November 18, 2010
Image via Wikipedia
The $25,000 Wasserstein Prize, named for late playwright Wendy Wasserstein, is awarded to emerging young (under 32) female playwrights. As you can imagine, an award like this can make a woman’s career.
So the theater and literary worlds were rocked when the prize committee announced that they would not be granting the award this year. Their reason? They had finalists, but none were “truly outstanding.” A furor went up and petitions begun. The committee finally relented, saying they would re-evaluate their methods and select a winner.
Many said this was a big setback for women, who are hugely underrepresented in all manner of scriptwriting. “Only 20% of plays produced by American theatres annually are written by women” claimed the SheWrites email urging us to censure the prize committee. As if I needed further proof of this hideous imbalance, my Zemanta image suggestions contain only 3 women playwrights against 18 men.
But I’m not sure how I feel about this.
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October 5, 2010
From first glance at recent covers of Newsweek, Time, and The Atlantic, it appears a gender war has erupted— instead of coddling men, women are taking their jobs! And beating them at their own game! Oh no!
A slew of magazines published this year claim that times are a-changin’. Newsweek sensationally trumpeted the arrival of a “war on boys,” in which men must adapt by “embracing girly jobs” such as nursing and modeling themselves after Brad Pitt. In a later edition, conservative journalist George F. Will decried equal pay for women as sexist discrimination against the “weaker sex” (huh?) The article featured this zinger of a quote, from conservative scholar Diana Furchtgott-Roth: “contrary to what feminist lobbyists would have Congress believe, girls and women are doing well.” It appears Will included her on the popular notion that any commentator with a vagina cannot possibly be sexist, and can act as an authority on all women. To top things off, Time magazine waxed poetic about how “for the first time in history the majority of workers in the U.S. will be women — largely because the downturn has hit men so hard.” The Atlantic chimed in with “The End of Men,” a cover-story which claimed, “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed.”
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July 30, 2010
On the other hand, Oklahoma and New Mexico will both electing a female governor this year. Governor is the highest state position, and this is only the third and fourth times, respectively, that two women have secured their parties’ nominations, for an all-woman race. (We have ‘third parities’ in the US, but no one takes them seriously.)
Compare that to CAWP’s list of woman-versus-woman U.S. House races, and the difference is striking. In 2008 alone there were 10 races in which a woman was assured a seat in the House of Representatives. And since 1944, there have been a total of 114 such contests, not including the four woman-versus-woman 2010 House races at last count. Clearly, women are more likely to run for, and win, House and Senate seats than find themselves in their state’s executive office. There are currently six female governors, or 12% of the total; meanwhile, 17% of both the U.S. House and Senate are women. (Of course, there were eight female governors until Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas left for the Obama administration and Sarah Palin decided to quit her job.) (Washington Post)
When I heard about these woman vs. woman races, I thought, “Huh, lets see how much focus is on their hair and clothes now!”
Then I saw the Jezebel post:
Yesterday, we learned that voters were polled on whether Barbara Boxer or Carly Fiorina has better hair. Even without the 2008 election’s bombast (Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin), the past year has been rather rocky for women in politics. Some lowlights:
1) Public Policy Research’s question about the really important stuff in the California Senate race had its own illustrious background: Carly Fiorina being caught on camera calling Boxer’s hair “so yesterday.”
July 27, 2010
via Flickr user striatic
Citibank fired employee Debrahlee Lorenzana for the way her clothes fit. Her manager argued that the curves of her body violated appropriate dress guidelines for the company, because the clothes fit her differently than they fit less-curvy employees. His judgment blurs the line between what a dress codes ultimately regulate: clothing and bodies.
Most of us have wondered, “do I look like a slut?” But when does a piece of fabric turn sexual, and where does this question come from?
The unlikely answer can be found in dress codes. From their start in ancient Greece, to their current-day applications, dress codes have clued us in to our inner “sluts” by dividing people in accordance with dominant virtue— both voluntarily and by force. The reasoning behind many dress-codes is the importance of public order and “professionalism,” or that “the outfit makes the man”— but what does it make a woman? For many of us, the answer is complicated. It’s bundled up in a complex set of rules and guidelines that date back to ancient times, which claim to uphold public order— but ultimately buy into a sexist system that disadvantages and sexually objectifies women on the basis of clothing.
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July 2, 2010
F is too upset to write about this coherently, so it falls to me. As mentioned, she often surfs the far side of the ideological pool. I don’t like to go there too often, and I’m reminded why every time something particularly egregious comes up and she passes it along.
Political thought is often depicted along a single line, left to right. This is an oversimplified diagram, as is “feminist vs. anti-feminist.” For instance, you can be a woman who thinks women should be meek helpmates, or you can be a man who thinks all women are worthless. On this, they agree:
Women are animals.
This goes well beyond my atheistic, scientific acknowledgement that humanity is just one of many animals on this planet. No, MarkyMark and Laura Grace Robbins believe that women should be treated like animals.
Robbins: The major theme that Cesar Millan tries to get across is that as a dog owner you need to show that you are the leader of the pack and that you want your dog to be in a “calm and submissive” state. Hmmmmm, sounds familiar, huh? Discussions from my post, Submitting Love, got me to thinking if only there was a ‘wife whisperer’ who could come in and teach husbands how to get a handle on their wives.
Mark: Thank you, Laura. That’s great stuff!
Robbins has a post all about this Wife Whisperer concept. She literally takes a a WikiHow article called How to Control Your Dog’s Behavior By Becoming a Pack Leader and replaces ‘dog’ with ‘wife.’ Her comments are in parentheses. This results in phrases like:
Is your wife doing a behavior that you don’t approve of? Does she pull you around? Do you feel that you can’t control her? Is it hard to take items (pretty things) away from her without being bitten (not literally of course)?
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March 21, 2010
This post is not about abortion. It does not matter where you stand on this issue. This is about respect, sexism, and rights. FYI, I will almost certainly throw out something blasphemous. The rest is political. These are all part of the discussion.
But what I really want to talk about is the lack of respect Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has for women, their rights, and the work they do.
Bart Stupak doesn’t like nuns. Bart Stupak is an asshole.
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