stolen unapologetically from Claire Light's .sig|
This awesome quote:
But that's the problem with sexism. It doesn't happen because people -- male or female -- think women suck. It happens for the same reason a sommelier always pours a little more in a man's wine glass (check it!), or that that big, hearty man in the suit seems like he'd be a better manager. It's not that women shouldn't be up for the big awards. It's just that when it comes down to the wire, we just kinda feel like men . . . I don't know . . . deserve them.
The conservatives are right: affirmative action is huge blemish on the face of our nation. And until we stop giving awards to men who don't deserve them over women who do, we're sunk. Because our default is to somehow feel like Philip Roth's output is impressive while Joyce Carol Oates' is a punchline. Our default is to call John Updike a genius on the basis of four very wonderful books and many truly weird ones, while Margaret Atwood, with the same track record, is simply beloved. Our default is to title Ayelet Waldman's book, "Bad Mother," while her husband's is "Manhood for Amateurs." Our default is that women are small, men are universal. Well, I know men get sensitive if you call them small. But gentlemen, sometimes you are.
-- Lizzie Skurnick
How often do you ever hear the word "genius" applied to a woman in any context?
When I read the quote above, I thought of this study on gender discrimination in Academe and how difficult it can be to detect: http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/academe/obstacle.html
"It did not look like what we thought discrimination looked like." This one sentence from the study, in particular, stood out to me, and it's how I've begun to think of all the small things that happen individually that on the surface seem like they could not possibly be discrimination.
Gosh, I love that so much.
|Date:||December 2nd, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)|| |
I would describe none of John Updike's books as either wonderful or "truly weird," and it may be relevant that I find the two categories overlap fairly often, but that is a minor quibble. I still like the rest.
Powerfully said. Good reminder that sexism can be really, really subtle. And sometimes not so subtle. Thank you.