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Nov 25 2013

The women writers speak

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the strangely bland and cursory coverage of the women’s panel at NASW. Now you can watch the panel for yourself and judge whether it was adequate or not.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    ludicrous

    I didn’t intend to watch the whole thing but I did, two hours a lot of which was description and personal experience of the tilt of the playing field. At times it’s not tilted but verticle. What women have to put up is overwhelming and I only watched two hours of it and it doesn’t affect me directly. If there was some way to get the slymers to watch it…….

    The only applause I recall was for two men, I guess that’s a sign of how much women appreciate the efforts of male allies. That, also, may be why that reviewer focused on what the men said, used the applause as her measure of what was significant.

    When you get to view a long period of people being real it makes an impression. I felt that the women in that room were having an experience of feeling ‘somewhat’ free to speak their minds even though it was announced that it would be recorded and public. The hopeful thing is that that “somewhat” is growing and this video is a nice demonstration of that.

  2. 2
    rq

    I was confused on one point, actually.
    Several men spoke, yes, and a few of the panelists also mentioned the surprised reactions of their male colleagues, and I wonder – these men have been living among women for years (that sounds like a line out of a nature documentary), and from their comments and such I gather they are well-liked and, for the most part, trusted by their colleagues who are women. And they all mentioned the need for greater education, to have more panels, more discussion, and I wonder – do they not speak to their female colleagues, at all? Is it really women speaking to women about these things, or speaking to men and being ignored, or something else? Has the recent magnitude of events finally woken up our male allies?
    Because I find it surprising that so much could be going wrong, and they (male colleagues) don’t seem to have noticed at all. Until now. I find it hard to believe that none of them, ever, have been approached by women in their lives (daughters, wives, colleagues, etc.) about sexual harassment in the workplace, in the sciences, in journalism (depending on their field). I can believe that they are in dire need of education, but I find it hard to believe that they haven’t had the opportunity to be educated or educate themselves until now.
    Yes, it is good that these conversations take place. Yes, it’s good that some people have been moved to change how they behave towards their students or colleagues. But… I wonder about willful ignorance, about choosing not to see what one does not want to see, about who should be taking time out of their professional lives to do the educating.

  3. 3
    Muz

    It is a really interesting thing. It took me a while to grasp it myself but it really seems that men enjoy the company of other men best of all. It’s their company and conversation, bond and approval they seek out more than anyone else. Most really seem blind to this. It’s not just a trait of ‘modern man’ cultists and self help stuff. It seems to occur regardless in people who, if asked, would consider themselves ‘neutral’ or disinterested in anything that sounds like traditional masculinity. Or even those who consider themselves enlightened and horrified by sexism.
    (I don’t care for the company of men at all. Which is why it’s not something I noticed specifically. Plus Australia is pretty macho in general so it’s easy to feel outside that. It’s the way it seems to be the case regardless of relative macho-ness that’s the wake-up call)

  4. 4
    Jadehawk

    And they all mentioned the need for greater education, to have more panels, more discussion, and I wonder – do they not speak to their female colleagues, at all? Is it really women speaking to women about these things, or speaking to men and being ignored, or something else?

    well, to some degree it really is just women only talking to other women about this. This is hopefully changing now, but realistically there’s still a cost for letting guys in on this information. Think of what happened when it became known that female speakers at atheist/skeptic conferences warned each other about which male speakers are skeezy.

  5. 5
    eoraptor

    Muz @3 “…it really seems that men enjoy the company of other men best of all.”

    Sorry Muz, you need to put away that big paintbrush.

    All my life I have preferred the company of women. Nearly all my friends, past and present, are women. And before you ask, no they don’t treat me as though I’m just one of the girls. They treat me as a trusted friend, and think of gender only when it’s germane to the conversation or situation.

    As someone said on a different thread: There are no such monolithic things as Men and Women. Any generalization attributed to one group is wrong — including this one.

  6. 6
    M'thew

    @rq, #2:

    …I wonder – do they not speak to their female colleagues, at all? Is it really women speaking to women about these things, or speaking to men and being ignored, or something else? Has the recent magnitude of events finally woken up our male allies?

    I guess by the time everyone’s graduated and started a career and all, the indoctrination is already long over. Women have learned that trying to change things takes too much time and energy, and it indeed can be detrimental to their plans. Men are so steeped in their privilege that they don’t even notice what is going on, or are conditioned to participate in the fossilized way things have always been done. It then takes events like we have seen over the past few months/years to shake everybody out of that stupor.

    We are creatures of habit, unfortunately, and not very prone to change of our own accord.

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