Sexism, Subtle and Overt

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I was going to post a recipe for green beans today, but my inbox was too full of links to depressing stories about sexism, so the beans will have to wait. (They're worth waiting for, and I really will post the recipe, I promise.)

First of all, the sort-of good news: a graduate student named Sezgin Cihangir cares enough about sexism to study it and its effects. His doctoral dissertation concludes that "Women suffer more as a result of subtle sexism than as a result of blatant gender discrimination. The subtle forms of discrimination affect one's self-image, which lowers performance. Victims can come to think that they have been justifiably rejected." The findings aren't good news, but the fact that he has documented this phenomenon IS good news.

Now on to the bad news: Katha Pollitt writes about the Backlack Spectacular against women and feminism that she is seeing in the US, citing evidence including the fact that Washington University has given Phyllis Schlafly an honorary degree, that the supreme court denied women the right to sue over unequal pay, and women's shelters are closing left and right for lack of funding.

Kira Cochrane writes about the backlash in the UK, citing the unbelievable statistic that "the rape conviction rate in Britain has plummeted from 33% in the 70s to just 5.7% today, and that the 14,000 rapes reported each year are thought to be the tip of the iceberg - Solicitor General, Vera Baird, suggested that only 10%-20% of all cases are brought to the attention of the authorities." She also writes that

In interviews earlier this year, Alan Sugar, Amstrad founder, Apprentice star and government business adviser, repeatedly challenged a law instituted more than three decades ago. This law was one of the big wins of the 1970s feminist movement, making it illegal for women to be asked at interview whether they plan to have children, on the grounds that it is clearly discriminatory: a chance for employers to weed out any woman who wants to combine a family with work. "You're not allowed to ask, so it's easy," said Sugar, "just don't employ them."

Yeah. I have to go iron someone else's shirt now.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on July 1, 2008 9:35 AM.

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