U.S. Census data on women for Women’s History Month

Catch the latest blog post from the Connecticut State Data Center at the University of Connecticut.

http://blogs.lib.uconn.edu/outsidetheneatline/2014/03/04/facts-for-features-womens-history-month-march/

Did you know:

EARNINGS

$37,791
The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012. In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $49,398. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, Page 7

From HBR: “Feminine” Values Can Give Tomorrow’s Leaders an Edge (…good grief)

What to think about this kind of analysis and the descriptive terms they choose to use… And just who (read what “gender”) are those “leaders” that this article and research study are hoping to give this “edge”? Oy.

Are we perpetually stuck in this binary world of “feminine” and “masculine”? But then if we don’t label them as female traits, would that be more harmful to women’s forward (inch by inch) movement to equality? With the chart below, I can foresee that in a few years these valuable abilities may well be taken over by the patriarchy and it will be as if they (read men in power and the media that supports them) were always like that. I predict. Too many questions.

Curious as to how leaders could “think more like women,” we asked half our sample — 32,000 people around the world — to classify 125 different human characteristics as either masculine, feminine or neither, while the other half rated the same words (without gendering) on their importance to leadership, success, morality and happiness. Statistical modeling revealed strong consensus that what people felt was “feminine” they also deemed essential to leading in an increasingly social, interdependent and transparent world.

top10competencies

Check out this HBR Guest blog post.

Brooklyn Museum: Writing Women Back Into History

Wikipedia has a gender problem. Alexandra Thom is heading up a project to add entries and substance to Wikipedia on all the women included in Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” which is permanently installed in the Sackler Gallery at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. Not only are entries on the women of history lacking but female editors to Wikipedia are also much fewer than non-female. What’s up? It’s no surprise that men write mostly about men. Well, ladies, start your engines.

Thom writes, “The Dinner Party is an icon of feminist art, which features the names of 1,038 women in history…”

She found many of the names had only “stub” entries and almost 100 others had no mention at all. You can follow Alexandra’s project through the Brooklyn Museum blog starting with the two links below.

Brooklyn Museum: Community: bloggers@brooklynmuseum » Writing Women Back Into History.

Ending the ongoing cycle of omission

Bravo, Ms. Thom! Wikipedia is so heavily used by folks around the world. How many more women will your work inspire to become editors of Wikipedia to fill out this gross omission. I know I’m on board.

AKIMBO — After Rio+20, Women’s Voices Loud and Clear

I recently encountered an organization new to me — the International Women’s Health Coalition whose offices are on 7th Ave in New York City. They seem well positioned, well thought out, and very engaged in their work. In the section on who we are, it says:

We are passionate and tenacious professionals who, together with our international Board of visionaries and leaders, work with hundreds of partners worldwide to secure every woman’s right to a just and healthy life. We are funded by private foundations, UN agencies, European governments, individuals and corporations. We do not accept funding from the U.S. government. (emphasis mine)

As you can see from my little “shout out” of the last line, I was very surprised at that statement and had never seen it stated so bluntly before. If any of my readers know of other organizations that refuse money from the US gov’t, please let me know. Of course, I can understand this. The strings attached and the control over actions that come with “Bush” money were outrageous and lacking in a sense of the world and human rights. But is that still in effect now? This puzzles me.

The IWHC has a blog — AKIMBO. Most recently, Alex Garita covered the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20″) held in June of 2012 and I offer you a short excerpt which shows the quality of the blog and its clarity of thought:

Since the inter-governmental negotiations began in December 2011, feminist organizations were told by key countries, including Brazil and South Africa, that the Group of 77 (a group that represents “developing countries” in United Nations negotiations) would not break over differences of position on “controversial issues” such as gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights because “more important issues were at stake”.

Disappointingly, this was Brazil’s consistent position throughout the process as it sought to affirm its leadership within the Economic South and obtain gains on other issues such as the green economy and trade. Our allies remained vocal throughout the process and helped secure the language that we will use for enshrining reproductive health and human rights in future development agreements. These critical positions came from: Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, the United States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Mexico.

If you would like to read the final document, see “The Future We Want”.

via Akimbo — Standing Strong for a Woman’s Right to a Just and Healthy Life.

Mobility Is a Problem; Now What? – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution

I highly recommend this article, especially for those working with young adults. Links to data based reports about what young people can do to change their status — in either direction or stay put — economically. What they choose in those critical years makes all the difference. Below is one paragraph. The link to the entire post below that.

But I want to call attention to factors beyond programs that invest in human capital. In our 2009 book Creating an Opportunity Society, my Brookings colleague Isabel Sawhill and I conducted an analysis based on Census Bureau data on a representative sample of Americans. We asked the data to tell us how adult Americans were doing if they followed three elementary norms of growing up in a modern society: finish high school, get a full-time job, and wait until age 21 and get married before having children. The results were astounding: young adults who followed all three norms had a 2 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 74 percent chance of winding up in the middle class defined as earning roughly $50,000 or more. By contrast, young adults who violated all three norms had a 76 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 7 percent chance of winding up in the middle class.

via Mobility Is a Problem; Now What? – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution.

The Op-Ed Project

Thanks to the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) for scheduling a workshop at their November Conference in Denver, CO, with “The Op-Ed Project.”  Here’s a bit of what they say on their website:

The Problem
The op-ed pages of our nation’s newspapers are overwhelmingly dominated—80% or more—by men. Because the op-ed pages feed all other media, the under-representation of women here perpetuates and exaggerates the under-representation of women in larger ways. For example, men are:

  • 84% of guests on influential Sunday morning political talk shows on TV
  • 85% of Hollywood producers
  • 85% of nonfiction books on The New York Times best-selling
  • 85-90% of radio producers
  • 83% of congress

Why this matters: Our leaders and our public are not getting the best information and ideas we need to make the best decisions. Our position is not that women need our help, but just the opposite:  we think the public, and more specifically public debate, needs women. Our national conversation is currently an echo chamber that reproduces the voices and opinions of a very narrow slice of society:  85% (mostly white, privileged) men.   Even worse among academics: a May 2008 Rutgers University study found that 97% of op-eds by scholars in the Wall Street Journal are written by men. What is the cost to society when half of the nation’s best minds and best ideas –  women’s minds and women’s ideas – are left out?   If you were trying to catch the best and biggest fish, would you fish in only half the pond?
In short, public debate all but excludes half the population.

If you can’t wait till November, The Op-Ed Project is holding several workshops across the U.S. in the next few months. They are $300 but they offer good scholarships for a “pay with words” agreement. See more on their site.  Here are the sites and dates:

  • Apr 24, 2010 – NYC
  • May 1, 2010 – DC
  • May 8, 2010 – SF
  • May 15, 2010 – Los Angeles
  • Jul 17, 2010 – Chicago

And here’s a blog post about the experience:
http://www.85broads.com/public/blogs/j-kelly-hoey/articles/saturday-with-the-oped-project

The Op-Ed Project web page has some great help right there so if you aren’t near or can’t attend a live workshop, you can still get started.  And be sure to check out their blog, The Byline Blog.

Get writing!

Do Married Women Want Their Husbands to Cheat?

From the “some people have too much time on their hands” department.  Evolutionary Psychology.  Say what?

From the Psychology today blog

The Scientific Fundamentalist

A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature: Author  Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.

Do Married Women Want Their Husbands to Cheat?

Married women face a dilemma.  It’s not that they want their husbands to cheat on them.  But then again it’s not that they don’t want their husbands to cheat on them either.

Once married to a man, it is in the reproductive interest of the woman to monopolize access to all of his resources (material or otherwise) so that he would invest them in her joint children with him.  Any sexual relationship he may have with other women might potentially jeopardize her exclusive access to his resources, so obviously it is in her interest to make sure that he does not have sexual relationships with other women.

The problem, however, is that, as I explain in a previous post, mating among all mammalian species (including humans) is a female choice; it happens whenever and with whomever the female wants, not whenever and with whomever the male wants.  The more desirable a man is (the more resourceful, the higher his social status, the physically more attractive), the larger the number of other women who would want to have sex with him regardless of whether he is married, either in an attempt to steal him away from his current mate (mate poaching) or in an attempt to be impregnated by him so that their child will have his superior genes but then to turn around and pass off the child as their current long-term mates’ genetic offspring (cuckoldry).

All women have a vested reproductive interest to marry a man who is as desirable and attractive (physically and otherwise) as possible, but the more desirable and attractive the husband is, the greater the chances that other women would want him as well and thus the greater the chances that he would be unfaithful.  There is a surefire way to guarantee that their husband will never cheat on them, and that is to marry the biggest loser that they can find so that nobody else would want him.  But obviously no woman would want to do that.

There is an additional complication in the matter.  Humans are naturally polygynous; humans have been mildly polygynous throughout evolutionary history.  So it is natural for resourceful men of high status to mate with multiple women simultaneously.  (But recall the dangers of naturalistic fallacy.  Natural means neither good nor desirable.  It just means is; it does not mean ought.)  So polygyny ­– marriage of one man to more than one woman – is a deeply embedded part of male and female human nature.  Men have always had multiple wives, and women have always been married to men who have had other wives.

It is true that, even under polygyny, many men still only have one wife while other men remain completely mateless.  But we are disproportionately descended from polygynous men, because polygynous men invariably have more children than monogamous men.  So most of us are descended from polygynous men (and, disproportionately, from highly successful polygynous men with a large number of wives), only a few of us are descended from monogamous men, and none of us are descended from mateless men.  So polygyny remains a significant part of human nature.

Such is the dilemma faced by women, especially highly desirable women who are more likely to marry highly desirable men.  The more desirable the woman is, the more desirable her husband is likely to be, and the more likely he is to cheat on her.  The more likely her husband is to remain sexually faithful to her, the less desirable he is (and the greater the probability that perhaps she could have done much better than him).

Read the post here

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