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Being male in the writing realm equates to more success

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

James Chartrand, of Copyblogger and Mens with Pens, is coming out. As the true woman that she is. James Chartrand, which is a pen name, explains the struggle she was having before she got into the online writing biz. She tells of how she is a single mother, who was on the brink of having to go on welfare and not being able to feed her two daughters. She decided to look online for writing jobs, as she knew she could write well and do it from home. She did this for a good while, under her real name, but it just wasn’t cutting it. She explains that before she took up a male’s pen name, that she would be struggling to get jobs, as well as not receiving the pay she knew some other people were getting. She then decided that she was going to make a pen name for herself, something that would “command respect”. She chose James Chartrand.

Once she did this, she got more jobs. She got more pay. She got compliments. She didn’t have to do many revisions. She states,

Understand, I hadn’t advertised more effectively or used social media — I hadn’t figured that part out yet. I was applying in the same places. I was using the same methods. Even the work was the same.

The exact same work. It was equal by all means, yet, because she now had James as a pen name, everything was better and easier. She explains the positives here:

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic.

Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.

Astounding. If that’s not a slap in the face for women writers, and women in general, I don’t know what is. Most professional women just want to work. They want respect for what they do, because they love what they do and they work hard at it. But still, just because we have vagina’s, we apparently aren’t as good as men. We aren’t as respected. We’re ignored. We’re sexually harassed. We’re discriminated against. Just because we have vagina’s. Really? Does a difference in genitals really make a difference? The clear answer is no, but still today, it is an issue. James talks about this, as she mentions that women writers have been doing this for ages, however, she states that,

Since then, we’ve had feminism. We have the right to vote, to own property, to be members of Parliament and Congress, to get a job, and to be the main breadwinner of the family. And yet apparently we haven’t gotten past those 19th century stigmas.

No, we haven’t gotten past the 19th century stigmas. That’s why feminism still exists today. We need it, and James Chartrand has once again proved that.

Click here to read her post called Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants, which tells her whole story.


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Women in developing countries carry the brunt of climate change

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Who ever said that environmentalism wasn’t a feminist issue? I know it’s something that I have kept on hearing…but it’s clearly incorrect!

A new report from the United Nations Population Fund has said that women in developing countries are the most vulnerable in these climate changing times.

The report acknowledges that women in these countries to most of the agricultural work, which is of course greatly affected by climate change. Also, it discusses how women are the ones who generally are the caregivers for their families in these countries, which means they have less of a chance to up and move, which threatens them when there are (pending or not) natural disasters. The report also talks about gender issues of family planning and reproductive healthcare. Too bad that those things are not overly available to all poor people in developing countries, and some may refuse these things even.

Ultimately, the UNFPA wants there to be more research and analysis done in this area, since there is so little attention to it at this time, even though it’s something that’s extremely important.

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Gender politics in late night comedy

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Nell Scovell, a former writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, has come out with an article about gender inequality in late night comedy, as well as her own experiences while writing for Letterman. This article is really informative and it’s interesting to get inside of a writer’s room, because it’s not something that the general public really has a chance to do or see.

Right off the bat, we find out that there are literally ZERO female writers working for not only Letterman, but also Leno and Conan at this moment. Of course, this talk about gender inequality in this workplace has come with Letterman revealing that he’s had sexual relationships with some of his female staff in the past. Scovell answers some revealing questions at this point.

Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no.

Sounds like quite a great workplace for women, eh?! If I were in the same position, I would also feel demeaned. Knowing that female staff benefit more from having a sexual relationship with high-level male employees than just working your butt off and doing an awesome job, makes me sad and it’s totally unacceptable. So what does Scovell suggest?

I just want Dave to hire some qualified female writers and then treat them with respect. And that goes for Jay and Conan, too. I realize that “hire qualified women!” is the sort of outraged demand that’s often met with a sigh. No one disagrees and yet gender inequality in high-paying positions extends into all professions.

So true. No one seems to disagree about it, but so much gender inequality still exists in high-paying positions. Is it one those, “Yeah, more qualified women should be hired, but I shouldn’t have to be the one to do it?” mentalities? Kind of like the bystander mentality? Like, no one has a problem with women in high-paying jobs, but no one wants to go and actually help out this situation?

I guess it’s something to think about. All I know, is that ALL women deserve a good workplace where they have respect, which Scovell did eventually find. Of course, that was after leaving Letterman.

Sexism and racism found in customer service study

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

A recent study found that customers in North America are found to be more satisfied when they receive service from white males, as opposed to women and minorities. How am I not surprised…?

The research by University of British Columbia professor Karl Aquino found that female and minority employees who exhibited the same behaviours as their white male counterparts were rated lower in anonymous customer feedback surveys.

The group that was conducting the study were actually very surprised.

“We had thought there would be some bias going on in the sense of people who were males or whites would be rated more positively,” Aquino said

“But we didn’t anticipate that for performing the same behaviours, the women and minorities would actually be rated lower,” he said of the study to be published in the Academy of Management Journal.

On statistic shows that a “white male clerk’s service, for the same pre-scripted actions, was rated 19 per cent higher than the service from a female or black male.”

Nineteen percent?! That’s a little ridiculous. Honestly though, I’m not overly shocked. I believe that we have this notion ingrained in us that the “white male” is the most trusted person on the planet, that there is none other more qualified, therefore they obviously provide the best service. Also, this of course has to do with the power that the white male has as well. It definitely affects how we respond to people, even if it is completely subconscious. But how do we get away from this thinking? I don’t know if I have a good answer to that. There are so many things that need to be changed in our society before we can change our thinking completely. We definitely need to vocalize how this sexism and racism is wrong, and that the white male is not the be all and end all of the human population, and we need to start teaching this to the younger folk who are being fed this patriarchal, white-power society.

This kind of thing just discourages me. It just reminds me (not that I need too many reminders!) that sexism and racism are unfortunately ingrained in our minds and that this kind of thinking is going to be so hard to beat.

Categories: inequality, men, racism, sexism, society, work

Did anyone think otherwise?

January 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Women, yet again, get the shitty end of the stick. New figures estimate that it takes women 16 years to pay off their educational debt, while it only takes men 11 years. I wonder why.

Women take longer to pay off bills because of the pay gap – estimated to be up to 20% – and because they are more likely to take time out to look after children.

But…I think it has more to do with the pay gap. Of course becoming a stay-at-home-mother might have a little to do with it, but these women, in the UK at least, get paid maternity leave.

Kat Stark, the women’s officer for the National Union of Students, retaliated about the notion that women are taking longer to pay their debt because they are taking time off to have children, by saying,

Women are taking longer than men to pay off their student loans because they are paid less, not because they are taking time off to have children. Within three years of graduating, over 40% of men are earning over £25,000, compared to just over a quarter of women. The pay gap is not a new problem – the government knew when it introduced the tuition fees system that female graduates would end up saddled with debt to a worse extent than their male counterparts. In the run-up to the 2009 review of higher education funding, the government should consider whether they wish to perpetuate this injustice.

Of course, others said that employers give equal pay, based on education and skills. But it’s no secret that the pay gap is still very much a part of our society. Either way, this is just one more thing to add to the “Crappy Situations for Women” list.

Revisiting red-light districts

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Thanks Amy for sending me your link at Travelhacker about the world’s most famous red-light districts.

Red Light District

I think that this can definitely be a controversial topic in terms of feminism. I think when we think of any red-light district, we think of women whoring themselves out and degrading themselves. And the article does mention some not good things that occur in some red-light districts, such as child prostitution. But at the same time, I think we have to have a different look at it as well. In many of these red-light districts, it appears that there are safe places for sex workers to work. The street has always been an unsafe place to work, and I completely support brothels and other buildings where sex workers can do their thing. After all, these women are making a living. This could be something that they personally like doing. Or it really could be something that they are doing just to make sure money is coming in.

Of course, a lot of this work can be looked at as degrading. There’s no contest there. But I definitely don’t think that blaming the women who are in this kind of work is right, or will do anything. This definitely is a feminist issue that comes back to the social, political and economic stance of women across the globe.

So, I know this is a controversial topic. What do you all think about red-light districts and women in this work? Do you support brothels in any way, shape or form? Or are you completely against all of this?

The 50 women to watch for 2007

November 19, 2007 Leave a comment

The Wall Street Journal has made a list of of the 50 women who have made it to vice president or higher in their particular corporations. The article is quick to point out though that only 16.4% of Fortune 500 corporate-officer jobs are held by women. Not too much.

That is an increase of just 0.7 percentage point from 2002, according to a survey by Catalyst, the New York research group. Similarly, they comprise just one-sixth of corporate directors.

But the article thinks it’s very promising for women and this is a step in the right direction. It definitely is a step in the right direction. A lot of changes are unfortunately very slow, and this is one of them. As long as more and more women are getting into those corporate jobs, it’s a good sign. And hopefully, as the article points out, it will only encourage other women to go for those jobs and be successful there!

Categories: jobs, women, work Tags: , ,