The speculation is

Oh goody, more “women are giving” and “men are stalwart” blather in the New York Times. I wish the mainstream media would stop pushing this bullshit.

The mere presence of female family members — even infants — can be enough to nudge men in the generous direction.

In a provocative new study, the researchers Michael Dahl, Cristian Dezso and David Gaddis Ross examined generosity and what inspires it in wealthy men. Rather than looking at large-scale charitable giving, they looked at why some male chief executives paid their employees more generously than others. The researchers tracked the wages that male chief executives at more than 10,000 Danish companies paid their employees over the course of a decade.

Interestingly, the chief executives paid their employees less after becoming fathers. On average, after chief executives had a child, they paid about $100 less in annual compensation per employee. To be a good provider, the researchers write, it’s all too common for a male chief executive to claim “his firm’s resources for himself and his growing family, at the expense of his employees.”

But there was a twist. When Professor Dahl’s team examined the data more closely, the changes in pay depended on the gender of the child that the chief executives fathered. They reduced wages after having a son, but not after having a daughter.

Daughters apparently soften fathers and evoke more caretaking tendencies. The speculation is that as we brush our daughters’ hair and take them to dance classes, we become gentler, more empathetic and more other-oriented.

Really? That’s the speculation? [Read more...]

Even schoolgirls

Jinan Younis, for instance, who started a feminist society at her school.

I am 17 years old and I am a feminist. I believe in genderequality, and am under no illusion about how far we are from achieving it. Identifying as a feminist has become particularly important to me since a school trip I took to Cambridge last year.

A group of men in a car started wolf-whistling and shouting sexual remarks at my friends and me. I asked the men if they thought it was appropriate for them to be abusing a group of 17-year-old girls. The response was furious. The men started swearing at me, called me a bitch and threw a cup coffee over me. [Read more...]

Outrage in the sexism community

Outrage? What is the sexism community outraged about now? About people complaining about sexism, of course; what else? Stalin!! Mao!!!

It’s the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bulletin that’s in the hot seat this time. SF and Fantasy are proudly active branches of the sexism community, as we all know, along with gaming and computer science and “skepticism” among others.

A growing chorus of science fiction authors have been speaking out about sexism in the genre after much-criticised recent editions of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s (SFWA) magazine, Bulletin, which featured a woman in a chainmail bikini on the cover and the claim that Barbie is a role model because she “maintained her quiet dignity the way a woman should“. [Read more...]

She also happens to be

Oh ffs, Barack. Really? Really? You don’t know better than this?

Instead of leaving the Bay Area Thursday after what would have normally been a quiet two-day fundraising trip, President Obama faced some criticism for  calling California’s Kamala Harris “the best-looking attorney general in the country.”

Obama’s comments came at the second of two fundraisers in Atherton Thursday  and began with praise for Harris’ performance as attorney general.

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is  administering the law and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,”  Obama said. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.”

Actually no. You have to be careful to, first of all, talk about her as you would talk about anyone you consider a professional colleague as opposed to someone you’re flirting with, and leave it at that. You don’t clear your throat by saying “yes, yes, she’s good at her job” so that you can rush on to say she’s hawt.

Detailed sexual commentary was part of the “feedback”

Soraya Chemaly explains, again, that internet harassment and threatening are not trivial or no biggy or “harmless expressions of free speech.”

Often, these incidents come down to a group of men targeting a woman because they perceive a potential threat to men’s “free speech” and that this threat trumps a woman’s rights — to free speech and to actual, physical safety.

Take Rebecca Meredith. Two weeks ago, as she wrote about in an article in the Mail Online, she participated in a formal university debate. Some students, most, if not all, of whom happened to be men, heckled her.  Fine, everyone gets heckled.  But then, when she and her female debating partner confronted the hecklers for the sexist tone of their “critiques,” the responses included, “Get that woman out of my union,” “What does a woman know anyway,” and “Frigid bitch.” Whatever. The educated, elite young men, their academic peers, went on to make crass comments regarding their breasts and other aspects of their physical appearances. Detailed sexual commentary was part of the “feedback” they received. [Read more...]

Imagine it was Mitt Romney

Via Dana who found it via Kylie, a Facebook note by Harriet Page. I know, not everyone is on Facebook. But that’s where it is!

She introduced it with

This week I wrote a response to the several occasions on which I had been challenged on my feminism by men and women who felt that I was misguided, wrong, aggressive or unhelpful in my responses to what I viewed as sexist behaviour.

Been there. Many times. I can remember heavy sighs back in the early 70s when I pointed out some (to me obvious, indeed blatant) bit of everyday sexism. And of course have been there again just lately, with people who consider themselves feminists nevertheless going into Full Outrage mode because I had the gall to criticize something sexist that Michael Shermer said.

(Really. Imagine it wasn’t Michael Shermer who said it. Imagine it was Mitt Romney. Imagine Mitt Romney was on a talk show and the conversation turned to the scarcity of women in politics. Imagine Mitt Romney said: “It’s who wants to stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, who’s intellectually active about it; you know, it’s more of a guy thing.” Imagine I did a blog post saying that was a sexist stereotype, and a particularly damaging one at that. Would there have been the same kind of outrage from the same people? [Read more...]

Meet Kirk Sneade

Something I didn’t know about – a guy who pretended to self-identify as female to run for Women’s Officer at UCL. Oh ha ha, I can smell the jokes from here.

The UCL student uploaded a video of a woman being punched by a man and a photo with the slogan “memes are gay” as part of his campaign. Sneade, who is now claiming discrimination, reportedly likened his plight to the communist persecution in Nazi Germany.

Sneade’s original manifesto stated:

  • Kirk Sneade has self defined as a woman ever since he realised it gave him legal access to the women’s changing rooms at the Bloomsbury gym.
  • Kirk wants to make clear his desire to attend all Women’s forums to talk about Important Woman Issues such as hair dressing, shopping and walking sassily away from confrontations with your exes. [Read more...]
  • Do not directly or indirectly engage with dissenters

    Stephanie discusses the “advice” Justin Vacula gives on how to deal with being harassed. I put “advice” in scare quotes because it’s not really advice in the ordinary understanding of the word; it’s more of a bullies’ formula than advice. “I’ll stop harassing you if you stop doing all the things that motivate me to harass you” is about the size of it.

    Then Justin Vacula showed up, still trying to peddle the idea that the harassment is just the little price that some of us have to pay in order to have an opinion. Novella pointed out that he was both minimizing and mischaracterizing the situation. So Vacula (in a comment that included a couple of quotes for which he both seems to be the source and is demanding citations) tried again.

    Here are some tips, anyway, for Rebecca and anyone who faces criticism/hate to reduce the criticism/hate:

    Do not directly or indirectly engage with dissenters. [Read more...]

    He is over the

    Ben Radford has been exposed to some straw feminists, and he wants us to know he’s over them.

    I am over the male bashing often inherent in feminist writings and slogans; “All men are rapists” is neither true nor fair nor helpful.

    “Often inherent in feminist writings and slogans”? What does that even mean? He must mean “inherent in many feminist writings and slogans.” But then what does he mean “inherent”? That’s a very odd word to choose. It’s not “inherent” in anything; it’s either put in by the writer or it’s not. Maybe he means “inherently illiberal” or something like that. It’s a pity he’s not more inherently careful when writing. [Read more...]

    Global pushback

    Laurie Penny went to Dublin to report on women fighting to legalize abortion in Ireland, then she went to Cairo to report on women fighting sexual harassment in Tahrir Square. In both places, women told her they were sick of feeling ashamed.

    From India to Ireland to Egypt, women are on the streets, on the airwaves, on the internet, getting organised and getting angry. They’re co-ordinating in their communities to combat sexual violence and taking a stand against archaic sexist legislation; they’re challenging harassment and rape culture. Across the world, women who are sick and tired of shame and fear are fighting back in unprecedented ways.

    And because of the internet, we know about each other, we’re in contact with each other.

    Sexism often functions as a pressure-release valve in times of social unrest – and when it does, it takes different forms, depending on local values. Right now, in Egypt, it’s groping, heckling and mob attacks; in Ireland, it’s rape apologism and a backlash against abortion and sexual equality; on the internet, it’s vicious slut-shaming and “revenge porn“. But this time, women are refusing to take it any more.

    Like the Arab spring and Occupy in 2011, local movements with no apparent connection to one another are exchanging information and taking courage from one another’s struggles. The fight against misogyny is spreading online and via networks of solidarity and trust that develop rapidly, outside the traditional channels. I met Swedish and Iranian feminist activists in Dublin, and British feminist activists in Cairo, and have seen live information about the women’s marches in Egypt spread quickly through chains of activists from South Africa to the American Deep South.

    What I’m saying. We’re linked up.

    It’s too early to say whether the mood of mutiny will last. When people fight misogyny, they aren’t just fighting governments and police forces, religious organisations and strangers in the streets – they also have to deal with intolerance from their loved ones, from their colleagues, from friends and family members who can’t or won’t understand. Over the last few weeks I have been humbled by the bravery of the activists I’ve met, particularly the women. It takes a special sort of courage to cast off shame, to risk not just violence but also intimate rejection for the sake of a better future. And the thing about courage is that it’s contagious.

    Dealing with friends who can’t or won’t understand is a tough one. Courage isn’t really even relevant to that. I’m not sure what is, other than resilience. At any rate, it’s a long game, to say the least.