Tag Archives | Gender

The Success Myth And The Female Gaze

Noah Brand

Noah Brand

Noah Brand, a mysterious figure with a very nice hat, tells of his greatest professional failure, explains his theory of “The Success Myth,” and introduces the idea of the female gaze, for the Good Men Project:

The masculine equivalent to what Naomi Wolf called The Beauty Myth is The Success Myth. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe said, “A man being rich is like a girl being pretty” and everyone nodded their head, recognizing and endorsing the sentiment. When a rich guy marries a slim young “trophy wife” we all nod our heads again, recognizing that, like it or not, this is a match of two high-value people, a conventionally-successful man and a conventionally-beautiful woman. It would take way too long to get into all the horrible things that arise out of these paired myths, from “gold-digger” stereotypes to men who kill themselves for being “failures”; for now let’s just talk about the idea that men can’t be considered attractive.

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Kids Show Cultural Gender Bias

Tabarnak graffitiVia ScienceDaily:

Talk about gender confusion! A recent study by University of Alberta researchers Elena Nicoladis and Cassandra Foursha-Stevenson in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology into whether speaking French influenced how children assigned gender to objects yielded some interesting observations. Nicoladis and Foursha-Stevenson found some differences between the unilingual English children and the bilingual French-English children they surveyed. Some of the more startling results from the Anglo crowd? Cows are boys. Cats and stars are girls.

Le culture or la culture: our bias

The researchers showed objects or images to the children participating in the study and asked them whether the objects seemed to be masculine or feminine in nature. While the unilingual children seemed to identify most objects as masculine, many younger bilingual children were willing to consider that, globally speaking, some objects could be feminine in nature even though, Nicoladis says, “their categorizations didn’t correspond very well to whether the objects were masculine or feminine in French.”

As to how Bessie may have inadvertently became Bernie, Nicoladis says that there is an explanation as to why the children may have chosen masculine more often than feminine, even for cows: it reveals a bias embedded in the language.

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How Patriarchy and Rape Culture Hurt Men

Via the SAFER Blog:

I’ve often found myself trying to explain to people that rape culture and patriarchy aren’t just bad for women. If you draw attention to a form of violence that is primarily aimed at women by men, and a form of social oppression that is intended to provide men with dominance over women, a lot of people will think you must be hostile to men, or want to take something away from men. Nothing could be further from the truth. Patriarchy and rape culture are clearly more harmful to women, but they also cause men great harm, and I engage in anti-violence work to help men as much as I do to help women or anyone else. Here’s why:

The patriarchal “ideal” of male toughness and invulnerability creates the following problems for men:

  1. Men are often expected to endure hazardous conditions, with the attitude that any expression of fear is a sign of weakness.
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A Browser Extension That Flips Gender

1950s-housewife-223x300Danielle Sucher's Jailbreak the Patriarchy is a Chrome extension that substitutes the word "women" for "men" and "he" for "she" and so on within all text. The results are thought provoking -- toggle between a patriarchal and matriarchal online world with the click of a button:
Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. For example: “he loved his mother very much” would read as “she loved her father very much”, “the patriarchy also hurts men” would read as “the matriarchy also hurts women”, that sort of thing. This makes reading stuff on the internet a pretty fascinating and eye-opening experience, I must say. What would the world be like if we reversed the way we speak about women and men? Well, now you can find out!
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The Golden Age Of Female Computer Programmers

computer-girls1Via the blog of software developers Fog Creek, a look at the forgotten history of women programmers, and the strange ways in which different work fields are labeled as “male” or female”:

Computer science has always been a male-dominated field, right? Wrong.

In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women. And 34% of the systems analysts in America were women. Women had started to flock to computer science in the mid-1960s, during the early days of computing, when men were already dominating other technical professions but had yet to dominate the world of computing. For about two decades, the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984.

In fact, for a hot second back in the mid-sixties, computer programming was actually portrayed as women’s work by the mass media. Check out “The Computer Girls” from the April 1967 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

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‘X’ Now A Gender Option In Australian Passports

737450-3x2-940x627A forward-thinking move, as the gender-ambiguous can now classify themselves as ‘X’. Still no “android” or “monkey-man” passport options, though. Associated Press reports:

Australian passports will now have three gender options – male, female and indeterminate – under new guidelines to remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people, the government said Thursday. Intersex people, who are biologically not entirely male or female, will be able to list their gender on passports as “X.”

Previously, gender was a choice of only male or female, and people were not allowed to change their gender on their passport without having had a sex-change operation. The U.S. dropped the surgery prerequisite for transgender people’s passports last year.

Any country that complies with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s specifications for machine-readable passports can choose to introduce a gender “X.”

“‘X’ is really quite important because there are people who are indeed genetically ambiguous and were probably arbitrarily assigned as one sex or the other at birth,” Pratt said.

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The Blood on Our Hands is the Blood of the Land

On misogyny, misopedia, racism, homophobia, anti-semitism and misogeoia, Julian Real writes:

My hands have blood on them, no matter how many times I wash them. The blood is from the Earth, and its inhabitants, human and nonhuman.

What does it mean to “hate the Earth”? Do heterosexual male batterers of women really hate women? Do child molesters love or hate children (are they pedophilic or misopedic)?

In conversation, I came across a critique of Derrick Jensen’s book Endgame (vol. 1), which I strongly recommend reading, along with Derrick’s other books, including vol. 2 of Endgame. The critic said they did not really believe people “hate the Earth” as Derrick claims.

This brought to mind many related matters: hatred of people of color by whites, hatred of women by men, hatred of children by adults, and hatred of the Earth by “civilised” humans.

What does it mean to “hate the Earth”?

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Allies Planned To Slip Hitler Female Sex Hormones

hitlerwomanThe British plotted to lace Hitler’s food with estrogen so as to turn him “feminine” or into a mustached transsexual or something. Because that would bring about peace. Lesson being, if it hadn’t ended when it did, World War II would have grown continually stranger and stranger. The Telegraph writes:

Some tried bombs to neutralize the Führer, others tried bullets. Now it has come to light that British spies looked at derailing the man behind the German war machine by giving him female sex hormones.

Agents planned to smuggle doses of oestrogen into his food to make him less aggressive and more like his docile younger sister Paula, who worked as a secretary.

Spies working for the British were close enough to Hitler to have access to his food, said Professor Brian Ford, who discovered the plot. He explained that oestrogen was chosen because it was tasteless and would have a slow and subtle effect, meaning it would pass Hitler’s food testers unnoticed.

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Man Refused Medicaid For Breast Cancer Treatment Because Of Gender

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Photo: MesserWoland (CC)

If you’re a man you can’t get breast cancer. False. If you’re a man you can’t get medicaid to cover treatment for breast cancer. True. International Business Times reports:

Raymond Johnson, 26, a construction worker who makes $9 an hour, was diagnosed with breast cancer about a month ago, after he checked himself into the emergency room because of a throbbing pain from a lump in his chest.

However, Johnson’s job of laying down tile does not make enough to pay for treatment, amounting in $10,000 worth of medical costs.

“We are again urging [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to reconsider,” the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “It’s a very clear example of how overly rigid federal regulations don’t serve the interests of the people we’re supposed to be helping.”

The uninsured 26-year-old was reportedly stunned when doctors delivered his diagnosis – breast cancer – and shortly after was denied coverage through the state health insurance program, Medicaid, which provides medical treatment for breast cancer patients merely because he’s a man.

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CA Legislature Passes Bill To Teach LGBT History In Schools

Maria_EfremenkovaThey say history is written by the winners, who will be writing the LGBT history curriculum? Via Reuters:
A bill to require California public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and lesbians passed the state Legislature on Tuesday in what supporters call a first for the nation. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said publicly whether he supports the bill, which he has 12 days to sign or veto once it reaches his desk later this month. If he takes no action, the measure would become law automatically. The bill gained final passage from the state Assembly on a vote of 49-25, without a single Republican supporting it. The measure cleared the state Senate in April. California already requires public schools to teach the contributions made to society by women and by racial and ethnic groups that were historically discriminated against, such as blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.
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