Each time we convene a new JASSPr class in the city of Jahra, Kuwait, the girls sit at the back of the room while the boys take their place at the front of the room. The first time I saw this, I felt offended on behalf of the girls. I wondered who told them they must sit at the back of the class? Is it an explicit order or implicit habit? More important, what could I do about it? Should I do anything about it? Their culture is about protecting the girls. When is protection oppression? Continue reading A Middle East Angle on Diversity Part 1: When is protection oppression? – by Dana Winner→
Women’s History Month has often focused on gender equality in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and the lack thereof. The issues that result in low numbers begin early in life and continue into higher education. By the time students reach college, women are significantly underrepresented in STEM majors. Only around 19% of computer and information science majors are women. And only 38% of women who major in computers end up working work in computer fields.
As we come to the end of March, Women’s History Month, we need to see this time as a wake up call regarding women’s safety. The shootings at Asian spas in Atlanta, where most of the victims were women, underscore the vulnerability of these women. Yes, the Asian-American community as a whole is experiencing a rising number of hate crimes given COVID. And Asian-American women experience twice as many hate incidents as men.
An Asian American studies professor noted that women have always dealt with harassment and public safety issues, but COVID provided another excuse to target Asian women. Bullies attack the vulnerable and stereotypes of Asian women as meek and subservient make them easy targets. That’s why it was unusual that a 75-year old Asian-American fought back when attacked on a street corner, sending her attacker to the hospital. She isn’t the only woman to be fed up with harassment and violence.
The theme for this month’s edition: what gender related issues should be addressed and how can they evolve productively?Let’s up the ante.What gender related issues must be addressed?Here’s one: transgender women in sports.
Oh that all equity conflicts could be resolved simply by mouthing diversity clichés.Not this one.With regard to this perplexing issue, two pro-diversity camps have gone to war.Probable allies on most equity concerns, these two camps have dug in their heels, often engaging in hyper-accusatory rhetoric in what has become known as the TERF wars.
Hey fellas, years from now with your legacy in mind, how do you think you’d respond to your granddaughter or niece who asks, “Grandpa, what did you do personally to make the world and workplace better for me and women in general?” Jot down your answer to this question along with a few New Year’s resolutions, ones that you can do, and put them aside for now.
Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Let’s look at the challenges that lie ahead when it comes to fostering a more gender inclusive world. But in somewhat a departure from the norm, I’ve decided to talk to those on the seldom mentioned other side of the word gender…men!
So guys, here’s a list of questions for a deeper analysis and reflection. If you are a white male, man of color (Asian, Latino, African American) or gay male, answer these from your worldview or personal experiences:
Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, continues to marginalize women on its English language pages and among its staff. This conclusion is not theoretical but unequivocal. It’s based on academic studies, public statistics and anecdotal evidence.
Wikipedia’s data is daunting, according to the Wikidata Human Gender Indicator.
• Less than 18% of 1.6 million English Wikipedia bios are about women, up from 15% in 2014.
• Put another way: of about 1,615,000 bio pages, fewer than 300,000 are about women.
• Meanwhile, men account for about 90% of all English Wikipedia’s volunteer editors.
Wikipedia’s brand image is more reflective of 1920s paternalism than 21st century modernism. The San Francisco-based nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia, has a noble mission: Democratize the free flow of information and knowledge to diverse populations worldwide.
But is English Wikipedia practicing what it preaches?
The Kavanuagh hearing featuring his accuser, Dr. Blasey Ford, was an emotional roller coaster for both “witnesses”, a term that implies a trial and jury although it was more of a job interview. Yet, this was an opportunity for the accuser of sexual violence to be heard and for the accused to rebut. The GOP senators chose a woman district attorney to question Dr. Ford, making it look like a trial where “innocent until proven guilty” applied. But this was a job interview, not a trial, and it focused on demeanor rather than legal jurisdiction.
What we are facing in the United States, and really throughout the world, is a crisis in consciousness, a clash of value systems. Values are that which one believes. Values are the impetus for thoughts, attitudes, and actions and yet we seldom have conversations about the underlying reasons for the actions and cultures. It was over 20 years ago that Paul H. Ray created a platform to gather information as to the values held by the citizens within the U.S. This research study, which has been repeated several times, hold some key information to conversations around the problems being seen.
In case you missed it, we just marked the 57th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This begs the question: is gender-based wage discrimination still a persistent problem in the 21st century workplace?
Many men might say no. However, it’s a different story for most women. The Equal Pay Act was passed by Congress and signed by President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in the White House Oval Office surrounded by working women.
The Equal Pay Act “affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force, they will find equality in their pay envelope,” said JFK in signing the landmark law.
But if you think pay inequity is a relic, just take a look at the gaping disparity of salaries for men and women in the same or similar jobs inside and outside the C-suite.
I didn’t know Morgan Spurlock. Never heard of him.
Until one recent Wednesday night. You see, several friends knew that I was toying with the idea of publishing something new in response to the recent explosion of sexual harassment/assault charges emerging almost daily against high profile men. And before the ink is dry on this piece more allegations are probably forthcoming.
But before I get to Spurlock’s “confession,” here’s a feedback request I sent out recently to a number of people, male and female, whose views I greatly value: