that men don’t care about their consent is not super helpful. – Domo (quoting DDP reader Ruby!)
For the past two days bell hooks has been chatting it up at The New School about everything from 12 Years a Slave to #SaveOurGirls to surviving the space of academia as a woman of color. She even discussed Beyonce with Janet Mock! Check out the videos, and see today’s final livestream conversation How Do We Define Feminist Liberation? Listening to Black Female Voices at 4 PM and use the hashtag #bellhooksTNS –Domo