27 October 2009

Why are there so few women speakers at conferences

Carrie Bishop asks why we see the same people - men - speaking at conferences:

...it’s not about women being better qualified to speak on the basis of their gender – no one wants the idiot quota to go up at events. Rather, we want good quality speakers that reflect a diversity of opinion and it’s impossible to get that with only one demographic slice. Women often have a different take on things (not better, not worse, just different) and I like to hear different perspectives. The more demographically mixed an audience is, the better for challenge, difference of opinion, different cultural assumptions, and energy.

She sets out a few possible solutions for getting more women's voices heard. What do you think?

09 September 2009

A big hand for the Miss University London competition hijackers

I love these guys!

So, the usual female-led protests against the Miss University London competition were given additional support from a guerilla group of male protesters setting up a booth outside the competition, "encouraging attendees to "vote" over pictures of the contestants", (they provided kleenex), and "keeping a tally of the girls who brought the guys over the edge."

Possibly the best bit was the comments garnered from bewildered beauty pageant supporters:

"you're worse than the feminists, it's disgusting"

"What so you want people to wank in the booth, over the girls and judge them, how's that any different from the competition?"

"And I think your suits are shit!".

"I don't know what they're protesting about, it's not even animal cruelty, they must be jealous"

"But you're not serious, right?"

11 July 2009

Etsy.com peddles a false feminist fantasy

This article argues that Etsy.com - the ebay-style site for people to buy and sell handmade crafts - has become a women's ghetto, full of hobbyists making little or no money from the site.

The proportion of male sellers on Etsy is less than 4% - smaller than in nursing.

"I think for many women the site holds out the hope of successfully combining meaningful work with motherhood in a way that more high-powered careers in the law, business, or sciences seldom allow. In other words, what Etsy is really peddling isn’t only handicrafts, but also the feminist promise that you can have a family and create hip arts and crafts from home during flexible, reasonable hours while still having a respectable, fulfilling, and remunerative career. The problem is that on Etsy, as in much of life, the promise is a fantasy. There’s little evidence that most sellers on the site make much money. This, I suspect, explains the absence of men. They are immune to the allure of this fantasy. They have evaluated the site on purely economic terms and found it wanting."

13 March 2009

Gender/ Race/ Class: An Anti-Capitalist Feminist Event

Jo and I went to this event on 14 Feb and it was great, really informative. I felt it provided a really good space for discussion and gave a sense of hope for the future. We came up with loads of ideas as a result, simple initiatives that we could get involved with as a group. We're going to write a little piece on each workshop. Mine will follow shortly.

11 February 2009

Group follow-up...

As promised, here are few links to the stuff we talked about on Saturday to keep the momentum going.

First of all, the link to the
body positive website that Jo introduced us to a while back. I really love this site, it's so funny and informative. I note that they have a cafepress store, but will be closing it soon, so if you're interested, buy some t-shirts now. I think I'm getting the Aunt Fattie one...

Unfortunately, we've missed out on a talk by Susie Orbach next week as it's sold out already, but in trying to find out about it, I happened upon this website.

And here's that Times article about women losing their jobs twice as fast as men.

30 January 2009

Women 'censor their language at work', says study

Research at Reading University has shown women leaders are more likely to censor the language they use at work to avoid being judged.

Students interviewed 10 senior female and 10 senior male leaders from FTSE 500 companies about how they speak to colleagues.

They found that women consciously police what they say so they neither sound too feminine, and therefore weak, nor too masculine, and therefore assertive.

Link in the title. I thought this research was an interesting counterbalance to the Deborah Cameron book we're reading for the next meeting.

19 January 2009

Laughing all the way to the bank

The Institute of Spurious Science strikes again, mes amies.

Check the link above to find the usual frenzy of evolutionary pseudo-theorising, with a scrumdown to provide the most ludicrous explanation as to why women apparently have better orgasms with wealthier men. Such mundane considerations as socio-economic factors are not so much swept aside as ignored entirely beside the compelling weight of evidence which shows "women are inherently programmed to be gold-diggers".