High School Heroines

High School Heroines

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/23/jordan-high-school-gender-equality-bake-sale_n_6925692.html

Although it’s happening more and more these days, it’s still newsworthy when people stand up to fight sexism in our society. Especially when they’re in high school. In Utah.

Last month, a group of Young Democrats at Jordan High School held a bake-sale to raise awareness about a very important issue: the wage gap between men and women’s earnings. To do this, they charged young women $0.77 per item, and young men payed $1.00. They did this to highlight that, according to the US Census Bureau, in 2012 on average women were still making just 77 cents to the dollar that men made. So… fair’s fair, right?

Not in internet land! Let the comments begin (I know, I did it again! I’m just trying to make myself angry at this point…):

There’s a few people saying that the wage gap disappears when controlling for certain factors… one woman who cheers on the young kids… another few people who say the Census Bureau is wrong (never any citations, by the way!)…and then… there it is. There’s the battle cry I was looking for. A man complaining that this is discrimination against men. “Celebrate gender equality by being unequal? I guess they don’t teach what the word ‘equality’ means anymore” and a bit later on in his post, “this is blatant sexism masking itself as social justice.”

“This is blatant sexism masking itself as social justice.”

Is it though? Is it really blatant sexism? I don’t think so, sir (the commentor identifies himself as a “guy” in his post, for the record). I would argue that it is not blatant sexism. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. These students are raising awareness that our society still values men *just a little bit more* than women. Sure, it’s only 23 cents more, but that’s more folks. Contrary to what the other commentors on the page said, lots of studies have been conducted controlling for factors like equal work, experience, education, etc. And the gap still exists. So these young people raising awareness that our system is not fair, that our system pays women less for the same work, that our system is sexist? That’s not sexism. That’s fighting against it.

Now, do I think that everything should be priced differently for men and women? Absolutely not, that doesn’t make sense (But it does make me consider why items that are “for women” are so freaking expensive. Anyone buy a box of tampons lately? What about a “female condom”? That stuff is EXPENSIVE….)  But a group of teenagers putting on a bake sale to raise awareness about gender inequality is not discrimination against men. It’s a group of high school heroines.

~DoriMelinda

would you ask a man this question?!

would you ask a man this question?!

Credit to Identities.Mic for pulling these awesome women together into one page: http://mic.com/articles/110338/12-women-who-had-the-perfect-response-to-sexist-questions

In addition to a being a place where I can rant about sexism, I would like to use this blog as a space for recognizing the amazing people out there who are responding to sexism in *perfect* ways. A few posts ago, I referred to the questions that female celebrities get about “how they manage to keep a healthy work/life balance” as cultural sexism. It’s furthering the idea that women are supposed to be the sole caregivers of children, which also means that men are not expected to do much for the family outside of making money But the times are changing. More and more families are evenly splitting household and childcare responsiibilites (or, dividing them up based on what people actually like to do, rather than what society tells them to do). This means that men, too, have to find a way to keep a healthy work/life balance.

So… I was ecstatic when I read Jennifer Garner’s response to this tired question. She and Ben Affleck don’t just share the same career.  They also share the same family. So how is it possible that not one reporter asked him the question she was asked over and over again. “Isn’t is time to kinda change that conversation?”

Absolute Jennifer. I’m on board. Keep up the good work.

~DoriMelinda

Sorry Not Sorry

Sorry Not Sorry

I know, I know. I’m posting an advertisement for Pantene. And probably, yes, they realize that feminism is a “hot topic” right now and touching on the idea will sell more shampoo. But you know what, I don’t care. Because they are right.

My partner is the first person who really made me aware of how frequently I apologize when I’ve done nothing wrong. He stops me and asks, “Why are you sorry?” I have no real response; I typically blurt out “Sorry! It’s a habit.” OOPS. There, I did it again. It’s really hard to stop.

Women apologize. A lot. We apologize when things aren’t our fault, and we apologize when we feel we’re taking up too much space. And, as previously discuss, we apologize in our Isms class all the time! But I don’t believe this is something we came up with on our own. Women don’t spontaneously feel the need to take responsibility for everything that happens around us. Rather, this is a symptom of a cultural problem. Our culture is sexist.

Some people argue that women are biologically predisposed to be more nurturing than men.  They say we are somehow more aware of how our actions make others feel, which leads us to be more apologetic. And yes, I do think that’s part of the reason. But more that that, society has told us that we are wrong if we are not more nurturing. We are wrong if we value our own feelings “too much” (I.e. more than others’ feelings) and we must make others aware that we know we are wrong. And that is why we apologize. To let other people know that we were wrong.

But I’m done. Or at least, I’m trying to be. I’m not sorry. Not anymore. #sorrynotsorry

~DoriMelinda