So I want to be liked, that doesn’t mean I’m bad at my job.

So so great, this is the problem with ‘The 9 Top Ways Women Give Away Their Power.’ and all those other articles about how women need to ‘lean in’, stop apologising, stop using passive words like ‘just’ (a word I use in probably almost every email, just to soften it):

See, the problem with these sorts of guidelines is the insistence that if women would just assimilate and act more like men, the entire mechanism of misogynistic bias against them would collapse.

Germaine Greer decried this type of feminism; the idea that freedom is found in mimicking men.

I’ve always found it interesting that the qualities that are supposed to make a good manager, qualities like empathy, are the ones that women naturally possess, but are told to tone down in the workplace.

Promotion of authentic power, the kind that doesn’t “leak” out of a woman means valuing not just quotas of women at top levels, but their own way of doing business, as well. In practical terms, this means not demonising a woman for wanting to be liked.

It means accepting that, when it comes to emails, the word “just” or the use of question marks or even an exclamation mark (or four) does not automatically denote powerlessness.

Argh I wish this post would go viral so that this kind of thinking would be encouraged at work.

Let’s stop telling women to modify their behaviour to “get ahead”. Because the quagmire is not with women’s behaviour at work, but the denial and repression of it. Excuse me, I was modifying my language. I meant to say that the way women do business, with humility, empathy and feelings, is already powerful, it’s just that most people are scared s–tless of it.

Read the full article >

Seven anti-feminist headlines you won’t believe were published.

This is brilliant! In this article Clem Bastow takes the stock-standard, idiotic anti-feminist responses to female writers and turns them into clickbait headlines!

She won me over with our mutual dislikes (I can already tell we’re going to be BFFs):

There are two things on the internet that make me descend into an apoplectic fury without fail: witless responses to feminist commentary, and clickbait headlines.

And then shines light on a truth that all female writers know to be true:

If you call yourself a feminist… a guy with a Lars Von Trier-related username will let you know exactly a) what he thinks and b) why you’re wrong.

And then drops in this absolute gem of a reference:

It’s such a widespread and depressingly common occurrence that in 2013, an ‘internet law’, Anita’s Irony, was stated: “Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny.”

And this then follows on to her reworking common responses to her feminist musings into clickbait. And my-oh-my would I click (fricken click-bait gets me every time). My favourites below, recognise any familiar sentiments you may have read or unfortunately experienced yourself?:

14 Great Egg Recipes That Celebrate The Anonymous Twitter Accounts That Called Me A Stupid Whore.

This Man’s Story About The Second Cousin Of A Friend Of His From College Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Intimate Partner Violence.

Violence Against Women Statistics Are No Match For This Link To A Niche Men’s Interest Blog That Features Animated GIFs Of Fire.

25 Ways In Which These Women Were Definitely Asking For It.

Here’s What Happens When A Dude With No Hobbies Is Given A Laptop And Wifi.

Why Is A Woman Who Claims To Be Single So Determined To Ignore This Unsolicited D–k Pic?

She Deleted His Defamatory Comment On Her Facebook Page, So He Surprised Her With A Fifteen-Message Screed. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.

The only thing I disagree with, and not that it’s explicitly written but implied due to the constant references to men, is that it is only men who write these witless and often aggressive responses. I’ve read some pretty disgusting comments directed to females by females, not to mention the number of female public figures that just say some honestly damn stupid crap that then reaches out to the masses.

Can’t we all just get along?

Read the full article >

Calling male feminists.

In the words of Louise Brealey: ‘I’d like every man who doesn’t call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn’t believe in equality for women.’

Friend zoning is like a terrible thing. The idea of it is like a terrible male thing. Have you ever heard a girl say they’re in the friend zone? I definitely think the idea of the friend zone is just men going ‘this woman won’t have sex with me’. – Daniel Radcliffe

If you look up feminism in the dictionary it just means someone who believes that men and women have equal rights. I think the reason that so many people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture now people think that feminist means like, some woman is gonna start yelling at me – Aziz Ansari

I feel like, whether it’s a woman or a man, that you don’t have to be defined by your gender. You can be whatever you want to be.You don’t have to fit into the boxes that someone might tell you you have to fit into. That’s what it [feminism] means to me. – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

And number 24. Dustin Hoffman. Read it now >

Swiftly apply water to burn.

Taylor Swift has called out UK’s ‘OK! Magazine’ after they tweeted the below misleading headline which clicked through to an article that was actually Taylor Swift posing with fans who were announcing their pregnancy.

Ok Magazine

As if that click-bait headline wasn’t enough, the article then referred to Swift twice as a man’s property – first as ‘Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend’ and second as ‘Calvin Harris’ rumoured girlfriend’. She wasn’t referred to as a musician in her own right until after they discussed her love life.

Well, Taylor was quick to issue a burn of her own in true Taylor style:

Taylor Swift call out

@OK_Magazine this misleading headline and your choice of words in labelling me are why we need feminism in 2015.

BURN

Read the article >

When age matters.

I’m not a morning tv person, have never really watched the Today show and anything I hear about it in the media is always something to do with Karl. That’s why I found this article so interesting on Lisa Wilkinson. She calls out ageism and sexism and isn’t afraid to challenge senior leaders in politics, media or any other field.

At 55,  she’s one of the more mature women on commercial tv (disappointingly), but it is her maturity and life experiences that ‘Today’ show Executive Producer partly contributes to her success, because she’s relatable.

We’ve got a crisis in this country when it comes to domestic violence; our figures, shamefully, are that one woman dies every week at the hands of a partner. We need a minister for women who is not also our prime minister. And we have a gender pay gap that’s the largest it’s been in 20 years. We need to focus on these issues.

[I made] a decision that never again in my life would I allow someone else to determine who I was and what I was capable of.

Read the article >

Fucking outrageous.

Don’t you just love Helen Mirren? She has commented on Hollywood’s sexist, ageist casting with an accurate and succinct “It’s fucking outrageous.”

Mirren spoke at women’s breakfast in New York and when asked to comment on Maggie Gyllenhaal being told by a casting agent that at 37 she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man, Mirren responded quite simply:

It’s fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly.

We all sat there watching, you know… as James Bond got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger.

And she has something to say on being labelled as ‘sexual’ at 69 years young:

I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting.

Being powerful is so much more interesting than being beautiful.

*applause*

Read more >

My stealthy freedom.

You have to love a social awareness campaign that promotes equality through powerful imagery. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad has created the “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign in which women in Iran take photos of them removing the the hijab in a protest for gender equality. 

Men in Iran are educated and cultured. They are reacting positively because they support women having the freedom to choose. It is only the government who claims a woman who does not cover her head is bad.

My Stealthy Freedom receives support from women who want and don’t want to cover their head alike; it is about the right to choose, not about insulting Islam.

 Islamic veils 101: 
View the beautiful images here >

Bikinis and power suits.

Jessica Alba ForbesTalk about girl power! Jessica Alba not only kicked butt on tv show ‘Dark Angel’ and movie ‘The Incredibles’, but she’s also kicking butt in the business world and has made it onto the cover of Forbes magazine.

Speaking at Forbes’ third annual Women’s Summit in New York – where female entrepreneurs and leaders work to change the power imbalance in the business world – Alba spoke of the challenges she face when launching The Honest Company, which sells a range of non-toxic household products and turned over $150 million in revenues last year.

People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt — maybe not the brightest bulb… It took three and a half years of condescending nods and pats on the back of ‘good luck’, or ‘go back to endorsing things or go do a perfume.’

Well the jokes on them, after only 3 years The Honest Company is currently valued at US$1 billion.

Read more >

That’s Mr Saldana thank-you-very-much.

zoe saldana

Zoe Saldana has questioned the buzz surrounding her husband’s take up of her last name. Here is why, Mrs Saldana, your husband taking your last name is so damn newsworthy. Because:

63% of men would be upset if their wives kept their maiden names, and a whopping 96% of men wouldn’t take their wife’s last name

I would say being in the 4% makes your husband ‘newsworthy’ wouldn’t you? And for good reason. Because:

Many millennial women are changing their names not based on some ideological preference, but seemingly by default.

So many women I speak to respond to the question of taking their husband’s last name with ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ well here is a reason for you:

Changing a name is, in many ways, a change of identity. We associate our names with our heritage, family, childhood, career and even our personal brands. Switching over when we sign a marriage certificate is saying goodbye to one aspect of our life and adopting a new identity; in heterosexual marriages, that often means sharing one with a man.

I am glad Zoe Saldana, not that your husband taking your last name is something that’s newsworthy in the 21st Century, but I am glad given the huge number of men that refuse to even consider taking on their wife’s name that your husband’s choice and your empowering words may just start to affect change.

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary – you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads alongside his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.”

Read more >

*2013 Women’s Health survey of Men’s Health’s male readers

Kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

mark-ruffalo

Man-oh-man this is so brilliant. Mark Ruffalo has re-blogged a post on his blog which responds to to the frustrating “Women Against Feminism” Tumblr.

Check out his blog or read it below.

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

Thank you Mr Ruffalo *swoon*

Approaching sexism responsibly.

Thoroughly recommend watching this short TEDEd speech by gamer Lilian Chen on how she has addressed and raised awareness of sexism in gaming.

The entire panels point was to raise awareness [of sexism in the gaming community] in a way that did not shame male gamers.

As a woman, I was sexist; even mysogynistic, against my own gender. Sometimes when you’ve been immersed in an environment long enough it can be hard to differentiate between harmful behaviours and normal ones.

While some gamers are intentionally malicious, some may not realise they are perpetuating sexist behaviours in the first place. Empathising wi these gamers is more productive than outright dismissing them.

Please, leave the accusatory tone behind… People are willing to change and they want to help.

My silence only further enabled sexism within gaming… By being vocal, you force yourself and those around you to reevaluate their actions and perceptions.

Watch it here:

Chess Grandmaster responds to sexist comments.

A female chess legend takes down sexist remarks from Chess master Nigel Short who believes we should simply accept that men’s brains may be wired better for chess than women’s.

Read the take down here >

Two small steps for women and LGBT, two giant leaps for humanity (hopefully).

It’s been an exciting 24 hours in Australian politics with two movements for equality slowly starting to gain some traction for change:

  1. Joe Hockey (Federal Treasurer) has agreed to lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from GST thanks to an online petition with over 90,000 signatures (originally shared on this blog two and a half weeks ago at which time their were approximately 12,000 signatures). While this is a great first step in the right direction, historically similar past campaigns have not resulted in change. Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed and keep sharing and encouraging sign ups to the petition here.
  2. Bill Shorten (Opposition Leader) has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week after the Greens stated they would bring marriage equality up for debate in the Senate later this year.

Exciting times, it’s just about a decade late. Read more at ABC.net.au on the tampon tax and marriage equality.

Female celebrities speak out against hollywood sexism.

celebrity feminism

celebrity feminism

For a long time they thought the only things we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies. They don’t see us as a powerful force, which is an incredible ignorance.

View them all in DailyLife

‘Mad Men’-level sexism coming to an office near you.

mad men

This article dissects the sexism Peggy and Joan experience in the first episode of Mad Men’s last season and overlays a similar experience of the writer to highlight and explain the subtle sexism that goes on in offices still today. To the untrained these comments might seem throw-away and not inherently sexist, but to those on the receiving end the true meaning comes across loud and clear.

The slights are usually much subtler, the kind that are hard to explain to anyone who doesn’t inherently understand. The sexism appears in everyday conversation, like last season, when Pete said Peggy was “every bit as good as any woman in this business” — meaning she was participating in some women-only side competition in advertising, rather than competing with everyone in advertising.

By casting the nature of our confrontation as one in which he said something to hurt my feelings, he’s working behind the scenes to make me look emotional and sensitive. More “female.”

Read the full article here >

Inspire with words.

Age is not important

Some inspirational quotes I thought worth sharing…

equalityRaise your voiceMan adviceAge is not important

Sourced from Debrief Daily

Mx. and Mx. Smith.

Mx pronoun

Mx pronoun
A small but positive step in the right direction for transgender and gender nonconformists. Mx the gender neutral honorific (pronounced mux), may soon be added to the Oxford English Dictionary as an alternative to the traditional Miss, Mrs, Ms and Mr.

Sweden are already ahead, recently adding the pronoun ‘hen’ to the official Swedish language dictionary as an alternative to the male and the female pronouns ‘han’ and ‘hon’ respectively.

Read more here >

Boys toys, girls toys, or just…toys?

amazon breaks down gender stereotype

amazon breaks down gender stereotype

In a great first step in addressing gender stereotypes, Amazon has removed gender landing pages for toys on its homepage. While this gender split has not been removed completely (you can still categories toys by gender in the sub menus), this is definitely a positive move away from gender stereotypes.

Read more here >

You misunderstood, it’s a cape not a dress.

#ItWasNeverADress is part of a project launched at the Girls in Tech conference from software company Axosoft to encourage more women into the industry.

It Was Never a Dress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day.

“In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed.

“Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women.”

Read the full article here >

Young, drunk, and in a sketchy place late at night.

You have probably seen this one but in case you haven’t… An Argentinian woman who works at a bus terminal has had her Facebook post message against slut-shaming and rape culture go viral. The post is brilliant:

“Yesterday at the bus terminal at 6 a.m., there was a drunk man, and ten minutes later he fell into a deep sleep. He had oversized pants that left his underwear and half of his ass exposed.

In sum: young, drunk, late at night, in a sketchy place like the terminal and with his ass in the air… and not I, nor any of the women who passed by this spectacle, raped him or killed him.

You see guys — it’s not so hard, and that no matter how drunk one is or how one is dressed, it’s possible to respect the lives of others???”

“Both men and women should pay less attention to the clothes worn by girls and deal more with teaching boys of future generations to NOT violate, harass, stalk, and kill.”

Read the full article here >

If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

If you took out all the coffee runs, water cooler conversations and quick ‘personal admin’ tasks, how productive would you actually be?

A study by Ernst & Young has found women working part-time are the most productive in the workforce. Or rather, they waste the least amount of time at work of all workers, just 11.1 per cent compared to 14.5 per cent for the rest of the workforce. (Interestingly, they also wasted less time than their male part-time counterparts, who wasted 14.2 percent of their working time.)

Read the full article here >

Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as the gender pay gap.

Sarah SilvermanSarah Silverman doesn’t find the gender pay gap funny. After doing a comedic set in the same show for the same amount of time as a fellow male comedian, he was paid six times more than her for the same job.

“I’m all for women having to work harder to prove themselves at this juncture, if that’s how it is in the world,” she says, “But if you work a job, and a man is working that same job, you should be getting paid the same.”

“It’s [women’s rights topics], that gets the most violent hate-tweets back… [It’s] so odd. [It’s] just bizarre. It creates such a rage in certain people, and of course that comes from fear.”

As highlighted in the article from Pedestrian TV, Australia’s current gender wage gap is at a 20-year high of 18.6%. Very disappointing Australia.

“I am not here for you, that is not what my existence is about.”

A video on an artist uncovering women’s thoughts on street harassment in New York city. Choice quotes below.

It’s an everyday thing…they’ll get mad if you don’t respond because you’re supposed to be so grateful. And if I pay attention to all of you I’m a whore, so what am I supposed to do?

The entitlement people feel, they feel you owe them something.

I am not here for you, that is not what my existence is about.

Watch the video here >

stoptellingwomentosmile.com

Abortion legislation. Because men should decide what happens to women’s bodies.

A rare mamamia article that actually makes some solid points on the situation where a Democratic Ohio State representative felt she had to share her own experiences of rape and subsequent abortion in order to counter the arguments to those proposing a new bill on abortions.

Because when it comes to women’s rights, women shouldn’t have to put their grief on display in order to be heard.

…it makes women’s participation in these debates conditional on their willingness to reveal sensitive information about themselves first.

…women who do not have, or are not prepared to share personal experiences, are instantly demoted or excluded from discussion.

…the act of disclosure acts as a double-bind, because as soon as a woman is done revealing an intimate aspect of her life, she is immediately at risk of being accused of being biased because of her personal connection to the issue.

…when women are expected to offer their personal narratives, they are often only seen and engaged with on an emotive level (as either a victim or a survivor), while the authority roles of expert and judge remain preserved for men.

The paradox here, is that this only enables men to continue to dominate the conversation, while women are kept on the sidelines.

Read the full article >

The motherhood penalty.

While some women certainly opt for more ‘family-family’ roles and hours, this social norm impacts those women who want to be the breadwinner and are committed to their career. Such a balenced, well-written article.

Both women and men still expect women to take on the lion’s share of care-giving when children are small, and to take on family-friendly work through the school years. Having fewer women in senior management reinforces the stereotype. Even when couples intend to share parenting, reality bites. Recovering from birth and breastfeeding keeps many women at home longer. There’s even less incentive to rush back to work if the male partner earns more money.

Changes in the corporate landscape have had little impact. Experts say there is an insidious bias against working mothers. “I hear lots of stories of people going on maternity leave and coming back to different roles that are less senior or with less scope.”

“We have a long tradition through the industrial relations system in Australia of protecting the male-breadwinner model,” she says. “That’s breaking down with the need for both parents to work, but we still haven’t fully come to terms with the fact that mothers are working, and how we should to respond to that.”

“…younger women to establish their careers first and have their babies second. “But the truth is, neither sequence is optimal and both involve trade-offs that men do not have to make.”

A senior manager at Origin Energy, with two young children says she has slipped behind her male peers even though she took less than 12 months’ leave and returned to work four days a week. “Motherhood is not a stamp that you’re stuck with,” she says. “The penalty comes when you choose not to go foot to foot with the hours and the travel and the commitment.”

Men who want time out to co-parent are met with raised eyebrows. “The situation traps men as much as it traps women,” says Feenstra. “Many more women in senior management roles would normalise the look of the workforce, which would then make it easier to have the conversation at home.”

“Companies assume that when a woman comes back to work, her commitment is to her family,” O’Reilly says. “But women say, ‘If I am going to come to work and leave my son at home then I want to do something meaningful and that will advance my career.’ It’s a really easy fix. You have to have communications both ways.”

“No one has the perfect solution,” says Marian Baird. “But if men take the same sort of family leave as women, we will see a change. We have to make men as ‘unreliable’ as women.”

Read the full article here >

Gender Nonconforming, say what?

An absolutely beautiful piece from my first blog follower!

Provides some deep insight into how people treat others differently depending on what gender they think a person should associate to.

I hate being gender nonconforming because my co-workers were more offended by the people who assumed that I was male than they were about the people who treated me like shit because I’m female. In their minds, it was more important that people acknowledge my femaleness than it was that they acknowledge my ability to do my job.

Read the whole piece here >

This is one to share with the men in your lives.

That Guy Who Isn’t You‘ is the winning piece in a creative writing contest. It’s a bit of a read so some choice quotes are below.

Part that resonated most:

I am out dancing with my friends and men are imposing their way into our evening uninvited, and they don’t back off until we lie and say our boyfriends are coming, because they will respect an imaginary, made-up man before they respect us.

Key take out to share with your men:

You didn’t speak up. You minded your own business. You let it enter your mind that she deserved it. You looked at pictures not meant for your eyes. You believed him because he’s a nice guy. You looked away. You felt uncomfortable but not enough to say anything. You dismissed it as a joke. You ignored all of those times you saw things that you knew weren’t right and you didn’t make it your problem. Instead you made it mine, and you’re not listening to me now, you’re just waiting for your turn to talk – so yes, you are right it was not you.”

One call out – there is a section where it’s implied that prostitution is violence against woman. This mindset is not supported by Dirty words as feminism means supporting a woman’s right to make her own life choices. Apart from this, it’s worth a read.

Street harassment, it’s a compliment right?

A very sensible article on an issue that needs more prominence.

What happens to women on the streets is not seen as a critical issue – it is certainly not taken with the same level of seriousness as the safety of young men at risk of coward punches (where laws were changed, new terms coined). “Street harassment” is not even specifically referred to in the federal government’s much trumpeted national plan to reduce violence against women.

Read article >