Rant.. why feminism still matters

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    Oh yes, let’s all cry a river for the poor disadvantaged American white male. It must be awful, living with all the advantages that white skin and a weenie give you.


    You might want to read Leonard Pitts, the Pulitzer Prize winner, on race in America. He’s amazing, especially his columns on MLK.


    As far as sexism goes, I think it’s still there, though it’s gotten better and we now have laws to help protect us.




    i used “…” to denote quotes… that is… something someone else said that i might or might not have phrased the same way…

    at least, i think i did.

    what would you have me do differently?



    Oh, Kayleigh! I will not get into this again!

    Believe what you want, I’ll believe what I want.

    P.S. At least we know that if we worked in the same office we wouldn’t argue over “catty” things, but real issues! Lol.




    tho it may be true that given the same qualifications.. women and minorities have a competetive edge in hiring at some firms these days.. those that will benefit financially from increasing their minority hiring ratios… clearly that wasn’t always the case or there would be nothing to correct.

    it isn’t much fun when you are on the less competitive edge of that… but the more hiring they do now.. the less that will be necessary later…

    and getting in the door isn’t the whole story. tho you can’t prosper without getting hired.. once you are hired white males still have the competitive edge…

    as for any pilot ambitions… i would talk privately to some of the female pilots before i considered moving into that seat. I assume it has gotten better for them… but better might not be as great as it seems…

    frankly that job isn’t what it used to be for either sex…



    BDG says: “To be successful you need to be competant, aggressive, and agreeable.”

    I *almost* concur with your list, but I really doubt that agreeable would be on the list for men. :-) See the earlier discussion in this thread about some women being more passive-aggressive in the workplace.



    Charlabob…the funny thing is “agreeable” was the best I could come up with…i was trying to keep the list short and describe someone who was not catty, listened to others ideas, and was a good communicator….agreeable was the best I came up with. :)



    JoB… I am not saying, as you suggest, that women are equal numbers wise in any of the areas that you mentioned above…I ‘m suggesting the reason for that, I believe, is something different than what you believe it to be.

    I believe my core argument to be strong and logical and that is the very reason we ARE having this discussion. You believe YOUR position to be logical and strong as well, which in turn creates an opportunity for a thoughtful debate.

    Never once did I question ANY career’s noteworthiness. I’m sure that you had a fabulous career and I am absolutely sure you made certain you attained any goals that you set forth for yourself. Tangling with you on this blog is enough to prove that to me:)

    You should be proud of your daughter(and I did notice that by the way:) It sounds like she has done some amazing things.

    Here is my point, plain and simple. If you compare women who have never deviated from their career path to men that have never deviated from their career path, women make just as much if not more than men in most fields.

    If you don’t believe that to be true than so be it. I’m not trying to change your mind. I am just stating that this is the conclusion that I have come to as a result of reading various economics books backed by statistics.

    In no way am I “blaming women for the discrimination that exists in the workplace”. I am not blaming women for being the ones to bear children or saying that it is fair that they are the parent that stays home with the child a majority of the time. I just don’t believe that the workplace, in general, is bent towards keeping women down. Sorry, but I don’t. I definitely believe there are cases of sexism, but I think that the disparity between men and women in the workplace has it’s causation elsewhere.

    Feel free to respond, however, this will be my last post on the subject.



    LBG, thank you for your post!

    I do appreciate and agree with it! You stated it much better than I could have. And that is coming from a women who inspires to do at least 10 times more than her male peers thank you!!!



    Yes, women can be catty and untrustworthy. So I try very hard to NOT be those things, to help women succeed where I can.

    But I’m really curious as to how your husband (?sorry if I got that wrong) got employment data on the hudreds of people who beat him out for jobs. Because I do some HR recruiting and absolutely never give any information to no-hires. Or is it that’s just what he believed,and he tracked down a couple of cases that confirmed his belief?

    I also have a file on my desk of about 50 resumes, most of whom are women, and only one job they’re applying for. So about 49 will *not* be handed a job. Almost all the jobs I’ve applied for (and I am NOT a high-powered person) I’ve competed with at least 100 women. I wouldn’t say women get handed jobs on platters, at least not in the things I’m good at.



    I don’t normally enter these kinds of discussions, though I do read them. However, I enjoyed LBG’s well-written post tremendously, and agree with the argument put forth there.

    I do have one comment to add: perhaps this is why young women these days are more reluctant to go straight from college to marriage/family, as many of our mothers did? Perhaps these young women — and I’m including my own generation, here — have intuited that it’s important to have as much career experience possible under their belts before taking “the mommy detour”? It seems reasonable to think they would have realized that returning to the workforce with 10 years of experience instead of three or five would result in a better position upon their return.

    I would love to see a research study comparing salaries of “mommy track” women with “daddy track” men (who actually took a few years off to raise children). That would really be comparing apples to apples. But I don’t think any studies like that have been undertaken.

    A comment on “white male = disadvantage”: my fiance (white male) was in the running for a job with the King County government. He was short-listed against a female of unknown race with very similar experience and background. The woman was offered the position, not my fiance. The HR rep happened to be an acquaintance of mine, so we got a little more feedback than usual on why he was not hired. It was because the woman had prior public sector experience and my fiance did not. That would not have been obvious by simply comparing his resume to hers — public sector experience was not part of the published criteria, and to some managers it might not have mattered. But to this manager it did. Simply looking at the credentials of the person who gets hired instead of you does not always tell the whole story.

    And to JoB: Academia is a whole other ball of wax. You cannot compare it to corporate America in any way. The goals are completely different. As the daughter of a university professor who never made tenure because he “wasn’t published enough”, I think I’m qualified to make that statement.

    For the record, I am over 35 but under 40. Solidly Gen X.




    Sorry to be a grammar stickler. To be honest, I was having a hard time following your train of though due to the overuse of the ellipses.

    This from wikipedia as to proper usage: Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from Greek ἔλλειψις ‘omission’) in printing and writing refers to a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis).



    Typo: train of thought




    you are right.. academia is a whole other track… and i think the last bastion of unacknowledged sexism.. at least in certain male dominated fields… and perhaps in all… as the system is tied to the competitive narrow focus mind set.

    I am frankly quite puzzled as to why she went back. it won’t further her engineering career much… tho the research will take it in new directions.. and i think she is ill suited to academia… but who knows? She has the family mentoring gene… hard to wipe out:)

    And she may have just found a university that is actually recruiting top quality females into their geotech department.. and a male mentor there who poses what she sees as intriguing questions… and who apparently finds her intriguing as well. she was amazed to find that he not only remembered her name but knew a great deal about her at the last conf they both attended…

    we will see. that girl has been a constant surprise to me. Who expected such a girlie girl to end up in a hard hat and steel toe boots buried to her waist in what can only be called mud.. and as concerned with the texture of that mud as she still is with the texture of her pumpkin soup:)

    My daughter spent time in the “real” world before going back to school… and the sexism there was both to her advantage (she got opportunities which she used effectively) because she was a good looking female.. and to her disadvantage … the company narrowly averted a sexual discrimination lawsuit because of the same attributes (which she chose not to use as an opportunity … they are still trying to hire her back).

    That said.. she never would have prospered had she not been exceptional at what she does… it was just a steel toed boot (in her case) into doors that might not have opened as quickly.




    you misunderstand me if you think i believe that corporate America is in any way “bent towards keeping women down”.

    I believe they are invested in keeping the status quo and paying all workers as little as they can while still retaining good help.

    as for comparing the wages of women in general who have never left the workplace to men in general who have never left the workplace.. i still think you would find startling inequality.

    if you compare women in general to men in general.. you don’t wipe out the disparity in pay at entry level positions between men and women…

    not of course in the same positions. that is now illegal.. and very few larger companies try to get away with that any longer… but in the positions that are typically filled by women or men…

    and if you limit the comparison to corporate America.. i imagine it gets worse. There are a fair number of women who entered the secretarial pool and never really progressed further than managing other secretaries or if lucky… made it to admin asst… and those life long employees.. many times of just one company… have not yet retired and fallen out of the statistics…

    the only place that the statistics are likely equal is if you compare middle management…

    but then you are comparing apples to oranges.. aren’t you.

    Because you are comparing exceptional women (if for no other reason than their choice of commitment to work over relationships) to average men.

    Only if you get to the realms of upper middle management do you begin to compare exceptional women with what one would hope would be exceptional men… and i would be very curious as to what story the averages would tell at that level.

    the problem with statistics is that they can be used to prove any point.. all you have to do is carefully choose the parameters in which you gather those statistics.

    Working America chose the gross statistics because they make the greatest point… but other organizations and individuals have chosen other sets of statistics because they mitigate that point.

    i think it is very hard to sort out what the real effect of sexual discrimination laws have been on female employment and earnings…

    there were some who would say that the laws have had a leveling effect.. but that it hasn’t been for the better.. bringing all but top management’s wages down in the process… that instead of increasing the value of female employees.. it has exponentially devalued all employees (possibly by increasing the labor pool).

    it is a complex subject…



    I have been reading this thread with great interest. I used to work in insurance- which, let me tell you- is the Original Old Boys Club. You were simply more likely to get ahead if you had a willy. The flip side of that coin? The “hot” women, who used their sex appeal to get ahead- and did. I had a supervisor who couldn’t spell- she couldn’t spell or use proper grammar, did not know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and seriously thought “I’m” was spelled “I’am”… but, boy, she had a great rack, and used it to her advantage even though she was barely qualified for the job. (well, she was qualified for *ahem* some kind of job)So is that a reverse sexism? And where did it leave those of us who were not endowed with either a willy or good looks/sex appeal? Out in the cold.



    JenV – Great point.




    i am sorry you are having difficulty with my grammer… or more accurately, my punctuation.

    i do too.

    the problem is one i can’t easily surmount.

    i have three choices.. write as i do, write only in word carefully editing and re-editing or not write at all.

    As difficult as it may seem to believe with the general lucidity of my remarks.. i have cognitive impairment severe enough to disable me.

    My brain is this swiss cheese with holes in the most inappropriate places… and that’s on a good day.

    ok.. i don’t have actual holes. there are just some functions that don’t work at all.. some which work only with great effort.. and some that work only sporadically no matter how great the effort.

    On a bad day (or portion of a day… or days )i don’t write at all.. there are times when i barely speak.

    I have difficulty with word finding, spelling (thank god for spell check), differentiating detail, sentence completion (i literally can’t see what isn’t there), incomplete thoughts, focus and documentation.

    oh.. and while i can understand complex calculations… i often have difficulty with simple math.

    and don’t ask me to do any of those … what is different … or complete the picture puzzles. i can’t.

    i can’t comprehend the image from a digital viewfinder.

    And yes.. this is all unfortunately documented.

    what you read as a carelessly tossed off posting actually takes me a significant amount of time to craft.

    disabilities strike people in different ways.

    When i first found out about mine i was devastated… as the bedrock of my personality and accomplishments was my ability to think quickly, clearly and to document every statement. i was sure any charm i had relied solely upon my wit.

    I can still think quickly if i use mild stimulants, i can think clearly if i have all the information to make a decision… but i can no longer document statements without great effort… and i never really know if i have all the information to make a decision. That is part of the reason that i read a lot on all sides of an issue.

    so.. you might say what started out as a weakness… not knowing if i had enough info to make a decision.. has turned into a strength:)

    oh.. i can remember the essence of what was said or written.. but i have to work to quote… and i really have to work to document…

    finding the info first and then building comments from it… not the other way around as i once did.

    i think i can safely say in this company that this sucks. But for me.. it isn’t optional.

    The good news is that i am still a thinking woman. I may have to work harder than i once did to think things through… and i may have more difficulty accurately communicating my thoughts… but i didn’t get stupid… i just got disabled.

    So, i have to ask you to have patience with me and overlook what i really can’t change. If i focus my energy on my grammar and punctuation.. there will literally be none left for thought.

    while some might think shutting me up would be a good thing :) … i would miss this opportunity to talk with others when i can.

    I don’t generally choose to publicly disclose my disabilities… I don’t label myself the way others hear that word.. disabled. I just have challenges.. like everyone else. But sometimes it’s a good thing to share your difficulty with others.

    I think it is too easy to become judgmental about other people when we really know very little about them.

    I would say that we know more about what the people we converse with on this site really think than most know about their casual friends because we talk about things that casual friends probably wouldn’t talk about.

    but reading my posts you can’t tell if this is one of my good or bad days (unless you count the length and missed typos).. you can’t tell if i sit here in my PJs well after the noon hour. You can’t tell that my bath has literally gone cold while i try to draft this post:)

    You can’t tell that about me any more than i can tell if you are up and about on a good day or stuck at home in pain on a bad one…

    this is why i feel it is so important to try to suspend judgements…

    I’m doing the best i can here.. and i suspect you are too.



    JenV and NewResisent…

    i feel sorry for pretty or sexy women who rely only on their appearance to get by in life…

    because once that is gone.. and it is gone for all of us at some point.. what is left?

    there is nothing sadder than a woman who relied on her looks desperately trying to save them as she ages.

    I have never felt bad about using any advantage i had to get opportunities… because as often as not those same attributes have held me back in some of the most frustrating ways…

    but we all use what we have to create opportunity for ourselves.. even those with willies:)

    just like having a willie.. being cute by itself isn’t enough to get you far… and certainly isn’t enough to sustain growth.

    sometimes i am glad not to be so handicapped:)



    Jo, I would never guess you had any kind of challenges. Please ignore the posting police. Your style is yours to own. :-)

    PS is it time to go home yet? Because it’s been a long week.



    Kayleigh…I say “Go home”…I mean…what’s the differnece if you stay for 4 more hours or not…really ! :) Besides…everyone needs to get outside this afternoon for health reasons…we all have a Vitamin D shortage…that goes for the men , too :)

    And I agree…this is an online forum, not a college dissertation..write however you want.



    I want to go home to Kayleigh….anyone want to meet with my afternoon clients for me???



    A few more things, an hour or two more, and I can go!

    You know, I don’t even know what to say about the booty-licious office types. I just know I wouldn’t respect myself much if I did that. My accomplishments are not terribly impressive to most, probably, but at least I earned ’em honestly.




    You are to be commended if you have a legit brain/mental disability and can converse as you do here.




    i have had severe fibromyalgia my entire life..

    i have severe chronic fatigue sydndrome and have had… in the severe form … off and on since i was 15.

    and 18 years ago i added multiple chemical sensitivity…

    which ended the off part of the on and off for my chronic fatigue syndrome…

    I am affected by the fibrofog of constant pain .. but also battle systemic HHV6 infections which cause intermittent viral dementia.

    The hardest day for me was the day i was cognitively tested and walked out of the IQ tests above average verbally.. but nearly retarded spatially.

    That was a huge blow.

    I am the girl who was too arrogant to bother taking the mensa exams because i didn’t need to prove my genius… now i couldn’t:)

    i do regret that.. not the loss of credentials but the loss of the kind of support that organization could have offered.

    I have been an activist and patient expert on these illnesses for the last 15 years…

    It has taken a lot for me to learn to work around my deficits and to gain the courage to speak out again about anything other than my illness.

    I have learned a lot through this process..

    the greatest lesson has been that this is the life i have.. and it is my choice every day how much

    i will get out of it. I choose to concentrate on what i can do.. and find ways to do it.

    I know i manage well enough to hide this from the world most days if i manage my circumstances…

    but somehow i don’t think maintaining the image is as important as the message that no matter what our disability.. each of us something to offer and we can make a huge difference if we concentrate on how to make that work for us.

    the internet.. with the ability to carry on conversations at my own speed and with my own timing works for me…

    and with the help of spell check.. and a little patience from those who find me worth talking with.. i manage to contribute and to enjoy doing so…

    so thanks for your patience … it’s so much easier when i can concentrate on content…

    i hope we will talk again.

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