Post Feminism

Friday, December 18th, 2009 10:28 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Post Feminism)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I just read this post and it made me cry with frustration. Why is this sort of shit even necessary any more?

And yes, before the (white) blokosphere jumps on me, I know it's a single post, I know it's anecdotal evidence, I know it's not scientific proof. But, for Cthulhu's sake, how many more anecdotes do we need before someone does the research? Oh yes, I forgot, they have. The Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation have. The British government have. They found that job applications with exactly the same text but with female (or ethnic) names were much less likely to be given interviews than the same applications with white male names.

And what was the reaction to this news? A huge cry rang out from pretty much all the big employers, that they want to be able to to keep on discriminating in favour of the white male.

So when are we going to stop pretending we live in a kyriarchy that systematically downgrades the Other? Because I'm pretty fucking sick of it myself.

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Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
I'm with you on this one. It works both ways to an extent, but to my knowledge the only jobs for which women are preferred are the crappy ones. I've never heard of James Chartrand before now, but I feel hir pain.

Not entirely convinced about the word `kyriarchy' though, although I must say I strongly approve of `blokosphere'.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
telegramsam: John Byers Disapproves (Disapproving Byers)
From: [personal profile] telegramsam
Yea, I remember reading one of those studies, and being entirely unsurprised by them. :\

Maybe I should change my name to "Sam" for real.


Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
I've never got those connotations off the word `patriarchy'---it used to mean rule of the father, but the meaning has evolved since the Greeks invented it. Now it just seems to mean `nonspecific oppression with a male theme', but it does depend on who's using it.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
The word patriarchy doesn't blame individual men either, it blames society's bending over backwards to accomodate male as the "norm" while crushing others.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
Hegemony might be a good word if you find the word patriarchy problematic.

I personally don't worry about if it sounds adversial. I've learnt that if people are our allies they won't let it get to them, as it's not aimed at them in the first place. If this needs to be continually explained to said person and they take it as a personal slight I get fed up quickly.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Commenting anonymously just because I *never* talk about work-related stuff online as myself (and also because I don't want this to be name-and-shaming an individual who's actually a pretty good manager). But one thing that got to me was when I was in a meeting at work and my manager said he'd been on a diversity training thing as part of our acquisition by an incredibly big megacorp.

He then went on to say that he thought our team were doing 'pretty well' when it comes to diversity.

In the office I work in, doing technical work, with about sixty staff, there are precisely *two* women - one of them the receptionist, the other an executive brought in by the parent company. AFAIK, none of the people working there are out as gay or bi (actually, I can think of two exceptions, but don't know if either of those have come out to their workmates), and none have a visible physical disability. All of them appear to be cisgendered, too...

The worst thing is, I'm absolutely certain everyone there would be horrified at the idea of actively discriminating against those groups, but there's clearly *some* form of institutional discrimination *somewhere* (maybe not even within this organisation, but in a feeder organisation like a university or school that tells those groups 'that kind of job isn't for you') and most people within the organisation appear oblivious to it...

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Please don't take this the wrong way, but calling the jobs for which women are preferred 'crappy' is, in many ways, falling into the same trap. Most of the jobs for which women are preferred are underpaid, but to refer to traditionally-female-dominated jobs like nursing or teaching as 'crappy' is to devalue some pretty important things.

Not meant as a dig at you, just at the implicit assumptions you probably didn't even think about (and that I've made myself plenty of times).

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh I do it myself as well, but I'm trying to be more aware of the implications of this kind of thing (my friend Gavin just pulled me up for sharing an anti-racist blog post in Google Reader, but one that used the word 'tribalism' - I'd never even considered the implicit racist assumptions in *that* term...)

Was genuinely meaning to be helpful rather than snide - we all make mistakes, and none of us will learn unless others try to point them out...

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Very true, and I use the term all the time myself. But what it doesn't do is emphasise all the other ways in which the 'norm' is problematic. For example, as a white, heterosexual, English speaking, cisgendered, male in a relatively-high-status occupation, I am the oppressor, societally speaking, in a lot of ways.

On the other hand, as someone with little or no social skills (quite probably due to Asperger's Syndrome, but I personally have an intense dislike of medicalising personality differences), and someone who is overweight and physically unattractive, I am also the oppressed in many, *many* social circumstances. I can be perfectly comfortable in, say, Forbidden Planet Manchester (which my wife refuses to enter because of the general leering sleaziness of the place), but I've had a panic attack before now in a mobile 'phone shop full of pictures of footballers...

While I'm very aware of the problems with equating my 'oppression' with that of other, more marginalised groups, and don't want to be committing me-tooism or whataboutery here, I do think a term like kyriarchy allows us to see that, with the possible exception of quadroplegic black lesbian Muslims with Down's Syndrome, we're all oppressors sometimes just as we're all oppressed sometimes, and that *all* power relationships are intrinsically a Bad Thing, even though some of them are clearly worse than others in their effects...

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Unclear there - meant to say explicitly that power relationships are the cause of definitions of the 'norm', and that those definitions are the pernicious thing...

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This makes me feel especially fortunate that I was just recently able to get a job at all.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
You raise a very good point, but I work in the hospitality industry. I was thinking more of housekeeping, cleaning, waitressing. You know. The crappy jobs.

Nursing, teaching, and the like are a different matter. They are not what I meant by ``the crappy jobs''.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I see what your saying. I'm sure I've been the opressor at times without realizing it, but I still see no problem with the word patriarchy. After all, you mentioned your disability. White, able bodied blokes (or rather the way society tells us they are the "norm" all the time) are still part of the patriarchy. The patriarchy hurts men too. For instance, the stereotype that men shouldn't show their emotions because it makes them "sissies" still persists.

While I understand that you are trying to encompass all the forms of oppression into one word, I myself won't be using it. I just feel that using a different word to make some blokes feel better is a bit counter-productive. It seems uncomfortably close to trying to appease the oppressor. I know plenty of men who are not offended by the word. They are not my oppressors.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
FWIW I didn't read it that way, and I'm usually on guard for this sort of thing. I took it to mean "they get less benefits than men."

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
Makes more sense, but I'm talking about what society defines as the "norm."

I think the "norm" is a crock of shit myself. People are so varied.

Date: Saturday, December 19th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'm neither offended by the word nor suggesting that you should use a different word to make anyone feel better - rather, I'm suggesting that patriarchy - while it definitely exists - is part of a larger problem.

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