Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to making it a better place. This fun and visual guidebook will give you necessary tools to effectively navigate this seemingly controversial topic and provide you with concrete examples of best in class strategies. I invite you to be part of the gender revolution!
Letâ€™s Shift The Balance Together!
Balance the world!
This is a feminist guide for millennials.
Balance the world! Tactics to help you launch a gender revolution
Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to making it a better place. This fun and visual guidebook will give you necessary tools to effectively navigate this seemingly controversial topic and provide you with concrete examples of best in class strategies. I invite you to be part of the gender revolution!
Letâ€™s Shift The Balance Together!
Balance the world!
This is a feminist guide for millennials.
Balance the world! Tactics to help you launch a gender revolution
Preface I grew up in a world where, as the recently deceased French anthropologist Françoise Héritier observed, men are worth more than women. As a Libra child, keen on balance and justice, this infuriated me. I saw how my feminist mum would smash her face against the walls of patriarchy when she tried to voice a different opinion. Growing up, I realized that my individual story was actually a collective one, global and systemic. And that we hardly talk about it because it is so embedded in us that we don’t question it anymore, we don’t see it. And when we do, we focus on the problem, and its insurmountable size makes us feel helpless. So I wrote this book as an antidote. An antidote to our feeling of helplessness in front of the magnitude of the problems. An antidote to our collective denial or our apathy in situations of injustice. An antidote to fear and depression. There are so many valuable men and women out there who are willing to balance this world. So, even if many times I feel like tiny David against giant Goliath, I wanted to offer you hope through concrete solutions any of us can implement. Because I do believe that the sum of the smallest individual changes will ultimately trigger a systemic transformation. So I dedicate this book to my late mum Martine, who instilled in me a fighter’s spirit. Let’s not give up the fight! – Aurélie Salvaire
table of contents Introduction ----------------------------------------------------------------Before We Start -----------------------------------------------------------
Education ---------------------------------------------------------------------Media and Art --------------------------------------------------------------Advertising -------------------------------------------------------------------Language ---------------------------------------------------------------------Public Speaking ----------------------------------------------------------Cities ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Sports ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Politics --------------------------------------------------------------------------Leadership ------------------------------------------------------------------Investors -----------------------------------------------------------------------Pay Gap -----------------------------------------------------------------------Science and Technology --------------------------------------------Sex -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Violence -----------------------------------------------------------------------Manhood ------------------------------------------------------------------------
47 73 97 115 133 151 181 205 233 271 289 311 333 357 405
Conclusion -------------------------------------------------------------------- 437 Bibliography ------------------------------------------------------------------ 447 2
THE SECRET OF CHANGE IS TO FOCUS ALL OF YOUR ENERGY, NOT ON FIGHTING THE OLD, BUT ON BUILDING THE NEW. â€” Dan Millman
This is a feminist guide for millennials. Have you been outraged by Trumpâ€™s election? Are you tired of the violence and intolerance plaguing many spheres of our androcentric world? Do you want to do something about it? Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to making it a better place. This fun and visual guidebook will give you necessary tools to effectively navigate this seemingly controversial topic and provide you with concrete examples of best in class strategies. I invite you to be part of the gender revolution!
Letâ€™s Shift The Balance Together ! 5
Lilith will guide you in this quest. Contrary to the folklore, Lilith is regarded as a true feminist icon. Legend says, she is considered to be the first woman ever, created equal to Adam. When she refused to submit to Adam's authority, she was thrown out of paradise and replaced by a more docile Eve. Since then, she has been portrayed as a demon, even though her only crime was to question: â€œWhy should I lie beneath you when I am your equal since both of us were created from dust?â€? Source: Genesis, Hebrew Talmud
Your life in the Matrix We live in a Matrix. So embedded in us that we are completely oblivious to it. We even deny its existence. A world of fear and domination. A world of aggression and war where military spending massively exceeds education spending. A world of deep suffering.
PATRIARCHY IS LIKE THE MATRIX. YOU ARE LIVING IN IT EVERYDAY, BUT YOU DON’T SEE IT. — Carolina Criado-Perez
To prepare people for this world, we force them to conform, to fit into little boxes. Women have been conditioned to believe that their worth is less than… this condition begins in early childhood. “It’s a girl” is still a lethal phrase in many places around the world. Even in more lineal societies like Europe or the US, girls are more likely to be interrupted by her parents or teachers, to be socialized to be calmer and partake in quieter activities, and to learn to conform and obey. A little boy, in contrast, will be conditioned by his toys, language, and TV to deal with conflict in a violent manner and to disconnect from his emotions unless he feels anger. A world where one half of the population is trained to dominate and oppress the other half is not a happy place. Both sexes are trapped into boxes.
What can we do about it ? I’M NO LONGER ACCEPTING THE THING THAT I CAN NOT CHANGE. I AM CHANGING THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT. — Angela Davis
This book is about solutions. Today, more than ever, we need everyone to be a “balancemaker.” We identified 15 key topics. For each topic, we state the problem, share existing solutions, and propose some concrete actions you can take. 01 — Education 02 — Media and art 03 — Advertising 04 — Language 05 — Public speaking 06 — Cities 07 — Sports 08 — Politics 09 — Leadership 10 — Investors 11 — Pay gap 12 — Science and technology 13 — Sex 14 — Violence 15 — Manhood Tactics for a revolution. Imagine you live in a world where most of the resources, power, media, and myths are owned by one part of the population. And you’re not a part of it. What would you do? Which tactic would you use to shift the power balance? Here are some tactics that we will illustrate in this book. Visualize We say an image is worth a thousand words. Visualizing data or a shocking statistic in an infographic can be extremely powerful. You can also portray what the world would be like, the utopia you aspire to, as with the prophetic front page of a newspaper. Show, don’t tell. 9
Data Mining Gather relevant data so that no one can deny the reality of the problem. Tech 4 Good Leverage technology to crowdsource information in real time, geolocalize data, or create useful wearables.
The Power of the Crowd Campaigning platforms like Change.org and social media like Twitter and Facebook allow anycitizen to make noise and unite people around a cause. What was once an isolated individual complaint online can now rally thousands.
Humor Humor can defuse the situation, making dry topics accessible to connect with people. Humor opens hearts and minds.
Gaming Leverage the power of play to raise awareness on complex issues.
Naming A simple yet powerful tactic is to give a name to a previously unnoticed phenomenon. (Mansplaining, Manspreading, Manterrupting, etc.)
New Skill Train women in a new skill in order to infiltrate male-dominated sectors.
Counter-storytelling Choose a new angle to portray a problem, provide a female gaze to a traditional story, show what a different world would be like. New media channels allow each of us to become a storyteller.
New Heroes Portray new role models and new stories of women and men striving for peace and balance.
Stage In a forum theater, actors perform a scene with a negative outcome. Audience members become "spectActors" in order to solve the situation. This tactic was developed by the Theatre of the Oppressed in Latin America in the 1970s.
Speak Up Mainstream icons, famous actors and actresses, and heads of state openly supporting gender equity is a strong method to invite these topics into mainstream media and to leverage their visibility for a social impact.
Toolkit Disseminating case studies, toolkits, and manuals with concrete tips and advice is a great way to guide people.
Infiltrate Progressively infiltrate the power structures in order to switch the power balance from within. This requires stamina and resilience.
Quotas Affirmative action measures that impose a target for representation within the organization can accelerate the diversity of leadership circles and help shatter the "glass ceiling," but they also create tensions and frustrations within the organization.
Revolution Revolution represents a fundamental change in political power in a short period of time. Revolution is a fast-paced tactic that creates massive wounds and extremely uncertain outcomes. 11
Boycott Refrain from buying products or using services from companies who do not respect your values.
Rate Attribute a mark or a rank to an organization according to its compliance with diversity objectives.
Outlaw Ban certain practices from an organization, city, or country.
Unite When women unite, they prove that they are powerful. Remember, women paralyzed Iceland in 1975, and Lysistrata's sex strike stopped the Peloponnesian Wars.
Street Action Guerrilla activism costs little, but, if well publicized, these actions create a viral effect.
Symbolic Claim Focus your protest or campaign on a small but very symbolic illustration of the power system.
Disobey the Rules It is good to be an ally but sometimes you have to be a rebel. If you believe some rules are not fair, why follow them?
Occupy Occupy a public and symbolic place to raise awareness of an issue, for example Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados in Madrid, or Nuit Debout in Paris. 12
New Products Gender imbalance can be perceived as a market opportunity to create products addressing an unsatisfied need.
Awareness Focus on growth. Learn. Question. Speak. Act.
Reverse Reverse the roles to shed light on the incongruity of cultural rules.
Empathy Invite others to put themselves in your shoes to be more aware of your reality.
Dilute Instead of fighting the existing structure, create alternative models that become so numerous that they dilute the old system in a sea of new ones.
Nonviolence Many changemakers use peaceful walks, civil resistance, and disobedience tactics to prove their point and challenge the existing power structures.
A true systemic change will only arise from a combination of these tactics triggered by a symbolic event. It will require planning, strategy, and cooperation. If you are passionate about changing the system, read Gene Sharp's groundbreaking work, From Dictatorship to Democracy, or consult the Albert Einstein Institution, which lists 198 methods of nonviolent action!
NON-VIOLENCE IS A POWERFUL AND JUST WEAPON. INDEED, IT IS A WEAPON UNIQUE WHICH CUTS WITHOUT WOUNDING AND ENNOBLES THE MAN WHO WIELDS IT. â€” Martin Luther King Jr
Now it's your turn! Pick the topic you are most passionate about, choose one of the tactics you feel more comfortable with, and imagine what you could start! The world is full of opportunities! Learn about them in the coming pages!
BABY, SHALL WE SMASH CAPITALISM AND PATRIARCHY TOGETHER ?
Before We Start...
Feminism: A belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Men and women are different, regardless of this, they should have access to the same rights and opportunities.
Do you think men and women should be equal?
Congratulations! Youâ€™re a Feminist
Not A Feminist
TEST: How much of a feminist are you? Check all that apply. I would be willing to give up some of my salary if I had to, so that equal pay in my workplace could be a reality. I believe that men and women should be equal. I can’t help but be bothered when a song includes misogynistic lyrics, even when I otherwise like the song. I know who bell hooks is. I can define intersectional feminism. I don’t use the phrase “hey guys” when referring to a group of people that includes men and women. I have taken a women’s and/or gender studies class. I think it’s important to encourage girls to pursue science and math as a career. I think we should change women’s bathroom symbols to not include traditionally “feminine” clothing (skirts, dresses, etc). I believe trans people should be able to use whichever bathroom they identify with. I believe it’s important to encourage women to negotiate. I believe Jennifer Lawrence should earn as much as her male costars. I do not think a movie should be released unless it passes the Bechdel test. I believe all genders are entitled to the same social and political rights. I can explain why “78 cents to the dollar” is not a fully accurate description of the gender wage gap. I believe that women who possess certain types of privilege are responsible for advocating for women who don’t have their level of privilege. In an instance of sexual assault against a female, I am inclined to believe the assaulted person is telling the truth until proven otherwise. I believe that women should be able to dress however they want without it dictating how they are treated by society. I have never said that a woman “asked for it.” I am offended by catcalling. I don’t think women should get VIP treatment at nightclubs and bars just for being women. I think police brutality and its correlation with race is a feminist issue. I think we should stop promoting models as the ideal female body type. I think we should stop photoshopping women’s bodies in the media. I have never called a woman bossy. I think companies should offer more child-friendly programs for parents.
I believe that a woman should be offered the same opportunities for promotion as her male co-workers. I believe that if a woman wants to pay on a date, her date should let her. I believe that women should have easy access to birth control. I believe the domestic duties should be shared in a relationship. I think that a couple should have equal responsibility over the cleanliness of their home. I believe that men and women have the same emotional strength. I do not think that it is the responsibility of a man to protect a woman physically. I believe that men and women should be equally encouraged to express their emotions. I have never asked a woman why she does not have children. I would be equally excited to have a son or a daughter. I think women have a responsibility to help and encourage other women to pursue their goals. I think women are equally capable as men to be the President of their countries. I believe that women have no responsibility to make a conscious effort to always be friendly and polite. I have never criticized a woman for not wearing makeup or wearing too much makeup. I believe a woman is a woman if that is what she calls herself, regardless of her physical attributes and makeup. What’s your score?
Source: Buzzfeed - How much of a feminist are you?
Some say “I am a humanist, not a feminist” but how do you want to fight discrimination if you don’t name it?
BEING A FEMINIST IS LIKE BEING PREGNANT. YOU EITHER ARE OR YOU ARE NOT. — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Many of us reject the feminist label without knowing its true meaning. Do you consider yourself a feminist or not? Pre-definition Male
Yes 15% 35%
Yes 51% 69%
WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF THE WORD FEMINIST. MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD USE IT TO DESCRIBE THEMSELVES. — Justin Trudeau
Two books to read in case of doubt. 1
Feminism is for Everybody, Bell Hooks. With her characteristic clarity and directness, Bell Hooks encourages readers to see how feminism can touch and change their lives to see that feminism is for everybody. We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The highly-acclaimed and provocative New York Times bestseller is adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name. The award-winning author of Americanah offers a modern version of what feminism means for her.
I AM A FEMINIST. I’VE BEEN A FEMALE FOR A LONG TIME NOW. I’D BE STUPID NOT TO BE ON MY OWN SIDE. — Maya Angelou
When talking about gender, two different points of view tend to emerge. Nature
Gender is in our DNA.
Gender is a social construct.
Patriarchy is natural.
Patriarchy is learned.
Human biology and genetics explain male control.
We have very similar hardware, just the software is different.
Bateman's principle: male dominance is a human universal as a result of our biological makeup. Females invest more energy into producing offspring than males, and, as a result, females are a resource over which males compete.
Since the feminist movement and the flood of women into the workforce, social constructionism has gained even greater traction.
Essentialism is the view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function. In gender studies, the essentialist idea that men and women are fundamentally different (some qualities being essentially male and some female) continues to be a matter of contention.
ONE IS NOT BORN, BUT RATHER BECOMES A WOMAN. — Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Judith Butler is the most influential gender theorist. Judith Butler is best known for her books Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. In these books, she challenges conventional notions of gender and develops her theory of gender performativity. This theory has had a major influence on feminist and queer scholarship. Butler conceives of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality.
YOUR BEHAVIOR CREATES YOUR GENDER. WE ACT AND WALK AND SPEAK AND TALK IN WAYS THAT CONSOLIDATE AN IMPRESSION OF BEING A MAN OR BEING A WOMAN. — Judith Butler
We need to differentiate gender identity, biological sex, and gender expression. Sex Biological traits that society associates with being male or female.
Cultural meanings attached to being masculine and feminine, which influences personal identities. Gender identity is usually established by age three. Cisgender people identify with the sex assigned at birth, transgender people donâ€™t.
Sexual attraction, practices and identity that may or may not align with sex and gender.
A RECENT SURVEY OF A THOUSAND MILLENNIALS FOUND THAT HALF OF THEM THINK GENDER IS A SPECTRUM Social movements tend to use different tactics to reach their objective. Like any social struggle, feminism is also multi-faceted. It has used different tactics and strategies over time. There is a full spectrum of feminist activists. EMMA WATSON
More consensual tactics
More radical tactics
And different waves. First Wave:
Womenâ€™s right to vote.
Equal pay and reproductive rights.
Media portrayal, gender roles, sex positivity, pay inequality, glass ceiling, sexual harrassment, domestic abuse, reproductive rights, androcentric world.
Social media activism. Fourth wave feminism is defined by technology. #MeToo #YesAllWomen #AskHerMore
It’s important to be aware of the danger of white feminism. White feminism is a form of feminism that focuses on the struggles of white women while failing to address the distinct forms of oppression often faced by women of color and women lacking other privileges. Feminism can easily turn into neocolonialism.
Image: Janna Yashchuk
Just look at this French campaign used in Algeria in 1958.
Revealing our society’s double standards.
Image: Malcolm Evans
As the famous feminist slogan says: Don’t liberate me, I can do it!
IF YOU HAVE COME HERE TO HELP ME, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME. BUT IF YOU HAVE COME BECAUSE YOUR LIBERATION IS BOUND UP WITH MINE, THEN LET US WORK TOGETHER. — Lilla Watson
Intersectionality is the belief that oppressions are interlinked and cannot be solved alone. Opressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected. The term intersectionality was coined by the American feminist, Kimberlé Crenshaw.
IF YOU'RE STANDING IN THE PATH OF MULTIPLE FORMS OF EXCLUSION, YOU'RE LIKELY TO GET HIT BY BOTH. — Kimberlé Crenshaw
Some books explain the rise of black feminism. Ain't I a Woman? by Bell Hooks is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class. Christine Delphy co-founded the journal Nouvelles Questions Féministes with Simone de Beauvoir in the 1970s and became one of the most influential figures in French feminism. Today, Delphy remains a prominent and controversial thinker, a rare public voice denouncing the racist motivations of the government’s 2011 ban of the Muslim veil. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SINGLE-ISSUE STRUGGLE BECAUSE WE DO NOT LIVE SINGLE-ISSUE LIVES. — Audre Lorde
Co-Founders of Ms. Magazine: Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes.
Islamic feminism is a form of feminism concerned with the role of women in Islam. It aims for the full equality of all Muslims, regardless of gender, in public and private life. Islamic feminists advocate women's rights, gender equality, and social justice grounded in an Islamic framework. Advocates of the movement seek to highlight the deeply rooted teachings of equality in the religion and to encourage a questioning of the patriarchal interpretation of Islamic teaching through the Quran, Hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and Sharia (law) towards the creation of a more equal and just society. Moroccan Fatima Mernissi was largely concerned with Islam and women's roles in it, as in her essay Beyond the Veil. Leila Ahmed is an Egyptian American writer on Islam and Islamic feminism. In her seminal work, Women and Gender in Islam (1992), Ahmed argues that the oppressive practices to which women in the Middle East are subjected are caused by the prevalence of patriarchal interpretations of Islam rather than Islam itself. Islamic doctrine developed within an androcentric, misogynist society, that of Abbasid Iraq, the customs of which were largely inherited from the Sasanian Empire after its conquest. According to Ahmed, veiling was prevalent in pre-Islamic society to differentiate veiled free women from non-veiled slaves. Colonial feminism was a Western discourse of dominance that, "introduced the notion that an intrinsic connection existed between the issue of culture and the status of women, and that progress for women could be achieved only through abandoning the native culture." Amina Wadud is an American scholar of Islam with a progressive focus on Qur'an exegesis. Wadud decided to lead Friday prayers (salat) for a congregation in the United States, breaking with Islamic laws, which allows only male imams (prayer leaders) in mixed-gender congregations. In her essay Qur’an and Women, she reads the sacred text from a woman's perspective. Musawah ("equality" in Arabic) is a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim community.
BUT WHAT IS PATRIARCHY? Patriarchy is a social system in which men are considered to have a monopoly on power and women are expected to submit. The rule of the father. Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power, predominately in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property; in the domain of the family, fathers or father figures hold authority over women and children. Patriarchy is a system of domination enforced through violence and the threat of violence. It is a system developed and controlled by powerful men, in which women, children, other men, and nature itself are dominated. Patriarchy is everywhere. It is a power structure. Trickling down from the myths and archetypal stories down to the choice of your razor blade. Thinking that we are free of gender is the biggest denial of our times.
PATRIARCHY HAS NO GENDER. — Bell Hooks
I KNOW ENOUGH WOMEN WHO ARE TOTALLY PATRIARCHAL, WHO ARE TOTALLY ANTI-WOMEN, WHO DO NASTY THINGS TO OTHER WOMEN, AND I HAVE KNOWN MEN WHO HAVE WORKED FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS THEIR WHOLE LIFE. FEMINISM IS NOT BIOLOGICAL: FEMINISM IS AN IDEOLOGY. — Kamla Bhasin
We need to work on many levels. Meta Cultural Level Universal Stories/Myths /Archetypes/Religions
Create new belief systems, images, roles.
Global Level Media
Literature, Advertising, Cinema, Music, Comics, Art, TV, Photography.
Language, Jokes, Common Expressions, Insults.
Household Chores, School, Playground, Toys, Sports, Body Posture, Sex Education, Clothes.
Boardrooms, Political Representation, Equal Pay, Money and Investment, Tech and Science, Public Speaking.
Dating, Sex Practices, Porn, Sexual Assault, Sex Trade, Domestic Violence, Harrassment, Rape, Prostitution.
Individual Level Girls
Body Image, Self-Esteem, Confidence, Talkativeness.
Emotional Intelligence, Repressed Feelings, Violence.
Simply put, patriarchy is a system of domination and control that privileges cisgender men at the expense of everyone else (though notably to varying degrees and in different ways, since the benefits of patriarchy exist at intersections of other forms of domination and oppression). Patriarchy, as is the case with other related systems of oppression like white supremacy, relies on violence (both literal and symbolic) deployed against cisgender women, transgender people, and gender non-conforming people in order to maintain supremacy. 26
If you believe that… There is a hierarchy between races, you are racist. There is a hierarchy between sexual orientation, you are homophobic/transphobic. There is a hierarchy between genders, you are sexist.
SEXISM IS STILL CONFUSED WITH NATURE AS RACISM ONCE WAS. — Gloria Steinem
Yet, many men and women do not consider themselves as feminist because... They don’t know the exact definition. They assume it means women are superior to men. They assume it means women are identical to men. They assume it means being a violent and aggressive activist. They are afraid to be badly perceived by others. Patriarchy is generally not an explicit ongoing effort by men to dominate women. It is a long-standing system that we are born into and participate in, mostly unconsciously.
A QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE IS INVISIBLE TO THOSE WHO HAVE IT. — Michael Kimmel
PRIVILEGE IS REVEALED MORE CLEARLY TO THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE IT. — Hugo Schwyzer
Most men (and some women) around the world think sexism is not an issue anymore.
PRIVILEGE IS WHEN YOU THINK SOMETHING IS NOT A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT’S NOT A PROBLEM TO YOU PERSONALLY. This is what Roland Barthes calls “exnomination.” Male gender is considered the norm, so the problem then lies with the other, which men feel they do not belong to. A few examples of male privilege: Privilege of a gender that confers authority. Privilege to show skin and dress as you wish. Privilege of seeing yourself widely and positively represented in the media. Privilege of having political officials fight for issues that pertain to your sex. Privilege of having major religions in the world led by individuals of your sex. Privilege to move or date without fear of harassment, assault, or rape.
Prevalence of Street Harassment in the U.S. 57%
41% 25% 18% Overall Prevalence of Harassment
16% Physically Agressive Harrassment
Data: Stop Street Harassment, 2014 Study
Becoming aware of your privilege should not be viewed as a burden or a source of guilt but rather an opportunity to learn and be responsible so that we may work toward a more just and inclusive world.
FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. — Bell Hooks
Most common reactions to male privilege. Defensiveness: “I’m not going to feel guilty for what I inherited. If some people don’t have those same privileges, tough luck!” Paralyzing guilt: “This is just so unfair, but what am I supposed to do about it!? I never asked for this, and one little person can’t change a system that’s been around for hundreds of years!” Reacting with guilt or defensiveness does not help. “Guilt is a profoundly conservative emotion and as such is not particularly useful for bringing about change. From a position of insecurity and guilt, people do not change or inspire others to change.” “If we inherit injustice, we should never feel guilty. We are not responsible for that past. However, if we choose to do nothing about it going forward, then we have plenty to feel guilty about.” Source: The Construction of Masculinity, Michael Kaufman
Let's be clear. Not everybody is in favor of equality. Men’s rights activists, white supremacists, or groups like the Return of the Kings consider feminism to be evil. The famous “anti-diversity memo” from a former Google employee argued that women are underrepresented in the tech world due to biological differences. The “Mariage pour tous” movement in France is campaigning against any gender awareness teaching in schools. So, yes, there is a conservative backlash wishing to return to “the good ol’ times.”
WHEN YOU’RE ACCUSTOMED TO PRIVILEGE, EQUALITY FEELS LIKE OPPRESSION 29
Change triggers fear. Standard gender roles are safe and comforting. Change is uncomfortable: Will I lose my privilege? What is my new role? What is my identity? What is OK and not OK now? I am lost. A lot of men fear losing their power. According to Hanna Rosin in The End of Men, men in the US are set to dominate just 2 of the 15 categories of jobs projected to grow in the next decade: computer engineering and janitoring. According to Grayson Perry in The Descent of Man, “men are sold a big dream of power, but it goes only to a privileged few. A lot of men are sold the narrative of power and domination but lead lives of frustration and servitude. No wonder they get angry. Anger is a response to the feeling of powerlessness. The idea that gender is in our genes is convenient. It leaves us off the hook, with no need to think or reflect. Feminism has always been forward-looking. We believe women’s rights will come, that change shall be embraced. Many men are nostalgic. Masculinity so far is harking back to some mythical age when “men were men.” A time when men dominated women. A positive change in masculinity would be a massive positive change for the world.” Denial is still widespread. A way to avoid change is to refuse to acknowledge the problem. Denial takes many forms: Questioning the figures. Relativizing the situation. Saying it’s already better now. Making jokes. Being cynical about the situation. Blaming the other. Leveraging different strategies as defense mechanisms and protection.
We need to differentiate between equality and equity. Equity means acknowledging oneâ€™s privilege and accepting that extra help is given to those who have less.
HE WHO ACCEPTS EVIL WITHOUT PROTESTING AGAINST IT IS REALLY COOPERATING WITH IT. â€” Martin Luther King Jr.
HOW WAS THIS POWER SYSTEM CREATED? In The Creation of Patriarchy, Gerda Lerner explains how the patriarchal system was created. The first step was the realization of the male role in procreation. The first signs of patriarchy ocurred in the Neolithic Era between 10,200 BCE and 2,000 BCE. Neolithic humans relied on a system where men were the hunters of a tribe and women were the gatherers. During this time, the realization occurred that it took a male and female to produce offspring. It is theorized that with this realization, these Neolithic men first became aware of their role in paternity. With the domestication of animals and the development of animal husbandry, the function of the male in the process of procreation became more apparent and better understood. 31
PRIVATE PROPERTY IS THE WORLD HISTORIC DEFEAT OF FEMALE SEX. — Friedrich Engels
With this new concept of ownership came the desire to leave private herds to the descendants of the owner. These same men also began to take private ownership over their individual herds. Prior to this development, the people of the Paleolithic Era had shared both land and supplies. Because of this new desire, it became necessary for women to be virgins before marriage and for them to abstain from adultery after marriage so that men could be sure their offspring were their own. With this new control over women began the earliest patriarchal families. Patriarchy was furthered at the end of the Neolithic Era when women began to be traded as commodities. The commodification of women could be seen in arranged marriages between families or villages, women being forced to have sex with visitors as a deed of hospitality, and ritual rapes during festivals to insure prosperity. Women were treated as commodities, and they became accustomed to this identification from a young age. Women’s values lay in their reproduction, especially in farming villages. In these villages, more people were needed to work the land and sustain the population, so women were expected to produce a large amount of offspring. Children became an economic asset, and if women were unable to produce them, they were seen as worthless. The idea of women being good only for their womb remains even into today’s society. Patriarchal dominance moved from private practice into public law. Sales contracts appear in the Bible and the Code of Hammurabi. Marriage becomes wife purchase.
The decisive transition was the institutionalization of slavery. Women were the majority of the first enslaved people. The veil helped to distinguish married and respectable women from slaves. Commercial prostitution derived from the enslavement of women. The practice of raping women of a conquered group became essential to the structure of patriarchal institutions — Rome was built on the rape of the Sabines. As culture evolved, patriarchal society grew increasingly misogynistic. Ancient Greece played a large role in the increase of patriarchal practices. As men gained equal rights, women lost many of theirs. Women were the legal wards of either their father or their husband and had no rights of their own; they could not inherit property. A woman during this time did not even have custody over her children, as they belonged to her husband. Additionally, if a woman committed adultery, she would either be banished or executed. While men were able to find sexual freedom with legal sexual outlets, most women could not leave their homes without permission from a father or husband. Source: The Creation of Patriarchy. Gerda Lerner
AND NEW MYTHS AND STORIES WERE WRITTEN TO SHAPE FUTURE GENERATIONS There is an invisible “storage unit” for our habits. These invisible information fields are called morphogenetic fields. DNA isn’t the only way evolution pass on critical information. There is a collective storage, like the Internet, where you put in information that can be accessed by everyone else. How can we tap into it and change the ideas of patriarchy?
Joseph Campbell explains how myths create reality. Myths present ideas that guide perception, conditioning us to think and perceive in a certain way, especially when we are young and impressionable. We learn what is socially acceptable. Myths maintain ideals and values. They justify rules and traditional practices. Leading metaphors define and shape our cultural heritage. Symbolic construct is key to the acceptance of the system. Subordination of women became completely accepted since it seemed natural to both men and women. It is seen as natural, and thus invisible. Thanks to myths and stories, women did not realize they were oppressed. So, myths have an important role in the creation of a power system. Gender symbolism in creation stories proves a reliable guide to sex roles and sexual identities in a given society. According to research by Peggy Reeves Sanday, out of 112 world creation stories collected in different countries, 50% identified a male deity at the origin of the world, 32% a divine couple, and 18% a female deity. When the world was created by a male deity, 17% of fathers cared for infants. When the world was created by a couple, 34% did. And when the world was created by a female deity, 63% did.
CREATION MYTHS ARE NOT ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE WORLD AT ALL, BUT ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF PATRIARCHY WHICH HAS CLAIMED ITSELF AS THE WORLD. â€” Jane Caputi
So, in antiquity, major god figures and symbols underwent a sex change. The power of creation and fertility was progressively transferred from Goddess to God. Who creates life? Who brings evil into the world? Who mediates between humans and the supernatural? The masculinizingÂ of religion resulted, always and everywhere, in hostility
towards the woman and the body. The symbolic devaluing of women is one of the founding metaphors of Western civilization. Major gender symbols and metaphors of Western civilization are derived from Mesopotamian and Hebrew sources. Two key metaphorical constructs: Bible Greek philosophy The Book of Genesis contains the most significant symbols concerning gender. There is no longer any maternal source for the creation of the universe. Man is the mother of the woman. The Bible served as divine sanction for the subordination of women for 2,000 years. Starting with Eve, created from man's rib, and her temptation that caused humankind's fall from Paradise. Women are inferior human beings who lie and seduce men into committing sins. Women cannot speak to God anymore. It is still the case today. In 2016, Pope Francis reiterated women will never be Roman catholic priests. Strong women are dangerous. In Jewish folklore, Lilith appears as Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same dirt as Adam. Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him. She coupled with the archangel Samael and would not return to the Garden of Eden. She later becomes a winged female demon who kills infants. Her legend serves to demonstrate how, when unchecked, female sexuality is disruptive and destructive. Abraham's will to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac proves that obedience is superior to love.
In Greece, the Theogony defines Zeus's ascension to power. Male gods take power from the forces of the chaos identified with fertility goddesses. From all powerful Zeus swallowing his wife Methis and giving birth by himself to Athena to Pandora who opened the box that contained all evil (Hesiod). According to Riane Eisler, Greece was built on a "dominator system." In Greek mythology, cruel and barbarian Zeus maintains supremacy by raping goddesses and mortal women. Socrates, who supported the education of women, was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth. According to Aristotle: Some are meant to rule and others to be ruled. Slaves and women shall be ruled by men, the rest violates the natural order. Passive princesses like Andromeda wait for the liberation and protection by courageous princes. And married women wait patiently and faithfully for their men to return from war/work/travel, like Penelope. And religious systems have perpetuated these myths. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” — Bible, Corinthians 11:3 “Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.” — Jewish Morning Blessings. “The pagans pray to females.” — Quran
MAN ENJOYS THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF HAVING A GOD ENDORSE THE CODE HE WRITES; AND SINCE MAN EXERCISES A SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OVER WOMEN IT IS ESPECIALLY FORTUNATE THAT THIS AUTHORITY HAS BEEN VESTED IN HIM BY THE SUPREME BEING. — Simone de Beauvoir
HOW DID THIS SYSTEM MAINTAIN ITSELF? For nearly 4,000 years, women have shaped their lives under paternalistic dominance. The basis of paternalism is an unwritten contract of exchange: Economic support and protection given by the male in exchange for sexual service and unpaid domestic service given by the female. It was a rational choice for women under conditions of public powerlessness and economic dependency. Women also shared class privileges with men in exchange for their special economic political and intellectual subordination. Ignorance of our own history keeps women subordinate. For over a millennia, women have unconsciously participated in their own oppression because psychologically they’ve been taught to internalize the idea of their own inferiority. This indoctrination begins in early childhood and continues through adulthood. Patriarchy is secured through various means: gender indoctrination, educational deprivation, denial to women of knowledge of their history, dividing of women, coercion, discrimination in access to economic and political resources, and by awarding class privileges to conforming women. You will not be loved unless you obey: mothers have been shaping their children to conform “for their own good.” Conform or be rejected. Some women play an important role in keeping the patriarchy alive. As recently as November 8, 2016, 53% of American white women who voted, voted to support the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, despite his use of racist and sexist rhetoric. Again, it is hard to let go of privilege. Source: The Creation of Patriarchy. Gerda Lerner
According to Riane Eisler, the problem is not men as a sex but men and women socialized in a dominator system. Our dominator-dominated way of relating to other human beings is so internalized by early childhood that we are not aware of it anymore. We consider it obvious that some people rule and other people are meant to be ruled. A mind socialized to submit to male authority will tend to turn to the protection of a strong leader in times of crisis. In religious books, as in totalitarian regimes, obedience is the supreme virtue. All is not hopeless if we recognize it is not human nature but a dominator model of society that drives us to war. Source: The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler
The great chain of being taught us how to rank people.
God Culture â€” Rights
Nature â€” Resources
Children People of Color Animals Nature
THE FIRST STEP IS TO DEBUNK THE MYTHS Source: The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler
MYTH #1: PATRIARCHY IS NATURAL Man the hunter, superior in physical strength, naturally protects and defends the more vulnerable female. FALSE Big game hunting was an auxiliary pursuit. The main food supply came from gathering fruit and small game-hunting. Cooperation was necessary between the hunter who provided the meat while the gatherers collected food for subsistence. Roles were different but not hierarchical. We should not mistake what is habitual for what is natural. MAN THE HUNTER IS A MYTH TO PRESERVE MALE SUPREMACY AND HEGEMONY. â€” Elise Boulding
MYTH #2: PATRIARCHY HAS BEEN HERE FOREVER FALSE Patriarchy developed over a period of 2,500 years from 3,100 BC to 600 BC, at different paces in different societies. Patriarchy is a system that originated in history, which means that it is neither eternal nor inevitable. Equality between the sexes was the general norm in the Neolithic Era. Pre-patriarchal society was remarkably egalitarian, as the archeological sites of Catal Huyuk and Hacilar in Turkey confirm. The primary purpose of life was not to conquer and loot but to cultivate earth and provide for a satisfying life. There was no sign of warfare in over 15 centuries. In Crete, for example, power was not equated with dominance, destruction, and oppression. Power was a responsibility and represented the interests of people.
MYTH #3: ANATOMY IS DESTINY Womanâ€™s reproductive capacity confines her chief goal in life to motherhood. FALSE This is ahistorical: Anatomy was destiny. Due to bipedalism, female hominids developed a narrow pelvis and birth canal. Thus, human babies are born at an earlier stage of maturity and require support for years to move, eat, etc. In prehistoric times, this required a division of labor necessary for group survival. Today, men and women do not live in the same state of nature as Neolithic humans. To claim that only female nurturance is unchanging among all human activities is to consign half the human race to a lower state.
MYTH #4: GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN MALE FALSE Before the secret of fecundity was understood, the female was revered as the giver of life. According to Merlin Stone, in her book When God Was A Woman, the Great Goddess or the Divine Ancestress was worshipped from the beginning of the Neolithic Era in 7,000 BC until the closing of the last Goddess temples in AD 500. From India to the Mediterranean, the Goddess reigned supreme. Ashtoreth or Astarte was known in Canaan as the Near Eastern Queen of Heaven. Archaelogical evidence shows that her religion flourished thousands of years before the arrival of the patriarchal Abraham. The same religion flourished all around the Mediterranean for at least 7,000 years in Iraq, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Sinai, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. 40
In this world of peace and creativity, women were self-confident. Religion supports and perpetuates the social organization it reflects. In societies where the supreme Goddess was perceived as a wise provider, women would internalize a very different self-image. They would see themselves as competent, independent, creative, inventive. Society recognized its oneness with nature, an interconnected life system. The power began shifting with the northern invasions of the Indo-Aryan warriors in 2300 BC. Conquerors brought with them the concept of light as good and dark as evil. They introduced a supreme male deity, a storm god high on a mountain, blazing with fire. Female deities were associated with snakes or dragons, most of the time evil. Gospel says: â€œI have come to destroy the works of the female.â€? AD 300: Emperor Constantin suppresses worship of Ashtoreth in Canaan and declares it immoral. AD 380: Theodosius closes The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. AD 450: The Parthenon of the Acropolis in Athens, dedicated to the Goddess since 1300 BC, is transformed into a church. In Arabia, Prophet Muhammad brought to an end the national worship of Sun Goddess Al Lat and Al Uzza (Allah God, Allat Goddess). So our memory is very short. We only remember the past 3,000 years of the dominator system. But the partnership system of the Paleolithic Era goes back over 30,000 years! Source: The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler
THE END OF AN ERA We are reaching the limits of the system. Our masculine militarism is the most energy-intensive activity in the world. World military budgets amount to roughly $800 billion per year. We live in an economic system based on war.
IF THE WHOLE WORLD STOPPED SPENDING MONEY ON THE MILITARY FOR JUST EIGHT DAYS, WE COULD PROVIDE 12 YEARS OF FREE, QUALITY EDUCATION TO EVERY CHILD ON THE PLANET. â€” Malala Yousafzai
Now even nature seems to be rebelling against androcracy. Rational man subdues nature and poisons his physical environment. We see the limits of the system: destruction of rain forests, extinction of species, loss of arable soil, population growth at a fantastic rate. Ecofeminism relates the oppression and domination of all subordinate groups (women, people of color, children, the poor) to the oppression and domination of nature (animals, land, water, air, etc.). When challenged, the androcratic system reasserts masculine stereotypes Fundamentalism is also an androcentric reaction. Neither capitalism nor communism has fulfilled its promises. Disillusionment leads to a return to fundamentalism. Patriarchy crushes male and female.
WOMEN Limited freedom (especially sexual). Reduced visibility and representation.
MEN Inner sensitive child crushed by authority. Constant pressure to prove virility.
Who do you decide to be?
LUKE/LEIA Hero looking for his identity. Teaming up with his sister. Uniting with others to fight authority and power.
DARTH VADER Powerful father trying to murder his son. Fearful of superior power. Looking for prestige and power. Under armor and a mask. Supressing feelings and emotions.
NOW IS THE TIME Today we are living in an age of unprecedented transformation. Patriarchy is inextricably linked to militarism, hierarchy, and racism. Patriarchy threatens the very existence of life on Earth. A feminist world view will enable women and men to free their minds from patriarchal thoughts and practice and to build a world free of dominance and hierarchy, a world that is truly human. Source: The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler
FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, THIS RANKING OF ONE HALF OF THE HUMANITY OVER THE OTHER IS POISONING ALL HUMAN RELATIONS. â€” Alfred Adler
WE NEED A CRITICAL MASS OF NEW IMAGES We need to create new myths, new stories, new symbols. Introducing a feminist reading of religious texts, for example. Jesus said nothing about strengthening male power over women. Mary Magdalene was a major figure in early Christian leadership, not a prostitute. The Woman's Bible is a two-part nonfiction book that was written by
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 women in 1895. It challenges the traditional position of religious orthodoxy that woman should be subservient to man. By producing the book, Stanton wished to promote a radical liberating theology, one that stressed self-development. The book attracted a great deal of controversy and antagonism at its introduction. Challenging exclusive male access to the divine, as the new women-led mosque in Denmark does. In Women Priests Project, Italian artist Nausicaa Giulia Bianchi visually documented 70 self-ordained female priests in an attempt to highlight what many see as blatant misogyny within the Catholic hierarchy. Reclaiming stories of female goddesses. In Goddesses in Everywoman, Jean Shinoda Bolen uses seven archetypal goddesses to describe behavior patterns and personality traits. She explains how to tap the power of these enduring archetypes to become a better “heroine” in your own life story. In Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés explores rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, many from her own traditions, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN CALLED A DEFIANT, INCORRIGIBLE, IMPOSSIBLE WOMAN… HAVE FAITH… THERE IS STILL TIME. — Clarissa Pinkola Estés
A critical mass of people can create a new archetype. From individual change to collective influence, until we create a new model where we trust love more than power. Source: Gods in Everyman. Jean Shinoda Bolen
THE TRUE FOCUS OF REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE IS NEVER MERELY THE OPPRESSIVE SITUATIONS THAT WE SEEK TO ESCAPE, BUT THAT PIECE OF THE OPPRESSOR WHICH IS PLANTED DEEP WITHIN EACH OF US. â€” Audre Lorde
From power over to power with. Riane Eisler proposes a radical reformulation of economics, one that supports caring and caregiving at the individual, organizational, societal, and environmental levels. This "caring economics" takes into account the full spectrum of economic activities from the life-sustaining activities of the household to the life-enriching activities of caregivers and communities to the life-supporting processes of nature. Eisler exposes the economic double standard that devalues anything stereotypically associated with women and femininity and shows how this distorts our values and our lives.
THE ACHIEVEMENT OF FULL EQUALITY BETWEEN SEXES IS A PREREQUISITE FOR WORLD PEACE The power of the blade and the dominator model is threatening all of human civilization now. Male dominance, male violence, and authoritarianism are not eternal givens. A more peaceful and egalitarian world is achievable in our future. Are we finally reaching the end of a 5,000-year androcratic detour? Source: The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler
SOCIETIES ADHERING CLOSELY TO THE DOMINATION SYSTEM
SOCIETIES ADHERING CLOSELY TO THE PARTNERSHIP SYSTEM
Authoritarian control in both the family and state or tribe.
A more democratic organization in both the family and state or tribe.
The subordination of the female half of humanity to the male half.
The male and female halves of humanity are equally valued.
The devaluation of caring, nonviolence, and other stereotypically "soft" values.
Values such as caring and nonviolence are highly regarded in both women and men.
Hierarchies of domination based on “power over.”
Hierarchies of actualization based on “power to” and “power with” - a low degree of institutionalized or built-in fear, coercion, and violence, as they are not needed to impose and maintain rigid rankings.
A high degree of institutionalized or built-in fear, coercion, and violence. Man over man, man over woman, race over race, religion over religion, and so on. Source: Riane Eisler. Center for Partnership.
A good place to start is with ourselves. We need to become watchful of our inner programming. Most of our hidden written history carries a heavy dominator stamp. If you have only experienced relations of domination, you believe there is only one alternative: either you dominate or you are dominated, either patriarchy or matriarchy. It is not true. The domination model leads to imbalanced relations with ourselves, our planet, and those with whom we share the planet. Once we become aware of what we carry unconsciously, we can change. Challenging ingrained notions of masculinity and femininity is a healing experience. It helps to reclaim our own inner balance, to live happier and more meaningful lives. We need to do inner and outer work to transcend our dominator upbringings. And then we will change the stories. We can cultivate the spiritual courage to challenge religious dominator stories and rules that are inhuman. We can create partnership fables and myths. The movement to shift from domination to partnership in all aspects of our lives - from the personal to the political - is the fastest growing and the most powerful movement in the world today. Source: Riane Eisler. The Power of Partnership
Chapter 1 â€“ Education
THE PROBLEM: GENDER-NEUTRAL PARENTING IS AN ILLUSION
From a very young age, our children are trapped in boxes. IF WE THINK WE RAISE OUR GIRLS AND BOYS EQUAL, WE NEED A REALITY CHECK. — Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism
Starting with children's clothes. Some examples: Hipercor Spain launched baby clothes saying: Smart like Daddy, Cute like Mummy. Avenger’s T-shirts slogans: Be a hero/I need a hero. And Gap had to withdraw a campaign where the girl was labeled the social butterfly next to a boy called the little scholar. But it’s not only about the messages. Our clothes are gendered and favor autonomy or dependence. Boys’ clothes are supposed to be comfortable while girls’ clothes ought to be pretty. Girls’ clothes hinder movement and exploration (dresses or skirts). Adults tend to tell girls to respect their clothes, e.g. "eat properly," "don't climb trees." Boys' clothing is easier for boys to take on and off, like Velcro, while girls clothing requires help, like laces and delicate outfits. On special school days, girls are encouraged to stick to princess outfits while boys have more choices. Girls are reminded by schools that they are not allowed to wear what they want. Frequently, female students are told to "dress for their bodies.” Wearing shorts and a tank top does not impede upon a female student's ability to learn, nor should it impede upon the ability of a teacher to teach. This strict dress code perpetuates rape culture by suggesting to girls that their way of
dress is punishable and justifies their sexualization. Girls are responsible for dressing modestly to avoid “distracting” their male counterparts.
Source: Rapport sur l'égalité entre les filles et les garçons dans les modes d'accueil de la petite enfance. Rebekah Lowin. TODAY
Children's movies shape our kids’ psyche What Disney princes teach boys about attracting women: Be rich, famous, good-looking.
What Disney princesses teach girls about attracting men: If you're beautiful enough, you may be able to escape your terrible living conditions by getting a wealthy man to fall for you.
The widespread exposure of young girls to Disney princesses could lead young children, and girls especially, to believe that they cannot do certain activities and jobs that they associate with being more masculine in nature. Mulan is actually the first female character defying gender stereotypes. WE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE HISTORY. WE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE ART. WE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE A STATEMENT. TO MAKE MONEY IS OUR ONLY OBJECTIVE. — Michael Eisner, Former CEO of The Walt Disney Co.
This cynicism is linked to a growing concentration of the media industry. In 1983, 90% of the media in the US was owned by 50 companies. In 2015, only 6 companies (Comcast, Walt Disney, AOL Time Warner, News Corporation, Viacom, CBS Corporation) own 90% of the media. Today, we witness an increasing concentration of media ownership in fewer and fewer hands and a narrowing of sources of news and opinions.
And children's cartoons mostly portray males as the protagonists. According to the True Child Institute, only 15% of the characters on US Saturday morning cartoon shows are female. Of those, almost all are stereotypes, often portrayed as romantic, frail, and concerned about their appearance. Male characters are more likely to answer questions, order others around, achieve a goal, and eat!
What about books? Books have an important role in children’s socialization. Women in children's books are mostly non-working mothers. When women work, they occupy stereotypical positions and they don’t have children. Children's literature is a vehicle for sexist stereotypes. Compared to females, males are represented nearly twice as often in titles and 1.6 times as often as central characters. Researchers talk about a “symbolic annihilation of women.” “One thing that surprised us is that female representations did not consistently improve from 1900 to 2000; in the mid part of the century it was actually more unequal. Books became more male-dominated.” Source: Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters
Masculine is universal. In the US, 100% of popular children's books featuring animated animals have male characters, but only 33% have female characters. Female characters are mostly described through external attributes (clothes, hair style, jewels). The average number of books featuring male characters in the title of the book is 36.5% versus 17.5% for female characters. Male characters feature in book titles twice as much as female characters, 36.5% for males to 17.5% for females.
Even in higher quality children’s literature, more subtle stereotypes remain. The adjectives used are different: girls are beautiful, sweet, weak, and scared, while boys are big, horrible, fierce, great, brave, and proud. Girls are often left out of the adventure, the thrill, the plot. It is easier to find an adventurous girl than a fearful boy. Children receive the impression that girls are not very important because no one has bothered to write books about them. Mothers label gender-neutral characters in picture books as male. We have a tendency to think of people or creatures as male unless otherwise indicated. Men are people, women are women. Boys are not encouraged to immerse themselves in books about girls. Exposing boys to female protagonists is crucial but difficult, given that these characters are highly under-represented in children's literature. Source: Soraya Chemaly. Huffington Post 2013. What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?
Books for girls are for girls only. Shannon Hale created the Twitter hashtag #BoysReadGirls and encouraged users to generate a list of books featuring female protagonists and start a conversation about the issue. "The more we read books about people different from us, the more empathy we have for them." – Shannon Hale Source: MIC
Children’s ability to cross-gender empathize is a one-way street — girls have to do it and boys learn not to. Hale agrees that exposure to books in which women are secondary or erased altogether only reiterates a cultural landscape in which young women are valued more for their appearance and sex appeal than for their intellect. As she writes on her website, this perpetuates "the myth that women only have
things of interest to say to girls while men's voices are universally important." Failing to encourage boys to empathize with women and reinforcing the notion that women only exist to bolster men's experiences creates a reality in which, "boys aren't expected to understand and empathize with the female population of the world," Hale writes. Source: Mic 2015. Julie Zeilinger. This Author Is Exposing the Sexist Double Standard in Children's Literature. Even classroom books and material are biased. Children's books are filled with social constructs: the girl is a nurse; the boy is a firefighter. Only 5% of texts studied in French secondary schools have been written by women. Only 1% of philosophy books reference female philosophers. While 59% of European university students are women, women run just 11% of universities in France and 10% of universities in Europe.
What about TOYs? Toys exaggerate gender division. Toys most associated with boys are related to fighting or aggression (wrestlers, soldiers, guns, etc.), and toys most associated with girls are related to appearance (Barbie dolls and accessories, ballerina costumes, makeup, jewelry, etc.). Toys for boys are more diverse than those for girls. Boys' toys are more likely to be associated with the external world and can be manually manipulated. Girls’ toys are less diverse and mostly linked to domestic or “maternal” activities. Girls' toys (shops, kitchens, dolls) invite role playing and the development of verbal abilities. Boys' construction toys encourage manipulation and exploration to develop spatial and analytical skills. Interior vs exterior, danger vs security, competition vs cooperation. 53
How to tell if a toy is for boys or girls. Do you operate the toy with your genitalia?
This toy is not for children.
It is for either girls or boys.
Young children don't distinguish the gender of toys. Boys aged 2-3 are as likely as girls to use dolls. Researcher Isabelle Cherney found that half of boys aged 5-13 picked “girl” and “boy” toys equally... unless they were being watched. Boys were especially concerned about what their fathers would think of them if they saw them. Over time, boys’ interests in toys and media become more rigidly masculinized, whereas girls’ interests stayed relatively open-ended and flexible. Source: Rapport sur l'égalité entre les filles et les garçons dans les modes d'accueil de la petite enfance
No dolls for boys Boys are especially stigmatized for crossing the gender aisle in toys and clothes. This fact seems to arise from a deep misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. A boy who embraces femininity is perceived as weak and subordinate. Unlike the term “tomboy,” there is nothing positive about being a “sissy." There are far too many stories of children being bullied or taunted for selecting toys that are perceived as gender non-conforming. Segmenting the toy market brings greater profits by making it harder for parents to pass down items between siblings of a different sex. The division of the market into pink and blue aisles helps companies increase sales, but this color division is a recent concept. In the Victorian era, both boy and girl babies were dressed in white gowns, and there was no attempt to signal a child's gender. In the first half of the 20th century, rules began emerging for pink and blue, but they were loose. Pink was a lighter version of red, a rather masculine color. By the 1950s, pink had become strongly associated with femininity, and the creation of the Barbie doll in 1959 anchored the pink dictatorship. 54
Pink helps to lure girls away from more active toys and games that encourage the development of spatial and analytical skills.
As caregivers, which attitudes do we encourage?
If you let him play with dolls, he might be... a dad one day.
The illusion of gender-neutral parenting. When women did not know the sex of their baby during pregnancy, no particular pattern was perceived. Women who knew the sex of their unborn baby described the baby's movements differently: – Males were active, vigorous, strong. – Females were NOT violent, NOT excessively energetic. Even the voice mothers used to speak to the baby was different. Parents of boys expressed more pride in the news, and parents of girls expressed more happiness. So children are unequal even before birth. And then parenting begins. Source: Delusions of Gender. Cordelia Fine.
Caregivers interpret babies' reactions differently. In an experiment, two groups were shown the same video of a crying baby. One group was told the baby was a girl, the other a boy. The “girl” group thought the baby was crying out of fear while the “boy” group thought it expressed anger.
When mothers underestimate girls and overestimate boys. According to research by Francoise Héritier, gendered expectations also bias mothers’ perceptions of their infants’ physical abilities: Mothers of 6-8 month-old babies were asked to estimate the steepness of the slope their babies could manage. Girls and boys had the same crawling ability, but mothers underestimated girls’ and overestimated boys’.
Even though parents sincerely claim to hold the two sexes as equal, they simultaneously devalue the feminine and limit boys’ access to it. Parents talk less to baby boys and are less likely to use numbers when speaking to little girls. Babies are sensitive to the emotional reactions of caregivers. Facial expressions and tone of voice tell babies which toys should be approached or avoided. Mothers talk more to girls than to boys, and they talk about emotions differently to the two sexes. Parents’ implicit attitudes about gender might be subtly transmitted to their children. Babies learn from what is not said but expressed in more subtle ways, even if this contradicts the spoken message. Parents encourage gender-specific activities and play, which discourages cross-gender behavior. Children learn not to follow their interests or preferences for certain toys for fear of being teased. Little boys are more often invited to finish their plate than little girls. A small appetite, a control of their cravings, is valued in little girls, while voracity is praised in little boys. As a consequence, according to the UN, women suffer malnutrition twice as much as men.
Traditional gender stereotypes.
Feminine Not aggressive Dependent Easily influenced Submissive Passive Gentle Talkative Home-oriented Emotional Indecisive
Masculine Easily hurt emotionally Sensitive to others’ feelings Desires security Cries a lot Verbal Kind Tactful Nurturing
Aggressive Independent Tough Analytical Dominant Active Worldly Decisive Cruel Blunt
Not at all talkative Less sensitive to others’ feelings Risk-taking Rarely cries Logical Not nurturing Not easily influenced Not easily hurt emotionally
Classroom management techniques reward obedience versus assertiveness, which puts highly active children at a disadvantage. Males demand and receive more attention from their teachers and, therefore, receive more specific and instructive feedback from teachers (Erden & Wolfgang, 2004). In comparison, females become less demanding of the teacher’s attention; that results in lower levels of achievement and self-esteem, which therefore limits their career goals to more traditional, nurturing, and often lower-paying careers. Source: Olaiya E. Aina and Petronella A. Cameron.
Teachers use a different language for girls and boys.
“Honey” and “Sweetie” are used to address girls, and “you guys” is used when speaking to the entire class. Teachers ask boys to speak more often, give them more time to answer, and spend more time answering their questions. Boys and girls are socialized to different activities. Boys are encouraged to join team sports involving competition and space occupancy, while girls are encouraged to engage in individual activities with less competition. Competition teaches children to manage failure and success, and it has an impact on self-esteem and coping with risk-taking. 57
An agitated little girl will get scolded more than a boy. Girls are more oriented towards calm, seated activities while boys are engaged in mobile activities. Inside vs outside. Occupy the space vs share the space. Even storytelling is gendered. Sons are more likely to be told stories of autonomy and achievement. Daughters are more likely to be told stories of relationships or support. Fathers more often tell stories of mastery and success. Mothers’ stories are usually a direct expression of emotion.
TEACH GIRLS BRAVERY, NOT PERFECTION. — Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code
And what do children see at home? Household chores are still not evenly shared. In France, women spend 1.5 hours more on household chores than men every day. In Australia, the average minutes per day of unpaid work are 311 for women and 172 for men. 85% of working Indian women feel they have two jobs, one at work and another at home. This is called “the second shift,” which leads to severe burn-outs. Girls understand from a young age that the order and cleanliness of the house is their responsibility. In India, Ariel even launched a campaign called Dads #ShareTheLoad.
% of fathers and mothers who are married or living with a partner saying... Mother does more
Father does more
Managing children’s schedules/activities Fathers
Taking care of children when they’re sick 47
Household chores and responsibilities Fathers Mothers
Source: Pew Research Center survey of parents with children under 18.
And it is not only a question of time, it is also a mental load. The French comic artist Emma illustrates the concept of the mental load. The mental load is the running commentary that plays in the minds of (mostly) women, of all the things that need doing that no one else sees but you. “The problem is this is a whole job in itself,” Emma says in the comic. “So when we ask women to take on this task of organisation, and at the same time execute a large portion, in the end it represents 75 per cent of the work. It’s permanent and exhausting work. And it’s invisible.” Like all forms of inequality, the people who profit from it tend not to see it. According to research by sociologist Dr Leah Ruppanner, “when women start to cohabit, their housework time goes up while men’s goes down, regardless of their employment status.” What happens inside the house is still considered women's responsibility while men's sphere is outside the home. This idea comes partly from the 19th century, when women's mental space was voluntarily saturated to keep them under control. If women are busy running the household, they have less time to fight for their rights in the outside world. According to Titiou Lecoq, author of Libérées, le combat féministe se gagne devant le panier de linge sale, "letting go some of the power in the inner sphere is also the condition to taking more power outside." 59
Globally, girls spend 160 million more hours on household chores than boys their age. Worldwide, girls aged 5–9 and 10–14 spend, respectively, 30% and 50% more of their time helping around the house than boys of the same age. Globally, girls aged 5–14 spend 550 million hours every day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend. In some regions, the gender disparities can be even more severe: In the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia regions, girls aged 5–14 spend nearly twice as many hours per week on household chores than boys of the same age. Imagine what they could do with this time! Source: UNICEF. Harnessing the power of data for girls.
Which Impact? Children build their gender stereotypes very early. Children begin to form concepts of gender beginning around age 2, and most children know if they are a boy or girl by the age of 3 (Martin & Ruble, 2004). Between the ages of 3 and 5, children develop their gender identity and begin to understand what it means to be male or female. Almost immediately after becoming gender aware, children begin developing stereotypes, which they apply to themselves and others, in an attempt to give meaning to and gain understanding about their own identity. These stereotypes are fairly well developed by the age of 5, and become rigidly defined between ages 5 and 7 (Martin & Ruble, 2004), making the preschool years a critical period to deal with gender stereotypes. Stereotypes and sexism limit potential growth and development because internalizing negative stereotypes impacts self-esteem and, ultimately, academic performance (Narahara, 1998). Long-term gender bias effects become most apparent in students during adolescence (Carlson, Egeland, & Sroufe, 2004).
Through our choice of toys, clothes, activities, and verbal or nonverbal messages, we foster the development of different skills. Playing dress-up encourages imagination and offers opportunities for the development of social skills as children engage with one another, acting out often elaborate made-up stories with one another. Activities such as riding scooters help children develop physically and personally, teaching skills like balance, spatial awareness and confidence, while strengthening their muscles. Constructing model toys and building things helps develop fine motor skills, problem solving, and language development and fosters concentration.
Girls learn to...
Boys learn to...
Conform and be quiet.
Direct energy towards physical appearance.
Be of service.
Use seduction as a way to get what you want.
Occupy the space.
Overcompensate and overdeliver.
Be overconfident in their abilities.
Early sexualization damages children. Girls feel worse about their bodies and have lower self-esteem after exposure to sexualization. More than 70% of girls, starting as young as third grade, are unhappy with their bodies. Many report dieting by age 12. Boys, in contrast, are much happier with their bodies. Combine these statistics with studies showing that girls who were asked to play with Barbies have a worse body image after a brief play period compared to girls who were asked to play with normally-proportioned dolls. Source: Dove campaign
GENDER STEREOTYPES TAKE ROOT EARLY. ACCORDING TO A STUDY IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT, GIRLS’ AND BOYS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT MATH BEGIN TO DIVERGE AS EARLY AS SECOND GRADE.
Academic aspirations start to differ. The hidden messages that girls receive about math, science, and technology shape their self-image, confidence, and interest in those subjects (Ebach, et al. 2009). These messages can come from bias in the media, from family or teachers who may exhibit lower expectations for females in these subject areas, or even from the medium itself, as in the case of computer software demonstrating a high level of gender bias favoring males (McNair, Kirova Petrova, & Bhargava, 2001). Ask children to draw some professionals and you would be surprised. Children were asked to draw a nurse, a builder, a lawyer, and a banker, as well as the job they aspire to have when they grow up. Where gender was identifiable, the drawings showed a clear gender skew for specific roles: – 81% of children drew nurses as female – 88% of children drew builders as male – 80% of children drew bankers as male The most gender-balanced of the professions? 65% of children drew lawyers as male.
Impact on future perspectives. When asked to nominate jobs that they would not want, both girls and boys rejected more traditionally female occupations than male and neutral careers. Girls as young as 4 have already internalized the belief that women’s work is neither as valuable nor as desirable as men’s. How can children ignore gender when they continually watch it, hear it, see it, are clothed in it, sleep in it, eat off it?
THE FIRST PROBLEM FOR ALL OF US, MEN AND WOMEN, IS NOT TO LEARN, BUT TO UNLEARN. — Gloria Steinem
The Power of the Crowd
Some parents are leading campaigns to fight back against gendered toys. In the UK, the Let Toys Be Toys campaign is asking the toy and publishing industries to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys. Pinkstinks confronts the damaging messages that bombard girls though toys, clothes, and media through different campaigns.
Play Unlimited was founded by concerned Australian parents who wanted to take action. The message is clear: give gifts not stereotypes.
Some toy companies are starting to propose gender-neutral catalogs. In France, Collectif 52 (women represent 52% of the world’s population) challenges sexist stereotypes.
ÈRE , TE LLE M LLE TEALLLLEZE LEFSICADEAUXÉS, . DÉB LI C H EZ LE S C R E M B A LL
E, TE L PÈLRS TEALLLEFZILES CADEAUXÉS, . DÉB LI C H E Z LE S C R E M B A LL
Citizen activism is fighting back. Many consumers use platforms like Change.org to make brands change their marketing strategy.
NOUS SOMMES 52%, NOUS SOMMES PUISSANTES. W W W.NOUSSOMMES52.ORG
NOUS SOMMES 52%, NOUS SOMMES PUISSANTES. W W W.NOUSSOMMES52.ORG
Famous brands are starting to adapt their products or communication. This Audi Spain ad for Christmas challenges stereotypes with the hashtag #cambiemoseljuego (Letâ€™s change the game). Lego introduced female scientists and stay-at-home dads. Even Mattel recently launched a Game Developer Barbie and paired up with the organization She Should Run to create a president doll.
Brands are starting to propose gender-neutral toys.
Mattel has seen a 23% rise in sales after the company changed Barbie from an exclusively blond bombshell-style doll to one that represents a variety of races and body types. Goldie Blox wants to inspire young girls to become engineers.
Parents are setting up new clothing brands.
In France, the Maydee application allows individuals to track the time spent on household chores and share it equally. 66
New children's literature is emerging. A new illustrated children’s book from iconic City Lights Publishers, Rad American Women A-Z, offers kids the chance to educate themselves on women’s history and the alphabet at the same time. Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, the book was inspired by Schatz’s two-year-old daughter. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, which tells stories of iconic women all around the world, has become the most crowdfunded book on Kickstarter ever. On A Mighty Girl's website, you can find the world's largest collection of books, toys, and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.
And female superheroes are starting to become mainstream.
Wonder Woman became the 11th superhero movie in history to pass $800 million at the global box office. This success is important because superheroes promote the idea that anyone can do good deeds, that hidden talents lie in us all, and that one person can make a difference. And they validate our sense of justice.
So new superheroes emerge, like Burka Avenger in Pakistan, fighting for the right of girls to go to school.
Or Qahera in Egypt, who is raising awareness of street harassment.
Some tools help you develop media literacy in your kids. Like the Ban Bossy toolkit by Lean In.
Movie Night: You Be the Critic! While you watch the movie, tally how many times male and female characters do the following:
Speak (even a single word!) Speak to a character of the same gender Talk about love or relationships Take the lead in a group Dress in fancy or revealing clothing Act aggressively or violently Add your own: Add your own:
Take the time to ask your daughter what she’s watching and reading and why she likes it. Pick a movie or television show and ask: What kinds of messages about girls and women does it send? How are girls and women portrayed and what do they do and talk about? How are girls’ and women’s relationships portrayed? 68
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you are a teacher Remove any material that promotes gender-stereotyped play. Select non-sexist books that produce positive changes in self-esteem, attitudes, and behavior. Critically evaluate books for gender bias. Guide children to recognize stereotypes and to increase independent critical thinking about gender and perceptions of gender. When planning learning experiences, challenge potential stereotypes by presenting non-traditional images and role models. Request speakers from children’s families. Give equal praise and encouragement to females and males in math and science. If you are a parent
Be more mindful about your language and expressions. Are you over-protective with your daughter? Over-tolerant with your son? Stop using gender to label children, to sort children, and to guide purchases for children. No more “What a smart girl!” comments and boys-only birthday parties. Correct children whenever they make a stereotypical comment, no matter how minor. Stop statements like “Boys are gross!” and “Girls can’t play basketball!” This type of group-based thinking is limiting. Edit the toy closet and donate or throw away the toys that don’t reinforce positive traits and skills. 70
Buy new empowering books. Read girls’ stories to your boys. Show them new movies. Challenge brands through campaigns and social media. Read the comic about mental load by Emma. Monitor your household chores for one full week to see who is doing what (including the mental load of the organization) and renegotiate the balance of responsibilities. Dads, be a good example to your kids and share the load! Read some books (Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue and The Achilles Effect).
Here are some leadership tips from the Ban Bossy toolkit Source: Ban Bossy Leadership Tips for Parents
Encourage girls and boys equally to lead. Reflect on the different messages you may be giving a daughter or son about ambition, future success, and leadership. Be conscious of the way you and she talk. Notice how you communicate in front of your daughter or granddaughter and avoid hedging or softening your opinions with disclaimers or apologies. Make your home an equal household. The wage gap starts at home: Girls get paid less than boys for household chores. If certain chores receive more allowance, distribute those chores equally. Talk about the word “bossy.” Calling a girl “bossy” when she asserts her voice—a word we rarely use for little boys—sends the message that girls should not speak up. 71
Teach her to respect her feelings. Show her by example: avoid denying, second-guessing, or questioning her feelings with phrases like “It’s not a big deal” or “Don’t overreact.” Mothers and grandmothers: model assertive behavior. Try turning down a request to volunteer when you’re overloaded—and explain why to your daughter. Let your daughter watch you move constructively through a conflict with a close friend, family member, or colleague and emerge successfully on the other side. Fathers and grandfathers: know your influence. Girls whose fathers are positively involved in their lives also tend to have higher self-esteem and be more willing to try new things. Help her commit small acts of assertiveness. Encourage her to order her own food at a restaurant or shake hands and make eye contact with a new acquaintance. Seize the power of organized sports and activities. Embrace the sports field as a classroom where your daughter will learn an invaluable set of social and psychological skills. Whether it’s debate, band, or chess, there is a group out there for everyone. Talk about mistakes. Help your daughter get comfortable with mistakes by asking her to evaluate her performance objectively. Encourage her to step outside her comfort zone. Encourage your daughter to try new things, whether it’s going to an event where she doesn’t know a lot of people or asking her to check out with a cashier at the grocery store. Cultivate her passion. Finding something she’s extra passionate about can give your daughter a greater sense of purpose and leadership experience she will use throughout her life.
YOUNG GIRLS ARE TOLD YOU HAVE TO BE THE DELICATE PRINCESS. HERMIONE TAUGHT THEM THAT YOU CAN BE THE WARRIOR. — Emma Watson
Chapter 2 â€“ Media and Art
THE PROBLEM: YOU CAN’T BE WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE
For 2,500 years, our storytelling has been extremely androcentric. Thucydides and Herodotus were among the first historians. For 2,500 years, the construction of history has been a male product. Women’s acts and experiences have been largely unrecorded and ignored, as Michelle Perrot explains in her book, Les femmes ou les silences de l'histoire. So we end up perceiving historical events from a mostly white, Catholic, heterosexual, male perspective.
Image: Slate 2016, Andrew Kahn and Rebecca Onion
Examples: Columbus day: Geographical error or historical turning point? Genocide or discovery? Crusades: Holy war or terrorism and slaughter?
FOR MOST OF HISTORY, ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN. – Virginia Woolf Image: synopticgospel
In the past, our religious texts have been written and assembled by men. And today men own most of our media outlets. MEN RECEIVE
62% OF BYLINE AND OTHER
CREDITS IN PRINT, INTERNET, TV AND WIRE NEWS.
Source: Women Media Center
INTERNET 58% vs 42%
37% WIRES 62% vs 38%
On TV, men speak, women listen. Only 20% of the experts in business and economic newscasts are women. Only one Palme d'Or prize in Cannes has been awarded to a woman so far. 92 Palmes d'Or 1 woman (Jane Campion) In France, literary prizes are mostly awarded to men (76% since 1900). At the last AngoulĂŞme International Comics Festival, no woman was even nominated, triggering many reactions. #WomenDoBD Image: Philippe Pochep
In museums, most of the exhibited artists are male, as Guerrilla Girls show us.
Concerts and festivals follow the same trend...
...as well as the DJ world. The female:pressure FACTS study found that women comprise less than 10% of all DJs at festivals, labels, and clubs worldwide. Source: The Guardian
Photojournalism is also male-dominated... A 2015 study by World Press Photo, that canvased 1,556 photographers from over 100 countries, estimated that only 15% of professional news photographers were women. ...as is investigative journalism. According to the Op-Ed Project, in 2011, women authored only 19% of op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, 22% in the Image : Women in the World New York Times and 24% in the Los Angeles Times. Another way to look at the status quo: a woman over 65 is less likely to be cited as an expert in the media than a 13 to 18-year-old boy. A report by the Women’s Media Center found that men were quoted three times more often than women on the front page of The New York Times. The Op-Ed Project and Media Matters for America conducted an analysis of foreign policy guests on major news programs. The results read like a time capsule from the 1950s: In 2014, women made up just 22% of guests. Of trained experts networks called upon, the figure is even lower. If you see a woman on cable news talking about foreign affairs or national security, she’s likely a reporter or news personality, not a trained expert or a diplomat. Source: Foreign Policy Interrupted
So, at the end of the day, stories are mostly written by men…about men. Women are not heard or seen.
If you don't tell your story, someone else will tell it for you 77
According to UN Women, only 23% of movies feature female protagonists. 31% of speaking roles are held by women.
Women are the subject of less than a quarter of all news stories (24%), an increase of just 17% since 1995.
23% of films feature a female protagonist.
Only 9% of stories evoke in(equality) issues.
Only 1 in 4 people heard or read about in the news are women.
Only 4% of the stories clearly challenge gender stereotypes.
Source: UN Women
The 2017 Oscars still lacked gender representation among the nominees. #oscarssomale “Four out of five nominees are men — meaning male voices and perspectives are largely responsible for what we see on screen.”, says Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. For the seventh year in a row, no female directors were nominated in the directing category. All Nominees 5 Women
21 Movies 12 Movies 38 Men
Passed the Bechdel Test
In Academy Award history, four female filmmakers have been nominated for best director, and only Kathryn Bigelow won, in 2010. Only 6.4% of Hollywood films in the past years were directed by women. The 2017 annual report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that 35% of films employed no women in key roles behind the camera, such as writer, producer, executive producer, editor, or cinematographer.
Women also accounted for just 3% of composers. Some even say that Hollywood could be sued for discrimination against female directors. Oscar-nominated movies are mostly directed by men and rarely pass the Bechdel test.
BECHDEL TEST CRITERIA: DURING THE WHOLE MOVIE, TWO NAMED FEMALE CHARACTERS TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN A MAN.
So we grow up listening and watching male stories. Or if women are portrayed, it is through the male gaze. Laura Mulvey, a UK feminist film theorist, coined the term the male gaze. Mulvey states that, “the gender power asymmetry is a controlling force in cinema and constructed for the pleasure of the male viewer, which is deeply rooted in patriarchal ideologies and discourses.” This means that the male viewer is the target audience; therefore, their needs are met first, and this problem stems from an old-fashioned, male-driven society. Mulvey's theory on how women are portrayed in film and the media is just as relevant today as it was in 1975, when her work was first published. Mulvey believes that women are in fact, “the bearer of meaning and not the maker of meaning,” which suggests that women are not placed in a role where they can take control of a scene. Instead they are simply put there to be observed from an objectified point of view. In addition, she believes that this way of watching film is never alternated so that the men are in fact the ones who are being viewed in this manner. This inequality reinforces the ancient and outdated idea that “men do the looking, and women are to be looked at.”
THE MORE A GIRL SPENDS TIME WATCHING TV, THE LESS IT FEELS SHE HAS A CHOICE IN LIFE. AND THE MORE A BOY WATCHES TELEVISION, THE MORE IT TENDS TO BECOME SEXIST. – Geena Davis
The male gaze theory, in a nutshell, shows how women in the media are viewed through the eyes of a heterosexual man, and how these women are represented as passive objects of male desire. Audiences are forced to view women from the point of view of a heterosexual man, even if they are heterosexual women or homosexual men. Typical examples of the male gaze include medium close-up shots of women from over a man’s shoulder, shots that pan and fixate on a woman’s body, and scenes that show a man actively observing a passive woman. One reason for this is simply that the movie companies producing these films are male-dominated, as cinema is predominantly a male-run industry. When Mulvey originally wrote this critical analysis of film, producers were churning out the same work that had proved to be commercially successful with audiences in the past. They believe that they are giving the public what they want, when that isn’t necessarily true. Studios are giving audiences what a proportion of males want, and what the rest of society has been brainwashed to accept. Source: Film Inquiry. Film Theory 101 – Laura Mulvey: The Male Gaze Theory by Rachael Sampson
When we see the world through only one eye: Stories are incomplete. Stereotypes are pervasive. Stories are biased.
This can be illustrated by the way Muslim women are portrayed in mainstream media. Appearance overload: The media has become fixated with the way Muslim women look — what they are or are not wearing instead of who they are and what they are doing. Always the victim: Muslim women have been portrayed in the mass media as voiceless, submissive, passive, and oppressed victims instead of the powerful and creative leaders that they are. All the same: Despite having diverse opinions, cultures, and occupations, Muslim women are portrayed all alike. 80
There is a contradiction between women’s central active role in creating society and their marginalization in meaning-giving processes. Women are essential and central to creating society. Women have made history, yet they have been kept from knowing it. Women have been excluded from creating symbol systems and theory formation. Yet, women's significance in history is key for women's empowerment. The myth that women are marginal to the creation of history and civilization has profoundly affected the psychology of women and men. The denial of women about their history has reinforced their acceptance of the ideology of patriarchy and has undermined the individual woman’s sense of self-worth. Men’s version of history has become the universal truth. One cannot think universal when oneself is excluded from the generic. Source: Gerda Lerner. The Creation of Patriarchy.
Women are the daily targets of negative narratives, repeated so often by everyone that they become unquestionable truths. You a r
e fa t.
You can’t please your partner.
You are a bad mother.
not. a re You enough
angetime. e n ch Womion all the opin
Women don’t know how to drive.
Wom e n a re emotio nal.
And they are silenced by different means. Speaking louder. Speaking on behalf of them. Occupying the space. Interrupting the conversation. Not listening to them. Making fun of them.
These constant messages have a huge impact in terms of self-esteem.
Image: Ban Bossy
In The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman interview different female world leaders and explore their own confidence gap. And imposter syndrome appears. Imposter Syndrome
What I know
What I think others know
What I know
But this confidence gap is not individual, it’s collective! How could it be different with the stories we listen to? The patriarchal lens limits our vision in both range and depth. Men and women live on a stage. But men have written the play and directed the show. Equal parts will not make women equal if the script is still written by men. From “you are invisible” to “you are half of the reality.”
WOMEN’S HISTORY IS A PRIMARY TOOL FOR WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION. — Gerda Lerner
As Hillary Clinton rightfully said, it’s time to make herstory!
BECAUSE THOSE WHO TELL THE STORIES RULE THE WORLD! 82
We need to reclaim the power of the narrative at both the individual and the collective levels. Women’s history is indispensable and essential to the emancipation of women. It changes their lives. We need a shift of consciousness. As we shifted from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican vision of the universe... SATURN
WE ARE THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES. — Joan Didion
...so we need to change the stories we tell about ourselves. And we need to reclaim women’s role in history.
YOU ARE THE HERO OF YOUR OWN STORY. — Joseph Campbell
In Spain, Animosa is celebrating amazing women through different products.
Giving new role models to our daughters.
And we need more female storytellers! We need to show the world through a woman’s lens.
DON'T HATE THE MEDIA, BECOME THE MEDIA. – Jello Biafra
Global Girl Media teaches young girls to be citizen journalists.
Lensational uses recycled and donated cameras to organize photography workshops for underserved women, allowing them to capture their world and tell their own stories. Women whose voices are rarely heard, from domestic helpers in Hong Kong to children of sex workers in Pakistan, are taking photos thanks to Lensational’s photography training.
We need to celebrate the women who have made it and learn about their work.
And we need to create specific communities. The collective Women who draw is showcasing women illustrators. Rawiya is a photography cooperative made up of six female photographers from across the Middle East who have pooled their resources, contacts, and talents to strengthen their work and to expand their reach.
Tanya Habjouqa, part of Rawiya, wants her photographs to say: “Put aside your pre-conceived notions, come and take a closer look at our region.”
Future of Women creates original multimedia by and about women from around the world, empowering women and girls to act on their dreams.
Designed for future of women by @4ur3lia
Women Photograph is a website featuring more than 400 female photo journalists from 67 countries.
SheSays is an award-winning organization running free mentorship and events to women in the creative industry.
We need to tell more stories about women from a female perspective. The Atlas Of Beauty is a project about our planet’s diversity shown through portraits of women. For nearly four years, Mihaela Noroc has been photographing natural women surrounded by their environment in more than 50 countries. 86
Political is personal, reversing the famous feminist slogan from Kate Millet, is an initiative that conducts in-depth interviews with Israeli Jewish and Palestinian women in which they safely and freely share how their lives have been affected by the realities of this conflict. Because an image is a powerful tool to challenge stereotypes… Like the exhibition Same look, same rights in Morocco. Or another Moroccan project, Macho Mouchkil, denouncing everyday sexism. We need more women painting our streets. Girl Power is a documentary that presents female graffiti writers from 15 cities – cities as diverse as Prague, Moscow, Cape Town, Sydney, Madrid, Berlin, Toulouse, Barcelona and New York. The graffiti community is predominantly a man's world, and men often share the view that graffiti – namely the illegal kind – is not for girls. And yet women have become increasingly more emancipated in recent years. There are female graffiti shows, magazines, and websites. Girl Power captures the stories of women who have succeeded in the male-dominated graffiti world. Street Heroines is a documentary film that looks at the courage and creativity of female graffiti and street artists from around the world. From New York City to São Paulo and Mexico City, Street Heroines gives voice to women fighting social injustice with creativity in this male-dominated subculture. Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female street artist, has emerged as a spokesperson for women’s rights in Kabul. 87
This piece is a well-known reference to the uprising of women in the Arab world social media campaign that aims to empower Arab women through digital media such as photographs, story sharing, and memes. The Fearless Collective creates space to move from fear to love using participative art. The Fearless Collective was started in 2012 by artist Shilo Shiv Suleman and has grown under the love and guidance of a network of artists and activists from around the world.
Panmela Castro is a Brazilian artist who utilizes graffiti as a platform to raise awareness of women's rights and the prevalence of domestic violence against women in Brazil. We need more female DJs, rappers, and musicians. The Tumblr blog Very Male Line-ups is highlighting all-male or mostly-male club/gig/festival line-ups and helping bromoters do better. female:pressure is an international network of female, transgender, and non-binary artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts founded by Electric Indigo. female:pressure has created a database with more than 2,000 members from 74 countries to boost communication with and representation of female electronic artists. The network comprises over 2,000 members from 74 countries as of August 2017. 88
And rap is becoming the new feminist weapon. Paradise Sorouri became Afghanistan's first female rapper after being forced to flee her country twice, and Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper and activist who has been vocal against forced marriages. Listen to them! In Russia, Pussy Riot is challenging the power of the state and the orthodox church.
NEVER FORGET THAT ROCK N’ ROLL WAS INVENTED BY A QUEER BLACK WOMAN. – Sister Rosetta Tharpe
We need more movies and TV shows created by women. Because media is shaping our world view.
Founded by Academy-Award® winning actor and advocate Geena Davis, The Institute on Gender in Media is the first research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators, marketers and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconditional bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media that targets and influences children ages 11 and under. Research informs and empowers. Children are engaging with media up to 7 hours a day and consuming massive amounts of unconscious bias in the programming they’re consuming. Media can greatly influence children’s social and cultural behaviors and beliefs. Negative stereotypes children see in media can create life-long imprints that can affect their attitudes toward male and female roles in our society as well as career occupations and self-esteem.
This is the only research-driven organization collaborating with the media and entertainment industry to expose gender. Source: Geena Davis Institute
We need to restore diversity in the media. For example, Shonda Rhimes is incorporating feminist values in mainstream media.
YOU SHOULD GET TO TURN ON THE TV AND SEE YOUR TRIBE. — Shonda Rhimes
Her TV show Scandal is the first network drama with a black woman as its lead in nearly four decades. Viola Davis is the first black woman to win the Emmy for best lead actress in a drama. New inspiring female protagonists are starting to appear... Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games Marjane Satrapi in Persepolis Merida in Brave ...with a real impact. 68% of viewers of Commander in Chief, a TV show portraying Geena Davis as the first female President of the United States, say they were more likely to accept a female president. Reese Witherspoon's Pacific Standard production company is supporting new female voices in film. Pacific Standard has produced the movies Gone Girl, Wild, and HBO series Big Little Lies, which all include female protagonists and portray reality from a female perspective. Meryl Streep also funded a Lab for Women Screenwriters over 40. We Do It Together is a nonprofit production company created to finance and produce media uniquely dedicated to the empowerment of women. And Sweden started rating its movies with the Bechdel test in 2013.
We need new media channels featuring the other half of the story. Since the larger media channels are mostly run by men and follow traditional cash cow strategies, women leverage new media to create their own channels, thus bypassing traditional structures. "Women represent half the global population, and it reflects probably about half the Netflix member population as well," Netflix's Vice President of Original Content, Cindy Holland, points out. "So excluding women from seeing themselves and their issues dramatized on screen doesn’t seem like a good idea." Source: Glamour 2017. Jessica Radloff.
The streaming platform has delivered with shows like Grace and Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange Is the New Black, The OA, The Crown, Marvel's Jessica Jones, One Day at a Time, Fuller House, and GLOW. In fact, with 91 Emmy nominations for Netflix this year (second only to HBO), more than half of those nominations are either for a series with a female lead or feature a female nominee. New media has been a game-changer for feminism. In France, newsletters like the Georgette Sand, madmoiZelle, les Glorieuses ou Les Nouvelles News are focusing on the other side of the story.
Les Internettes is a collective of women producing videos.
The Washington Post launched The Lily, a new publication for millennial women with a mission to inform, empower and expose diverse voices and perspectives. Vice and Unilever teamed up to launch Broadly, a female-focused channel. BitchMedia's mission is to provide and encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to media and popular culture. We are the XX is a media collective featuring women’s stories.
Many feminist podcasts are rocking the scene, like Sex Nerd Sandra, Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham, the Guilty Feminist, Black Girls Talking or, in France, La Poudre.
Blogs are also a powerful channel to challenge mainstream narratives.
Lallab is a French online magazine and association aiming at giving voices to muslim women experiencing sexist and racist comments every day.
Muslim Girl is a website for young Muslim women to talk about their identities and other aspects of their lives. Guerrilla Girls is reiventing the F word. They consider themselves as feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman, and Batman. How do they expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture? With facts, humor, and outrageous visuals. They reveal the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. And we need those who have the most visibility to speak up and fight. Ever since Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress at the 2015 Oscars and used her acceptance speech to address unequal pay in Hollywood, gender disparity has been a hot topic. Cheered on in the audience by Meryl Streep, Arquette announced that it was “time for equal rights for women.” Stars such as Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Jessica Chastain, Romola Garai, Geena Davis, and Amanda Seyfried have also raised the issue of Hollywood sexism. British director Amma Asante has hit out at the film industry’s “misguided distrust” of female fi lm-makers. Keira Knightley has spoken out over the lack of women working behind the camera in Hollywood, in a new interview. Ava DuVernay, who made "Selma," pointed out that only two of the 100 top-grossing films in 2014 were directed by women. She urged constant vigilance and proactive searching within the industry: ‘‘We have to ask our agents about that script by the woman screenwriter. We have to ask, ‘Hey, are there any women agents here that I could talk to?.’ We have to ask our lawyers about women in the office. We have to ask, when we’re thinking about directors or D.P.s, ‘Will women interview?” 93
Madonna gave a powerful speech on being a woman in the music industry Billboards awards. An excerpt: “I stand before you as a doormat. Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer. Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse. There are no rules — if you’re a boy. If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. What is that game? You are allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion. Don’t have an opinion that is out of line with the status quo, at least. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat, do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be. But more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio.”
WOMEN HAVE BEEN SO OPPRESSED FOR SO LONG THEY BELIEVE WHAT MEN HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEM. — Madonna
Oprah Winfrey gave a powerful speech about sexual harassment, racial injustice and press freedom which brought the Golden Globes audience to their feet: “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!” The recent initiative Time's Up seeks gender parity at movie studios and has started a legal-defense fund for women in other industries who are sexually harassed and assaulted in the workplace.
TIME IS UP!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Watch movies or TV shows portraying inspiring female characters. Read female authors. Buy art work from female artists. Subscribe to feminist newsletters.
Read The Confidence Code and rewire your brain. Challenge your own imposter syndrome. Be more mindful about the stories you tell about yourself. Perform the Bechdel test on movies and shows you are watching.
Listen to a feminist podcast.
Explain to your friends what the male gaze is.
Write to artists on Twitter about sexism in their lyrics or videos.
Boycott sexist movies, shows, festivals...and be vocal about it.
Launch a campaign to raise awareness about it. Stop watching regular TV or be more aware of the programs you watch.
Write a play, a blog, a novel. Publish your photos, paintings, podcast. Grab a camera, a pen, or a mic and start producing your own story!
Read about female historical figures. Set up a feminist musical playlist to listen to on your way to work. Ask concerts and festivals you attend for a diverse representation of artists.
STORIES HAVE THE POWER TO BALANCE THE WORLD! 96
Chapter 3 â€“ Advertising
THE PROBLEM: THE MAD MEN WORLD
Image: Moderna de pueblo
We live in an ocean of sexist messages.
We are bombarded by approximately 3,000 commercials per day. Producing strong subliminal influences, unconsciously reinforcing sexist stereotypes. The effects are especially damaging for developing minds. In 2007, Dove released the Onslaught video, showing a young girl bombarded with images from TV, print, and outdoor advertising campaigns for lingerie, weight loss, lipstick, exercise regimes, skin treatment, and plastic surgery. With the final message: “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.” 65% of women and girls have an eating disorder in the US. According to UN Women, 50% of girls aged 6-8 are unhappy with their weight. The average American woman is a size 14, but the average plus-size model is a size 8. 95% of anorexics and bulimics are women. Source: Body Positive Movement. The Representation Project
Despite the progress of the women's movement, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred, as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty.” According to Susie Orbach: “TV appeared in Fiji islands in 1995 with its multiple American TV shows. In 1998, only 3 years later, 11.9% of teenage girls were suffering bulimia, a behavior unknown up to that moment." The book Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives takes aim at a culture of paradox that tells women they should be beautiful, but that they should never feel beautiful enough.
$16.4 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the U.S. in 2016. Women comprise the vast majority of people who opt for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, accounting for 92% of all operations in 2016. Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Negative portrayals of women in ads take a toll. 60 seconds of exposure to ads featuring underweight models can decrease a woman's self-image. 41% of 18-to-24-year-old women retouch their own photos before posting them to social media sites. 93% of women believe portraying females as sex symbols in advertising is harmful. 33% of young women are dissatisfied with their looks, up from 26% just two years earlier. Cultural norms make women believe that caring for their external appearance answers their deepest needs and aspirations, that spending more time and money helps them to feel better. Patriarchy feeds itself on perpetual female insecurity. Just look at the message from beauty and luxury brands that finance womenâ€™s magazines. And imagine the mental load and the budget dedicated to shaving, waxing, hairdressing, and losing weight! Being a feminist saves you time and money! Source: She Knows Media
Brands not only foster gender stereotypes, they alsoprice women's and men's products differently. Products marketed for women and girls are more expensive. This is called the Pink Tax. THE PINK TAX PRICE DIFFERENCE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
TOYS AND ACCESSORIES
MORE ON HAIR PRODUCTS
MORE ON HAIR CUTS
MORE ON DRY CLEANED SHIRTS
MORE ON TERM LIFE INSURANCE
WHY? According to a study by The 3% Conference, the advertising industry is still disproportionately run by middle-aged white men.
ADVERTISING IS DOMINATED BY WHITE GUYS TALKING TO WHITE GUYS. — Cindy Gallop
Percentage of women in these roles
9.6% Art Directors
3.6% Creative Directors
So why are there so few women in Creative Director roles? The climate for women at many agencies is often unsupportive and can even be outright discriminatory. 25% personally experienced gender discrimination. 23% personally experienced or witnessed sexual harassment. Only 8% who experienced it said the responsible party was punished. The advertising industry does not have a recruitment problem, but a retention problem when it comes to gender diversity in creative departments. Portfolio schools are graduating equal (if not greater) number of women than men. Yet these same women “disappear” from the field right around the time they have the appropriate level of experience to be CDs (lack of mentorship, lack of visibility of female CDs, or lack of support for motherhood). Source: The 3% conference
And it’s a terrible strategic mistake. Women control 73% of consumer purchasing and $20 trillion of the world’s annual consumer spending. They are more active on social networks and more likely to share a brand’s message with others. Women also represent the majority of early tech adopters, social gamers, and are amassing wealth at rates that will culminate in control $22 trillion of US wealth by the end of this decade. 102
And 91% of women reported they didn’t think that advertisers understood them. Source: The 3% conference
Last year, Unilever analyzed the stereotypes that still exist in advertising:
THE ADVERTISING BUSINESS IS A $33B INDUSTRY. MISUNDERSTANDING FEMALE CONSUMERS, FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE, IS SHEER LUNACY. — Kat Gordon, Founder of The 3% Conference
Just 3% of ads featured women in a leadership or managerial role.
Other findings revealed almost all women (90%) felt they were presented as sex symbols.
And 40% of women did not identify with the portrayal of women in advertising spots. Unilever spends nearly $10 billion a year on ads, and 85% of all brand purchases are made by women. There is a problem here. More progressive ads generate more engagement, visibility, and brand impact. Companies that provide more authentic portrayals of both sexes could be rewarded by customers. That's what happened to Unilever's Dove brand after it rolled out its "real beauty" campaign more than a decade ago, which featured women of all shapes and sizes. At the campaign's 10-year mark, the brand had seen sales increase from $2.5 billion to $4 billion. Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Unilever, has pointed to the success of the “real beauty” campaign as evidence that there's a business incentive for ad stereotypes to change. 103
Femvertising sells! Femvertising is organized by SheKnows Media as, “advertising that employs pro-female talent, messages and imagery to empower women and girls.” Nike saw a 15% increase in quarterly revenue, largely due to its efforts to cater to women. Dove sales jumped from $2.5 billion to $4 billion when its Campaign for Real Beauty initially launched. Sales for Getty Images’ Lean in Collection grew 54% from February to June 2014. Source: She Knows Media
ADVERTISING CAN BE THE MOST POWERFUL CHANGE-MAKER IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF ITS UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP TO TELEVISION. — Madeline Di Nonno, Geena Davis Institute
The Power of the Crowd
Some consumers are creating an online response to sexist ads, such as Macholand in France...
...or Pinkstinks in Germany. Some websites allow you to rate the sexism of ads.
Some body positive movements portray more realistic ads and images. The Body Positive movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being. All Woman Project (AWP) improves the life of girls and women worldwide by displaying a true, beautiful, positive and un-retouched image of women in photo and video campaigns throughout the year. The AWP is also taking actions where body image and self-esteem is most challenging — in schools — by organizing events, workshops, and meetings with school girls from elementary school to college age.
The Power of the Crowd
All bodies are good bodies. Filmmakers and activists are also raising awareness on this issue. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media and culture is selling young people the idea that girlsâ€™ and womenâ€™s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality rather than their capacity as leaders. Following the documentary, The Representation Project launched different social media campaigns. And they even released the Notbuying it app where users can upload sexist or inspiring media they see, scroll through images posted by others, and immediately let brands on Twitter know how they feel!
The impact of the campaign was massive.
You can also use your purchasing power to pressure brands. Purse Power has released a list of companies to help you make purchasing decisions.
New agencies are created. The 3% Movement came along when only 3% of all U.S. Creative Directors were women. The movement is publishing different reports, organizing an annual inspiring event, consulting different agencies and gathering a powerful community. Their motto: Diversity = Creativity = Profitability The 3% conference issued a list of 100 things you can do right now to increase gender diversity in the advertising industry. Here are some examples: Launch a company-wide audit to measure whether your efforts at diversity are fruitful. Get trained. Act on the new awareness by calling out bias when you see it. Transparency around pay is key to workplace satisfaction so agencies should conduct a wage audit, equalize pay where necessary, and publicize the results. Evaluate policies and workloads to identify ways in which the agency can be more family-friendly and human-focused. Enforce a No-Tolerance Policy on sexual harassment. Stick to it. The existence of policies is not what creates change, enforcement is. Offer "returnships" to women who have paused their careers to provide care for those they love. Great talent is ready to come back to work. Regularly evaluate your teams, accounts and award show entries to ensure that all employees are given a fair share of high-visibility work opportunity. Include women and people of color in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process. Invite clients to your office expressly to discuss the issue of diversity and how you can both work together to support it. Check to see how many women are on the board of your holding company. If none, or few, shoot the CEO an email. Establish a clear, unbiased, non-retaliatory grievance policy that allows employees to comment or report on treatment in the workplace. Banish the term “women’s account” from your vocabulary. Virtually every consumer category is dominated by female influence, including automotive
and electronics. Enable telework and make it a company policy that flexible work schedules should not affect anyone’s opportunity for advancement. Amplify the ideas of women in meetings. By reiterating a thought shared and attributing it to the woman who offered it, you endorse worthy ideas and ensure the appropriate person is remembered for them. Appoint a clearly accountable person for Diversity and Inclusion at your agency. Report publicly about your agency’s diversity progress. Refuse to speak at conferences with a speaker lineup that doesn’t include at least 20% women. Be vocal when you attend conferences that fall short on diversity, tweeting and posting your observations. Conference organizers need to know that attendees value women on the power panels, not just on the “women’s panels.” Encourage your CEO to make a public statement and his or her commitment to gender equality via a blogpost, speech, op-ed piece, or annual report. Have your female CDs pledge to speak at one conference every year. Consider amending your creative brief to include language that makes a dedicated commitment to a respectful depiction of women. Don’t wait for a sexual harassment lawsuit to have a stated policy about your agency’s stance about how such behavior will be handled. Enter work from all your teams into award shows, not just from established hotshots. Help all your creatives become persuasive presenters. Revamp your recruitment ads: Feature female managers (instead of stock photos of men) and send a message of innovation, vision, and enthusiasm. Write your recruitment ads with an understanding of top items that motivate women in the workforce: making a difference, being challenged, believing in the company’s direction, a sense of satisfaction in their team, and recognition. Host exit interviews and ask departing women why they’re going and what the agency could have done to retain them. Create a maternity leave policy and a paternity leave policy. Source: The 3% Conference
Some brands have begun to propose new types of ads.
And the recently-launched Unstereotype Alliance has set out to eradicate outdated stereotypes in advertising. At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Unilever and UN Women convened the inaugural session of the Unstereotype Alliance. Alliance members—Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Diageo, AT&T—vowed to try to proactively address and eliminate stereotypes in advertising worldwide. The Alliance will build on Unilever’s 2016 “Unstereotype” campaign, which aims to accelerate progress around how women and men are portrayed in ads and brand-led content.
Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity even created a new award to recognize advertising that challenges gender norms.
SheKnows Media launched the #Femvertising Awards in 2015 to honor brands that are challenging gender norms by building stereotype-busting, pro-female messages and images into ads that target women.
BRANDS HAVE IMMENSE POWER TO SHATTER STEREOTYPES AND OVERTURN CLICHÉS. — Sheryl Sandberg. Lean In.
City mayors have started to take a stand. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has moved to ban from the cityâ€™s transport network ads that promote unrealistic expectations about body image and health. And even countries are stepping up! Britainâ€™s Advertising Standards Agency announced in July 2017 that it will ban sexist ads, such as spots that depict women as solely responsible for cleaning or ones that show men as clumsy parents.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As a brand Challenge the sexist stereotypes in your own communication material. Step out of classic outdated messages! As an advertising agency Propose ads challenging classic stereotypes. Advise brands on how to communicate with the people who manage 85% of purchases: women! Create an event/community of women working in advertising. As a consumer Use your purse power. Interact with brands on social media. Denounce sexist ads. Launch a social media campaign. Watch Miss Representation. Stop buying womenâ€™s magazines. Love your body! Boycott brands who do not respect your values.
As a parent Limit the exposure of your children to ads. Stop criticizing your own body in front of your children. Be mindful of your remarks to your children on their appearance. As a professional Start your own agency!
THE WORLD IS A DANGEROUS PLACE NOT BECAUSE OF THOSE WHO DO EVIL, BUT BECAUSE OF THOSE WHO LOOK ON AND DO NOTHING. â€” Albert Einstein
Chapter 4 â€“ Language
THE PROBLEM: OUR LANGUAGE IS ANDROCENTRIC
In our language, male is generic: mankind, manpower, man-made, etc. The masculine, by the presence of even one male, is the default. "Every student in the classroom did his best on the exam." We even address groups of female friends with “You guys.” And the parody Twitter account @manwhohasitall shows how ridiculous the opposite would be:
Images: © The Man Who Has it All
Masculine is universal. In our gendered language, “Mr.” can refer to any man, whether he is single or married, but “Miss” and “Mrs.” define women by their marital status. Women are identified as appendages both of a man and of an institution: Corporate wives, Senate wives, faculty wives. Writers sometimes refer to women using only their first names in contexts where they would typically refer to men by their full names, last names, or titles. From air hostesses to firemen, it's time to drop gendered job titles. In many countries around the world, women adopt their husband's name when they get married, erasing their former identity.
HUMANITY IS MALE AND MAN DEFINES WOMAN NOT IN HIMSELF BUT AS RELATIVE TO HIM; SHE IS NOT REGARDED AS AN AUTONOMOUS HUMAN BEING. — Judith Baxter
Language shapes our thinking. Culture defines reality. And language determines how we interpret it. When our language excludes women, the mental image created also excludes women.
ON TOP OF IT ALL, EVERY DAY, WE USE WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS WITH SEXIST CONNOTATIONS WITHOUT EVEN BEING AWARE OF IT When doing something like a girl is an insult.
MY COACH SAID I RAN LIKE A GIRL, AND I SAID IF HE RAN A LITTLE FASTER, HE COULD DO TOO. — Mia Hamm, former professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion.
WHY IS HE CALLED BOSS BUT SHE'S CALLED BOSSY? When your genitals dictate your courage and inner strength.
It’s a business, grow a pair.
Have some balls.
Don’t be a pussy.
When we suppose that women are in constant competition. When two men or groups of men are vocally disagreeing, we call it debating, or discussion. If they yell, we call it robust or heated. Or Parliament. When two groups of women are debating, let’s call it debating, too. #Malegaze When we “tone police” women. “I would listen to you if you were not so aggressive / angry / hysterical …” “I will talk to you when you have calmed down.”
Image: © The Man Who Has it All
When we provide unsolicited instructions for how others should look, think, and act. And dismissing it all as if it did not matter.
THIS WAS LOCKER ROOM TALK. — Donald Trump Image: © The Man Who Has it All
BUT SOMETIMES SEXISM IS MORE SUBTLE A few examples of sexist expressions from the Women’s Media Center: Trophy wife: Introduced in Fortune magazine’s 1989 article, “The CEO’s Second Wife,” this term describes a pattern among chief executives to discard longtime spouses for women typically younger, “sometimes several inches taller, beautiful and very often accomplished.” (There are so far no trophy husbands, although the “toyboy” may represent the practice stage.) Family man: Homebody, stay-at-home, family head, home-lover, family-oriented/family-centered/home-centered person, someone devoted to the family. Note the lack of parallel for women; all women are evidently “family women.” Blonde: The use of “blond” as a noun is reserved for women, whereas equating a man with his hair color is uncommon. We say, “She’s such a blond,” to describe a woman’s personality, usually derogatorily, but never a man. Bombshell/blonde bombshell (woman): These terms are militaristic, violent, and sexist (there is no parallel for a man); they portray women as destructive to men, even though superficially, they appear complimentary. Brunette: Although the base (male) term is “brunet,” it is rarely used, most likely because referring to people’s hair color is largely reserved for women. Can you imagine calling a man “a brunet”? Question the labeling of women by facets of their appearance and the need to talk about their hair. Source: Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center Guide to Fair & Accurate Language, by Rosalie Maggio
Defining women by their relationship to men and children: Spinster Barren She wears the pants Housewife Houseproud Soccer mom
Mistress Kept woman
Commenting on other people’s sexuality or sexual expressions: Slut Frigid Easy Tease Loose Cougar
Asking for it Prude
These words are used to describe women, while the same behavior by men goes unremarked. Using patronizing words of praise: Career woman Feisty Supermom Working mother Yummy mummy Caring Compassionate Hard-working Conscientious Dependable Diligent Tactful Interpersonal Warm Helpful Celebrating women for a behaviour that is unthreatening to the patriarchy: Ladylike Bubbly Vivacious Flirty Sassy Chatty Demure Modest
Image: ÂŠ The Man Who Has it All
Dismissing women as pawns of their hormones and physicality: Emotional Hysterical Hormonal Menstrual or pre-menstrual Flaky Moody Over-sensitive Neurotic Irrational Baby brain Baby weight
Because a woman should not be… Bossy Abrasive Ball-buster Aggressive Shrill Bolshy Intense Stroppy Forward Mannish Gossipy Dramatic (as in Drama Queen) Catty Bitchy Nag Cold Ice queen Shrew Humourless Man-hater Feminazi Militant Bridezilla Diva Prima donna Gold digger Banshee Fishwife Lippy Ditzy
FEMINAZI: BECAUSE EXPECTING GENDER EQUALITY IS JUST LIKE COMMITTING GENOCIDE
Image: © The Man Who Has it All
And it happens at all levels.
SUCH A NASTY WOMAN. — Donald Trump
Source: 122 subtly sexist words about women. Sacraparental.
In French as well. Avoir des couilles. Etre hystérique. Elle a ses règles? Bon père de famille.
Le sexe faible. Il faut souffrir pour être belle. Mal baisée. Elle a dû coucher pour réussir. 122
Nique ta mère. Garçon manqué. Fais pas ta pute. Femme au volant, mort au tournant. Tu ne vas pas te laisser battre par une fille.
La ménagère de moins de 50 ans. Derrière chaque grand homme, se cache une grande femme. Fais pas la gonzesse. Fée du logis. Ecole maternelle.
ADD ON TOP OF IT ALL THE SUBLIMINAL CONTAMINATION OF SONG LYRICS When blurring the lines between consensual sex and rape becomes the summer anthem. “I'm trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful. Damn girl who's a sexy bitch.” – David Guetta “Turn around, bitch, I got a use for you, besides, you ain’t got nothing better to do, and I’m bored.” – Guns 'N Roses “I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two. Do it like it hurt, like it hurt. What, you don't like work?” – Robin Thicke “Slut, think I won't choke no whore 'til her vocal chords don't work in her throat no more?” – Eminem “Fuck a bitch; don't tease bitch, strip tease bitch. Eat a bowl of these bitch, gobble the dick.” – Dr. Dre
“Le comble enfin, misérable salope/ Comme il n’restait plus rien dans le garde-manger/T’as couru sans vergogne, et pour une escalope/Te jeter dans le lit du boucher!” – Georges Brassens “La misogynie, c’est interessant vous savez. Il faut être misogyne. (...) Il faut savoir mettre les femmes à leur place. (...) Et quand on a fini de les adorer, il faut qu’elles nous foutent la paix.” – Léo Férré “J’ai envie de violer des femmes/De les forcer à m’admirer/Envie de boire toutes leurs larmes/Et de disparaître en fumée.” – Michel Sardou
I KNOW YOU WANT IT! 123
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THIS VIOLENT COMMUNICATION MODE? We bully ourselves, we use violent communication patterns, we criticize more than we praise, and humiliate others constantly because we have been trained to see the universe as hierarchical. Multiple studies suggest rude language can impair cognition. We just donâ€™t think as clearly when weâ€™re insulted, and we also seem to like each other less. In one study from 2001, women kept diaries of the sexist or demeaning comments they heard. The more such comments women heard in a day, the more they felt angry and depressed, and the less they thought of themselves. Male-dominated language reinforces sexist attitudes and behaviors. Women are ignored and deprecated every day in general conversations as well as important discourse. How could this not have an effect on women's status and mental state? 7% of women in the United States are depressed, which is twice the rate of depression among men (3.5%). Depression in women often stems from gender inequality, role strain, tendency to ruminate, stress response, child birth, dietary problems, body image, and poverty. Sexualization of girls is linked to common mental health problems in girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. Source: https://thelanguageweuse.wordpress.com
As a journalist, make sure you can reverse the expressions you use.
Source: Women Media Center, Media Guide
Leverage humor again! Hilarious and thought-provoking, the Man Who Has It All account on Twitter and Facebook highlights the ridiculousness of the patronizing advice thrown at working mothers every day by reimagining it with fathers in mind. 126
I’VE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU DID, BUT PEOPLE WILL NOT FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. — Maya Angelou
Make parodies of offensive songs! Three Auckland law students made a shot-for-shot parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video. They replaced topless female models with nearly naked men and changed the lyrics to voice their frustration with the sexualization and objectification of women in the original video. The tongue-in-cheek satire – entitled Defined Lines – immediately went viral, but YouTube removed the video for indecency and inappropriate content, even though the original remained intact. #doublestandard Avoid gender bias in reference writing. Letters of reference for women are 7 times more likely to mention personal life. Keep it professional. Mention research and publications. On average, letters for men are 16% longer than letters for women. Emphasize accomplishments, not effort. Avoid adjectives as caring, compassionate, hard-working, helpful, diligent, dedicated, warm. Include adjectives as successful, excellent, accomplished, outstanding, skilled, knowledgeable, insightful, confident, ambitious, independent, intellectual. Source: University of Arizona. Commission on the Status of Women.
Students from Duke University decided to launch the #YouDontSay social media campaign to challenge sexist expressions.
When leadership skill is seen as a turn-off.
When we unconsciously shame women for their behavior.
When being strong is a burden.
When we associate strength and courage with masculinity.
WORDS MATTER. WHEN A LITTLE GIRL IS CALLED BOSSY WHEN SHE LEADS, IT’S TELLING HER TO BE QUIET. I DON’T WANT GIRLS TO BE QUIET. I WANT THEM TO ROAR! — Jennifer Garner
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Being mindful of your language is the easiest thing you can do. Four simple steps to use more inclusive language. 1
Know your situation! Upon entering a room or a crowd, note the people who are there. Stop using “You, guys” to address a mixed crowd!
Try using plurals to avoid using gendered pronouns.
Correct your “man” words into their more appropriate and more inclusive forms: chairman into chairperson, fireman into fire fighter, policeman into police officer, post man into postal worker, etc. Stop using identities as insults.
THE LANGUAGE WE USE NOT ONLY REFLECTS OUR CULTURE BUT ALSO CONSTRUCTS IT. — Judith Baxter
IF WE USE NON-GENDERED WORDS MOST OF THE TIME WE BEGIN TO SEE PEOPLE AND PROFESSIONS AS NON-GENDERED TOO. — Judith Baxter
DO NOT JUDGE, AND YOU WILL NOT BE JUDGED. — Luke 6:37
Use gender-neutral language. Gendered Noun
People, Human beings, Humanity
Machine-made, Synthetic, Artificial
The Common Man
The average person
Chair, Chairperson, Coordinator, Head
Legislator, Congressional Representative
Sir (In “Dear Sir”)
Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Editor, Dear Members of Search Committee, To whom it may concern.
Businessperson, People/Person in business
Mail Carrier, Letter carrier
Salesperson, Sales associate, Salesclerk
Changing terms is only the tip of the iceberg, but it has huge symbolic importance. As a woman, be more aware of your self-deprecating language! Learn to accept compliments. Just say thank you! Like in the hilarious Compliments video from Amy Schumer. Stop apologizing.
Stop using shrinking language.
DON’T SHRINK – DON’T PUFF UP. STAND ON YOUR SACRED GROUND. — Brené Brown
Stop criticizing others! It spreads bad energy. Stop insulting yourself! You will feel better! Read more about Non-Violent Communication. Choose at least one sexist expression that you commit to stop using. Speak up when a sexist expression is used around you. Stop dancing to sexist songs! Tweet to artists and production studios when songs are offensive to you. Set up a social media campaign on Change.org to raise awareness of sexist lyrics. Read The Four Agreements 1
Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be a victim of needless suffering. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret. Source: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Chapter 5 â€“ Public Speaking
THE PROBLEM: MEN SPEAK, WOMEN LISTEN
Historically, women have been socialized to be quiet. Even the Bible says so:
AN ELOQUENT WOMAN IS NEVER CHASTE. SILENCE IS GOLDEN, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” – Corinthians 14:34-35 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man, she must be quiet.” – Timothy 2:11-12
! KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Homer labeled speech as “the business of men” and Sophocles wrote that “silence is a woman’s garment.” And this is still a reality today.
I CAN HEAR THE ROAR OF —WOMEN’S SILENCE. – Thomas Sankara
According to the Ban Bossy project, girls get less airtime in class, are called on less, and interrupted more. Suppressing women’s voices is still part of everyday life. According to Soraya Chemaly in The Huffington Post, “male doctors invariably interrupt patients when they speak, especially female patients, but patients rarely interrupt doctors in return. Unless the doctor is a woman. Parents interrupt girls twice as often and hold them to stricter politeness norms. Teachers engage boys, who correctly see disruptive speech as a marker of dominant masculinity, more often and more dynamically than they engage girls.”
The larger the group, the more likely men are to speak. Scholars at Brigham Young and Princeton Universities examined whether women speak less than men when a group collaborates to solve a problem.
STUDIES SHOW: MEN DOMINATE 75% OF CONVERSATIONS IN DECISION MAKING GROUPS.
In most groups that they studied, the time that women spoke was significantly Source: American Political Science Review less than their proportional representation – amounting to less than 75% of the time that men spoke. Male students tend to be more talkative than female students, which affects their visibility, their grades, and their future professional opportunities.
Having a seat at the table is not the same as having a voice. The website arementalkingtoomuch.com offers ways to check who is dominating the conversation.
WHY? Three explanations have been popular since the 1970s, according to Debbie Cameron. “First, women are socialized to be unassertive: they’re reluctant to speak in public, and when they do enter public forums they don’t have the confidence to compete with men. Second, women aren’t interested in competing with men: they prefer a co-operative and supportive style of discourse to the adversarial mode that’s typical of male-dominated public forums.
Third, women are silenced by men’s sexist behaviour. Men interrupt women, talk over them, mansplain to them, ignore their contributions when they do manage to get a word in, and give credit to the man who makes the same point two minutes later.”
WE REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR VOICE WHEN WE ARE SILENCED. – Malala Yousafzai
Is making a speech a fate worse than death? According to the Daily Mail, public speaking is the third most common fear after losing family members and being buried alive. Women's lower self-esteem translates into language patterns. Women are verbally less assertive than men, in the sense that they are more likely to use hedges, qualifiers and questioning intonations. Women also use more phrases like “kind of,” “probably”, or “maybe,” as well as more filliers like “um,” “ah”, and “I mean.” They also turn sentences into questions, seeking affirmation: “Isn’t it?” Women worry about “negative consequences” and backlash if they are more voluble as they can easily be perceived as too aggressive. In other words, men are rewarded for speaking, while women are punished. Women are also often considered to be not ready enough. At TED Global 2013, TED former executive producer June Cohen wondered: “Where are the women speakers?” The main reason, she believes, is that women are more likely to say no. When turning down an offer to speak, women often say, “I’m not ready,” citing a lack of experience or underdeveloped research. Another explanation is that women prove to be extremely vulnerable to interruption. Numerous studies have demonstrated that in mixed-sex conversations, women are interrupted far more frequently than men are. By men AND by women. Women’s "bursts" last only a few seconds, while male students typically keep
on talking until they had finished. Moreover, once interrupted, women sometimes stay out of the discussion for the remainder of the conversation. “Interruptions can be used to display or gain dominance”, says Adrienne Hancock, linguist at George Washington University. How to bro-propriate? You probably have come across the cartoon saying: “That's an excellent suggestion, Miss Riggs. Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it.”
Image: Kathleen Edison
Many women are also familiar with experiences of "mansplaining." Mansplaining is when a man explains something to a woman in a patronizing way, especially something that he actually knows less about than she does. This expression comes from the essay by Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me.
Women often feel voluntarily or involuntarily silenced and invaded by men’s occupation of the vocal space. Silencing women’s voices takes many shapes: shushing young girls grabbing the mic speaking louder yelling at women belittling or patronizing the women who speak laughing at women's comments Image: Kaye Blegvad interrupting labeling more vocal women as aggressive or bossy not believing women when they speak out denying the reality of women's testimonials or experiences insulting women or threatening them on social media.
Far too many conferences feature talks exclusively hosted by men. At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, only 20% of the participants were women. And the Brookings Institution noted that women were entirely absent from the 2017 US congressional US-Iran deal hearings, even though women were key players in structuring the deal. Where are the women? Many high-profile conferences, events, and taskforces lack gender balance, despite there being no shortage of qualified women.
15% OF THE PANELISTS IN AUSTRALIA ARE WOMEN
Source: The Panel Pledge
So we end up with all-male panelsâ€Ś
Image: All-male panel Tumblr
Women speakers still earn less than male speakers. Event organizers negotiate more harshly with female speakers, asking them to lower their fees or even to speak for free. Since women speak at fewer events, female speakers have less visibility and attract smaller audiences, which justifies lower speaker's fees from event organizers. It's a negative feedback loop. 139
What conference organizers answer when asked for female speakers: Female Conference Speaker
Women just aren’t interested in this field
There aren’t enough qualified female spaeakers
We need bigname speakers, and few of those are women
Both women we called were booked that weekend
Both women we booked bailed at the last minute
All the women were probably busy
Female speakers are always burnt out from speaking so much
Trying to get more female speakers is sexist
The organizers just wanted to get the best speakers they could find
You can’t kick out a male speaker just to fit a women in there
You can’t shoehorn in a women where she doesn’t fit
Women never volunteer to present
You have to be bold; people arenn’t just going to invite you to present
Women are shy
Attendees want to hear from people like themselves
Well, there aren’t that many female attendees, either
Women only ever want to talk about women-stuff
We’re ony responding to demand
There aren’t a It’s a malelof of women in dominated field C-level positions
Women need to act more like men
Fine, YOU tell me who they should have invited
No one has complained about this before
Who? I’ve never heard of her.
Image: David Sipress. The New Yorker
Image: Caperton Gillett and Feministe
It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. Few women getting hired to speak means fewer can become stars, which means fewer will get hired to speak. Yet, the odds that a panel might "randomly" be all men are astronomical. Work by mathematician Greg Martin suggests that all-male lineups don’t “just happen,” despite what conference organizers might claim.
Source: Lauren Bacon, The Atlantic
Conferences are a business, and the social media backlash can be drastic. Here is an example of a tech conference in the US that became a target of social media: It was pointed out on Twitter that the lineup was all white men. Twitter erupted with allegations of racism/sexism. This put the sponsors in an awkward position regarding commitment to the conference. This meant the venue contract couldn't be signed because of a potential lack of financial security. Since the team couldn’t take on personal liability for the costs, there was a hard decision to made. That decision was: Cancel the event. The gender gap in public speaking is not random.
Consequences of (in)visibility.
It is the consequence of internalized cultural norms:
Since speakers are usually male, audiences are given a narrow perspective. Fewer women choose to speak, and fewer are chosen.
Women’s lower inclination to speak in public and/or self-promote. Men’s greater visibility in public eye. Conference organizers’ unconscious bias.
Without the opportunity for women to serve on panels as thought leaders, women lack profile-building speaking opportunities, an important contributor to experience and recognition. Source: The Panel Pledge
Some websites have started to make fun of this situation, like Learn-to-search.com.
Image: ÂŠ Man Who Has It All
Their point is clear: "In 2012, only 7% of men organizing tech conferences had the search skills to book male and female speakers in equal number. Poor internet search skills result in homogeneous communities." The Womenâ€™s Leadership Institute in Australia put together a handy toolkit for those who want to say no. In Sweden and Norway, male speakers are now refusing to participate in conferences and panel discussions without female representation. 70-80% of all the experts in media today are men. If we continue to organize all-male panels and juries, we keep reproducing the image of an expert as a man. Saying no to all-male panels is an easy way to let more people contribute to a concrete change. Benja Stig Fagerland, Founder and CEO of Women Speakers, sees the Say No campaign as part of a new international wave of feminism that is driven by social media. Five of Australia's most booked male conference speakers will boycott panels that don't include women, criticizing organizers for taking the lazy way out by opting for "dude fests." 143
SAY NO TO #MANPANELS
When President Obama held his last news conference of 2014, he called on eight reporters — all women. It made headlines worldwide. Had a politician given only men a chance to ask questions, it would not have been news; it would have been a regular day. Some staff members developed the amplification strategy. When President Obama took office, two-thirds of his top aides were men. Women complained about having to elbow their way into important meetings. And when they got in, their voices were sometimes ignored. So female staffers adopted a meeting strategy they called “amplification”: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own. The “amplification” strategy seems to have paid off: During Obama’s second term, women finally gained parity with men in Obama’s inner circle. Some tech conferences have started to commit to a 50:50 speaker representation. For example, Collision Conference offered free tickets to anyone who referred women speakers to them. 144
Some campaigns raise awareness of the need for womenâ€™s voices, such as #ElevatePak in Pakistan. New speakersâ€™ bureaux are exclusively dedicated to find more diverse speakers.
Bulbula is a free online directory of brilliant female commentators and speakers from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Bulbula brings these diverse voices to a wider audience, connecting them with journalists, producers, and bookers in a dynamic meeting of cultures.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you attend a conference: Leverage social media! Point out gender imbalances when you see them. Use #allmalepanels. Use the amplification method with your female friends or colleagues. Call out mansplaining and mansplainers. If you speak at a conference: Ask the organizers who else is speaking. Tell the organizers you’ve made a pledge to avoid all-male panels and can’t speak if there are no women going. Then suggest some women that might be great for the event. Reserve the right to bail out at the last minute if your requirements aren’t met. And speak up about the need for a diversity of voices! If you are a conference organizer: Issue a call for presentations (CFP). Select proposed talks anonymously, and state in the CFP that you do so. Encourage people from under-represented groups to respond to the CFP.
Monitor your data. Reach out to specific speakers bureaux. Distribute topics so that women’s voices are heard on “hard” topics, not just “soft” topics. 147
Ask around. Ask other panelists, industry insiders, and specialist women’s organizations. Use Google. Look at previous conferences, government boards, and industry associations.
Infographic: Kathleen Edison inspired by Jessica Bennett’s column.
For women speakers: Dare! Get trained to speak better. If you want your seat at the table to count, you need to become a better speaker. Start small, and build your confidence: “Find local events, pitch a talk, and practice a lot. It really does get easier each time. It's just about practice.” Get in touch with experienced professional speakers and ask them for advice and guidance about: How to book more gigs and gain more speaking experience. How to gain the confidence to ask for money. How to price your talks competitively in an industry where women and minorities are consistently underpaid. 148
Register for a theater or improvisation class now!
Join a Toastmasters club.
Attend a storytelling night.
Join a poetry club.
Write or blog about a subject to demonstrate your expertise and to prompt organizers to contact you.
Submit your ideas to conferences. Register for a female speakers bureau. Nominate yourself or someone you know at: https://morewomensvoices.com/
And men: Be more aware of your privilege! You have been socialized to talk more, to occupy the floor. Be mindful about it! Be aware of the length of your interventions, of your interruptions, of your own unconscious dominant behavior. In other words, learn to shut up and to listen more.
AS WOMEN WE MUST SPEAK OUT, SPEAK UP, SAY NO TO OUR INHERITANCE OF LOSS AND YES TO A FUTURE OF WOMEN-LED DIALOGUE ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND VALUE. — Zainab Salbi
Chapter 6 â€“ Cities
THE PROBLEM: OUR PUBLIC SPACE IS MALE
All around the world, street signs of male silhouettes invite us to cross the street. Maya Barkai, the artist behind the public art project Walking Men Worldwide, has been collecting images of crosswalk light symbols from cities across the world since 2004. She estimates that of 180 different symbols in her collection, roughly 10 are gendered female. Only a few cities have female signs: Odense in Denmark, Zaragoza and La Coruña in Spain, Zwickau and Dresden in Germany.
Source: Walking Men 99™, New York 2010-2013 / Photography: Maya Barkai, Walking Men Worldwide™
STREET NAMES SORT OF DEFINE THE IDENTITY OF A PLACE. – Aruna Sankaranarayanan, Mapbox
Mapbox mapped 7 world cities and found that only 28% of the streets were named after women. A new interactive map from Mapbox developer Aruna Sankaranarayanan and her colleagues shows just how scarce female streets are in major world cities. Mumbai
Only 2% of French streets are named after women, most of them being wives and daughters of famous men. 3% of Paris metro stations (9 stations) have a female name. The situation is similar in Spain. 90% of Spanish streets are named after men. And those honoring women usually reference saints. Only 7 out of 273 metro stations in Madrid are named after women. The gender gap also applies to monuments. In her new book, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, Rebecca Solnit sums it up: "Almost every city is full of menâ€™s names, names that are markers of who wielded power, who made history, who held fortunes, who was remembered; women are anonymous people who changed fathersâ€™ names for husbandsâ€™ as they married, who lived in private and were comparatively forgotten, with few exceptions." Just have a look at the Modulor Man, the mascot of Le Corbusier's system for re-ordering the universe. Women's absence from city features like streets and metro stations is shaping the role of women in history. In a more global perspective, cities are not designed for women. The Modulor was meant as a universal system of proportions. The ambition was vast: it was devised to reconcile math, the human form, architecture, and beauty into a single system. This system could then be used to provide the measurements for all aspects of design, from door handles to cities, and Corbusier believed that it could be further applied to industry and mechanics. As is often said, a six-foot rule is hardly fair to women and children. 154
And this can be illustrated in our daily lives. Let’s take the classic example of the public bathroom. Signs tell us who is using which space for what. Baby changing stations are usually located inside women's bathrooms, which precludes fathers from participating. The inevitable lines for women’s bathrooms illustrate the lack of human-centered design. Disproportionately long lines not only drain women’s time, the wait can be physically painful. The equitable provision of public toilet facilities for women and men within a public space is called "potty parity.” On average, men take 30 seconds to use the bathroom, according to a Time magazine report about potty parity. Women take 90 seconds. According to Soraya Chemaly, women are socialized to quietly deal with physical discomfort. Women need to use bathrooms more often and for longer periods of time because: Women sit to urinate (urinals effectively double the space in men’s bathrooms), Women menstruate, Women are responsible for reproducing the species (which makes us pee more), Women continue to have greater responsibility for children (who have to use bathrooms with women), and Women breastfeed. Additionally, women tend to wear more binding and cumbersome clothes, whereas men’s clothing provides significantly speedier access. But in a classic example of the difference between surface “equality” and genuine equity, many public restrooms continue to be facilities that are equal in physical space, while favoring men’s bodies, experiences, and needs.
Legislation to address the design and provision of public restrooms in new construction often requires more spaces for women’s rooms. But that has hardly made a dent in many of our oldest and most used public spaces. So our cities are mostly designed by and for men.
A city’s layout imposes a significant time burden on women. Where resources like water or schools are located matters as well. WHO estimates that 72% of the burden of collecting water at standpipes, wells, rivers, and other storage units falls on women. Multiple daily trips to and from water sources eats up women’s time, drawing them away from other activities like education and employment. Women and men use public spaces, buildings, and even access basic services differently. In areas where resources of all kinds are more limited, these disparities become especially acute, affecting women’s safety, movement, and income. This is particularly true in parts of the global south, where urban planning struggles to keep up with basic use, much less encourage gender equality.
Image: The Guardian
Nowhere in the world has a city yet been conceived and constructed along the lines that these women planners would like. Nowhere in the world do women, and others who share the inclusive goals of gender planning, have the political power or access to capital that such an urban renewal project would require: lack of workplace creches, continuing arguments about breastfeeding in public places, concerns that women cyclists are more vulnerable to being killed and injured on the roads. Top-down planning is never effective. The women who are potentially the worst affected in unsafe conditions are the very ones who have no voice in deciding the contours of the city or ways to make it safer. Urban design should better reflect the aspirations, imaginations, and requirements of all sections of the population. Where should the public toilet be? Where should the water source be located? Which is the best site for the school? Fewer than one-fifth of U.S. cities with populations over 30,000 have female mayors. There aren’t many women in political power or at the helm of influential organizations that steer cities’ futures, writes Daphne Spain, author of Constructive Feminism: Women’s Spaces and Women’s Rights in the American City. Women are often at the forefront of grassroots efforts to address issues that affect themselves and their families, like tenants’ rights and environmental hazards, but they’re under-represented in leadership roles. The number of women council members in the largest cities has decreased from 33% to 30% since 2010. In France, only 15% of mayors are female. And, among cities with more than 100,000 people, only 3 out of 43 cities are run by women (Paris, Rennes, and Nantes). Women are under-represented in the fields of planning, architecture, and real estate development, particularly at the top. “We basically do not have good examples of gender-sensitive planning in the U.S.,”Mildred Warner, the Cornell planning professor who led the survey with the APA, told HuffPost. Stop Street Harassment founder and Executive Director Holly Kearl described the challenge of getting her message to the Washington Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority several years ago: They were “saying that one person’s harassment was another person’s flirting, and it wasn’t a problem on their system.” Because design is a feminist issue. There is no feminist or minority-friendly city yet. In many parts of the world, women can’t even go out on their own without beingharassed, points out Caren Levy, a professor at University College London. Levy studies public transport, an area of heightened concern for policymakers in light of horrific crimes like the gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey on a Delhi bus in 2012. Despite such tragedies, and the Prevalence of Street Harassment proof they provide that women must be taken into account when 50% of US Women 77% of US Women under 40 have been under 40 have been strategic decisions around transport groped or fondled in followed by a man or planning are made, Levy says gender the last year. group of men in the last year. remains at the fringe of policy debate, if it is there at all. Men are raised to go out, to live outside and explore the world, while women are raised to stay at home Data: Hollaback and to develop an inner fear of the outside world, perceived as a threat to their integrity. In France, 100% of women have experienced harassment in the transportation system. In Paris, 8 out of 10 women believe they would receive no help in a case of aggression in the metro. In 2016, ActionAid conducted a survey about street harassment in a number of countries. They found that 79% of women living in cities in India, 86% in Thailand, and 89% in Brazil have been subjected to harassment or violence in public, as had 75% of women in London, UK.
A right to safety. Every woman wants to feel safe while going to work, school, or running an errand. Sexual violence and harassment are another reason women and girls experience cities differently than men. The space issue: The individual with more power tends to occupy more space. In a waiting room, men tend to occupy more space than women. On airplanes, men tend to occupy the armrests. Women tend to have smaller offices and smaller cars. Men tend to invade the personal space of women more than the other way around. Men tend to touch women more often than the other way around, establishing the domination relationship. When men feel their personal space is invaded, they react aggressively; women withdraw and flee. Femininity is valued by how little space women can occupy, while manhood requires spreading. This space occupying strategy affects leisure space as well. Young men get the power to make public space their own and to model it according to their values. In France, 75% of the equipment in urban public recreational space is designed for boys. Image: Joe Dator Free recreational spaces (skateparks, city stadiums) are predominantly occupied by young boys. Girls rapidly donâ€™t feel welcomed. This is reinforced by parents who limit their daughters' use of public space. When we say public space is neutral, it means it is male.Â Urban recreational equipment is used by boys two-thirds of the time, so collective investment goes to men. 159
Women are taught to be more cautious, to take fewer risks, and that bikes are for boys. At the end of the day, a family’s concerns for limiting women's safety ends up limiting their movements. Women are also socialized to think that they are poor drivers. Consider the common expressions in our language about women drivers, the comments made when a woman is behind the wheel, the patronizing help from male passengers, and beliefs that women tend to be “distracted by things,” can’t park in narrow spaces, or the big car must belong to the husband. Yet all these stereotypes should, theoretically, be long gone by now, especially because statistically women ARE better drivers than men. Men typically drive more miles than women and more often engage in risky driving practices, including not using safety belts, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding. Over the course of his lifetime, CBS News reports, a man could pay $15,000 more for driver's insurance than a woman. The IIHS, a nonprofit created by car insurance companies to decrease accidents, compiled 2015 accident data based on gender. The study found that 71% of car accident casualties were men. The same study found that twice as many men died in crashes between 1975 and 2015 than women. The IIHS findings are even more grim when it comes to motorcycle-related deaths, where men make up 91% of fatalities. So women get to drive less and practice less, thus feeling less confident driving. Add to that the stereotype threat. When women spend their lives listening to remarks about women being bad drivers, it easily affects their confidence behind the wheel. Source: Broadly
Women are expected to care more about their outfit, especially since women’s clothes restrict movements and behaviours. Tight clothes prevent large movements, and women with skirts or dresses have to be careful so that their underwear is not seen.
Women’s clothes and footwear have long limited their movements, from foot binding to stilettos. Foot binding, a widespread custom in China that lasted for more than a 1,000 years, involved incredibly tight cloth bindings being applied to the feet of young girls to stifle growth. Women with small feet were deemed beautiful Chinese 21st Century western and could marry better if they had “lotus feet.” Imperial foot binding foot binding as they were often referred to. The process typically took place between ages 4 and 9. The toes were bent backwards, pressed downwards, and finally squeezed into the sole. Over time, the bones in the toes would break, and the foot arch would rise to the extent that the heel would almost touch the metatarsals. Source: Telegraph. Jemimah Steinfeld
And today, women turn to botox to repair feet damaged by high heels.
I REGRET BINDING MY FEET. I CAN’T DANCE. I CAN’T MOVE PROPERLY. I REGRET IT A LOT. BUT AT THE TIME, IF YOU DIDN’T BIND YOUR FEET, NO ONE WOULD MARRY YOU. — Zhou Guizhen, survivor of foot-binding, 2007
Men’s clothing has been designed for utility; women’s clothing has been designed for beauty. British activist and academic Sheila Jeffreys, a former political science professor at the University of Melbourne and author of Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West, says: "Men have traditionally demanded that women walk and dance in pain and gained great sexual satisfaction from this. The fashion industry that creates the rules is dominated by men, many of whom are shoe fetishists. They project their interest on to women's broken feet."
THE CORE OF MY WORK IS DEDICATED NOT TO PLEASING WOMEN BUT TO PLEASING MEN.
MY JOB IS NOT TO CREATE SOMETHING COMFORTABLE. — Christian Louboutin
— Christian Louboutin
The concept of beauty is dictated by culture, and fashion trends remain defined by male designers to satisfy male pleasure over female comfort. Even Barbie dolls have feet designed for high heels. Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, said one of her biggest concerns is equating high heels with power. “I question that a great deal because the power that high heels seems to convey is very sexualized power. And very sexualized power is false power, because in order to be sexy someone has to find you sexy, and so the power actually is in the beholder.” Beauty practices are not only just as persistent, but in many ways more extreme. Beauty and Misogyny examines the pervasive use of makeup, the misogyny of fashion and high-heeled shoes, and looks at the role of pornography in the creation of increasingly popular beauty practices such as breast implants, genital waxing, and surgical alteration of the labia. 162
Common beauty practices are damaging the health of women. Since the 19th century, feminists have condemned fashion trends harmful to women’s health. From the late 1860s to the early 1890s, The Lancet published at least one article a year on the dangers of tight lacing, a custom held responsible for curvature of the spine, rib deformity, displacement of internal organs, respiratory problems, circulatory diseases, birth defects, fertility issues, broken ribs, and puncture wounds. The corset-opposing Rational Dress Society, founded in 1881, included heels as part of its campaign against, "dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movements of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health." Today, NHS podiatric surgeon Emma Supple decries the current vogue for "Killer, statement, gladiatorial heels" as "warfare on your feet." Thousands of British women are rendered immobile by high heels, she says. Corrective surgery is occurring to the tune of $38 million a year. Four out of 10 women admit to having had accidents, with statistics suggesting that as many as 20,000 women a year are hospitalised by their heels. “There has to be a change,” Supple says, “because this really is a form of self-torture. We have enormous rates of obesity, and osteoporosis. Women have to be able to get out of their cars and pound pavements.” From corsets to burkas, we are limiting women’s movements in the public space. Women’s clothes are designed everywhere in the world to limit freedom of movement (veils, abayas, burkas, short skirts, high heels, tight clothes, pocketless trousers, heavy handbags and so much more). This supposes a constant mental load for women to be watchful of their appearance. Women shall not move around easily. “Protection” has often been used to repress people. In previous centuries, women weren’t allowed to go out without a chaperone, under the guise of needing protection. In modern times, women in countries like Saudi Arabia still live under protective rules, e.g. they can’t drive a car alone, they must travel with a male guardian in public. When you take away a woman’s agency, you take away her freedom.
This phenomenon is what Glick called “the protection racket.” To protect women from potential dangers, we limit their freedom. Why don’t we work on the source of danger? Because, whatever they wear, whatever vehicle they drive, women experience everywhere the dominating and intimidating power of stares. Men staring at you (even silently) does not make you feel welcomed in the public space. Especially if men are in groups. Women learn from a very young age to adapt their behavior: – Lower the gaze. – Avoid eye contact. – Dress to be less noticeable. – Change sidewalks. But the discomfort remains. Staring is “power over” as well. So numerous messages in our public space end up sending a clear message to women: You don’t belong here.
AS A WOMAN, YOU ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE TO EVERY WORLD. — Zaha Hadid
A song satirizing Saudi Arabia’s driving ban on women has been seen by 15 million people on YouTube. Hisham Fageeh, the 26-year-old comedian behind the hit, has adapted Bob Marley’s famous reggae hit, “No Woman, No Cry,” with his friends Fahad Albutairi and Alaa Wardi. Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif decided to encourage women to drive by doing so and filming herself for YouTube. In response to the Cannes Film Festival reportedly barring women from attending film screenings if they were not wearing high heels, Emma Thompson decided to take off her Louboutin heels at the Golden Globes.
I’VE TAKEN MY HEELS OFF AS A FEMINIST STATEMENT REALLY, BECAUSE WHY DO WE WEAR THEM? THEY’RE SO PAINFUL. AND POINTLESS, REALLY. BUT TO PLEASING MEN. —Emma Thompson
Different cities implement campaigns against manspreading. Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women, and their families are joining the award-winning Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence.
Manspreading, or man-sitting, is the practice of men sitting in public transport with legs wide apart, thereby covering more than one seat.
New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority and Seattle's Sound Transit instituted poster campaigns encouraging respectful posture on crowded buses and trains to increase seating availability.
The Power of the Crowd
In Madrid, Clara Serra of Podemos, the political party that presented the manspreading motion, said “We believe that putting a name to and making visible these kinds of daily sexist behaviour that go unnoticed is the way ahead to become more aware, seeing what we used not to see and leaving inequality and machismo behind.” The campaign was inspired by an online petition promoted by a women’s rights group, Microrrelatos Feministas, that had garnered more than 13,000 signatures. UN Women and the Government of Mexico City launched the campaign #NoEsDeHombres to tackle sexual harassment in public transport. Authorities in Mexico City took an unusual approach to teaching men a lesson about misogynist behaviour by installing a “penis seat” on an underground train. The seat, moulded to mimic a seated man (including his penis), Image: ONU Mujeres was labelled for men only and accompanied by a sign that said: “It is annoying to travel this way, but not compared to the sexual violence women suffer in their daily commutes.” 167
UN Women and the Mexican government collaborated on a second video, called “Experimento Pantallas” or “Experiment Screens.” It emphasized the same message by filming men’s butts on the platform and broadcasting the footage on TV screens in the subway.
In Paris, a feminist group decided to rename 60 streets in honor of women. The idea was to raise awareness and to show the world as it should be. Now led by a female mayor, Paris is trying to assign female names to its new streets.
THIS IS A MAN'S WORLD BUT IT WOULD BE NOTHING, WITHOUT A WOMAN OR A GIRL. — James Brown
Some artists also redesigned Paris and New York subway maps exclusively with female station names. “It’s a map that reflects the remarkable history of charismatic women who have shaped New York City from the beginning,” wrote author Rebecca Solnit In her new book Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas. 168
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The Power of the Crowd
Image: Silvia Radelli
In Spain, cities are replacing former fascist names with local female heroes. In Barcelona, the total number of streets named after women increased from 7% in 1996 to 28% in 2010. The 1,961 streets in Catalonia named after women can be geolocalized thanks to #nomenclator website. Since most signs of womenâ€™s influence in history have been erased from the physical world, some apps have started to recall it in the digital world.
Disobey the Rules
The citizens of some cities have begun to ask for a change in public statues.
Some celebrities have started to speak up about the discrepancies in public space.
In China, some women occupy the men’s toilets to raise awareness of the issue. As Rosa Parks once defied city law by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, why not use men’s bathrooms if the line for women’s bathrooms is too long? Some activists advocate for gender-neutral bathrooms.
In India, the Why Loiter initiative is re-occupying public space.
Tech 4 Good
When society wants to keep a woman safe, it never chooses to make public spaces safe for her. It instead tries to limit her right to this space. It highlights the way in which the media, as well as general discourse, tends to focus on the dangers that face women who “dare to cross prescribed lines.” Being in a public space without any apparent reason is not appropriate for females. So women gather in cafes, public benches, or beaches and post photos of themselves on social media. And they do the same in Pakistan…
Take Back the Metro invites transport system users to inform fellow passengers about sexist violence (and not only about pickpockets or minding the gap).
In Cairo, Harassmap helps to geolocalize street harassment in real time to identify the most dangerous streets and to work in collaboration with shopkeepers and residents. Harassmap recently trained male Uber drivers about recognizing, preventing, and taking positive action against sexual harassment.
In the US, Hollaback app allows users to share stories of street harassment.
In Pakistan, the project Women on Wheels is training women to ride scooters and get their own transportation. And around the world women-only transportation schemes are beginning to flourish.
Even if many claim that segregation is only a bandage not a solution. How do we transform our world’s culture to one in which women are not constantly harassed by men? One of the pioneers in gender-sensitive urbanism is the city of Vienna, where gender mainstreaming has been in place since the early 1990s. In practice, this means city administrators create laws, rules, and regulations that benefit men and women equally. The goal is to provide equal access to city resources. In the 1990s, a simple survey in Vienna led urban planners to rethink their whole approach to infrastructure development. The questionnaire asked residents why and how they used public transportation, and the results were striking because men and women had very different responses. – Men’s typical route was short and simple: to and from work. – Women’s responses, however, were complex and varied, including multiple trips a day on the metro as well as on foot: dropping off children at school, going to the doctor, getting groceries, visiting an older family member, back to school for pick up. This prompted a moment of realization for Vienna’s city planners: infrastructure has a gendered aspect to it because women and men have different needs and uses for public structures and systems. As a result, the planners adapted transportation projects to women’s needs, adding street lights so women felt safer walking at night and widening sidewalks to make it easier to move around with walkers, strollers, or wheelchairs.
Concrete examples from Vienna’s experience. The researchers observed that boys were often more assertive than girls. When both tried to lay claim to a sports field or ball court, the boys usually won. So planners from the Gender Unit hired landscape architects for six new parks that included features such as: high perches for girls where they could see across the park; fences that had gaps in them, so girls wouldn’t feel trapped; and different ball and sports courts, so if one space was taken over by boys, girls would have other options to play. They widened sidewalks and built huge ramps near a major intersection to make movement easier for people with strollers, wheelchairs, or walkers. They added lighting to streets to make women feel safer at night, and they moved bus stops to spots where women felt comfortable waiting. Today, in a policy known as “gender mainstreaming” or “fair-shared cities,” every design decision in Vienna takes into account the needs of girls and women, as well as other overlooked groups, such as immigrants and the disabled. “As Vienna has transformed, the political aspect of the change has IF YOU ARE USING become increasingly clear”, says PUBLIC SPACE, YOU ARE Eva Kail, the Head Planner of the ALSO BECOMING A Gender Unit. “In Europe, starting with PUBLIC PERSON. Greek democracy, all the revolutions started in public places. Political history — Eva Kail, the Head Planner of the Gender Unit. is always connected with specific spots in the city. To be able to be in the city, in the way you want to be, shows in a really clear way what your chances in society are.” What is Gender Mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming has been embraced internationally as a strategy towards realising gender equality. It involves the integration of a gender perspective into the preparation, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies, regulatory measures and spending programmes, with a view to promoting equality between women and men, and combating discrimination. It is a transversal approach not restricted to urbanism. Source: http://eige.europa.eu/
Vienna even released a toolkit to allow other cities to replicate their experience.
Gender budgeting means preparing or analyzing budgets from a gender perspective. The City of Vienna spends a lot of money for its citizens every day. Which proportion of that money benefits women and men? â€“ Applying gender mainstreaming and promotion of women in procurement ensures that the money also contributes to the equality of women and men in private business. â€“ Governments should introduce gender budgeting. Gender budgeting sets out to quantify how policies affect women and men differently. For example, Austria lowered income tax on second earners, which has encouraged women to join the labor force, boosting growth and tax revenues. Cutting programs that reduce domestic violence would create greater costs in the form of medical treatment and lost workdays. The goal is to distribute the budget equally among women and men.
Oxfam also released a toolkit on how to include more women in urban planning.
Mixed communities, mixed neighborhoods, and mixed land use make for a greater sense of safety. Women in public spaces reported feeling safer when there were “eyes on the road”: vendors, shopkeepers, rickshaw drivers, and others who use the streets and make a living on them. Women feel safer when they can freely use local transport and move around without any threat or fear of sexual harassment. The “sanitization” or “beautification” of cities, where working class communities are re-located to distant sites and street vendors are taken off the road, makes these communities more prone to crime and generates a feeling of insecurity. Incorporating women’s needs starts with better data. The good news is that cities around the world have made progress incorporating the needs of both genders in infrastructure planning, but this has not yet been institutionalized everywhere. One of the encouraging areas of change is public transit. Several U.S. cities have acknowledged the issue of sexual harassment and are working to combat it with publicity campaigns and tools that allow victims to easily report it. However, there’s more that can be done. For example, a Toronto-based organization created a “safety audit” program, which allows women to identify where they feel unsafe. This program has been replicated in several cities around the world. In Nantes and Montreal, bus drivers stop on-demand at night to reduce walking distance for passengers.
Some cities have proposed women-friendly public bathrooms.
NYC Service offers safe transportation for women.
Women are also infiltrating the fields of architecture and urban planning to bring their views to city design. World-renowned British architect Zaha Hadid was named “Queen of the curve” by The Guardian as it appears in her designs of the Heydar Aliyev cultural centre in Baku, Azerbaijan or the future stadium to be built in al-Wakrah for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
I DON’T THINK THERE ARE MANY WOMEN WHO THINK, ‘OH, MY IDEAL PROJECT WOULD BE A MASSIVE TOWER.’ — Fiona Scott
How to build fairer cities? The project Womenability has been searching the world for solutions to urban challenges. Like exploratory walks allowing citizens to explore a neighborhood and assess its needs. Exploratory walks were created at the beginning of the 1990s in Montreal by METRAC2 to help prevent violence targeted at women and children. Since then the approach has been broadened into a general tool enabling decision makers to gain “users knowledge” on the city, and residents to transmit their experience directly to decision makers. It is a situational and participative approach that is particularly useful to analyse safety and security issues at stake in some neighborhoods. Cyvette Gibson, Paynesville, Liberia’s first female mayor says: “I always say women build differently than men. Men build for today but women build for tomorrow because we’re interested in making sure we have some form of security for our children. That’s why we elected a woman as president in Liberia – we knew we needed a woman to rebuild our nation.” We also need more female mayors around the world. Today, 9 female mayors out of 57 high-profile cities provides some hope for change. Women build cities with the future in mind. And women offer a different perspective. Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender at Bristol University explains: “While not every woman mayor is a feminist with the goal of improving the lives of women in her city, women bring with them experiences that differ in important ways from those of their male peers.” “If you’ve never tried to put a buggy on a bus, you don’t really understand what many women’s experience of public transport is,” Childs says, adding that there’s a burgeoning argument for infrastructure to include childcare, not just roads and rail. 178
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Write to your city representative about gender issues in your city. Request your city start implementing gender-budgeting. Mention the city of Vienna as an example and share their replicable toolkit. Launch an exploratory walk in your neighborhood. Map the current gender balance of street names in your city. Propose some names for new streets. Ask for different toilet signage and safe public bathrooms. Run tours of the powerful women in your city’s history. Loiter with friends in public spaces or male-dominated areas (if you’re a woman). Write to your school, airport, or train station representative to ask for more women’s toilets or gender-neutral bathrooms. Launch a campaign on Change.org to raise awareness of manspreading. Ditch your high heels. Wear comfortable clothes that do not limit your movements. Learn to ride a bike, a motorbike, a scooter, a horse, whatever suits you! Get as much experience as you can as a driver. Intervene if you witness harassment while using public transport. Run for the city council or local representation!
IF YOU CAN CHANGE THE STREET, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. — Janette Sadik-Khan, former New York City Transportation Commissioner
Chapter 7 â€“ Sports
THE PROBLEM: SPORTS ARE NOT FOR GIRLS
Physical activity has long been deemed “unsuitable” for women.
Image: Matt Bors
The roots of this myth lie in the birth of modern sports, 150 years ago. Victorian society viewed sports as, “inseparable from the philosophy of muscular christianity, which defined itself against femininity and softness,” says Tony Collins, the author of Sport in Capitalist Society. Victorian Society did not think much of the notion of women playing sports. Nor did Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the modern Olympic Games in 1896. He described women’s sports as, “the most unaesthetic sight human eyes could contemplate,” and advocated that The Games be reserved for men, though a few females were allowed to compete from 1900. In 1921, the Football Association in England deemed the sport “quite unsuitable for females” and banned its clubs from loaning pitches to women. Even today, many conservative societies deem women's engagement in physical activities to be less acceptable. And female attire makes it sometimes even more complicated. Sports are traditionally associated with "masculine" characteristics. Physical strength and resilience, speed, and a highly competitive, sometimes confrontational spirit. In many societies, women who engage in sports are perceived as “masculine,” while men who are not interested in sports are considered “unmanly.” 183
Sports are predominantly divided into “male” and “female” domains. In many sports, mixed gender participation is not accepted. For example, St. Andrew's Links in Scotland only began admitting female members in 2014, and, as of 2017, the clubhouse still does not have a women's changing room. In many cases, sports organizations and the media have sent messages that confirm these divisions rather than challenge them. Moreover, the portrayal of female and male athletes by the media reinforces stereotypical perceptions of gender roles. Women athletes are still depicted in a way that contributes to the marginalization of women’s achievements in sports, due to the emphasis placed on femininity and sexual attraction instead of strength and skills. The presence of this type of coverage devalues women’s accomplishments. Despite the considerable increase in girls’ and women’s participation in sports and a growing audience interested in women’s elite sports, there are still significant differences in media coverage. Female athletes receive less media coverage. Female Olympic athletes still garner far fewer column inches and receive less TV airtime than their male counterparts. Yet, people are interested in women’s sports. The U.S. Women’s National Team set a television ratings record during its victory in the final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Japan, making the game the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history with 23 million viewers! Men’s sports are often considered the default. Overt gender marking is more common for women's sports, for both the sport itself (ladies’ singles) and the athletes (woman golfer). For example, men playing football is called football, while women playing football is called women's football.
Image: © The Man Who Has it All
Aesthetics over athletics when it comes to women in sports. Language around women in sports focuses disproportionately on the appearance, clothes, and personal lives of women, highlighting a greater emphasis on aesthetics over athletics. Words commonly used for women in sports include: aged, older, pregnant, and married or unmarried. The top words for men in sports, by contrast, are adjectives like: fastest, strong, big, real, and great. Female athletes’ physical appearance and personal lives are frequently mentioned. When it comes to performance, it seems as though men also have the competitive edge. We see men associated with verbs such as mastermind, beat, win, dominate, and battle; whereas, women are associated with verbs such as compete, participate, and strive. Research by Cambridge University Press found higher levels of infantilization and traditionalist language for women in sports. Women are more likely to be referred to as “girls” or “ladies” than men are to be referred to as “boys” or “gentleman.” At Rio, descriptions of some female athletes have been called offensive. After Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu won gold in the 400m individual medley with a new world record, a journalist referred to her partner, who is also her trainer, saying: "This is the man responsible.” One gymnast was criticised when her leotard "failed to complement her skin tone.” A BBC commentator was criticised too when he referred to the judo final between Kosovan Majlinda Kelmendi and Italian Odette Giuffrida as a "cat fight." Meanwhile American swimmer Katie Ledecky was praised as being the "female Michael Phelps." When women are world champions, why do we still need to compare them to men? FEMALE ATHLETES ARE STEREOTYPED BY THE GENERAL POPULATION – AND USUALLY AS HOMOSEXUALS. — Billie Jean King
Athletes face many biases from sports journalists.
Olympics Media Sexism Bingo A female athlete's accomplishments are credited to a man (husband, coach, etc.).
The press uses a photo of a female athlete which primarily focuses on her butt.
Female athlete's motherhood is mentioned in main description and/or with implication of "having it all."
A woman over the age of 21 is called a "girl."
A female reporter (of the 21% of the Olympic media who are actually women) is criticized for her appearance or clothing.
Female athlete’s non
A Black female athlete's hair is criticized.
A woman is called "the female (insert male athlete’s name here)"
A female athlete's "feminine" qualities (grace, beauty, etc.) are presented as remarkable in comparison to her athleticism.
-gendered actions The women's event you (ie, talking to each other, want to watch is not standing next to each being televised, but the another) are condescendingly men's version is. feminized (ie, "gabbing", "ladies at the mall")
The press debates whether a transgender athlete has an "advantage/ disadvantage."
The men's event is just called “Sport Name” as a default, but the women's is called “Women's Sport.”
A Muslim woman's hijab is up for debate/commentary.
Reference is made to a female athlete's husband or boyfriend as part of her main description.
A country's women's team places higher than the men's, but there is more coverage of the men's win.
Female athlete’s are commended for performing "like a man" or "just as good as the men."
Source: Megan Ford
This is also due to the lack of women in sports journalism. Internationally, women represent only 10% of positions in print media and media production. At the 2012 London Olympics, only 15% of the journalists and photographers were women. Gender inequalities extend into media organizations, where women hold only 27% of senior management positions. In the US, 88% of sports reporters are men and 90% of them are white. 186
Image: © The Man Who Has it All
WHAT ARE THE FIGURES ABOUT FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS? Traditionally, sports have been dominated by men, in terms of both participation and governance. Worldwide, women’s participation rates in sporting activities are lower than men’s. Yet, significant changes have occurred over the last 20 years, and the difference in involvement between the genders is becoming narrower.
Men are more likely than women to exercise or play sports. In the EU, 37% of men never exercise or play sports, compared with 47% of women.
Female participation at the Olympics remains low but has increased rapidly since the Games’ inception. 60%
Equal male and female participation
50% 40% 30% 20% 10%
The 2012 Olympic Games in London were a historic turning point. For the first time in Olympic history, all participating teams had female athletes.
1st Female Participation
95% Male, 5% Female
55% Male, 45% Female
And women and girls are participating in more and more physical activities. In the US, girls’ participation in high school sports grew from 1 in 27 in 1971 to 1 in 2, 4 in 2008. In 1971, 1% of Boston marathon runners were women. Today, it’s 42%. 188
Cities also offer less equipment for girls' activities. Recreational equipment in cities is used by boys two-thirds of the time, so collective investment goes to men in priority. Edith Maruejouls studied the distribution of space in playground schools: boys occupy more space, especially ballgames in the center; girls play at the periphery, in smaller spaces where they play static games with less competition. While participation by girls in sports has increased at all levels (Olympic, professional, college, high school and youth), and society is more accepting than ever of female athleticism, the fact that girls continue to drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys is an indication that we still have a long way to go as a society in reaching the goal of gender equality in sports. Girls sometimes don't receive the support they need from their family. Middle school and high school sports are about winning, not participation. Teenage girls still think sports are unfeminine. Poor coaching has an impact. Teenage girls experience a crisis of confidence. Girls are less tolerant of poor sports behavior than boys. With adolescence comes a greater desire for cooperation and connectedness overcompetition. Source: Brooke De Lench, Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports
We still lack equal representation and gender sensitivity in decision-making. In 2015, only 14% of all top decision-making positions in sports federations in the EU were occupied by women, ranging from 3% in Poland to 43% in Sweden. Within the International Olympic Committee (IOC), progress has been made, yet it remains slow. There were no women on the committee between 1896 and 1981, and women still occupied less than 25% of IOC members as of 2014. Moreover, fewer than 20% of the members of the governing bodies of affiliated bodies, such as the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), are women. 190
As a profession, sports coaching is also dominated by men. Based on figures in 7 EU Member States, it is estimated that only 20% to 30% of all sports coaches in Europe are women. At the most recent women’s football FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Cup, there were 3 male team coaches for every woman. Women coaches are more often found in sports that have a high proportion of women participants (e.g. dance, gymnastics, figure skating and equestrian sports), and they predominantly work with women, adolescents, or children who compete at local and regional levels. However, the number of women coaches in almost all sports seems to be disproportionally low in relation to women’s overall participation in sports. Men commonly coach women and girls, but few women coach men, even in women-dominated sports. THERE’S NOT ENOUGH WOMEN WHO REALIZE COACHING IS AN OPPORTUNITY. FOR A LOT OF WOMEN IN SOCCER, IT’S LIKELY BECAUSE THEY’VE NEVER HAD A FEMALE COACH SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY. A LOT OF THESE GIRLS HAD MALE COACHES GROWING UP AND NEVER REALIZED THEY COULD BE A COACH. — Kelly Bryan, Women’s soccer coach, Kenyon College.
And female athletes face a huge funding disparity. Women have fewer opportunities to play sports, receive lower-quality coaching and facilities compared with those enjoyed by men, and are paid meager sums, even for playing international sports. American soccer is a good example. U.S Men’s Team Pay for losing in the first round of the world cup
U.S Women’s Team Pay for winning the world cup
$2 Million 191
YET, PLAYING SPORTS HAS MANY BENEFITS It makes you feel happier! Physical exercise is not only important for your body's health, it also helps your brain stay sharp. Helps alleviate depression Improves your memory Helps you de-stress Makes you more focused Helps you stick to your goals And of course, it reduces the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes! Having agency over your own body feels extremely liberating! Whether it's running, dancing, or jumping. It builds inner confidence.
Image: Women Fast Forward. Ernst & Young.
Sports can contribute to gender equality through the establishment of values like fair play, non-discrimination, and teamwork. It can also be used to increase opportunities for girls, if local contexts and gender relations are taken into account and addressed. Sports can give women and girls access to public spaces where they can gather, develop new skills, gain support from others, and enjoy freedom of expression and movement. It can promote education, communication, negotiation skills, and leadership, all of which are essential to womenâ€™s empowerment. Sports can also increase womenâ€™s and girlsâ€™ self-esteem and enable them to make choices about their lives. Moreover, sports can provide a channel to inform girls and women about reproductive health and other health issues.
Some athletes are becoming vocal about the biases and discrimination they face.
I AM NOT THE NEXT USAIN BOLT OR MICHAEL PHELPS. I’M THE FIRST SIMONE BILES. — Simone Biles, American artistic gymnast and gold medalist.
IT’S SCARY TO STEP UP TO YOUR EMPLOYER BUT AT SOME POINT YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN. — Hope Solo, American soccer goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup champion.
This Girl Can is a UK national campaign. It’s a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look, or even how red their face gets.
"When I Play," espnW's women-created and produced short film, gives voice to every woman and girl who sees their physical movement as part of a wider social movement.
Some organizations teach women how to ride motorbikes! Because female motorbike riders report being freer and happier. Whether itâ€™s for freedom, adventure, spiritual experience, confidence, independence, or community, women are taking to motorcycles with a growing voracity.
Source: Liz Jansen. FIX
Women Win is the global leader in girlsâ€™ empowerment through sports. They leverage the power of play to help girls build leadership skills and become better equipped to exercise their rights.
Boxgirls develops programs to support women and girls in developing life skills, learning self-defense and de-escalation strategies, and becoming leaders in their schools and communities.
SheFighter is the first self-defense studio for women in Jordan and the Middle East, designed to empower women both physically and physiologically through self-defense training. SheFighterâ€™s self-defense techniques give women the opportunity to learn to defend themselves in difficult situations as well as build up their self-esteem.
Skateistan is a global community of supporters, staff, students, and skaters who share the dream of empowering youth through skateboarding and education.
Waves of Freedom teaches women to surf in southern Iran.
Nike is changing its communication strategy, celebrating female athletes.
Sarah Marquis is a Swiss adventurer and explorer who walked 20,000 kilometers alone from Siberia to the Gobi Desert, into China, Laos, Thailand, and then across Australia.
Hajra Khan is the captain of Pakistan's all-female national football team and she plans to launch a grassroots football training academy for female players in the future.
Some initiatives promote female solo travel. Something happens to us when we step outside. She Explores is a website for creative outdoor women, from being outdoors to being on the road. Whether it’s the act of lacing up our boots, the fresh air in our lungs, or the panorama of landscape – it inspires us to create and tell stories. She Explores is a growing resource for the creative outdoors woman, with more than 200 women’s stories, photographs and artwork.
MANY MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES ARE STARTING TO PORTRAY WOMEN AND GIRLS BREAKING STEREOTYPES AROUND THE WORLD
Afghan Cycles is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of brave Afghan women who challenge gender barriers and put their lives at risk for the simple pleasure of riding a bicycle.
The documentary Speed Sisters portrays female car racers in Palestine. 200
The short movie Muslim Girls Fence shows how Muslim women all across the world act as pioneers and are also supported by their families and friends.
Sports help to challenge stereotypes...
...and to create new stories.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Every morning, dance for five minutes! On YouTube, Fitness Marshall is there for you if you need help! Register your daughter in sports activities. Show your daughter new badass role models to inspire her. Watch inspiring movies or documentaries. Support your children to explore activities that may not respect traditional gender stereotypes. If youâ€™re an athlete: speak up, intervene in schools and companies, inspire others to move their body! Learn a new skill: motorcycling, salsa dancing, or self-defense! Get out of your comfort zone: check the boxes off your bucket list! Whether it's bungee jumping, mountain climbing, or deep diving, set yourself a goal and go for it! Organize a hiking or biking trip with your best female friends! Go on a solo trek in the countryside and enjoy the solitude! Jump, run, dance!
RUN LIKE A GIRL!
Chapter 8 â€“ Politics
THE PROBLEM: MACHO POLITICO
We are the children of Greek democracy, where children, slaves, foreigners, and women were not considered full citizens.
Image: Fun Facts About Voting. Joanne Tong.
Women could not vote until the 19th century. Thanks to the movement of the Suffragettes, for example.
I WOULD RATHER BE A REBEL THAN A SLAVE. â€” Emmeline Pankhurst
Women expressing their opinions triggered many fears.
Images: Mitchell & Watkins
Women have progressively gained voting rights since 1893, from New Zealand to Saudi Arabia. 1893 Australia 1906 Norway 1915 Iceland 1917 Lithuania 1918 Estonia 1918
New Zealand 1902 Finland
Canada 1919 Azerbaijan 1918 Hungary
Uruguay 1932 Chile 1931
1932 Thailand 1931 Portugal
Albania 1920 Czech Rep. 1920 Armenia 1924
1920 USA 1920 Slovakia 1921 Tajikistan
Turkey 1929 Romania 1927 Kazakhstan 1924
1930 Ecuador 1929 Turkmenistan 1924 Mongolia 208
1984 Indonesia 1945
1950 India 1951 Antigua & Barbuda 1951 Grenada 1951
Iraq 1976 Vanuatu 1975 Mozambique
St. Kitts & Nevis
Liechtenstein 1980 Timor-Leste 1975 Sao TomĂŠ 1975 Cape Verde 1975 Solomon Islands 1973 Bangladesh 1971 Andorra 1962 Monaco 1961 Seirra Leone 1961 Burundi 1961 209
Central African Republic
2006 Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates 2015
And the last country in 2015!
Israel, 1969: Golda Meir becomes the first female prime minister.
Argentina, 1974: Martinez de Peron becomes Argentinaâ€™s first female president.
Pakistan, 1988: Benazir Butto becomes prime minister at the age of 35 and is the first female prime minister of a Muslim-majority nation.
And women also started running for office. There have been over 70 female prime ministers and presidents in the world since 1960.
Brazil, 2011-2016: Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil.
Sri Lanka, 1960: Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the prime minister and the first woman in the world to be elected head of government.
Liberia, 2006: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becomes president, the worldâ€™s first elected black female president, and Africaâ€™s first elected female head of state.
India, 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first, and to-date only, female prime minister of India.
Chile, 2014: Michelle Bachelet becomes President.
Argentina, 2007-2015: Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina.
South Korea, 2013-2017: Geun-hye Park, President of South Korea.
Malawi, 2012-2014: Joyce Banda, President of Malawi.
Kosovo, 2011-2016: Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo and the first female Head of State in the Balkans.
Mauritius, 2015: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius.
Costa Rica, 2010-2014: Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica.
More and more women are leading countries around the world.
And for the first time in 29 years, Time's Person of the Year in 2015 was a woman!
Yet, there is still a long way to go. In March 2017, there were only 15 female world leaders in office.
POLITICS Women occupy only 22% of parliamentary seats worldwide
IMPACT Decisions on policies affecting societies are often made without womenâ€™s substantive contributions or a gender perspective, and therefore may neglect thier needs.
WOMEN PARLAMENTARIANS IN UPPER AND LOWER HOUSES BY REGION.
Scandinavia: 42.0% Asia: 18.2%
Europe: 20.9% Americas: 22.8%
Subsaharan Africa: 19.7%
Arab states: 10.6%
Pacific states: 14.9%
Source: CNN Women in politics
Rwanda is the country with the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide. 212
The European Parliament is slowly progressing.
The US actually ranks behind Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Nepal in terms of women in national legislature. Gender Composition in House and Senate Republican Party
So we still lack women at the top of our countries and cities!
WHY? What hinders young womenâ€™s political ambition?
Young men are more likely than young women to be socialized by their parents to think about politics as a career path.
From their school experiences to their peer associations to their media habits, young women tend to be exposed to less political information and discussion than young men.
Young women are less likely than young men to think they will be qualified to run for office, even after they are established in their careers.
Young men are more likely than young women to have played organized sports and to care about winning.
Fewer girls watch political shows.
To promote change, women prefer to work for charity than run for office.
We don’t socialize women to think they can lead. There is a lack of female role models which impacts women to believe that they are less legitimate and competent to run for public office.
Women also fear the widespread sexism experienced by female politicians. Because as with any male-dominated field, the political field is openly hostile to women. JUST BECAUSE INDIA ACHIEVED FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WOMEN CAN VENTURE OUT AFTER DARK. THEY SHOULD ENSURE THAT THEY DO NOT BOARD BUSES WITH FEW PASSENGERS. THE WOMAN SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT TWICE BEFORE BOARDING THE SUSPICIOUS PRIVATE BUS THAT NIGHT. THOUGH THE INCIDENT WAS CONDEMNABLE, SHE SHOULD ALSO HAVE BEHAVED KEEPING IN MIND THE SITUATION. — Indian Politician Botsa Satyanarayana on the Delhi Rape Case, 2012
I WOULDN’T WANT TO STAY WITH DAUGHTERS WHO ARE NOT GETTING MARRIED. BECAUSE THAT IN ITSELF IS A PROBLEM IN SOCIETY. I KNOW THAT PEOPLE TODAY THINK BEING SINGLE IS NICE. IT’S ACTUALLY NOT RIGHT. THAT’S A DISTORTION. YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE KIDS. KIDS ARE IMPORTANT TO A WOMAN BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY GIVE AN EXTRA TRAINING TO A WOMAN, TO BE A MOTHER. — South African President Jacob Zuma, 2012
IF IT’S A LEGITIMATE RAPE, THE FEMALE BODY HAS WAYS TO TRY TO SHUT THAT WHOLE THING DOWN. — Former Republican Congressman Todd Akin, 2012
ANYONE WHO HAS CHOSEN TO REMAIN DELIBERATELY BARREN... THEY’VE GOT NO IDEA ABOUT WHAT LIFE’S ABOUT. — Australian Senator Bill Heffernan on Julia Gillard, 2007
IT’S BETTER NOT TO ARGUE WITH WOMEN... WHEN PEOPLE PUSH BOUNDARIES TOO FAR, IT’S NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE STRONG BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE WEAK. BUT MAYBE WEAKNESS IS NOT THE WORST QUALITY FOR THE WOMAN. – Vladmir Putin on Hillary Clinton, 2014
PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR DANIELA SANTANCHE BECAUSE SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL BABE. — Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 2008
French politicians are another good example.
ELLE EST COMME ÇÀ TOUT LE TEMPS LA P’TITE? — Arnaud Montebourg
TOUTES LES FEMMES QUI VEULENT AVOIR L’INVESTITURE DOIVENT ÊTRE BAISABLES. — Charles Pasqua
MAIS QUI VA GARDER LES ENFANTS?
UN MINISTÈRE DE LA CONDITION FÉMININE? ET POURQUOI PAS UN SOUS -SECRÉTARIAT D’ETAT AU TRICOT? — Général de Gaulle
PEUT-ÊTRE AVAIT-ELLE MIS CETTE ROBE POUR NE PAS QU’ON ÉCOUTE CE QU’ELLE AVAIT À DIRE. — Patrick Balkany
— Laurent Fabius
Including some infamous scandals, like the arrest of the former director of the International Monetary Fund.
Some documentaries expose this situation.
And this is an international phenomenon. All over the world, many still consider politics to be a man’s business. The video of genuinely furious Australian PM Gilliard, who denounced various catcalls she had experienced, went viral. Her famous speech electrified the debate about misogyny in the workplace.
THE EFFECT ON POLICIES Women only run 10% of the world's countries, so it is mainly men making policies. Our future is still decided by men. According to Riane Eisler, “Government leaders who are seen as unmasculine are demonized. Leaders who stand primarily for control and punishment are respected, and even loved, in yet another replay of the emotional habits learned in dominator families. Such politicians always find money for weapons but not for healthcare. We must regain the political initiative; we must create cultural beliefs, myths, and stories that support the partnership model.”
Laws are still written and decided by people who don't know women's reality.
Countries with a larger number of women as ministers or in parliament tend to have lower levels of inequality, higher spending on health, and more confidence in government. Want creative solutions to tough national problems? Engage more women in public sector leadership. #WomenFastForward More women decision-makers and influencers in our public sectors means a more balanced perspective in designing and implementing new rules and laws, and a more inclusive approach to policymaking and service delivery. More women in power could lead to more women running for office. Simply having more local female politicians can boost aspirations and educational achievement among young women, according to a landmark study published in Science co-authored by MIT economist Esther Duflo. Better political representation. Evidence shows that politicians who reflect the people they serve better represent their needs.
More efficient policy-making.
Research also suggests that female legislators are incredibly effective: In the US, on average they bring 9% more federal spending to their home district, and sponsor three more bills per Congress, compared to their male colleagues. Research on panchayats (local councils) in India discovered that the number of drinking water projects in areas with female-led councils was 62% higher than in those with male-led councils. In Norway, a direct causal relationship between the presence of women in municipal councils and child-care coverage was found.
WE THINK THIS IS DUE TO A ROLE-MODEL EFFECT: SEEING WOMEN IN CHARGE PERSUADED PARENTS AND TEENS THAT WOMEN CAN RUN THINGS, AND INCREASED. â€” Esther Duflo
Improved policy outcomes. On average, women sponsor and co-sponsor more bills than do men and are able to enlist more co-sponsors. Across parties, women are, on average, 31% more effective at advancing legislation and seeing continued success farther into the legislative process. Women across the political spectrum are more likely than their male counterparts of either party to prioritize issues affecting women, families, and children on their legislative agendas. Regardless of party affiliation, women have voted more consistently in favor of environmental protections and policies than men have over the past 25 years in both the U.S. House and Senate.
CONGRESS-WOMEN DELIVER 9% OR ROUGHLY $49 MILLION â€“ MORE PER YEAR IN FEDERAL PROGRAMS TO THEIR HOME DISTRICTS THAN DO CONGRESS-MEN.
A new style of leadership. Women are more partial to non-hierarchical collaboration, consensus building, and inclusion than men, and they bring that style to politics. Female legislators gather policy information from different sources than men and rely on different types of information in making key decisions. Unlike their male colleagues, women in legislative and executive posts are motivated most often by policy goals, not power or prestige, in running for office and serving. Female lawmakers open the legislative agenda to new perspectives and issues.
ELLE UK launched the #MoreWomen campaign to not let women be airbrushed out of history.
Image: ELLE UK #MoreWomen
In France, Femmes et pouvoir gathers female politicians for different trainings, talks, and networking. These gatherings enable women to share their concerns, gain insights, and feel more supported.
In the US, the collective Leadarise teaches girls how to be a future leader.
CANADA NEEDS MORE WOMEN FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS MAKING DECISION IN OTTAWA BECAUSE WHEN WOMEN SUCCEED, WE ALL — SUCCEED. — Justin Trudeau
In the UK, The Parliament Project runs workshops to encourage women to get into politics.
In Tunisia, Aswat Nisaa is training young women to speak in public and take a political lead. It also helps political parties to take greater account of women’s rights in their programs.
In Lebanon, Women in Front is also encouraging Lebanese women to take part and become catalysts of change in Lebanese politics.
The Center for Feminist Foreign Policy promotes a feminist critique of foreign policy through journal, events programming, and campaigning activities.
She Should Run provides a network for women leaders considering a future run for office. She Should Run encourages American citizens to nominate women they know to run for office. She Should Run also created an incubator, an online resource to help more women envision themselves in public leadership. The online platform offers inspiration, a supportive community, access to role models and mentors, and thoughtful guidance and advice to ensure women leaders know their leadership is needed in elected office. Within their incubator, She Should Run offers a course for parents, with activities parents can do with their daughters to encourage them to lead. More women in elected office means a better government and a better world, and it means more girls seeing more possibilities.
They also released a humorous book.
VoteRunLead is a training powerhouse. VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform the U.S. and democracy through their participation as leaders. They offer workshops, training, house parties, and events across the country. You can find practical tips in their webinars, worksheets, and resources available. 224
Global Girl Media encourages girls to own the mic!
Elect Her is a training program that trains college women to run for student government on their college or university campuses.
Overall, countries with any type of gender quota have higher proportions of seats held by women in lower or single houses of parliament. Create a new political party The Womenâ€™s Equality Party is a new collaborative force in British politics uniting people of all genders, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, and experiences in the shared determination to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men, so that all can flourish. It would have taken ages to reform and gain gender parity by changing old political parties from the inside. So the new French president decided to create his own party from scratch. Why fight the old if you can build the new? 225
Tech 4 Good
Some women are creating revolutions through civic tech. Firuzeh Mahmoudi founded the first civic tech startup focused on Iran. She and her team are building apps like Yelp for rating public officials and a womenâ€™s health tracker. And theyâ€™re using heritage languages that are currently banned from official use. Mahmoudi is using entrepreneurship and technology to help create a more free society. Fair Agenda is a community of 35,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and equal future for women. Leonore de Roquefeuil runs VOXE to give tools to young French citizens to better understand political programs. Women's marches are powerful. On October 24th, 1975, an estimated 90% of Icelandic women took a "Day Off" to draw attention to their lack of political power and unequal pay. Women left work and refused to cook or look after children to draw attention to their importance in society, but lack of political power and equal pay. The effect was incredible. A year after the strike, in 1976, Iceland formed the Gender Equality Council and passed the Gender Equality Act, which outlawed gender discrimination in workplaces and schools. Five years later, in 1980, Iceland elected its first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who held office for four terms, until 1996. Some books portray new perspectives for young girls.
International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics is an interactive network of women in politics who share experiences, resources, advice, and collaborate on issues of interest. They’ve created a lot of toolkits, including one sharing best practices used by political parties to promote women in politics. Political Parity supports groundbreaking research to test innovative ideas and strengthen our understanding of strategies to elect women to high-level political office. They launched a map of every resource available to women who want to run for office, an inventory of research on women in politics, innovative studies examining women’s motivations for and barriers to running for office, and an exploration of states that have elected multiple women to the Senate or governorships. Name It. Change It. was launched to hold media outlets accountable for their role in the U.S. government’s gender disparity.
A GOOD TEST OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU AS A REPORTER ARE TAKING SEXISM SERIOUSLY IS WHETHER YOU WOULD CITE RACE, CLASS, ETHNICITY, OR RELIGION IN THE SAME CONTEXT. — Gloria Steinem, Journalist and Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center
How to spin a story of sexism. Almost five years ago, on 17 July 2012, Cécile Duflot approached the microphone inside France's National Assembly – the lower house of parliament. At the time, the Green Party politician was Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing and and she was about to respond to a question on the urban development of greater Paris. But, before she could open her mouth, a cacophony of jeering and whistling erupted – not in response to the question, but to the summer dress she was wearing. Five years later, she is launching the #OpérationRobe ("Operation Dress") campaign toshare stories of everyday sexism, and the interviewees wear the very same dress Duflot wore.
David Schwimmer, American actor mostly known for his role in Friends TV series, has collaborated on a new short film series that depicts what sexual harassment really looks like. Based on true stories, the short films illustrate various environments in which harassment occurs: a bar, a photography studio, a television show set, as well as the offices of a doctor, a lawyer, and a politician. The videos show what harassment feels like in everyday situations where predatory men take advantage of power structures in the workplace, pressuring women into uncomfortable, and even dangerous, positions.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Watch some movies about female political leaders.
Read biographies of female political leaders.
As a parent Encouraging your daughter to play sports from an early age may generate a greater sense of competition and, ultimately, political ambition among young women. Exposing young women to female candidates and elected officials and providing examples of how pursuing electoral office can bring about societal change. This simple step is crucial in helping close the gender gap in politics. This can go a long way in combating women’s tendency to self-assess as unqualified to run for office. As a citizen Vote.
Join women’s marches. Write to your political representative about the issues you are concerned about. Leverage social media to interact with your political leaders. Watch the TED Talk "It's time for women to run for office" given by Halla Tómasdóttir. Run for office!
A WOMAN’S PLACE IS IN THE HOUSE – THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. — Bella Abzug
Chapter 9 â€“ Leadership
THE PROBLEM: DONâ€™T BE BOSSY
Even though women earn more degrees than men, they are still underrepresented in leadership roles. 1 in 4 Americans think it is more likely that humans will colonize Mars than women will comprise half of Fortune 500 CEOs! Women are still underrepresented at the top of corporations globally.
Fewer than 5% of global companies have a female CEO.
Women represent only 5% of Fortune 500 companies.
Average percentage of women in executive team:
And at the end of the dayâ€Ś ...more men named John run large US companies than all women!
On average, women represent only 19% of board companies in the European Union (EU) even if it has progressed in the last years.
Chile, Colombia, and Russia top the charts in terms of women's share of top management positions. WOMENâ€™S SHARE OF TOP MANAGEMENT POSITIONS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES Chile
Source: OECD THE COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST WOMEN IN THE BOARDROOM Norway
United Kingdom 17% Australia
WHERE ARE WOMEN MOST LIKELY TO BE YOUR BOSS? Countries with the highest perentages of female managers. Jamaica
WHAT ABOUT BEING YOUR OWN BOSS? Nowadays, women start twice as many businesses as men and account for more than 50% of all businesses in developing countries. Some countries are more favorable than others.
But there is still room for improvement. Only 30% of small and medium enterprises around the world are owned and run by women.
AND THIS LEADERSHIP GAP EXISTS IN EVERY FIELD Whether it's in the air... Only about 450 women worldwide are airline captains/pilots in command who supervise all the other crew members on a flight, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. In the USA, about 5% of airline or commercial pilots are women. The gender gap varies by region. It’s wider in Mexico (only 2% women) and narrower in France (7%), Sweden (8%), and Finland (12%). ...or in the kitchen Only 1% of Michelin starred restaurants have women chefs. Discrimination, or women can't cook? According to Nora Bouazzouni, in her book Faiminisme, Quand le sexisme pase à table, "When cooking leaves the private realm for the public one, it becomes valued and thus is reserved for men." In France, 94% of chefs are men. The renowned French chef, Paul Bocuse, refused to employ women in his kitchen. Netflix’s Chef’s Table series dedicates only 5 out of 22 episodes to female chefs.
IS CHEF A MALE WORD? 238
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS LEADERSHIP GAP? REASON #1: EARLY SOCIALIZATION The Harvard study, Leaning Out, shows that the leadership gap starts at a young age. Many boys and girls expressed bias against girls as leaders in powerful professions. 40% of teen boys and 23% of teen girls preferred male over female political leaders. 36% of boys preferred male business leaders, and 6% preferred female leaders. The daring, risk-taking qualities we cultivate in little boys, but not in little girls, partly explains the difficulty women experience in reaching leadership positions. Women are trapped in a terrible paradox: the qualities we value in little girls are actually not the ones valued in the professional world. Girls are not socialized to be leaders.
GIRLS WOULDN’T VOTE FOR THEMSELVES. WHY WOULD THEY VOTE FOR ANOTHER GIRL? — Leaning Out 239
Some mothers appear to be biased against girls as leaders. On average, mothers presented with councils led by boys expressed stronger support than mothers presented with councils led by girls. Biases against girls have many causes, including highly competitive feelings among girls, girls projecting their lack of self-esteem onto other girls, and girls being viewed as too emotionally “dramatic.” Explicit bias: powerful boys and nurturing girls.
Source: Leaning Out | Teen Girls and Leadership Biases
REASON #2: THE AMBITION GAP According to the "Ambition and Gender at Work" report from the Institute of Leadership & Management, the picture of female managers is one lacking career ambition or expectation, coupled with lower levels of confidence and self-esteem. Lower ambitions and expectations. In summary, the research reveals that women managers are impeded in their careers by lower ambitions and expectations. Compared to their male counterparts, women tend to lack self-confidence, which leads to a cautious approach to career opportunities and a less straightforward career path. Men’s higher expectations and increased confidence propels them into management roles three years earlier than women. The research found that, at the outset of their career, women have less clarity of career direction than men and lower career ambitions.
The ambition gap. The career ambitions of women managers also lag behind those of men. In general, women set their sights lower than men do and are more likely to limit their ambitions to more junior ranks of management. Fewer women than men expect to reach a general manager or director level by the end of their careers. Female managers also have lower career confidence. Men are more confident across all age groups, with 70% of men having high or quite high levels of self-confidence, compared to 50% of women. Half of women managers admit to feelings of self-doubt, but only 31% of men do.
Source: Ambition and Gender at Work, Institute of Leadership and Management
And many women in leadership positions still suffer impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. An essay by a psychology professor suggests that impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.
REASON #3: UNCONSCIOUS BIASES Girls are not encouraged to develop their leadership identity. They display less ambition. And on top of it all, when they grow up, women experience second-generation bias. What is second-generation gender bias? Women are not deliberately excluded from leadership, but they face subtle and often invisible barriers. Among them are: A paucity of female role models. Gendered career paths and gendered work. Entrenched organizational structures and work practices are designed to fit menâ€™s lives (rotation to sales or operations, international posting.) Organizations undervalue behind-the-scenes work (building a team, avoiding a crisis), which women are more likely to do, while rewarding heroic work, which is most often done by men. Womenâ€™s lack of access to networks and sponsors. Lack of access to influential colleagues. Men in positions of power tend to direct developmental opportunities to junior men. Double binds. In most cultures, masculinity and leadership are closely linked: The ideal leader, like the ideal man, is decisive, assertive, competitive, and independent.
In contrast, women are expected to be nice, nurturing, and unselfish. The mismatch between conventionally feminine qualities and the qualities thought necessary for leadership puts female leaders in a double bind. Numerous studies have shown that women who excel in traditionally male domains are viewed as competent but less likeable than their male counterparts. Behaviors that suggest self-confidence or assertiveness in men often appear arrogant or abrasive in women. Meanwhile, women in positions of authority who enact a conventionally feminine style may be liked but not respected. They are deemed too emotional to make tough decisions and too soft to be strong leaders. Leadership and masculinity. Despite stereotypes about macho leaders, leadership is not inherentlymasculine. Because white men have held most leadership positions in society for so long, the concept of leadership has been infused with stereotypically masculine traits: aggression, decisiveness, willingness to engage in conflict, strength, and so on. These traits are not uniquely available to white men, of course, nor are they predominant personality traits in all men. Indeed, researchers have explored the essential ingredients of leadership and found no gender differences in leadership effectiveness (Hyde, 2014). Women have been leaders throughout history. From the pharaohs of Egypt to the queens of England, women rulers are found in nearly every culture and time period. Yet, in almost all circumstances, male leaders greatly outnumber female leaders. Moreover, customs and laws against female leadership can be found throughout history, most notably in every major religion (Christ, 2014).
Source: "Barriers and Bias, The Status of Women in Leadership", the American Association of University Women (AAUW.)
Persistent sex discrimination. Many women’s experiences in business, education, and politics are profoundly affected by sexual harassment. “Microaggressions” describe small mean-spirited acts, such as exclusion and low-level verbal harassment.
Hostile work environments are a form of discrimination that can shape careers. Women leaders are still perceived as masculine and are sometimes negatively stereotyped as “lesbians.” Lack of effective networks and mentors. Access to influential networks is critical to moving up the leadership hierarchy. Some studies have found that the social capital gained from networking with influential leaders is even more important for advancement than job performance (Eagly & Carli, 2007; Hewlett et al., 2010). More recently, scholars have focused on sponsorship, a form of mentorship in which sponsors share both status and opportunity. Caregiving and women’s choices. Differences in women’s and men’s earnings also contribute to the leadership gap. Women reported a lack of understanding and support from family and colleagues, as well as different expectations for themselves and their male peers. Balancing work and family responsibilities is one of the most challenging obstacles for women seeking leadership positions (Eagly & Carli, 2007; Sandberg, 2013), and it can be especially daunting for the millions of working women raising children on their own (Hess & Kelly, 2015). Women are usually the primary (if not the only) parent caring for children and other family members during their peak years in the workforce. The gender imbalance in leadership is both a women’s issue and a men’s issue. Being a leader is not inherently valuable or desirable. Leadership roles can be time consuming and often require great responsibility, which can cause a great deal of stress and leave little room for other priorities. Just as the status quo is holding women back from leadership roles, it is holding men back from embracing caretaking and support roles. Source: Barriers and Bias, AAUW
And women face the stereotype threat. Stereotype threat arises when people become aware that they are negatively stereotyped in their current role or activity. Negative stereotypes affect individuals’ performance when they attempt difficult tasks in the domains in which they are negatively stereotyped
(Logel et al., 2012; Hoyt et al., 2010). Stereotype threat can reduce working memory and, because of its relationship with stress, anxiety, and disengagement, can lead to a wide variety of negative attitudes and behaviors (Hoyt & Blascovich, 2010). The subtle ways women are treated differently at work. Women are more likely to get lower initial offers. Women are less likely to get credit in group projects. Women are assumed to be incompetent until they prove themselves. Women get promoted on performance, and men get promoted on potential. Talkative men are seen as competent, and talkative women are seen as incompetent. When women show anger, they are often judged as too emotional. Men get a fatherhood bonus, and women get a motherhood penalty. Women are often interrupted or ignored in meetings. When speaking in public, women have to take command of a room. Women may not be invited to social events. Women are judged more harshly on their appearance. In 1996, Peter Glick and Susan Fiske wrote a paper on the concept of ambivalent sexism, noting that there are two kinds of sexist attitudes and behavior: hostile and benevolent. Hostile sexism is what most people think of when they picture â€œsexismâ€? â€“ angry, explicitly negative attitudes towards women. However, the authors note, there is also something called benevolent sexism. Rather than insulting women, benevolent sexists compliment women based on stereotypes in a patronizing way: Women have motherly nurturing instincts, women are more compassionate and kind, women are like delicate flowers. Even if this kind of sexism sounds friendly, it has the same insidious objective: keeping women in subordinate positions. It's lonely at the top. Typically, women view men who exhibit the classic entrepreneurial traits of grit, tenacity, strength, and leadership as desirable partners. Men, in contrast, may view women with those traits as bossy or may suspect they will have trouble compromising or settling into domestic bliss. And because archetypes are, by definition, embedded in our psyches and in the culture, some men are still put off
by women who call the shots. "Many men are uncomfortable with, intimidated by, and ill-equipped to handle a powerful woman. People assume that those with power aren't necessarily nice, and women are supposed to be nice." “Alpha types might seek to avoid partners who compete with them intellectually,” writes Baroness Greenfield, “looking instead for someone to bolster their ego.” Despite claiming to find intelligent women attractive, men choose not to date someone who is smarter than themselves, according to a new research by psychologists at the University of Buffalo, California Lutheran University and University of Texas, Austin. Feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them. Source: Inc. The Scarlet Letter of Dating Is 'E' (as in Entrepreneur). Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
If the smarter you are, the more likely you are to be single, what message does it send to women out there? Men aren't educated to accept being second in the bread-winning competition and this is causing women to either settle or stay single. Isn't it a high price to pay for women leaders? Isn't it a subtle yet powerful unspoken punishment to discourage women from aiming higher? And this is not even taking into account the family pressure. Highly educated women are more often encouraged to find a husband and have children than climb the career ladder. So women sabotage their success… Using minimizing language. Apologizing. Asking permission. Waiting until they’re experts to take on a new role. Focusing on cooperation rather than competition. Questioning themselves. Not setting clear goals. Only setting goals they know how to reach. Not setting clear boundaries. Worrying too much about relationships. Getting too hung up on details. Using strategies to sound less threatening.
I have an idea...
I’m just thinking out loud here…
These numbers are wrong.
I am sorry, are these numbers right? I’m not 100% sure, I hate numbers. Source: thecooperreview.com
More than 75% of CEOs include gender equality in their top 10 business priorities, but gender outcomes across the largest companies are not changing. The report, Women in the Workplace, by Lean In and and McKinsey shows that, in the corporate world, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step. Women are less likely to receive their first critical promotion to manager, so far fewer end up on the path to leadership, and they are less likely to be hired into more senior positions. As a result, the higher you look in companies, the fewer women you see. On average, women are promoted and hired at lower rates than men, so far fewer women become senior leaders. At more senior levels, we see women shift from line to staff roles, so very few end up on the path to becoming CEO. Women are subtly disadvantaged in many of their daily interactions. Fewer women are able to: Participate meaningfully in meetings. Receive a challenging assignment. Believe their contributions are appropriately valued. Regarded as a point person for input on important decisions. Women get less access to senior leaders. People who do more work at home are less interested in becoming top executives. We’re comfortable with the status quo. Many employees think women are well represented in leadership when they see only a few. Since they’ve gotten comfortable with the status quo, they don’t feel any urgency for change. 247
Men are less committed to gender diversity efforts. Men are less likely to say gender diversity is a top personal priority. Some men even feel that gender diversity efforts disadvantage them: 15% of men think their gender will make it harder for them to advance.
Source: Women in the Workplace. Lean in and McKinsey
WHAT ARE THE TOP BARRIERS TO WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP? Women Fast Forward Initiative from Ernst & Young identifies 4 main barriers: Unsupportive culture. Organizational bias. Conflicts with raising a family. Shortage of female candidates. The study also identifies 5 disconnects that are holding back gender diversity and stifling innovation in business: 1
The reality disconnect. Business leaders assume gender inequality has nearly disappeared despite little progress within their own companies. The data disconnect. Companies don’t effectively measure progress toward achieving gender diversity in leadership.
The pipeline disconnect. Companies aren’t creating pipelines for future female leaders.
The perception and perspective disconnect. Men and women have different views on the gender diversity gap and how to solve it.
The progress disconnect. Different sectors agree on the value of diversity but are making uneven progress toward gender parity.
WOMEN WON’T ACHIEVE EQUALITY AT WORK FOR ANOTHER 118 YEARS. AS A FATHER, I AM CONCERNED. AS A CEO, I SEE A CAUSE FOR ACTION. — Mark Weinberger, EY CEO
LEADERSHIP IS CHANGING Female leadership might be a response to the needs of the future. McKinsey asked managers to rate the importance of 14 trends on the profitability of their company over the next 5 years. Leadership behaviors are seen as most effective in addressing the global challenges of the future, and it turns out that women apply 3 of these 4 leadership behaviors more frequently than men: Intellectual stimulation. Inspiration. Participative decision-making. Expectation and rewards. So the change in how we define leadership also benefits women. As our economy continues to globalize, as the world gets “flatter,” and as technology continues to change how we work, leadership is evolving into a relational activity rather than a hierarchical activity. We’re transitioning from command and control to facilitative and collaborative leadership that works across teams, time zones, cultures, and disciplines. Having women as leaders changes the norms about who can lead and what qualities are necessary in leadership. Modern ideas of transformative leadership are more in line with qualities women have been socialized to develop: empathy, inclusiveness, and an open negotiation style.
FEMALE LEADERSHIP IS ALSO A CORPORATE PERFORMANCE DRIVER 250
Diverse studies show that companies with women in leadership roles crush the competition. Can you afford a woman-free board? Companies with even one women director outperform those with none. #WomenFastForward There are significant benefits to having women in leadership roles. Diversity of thought. Groups that are more mixed will consider a wider range of issues, from a variety of perspectives, and generate more innovative solutions. Better governance and organizational performance. Research shows that economic performance results are better when women and men work together on boards. This is often referred to as the business case for gender diversity. Leveraging human capital. To get the very best leaders, we need to be selecting candidates from the widest possible talent pool. Representation. Research shows that the interests of women, children, and families are more likely to be taken into account by women. Diversity promotes a better understanding of a diverse marketplace. International data suggests that women are responsible for 80% of household purchasing decisions. And there is actually a greater preference for female bosses among those who currently work for a woman.
TIME WILL NOT SOLVE THE GENDER LEADERSHIP GAP, ACTION WILL
MANY TOOLKITS PROVIDE USEFUL TIPS FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS 253
How do we close the gender leadership gap?
Individuals: Become a student of leadership. Seek evidence-based leadership training. Seek out employers that promote women's leadership. Look for volunteer opportunities that include leadership skill development. Ask for more. Learn and practice negotiation skills to ensure that salaries and benefits start fair and stay fair. Find a sponsor or become one. Be on the lookout for opportunities to learn from people in leadership positions, and as you advance in your field, make it your responsibility to invest in future leaders. Explore and address your biases. Find out about your biases and learn some practical tips for avoiding the mental shortcuts that can lead to unfounded judgments. Visit the AAUW website and take the Gender and Leadership Implicit Association Test. Understand stereotype threat. Employers: Offer flexible schedules. Schedule conferences and important meetings during core working hours to accommodate employeesâ€™ personal needs. Focus on productivity, not face time. When managers focus on and recognize employeesâ€™ contributions rather than watching the clock, productivity and morale improve. Offer evidence-based diversity training. Actively encourage sponsorship programs. While mentoring programs can be useful, sponsorship involves the sharing of credibility and standing in the field. Design better human resource materials. Policies and programs designed to reduce bias, such as blind review of resumes, can limit bias in crucial aspects of the hiring process. Policymakers: Tackle persistent sex discrimination. Strengthen pay equity laws and leave policies. 254
Fair and Objective Hiring and Promotions - Managers consider a diverse lineup of candidates for open positions - Managers evaluate performance using standardized, clear and objective metrics.
Senior leaders are held accountable for gender diversity
Inclusive Work Environment - Company embraces diverse leadership styles - Mangers create a supportive work environment - Managers leverage the diverse strengths of all employees
Outcomes Employees are more likely to think they have equal opportunities and report higher employee engagement
Image: Women in the Workplace
MORE TIPS FOR HR MANAGERS Employment practice reforms. Research has shown that education alone is not enough to remedy historical inequities in the workplace. For meaningful progress, managers must be held accountable, especially for promoting women and men of color into leadership positions (Duguid & Thomas-Hunt, 2015). Job descriptions using gender-neutral language (so as not to imply that one gender is better suited for a position) have also been shown to make a positive difference (Lennon et al., 2013). The recommendation process is especially fraught with opportunities for bias. Talent management. We know that women are more hesitant than men when applying for new positions. Men are willing to take greater risks when applying for stretching
jobs; women are more risk-averse, preferring to apply for roles where they are certain they meet the job description. To counteract this problem, organizations should structure their talent management systems to ensure that the most talented individuals – including women managers – are proactively identified and encouraged to apply for leadership positions. Open advertising for internal positions may not necessarily produce the best person for a role. Personalized development and support programs for pre-selected employees can help women set more ambitious goals and encourage greater risk-taking. Flexible attitudes. Women are far more likely than men to leave the career ladder in order to raise families, pursue education, or tackle other interests. This often capsizes women’s careers and places them at a disadvantage when chasing senior leadership and management positions. An emphasis on "anytime, anywhere" availability and linear career paths is clearly not compatible with the roles many people with family demands are likely to pursue. Flexible working and work-life balance policies have a huge part to play in helping women align a more fragmented career route with senior management responsibilities. Rethinking recruitment and selection. When recruiting for top jobs, headhunters should be challenged to deliver an equal number of male and female candidates. At the same time, employers should challenge themselves to prioritize skills, talent, and potential over experience. Creating safe environments. Creating a safe setting—a coaching relationship, a women’s leadership program, a support group of peers—in which women can interpret these messages is critical to their leadership identity development.
SOME INITIATIVES PORTRAY INSPIRING STORIES OF WOMEN LEADERS Getting more women into leadership roles will encourage others to step up. Employers can benefit from raising the profile, voice, and visibility of successful women leaders across the organization through internal communications, networking, and development events, as well as leveraging their experience to help nurture other women managers. Like the first all-female crew flying Ethiopian airlines.
Or the Brunei crew landing a commercial flight in Saudi Arabia, where women were not allowed to drive.
Frequent, high-quality interactions with successful female role models have been shown to improve college womenâ€™s perception of their leadership abilities and career ambitions (Asgari et al., 2012). Exposure to counter-stereotypical role models can actually reduce the effects of stereotypical thinking in completely different settings (Leicht et al., 2014). Womenâ€™s advancement is strongly linked to board-level gender diversity (Skaggs et al., 2012). When women are in top leadership positions, women are more likely to be promoted to leadership.
MAKERS' podcast showcases a collection of inspiring women's stories. 257
#JamaisSansElles is a French movement promoted by leaders from media, education, politics, and business who refuse to be part of debates if women are not included. In France, the feminist collective La Barbe (The Beard) wants to make male domination in the fields of leadership more visible. Their members, wearing a fake beard, invade all-male board meetings or panels and stand behind them to mock the situation.
MANY ORGANIZATIONS OFFER INNOVATIVE MENTORING PROGRAMS Mentoring programs also have an important role to play in raising women managersâ€™ aspirations and self-confidence, as well as driving their leadership development. Employers should look to identify successful leaders of both sexes to serve as mentors to female managers and provide advice and encouragement based on their own experience, helping them build networks and encouraging them to seize career opportunities. Source: Ambition and gender at work, Institute of Leadership & Management
IT SHOULD BE A BADGE OF HONOR FOR MEN TO MENTOR WOMEN. â€” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
The Coaching FellowshipÂ provides pro bono executive coaching for extraordinary young women leaders globally.
The Cherie Blair Foundation For Women matches women in developing and emerging countries with male and female mentors around the world. Weduâ€™s mission is to unlock the leadership potential of women in Asia by providing them with lifelong mentorship and innovative financing options to complete higher education and become change-makers in their communities.
The Nawaya Network is a Lebanese nonprofit organization that empowers youth from marginalized backgrounds through training, innovation, and talent development. 259
Tech 4 Good
Empow’her supports women's empowerment through entrepreneurship. They provide training, support, and network access to help women create and develop sustainable businesses.
Female Future Force Academy is offering 52 weeks of digital coaching for women.
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Teach a Girl to Lead provides the tools and resources to help young people rethink leadership and refocus the picture. If a girl can’t imagine a woman leader, how can she become one? And if a boy sees only men in leadership roles, what will convince him to support aspiring women leaders? Some apps offer career advice. Landit is the personalized playbook for women seeking to move their career forward. Apres facilitates the reintegration of women into the workforce. 260
Tech 4 Good
Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry founded Power to Fly to help connect women around the world to tech jobs they could do remotely. Glowork is the first website and movement dedicated to female recruitment in the Gulf States and the most innovative enabler when it comes to creating equal opportunities for women.
In Saudi Arabia, women represent only 15% of the workforce even though 60% of women have PhD degrees (Source: Booz & Co, study conducted in 2008).
SOME PROJECTS RATE THE GENDER PARITY OF COMPANIES LedBetter is a research group that runs a database and application showcasing the number of women in leadership at the world’s top consumer brands and companies.
Its mission is to empower and educate consumers, policymakers, leaders, journalists, and others about the companies they support and to cover and improve the public’s understanding of which companies promote gender equality in leadership — and which do not.
Includeed allows you to evaluate how inclusive your company is.
Bloomberg announced the 2017 Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI), providing investors and organizations with insight into the statistics, policies, product offerings, and external engagement driving 52 firmsâ€™ commitment to building gender-equal workplaces. EDGE Certification is the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. EDGE Certification stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality Certification. EDGE Certification is currently working with more than 170 organizations in over 48 countries and 23 industries.
SOME POWERFUL COMMUNITIES PROVIDE SUPPORT AND CONTACTS TO FEMALE PROFESSIONALS Girltank is a collaborative and global community of female social innovators.
She Entrepreneurs is a recognized leadership program for young emerging female social entrepreneurs in the Middle East, North Africa, and Sweden. 262
Femmes d’Avenir Méditerranée is a leadership program created by Sciences Po Paris for young women leaders of the Mediterranean region.
Ogunte enables women social entrepreneurs to learn and connect.
She Leads Africa is the #1 destination for young African women looking to build successful careers or businesses.
SheWorx is a global collective of ambitious female entrepreneurs redefining leadership. Women 2.0 is the leading brand for women in tech.
SOME EVENTS ALLOW FEMALE PROFESSIONALS TO DEVELOP THEIR VISIBILITY AND THEIR NETWORK The three-day Women in the World Summit, held at New York City’s Lincoln Center, presents powerful new female role models whose personal stories illuminate the most pressing international issues.
The Women's Forum for the Economy & Society is the world's leading platform featuring women's voices on major social and economic issues. Women's Forum meetings convene leaders and influencers, women and men, to engage in wide-ranging, incisive debates on vital issues. In London’s Southbank Centre, WOW – Women of the World festival looks at the obstacles that stop women and girls from achieving their potential. The International Women’s Forum builds better global leadership across careers, continents, and cultures by connecting the world’s most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement. I Am Tomorrow is an interactive festival and conference that brings together incredible women in tech, business, arts, sports, science, politics, and beyond.
SOME INCUBATORS PROVIDE ACCELERATION FOR FEMALE-RELATED PROJECTS The Girl Effect Accelerator is the world's first accelerator dedicated to girls in poverty, born from a partnership between The Nike Foundation and Unreasonable Group. 264
F>>Lane, in partnership with Vodafone, accelerates social ventures that utilize technology to empower women worldwide.
In Paris, Led by Her transforms women who have experienced domestic violence into successful entrepreneurs.
Paris PionniĂ¨res is the first French innovation platform for women entrepreneurs.
In Kenya, Akili Dada is an award-winning leadership incubator nurturing a generation of girls and young women from underprivileged backgrounds. Globally Spotted is a discovery and social amplification platform on a mission to champion more diversity in business and more visibility for inspiring companies with innovative, smart and purpose-driven business models, led and founded by women worldwide.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Read Lean In and join a Lean In circle in your city, or create one!
SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL Support your female friends. Practice the “shine theory”: The shine theory is frequently used by US podcast hosts Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow in their popular show “Call Your Girlfriend.” “When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better. I don't shine if you don't shine. True confidence is infectious,” Ann Friedman suggested.
THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL FOR WOMEN WHO DON’T HELP OTHER WOMEN. — Madeleine Albright
Check the Leadership Tips for Parents guide from Lean In and Ban Bossy. Practice the G.I.R.L. problem-solving protocol with your daughter to develop her leadership skills: G
(Gather Your Choices): Write about all the possible choices you could make.
(I Choose): Pick one choice out of all the possibilities you just listed and decide what you want to do.
(Reasons Are): Write in the reasons why you made your choice.
(List the Outcomes): List all the things that could happen if you make this choice. 267
I WANT EVERY LITTLE GIRL WHO’S TOLD SHE’S BOSSY TO BE TOLD INSTEAD SHE HAS LEADERSHIP SKILLS. — Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
Source: Ban Bossy Leadership Tips for Parents
BUILD YOUR OWN CONFIDENCE Here are a few tips for building up your own “savings account.” Exercise. A good workout can make you feel powerful, like you can take on the world. Be bossy. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but you do have to practice taking charge and making decisions. Don’t work too hard. Without personal down time, you can’t recharge, focus, or be happy. Stop comparing yourself. Stop looking at what everyone else has or does or wears, and focus on what’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to be audacious. Audacious means being a daring, spirited one who sees what others can’t and goes for it even when not yet understood.
In her famous talk, Amy Cuddy gives simple advice about using your body language to make yourself more confident.
Practice power posing. In two minutes, it brings your testosterone level up and your cortisol level down, and you truly feel more powerful. By accessing our personal power, we can achieve "presence," the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we're making on others and instead adjust the impression we've been making on ourselves. Society tells women to forget themselves and sacrifice for others’ well-being. So consider self-love as a feminist endeavor, the first act of resistance. For example: Answering “Thank you” to a compliment. Using exercise as a means of self-love and not self-destruction. Recognizing when your romantic or sexual relationships are unfulfilling or toxic. Being more comfortable stating what your needs are. Becoming more comfortable with calling yourself an expert in your field. Being better able to communicate with the people around you in non-violent ways. Drawing clearer boundaries around who you want to spend time with, and who you don’t. Being more supportive – and less competitive – with other women around you. Read Brené Brown’s books! Listen to her talks!
Set yourself some challenges and goals. Learn a new skill. Buy yourself empowering clothes. Register for a coaching/mentoring program. Mentor someone. Start your own business! Develop your abundance mindset. Set yourself 3 challenges for the coming year. Sing! Identify your superpowers. Meditate. Practice gratitude. Create a habit or quit one. Commit for 21 days. What is your bucket list? Dream big!
GIVE US A WORLD WHERE 1/2 OF OUR HOMES ARE RUN BY MEN, AND 1/2 OF OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE RUN BY WOMEN. â€” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
THE WORLD NEEDS A NEW TYPE OF LEADER 270
Chapter 10 â€“ Investors
THE PROBLEM: MONEY IS NOT A WOMANâ€™S BUSINESS
The Power of the Crowd
Just have a look at our banknotes!
Around the world, many activists have launched campaigns to update the faces of paper currencies.
But they also face a tremendous backlash. UK activist Caroline Criado-Perez, who convinced the Bank of England to make Jane Austen the new face of the £10 note, has received rape and death threats from Twitter users. “We fought, and we won. For all the hatred and bile and fear of women taking up public space, we have achieved this small victory,” she said in a statement. Hopefully, things are changing. OUR COUNTRY IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE BENJAMINS. IT’S ABOUT THE TUBMANS TOO. — Barack Obama
Yet, women are more comfortable talking about their health than their wealth. Eight in 10 women avoid financial conversations because they are “too personal” or “uncomfortable.” Even in romantic relationships, where financial assets are often shared, research by Fidelity Investments found that women are more likely to talk with their significant others about health issues (78%) and sex (74%) than salary (66%) or investment ideas (65%). Women’s anxiety about discussing money occurs even if they’re talking to a financial adviser. Less than half of women Fidelity surveyed (47%) say they’d be confident talking about money and investments with a financial professional, compared to 77% who would be comfortable discussing medical issues with their doctor. Source: Fidelity’s Money FIT Women Study
Privacy worries. 35% of the women in the survey didn't want to share financial information with those they were close to, and 27% said they were raised not to discuss finances. In short, it's really tough to talk about money when we are socialized to keep this kind of information private. We worry that talking about money will make us vulnerable, make someone feel bad, or simply cross a tacit societal boundary. Lack of confidence. In addition to privacy concerns, women often have difficulty talking about money because they assume they do not know enough about the subject. 10% of respondents in Fidelity's study felt they did not understand finances enough to talk intelligently about them. According to Kathleen Murphy, President of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments: “Beneath women's reticence to talk about money lies a lack of confidence in their knowledge of financial planning and investing. This lack of confidence is really self-imposed. Our analysis of more than 12 million investors shows that women actually demonstrated stronger saving rates than their male counterparts and enjoyed better long-term investment performance when they did engage. Unfortunately, too many women still hesitate to take control of their finances.” 274
48% OF WOMEN DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT SAVING AND INVESTING VS. 57% OF MEN Source: Blackrock Global Investor Pulse Survey, 2013
That confidence gap can feel like a Catch-22. Women feel foolish for not knowing enough about finances, but asking questions is intimidating. So, women continue to worry in silence and assume they don't know enough to talk intelligently. Even when women are confident in financial matters, many persist in using self-deprecating language when asked about their ability to manage their finances. Only 18% of millennial women (compared to 29% of millennial men) demonstrate high financial literacy. While this is a concerning statistic, this is one area where the gender gap appears to be closing. The percentage point difference between the genders for millennials is 11 points vs. 21 points for Gen Xers and 25 points for Baby Boomers. The financial industry must take some responsibility for closing the confidence gap: Research by the Boston Consulting Group found that women (globally) are more dissatisfied with the financial services industry than with any other industry! As the industry is still mainly run by men catering to men, women often feel as if their needs are not being met. “Married women are often considered mere appendages to their husbands. It should come as no surprise, then, that more than 70% of married women fire their financial professionals within one year of their husbands’ deaths.” 275
And the pay gap reinforces the fact that women build less wealth than men While the wage gap between men and women is getting smaller, women still earn about $11,500 less per year. As a result, women save less and are hesitant to take risks when it comes to investing the money they do save. Per Wells Fargo, only 50% of millennial women have started saving for retirement, vs. 61% of millennial men. The lack of both knowledge and savings can be more costly for women since they tend to live longer.
Poverty has a woman’s face. Women comprise half the world's population, while they represent a staggering 70% of the world's poor. MEN 30% OF THE POOR
WOMEN 70% OF THE POOR
Conclusion: Men still earn and control the majority of the wealth!
possess the same wealth as
half of the world’s population!
of the world’s work
of the income
of the food
of the property
MONEY IS POWER Today, the investment field is largely male-dominated. Just remember "The Wolf of Wall Street" movie. Fewer than one-third of venture capital firms in the U.S. employ even one woman who participates in business or investment decisions. Only 9% of mutual fund managers are women, according to a 2015 study by investment research firm Morningstar. There are plenty of women in back-office roles in finance, but few have the final say over where the money is invested. In a 2014 KPMG report, only 14% of executive women surveyed across the financial industry held the post of chief executive officer, and only 21% were in roles that let them manage money, with the vast majority of women relegated to marketing or compliance. Where are the female fund mangers? FUNDS BY GENDER
WOMEN 699 funds
RUN BY MEN ONLY
90.4% 6,711 funds
FUND MANAGERS BY GENDER
77.9% 5,775 funds
RUN BY WOMEN ONLY 184 funds
19.6% RUN BY MEN & WOMEN 1,452 funds
Source: Wall Street Journal. Where are the female fund managers.
of Investment Advisors are Men, with an average age of 50+ Source: Ellevest
Meredith Jones explains: “You tend to look for candidates that look like the people that have been successful in the role before. So if you’ve always hired white men, and they’ve been successful in those roles, unconsciously, you are likely going to continue to look for those kinds of people.” “Again, even if it is among the highest remunerated professions, less women are socialized to study finance. When they do, they face overt sexism and unconscious bias.” These biases make it notoriously difficult for women to break into finance and to make connections that provide that vital source of deal flow. Few women are opting for careers in investing as it is still perceived as an environment that is aggressive and hostile to women. They lack role models of successful women in finance, so it is harder for them to visualize it as a career prospect. As with many male-dominated industries, the lack of women can be explained by: Scarce pipeline Unconscious biases Fewer connections Lack of role models Rich women tend to become philanthropists rather than investors. Ledbury Research for Barclay’s Wealth found that women in the U.S. give 3.5% of their wealth to charity, while men give just 1.8%. And it isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. In the U.K., women give 0.8%, compared with 0.5% for men. Source: Wall Street Journal.
50% OF WOMEN GIVE TO WOMEN AND GIRLS CAUSES BUT LESS THAN 1% CURRENTLY INVESTS WITH A GENDER LENS. — Women at the Forefront
The Wells Fargo Affluent Women Retirement Survey showed that a startling 49% of affluent women do not feel confident about investing, which is, again, a likely result of the territorial “gentlemen’s club” mentality attached to the industry. Yet, funds run by women have better results. In fact, funds owned and run by women have returned an average of 59% since 2007, compared with an average of 37% for the whole industry, according to figures released by Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc., which launched its first index exclusively tracking women-run funds in 2015. Ironically, risk avoidance is part of what makes women better investors. Female investors behave differently. Studies have consistently shown that female investors behave in three ways that differentiate them from men: They experience fewer losses caused by overconfidence and overtrading. They exhibit greater discipline in their investing decisions. They focus more on protecting their investments from downside risk.
WOMEN’S PROCLIVITY TOWARD LONG-TERM WEALTH CREATION OVER SHORT-TERM TRADING PROFIT MAKES THEM IDEALLY SUITED TO BE SUCCESSFUL INVESTORS. — Manisha Thakor, Director of Wealth Strategies for Women
According to Christine Lagarde, Director of the International Monetary Fund, more women in finance would make banks work better. It is crucial to incorporate alternative values into finance. The lack of diversity in the investment world and its inherent herd mentality led to massive economic crises.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF LEHMAN BROTHERS HAD BEEN LEHMAN SISTERS? — Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF
In her TED Talk, "The feminine response to Iceland's financial crash," Halla Tómasdóttir explains that there is a necessity for a new model incorporating different values, a different way of doing business that looks for economic as well as emotional capital, financial and social return, profit with principles. Women also struggle to get funded. Women entrepreneurs contribute to job growth and innovation. So why are they struggling to get funded? #WomenFastForward People tend to invest in people who look, think, and have similar backgrounds to them. Since the investment world is mostly male-dominated, far fewer women secure VC funding, making them generally less successful in the overall startup ecosystem. Only about 10% of female entrepreneurs globally have access to the capital they need to expand their businesses, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC). An IFC-McKinsey study noted that women face a credit gap of approximately $320 billion.
THERE’S PLENTY OF WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PRODUCT, BUT IT’S A DROP IN THE BUCKET IN THE DEMAND FOR CAPITAL. — Blackrock Global Investor Pulse Survey, 2013
In the US, only
In the EU, women are
In the EU, male entrepreneurs are
more likely to be self-funded.
more likely to receive venture capital investment.
4% 37% 86%
of venture capital goes to female entrepreneurs.
Fearless Girl is a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors via McCann New York. It depicts a Latina girl standing defiantly in front of the well-known Charging Bull of Wall Street and was installed on International Women’s Day 2017. The intention of installing a Fearless Girl Image: Associated Press in the heart of New York City's Financial District was to celebrate the power of women's leadership and the potential of the next generation of women leaders. The statue won three Grand Prix awards at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival and received tremendous social media coverage.
Some programs provide financial education to women and girls around the world.
Arora has partnered with the National Financial Educators Council to provide women with Arora-Ed, the first free financial literacy course designed for women business owners and their supporters. Arora-Ed provides women and their supporters with free, transformative, and user-friendly resources, giving them access to hassle-free credit, financial education, and money management tools.
MyBnk is an award-winning UK charity that teaches young people how to manage their money and set up their own enterprises. 282
Aflatoun International offers social and financial education to millions of children and young people worldwide, empowering them to make a positive change for a more equitable world.
Three Coins is an independent, award-winning organization specialized in developing educational tools to promote responsible personal finance.
There are two main ways to get more women into investing: 1 2
Investor training: Women are more likely to invest in other women. Increase the number of women investors through training programs. Invest in female entrepreneurs: Most business angels are former entrepreneurs. When more female entrepreneurs receive early stage funding, more will see their businesses prosper, and they will go on to reinvest their profits.
TRAIN WOMEN TO BE INVESTORS 37 Angels is a community of women investors whose mission is to educate early stage investors. In 2014, only 26% of U.S. angel investors were women and only 8% were minorities, according to the Center for Venture Research. 283
Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women, works to increase diversity in the U.S. angel investing community and to create capital for women social entrepreneurs. The time commitment is approximately two full days per month for six months for a fee of $4,500. Each Pipeline Fellow commits to invest $5,000 in the same woman-led for-profit social venture at the end of the program.
By completing Girls Who Invest's rigorous program, talented and motivated women will be well prepared to enter the industry across all asset classes, including public and private equity, fixed income, credit, hedge funds, real estate, and infrastructure. She EOâ€™s model brings together 500 women Activators in each cohort, who each contribute $1100 as an act of radical generosity. The money is pooled together and loaned out at low interest rate to 5 women-led ventures selected by the activators. All ventures are revenue-generating with export potential and create a better world through their business model or their product or service. Loans are paid back into the fund over 5 years and then loaned out again, which creates a perpetual fund to pass on to our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces. Isabella Forum is a network that helps women better manage their money around major life events.Â 284
We Are Enough advocates for women to invest their dollars into women-owned businesses, especially those in technology, finance, and entertainment – three industries that greatly impact the world and women.
DEVELOPING FINANCIAL VEHICLES DEDICATED TO FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS Global Invest Her demystifies the funding process so women entrepreneurs become investor-ready and get funded faster. Global Invest Her offers community-based learning, webinars, and one-on-one mentoring.
Some programs offer microfinance and loans especially dedicated to women, like Catapult or Women’s Worldwide Web.
The Power of the Crowd
The Next Billion builds collaborative platforms that leverage the power of the crowd to connect the growing number of female-led enterprises worldwide with access to growth opportunities.
Female Founders Fund invests in areas where women-led startups have incredible impact: e-commerce, web-enabled products and services, marketplaces, and platforms. Springboard Enterprises is a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors, and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women. Astia is a community of experts committed to leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs by providing access to capital and networks for the companies they lead. The JumpFund's mission is to seed and grow strong, women-led ventures in the Southeastern US.Â
Women Effect is an information hub based at Wharton Business School in the U.S. to promote gender lens investing.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As a young woman, be proud to excel in math, science, and computer programming classes. Kickstart your financial education at your own pace with all the online or offline tools you can find. Enroll in personal finance and accounting classes. Talk about money and ask for help if you need it. Ask for a raise. Identify your financial advisor. Find a buddy to discuss financial matters. Start saving, even a little. Join a cohort of female investors and learn more. Investment channels money to the projects that will shape the future. You have savings? Invest!
MONEY GIVES YOU THE POWER TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO. I LIKE THE IDEA OF BEING IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF MY LIFE. â€” Louise Mensch
BECOME A FEARLESS INVESTOR 288
Chapter 11 â€“ Pay Gap
THE PROBLEM: WOMEN. LIKE MEN, ONLY CHEAPER
The gender pay gap is a reality all over the world. Globally, women earn 24% less than men on average.
Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
East Asia and the Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
Gender pay gap in the OECD Men make 15.3% more than women on average, full-time workers. 0
*Difference in earnings between men and women as a percentage of the earnings of men.
Source: OECD Employment Outlook 2015
It affects people differently, according to country, race, and class.
AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN
Data: US Equal Pay Back Project
Even in the film industry... FORBES 2013 LIST OF THE TOP TEN HIGHEST PAID ACTRESSES MADE A COLLECTIVE $181 MILLION VERSUS $465 MILLION MADE BY THE TOP TEN MALE ACTORS. MEN
Median Age: 46.5
Median Age: 34.8
Julia Roberts (46)
Mila Kunis (30)
Natalie Portman (32)
Sandra Bullock (49)
Charlize Theron (38)
$16 $15 $14 $14
Emma Stone (25)
Jennifer Aniston (44)
Kristen Stewart (23)
Jennifer Lawrence (23)
Liam Neeson (61)
$37 $35 $33 $33 $32
Angelina Jolie (38)
Leonardo DiCaprio (39)
Dwayne Johnson (41)
Mark Wahlberg (42)
Hugh Jackman (45)
Denzel Washington (58)
Tom Cruise (51)
Of the 16 biggest paychecks earned by actors per film, not a single one was earned by a female actor
Adam Sandler (47)
Channing Tatum (33)
75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
Robert Downey Jr. (48)
Millions of dollars
IN 2013 THE HIGHEST PAID FEMALE ACTOR, ANGELINA JOLIE, MADE $33 MILLION, ROUGHLY THE SAME AMOUNT AS THE TWO LOWEST-RANKED MEN. FURTHERMORE, AGE APPEARS TO BE A DOMINANT FACTOR IN AN ACTRESS'S MONETARY SUCCESS COMPARED TO MEN.
...or in sports.
WHY? REASON #1: OCCUPATION AND “CHOICE” Segregation by occupation is a major factor behind the pay gap. It is a reflection of women’s and men’s “choices.” Women and men tend to work in different kinds of jobs. Women are disproportionately represented in education, office and administrative support, and health care. Men are disproportionately represented in construction, maintenance and repair, and production and transportation (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016b). Jobs traditionally associated with men tend to pay more than traditionally female-dominated jobs that require the same level of skill (Hegewisch & Hartmann, 2014). Source: The Simple Truth About The Gender Paygap 2017. AAUW.
Women are over-represented in low-wage jobs. Research shows that the more women enter a field, the more the pay goes
down, even as the work stays the same. The same dynamic depresses wages in occupations that are primarily female compared to similar occupations that are primarily male. For example, janitors are paid about 22% more than maids. How college majors contribute to the gender pay gap. In the 2016 study, Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, Glassdoor Economic Research found that the biggest cause of today’s gender pay gap is that men and women sort into different jobs — men into higher-paying positions and women into traditionally lower-paying jobs.
Women earn 12% less than men as soon as they leave college. The study concluded that more than half of the gap is due to “occupational sorting”, meaning men cluster into degree subjects that result in higher-paying careers than their female counterparts. Men outnumber women in almost every science and engineering field in college, with particularly dramatic differences in areas such as physics and computer science. Under-representation of women in these disciplines fuels pay imbalances because the skills they teach tend to be highly rewarded, Glassdoor’seconomists explain. “When we isolate by major, pay gaps remain because men and women are sorting into different jobs after graduating - a clear sign of societal pressures and gender norms at play in the career paths of young workers.” Source: The Independent
REASON #2: NEGOTIATING LESS Traditionally, it has been socially expected (and therefore accepted) for men to negotiate for raises because negotiating conforms with the stereotype of men as assertive. But negotiation is especially tricky for women because some behaviors that work for men, like self-promotion and assertiveness, may backfire on women (Carter & Silva, 2011; Bowles & Babcock, 2013). Here’s the percentage of graduating professional students who attempted to negotiate their pay: MEN WOMEN
57% 7% Source: Lilyline. Washington Post.
Consciously or unconsciously, women tend to ask for less money. Even top leaders settle for less remuneration. Women are four times less likely to negotiate than men. When they do negotiate, women typically ask for 30% less money. Women have thus progressively internalized a sense of lower self-worth.
55% SAY THEY DON’T NEGOTIATE BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO COME ACROSS AS PUSHY. — LEVO 2015 SURVEY
REASON #3: PARENTING AND TIME AWAY FROM PAID WORK Taking time away from the workforce or cutting back hours, which mothers do more often than fathers, hurts earnings (Bertrand et al., 2010). Many employers and industries still prioritize long, continuous, traditional work hours rather than flexible schedules, a preference that tends to put women with children at a disadvantage (Goldin, 2014). Women are more likely to take time off from paid work for caregiving. The motherhood penalty vs the fatherhood bonus. Many stay-at-home and part-time working mothers will eventually decide to return to full-time work. When they do, these mothers may encounter a “motherhood penalty” that extends beyond the actual time out of the workforce. Experimental studies have documented that employers are less likely to hire mothers (including mothers who never left the workforce) compared with child-free women. When employers do make an offer to a mother, they offer her a lower salary than they do other women (Correll & Benard, 2007; Kricheli-Katz, 2012). Fathers, in contrast, do not suffer a penalty compared with other working men. Many fathers actually receive higher wages after having a child, known as the “fatherhood bonus.” (Kille-wald, 2013; Budig, 2014). Source: The Simple Truth About The Gender Paygap 2017. AAUW.
Even in a country like Sweden.
Globally, on average, the time women spend daily in caring for the home and children is still about three times what men spend.
Across the world, women spend more time than men do on paid and unpaid work combined.
Source: State of the Worldâ€™s Father 2017
Even if countries start to introduce paternity leave.
There is still a long way to go.
REASON #4: GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS Thanks in part to persistent sex discrimination, women are also less likely than men to reach the highest-paying leadership and executive positions. For example, a 2012Â experiment gave science professors hiring a lab manager two identical resumes, one with the name John and one with the name Jennifer. The science professors judged John to be more competent and offered the male applicant $4,000 more than the female one.
Source: The Simple Truth About The Gender Paygap 2017. AAUW.
Some videos make fun of the wage gap.
Kristen Bell highlights the gender wage gap with “Pinksourcing” video. The satirical video, part of The Huffington Post’s “Celebs Have Issues” series, advocates for “Pinksourcing,” i.e., hiring women in your office because they’re both cheaper and more likely to do free emotional labor! In a Buzzfeed video, a woman’s response to discovering that she earns 78% of what her male colleagues earn is simple: she’ll only do 78% of her work. Easy!
In another satirical video, comedian Sarah Silverman is sitting at a doctor's office, waiting for her gender-reassignment surgery. She says this "extreme solution" is far cheaper than the money she'll lose out on due to the gender pay gap! For other ladies who prefer to remain that way, Silverman has another suggestion: support her $30 trillion crowdfunding campaign, The Equal Payback Project, to pay back all the women in the US the income they’ve missed out on.
Some websites train female employees to better negotiate their salary.
YOU GET IN LIFE WHAT YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO ASK FOR. — Oprah Winfrey
Since benefits and subsequent raises are generally based on initial wages, a lower starting salary could mean a lifetime of lower compensation and retirement benefits. Because most employers have some latitude when it comes to salaries, negotiating your salary can pay off. Knowing what your skills are worth, making clear what you bring to the table, emphasizing common goals, and maintaining a positive attitude are some negotiation tactics that have been shown to be effective for women (Babcock & Laschever, 2008). The best way to close the gender pay gap is to make salaries public.
58% SAY THEY DON’T HAVE THE INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE TO NEGOTIATE SUCCESSFULLY. — LEVO 2015 SURVEY
Some celebrities are being vocal about equal pay. IT’S OUR TIME TO HAVE WAGE EQUALITY ONCE AND FOR ALL AND EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. — Patricia Arquette
Some countries are moving towards transparency. In the UK, companies employing more than 250 people will have 12 months to meet a deadline to publish their gender pay gap figures.
The Global Gender Gap Index
Iceland Finland Norway Sweden Rwanda Ireland Philippines Slovenia New Zealand Nicaragua
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
In March 2017, Iceland just made history by becoming the first country in the world to require companies to prove they pay their employees equally regardless of gender. Source: The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 The move came after a massive national protest in October 2016, in which thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38 p.m., a symbolic move that protested the country's 14% gender pay gap by leaving their workplaces 14% earlier than usual. The government has recently implemented the Equal Pay Standard. Every job within a company is analyzed by looking at education, physical strain, mental stress, and responsibility. Each job is then given a score. If there are two people doing jobs with the same score but different pay, the lower paid person gets a pay rise. Companies who complete the process receive certification to prove that they offer equal pay for work of equal value.
Companies which facilitate maternity and paternity leave are better at retaining talent. Some businesses charge women 78% of the price of the products to make gender gap more visible. November 10th marks Equal Pay Day: The day of the year when women in UK are effectively working for free for the rest of the year due to the gender pay gap. Before industrial society, men and women worked together at home, or close to home. Responsibilities were shared, but both participated. The industrial production mode physically separated home from work, and women had more difficulties reconciling production and reproduction activities. Things didn’t change after Sweden replaced maternity leave in 1974 with an overall allotment of paid parental leave that could be shared however the mother and father chose. Fathers who took time off were derisively nicknamed velourman or velourpapa (velvet daddy) and derided for being unmanly. In 1974, only 562 fathers claimed parental leave, about 0.5% of new fathers that year. Good for children, good for parents, good for the economy. Since women’s pay was at that time usually much lower than men's, couples typically opted for the mother to stay at home with the child. But that decision perpetuated the pay gap, as women continued to be “mommy-tracked,” penalized for the possibility that they’d bear a child. Companies entrenched this divide by looking down on fathers who did take parental leave. So in 1995, the government rolled out “daddy leave.” It didn’t make paternity leave mandatory, but couples lost a month of subsidized leave if the father took less than a month off. That meant he could no longer transfer all of his leave to his wife. The new policy also compensated fathers and mothers at 90% of their wages, making it harder for fathers to turn down. And it worked. Within a few years, more than four out of five fathers stayed at 303
home. And when the government added another month to “daddy leave” in 2002, the amount of time they took off more than doubled. The government also upped the reimbursement ceiling to make the package more attractive to high-earning men. One reason this works is that Sweden pays generous benefits for a relatively short period of leave. The secret to keeping mothers in the workforce lies not in giving them more time off, but in getting more fathers to stay at home instead.
AROUND NINE-TENTHS OF SWEDISH MOTHERS RETURN TO WORK AFTER CHILDBIRTH.
Losing workers to motherhood is not so great for the bottom line. The longer the leave for fathers, the less time women take out from the workforce. Strong parental leave policies reduce turnover, foster morale for employers, and support workforce retention for employees. In California and New Jersey, companies reported that paid maternity leave policies caused either no change to their bottom line or even cut training and turnover costs. Source: Quartz
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As an employee Learn to negotiate better. Ask your colleagues how much they make. Ask your company for salary transparency. Read the book Women don’t ask. If you are a role model, speak up. Learn about your rights. Ask for more. Have a bottom, middle, and high number in mind while you’re interviewing, so you’re not caught off-guard when an employer asks about your salary history or what you’re hoping to make. The easiest places for initial research: glassdoor.com and salary.com. You can also connect with people who’ve been in the position before and are now more senior. Ask them: “Given what you know about what I do, what is the range I should be looking at?” Bottom Number Calculate your cost of living and know what you absolutely need to be making. What is that number? Middle Number What is the reasonable going rate for asimilar position in your geographical location. What do you expect? Kim says about 90 percent of job offers are at this rate. High Number What would you be thrilled with?
Say thank you but don’t accept immediately. Give yourself a day or two to form a strategy for how you’re going to handle the negotiation. Here’s a sample script that Linda Babcock, author of How Can I Make More Money, suggests: “This is a really exciting opportunity. I want some time to think about it, and can we discuss the specifics of the offer in a couple of days once I've had some time to reflect upon it?” Negotiating is a two-way street. You may be thinking, ‘I’m so lucky to have this job!’ Remember, this job is lucky to have you too. Source: Lilyline. Washington Post.
As a manager. As a manager, make negotiating a norm. Review compensation to ensure that you are paying women and men fairly and communicate to all members in your organization—especially women—that it’s important for them to negotiate for themselves. Research shows that women will negotiate at comparable rates to men when given explicit permission to do so. Evaluate performance fairly. Male performance is often overestimated compared to female performance, starting with mothers overestimating boys’ crawling ability and underestimating girls’. This bias is even more pronounced when review criteria are unclear, making individuals more likely to rely on gut feelings and personal inferences. Over time, even small deviations in performance evaluation have a significant impact on women’s careers. This difference in the perceived performance of men and women also helps explain why women are hired and promoted based on what they have already accomplished, while men are hired and promoted based on their potential.
Look for opportunities for gender-blind evaluations in hiring. When evaluating performance, make sure managers are aware of gender bias. Be specific about what constitutes excellent performance, and make sure goals are set in advance, understood, and measurable. Ask managers to explain the reasons for their evaluations â€” and do the same for yourself. When people are accountable for their decisions, they are more motivated to think through them carefully. Source: Lean in. Tips for Managers.
As a company Introduce equal paternity and maternity leave. Release your salary data. Be transparent. Work on your unconscious bias. Facilitate flexible working hours for all. Actively reintegrate mothers and fathers when they finish leave. As a parent Encourage your children to study non-stereotypical careers. Encourage your children to negotiate their salary and to believe in their worth. Ensure that men and boys in your household are actually doing 50% of the unpaid care work. 308
As a citizen Urge your elected officials to act on Equal Pay Day. Host an “unequal” bake sale or (un)happy hour where men pay full price while women get a 21% discount (since the gender pay gap is 21%). Launch an equal pay media blitz. Write and submit letters to the editor and op-eds to a variety of publications in your community to gain broad coverage on Equal Pay Day. Bring salary negotiation workshops to your community/campus. Influence employers and governments. There are more ways to make your voice heard than ever before—letters to your legislators and local papers, blogs, and tweets are just a few examples..
Equal pay for Equal Work 310
Chapter 12 â€“ Science and Technology
THE PROBLEM: BROGRAMMERS ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE
Women comprise half the workforce but less than 25% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs.
of Twitter and Facebook users in the US are women but only
of US tech startups are owned by women.
of tech positions in Europe are filled by women.
Worldwide, women are a minority within tech leadership
in North America
in South America Source: The Guardian
11% in Asia
Silicon Valley is still a man’s world. The tech industry has a reputation for being a boys’ club, and recent diversity reports from several companies illustrate how men dominate their global workforces. In Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Yahoo, male employees represent 70% of the workforce. Just have a look at the line at the male restrooms (for once) at developers’ conferences!
Even the Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 825 men and 49 women so far.
Throughout history, female scientists whose work should have been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee have been denied that honor because their work was stolen by their male co-researchers. The denial of female scientists contributions in research is called the Matilda effect after the suffragist and abolitionist Matilda Josyn Gage who wrote Woman As Inventor. For example, male scientists more often cite the publications of male authors than of female authors. The gender gap in computing is getting worse and has severe implications for the economy and the next generation of women.
Why? REASON #1: EARLY AGE GENDER STEREROTYPES A study by Verizon found that by age 6 girls are less likely than boys to think that they can be brilliant. Decades before they choose a career, girls think being “really, really smart” is for boys. From an early age, the gender stereotype of boys being better at science and maths discourages girls from studying STEM subjects. According to the OECD, despite similar performances in the OECD’s science test, more boys consider a STEM career than girls. In the US, 66% of 4th grade girls reported they like science and math, but only 18% of college engineering majors are female. Only 14% of teenage girls want to become a scientist. Source: Verizon. Inspire Her Mind.
REASON #2: LACK OF TALENT In the EU, only 11% of STEM graduates are women. Although women receive 36% of STEM Ph.D.s, they make up 18% of full professors in science and engineering. This means that employers have a gender biased talent pool to recruit from. And the numbers are dropping!
REASON #3: UNCONCIOUS BIAS We receive 11 million bits of information every moment.
We can only conciously process 40 bits. So am I
Unconsciously, we tend to like people who look like us, think like us, and come from similar backgrounds. Beliefs and values gained from family, culture, and a lifetime of experiences heavily influence how we view and evaluate others.
It mat ters
These thought patterns, assumptions, and interpretations â€“ or biases â€“ that we have built up over time help us to process information quickly and efficiently. Source: Unconscious Bias @ Work | Google Ventures
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) helps to detect our automatic associations. About 75% of people who have taken the IAT online complete the test faster when white faces are shown alongside pleasant words, when male words are shown alongside pleasant words, when male words are shown alongside career terms, and when women are sorted with liberal arts studies, not science and tech. The following study was conducted at Yale. All of the professors received the same one-page summary. Half of the fictitious applicants were named John, and the other half were named Jennifer. On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being highest, professors gave John an average score of 4.0 for competence and Jennifer 3.3. John was also seen more favorably as someone they might hire for their laboratory or be willing to mentor. Female professors were just as biased against women students as their male colleagues. Hiring managers tend to recruit those who are culturally similar to them. When this is applied to the tech world, itâ€™s easy to see how a group of male friends will recruit other males when expanding a startup. And the recent scandal at Google shows that, despite investing in training on unconscious bias to improve the company culture, many still believe â€œwomen are biologically inferior in terms of technical skills.â€? The study "Elephant in the Valley" gives great insight on the reality of unconscious bias in Silicon Valley. It is difficult for women in tech to strike the right balance without being seen as too meek or too harsh.
47% have been asked to do lower-level tasks that male colleagues are not asked to do (e.g., note-taking, ordering food, etc.). 84% have been told they are too aggressive (with half hearing that on multiple occasions). 66% felt excluded from key social/networking opportunities because of gender. 90% witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites and/or industry conferences. 88% have experienced clients/colleagues address questions to male peers that should have been addressed to them. 75% were asked about family life, marital status and children in interviews. According to Women Who Code these are the major career hurdles for female professionals in the tech world. Lack of opportunities for advancement Lack of female role models Lack of mentorship at work Lack of work-life balance Pay gap compared to male colleagues Lack of training resources Lack of networking opportunities Hostile macho culture Sexual harassment at work
TECHNOLOGY IS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR CHANGING THE WORLD, ONE THAT IS POTENTIALLY EQUALLY AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE OF ANY GENDER, ETHNICITY OR BACKGROUND. â€” Alaina Percival, CEO and Board Chair of Women Who Code
REASON #4: IN-GROUP FAVORITISM CAN BE EXTREMELY HOSTILE 60% of women in tech reported unwanted sexual advances. 65% of women who report unwanted sexual advances had received advances from a superior, with half receiving advances more than once. 1 in 3 have felt afraid of their personal safety because of work related circumstances. 39% of those harassed did nothing because they thought it would negatively impact their career. 60% who reported sexual harassment were dissatisfied with the course of action. Source: Elephant in the Valley
According to "The Athena Factor" by the Harvard Business Review, 41% of women in tech leave the industry, compared with 17% of men.
The widespread sexism and sexual harassment is pointed out for the first time.
Why is this a serious issue? Because of the loss of tremendous opportunities! By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing-related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%.
THE FUTURE IS IN CODE AND I WANT WOMEN TO WRITE IT. â€” Kathryn Parsons, Cofounder of Decoded
Coding is still the most important skill of the future. 80% of jobs in the next decade will require technological skills. Also because the lack of female perspective in science can have dramatic consequences. 318
Once again, in medical trials, male experience is perceived as universal. Women’s lives are being put at risk because drug companies don’t include them in drugs trials. So potential side effects are not exposed until drugs hit the shelves and it might be too late. It is urgent to include more women in science to bring their own perspective!
Example 1: Heart attack symptoms differ in men and women.
Example 2: Freezing in the office? It's because air conditioning standards are sexist.
We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest, and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
When researchers tested young women performing light office work while dressed in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, they discovered that their optimum temperature was 75F (24.5C). Men, in contrast, were happiest at 71F (22C).
“Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,” said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., Medical Director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. “Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.” Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away. But we only know male heart attack symptoms.
Current air conditioning standards are derived from research conducted in the 1960s which was based on the resting metabolic rate of 154-lb, 40-year-old man. Men typically have more heat-generating muscle than women, so they feel comfortable at cooler temperatures. Metabolic rate also decreases with age, which means that an older workforce is likely to need higher office temperatures. The office A/C may be biased toward temperatures that are more comfortable for men. Source: Telegraph
Source: American Heart Association
Artificial Intelligence will shape our future. A McKinsey & Company study found that 30% of tasks in 60% of occupations could be computerized. Last year, the Bank of England’s chief economist said that 80 million US and 15 million UK jobs might be taken over by robots. Machines learn prejudice in language. And they are as sexist and racist as the people programming them. So technologies may perpetuate and even spread cultural stereotypes to a massive scale if we don’t intervene now.
WE’VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE INTERNET OF THINGS – I THINK WE NEED AN INTERNET OF WOMEN. — Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director
Tech 4 Good
Anita Borg Institute connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations. The Institute views technology innovation as a strategic imperative. They believe technology innovation powers the global economy and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Transparency is the first step in changing the situation. The project Open Diversity Data allows you to ask companies to publish their diversity data. Many companies implement training to challenge unconscious bias. Google has been running a Busting Bias workshop across its departments. You can download the toolkit online. Different apps have appeared to better spot unconscious bias. Textio uses data and machine learning to scan job postings and flag phrases that are likely to repel women. GapJumpers hides resumes and other identifying information, including gender, until job applicants perform a test devised to assess their skills. Blendoor lets job candidates and recruiters check each other out: Candidates can see how a company rates on diversity; recruiters can see a person’s skills, education, and work history, but not his or her race, age, and gender. Interviewing.io offers a free platform that lets engineers do mock technical interviews, giving women (and anyone else who might feel out of place) a chance to practice. It also has software that companies can use to mask applicants’
Tech 4 Good
voices during actual interviews. Paradigm is a data-driven company that draws on behavioral science research to design effective diversity and inclusion strategies. Unbias.io is a Google Chrome extension that removes faces and names from LinkedIn profiles to reduce the effects of unconscious bias in recruiting. Unitive is a hiring platform that helps companies create job postings and structure job interviews to focus on skills instead of stereotypes. Project Include has been founded by Ellen Pao, and its mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech. They are a nonprofit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry. Their website offers an exhaustive list of advice and tips for companies willing to take inclusion seriously. Many organizations teach girls how to code.
Code to Inspire strengthens, inspires, and empowers women in Afghanistan through technology education.
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. 323
Tech 4 Good
Dot is an animated children's television series challenging traditional stereotypes. Young, tech-savvy Dot is well-versed in technology and has a strong curiosity and thirst for knowledge. She uses electronic devices to help her learn, create, and explore. Dot gets her passion for technology from her techie mother, who develops apps. Dot's father loves woodworking and prefers not to betethered to electronics. The animated series is based on achildren's book written by technology advocate Randi Zuckerberg, who calls the titular character "relatable," and says she is, "that friend we all have who is energetic, adventurous and imaginative." Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise working across the UK & Ireland and beyond to inspire and support young women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
In New York, 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures is a groundbreaking initiative designed to engage young women interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, and advance their pursuit of STEM careers through mentoring and 21st-century skills development. TechWomen empowers, connects, and supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities. In Australia, Robogals is a student-run organization that inspires and empowers young women to consider studying engineering and related fields. 324
WE NEED TO PORTRAY NEW ROLE MODELS Women in tech careers yearn for female role models and flexibility in the workplace. Did you know that the first programmer was actually a woman?
PROGRAMMING BEFORE IT WAS COOL Source: Pluralsight. Women Who Code.
Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician who was the first to recognise that computers had applications beyond pure calculations. As a result, she is regarded as the first computer programmer. It is time to celebrate women scientists and inventors. When girls are shown what engineers do, 76% of them become interested in engineering. Grace Hopper was a computer scientist and US Navy Admiral. She was the first to use the term “debugging” for fixing computer problems. Hopper developed the first working compiler and developed COBOL, a programming language still in use today. The movie Hidden Figures tells the story of African-American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race. Rana El-Kaliouby (born 1978) is an Egyptian-born American computer scientist and entrepreneur. She focuses on facial expression recognition research, which
is a subset of facial recognition designed to identify the emotion being expressed by the face. The blog Women Are Boring is filled with thought-provoking research done by women, in every field from arts and politics, to science and technology. Elise Andrew is a British blogger and science communicator, founder of I Fucking Love Science (IFLS), a website and Facebook page on popular science. We need to learn from the Middle East… Where 30-70% of the enrollees in computer science programs are women. And 35% of tech entrepreneurs are women, a surprising statistic, considering the global norm of 10%. Microsoft introduced a campaign themed Make What's Next to coincide with International Women's Day, part of an effort to encourage girls to enter tech fields. Launched in 2013, She Started It is a feature-length documentary film on women tech entrepreneurs that highlights successful role models for young women. The film is shot on locations all over the world, from Silicon Valley and New York to Europe and Vietnam. It is the first film to show the behind-the-scenes of running a tech startup as a young woman. Dream, Girl is a documentary showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs. 326
With technical women more visible, girls can picture themselves as future techies. We need to witness new examples, like when Mark Zuckerberg took weeks of paternity leave. In France, Challenges published a photo series of startup founders to illustrate France's new tech generation. Every startup featured was all-male. Female startup founders were so upset that they gathered top women in the French tech world to take the same photo series and invited the media to portray a more balanced view of reality. New spaces are appearing, such as the first coworking space for female-founded startups in Sydney or an all-women hackerspace in San Francisco. More and more women’s tech events and communities exist.
We need to promote the women in tech around us. Even the smallest signs matter. More than 90% of the world’s online population uses emojis. While there’s a huge range of emojis, there aren’t many that highlight the diversity of women’s careers, or that empower young girls. But new professional emojis have just been added in both male and female options, and with a range of skin tones. 327
And we can imagine a feminist internet which: develops more open source tools and platforms. amplifies alternative and diverse narratives of womenâ€™s lived realities. regulates surveillance practices. secures a safe, healthy, and informative internet for children and young people. is completely free from online or tech-related violence.
THE FUTURE OF TECH IS NOT A PRODUCT, ITâ€™S PEOPLE
Source: Anita Borg Institute.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Become an ally.
Hack your own unconscious bias. Hold yourself accountable: – Question your first impressions. – Justify your decisions. – Ask for feedback. Faced with sexist behaviour, point it out: – Share why it matters to you. – Ask the speaker to take another perspective. Hold others accountable: – Call out bias. – Make others justify decisions. – Make decisions collectively. Learn to code.
Speak up. Suggest women or members of underrepresented groups to be speakers or panelists at events you attend. Set up your own website or blog. Join or donate to feminist hackerspaces.
Nominate impressive women in tech around you.
Ask your employer to review their hiring process and HR practices.
Ask your employer to run unconscious bias training and only to sponsor events with anti-harassment policies.
Start your own company or activist group making a change for women in technology.
Watch movies and read books about female scientists or inventors.
Buy science/construction toys for your daughter.
Introduce your daughter to female professionals in the tech field and show her their daily jobs.
Bring your daughter to a makers fair.
Chapter 13 â€“ Sex
THE PROBLEM: SEX IS TABOO
Sex is taboo. As a consequence, we don’t know anything about it. In France, according to Haut Conseil à l'Egalité, 1 out 4 teenage girls does not know she has a clitoris. Very few countries provide positive or neutral sex education, if they provide any sex education at all. In the US, only 22 states require that public schools teach sex education but it does not need to be medically accurate or it must include information on abstinence but not on contraception. And the consequences are clear in terms of the rate of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
IGNORANCE LEADS TO LINGERING MYTHS Religions around the world have convinced women that their body is dirty and that they should be ashamed of it. The majority of women still use euphemisms to describe their menstrual cycle. The Swedish may say, “Lingonveckan,” which means “lingonberry week” and the German say “Erdbeerwoche,” which means “strawberry week.” Some French even say, “Les Anglais ont débarqué,” which means “the English have landed.” A few myths about periods. In Afghanistan, it is believed that showering during your period will cause infertility. In rural parts of Nepal, girls are literally isolated during their periods and cannot participate in class. In Japan, women can’t prepare sushi while menstruating because they have an “imbalance in taste.” Men will become sick if touched by an “unclean” woman in India or Nepal. Women menstruating cannot enter holy temples in Indonesia. Women can’t touch a pickle in India or the pickle will rot. And many, many more…
Source: 8 myths about periods. Meghan Werft. Al Jazeera.
And massive global consequences. UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 African girls, for example, misses at least one day of school a month, leading to a higher drop-out rate. A survey in India found nearly 25% of girls drop out of school permanently when they reach puberty because they have no toilet at school.
AND THE MYTHS ARE NOT ONLY ABOUT PERIODS MYTH #1: MEN’S SEXUAL ENERGY IS SO STRONG THAT IT CANNOT BE RESTRAINED Men are sexual. They have a strong irrepressible drive. They are obsessed with sex. They think about it all the time. They are always up for it. And this desire cannot be restrained. That is why women have to behave.
MYTH #2: WOMEN HAVE A LOWER SEXUAL DRIVE THAN MEN MYTH #3: A SEXUALLY FREE WOMAN IS A DANGER TO SOCIETY
A woman is portrayed as either a saint or a whore. Coming from a fear-driven desire of men to control female sexuality and reproduction. In primitive societies, men regarded women with the same dread they felt toward the natural world. The core of the natural world was the female womb, from which newborn human life emerged in a gush of blood.
One expression of this fear has been the centuries of witch-hunting, a man-made tool for women’s oppression. Women who seemed most independent from patriarchal norms – especially elderly women living outside the parameters of the patriarchal family – were most vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft. Between 1400 and 1775, 100,000 people were prosecuted for witchcraft, and at least 50,000 were sentenced to death. 75-80% of those accused and convicted of witchcraft in early modern Europe were female. Steven Katz, author of the Holocaust in Historical Context, shows how women have been targeted in a manner similar to Jews: The witch hunts can be viewed as a case of "genderized mass murder.”
THE ANXIETY IS PART OF THE MASCULINE STRUCTURE. FEMALE PLEASURE, 100% SUPERIOR TO MALE ONE, OVERWHELMS HIM COMPLETELY. — Michel Cazenave
The vast literature about witch hunting is filled with nightmares of castration and lost virility. The trauma of this genocide of free women and of wise old women is still part of our collective memories. So we know, deep down, that being free with our body and our sexuality comes at a terrible price.
WE ARE THE GRAND DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHES YOU COULD NOT BURN Today, we do not burn women anymore, but we shame them if they behave “like sluts.”
Women are constantly shamed about their sexuality.
PERSONAL IS POLITICAL
DOES MY SEXYNESS UPSET YOU? DOES IT COME AS A SURPRISE THAT I DANCE LIKE I’VE GOT DIAMONDS AT THE MEETING OF MY THIGHS? — Maya Angelou
LET’S BUST THOSE MYTHS Boys feel pressured to have sexual activity or to pretend to have sexual activity to belong. Men do not think about sex every seven seconds, study claims: "Many, many men – about one in five – have such low sexual desire they’d rather do almost anything else than have sex." “In fact, almost 30% of women say they have more interest in sex than their partner has." Women also have strong sexual desire. When it comes to the craving for sexual variety, research by Bergner suggests that women may be "even less well-suited for monogamy than men." Sex is the way in which intimacy can be experienced. A recent article by psychologist Steven Bearman argues that men’s addiction to sex is the result of the lack of affection and intimacy with other men (and perhaps women) in their lives. For Bearman, sex addiction and pornography addiction are the ways in which men try to find closeness with others. 338
NatureÂ wants all of us enrolled in reproducing the species. Women can become disinterested in sex as a result ofÂ childhoodÂ abuse, rape, social conditioning, unaddressed relationship issues, unskilled lovemaking or demands of juggling children and work, but these all represent deviations from her inherent nature. Women are socialized to channel their erotic yearnings into romantic fantasy rather than genital imagery, but when freed of sex-negative conditioning and social judgments, women desire erotic connection. When women are initiated into the pleasures of sex with a lover who is sensitive, considerate, skilled, and receptive to guidance, their sexual potential is awakened, and their interest in sex equals or exceeds the interest of most men.
BUT THESE MYTHS AND STEREOTYPES STILL CONDITION OUR SEXUAL LIVES This belief in irrepressible male desire has dramatic consequences on the lives of millions of young boys and girls. It legitimizes unfaithfulness, prostitution, porn, and even assault as a lesser evil. At this moment, there are 40 million prostitutes at work. Three quarters of them are between the ages of 13 and 25 and 80% of them are female. Female Prostitutes
Studies reveal 1 in 10 men in the world have purchased a prostitute. This demand spurs the $58 billion sex trafficking industry. Sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Source: findingjustice.org/prostitution-statistics
Cocaine $70 Billion
Sex Trafficking $58 Billion
Illegal Arms Trade $10 Billion
Child sexual abuse is far more prevalent than we realize.Â One in 10 children will be sexually abused before age 18.
25% of girls and 15% of boys in the US, EU, and Canada will experience sexual abuse. 60% of these girls and boys do not receive any type of help. Source: Vicky Bernadet Foundation, Spain (fbernadet.org)
Men still have control over womenâ€™s bodies. Remember Donald Trump cutting abortion funding surrounded by men. And especially since most of our sex education is now done through porn.
Including condoning genital mutilation.
A study of 50 of the most popular pornographic videos found that 88% of scenes included physical aggression and 48% of scenes included verbal aggression. The researchers observed a total of 3,376 aggressive acts, including gagging in 54% of scenes, choking in 27% of scenes, and spanking in 75% of scenes. They also found that the aggression was overwhelmingly – in 94% of incidents – directed towards women. Not only that; in almost every instance, women were portrayed as though they either didn’t mind or liked the aggression. Source: Porn as sex education: a cultural influence we can no longer ignore. Maree Crabbe. The Guardian.
Women’s bodies are available and violable. It doesn’t take a great awareness of cultural theory to grasp the social meaning of images of women being repeatedly penetrated in every orifice to a chorus of “slut,” “bitch,” and “whore.” Porn makes inequality sexually arousing. The website Fight the new drug explains how pornography affects the brain, the heart, and the world. After being exposed to pornography, men reported being less satisfied with their partners’ physical appearance, sexual performance, and level of affection, and they expressed greater desire for sex without emotional involvement. Among the effects of the use of pornography are an increased negative attitude toward women, decreased empathy for victims of sexual violence, and an increase in dominating and sexually imposing behavior. A meta-analysis of 33 studies found that exposure to either nonviolent or violent porn increased behavioral aggression, including both violent fantasies and actual violent assaults. Source: Fight the New Drug *Fight the New Drug is a non-religious, non-political organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
Some feminist movements are openly anti-porn and consider it cultural violence more than sexual fantasy. In her essay, Anti-Porn: The Resurgence of Anti-Pornographic Feminism, Julia Long explains how anti-porn feminism is back. Proving that porn desensitizes and actually limits our sexual freedom, Dines argues its omnipresence is a public health concern we can no longer ignore in PornLand: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. Especially since most porn only portrays sex and pleasure through the male gaze. The main goal of porn is to feature a male’s ejaculation, their partners pleasure is secondary. This leads to less satisfactory sexual experiences for women. Source: Telegraph
TALKING ABOUT THE ORGASM GAP 90% of men achieve orgasms during sex, while only
of women do.
The gap between men’s and women’s frequency of orgasm is impacted by social forces that privilege male pleasure. Paula England, a sociology professor at Stanford University said, “The orgasm gap is an inequity that’s as serious as the pay gap, and it’s producing a rampant culture of sexual asymmetry.” In same-sex encounters, the orgasm gap disappears! 342
For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls aged 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences with sex. She discusses the pleasure that's largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the "orgasm gap" by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure, and intimacy. Psychoanalysts have played an important role in that conditioning. When Sigmund Freud argued that a clitoral orgasm was adolescent and that the vagina was the fountain of the more “mature” orgasm, that theory definitely fueled the orgasm gap. “Stimulation of the clitoris is what gives a woman an orgasm. It’s the center of orgasmic function,” says Dr. Lloyd. “The clitoris is the homologue of the penis—they have the same tissue. In embryos, the same organ that turns into the penis, turns into a clitoris." Sexual assymetry comes from hook-up culture and lack of communication and education. Culturally, we overvalue penetrative sex. Lesbian vs. straight sex: Lesbian women have significantly more orgasms than straight women. For men, the orgasm rate doesn’t vary with sexual orientation. Women alone vs. with a partner: Women have more orgasms when they masturbate than when they are with a partner. In a study with 800 college women, 39% of women said they always orgasm during masturbation, while 6% said they always orgasm during sex with a partner. Roughly 75% of women can never reach orgasm from penetrative sex alone. Media shows us images of women having mind-blowing orgasms from intercourse alone. Evidence can also be found in the language. We use the words sex and intercourse synonymously, and we relegate clitoral stimulation to “foreplay.” We commonly mislabel women’s genitals by the one part (the vagina) that
gives men, but not women, reliable orgasms. We have countless nicknames for the penis, but few for the clitoris. Sex education generally doesn’t focus on pleasure. We have a double standard that judges women more harshly than men for casual sex. Most of us have little training in sexual communication, yet good sexual communication is key when it comes to female orgasms. Women differ in terms of what they need to orgasm, and what one woman needs to orgasm can vary from one encounter to another. Many women are plagued by body image self-consciousness during sex and it’s pretty much impossible to have an orgasm while worrying that you look fat or holding your stomach in. Finally, reaching orgasm requires a complete immersion in the sensations of the moment—or mindfulness—and few of us have mastered this skill in our daily lives, let alone our sex lives.
And women still weigh the burden of birth control Is birth control a female responsibility? “Men typically do not have to dedicate time and energy to contraceptive care, or pay out of pocket for the usually expensive and sometimes frequent (often monthly, or at least four times a year) supply of contraceptives…”, says Lisa Campo-Engelstein from “Science Progress.” But research has still not found an efficient birth control pill for men. Attempts by pharmaceutical companies to develop male-centered contraceptive drugs and injections have largely been abandoned due to concerns about side-effects and the belief that there is no market. Talking about double standards… 344
FEMEN is an international women’s movement of brave topless female activists painted with slogans and crowned with flowers. Manifesto: “In the beginning, there was the body, feeling of the woman’s body, feeling of joy because it is so light and free. Then there was injustice, so sharp that you feel it with your body, it immobilizes the body, hinders its movements, and then you find yourself your body’s hostage. And so you turn your body against this injustice, mobilizing every body’s cell to struggle against the patriarchy and humiliation. You tell the world: Our God is a Woman! Our Mission is Protest! Our Weapon are bare breasts! And so FEMEN is born and sextremism is set off.” Provocation is powerful. The PussyHat is a symbol of support and solidarity for women's rights and political resistance. Thousands of women wore pink “pussy hats” the day after Trump's inauguration.
Many innovative sex education programs flourish around the world. Open, honest, and sex-positive, the Love Matters program is the global leader in delivering information and media on safe and satisfying sex to 18-30-year-olds in geographic areas where this information can be taboo. 346
Even Pornhub has launched a new sex ed site!
Laci Green is an American YouTube personality, video blogger, sex educator, and activist. She has hosted online sex education content on behalf of Planned Parenthood and Discovery News.
In France, “Parlons peu, parlons cul” is a fun sex education web series challenging entrenched taboos.
Gynopedia is an open resource wiki for sexual, reproductive and women's health care across the globe. In her TED Talk “The laws that sex workers really want,” activist Juno Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world to help sex workers. She discusses the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. In a brave talk called “The price of shame,” Monica Lewinski takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation and asks for a different way.
Tech 4 Good
Reversing situations is always powerful.
MAKE LOVE, NOT PORN The activist Cindy Gallop launched MakeLoveNotPorn to squash the myths of hardcore pornography and to begin a dialog around how real people have sex.
SOME INITIATIVES ALSO WORK TO BREAK THE TABOO ON MENSTRUATION Menstrupedia Comic is a complete guide on periods designed by Menstrupedia that is in use by more than 30 schools across India. The books are being distributed in other countries like Nepal, South America, and Nigeria. The Period Game is designed to teach participants about what is happening within the female body and how to “go with the flow.” It utilizes abstracted representations of the female reproductive system, PMS symptoms, and various forms of sanitary protection to introduce players to these ideas.
Tech 4 Good
Others are developing products adapted to women’s needs.
THINX launched period-proof underwear that protects you from leaks and keeps you feeling dry. And they are famous for their provocative communication.
Ruby Cup is a healthier, more sustainable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Made from 100% soft medical-grade silicone, the menstrual cup is safe, comfortable, and hygienic.
GIRLS ARE LIKE SUPERHEROES, WHO ELSE COULD BLEED FOR FIVE DAYS AND NOT DIE?
MANY PROJECTS LEVERAGE FEM TECH Glow is the world's best period and ovulation tracker and fertility calendar app.
Eve by Glow is a savvy period tracker and sex app for women who want to take control of their health and sex lives. Clue is designed to make tracking your fertility accurate, fast, and friendly.
Tech 4 Good
The Boyfriend Log is the first ever app for tracking the health of any, or multiple, relationships.
Some apps offer dating for feminists. Bumble, often described as the feminist dating app, was created by Whitney Wolfe, a co-founder of Tinder, after she left the company. What makes it different from other dating apps? Women do the talking. And many more: Siren, Vina, Wyldfire, The League, Whim. Source: Women.com, Ali Segel
AND WOMEN ARE NOW DEVELOPING THEIR OWN SEX TOYS Dame Products was founded by smart women to make phenomenal sex toys.
Pulse is an innovative personal lubricant dispenser that delivers your choice of water or silicone-based lubricants pre-warmed and mess free. 350
But the most important development is that women are now reclaiming their own sexuality.
Sex positivity is “an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation.”
IT IS MY OBSERVATION THE MOST INNOVATIVE, DISRUPTIVE THINGS IN SEX TECH TODAY ARE COMING FROM WOMEN. BECAUSE WE ARE FINALLY OWNING OUR SEXUALITY. AND FINDING REALLY INNOVATIVE WAYS TO LEVERAGE IT. AS I LIKE TO SAY, WOMEN CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO BECAUSE THEY ARE NEVER IT. — Cindy Gallop
Reclaiming the act of loving your partner and making babies as positive and natural. Sex-Negative
Sex is bad, dirty, wrong, and sinful.
Sex is good, healthy, and natural.
The Future of Sex Podcast hosted by Bryony Cole explores the evolving worlds of sex and tech.
SEX-POSITIVE FEMINISM EMBRACES THE ENTIRE RANGE OF HUMAN SEXUALITY AND IS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT SEXUAL FREEDOM IS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF WOMEN’S FREEDOM. — Madison Young
In Paris, you can attend booty therapy classes to learn how to feel proud of your own body.
Or join the Skirt Club, an underground community for girls who play with girlsâ€Ś
Esther Perel is a Belgian psychotherapist notable for exploring the tension between the need for security and the need for freedom in human relationships.
Women are lucky, they get to have the only organ in the human body dedicated exclusively for pleasure: the clitoris! In this humorous and instructive animated documentary, learn more about this unrecognized anatomy and its unknown herstory.
You can learn orgasmic meditation. Orgasmic Meditation is a practice that combines the power and attention of meditation with the deeply human, deeply felt, and connected experience of orgasm.
YOU CAN ALSO DISCOVER FEMINIST PORN
Feminist porn requirements according to the Feminist Porn Awards (FPA): Women involved in the production/conception/direction. Depicts real female pleasure/orgasms and agency for all performers, especially women. More diverse representation of races, genders, sexualities, etc. Somehow challenges mainstream porn tropes, expands the boundaries of sexual representation on film.
Good For Her, Toronto’s premiere sex and sexuality shop, launched the Feminist Porn Awards screening the most creative, expressive, diverse, and erotic pornography the industry has to offer.
As porn star and performance artist Annie Sprinkle famously said, “The answer to bad porn isn’t no porn… it’s to try and make better porn!” Some websites help us to understand more about women’s pleasure. OMGYES is a modern hands-on exploration of women’s sexual pleasure based on new research and using touchscreen simulations so you can try it all yourself. We finally have the openness and research to take a clear-headed look at the many nuances of women’s sexual pleasure. The research combines the wisdom of 2,000 women, ages 18-95, revealing techniques that hadn't even been named yet.
The Pleasure Project offers a global mapping of people and resources who promote pleasure and sexy safe sex in the public health world. New communities explore alternative relationships. In Portugal, the Tamera community researches and implements new social structures that support relationships based on solidarity between man and woman. It is a political act to liberate ourselves from fear/guilt/shame around love and sexuality. According to Tamera, blocked and repressed sexual energy is the root of violence. Sexuality is the highest form of energy for humans that we know of. It must no longer be negated and vilified. It is the most sacred element of life. Tamera's Terra Nova online course envisions a radically positive post-capitalist society.
Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.
The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: radical inclusion, self-reliance, self-expression, community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, de-commodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.
SO LET’S ENJOY!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Watch Erika Lust’s TED Talk: “It’s time for porn to change.” Read “She Comes First” by Ian Kerner. Watch the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” or read the book. The Handmaid's Tale is a 1985 dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian, Christian theonomy that has overthrown the United States government, the novel explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain individualism and independence.
Read about sex positivity. Discover feminist porn. Register for a sexually empowering class (pole dancing, twerking, tantra yoga). Buy yourself a sex toy. Go to Burning Man. Join a women’s march. Knit a pussy hat with your friends. Embrace your body! NEVER FORGET THAT A POLITICAL, ECONOMICAL OR RELIGIOUS CRISIS IS ENOUGH TO CAST DOUBT ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS. THESE RIGHTS WILL NEVER BE VESTED. YOU HAVE TO STAY VIGILANT YOUR WHOLE LIFE. — Simone de Beauvoir
Chapter 14 â€“ Violence
THE PROBLEM: ONE IN THREE
One day I woke up to this…
WTF? What world are we living in? Women live in a dangerous world. Where they avoid certain activities because they fear for their safety.
TA X I Getting into subway cars with just men in them.
Eating in public might attract unwanted attention.
Letting the cab driver drop us off directly in front of our building.
Things women can’t do. Get drunk, because you never know if someone might try to assault you when you’re under the influence. Leave our drinks at the bar, unattended, because someone might try to drug them. Move into certain neighborhoods or live on certain blocks, because the harassment is too severe. Meet our creepy landlords, the cable guy, or the electrician by ourselves, because it makes us feel unsafe. 359
Travel solo, because there are certain places where it’s just not safe to be a woman traveling alone. Try couch-surfing, because staying at a stranger’s house seems like an invitation for trouble. Run alone at night, because we fear attackers. Talk back to harassers, because you never know if the abusive words will escalate to violent actions. Go on a date or buy something on Craigslist without telling a friend exactly where we’ll be, because we’re aware there’s always the threat of danger. Walk home at night without holding our keys out, because you never know when you might need a makeshift weapon. Wear flimsy clothing when we’re out walking by ourselves, because harassers see it as an invitation to bother us. Wear loud or outrageous clothing because that’ll invite comments from strange men too. Wear anything that will expose our breasts or remind men that we’re women, because that’s seen as an invitation for leering. Wear a ponytail, because it will make it easier for an attacker to grab our hair. Wear high heels, because it’ll make it harder to run faster if we need to. Engage in small talk with a man, because he may interpret it as an invitation to come on to us in a lecherous way. Make eye contact with strangers, because it’s seen as an invitation to approach us. Even smiling can be seen as tacit approval to talk or approach us. Eat food in public — like ice cream cones — that migh t attract unwanted male attention. Ride our bikes late at night, because we don’t want to deal with the harassment. Stay at a party or a show after our friends have gone home, because we don’t want to worry about being stranded in a potentially threatening situation. Get into a subway car with just men in it, because we’re afraid something might happen. Instead, we scope out subway cars with other women already in them. Walk around late at night with headphones on and blasting music, because we’re afraid attackers might come up behind us. Answer the door to unexpected visitors, just in case it’s someone who got into the building randomly who might be planning to attack. Let the cab driver/our date drop us off directly in front our homes, because we don’t want random guys to know where we live. Walk directly home, sometimes, if we’re afraid someone is following us. Instead, we’ll stop at a neighborhood bar and pretend we’re meeting someone.
Give our last names to strangers or potential dates, because it makes it that much easier for a stranger to find out where we live, or where we work. Stay late at work by ourselves, because of the potential of being attacked. Use an ATM that’s outside or isolated, because we fear being attacked. Is it OK to live in fear?
Source: Buzzfeed. Julie Gerstein
Every day, anywhere in the world, walking in the street as a female is a challenge...
...with drastic effects in terms of depression and self-esteem. Sometimes reaching a massive scale, like in Cologne or in Bangalore in the recent years. And most men are unaware of this constant unconscious pressure.
Yet, it’s pretty simple…
"This is what it feels like" art installation shows men exactly what it feels like being cat called.
Homophobia: The fear that other men treat you the way you treat women.
Everywhere, women are told what to wear or what not to wear to avoid violence. Sometimes men think the dress is too short…or too long.
As a consequence, the female body has to be hidden because it triggers male desire.
Or results in victim blaming. Or women being told they were "asking for it."
Artist: Rosea Posey
Katherine Cambareri's powerful photo series shows what people were wearing when they were sexually assaulted. It has nothing to do with the clothes.
WHEN I'M RAPED, PEOPLE SAY THAT I'VE LOST MY HONOUR. HOW DID I LOSE MY HONOUR? MY HONOUR IS NOT IN MY VAGINA. IT IS A PATRIARCHAL IDEA THAT MY RAPE WILL DEFILE THE HONOUR OF MY COMMUNITY. I'D LIKE TO TELL EVERYONE, WHY DID YOU PLACE YOUR COMMUNITY'S HONOUR IN A WOMAN'S VAGINA? WE NEVER DID THAT. IT IS THE RAPIST WHO LOSES HIS HONOUR, WE DON'T. — Kamla Bhasin
Dress or behavior does not matter. Harassmap breaks down the clothing myth: “According to the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights 2008 study, 72 percent of women who experience sexual harassment wear the hijab (head covering) or the niqab (full face and body veil). In 2008, that percentage was about the same as the percentage of total women wearing the hijab and niqab in Egyptian society, which indicates that the average Egyptian woman gets harassed regardless of her clothing and appearance.” No matter what they wear, women experience “the longest war.” In Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit hits us with a barrage of acts of violence committed against women and is outraged about how we all turn a blind eye to it. She calls this “the longest war.”
A world where one out of three women will be beaten or abused by their partner is not a happy place.
1 IN 3 WOMEN worldwide will experience some form of physical or sexual voiolence in their lives.
Source: World Health Organization
603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime.
Â Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children (below 18 years of age). Of those women, more than 1 in 3 â€” or some 250 million â€“ were married before 15.
Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. The most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners, or boyfriends.
At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries. In most of these countries, the majority of girls were cut before age 5.
Adult women account for almost half of all human trafficking victims detected globally. Women and girls together account for about 70% with girls representing two out of every three child trafficking victims.
An estimated 246 million girls and boys experience school-related violence every year, and one in four girls say that they never feel comfortable using school bathrooms.
1 in 10 women in the European Union report having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15 (including having received unwanted sexually explicit emails or SMS messages, or inappropriate advances on social networking sites). The risk is highest among young women between 18 and 29 years of age.
Because violence is about power. Through my staring, my insults, my threats, my stalking, my beating, my raping, my killing, I control you. I have power OVER you.
And this control takes many shapes.
I make sure you donâ€™t have funds to run away and live your life.
I humiliate you and destroy your self-esteem.
You are afraid to share your thoughts online. Your opinion is not heard.
I own you. If you want to leave me, I shame you in front of everybody.
Sexual Abuse/Rape Genital cutting
I own your body.
You live in constant fear.
I eradicate your sexual pleasure.
A global pandemic.
And perpetrators use different tactics.
Source: UN Women Source: European Agency for Fundamental Rights
Financial abuse makes it hard for victims to leave. Economic abuse is a form of abuse when one partner has control over the other partner's access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim's capacity to support him/herself and forces him/her to depend on the perpetrator financially. It is related to, or also known as, financial abuse, which is the illegal or unauthorized use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables (including changing the person's will to name the abuser as heir), often fraudulently obtaining power of attorney, followed by deprivation of money or other property, or by eviction from own home. It can take different shapes. Forbidding the victim to work. Sabotaging work or employment opportunities by stalking or harassing the victim at the workplace, or causing the victim to lose her job by physically battering her prior to important meetings or interviews. Controlling how all of the money is spent. Not allowing the victim access to bank accounts. Withholding money or giving “an allowance.” Excluding the victim in investment or banking decisions. Forbidding the victim from attending job training or advancement opportunities. Forcing the victim to write bad checks or file fraudulent tax returns. Running up large amounts of debt on joint accounts or taking bad credit loans. Refusing to work or contribute to the family income. Withholding funds the victim or children need to obtain basic needs such as food and medicine. Hiding assets. Stealing the victim’s identity, property, or inheritance. Forcing the victim to work in a family business without pay. Refusing to pay bills and ruining the victims’ credit score Forcing the victim to turn over public benefits or threatening to turn the victim in for “cheating or misusing benefits.” Filing false insurance claims. Evading or refusing to pay child support; manipulating the divorce process by drawing it out or by hiding or not disclosing assets. 366
Women also face emotional abuse. Psychological violence involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming, and manipulation. Psychological violence is used to control and dominate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven't dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves. According to UN Women, 43% of women in the 28 European Union member states have experienced some form of psychological violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Nothing is more damaging to your confidence and self-esteem than being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike physical abuse, which rears its ugly head in dramatic outbursts, emotional abuse can be more insidious and elusive. In some cases, neither the abuser nor the victim is fully aware it's happening. Abusers consistently and repeatedly make mean jokes and criticize and judge their partner negatively. Abusers humiliate their partners. They insult and put their partners down both in private and in front of others as a method of eroding their self-esteem, which they hope will make their partners more dependent on them. Then, if the victim or someone else protests, the abuser will laugh it off as a joke and refuse to talk about it.
A few examples of emotional abuse. Constant criticism or attempts to manipulate and control. Shaming and blaming with hostile sarcasm or outright verbal assault. The use of shaming and belittling language, verbal abuse, name-calling. Withholding affection. PunishmentÂ and threats of punishment. Refusal to accept responsibility (mind games, gaslighting). Refusing to communicate at all. Isolating her from supportive friends and family.
The French movie, My King, is a good example of what emotional abuse looks like in a relationship.
According to Bonnie Burstow, being understanding over abuse from male partners who are hurting is part of our oppression as women. Emotional abuse, just like any other form of abuse, is about power. Emotional abuse, like physical abuse, is used to control, demean, harm, or punish a woman. While the forms of abuse may vary, the end result is the same: a woman is fearful of her partner and changes her behavior to please him or be safe from harm. Research has shown that being female is the single largest risk factor for being a victim of abuse in heterosexual relationships, something that is clearly reflective of women's lower status in our society. Source: American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family
Violence can also be virtual. Women are being sent repeated, threatening, or harassing messages: trolling, cyberbullying, online hate speech, blackmail and rape and death threats through different social media platforms. 368
Technology allows abusers to stalk their victims online, locating them and monitoring their movements, leading sometimes to offline violence.
As a consequence, women (especially young women or minorities) censor themselves online.
In France, 1 out of 5 victims of cyberviolence closed an account to protect themselves.
57% of LGBTQ Internet users censor themselves to avoid cyberharassment. Source: VsCyberH
41% of women from 15 to 29 say they censor themselves online because they fear cyberharassment.
70% of female victims of cyberharassment say they have received no support from close friends or family. Source: University of Bedfordshire. Cyberstalking in the UK.
Across the world, there are 200 million fewer women online than men. This means men have more opportunities to present their perspectives online and hold even more power over women. 369
Women are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online. Women are more targeted by revenge porn. The Mischa Barton sex tape, Emma Watsonâ€™s leaked photos, and alleged naked shots of Amanda Seyfried have brought revenge porn to the forefront. Revenge porn is a violation of trust between two people whose purpose is to publicly humiliate the other. Work is not a safe place eitherâ€Ś According to UN Women, in the European Union, 75% of women in management and leadership positions have experienced some sort of sexual harassment in the workplace in their lifetimes. 28% of women in the US military experienced rape during their military service by fellow military men. The documentary The Invisible War tells heartbreaking stories of women assaulted by superiors or colleagues while defending their country. None of those who reported rape in the years covered by this documentary kept their job. Military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire! Only 8% of sexual assault cases are prosecuted in the military. Only 2% result in convictions. Young women also face dating abuse. Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the U.S. experience physical abuse from a dating partner every year. One in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. One in 10 high school students has been deliberately hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the
highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average. Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify, and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it. One in three (36%) dating college students have given a dating partner their computer, online access, email, or social network passwords, and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse. One in six college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship. Source: Love is Respect
Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, the victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 9 people are raped every hour in France according to Collectif Féministe Contre le Viol. According to UN Women, around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives.
And marital rape is still not acknowledged in many parts of the world.
It even passes unnoticed in our movies. Remember that Gone with the Wind scene? “This one night, you’re not turning me out.” And how she wakes up smiling?
SOME MYTHS ABOUT RAPE NEED TO BE BUSTED Myth: Women are most likely to be raped outside, after dark, and by a stranger, so women shouldn't go out alone at night. Fact: Only 10% of rapes are committed by “strangers.” 90% of rapes are committed by known men, and often by someone the survivor has previously trusted or even loved. People are raped in their homes, their workplaces, and other settings where they felt safe. Rapists can be friends, colleagues, clients, neighbors, family members, partners or exes. Risk of rape shouldn't be used as an excuse to control women's movements and restrict their rights and freedom. Myth: Only young, “attractive” women and girls who are flirtatious and wear tight clothes are raped. Fact: People of all ages, appearances, classes, cultures, abilities, genders, sexualities, races and religions are raped. Rape is an act of violence and control; the perceived "attractiveness" of a victim has very little to do with it. There is no excuse or mitigation for sexual violence, and it is never the victim/survivor's fault. What someone was wearing when they were raped or how they behave is irrelevant. Myth: When it comes to sex, women and girls sometimes "play hard to get" and say “no” when they really mean “yes.” 372
Fact: Everyone has the legal right to say â€œnoâ€? to sex and to change their mind about having sex at any point of sexual contact; if the other person doesn't stop, they are committing sexual assault or rape. When it comes to sex, we must respect the wishes of our sexual partner and believe what they tell us about what they do and don't want. Myth: If two people have had sex with each other before, it's always OK to have sex again. Fact: If a person is in a relationship with someone or has had sex with them before, this does not mean that they cannot be sexually assaulted or raped by that person. Consent must be given and received every time two people engage in sexual contact. It is important to check in with our sexual partners and make sure that anything sexual that happens between us is what we both want, every time. Myth: Alcohol, drugs, stress, or depression can turn people into rapists. Fact: Drugs and alcohol are never the cause of rape or sexual assault. It is the attacker who is committing the crime, not the drugs and/or alcohol. Likewise, stress and depression don't turn people into rapists or justify sexual violence. There are no excuses. Myth: Someone who has willingly drunk lots of alcohol or taken drugs shouldn't then complain about being raped. Fact: In law, consent must be fully and freely given by someone with the capacity to do so. If a person is unconscious or incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs, they are unable to give their consent to sex. Having sex with a person who is incapacitated through alcohol or drugs is therefore rape. No one asks or deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted; 100% of the responsibility lies with the perpetrator. Myth: Men of certain races and backgrounds are more likely to commit sexual violence. Fact: There is no typical rapist. People who commit sexual violence come from everyeconomic, ethnic, racial, age, and social group. Myth: It's only rape if someone is physically forced into sex and has the injuries to show for it. Fact: Sometimes people who are raped sustain internal and/or external injuries, and sometimes they don't. Rapists will sometimes use weapons or threats of violence to prevent a physical struggle, or sometimes they will take advantage of someone who isn't able to consent because they are drunk or asleep. Many
people who are sexually attacked are unable to move or speak from fear and shock. Just because someone doesn't have visible injuries doesn't mean they weren't raped. Myth: Once a man is sexually aroused, he cannot help himself. He has to have sex. Fact: Men can quite easily control their urges to have sex; they do not need to rape someone to satisfy them. Rape is an act of violence and control, not sexual gratification. Myth: People often lie about being raped because they regret having sex with someone or out of spite or for attention. Fact: Disproportionate media focus on false rape allegations perpetuates the public perception that lying about sexual violence is common when in fact the opposite is true. False allegations of rape are very rare. The vast majority of survivors choose not to report rape to the police. One significant reason for this is the fear of not being believed. Source: https://rapecrisis.org.uk/mythsvsrealities.php
Rape is even used as a weapon of war, a deliberate military strategy. From the systematic rape of women in Bosnia, to an estimated 200,000 women raped during the battle for Bangladeshi independence in 1971, to Japanese rapes during the 1937 occupation of Nanking the past century offers too many examples. Source: How did rape become a weapon of war? By Laura Smith-Spark. BBC News
And many countries still practice female genital cuttting, denying sexual pleasure to millions of women. 374
Half of all women killed worldwide are killed by their partner or family. In the US, 3 women are killed every day by a current or former intimate partner. One every three days in France.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS TERRORISM WITH MORE VICTIMS Do you know that there have been more US women killed by their partners since 9/11 than military deaths from wars? The number of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of US women who were murdered by current or ex-partners during that time was 11,766. The US military response to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq has cost up to $4 trillion, and homeland security has cost an additional $1 trillion. In the same period, terrorists have killed 33 people in the United States.
WE ARE THE ONLY SPECIES WHERE MALES KILL FEMALES OF THEIR OWN SPECIES. — Françoise Héritier
And this has a serious cost. For the individual and for society. The personal cost of sexual assault in the US: $108,447. This is the amount an adult victim in Michigan can expect to pay in medical and emergency services, mental health care, and in lost work productivity according to "The Rape Tax: Tangible and Intangible Costs of Sexual Violence. The societal cost of each rape in the US: $267,000. Source: Huffington Post. Being A Sexual Assault Survivor In College Often Comes With Huge Bills.
What is most costly for society? Domestic violence or war? Oxford and Stanford University studies argue that, despite much greater coverage in the media, war and civil violence account for less than 5% of the total cost of violence worldwide. The greatest burden instead comes from physical violence against women and children in the home.
Source: Benefits and Costs of the Conflict and Violence Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The gigantic cost of domestic violence: $8 trillion a year. Civil wars and conflicts cost 0.2% of global GDP. 376
Yet, violence against women is not at the center of the agenda. In most democratic regimes, it’s not a priority. It is seen as anecdotal and marginal, linked to poverty or alcoholism. This denial is due to the fact that most civic leaders — politicians, judges, police officers, etc. — are still men and do not experience women’s reality. In authoritarian regimes, it is a very useful tool to keep the population under control. Women’s bodies belong to men in exchange for men’s bodies belonging to industrial production in times of peace and the state in times of war. Women’s oppression facilitates the state’s oppression. It allows men to unleash their frustration on a subordinate. If not, they would rebel. It is a kind of compensation for their obedience. According to Wilhelm Reich in The Sexual Revolution: “An authoritarian system needs submissive subjects and the most efficient factory of the later is the patriarchal families where power relations between the head of state and his people is mirrored in the ties between the head of family and his dependents. The authoritarian state has a representative in every family, the father who is the state’s most valuable tool. The best way for a father to keep his children in line is by clamping down on their sexual urges. Which results in the paralysis of the rebellious forces. Sexual repression is the hallmark of any dictatorship.” As a consequence, our society is very tolerant of violence against women. It’s embedded in our culture.
Our whole history is plagued by rape.
The rape of women or youth is a common theme in Greek or Roman mythology.
Hades and Persephone
Apollo and Daphne
The rape of the Sabine women
Even the creation of Rome is based on rape.
We learnt from Ovid that “no means yes.”
And that women always lie.
Iconic female figures of sexual betrayal like Eve have been used to create the notion that women aren’t trustworthy. And it’s not only powerful women who are discounted. “If you go back to medieval times, women’s stories have been seen as dangerous,” explains Leigh Gilmore, a visiting professor of women’s and gender studies at Wellesley. “They’re threatening to institutions, including the church, government, other interests. To keep women’s stories from taking root, people in power, generally men, go straight at the credibility of the woman.” Every day, “women who report sexual assault or rape are greeted with skepticism.” We follow the same patterns for undermining women’s testimony and credibility.
So, we celebrate rapists, like Don Juan and Jupiter. And we associate power with sexual domination. Romantic comedies and social media teach us that stalking is okay if itâ€™s in the name of love. And that rapists walk away. Perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals. Out of every 1,000 roberies:
Out of every 1,000 rapes:
619 are reported to the police.
310 are reported to the police.
167 reports lead to arrest.
57 reports lead to arrest.
20 robbers will be incarcerated.
6 rapists will be incarcerated. 994 perpetrators walk free.
Source: RAINN US
According to the UN, in most countries, less than 40% of women who experienced violence sought help of any sort. Of those, less than 10% sought help from the police. Women make up less than 35% of police personnel in all 86 countries with data. Because victims prefer to avoid the risk of being blamed, shamed, or not believed. In reality, only 2-8% of rape allegations are false. But we live in a rape culture... Rape Culture: A setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality.
...which does not believe women.
Sexual assault: When someone touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person’s consent.
We constantly watch comedy shows full of sarcasm and humiliation and we listen to angry popular music with violent lyrics. The media teaches us that humiliating others is fun and models uncaring and hurtful behaviors as “cool.” Relations of domination, humiliation, and violence are sexy, glamorous, and desirable. If we lack love, we start to lose touch with ourselves and others, we become angry, cruel, insensitive, and violent. And we become insensitive to crime, terrorism, and war. Rape isn’t caused by drinking or short dresses. It is fostered by a culture that tells men that they can act with impunity. Violence against women is basically the symptom of society devaluing women and tolerating dominant male behavior.
Source: Google Autofill Campaign UN Women
Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape Culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety. Rape Culture affects every woman. The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female
population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape. This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture. Examples of rape culture: Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”) Sexually explicit jokes. Tolerance of sexual harassment. Inflating false rape report statistics. Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history. Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television. Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive. Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive. Pressure on men to “score.” Pressure on women not to appear “cold.” Assuming only promiscuous women get raped. Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped. Refusing to take rape accusations seriously. Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape.
Universities prefer to cover up the situation to preserve their reputation.
Percentage of U.S. Campuses Disclosing Zero Reported Incidents of Rape reported at least one incident
reported zero incidents
WHAT FRUSTRATES ME AT MY SCHOOL IS THAT WE’VE HAD PEOPLE EXPELLED FOR CHEATING, BUT NOBODY HAS EVER BEEN EXPELLED FOR RAPE. 381
More examples of rape culture: Women who come forward are questioned about what they were wearing. Survivors who come forward are asked, “Were you drinking?” People say, “She was asking for it.” The lyrics of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” mirror the words of actual rapists and was the number one song in the U.S. The mainstream media mourns the end of the convicted Steubenville rapists’ football careers and does not mention the young girl who was victimized. Cyberbullies take pictures of sexual assaults and harass their victims online after the act. In 31 US states, rapists can legally sue for child custody if the rape results in pregnancy. College campus advisers tasked with supporting the student body shame survivors who report their rapes. Colleges are more concerned with getting sued by assailants than with supporting survivors. Our tolerance fuels the rape culture.
And the most insignificant jokes prove our cultural tolerance.
Source: Ashley Fairbanks
Sandra Newman, in her article "Why men rape?” has a very clear answer: "Rape is easy, that’s all. The myth behind rape is that male sexuality is predatory by nature. And this theory leads to victim blaming. But rape is more a process of intimidation to keep women in fear: the motive is power, not sex. It is sexual behavior in the primary service of non-sexual needs. Rapists are regular men with misogynist beliefs. The overwhelming majority of rapists assume they would never be punished. Rape is the violent crime least likely to be reported: it has to become a priority. We need to change the culture at the base.” Sexual violence is not about lust. It is about control. We have learnt in media, family history, and religious texts that women belong to men. That men are superior to women and can do anything they want to them without being punished. That the role of a girl is to be chaste when she is single and docile when she is in a relationship. And that men are entitled to punish her if she does not conform. Through shame, abuse, or violence. 383
Women have to be kept under control. Women who challenge patriarchal norms are shamed and ostracized by friends and families. It is the price they pay for voicing their opinions. As a consequence, many women prefer to shut up and silently conform to the status quo for fear of being rejected and isolated. But the price to pay for disobeying the rules can be far more violent. Throughout history, and even today, women are burnt, locked up, or killed by family members merely for voicing their opinions or trying to claim control over their own bodies. Malleus Maleficarum, the medieval handbook for persecuting and burning “witches,” was blessed by Pope Innocent VIII. A woman who rebelled against Victorian domesticity risked being declared insane and committed to an asylum. This was usually at her husband’s or father’s request, and she generally had no right to contest or appeal. Women were further disempowered by moral treatment once locked away. This cornerstone of Victorian psychiatry claimed male dominance was therapeutic. The doctor ruled the asylum like a father ruled his family. Nearly all Victorian physicians considered women more fragile and sensitive than men. They believed women were more susceptible to nervous breakdowns. The classic “female malady” was hysteria. Electroshock therapy has been used to silence women about sexual abuse and sexual or physical assault. Electroshock therapy has no proven efficacy in relieving depression, but it is proven to be brain-damaging, controlling, and terrorizing for patients. Influential feminist writers of the time criticised psychiatry. They argued it was one of the main ways society controlled women. Women who did not behave “properly” risked ending up in psychiatric care. Another psychiatric therapy that drew feminist attention was the class of drugs called minor tranquilizers. The most famous was diazepam, introduced in 1963 under the trade name Valium. The popularity of minor tranquilizers reflected how dissatisfied women felt about their lives. Their dissatisfaction was treated as a medical problem rather than a spur to political change. Feminist writers warned that psychiatric drugs were being used to silence women like asylums had been used in the Victorian era.
Psychiatry is a feminist issue. Feminist therapy considers mental disorders as coping mechanisms to survive trauma. According to feminist therapist Bonnie Burstow, “Insidious trauma [comes from] living day after day in a sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, and ableist society: being ogled by men on the street, slaving long hours and for minimum wages in a fish processing plant, hearing racist innuendos even from one’s White allies.” In her book, Radical Feminist Therapy, Bonnie Burstow reminds us that psychiatry is a white patriarchal European invention. Before its creation, powerful female healers known as witches, midwives, and wise women (often lesbian) were the most sought after medical experts in that culture (and in many other indigenous cultures) because they were the most affordable, reliable, and effective. Europe’s elite male medical clan, the Church, and businessmen were threatened by the power of these wise women and condemned and punished them, i.e. the infamous witch burnings. Before long, the male physician had rewritten history by casting the witch as madwoman and himself as healer. The strong woman was pathologized and placed under man’s control. But trauma is powerful. It contributes to the development of profound survival skills, an enhanced ability to understand other traumatized and oppressed individuals and groups, a passion for justice, a desire for a different kind of society, a certain critical realism, and what is particularly significant, a less distorted view of the world. Source: © Feminist Rag 2012 to present day.
The creation of terms like rape culture, slut shaming, and revenge porn have given a name to widespread phenomenons so that women around the world realize they share the same experiences and they are not alone. Education is part of the answer.
Parents raising sons hold all the power to change the world. Instead of our parents teaching daughters caution, start teaching your sons consent. Instead of our parents teaching daughters fear, start teaching your sons respect. Teach your sons about gender equality. Teach your sons what “No” means. (Hint: It means no.) Teach your sons that they aren’t entitled to any woman’s body, attention, or time. Instead of parents teaching daughters modesty, teach your sons about personal space. Instead of parents teaching daughters to avert gazes, teach your sons not to stare. Teach your sons about healthy masculinity, healthy romance, and healthy sexual relationships. Teach your sons to be enraged by rape, assault, and crimes against all women, not just women they can process as wives, mothers, and sisters. That all people, of all genders, warrant equal respect. Your little boy will watch movies in which the hero gets the girl by stalking and harassing her. Teach your sons that what they’re witnessing is a crime. Protect your sons from the toxic pop culture threatening to corrupt their notions of right and wrong. Source: Rega Jha. BuzzFeed India.
Raise your sons differently. Teach your sons that love is built, not coerced. That sex is agreed upon, not taken. Fathers, your sons will learn how to treat women from how you treat women. Demonstrate respect. Demonstrate equality. Teach your sons that it is manly to educate other men in equality, too. Teach your sons how to express emotion. That violence is not an option. That nobody, no matter what they’re wearing or drinking, “deserves” or “asks for” it. Instead of our parents teaching us to be wary of men, raise your sons to be men who don’t need to be feared. Don’t shame the girls, educate the boys.
Project Consent is an international nonprofit campaign that combats sexual assault and rape culture by raising awareness and spreading education.
Doesnâ€™t mean I owe you campaign by the Avalon Sexual Assault Center in Canada raises awareness of entitlement, misogyny, language, coercion, consent, and bodily autonomy.
Source: Doesnâ€™t Mean I Owe You campaign. Avalon, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
This UN Women campaign in Mexico shows how men look at your mother/sister/friend every day.
The Womenâ€™s Media Center Speech Project explains what online abuse is.
Tech 4 Good
Technology is also offering new apps fostering womenâ€™s safety.
Circle of 6 allows you to identify 6 close contacts to alert in case of danger.
Lifeline Response allows your phone to trigger an alarm system and call the authorities.
Safetipin crowdsources information based on nine factorsÂ in order to measure how safe the area in question is. These factors are lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walking paths, transportation in the area, gender, and feeling. Safetipin is expanding its international presence. The app is already operational in Jakarta, Nairobi, Bogota, and Manila, and data collection is underway in eight more cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur, and Johannesburg.
Tech 4 Good
The Power of the Crowd
Jessica Ladd developed Callisto, a college sexual assault reporting system by survivors, for survivors. Started in the UK, the Everyday Sexism project allows people all around the world to give their own testimonial about their experience. It resulted in a book showing that assault or sexism are not isolated experiences but a global phenomenon.
The app Hollaback allows women to share stories of sexual harassment and get support.
In Egypt, Harassmap geolocalizes in real time sexual assaults in the streets of Cairo. They identify the areas most at risk and train shopkeepers, taxi drivers, police officers to help.
Purple Purse is working on financial abuse.
Chayn provides different toolkits for women to identify and escape abuse. 392
Tech 4 Good
The Power of the Crowd
The Hunting Ground is a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate. Many college students who have been raped on campus face retaliation and harassment as they fight for justice. Since the film’s premiere at Sundance, it has been screened at the White House and hundreds of college campuses across the country. The documentary has inspired new laws in New York and California and changes in campus policies. Take Back the Tech! (TBTT!) works to get more women online and trained in new technologies so they can have a louder voice. It also seeks recognition for women’s achievements in technology, and for these achievements to be fairly documented on sites like Wikipedia. TBTT! is part of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition. Through this coalition, TBTT! has pressured Facebook and Twitter to change some of their policies to offer more protection for women’s freedom of speech and freedom from violence. The coalition also managed to get Facebook to relax its stance on people using their real names on the site. The policy was seen as a major issue for women with new identities escaping abusive situations. Protect Our Defenders (POD) is the only national organization solely dedicated to ending the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military and to combating a culture of pervasive misogyny, sexual harassment, and retribution against victims.
Artists change the narrative. Stop Telling Women to Smile is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work addresses gender-based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces. Transform your trauma into art. The famous baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi was raped by an artist hired by her father to teach her drawing. Upon pressing charges against her rapist, she was given a humiliating virginity test and even tortured to confess she was lying. Even worse, her rapist got away with it. Gentileschi used art to express her outrage. During the trial, Artemisia began painting “Judith Beheading Holofernes.” The violence of Judith beheading the male general speaks for itself. Her protagonists were avengers, they did not wait for justice to take its course. Powerful photo series Still not asking for it calls out rape culture and victim blaming. Australian photographer Rory Banwell’s powerful photo series is tackling the culture of blaming the victims of sexual violence.
The short movie Oppressed Majority from Eleonore Pourriat imagines how a man might experience a sexual assault in a matriarchal society.
Louise O’Neill’s book, Asking For It, nails down a culture where women are blamed for what happens to them. 394
In Scotland, the campaign Not Ever explains that, no matter how short or sexy the skirt, no woman asked to be raped. Ever.
I NEVER ASK FOR IT I NEVER ASK FOR IT
Different comics or action heroes challenge the narrative.
Commando Culotte produced this comic that talks about â€œthe impunity of famous men,â€? listing the violence committed by famous men and the punishment each received.
Artist: Mirion Malle
Artist: Mirion Malle
Projet Crocodiles is a blog from Thomas Mathieu telling real stories of sexism and harassment. The harassers are portrayed as crocodiles pulullating in our streets, work places, or public transport.
In India, the Blank Noise Initiative invites us to occupy public spaces.
Some lingerie lines promote messages about consent.
IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATION OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR. â€” Desmond Tutu
The Power of the Crowd
Social media campaigns offer a powerful tool to denounce sexual assault. Pakistani women — and their online supporters — are not quietly accepting a proposed new law from the country’s powerful Council of Islamic ideology that would allow men to “lightly beat” their wives for a variety of offenses including refusing sex, dressing improperly, talking to strangers, or speaking too loudly. A campaign called #TryBeatingMeLightly started by Pakistani photographer Fanhad Rapier has gained momentum online as women have begun using the hashtag to criticize the bill. Rapier created a Facebook album with black-and-white photos of Pakistani women with captions about what might happen if a man tried to hurt them. Brazilian feminist NGO Think Olga launched a Twitter hashtag campaign #PrimeiroAssédio – “first harassment” – where women could share their experiences. The past year has seen a big increase in feminist activism in Brazil – a country where more than 10% of reported cases of violence against women are sexual assaults, according to Mapa da Violência (Map of Violence), a Brazilian organization that tracks violent crime. Among the victims, 9,000 are adolescent girls. A month after Think Olga’s incentive, Não me Kahlo launched another Twitter hashtag campaign that quickly gained momentum – #meuamigosecreto (my secret friend) encouraged women to share stories of machismo, “mansplaining” (explaining to a woman in a condescending manner), “manterrupting” (sexist interruption), and violence against women. The organization published a book about the campaign called My Secret Friend: Feminism Through Social Networks. Earlier on, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was also launched after the abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. Source: Women of the World
#MeToo revealed the ubiquity of sexual assault. Activist Tarana Burke, founder of youth organization Just Be Inc., created the “Me Too” campaign in 2007 long before hashtags even existed.
The movement began on social media after a call to action by the actor Alyssa Milano, after the Harvey Weinstein revelations, who wrote: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Nearly 68,000 people have so far replied to Milano’s tweet, and the #MeToo hashtag has been used more than 1m times in the US, Europe, the Middle East and beyond. The French used #balancetonporc, the Spanish #YoTambien, and the local hashtags in Arab countries have been predominant. Facebook said that within 24 hours, 4.7 million people around the world engaged in the #MeToo conversation, with over 12m posts, comments, and reactions. This movement shows how a hashtag can become a rallying cry and help uncover the colossal scale of the problem. Survivors are speaking up. Telling is breaking the silence injunction, joining with others, and standing up for self. Especially when the law is essentially patriarchal.
Emma Sulkowicz, student of Columbia University was raped by a fellow student in her dorm room during her sophomore year and her attacker was cleared in a school hearing. As a protest, she walked around campus during the school year while carrying a mattress. The mattress was the centerpiece of Sulkowicz’s Carry That Weight senior arts thesis. And the resilience of women to centuries of violence is outstanding. In Spain, the Ana Bella foundation is changing the narrative from victims to survivors, showing that women who have experienced gender-based violence possess enormous skills of resilience and resistance to stressful situations. 400
Portugal bans the verbal harassment of women. Several other countries have taken similar moves to tackle the problem of verbal sexual abuse. Belgium banned sexist insults in 2014, and Peru made street harassment punishable with up to 12 years in prison in 2015. Meanwhile, Argentina is poised to ban catcalling, with a fine of up to $775. How the SlutWalk has transformed the rape culture conversation. On April 3, 2011, approximately 3,000 women (and men) marched the streets of Toronto in what they dubbed a SlutWalk. Angered by the comments of a Toronto police officer — who had ill-advisedly said that women shouldn't "dress like sluts" if they wanted to avoid being assaulted — marchers rallied to protest blaming rape victims for their own assaults. To date, more than 50 satellite walks have taken place in major cities around the world, including Boston, London, New Delhi and Sydney. Dozens more are being planned, and the original organizers have said they plan on making SlutWalk an annual event. Eve Ensler is a prominent activist addressing issues of violence against women and girls. In 1998, her experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day raises funds and awareness through annual benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues. In 2012, along with the V-Day movement, Ensler created One Billion Rising, a global protest campaign to end violence, and promote justice and gender equality for women. LET US DANCE TO END THE VIOLENCE. LET US SHAKE THE EARTH INTO AWARENESS. — One Billion Rising
In West Africa, Tostan is working with the communities to reach agreements on the end of female genital cutting. In India, the video campaign Ring The Bell shows how we can ring the bell and stand up when we witness domestic violence.
In Lebanon, the KAFA campaign No law, no vote engaged citizens and personalities to push politicians to approve a law against domestic violence.
Itâ€™s also time for men to stand up.
The powerful Dear Daddy video urges all men to fight rape culture to protect their daughters.
FEMINISM HAS NEVER KILLED ANYBODY. MACHISM DOES EVERY DAY. â€” Benoite Groult
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Our task as individuals is to intervene at all levels. Read about the topic. Be supportive of people around you in a situation of violence. Help them find a way out. Engage your political representatives to pass laws ending violence against women. Stay woke. Woke is a political term of African-American origin that refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. Avoid using language that objectifies or degrades women. Speak out if you hear someone else making an offensive joke or trivializing rape. If a friend says she has been raped or abused, take her seriously and be supportive. Think critically about the media’s messages about women, men, relationships, and violence. Be respectful of others’ physical space, even in casual situations. Always communicate with sexual partners and do not assume consent. Define your own manhood or womanhood. Do not let stereotypes shape your actions. Get involved! Join a student or community group working to end violence against women.
Chapter 15 â€“ Manhood
THE PROBLEM: PATRIARCHY IS CRUSHING OUR MEN TOO
Starting as toddlers, men are consistentlyÂ and aggressively taughtÂ to suppress their emotions.
Progressively trapping them into a boxâ€Ś
The Man Box refers to a set of beliefs communicated by parents, families, the media, peers, and other members of society that place pressure on men to behave a certain way. These pressures tell men to be self-sufficient, to act tough, to be physically attractive, to stick to rigid gender roles, to be heterosexual, to have sexual prowess, and to use aggression to resolve conflicts. 407
FIGURE 3.2 THE MAN BOX IN SEVEN PILLARS
Rigid Masculine Gender Roles
A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn’t really get respect
A guy who doesn’t fight back when others push him around is weak
It is very hard for a man to be successful if he doesn’t look good
Guys should act strong even if they feel scared or nervous inside
Women don’t go for guys who fuss too much about their clothes, hair, and skin
It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house, and take care of younger children
Men should figure out their personal problems on their own without asking others for help
A husband shouldn’t have to do household chores
A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn’t very manly
Men should really be the ones to bring money home to provide for their families, not women
Heterosexuality and Homophobia
Aggression and Control
A gay guy is not a “real man”
A “real man” should have as many sexual partners as he can
Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary
Straight guys being friends with gay guys is totally fine and normal (positive statement)
A “real man” would never say no to sex
A man should always have the final say about decisions in his relationship or marriage If a guy has a girlfriend or wife, he deserves to know where she is all the time !" !"#$%&'$()*
Source: The Man Box, Promundo
And they progressively learn to mask their true selves.
The documentary The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Boys are forced to conform or face the threat of expulsion and abuse. Real men do not express their emotions, except for anger. Real men are financial providers, not care givers. Real men are heterosexual and dominant in and out of the bedroom. Real men are leaders and have the final word in any discussion. Real men are never unemployed. Real men are always confident. Real men play sports and talk about sports as their primary mode of interaction. We admire women who work in “men’s jobs” but we rarely admire men working in “women’s jobs.”
Men and women are taught to equate true masculinity with violence and dominance.
Myths portray men as aggressive and physically dominant.
The pop culture environment that surrounds boys introduces them to a world where traditionally masculine traits—like toughness, aggression, and stoicism—are highly esteemed, while female influence is all but absent. Image: Fight Club
Media gives us ideal images of men as lonesome cowboys, isolated and emotionally disconnected.
NEVER COMPLAIN, NEVER EXPLAIN. â€” Benjamin Disrael
Movies like Fifty Shades of Grey glamorize and legitimize violence against women. We learn to equate love with possession, control, and dominance.
OUR CULTURE HAS INTENTIONALLY BLURRED LINES BETWEEN CONSENT AND ASSAULT David Wong, Executive Editor of Cracked.com, explains in 7 points why so many guys don’t understand sexual consent. 1
Forcing yourself on women makes them love you.
In Star Wars, Han Solo forcefully kisses Leia Skywalker. The result of this encounter is that she falls in love with this man and spends the rest of her life with him.
In Goldfinger, James Bond rapes Pussy Galore in a barn, which causes her to abandon her life of crime and join his side.
Women like to be pursued, and thus always play “hard to get.”
Asking permission is a sign of weakness.
Everything women do is intended to stoke male hunger.
Sexual assault = guy in an alley with a knife.
All sex outside of (heterosexual) marriage is wrong.
Boys will be boys. 411
And political or religious leaders still spread this vision of tough masculinity as an ideal to follow.
IN TIMES WHEN MEN FEEL THAT MASCULINITY HAS BEEN DIMINISHED AND THAT THERE ARE QUESTIONS MARKS OVER THEIR VALUE TO THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION, THEY CAN ENJOY IN FANTASY A RETURN TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS WHERE STRONG, INDEPENDENT MASCULINITY HAD UNQUESTIONABLE RELEVANCE. — MacKinnon
This has also an impact in romantic relationships: We train women to believe that the ideal man is narcissistic and non-committal. “Women seek love from men who cannot give what they did not have. Everyone who tries to create love with an emotionally unaware partner suffers. Romantic love as seen in patriarchal society makes one powerless and out of control. Many men respond to women wanting emotional connection with emotional withdrawal and, in worse case scenarios, abuse.” — Bell Hooks “We know, for instance, that egalitarian marriages breed substantially greater rates of marital satisfaction and happiness, and that traditional marriages breed greater rates of anxiety and depression and dissatisfaction.” — Terry Real
What does it mean to “be a man” nowadays? Study results from Promundo show that the Man Box is alive and well in the US, the UK, and Mexico, with severe, real, and troubling effects on young men’s and young women’s lives. Young men’s mental health is in a worrisome state. Their bravado masks deep insecurities, depression, and frequent thoughts of suicide. Young men are more likely to report providing emotional support to others than they are to report being emotionally vulnerable or seeking help themselves. The Man Box is also a place of extremely risky behaviors, particularly binge drinking and reckless driving. Young men’s notions of physical attractiveness still link primarily with muscle bulk and body shape, as opposed to a more inward, individual sense of confidence and attractiveness. Men in the Man Box in the US and UK are as much as six or seven times more likely to report having perpetrated acts of online or physical bullying against male peers than men outside the Man Box. As these results show, the harms of living in the Man Box certainly outweigh the sense of comfort that some young men derive from aligning with social pressures to be a “real man.” Source: The Man Box, Promundo The International Men and Gender Equality Survey – Middle East and North Africa (IMAGES MENA) is the first study of its kind in the MENA region to take a wide-angle, comparative lens to the lives of men to better understand how they see their positions as men and their attitudes and actions toward gender equality. Some of their results about masculinity: Two-thirds to 90% of men reported exercising these various forms of control, with women affirming that their husbands sought to control them in these ways. The vast majority of the daily care of children and other household tasks are carried out by women, in all four countries. In most of the countries, the results show that a significant proportion of men are under enormous pressure (mostly economic), with little recourse to formal
healthcare, including mental health services, particularly for smoking and substance use.
THERE IS SO MUCH VIOLENCE IN OUR CULTURE BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE TAUGHT TO VALUE POWER AND DOMINANCE, REGARDLESS OF THE COST OF THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. — Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Filmmaker
Traditional and toxic masculinity is harmful to our boys.
Source: The Mask You Live In
And later to our women…
Source: UN Women
THE FIRST ACT OF VIOLENCE THAT PATRIARCHY DEMANDS OF MALES IS NOT VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN. INSTEAD PATRIARCHY DEMANDS OF ALL MALES THAT THEY ENGAGE IN ACTS OF PSYCHIC SELF-MUTILATION, THAT THEY KILL OFF THE EMOTIONAL PARTS OF THEMSELVES. IF AN INDIVIDUAL IS NOT SUCCESSFUL IN EMOTIONALLY CRIPPLING HIMSELF, HE CAN COUNT ON PATRIARCHAL MEN TO ENACT RITUALS OF POWER THAT WILL ASSAULT HIS SELF-ESTEEM. — Bell Hooks
Some extracts from The Will to Change by Bell Hooks. Patriarchal masculinity teaches males to be pathologically narcissistic, infantile, and psychologically dependent on privileges. Patriarchal masculinity teaches emotional stoicism; men are more manly if they do not feel, men don’t feel pain. Patriarchal fathers cannot love their sons because the rules dictate that they stand in competition with them. If the sons don’t behave, they use the A-bomb of family warfare: rejection. The spread of emotional abuse, where an individual systematically diminishes and destroys the inner self of another and belittles that person, injures boys and girls deeply. Unable to cope with the loss of emotional connection, boys internalize the pain and mask it with indifference and rage. They decide not to put their faith in love but in being powerful and dominant. They idealize aloneness and disconnection. In patriarchal culture, men cannot speak their pain. They must constantly wear a mask, live a lie, pretend. Men are hurting, but nobody wants to know about it. We don’t want to shatter the image of the strong man. They live their deep inner misery on their own. If patriarchy was so rewarding, why would there be so much violence and addiction? Why this overwhelming dissatisfaction? In reality, most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. But they fear letting go of the benefits. So they passively support the status quo. Source: Bell Hooks, The Will to Change
PATRIARCHY IS THE SINGLE MOST LIFE-THREATENING SOCIAL DISEASE ASSAULTING THE MALE BODY AND SPIRIT IN OUR WORLD. BUT YET MOST MEN NEVER THINK ABOUT ITS IMPACT ON THEIR LIVES. — Bell Hooks
The male emotion suppression cycle has terrible consequences.
MALE DESPAIR IS ACTUALLY A FAR GREATER THREAT TO PATRIARCHAL ORDER THAN FEMINIST MOVEMENT. — Bell Hooks
The long-term challenges created by emotional isolation are incalculable. Living emotionally-guarded lives is robbing men of their hope, their aspirations, and, for millions of men, their very lives. We are raising our boys to lack empathy. Boys 4 and 5 years old are told to shake it off, man up, don’t be a crybaby, and, worst of all, don’t be a girl. This is because the Man Box devalues any form of emotional expression traditionally deemed to be feminine. A devastating result of this anti-feminine bias is that women, gays, and trans people face epidemic levels of bullying, rape, misogyny, homophobia, and violence.
In the 19th century, it was still ok to be close to your male friends in the US.
The term “homosexuality” was only coined in 1869. Before that time, the strict dichotomy between “gay” and “straight” did not yet exist. Attraction to and sexual activity with other men was thought of as something you did, not something you were. It was a behavior — accepted by some cultures and considered sinful by others. But at the turn of the 20th century, the idea of homosexuality shifted from a practice to a lifestyle and an identity. You did not have temptations towards a certain sin, you were a homosexual person. Thinking of men as either “homosexual” or “heterosexual” became common. And this new category of identity was at the same time pathologized — decried by psychiatrists as a mental illness, by ministers as a perversion, and by politicians as something to be legislated against. As this new conception of homosexuality as a stigmatized identifier took root in American culture, men became much more careful not to send messages to other men, and to women, that they were gay. And this is the reason why, it is theorized, men have become less comfortable with showing affection towards each other over the last century. After WWII, casual touching between men in photographs decreased precipitously. It first vanished among middle-aged men but lingered among younger men. In the 1950s, when homosexuality reached its peak of pathologization, young men followed suit. They created more physical space between themselves. While still affectionate, they began to interact with less ease and intimacy.
The lack of touch in men’s lives results in a higher likelihood of depression, alcoholism, and mental and physical illness. Put simply, touch isolation is making men’s lives less healthy and more lonely. Source: Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men of Touch. Mark Greene
In his acclaimed breakthrough bestseller, I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Terry Real exposes the silent epidemic of depression among men and offers hope for ending the pain and the shame. Men are more lonely. Men who do not connect emotionally find it more difficult to form lasting friendships, typically relying on their wives or workplaces to provide social connections. When men divorce or leave their workplaces, those relationships falter, being more circumstantial than emotionally resonant. The results? Widespread chronic loneliness for men as they enter middle age. One in three men aged 45 or older reported himself to be lonely or socially isolated, according to a 2010 survey conducted by AARP. The impact on health. Between 1999 and 2010, suicide among men aged 35–64 rose by nearly 30%, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although rates have been rising for both sexes, the study found that middle-aged men are three times likelier than women to end their own lives—27.3 deaths versus 8.1 (per 100,000). And the bravado facade is often a cover-up for deep insecurities. It is the underlying sense of inferiority that is the real problem for the narcissist, the grandiosity is just a facade used to cover the deep feelings of inadequacy.
IF I WAS TO SAY WHAT IS THE MAJOR EMOTION OF AMERICAN MASCULINITY, IT IS ANXIETY. WHY? BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOUR MASCULINITY ALL THE TIME. — Michael Kimmel
AND THIS TOXIC MASCULINITY IS NOT ONLY HARMFUL TO MEN BUT ALSO TO THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM Cultures of domination attack self-esteem. And a wounded self-esteem retaliates ten times harder. “Abusive men have an increased sensitivity to the issue of abandonment. They are love dependent. If the drug is flowing (woman’s warm regard) then I have warm regard for myself. I supplement my bad self-esteem for her esteem of me. When she separates from me, criticizes me or disappoints me in any way, I go into withdrawal. I go into a crash, I have about two seconds’ worth of tolerance for those feelings, and then I go up from shame into grandiosity. I bounce up into grandiosity. Now I am an angry victim. Now I am a self-righteous victim. Now I am a revenging angel, and I can insult or be violent. It is my right.”
NO ONE IS MORE ARROGANT TOWARD WOMEN, MORE AGGRESSIVE OR SCORNFUL, THAN THE MAN WHO IS ANXIOUS ABOUT HIS VIRILITY. — Simone De Beauvoir
Psychologist Pia Mellody explains a strategy called “Offending from the victim position.” “You hurt me so I am the victim therefore I have the right to hurt you twice as hard back. I have no shame or compunction about retaliating because I’m your victim. It’s that righteous indignation, that righteous anger.” Boys feel the need to prove themselves. One way of doing so is to sexually harass girls, either verbally or physically, and to do so publicly.
While women do commit sexual violence against children, the vast majority of rapists are men, regardless of the sex of the victim.
MOST VIOLENT PEOPLE, RAPISTS, CRIMINALS, KILLERS, TAX AVOIDERS, CORRUPT POLITICIANS, PLANET DESPOILERS, SEX ABUSERS AND DINNER-PARTY BORES, DO TEND TO BE, WELL… MEN. — Grayson Perry
Given their risky behaviors and the need to prove themselves, men have a higher chance of being imprisoned. United States Incarcerations by Sex, 2017.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons
Whenever there's a mass shooting or massacre, there's a 98% chance the perpetrator is a man.
IT’S THIS SHIFT FROM INFERIORITY TO SUPERIORITY, FROM INADEQUACY TO ATTACK, WHICH IS CENTRAL TO MASCULINITY. IF WE DON’T DEAL WITH OUR TRAUMA, WE’RE GOING TO FIND SOMEBODY TO GO ATTACK. — Terry Real
Patriarchy and toxic masculinity are dominating America under Trump. “In the one-up, one-down world of men, you’re either in control or being controlled. So men don’t know much about what author and cultural historian Riane Eisler calls "power over" to "power with." Instead, it’s always power over, and you’re either up or down, one or the other. When women come in, particularly if they’re critical or controlling in any way, men are really phobic about that. They’re really paranoid about being controlled, and paranoid and phobic about being criticized, which doesn’t make them very good listeners.”
WHAT THEY FEAR IS BEING DOMINATED. WHAT THEY FEAR IS BEING OVERRUN. — Terry Real
Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. But we never talk about it.
IT'S NOT MUSLIMS OR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS WHO ARE MOST LIKELY TO KILL YOU IN A TERRORIST ATTACK. IT'S MEN. But men are not naturally more violent. They are taught that violence is the “right” way to react. Let’s break out of the Man Box!
UNTIL WE ADDRESS OUR INABILITY TO OPEN UP, WE'LL CONTINUE TO DIE EARLY AND NEEDLESSLY.
IF IT WOULD DESTROY [A 12 YEAR OLD BOY] TO BE CALLED A GIRL, WHAT ARE WE THEN TEACHING HIM ABOUT GIRLS?
— Jack Urwin
— Tony Porter
More and more role models are promoting positive masculinities. Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Gosling, and even the Dalai Lama are calling themselves feminists. Activists like Michael Kimmel, Gary Barker, and Jackson Katz are inviting men to take a stand.
BECAUSE MEN OF QUALITY ARE NOT AFRAID OF EQUALITY In the UK, the All Man series visits ultra-male worlds to explore how contemporary masculinity shapes the lives and expectations of men in Britain today.
In "The Descent of Man," Grayson Perry turns around to look at men with a clear eye and ask, â€œWhat sort of men would make the world a better place, for everyone?â€? What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man? The solution, according to this book, is not to abandon masculinity altogether,
but to shift it a little. Perry points to a new model of manhood, a more tender model, embodied by Barack Obama and David Beckham. Millennial media challenges our stereotypes. Millennials are leading a much broader acceptance of diversity. This generation is witness to a collision between traditional masculinity and a new wave, one that values intimacy, caregiving, and nurturing.
I HAVE GREAT FAITH IN THE MILLENNIALS. THEY WILL TAKE OVER, AND THAT TRUMPIAN MASCULINITY WILL DECLINE WHEN THEY DO. â€” Terry Real
GENTLEMEN, IT'S TIME TO WRITE A NEW CODE OF MANHOOD For decades now, female writers and theorists have been dismantling their biological gender from the perceived feminine roles that can restrict or harm their lives. It is only recently that we have started to do this with men too, to see a man as distinct from the concept and construct of masculinity. Maybe one of the reasons for this is that we have a tendency to regard men as the normal human state of things.
Source: The Guardian
Bell Hooks defines feminist masculinity as integrity, self-love, emotional awareness, assertiveness, relational skill, including the capacity to be empathetic, autonomous, and connected. “We need a vision of masculinity where self-esteem and self-love are at the base of identity. A liberated man, empathetic and strong, responsible to self, to family, friends, society and capable of understanding. The image of loving fatherhood embodies feminist masculinity in its most divine form.” We need to teach our boys about emotional intelligence.
WE NEED TO RAISE OUR SONS AS FEMINISTS A mover and shaker behind the family therapy movement, Silverstein questions the way boys are raised to be men in “The Courage to Raise Good Men.”
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF MAN. — Olga Silverstein
American universities are starting to offer courses for men to deconstruct toxic masculinities. The Duke Menâ€™s Project offers a nine-week program that discusses male privilege, patriarchy, the language of dominance, rape culture, pornography, machismo, and other topics.
In Lebanon, ABAAD is campaigning to challenge the traditional view of masculinity. Creating positive ideas of manhood. Abaad Menâ€™s Center aims to improve menâ€™s reactions and emotions due to daily stress, and to support them in better dealing with and managing this stress. Abaad runs workshops on the gender socialization process to transform the way men and women understand manhood and masculinities. Program RA adapted from the Programme H manual of Promundo Brazil gives very useful examples of workshop exercises to raise greater awareness among participants.
MenEngage is an alliance of NGOs working together with men and boys to promote gender equality. 426
Promundo has been working for years in the field of masculinity. Promundo’s Program H manual, translated into many languages, encourages critical reflection about rigid norms related to manhood. Once Upon a Boy is a wordless cartoon video that tells the story of a boy and his experiences growing up, including peer pressure, his first sexual relationship, his first job, and becoming a father. The video is designed to engage young men, educators, and health professionals in critical reflections about rigid models of masculinity and how they influence young men’s attitudes and behaviors. In Rwanda, Brazil and elsewhere, Promundo is engaging fathers via prenatal visits. MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign active in more than 40 countries on five continents. Their mission is to promote men’s involvement as equitable, non-violent fathers and caregivers in order to achieve family well-being, gender equality, and better health for mothers, fathers, and children.
Each year, MenCare releases the "State of the World’s Fathers" report to engage fathers to be more active in unpaid care.
The ManKind Project is a personal development organization that offers life-changing experiential training and support groups for all kinds of men. Their objective is to create a safer world by growing better men.
STRONG MEN – MEN WHO ARE TRULY ROLE MODELS DON’T TEND TO PUT DOWN WOMEN TO MAKE THEMSELVES FEEL POWERFUL. — Terry Real
Lean In has produced different toolkits for male readers. Involved fathers raise happier, healthier, and more successful children. Be an active and involved father. Help with homework, read books together, talk about your kids’ daily experiences and goals. You don’t have to be perfect—you just have to be engaged. Fathers who participate in caregiving are more patient, empathetic, and flexible and enjoy greater job satisfaction. Being an involved father is also linked to lower blood pressure, lower rates of cardiovascular disease, and a longer life. Teach your son to value intelligence and thoughtfulness over toughness. Encourage him to respect his own feelings and have empathy for others. Avoid language like “man up” or “be a man,” which can be as damaging to boys as words like “bossy” and “know-it-all” can be for girls. Model gender equality for your son by supporting the women in your life and celebrating their achievements.
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD FEEL FREE TO BE SENSITIVE. BOTH MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD FEEL FREE TO BE STRONG. — Emma Watson
In India, the famous actor Aamir Khan launched the popular and controversial TV show Satyamev Jayate to give visibility on mainstream media to the violence experienced by women in the Indian society and to challenge the traditional norms of masculinity. Lynx, Unilever's male grooming brand, has launched "Is it ok for guys", a search-driven campaign that reveals how men are hiding behind their screens to ask questions they can't say out loud. The campaign is part of Lynxâ€™s Find your magic initiative, encouraging men to ignore the cultural pressures and labels dictating what it means to be a man. Getty Images partnered with Lean In to portray new images of masculinity.
Swedish dads get the most parental leave in the world. A new photographic exhibition shows just how much that policy is benefiting both the dads and their kids.
LOVING AND CARING DADS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD 429
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Ask yourself some questions. What does it mean for you to be a man? Which stereotypes have been harmful to you? Is there anything you would like to change about the way boys are raised? Which change would you like to contribute to? Ending patriarchy is actually a way to liberate men. Read some books by Bell Hooks, Michael Kimmel, Grayson Perry, Riane Eisler, or Michael Kauffmann. Offer those books to your male friends, fathers, brothers, lovers. Watch some TED Talks (Roxanne Gay, Michael Kimmel, Jackson Katz, Tony Porter). Read Promundo reports.
Download the Lean In manuals. Implement the Program H or Program RA workshop in your class/university/family. Watch movies or read books with alternative visions of masculinity. Join a menâ€™s group near your home or create one. Question traditional masculinity with your friends. Have an open conversation about it. Learn nurturance skills.
Be a feminist father who protects, shelters and nurtures his children. 431
Ask for help. Seek counseling. Set up a love school! We need to teach men how to love themselves and others! Express your love to your children, partner, parents, and friends. Learn to share your fears and vulnerabilities to better express your emotions and to analyze your anger. Be vocal about being a feminist man.
Raise your son to be a feminist.
Itâ€™s all about love.
35 practical tools for men to further the feminist revolution, from Pamela Clark. 1
Do 50% (or more) of housework.
Do 50% (or more) of emotional support work in your intimate relationships and friendships.
Consume cultural products produced by women.
Give women space...
...but insert yourself into spaces where you can use your maleness to interrupt sexism.
When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her. 432
Educate yourself about sexual consent and make sure there is clear, unambiguous communication of consent in all your sexual relationships.
Be responsible for contraception.
Get the HPV vaccine.
Have progressive name politics.
If you have children, be an equal parent.
Pay attention to and challenge informal instances of gender role enforcement.
Be mindful of implicit and explicit gendered power differentials in your intimate/ domestic relationships with women whether a partner or family members or roommates.
Make sure that honesty and respect guide your romantic and sexual relationships with women.
Donâ€™t be an online bystander in the face of sexism.
Be responsible with money in domestic/romantic relationships.
Be responsible for your own health.
Donâ€™t ogle or make comments about women. (i.e., Keep your tongue in your mouth and comments to yourself.)
Pay attention to the sex of experts and key figures presenting information to you in the media.
Ensure that some of your heroes and role models are women.
Praise the virtues and accomplishments of women in your life to others.
Have integrity with your male friends. (i.e., Don’t be a “bro.”)
Don’t treat your spouse like a “nag.” If she is “nagging,” you are probably lagging.
Know that acknowledging your own sexist opinions and stereotypes you hold is not enough. Do something about them.
Find female mentors/leaders. (i.e., Be subordinate to women.)
When in a romantic relationship, be responsible for events and special dates associated with your side of the family.
Don’t police women’s appearance.
Offer to accompany female friends if they have to walk home alone at night…or in a public space where they may be likely to feel unsafe.
Inject feminism into your daily conversations with other men.
If you have a tendency to behave inappropriately toward women when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not consume drugs or alcohol.
Be aware of the physical and emotional space you occupy, and don’t take up more space than you need.
Walk the walk about income inequality.
Get in the habit of treating your maleness as an unearned privilege that you have to actively work to cede rather than femaleness being an unearned disadvantage that women have to work to overcome.
Self-identify as a feminist. Reprinted with permission from: PamelaClark.tumblr.com
MAYBE THERE IS ROOM FOR ALL KINDS OF MASCULINITY, INCLUDING TOUGH GUYS, AS LONG AS EVERYONE IS KIND TO EACH OTHER. â€” Grayson Perry
EMOTIONS HAVE NO GENDER
We hope that, by now, you are convinced to join the movement and to balance the world with us! Any country that wants to develop can't leave half of its population behind.
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR GENDER EQUITY Research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) proves that GDP per capita correlates directly to the Global Gender Gap. INVESTING IN WOMEN IS NOT ONLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO, BUT ALSO THE SMART THING TO DO. â€” Hillary Clinton
One billion women (The Third Billion) will enter the global economy in the coming decade. And this significant untapped market will have a large impact on GDP.
This is called “Womenomics.” The term "Womenomics" applies to a concept Shipman and Kay coined for what they see as an upcoming paradigm shift in the way individuals and companies approach work. This shift is due to an increase in the value of women in the workforce and changing attitudes of women towards balancing work and personal life. WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT IS NOT JUST A FUNDAMENTALLY MORAL CAUSE, IT IS ALSO AN ABSOLUTE ECONOMIC NO-BRAINER. — Christine Laguarde, IMF Director
And even Japan is following the trend given their shrinking workforce. “Gender equality is very contrary to the Japanese way of doing things, but the math does not add up on human capital. The job market is already tight and has become over-tight,” says Kathy Matsui, Goldman Sachs Chief Japan Strategies. Source: Financial Times
WHEN WOMEN DO BETTER, ECONOMIES DO BETTER. — Christine Laguarde, IMF Director
According to McKinsey Global Institute, advancing women's equality can add $12 trillion to global growth.
Yet, we’d better be patient… Global gender gap will take 100 years to close, says 2017 edition of Global Gender Gap report by WEF. And the most alarming is that disparities between men and women have widened for first time in more than a decade! Some even talk about 170 years… Around the world, the distance from gender parity is still between 25 and 39%. The world is changing, but not fast enough.
Source: Ernst & Young. Women Fast Forward.
BRINGING GENDER JUSTICE TO THE NEXT LEVEL Sometimes, I lose faith. When I see the limited impact of some of the most committed activists versus the media impact of some world leaders. When I see the budget allocated to “women’s issues” when the same women represent 52% of the global population. When the funding priorities do not even align with objective bottom line benefits. Sometimes, I am even afraid. I fear that we are actually going backwards. And sometimes I dream. I dream that we invest in gender justice much more than we invest in military spending. I dream of a world where, as Sheryl Sandberg says, half of our institutions are run by women and half of our homes are run by men. I dream of schools talking about gender stereotypes, sex education, and sexual abuse. Universities offering gender studies classes as part of the core curriculum. A world where sexist ads and insulting songs are banned from the mainstream media. A world where sexual offenders are actually convicted. A world where girls and boys are free to develop their full potential. A world where respect and 440
love are at the base of our economy. In this book, we have shared with you dozens of initiatives, from grassroots projects to corporate strategies. I would love to see them adapted and replicated around the world. So, feel free to pick some and test them in your local community!
LARGE SCALE FEMINISM Imagine scaling Harassmap in 50 to 100 countries around the world! Imagine financing the production of blockbusters that pass the Bechdel test! Imagine investing in feminism at the same scale as Rocket Internet is reproducing successful start-ups in emerging countries! My dream: launch an impact-investment fund focused on gender-justice projects. We could invest in or replicate successful projects, such as: Bootcamp training for future female angel investors
Solo-traveler travel agency
Childrenâ€™s books of inspiring female leaders of each country
Academy for young female athletes
Production company dedicated to movies and series with female-driven stories
Digital coaching programs Coding schools, science workshops, and maker spaces Fem tech initiatives
Feminist TV channel
Leadership webinars and online education tools
Sex education web series
App limiting unconscious bias in hiring
Educational and inspiring comics
Educational series for kids
Products illustrated with powerful women
Sexual assault prevention apps Online toolkits and legal advice on violence cases
Household and child management training for males and females
Inclusive speakers bureau
In the meantime, we can all start working at our individual level. In a world that has taught women that their value is limited, self-love is already revolutionary. So if you identify as a woman, know that you are worthy. Point out sexism when you see it and encourage people to think critically about it. If you have children or you work with children, find teachable moments and instill a belief in gender equality. Make your home a space where men and women have equal rights, and equal duties. Raise your children with the message that their gender does not entitle or deny them certain privileges. Catch yourself and stop yourself when you judge other women unfairly. Read as much as you can. Talk about feminist issues with the women you come in contact with. Let the men around you know when they sound sexist, or behave in a sexist manner. Source: 6 WAYS TO BE A FEMINIST IN YOUR DAILY LIFE. Sareeta of Flight & Scarlet.
NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; INDEED, IT'S THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS. — Margaret Mead
Today, more than ever, we have a duty of activism. Questioning our learned patterns at individual level, the words we use, the music we listen to, the movies we watch, our daily behaviors. To question classical codes of manhood in parenting, ads, or sports. And we have a collective duty to spread the light. To spread the love. To strive for peace and balance. We need to transform our system from a dominator to a partnership structure. Question the oppressor within us. A new world is possible based on trust and love. We need a critical mass of new stories to create a new archetype. Because the achievement of full equality between both sexes is the prerequisite for world peace. It is a vital quest. A spiritual one. So that we can all find peace and balance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AurĂŠlie Salvaire is a French social entrepreneur who has been working in the social innovation field for 10 years, collaborating with Oxfam, Ashoka, Unreasonable Institute and Impact Hub. She founded and curated different TEDx events, including TEDxBarcelonaWomen. She is passionate about storytelling and how new stories can empower individuals and balance the world. She founded The A Factor, which runs workshops and events in places as diverse as Beirut and Nairobi. She spends much of her time training women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and beyond, from Tunisia to Iran or Pakistan. She is also a frequent speaker, promoting greater diversity and shedding light on lingering stereotypes through the Shiftbalance platform.
Shiftbalance is a think-and-do-tank sparking conversations about the need for a more balanced society. It is a positive activism platform wishing to renew the conversation around feminism in particular and gender balance in general. Making it more fun, more inclusive, more visual and creative. Our mission: to collect, produce, and spread information on everyday sexism and existing solutions! Our objective: transform each of us into a balancemaker! Contact us: email@example.com
Here is a selection of cool feminist books you might be interested in. From deep theory to fun comics, you can learn more! Understanding is the first step to changing the world! The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. Riane Eisler. The Power of Partnership: Seven Relationships that Will Change Your Life. Riane Eisler. The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics. Riane Eisler. The Creation of Patriarchy. Gerda Lerner. We Should All Be Feminists. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Bad Feminist: Essays. Roxane Gay. Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives. Jean Shinoda. Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. Bell hooks. Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism. Bell hooks. Separate and Dominate: Feminism and Racism after the War on Terror. Christine Delphy. King Kong theory. Virginie Despentes. The Second Sex. Simone de Beauvoir. Do it Like a Woman... and Change the World. Caroline Criado-Perez. Men Explain Things to Me. Rebecca Solnit. The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home. Arlie Hochschild, Anne Machung. We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. Andi Zeisler. Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism. Camille Paglia. Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation and Positive Strategies for Change. Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sheryl Sandberg. Why Loiter?: Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets. Shilpa Phadke, Sameera Khan & Shilpa Ranade. Everyday Sexism: The Project that Inspired a Worldwide Movement. Laura Bates. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women. Naomi Wolf. The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits. Mihaela Noroc. Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women's Lives. Autumn Whitefield-Madrano. Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better. Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance. What Women
Should Know. Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough”. Brené Brown. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Brené Brown. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Amy Cuddy. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD and Deepak Chopra. Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers. Jane Robinson. Sport in Capitalist Society: A Short History. Tony Collins. Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives. Mina Samuels. The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men and Our Economy. Caryl Rivers, Rosalind C. Barnett. Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace. Jessica Bennett. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters. Jessica Valenti. Women of The Street: Why Female Money Managers Generate Higher Returns (and How You Can Too). M. Jones. Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change. Ellen Pao. Asking for It. Louise O'Neill. The Vagina Monologues. Eve Ensler. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Judith Butler. The End of Men. And the Rise of Women. Hanna Rosin. Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Radical Feminist Therapy: Working in the Context of Violence. Bonnie Burstow. About religion When God Was a Woman. Merlin Stone. The Woman’s Bible. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective. Amina Wadud. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. Leila Ahmed. 449
About education Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes. Christia Spears Brown. The Courage to Raise Good Men: You Don't Have to Sever the Bond with Your Son to Help Him Become a Man. Olga Silverstein, Beth Rashbaum. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. Peggy Orenstein. Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. Peggy Orenstein. Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences. Cordelia Fine. For your male friends The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. Bell Hooks. Gods in Everyman: Archetypes That Shape Men's Lives. Jean Shinoda Bolen. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. Robert Moore, Douglas Gillette. Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity. Jack Urwin. Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. Michael Kimmel. Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. Michael Kimmel. I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression. Terrence Real. The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help. Jackson Katz. Breaking Out of the "Man Box": The Next Generation of Manhood. Tony Porter. The Descent of Man. Grayson Perry. The Guy's Guide to Feminism. Michael Kaufman and Michael Kimmel. From Frazzled to Fabulous: How to Juggle a Successful Career, Fatherhood, Me-Time and Looking Good. MAN WHO HAS IT ALL. And some books in French La ville faite par et pour les hommes. Dans l’espace urbain, une mixité en trompe l’œil. Yves Raibaud. Les Femmes ou les Silences de l'Histoire. Michelle Perrot. Ainsi soit-elle. Benoite Groult. Commando culotte: Les dessous du genre et de la pop-culture. Mirion Malle. Culottées. Des femmes qui ne font ce qu'elles veulent. Pénélope Bagieu. 450
Documentaries The Mask You Live In The Hunting Ground The Invisible War Miss Representation
FEMINISM IS A COLLECTIVE ADVENTURE, FOR WOMEN, MEN AND EVERYONE ELSE. A REVOLUTION, WELL UNDER WAY. A WORLDVIEW. A CHOICE. IT'S NOT A MATTER OF CONTRASTING WOMEN'S SMALL ADVANTAGES WITH MEN'S SMALL ASSETS, BUT OF SENDING THE WHOLE LOT FLYING. â€” Virginie Despentes. King Kong Theory.
Thank you This book would have never seen the light without the support of many people that I am grateful to have met. Thank you to the Pakistan based design team, including Tashfeen Ahmed, Komal Ashfaq, Hamza Tariq, Ahsan Qureshi, Usama Tauqeer, Moazzam Adil, for their outstanding work! A special thank you to Saad Hasnain for compiling the entire book. Thank you to all the creative designers who kindly allowed us to use their work. Thank you to Justin Sachs, Simone Alexander, Anna Cabรณ and Nisa Mac Mahon for thorough proofreading. Thank you to Najam Ul Assar for his patience and unconditional support. Thank you for reading the book. We hope you enjoyed it and feel free to share it!
Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to making it a better place. This fun and visual guidebook will give you necessary tools to effectively navigate this seemingly controversial topic and provide you with concrete examples of best in class strategies. I invite you to be part of the gender revolution!
Letâ€™s Shift The Balance Together!
Balance the world!
This is a feminist guide for millennials.
Balance the world! Tactics to help you launch a gender revolution
This is a feminist guide for millennials. Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to m...
Published on Feb 1, 2018
This is a feminist guide for millennials. Here are some concrete examples from all around the world to shift the balance and contribute to m...