Bake Sales and Rape Threats

Recently, the University of Queensland decided to hold a bake sale that would exemplify the gender wage gap, i.e., in Australia, the pay gap between men and women for the same work is 17.3%, so the amount one would pay at the bake sale table would be reflective of one’s typical pay in their profession based on their gender (and it seems, on race as well). You can read about it here:  Backlash to university’s gender pay gap bake sale highlights ‘trend of online behaviour towards women’

I am sure that since this took place during the campus’s Feminist Week, the misogynist trolls were already out in force, but regardless, the response to this clever demonstration of what a gender pay gap looks like was rape and death threats against the organizers. Really? Rape and death threats for bringing to light the inequalities that exist in the current system? *sigh*

We have heard this as a consistent theme that anytime a woman stands her ground on a feminist issue, the misogynists have to launch their insecure blather and dangerous commentary onto the scene. We know that not all men feel this way, nor are most men so insecure that they have to threaten any woman who might potentially stand in the way of the smidgen of power they think they gain by threatening women anonymously. But I would hope that most men and women see this behavior and respond accordingly, in support of women who are now being threatened with their lives for doing nothing more than pointing out the inequalities that actually exist in the system.

I don’t know if the creeps who do this are already somewhat marginalized, and I don’t know what effect marginalizing them further would have. However, I would hope that the more and more this behavior is pointed out as socially unacceptable, and the more pressure the trolls feel to NOT be anonymous, that action can be taken against them, up to and including criminal charges.

At the moment, I don’t even deal with comments on this blog because of the tediousness of weeding through the misogyny and threats that will automatically come through the minute something like this gets posted and noticed (believe me, already been down that road). No doubt, I am missing out on valuable dialogue as well, but that is something I take part in on other forums. Here, I just want to provide a resource for those who wonder why we might still need feminism.  I guess being able to safely host a bake sale that requires men to pay 17.3 cents more for a cookie, just for the principle of the thing, is reason enough.





Co-Acculturating Women and Leadership

It’s funny how we react to certain issues but not to others. Dr. Anees Chagpar, associate professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and a 2015-2016 Public Voices Fellow, points out the tendency to react to immediate and common appearances of discrimination, while ignoring the sometimes much more insidious higher level discrimination that takes place—harder to find, perhaps, unless one really looks for it. In her article That Saudi Starbucks Incident Shouldn’t Be So Shocking to American Women on Women’s eNews, Chagpar questions our tendency to rail about cultural discrimination in other countries, but a refusal to see it in the U.S. For instance, first refusing to serve women in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia, and then creating separate entrances instead is viewed by Americans as a violation of gender equality, but that fact that only two of the twelve members of Starbucks’ Board of Directors are women escapes our notice. Certainly, there are a number of arguments to try to defend the lack of gender equity at leadership levels—women don’t seek promotion as often as men, there are not as many women experienced in leadership positions as men, women are intentionally overlooked or rejected for leadership positions—but the fact remains that women and leadership positions are not co-acculturated. That is something worth changing.

Getting Used to Hearing Women

I appreciated this article by Marie Cartier, talking about the importance of letting women speak, hearing what they have to say, and respecting their ability to lead, especially when it comes to thinking about having a woman as President of the United States:

#ImWithHer: Excuse Me, I’m Listening—to Her

marie kimMy wife and I attended a panel discussion last Sunday with Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the Democratic nominee presidential hopeful, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Chelsea was accompanied by the famous and beloved Superstore and former Ugly Betty star, America Ferrera and also uber- television entrepreneurial juggernaut, Lena Dunham , creator and star of Girls. The event was meant to highlight that millennials, particularly female millennials, are supporting Hillary Clinton. Obviously the event was meant to counteract the prevailing media notion that millennials are not supporting Hillary—whether or not they are female. And certainly some millennials are not—but, as this event pointed out, many are.

Ferrera opened and talked about her immigrant parents saying that she would not have been able to receive an arts education if not for someone like Hillary fighting for better public schools. She was one of the children who needed the free lunches, coming…

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